* Aaron Shock’s resignation becomes official today. The AP covers the Central Illinois District’s US Attorney probe of the soon to be former congressman…
Some of Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock’s current and previous employees will appear before a federal grand jury next month to answer questions about their old boss. […]
The choice to investigate Schock in central Illinois — rather than in Washington, home to his Capitol Hill office — could signify the probe reaches beyond the potential misuse of his congressional office and into his congressional district activities or hometown financial contributors. […]
Federal investigators who questioned likely grand jury witnesses indicated during their questioning that the probe will go beyond his House office expenses. They’re interested in how his money was spent and his business relationships with his donors, according to a person familiar with the probe but who was not authorized to speak publicly.
* And the prosecutor is not to be trifled with…
“Tim Bass will be very deliberate, very meticulous and very focused,” defense attorney Jon Gray Noll said of the 51-year-old assistant U.S. attorney in Springfield, whom Noll says he and others call “Badass Tim Bass.” Bass was behind the creation of the Illinois Central District’s Public Corruption Task Force formed in 2007. […]
Since 2013, Bass’ task force has resulted in the convictions of 13 people related to $16 million in grant and contract-fraud schemes, his office said. Bass, who declined an interview, is known for being incredibly prepared, said another defense attorney who has gone up against him.
* Meanwhile, on to some relatively unimportant news…
What will happen to the pheasant feathers, golden sconces, picture frames and “drippy crystal chandelier” of the “Downton Abbey”-inspired office that led to greater scrutiny of Schock’s spending? […]
After the special election, the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer of the House and the Office of the Architect of the Capitol will “make sure the office is ready for a new Representative,” according to a spokesperson with the Office of the Clerk.
In this case, that work could include a new coat of paint (or many coats) to cover Schock’s choice of red. Typically, when a member resigns, workers with the Architect’s office give the member their office nameplate, remove pictures and repaint office walls at the incoming member’s discretion, according to a spokesperson for the Architect’s office.
In this case, anything beyond “some touch up work” on Schock’s office is considered “unlikely,” the spokesperson added.
* And speaking of the special election…
Asked about the upcoming special election to replace Schock, who is resigning in the wake of a scandal including travel and mileage reimbursements, Rauner said things will go according to procedure.
“We’ll do it within that (five day) time frame,” he said. “We’ll announce the date, and then we have 120 days from that date to have it be effective. We’re going to do that within that process, and we’re working with the Board of Elections to work that out.”
* And did Darin LaHood just say he might support a tax hike?…
With cash soon running out for federal highway projects, both a new plan and funding for it are critical, state Sen. Darin LaHood said Monday.
The Dunlap Republican laid out his views on the forthcoming debate after formally kicking off his campaign for Congress with a rally at the Lariat Steakhouse, promising to work on a bipartisan basis because “people want a solution to our transportation problems.”
Among the solutions that have been proposed for a system funded by a declining amount of motor fuel taxes are a per-mile-driven tax on vehicles, taxing energy production at the source, and increasing the motor fuel tax itself.
LaHood was cool to the per-mile-driven tax, describing it as “experimental at this time” and saying he needed to learn more about it. He did say the idea of motor fuel tax was something he intended “to look very, very carefully at.”
He must be feeling awfully confident about clearing the field.
*** UPDATE *** Rep. Dan Brady just sent out a press release announcing he wouldn’t run for the seat. Click here to read it.