*** UPDATE *** The Bustos staffer has resigned. Click here for more info.
[ *** End Of Update *** ]
* From the Bobby Schilling campaign…
A constituent visiting Congresswoman Bustos’ official office in Rock Island last winter received a shocking response to a question about how the Congresswoman’s position on an issue reflect the views of constituents in new areas of the district, particularly Rockford.
The constituent recorded the conversation to reflect on it later. He asked a question on an issue and never expected such derogatory comments about the people of Rockford. He was so disturbed by the callous, cynical response he ended up giving a copy of it to the Schilling campaign. In the audio, which is attached, the constituent is told that Rockford is “very, very urban, very poor, very underprivileged,” and “Not people that spend a lot of time in church—more in jail than church.”
Here is a transcript of the dialogue from the audio clip:
Constituent: But the other areas, like Rockford or Peoria or those areas?”
Bustos’ Office: “You know, I don’t spend a lot of time in those areas. I don’t think–I’ve never heard anything in Rockford. You’ve gotta understand, the part of Rockford we have, though–”
Constituent: “Is pretty rural? Or, pretty, no, urban, isn’t it?”
Bustos’ Office: “Very, very urban, very poor, very underprivileged. Not people that, um, spend a lot of time in church [laughter]. More in jail [laughter] than church.”
Not good at all.
* From Congresswoman Bustos…
“The comments on this audio tape are outrageous and do not reflect my values. In every office and on the desks of every one of my staff members, there is a sign that states: ‘We pledge to provide exceptional service, treat ALL people with dignity and respect, and work every day to improve our community.’ That mission statement is what I expect of all my staff. If someone ever fails to meet that expectation, I will take appropriate action.
“Our office is in receipt of the same audio that was released to the press today, but at present have not been able to validate the audio itself, the parties involved, or where and when it may have been recorded. Once this review is complete, and if it is determined that one of my staff members made these statements, action will be taken.”