* The Chicago Sun-Times published a list today of four candidates to replace former US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. But one name wasn’t mentioned…
former Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Collins, who spearheaded Operation Safe Road, which led to charges against Ryan — one of the most significant investigations in the history of the office.
Collins made big news when he spearheaded a fizzled Statehouse campaign reform effort. He was good at making allegations, but not so good when it came to actually getting something done.
I didn’t much care for the guy during his Springfield days. To me, it seemed like Collins believed it was self-evident that he was doing God’s work and that everybody should just fall in line. Sorry, but nobody should be exempt from making their their case when they push major legislation. Including reformers. But I did consistently write back then that he’d been a solid prosecutor, so I’m just a little bit surprised that he didn’t make the cut.
…Adding… From a commenter…
I’m surprised Mr. Collins didn’t make the final four as well, but if what you say is true about his attitude in Springfield and what I’ve heard from people who dealt with him while in his former government capacity, the US Attorney should not be a crusader with tunnel vision. A prosecutor’s job is not just to go all out, damn the torpedoes against anyone who comes across their radar. In fact, they have an ethical obligation not to pursue charges where they are not warranted and to treat defendants fairly. Perhaps tempering prosecutorial zeal with reasoned wisdom is something they are looking at, which in my opinion is always a good thing.
* Speaking of that 2009 reform push…
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is taking no chances.
Despite solid Democratic majorities in both houses of the General Assembly and President Barack Obama back on top of the ticket, campaign accounts that Madigan controls have raised and spent more than $6.5 million on the Nov. 6 election just in the last seven months.
That’s 50 percent more than the $4.3 million Madigan’s accounts collected and shelled out during the same period two years ago, a landslide year for Republicans nationally and one in which Democrats lost six seats in the House.
In all, 14 political funds controlled by or linked to the state’s two parties and its four legislative leaders have rung up $17 million in campaign expenses since the March 20 primary election, according to an Associated Press analysis of data provided by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. That’s a 53 percent increase from 2010.
Yeah. That really worked out well.