* I’ve been hearing tons of rumors about Scott Lee Cohen trying to buy off African-American ministers, but two ministers confirmed it to CBS2…
Two ministers say the offer was made by a Cohen supporter and by someone who worked for the campaign in the past. It was simple, they say, throw their support behind Cohen at a news conference and they would get cold, hard cash in return.
Chicago minister Rev. Gregory Lee says he’d never had an offer quite like it before.
“It was in the form of cash,” he said.
On Tuesday, while attending a meet-and-greet with independent candidate for governor Scott Lee Cohen, Lee says one of Cohen’s supporters and a one-time campaign worker told him Lee would get at least $500 if he publicly backed Cohen. Lee says it seemed to him that the worker was trying to buy his support. […]
CBS 2 spoke with Reverend James Jones by phone, since he was out of town, who said he received the same offer.
Cohen’s campaign told CBS2 that it didn’t authorize any cash payments.
Not good at all. The Cohen campaign probably just bought itself an investigation.
* WGN TV also had a similar story last night. Rev. Lee told WGN that he was offered $500 and claims he saw people receiving cash. The state’s attorney is reportedly looking into the allegations. Watch it.
*** UPDATE *** From the Cohen campaign…
[ *** End Of Update *** ]
Independent gubernatorial candidate Scott Lee Cohen will hold a news conference this afternoon at his campaign headquarters. Cohen is prepared to answer questions about erroneous reports that his campaign made financial commitments to a group of Chicago area pastors for their support.
“Nothing could be further from the truth”, says Cohen. In fact, Cohen will produce video evidence that will refute any suggestions that his campaign made any financial commitments to the group of pastors who attended a “Meet and Greet” event at Dusties Restaurant in suburban Matteson on Tuesday.
The pastor who organized the event, Reverend Marvin Alexander of Union Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, will also be present at the news conference.
* Cohen, by the way, has still not filed his pre-election report, which was due Monday…
A campaign spokesman blamed the miscue on an overworked campaign aide.
“This was an inadvertent overlooking of a critical deadline,” said John Davis. “With two weeks left in the campaign, things start swirling around.”
The Illinois State Board of Elections, which regulates campaign laws, typically fines first-time offenders $500 as long as they file within 10 days of the deadline. The disclosure law is aimed at giving voters information about where candidates are getting money for their campaigns.
Davis said Cohen’s reports will be filed by Friday.
“We’re not sweating the small fine,” Davis said.
OK. Way to bring the heat on yourself, Scott.
* As I’ve told you before, many of the “employers” attending Cohen’s “job fairs” are multi-level marketers. Fox Chicago reports that some of those companies even want up-front cash…
The jobs message resonated with people like Amanda Musfelt of Rockford, a college graduate and mother of three who has been trying unsuccessfully to get back into the workplace. At our request, Musfelt joined hundreds of job seekers who attended Cohen’s job fair in Rockford on Oct. 5 […]
She also found some of the companies aren’t just paying you– they want you to pay them, asking for up-front fees for supplies and training seminars.
“I don’t remember the numbers,” Musfelt said. “I heard a $250 thrown out there, and you make it back in three months, three times that. Not the job I’m looking for. I don’t have $250.”