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*** UPDATED x1 *** Bustos promises “action” after alleged racist staff audio surfaces

Monday, Oct 27, 2014

*** 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.

* Audio

* 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.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - admin - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:28 pm:

    Schillings supporters are tea party - do they really want to go that way? HYSTERICAL.

  2. - 47th Ward - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:28 pm:

    ===The constituent recorded the conversation to reflect on it later.===

    I do that all the time.

  3. - Nonplussed - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:31 pm:

    Holy crap Schilling is desperate.

  4. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:31 pm:

    James O’Keefe on line one.

  5. - Martin S. McFly Sr. - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:31 pm:

    Isn’t it illegal to record a conversation without the consent of both parties to the conversation in the state of Illinois?

  6. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:31 pm:

    I don’t know, I thought the economically disadvantaged spent a lot of time in church.

  7. - admin - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:38 pm:

    Martin s. Mcfly Sr. - is it illegal? Not anymore. No party consent in Illinois.

  8. - haverford - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    Yeah - 47th Ward has that one straight.

    Can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone into my legislator’s office with a recording device to ask about various locations in the district so that I can reflect on them later.

  9. - Federalist - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:41 pm:

    Will make little difference in the final analysis.

    Bustos wins, Schilling loses.

    The Rockford area is 20% Black and about 16% Hispanic. It is a gold mine for votes for any Democratic candidate- at least compared to the rest of Western Illinois. That’s why it was it was put in the 17th after the last redistricting.

    Constituents that are with a few dozen miles from Schock’s district are in with Rockford. Makes no sense unless you look at the politics. But that is politics and both sides do it.

  10. - Langhorne - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    Hmmm. Damaging tape, of unknown authenticity, shows up how many days prior to the election? It does not deserve play in the media wout thorough verification. Who what when where why.


  11. - Langhorne - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:45 pm:

    The tape was made last WINTER? Please

  12. - lil enchilada - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:55 pm:

    The Rock Island GOP/Tea party have lost their minds. Between taking the County Clerk to court, claiming all voting machines are rigged to vote Democrat, and this…. well it seems quite desperate.

  13. - Wordslinger - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:55 pm:

    If it’s real, Cheri will fire that person.

    You want to sell that Cheri tolerates racism? Good luck.

  14. - Anonymoiis - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:57 pm:

    ==Isn’t it illegal to record a conversation without the consent of both parties to the conversation in the state of Illinois?==

    Not anymore

  15. - Jaded - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:58 pm:

    I hope Bustos is angry because those um…people…were drawn into her um…district so she could um…win.

  16. - Voice of Reason - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 3:59 pm:

    Not that its relevant, but it sure sounds like a setup to me. Those who know Bustos know she is not a racist. Far from it. I don’t think this sells.

  17. - VanillaMan - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 4:16 pm:

    It was said. It was recorded. It was wrong. Quit with the excuses. Worse stop politicizing this with excuses. Bustos needs to fire someone she hired. It is embarrassing. What’s worse however is excusing it because it came from her political opponent. That is what is done.

    Or would you be excusing this crap if one of Schilling’s staffer said it? Of course you wouldn’t.

  18. - Just Observing - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 4:28 pm:

    Are y’all above saying two party consent is no longer the law correct? Haven’t the court cases dealt specifically with two party consent when one is a public official? That may very well be the case here (the staffer being a public official), but have the courts ruled that two party consent is no longer needed even among private interactions not dealing with public officials?

  19. - lil enchilada - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 4:29 pm:

    I know of way worse from a Schilling a couple years ago. Wish I had it on tape!

  20. - enoughalready - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 4:31 pm:

    There will be an investigation headed by Bustos Bustos, Golly!

  21. - Demoralized - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 4:41 pm:

    ==Or would you be excusing this crap if one of Schilling’s staffer said it? Of course you wouldn’t.==

    Ah. The victim’s battle cry.

  22. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 4:52 pm:

    Is the full recording available?

    Is the person in Bustos’ office ID’d by name?

  23. - Educated in the Suburbs - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 4:54 pm:

    Just Observing, here’s a decent summary of the changes to Illinois law:

    “In People v. Melongo, Docket No. 114852 (Ill. Mar. 20, 2014), the Supreme Court of Illinois held that Illinois’ two-party eavesdropping statute, 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/14-1, -2 (scroll down), was unconstitutional on its face. The statute made it a crime to use an “eavesdropping device” to overhear or record a phone call or conversation without the consent of all parties to the conversation, regardless of whether the parties had an expectation of privacy. The Court held that the recording provisions of the statute, as written, adversely affected the First Amendment rights of people making recordings in a substantial number of circumstances where there were no legitimate privacy interests.”

    Source and further explanation and caveats:

  24. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 4:55 pm:

    BTW, has the accuser made his identity known?

    It seems like there should be more details before this is a news story.

  25. - Rockford's Finest - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 5:00 pm:

    I am SO offended!

  26. - MrJM - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 6:34 pm:

    “It was said. It was recorded. It was wrong. Quit with the excuses.”

    I agree with Vanilla Man!

    But enough about Bruce Rauner…

    – MrJM

  27. - Soccermom - Monday, Oct 27, 14 @ 7:44 pm:

    I would really like to hear what was on the tape before her comment. She said a stupid thing, and it was clearly a fireable offense. But it sounds like she was responding to a question about something church-related.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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