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*** UPDATED x1 - Dan Brady takes himself out *** Uh-oh

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015

* 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.

Oof.

* 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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

19 Comments
  1. - Stones - Tuesday, Mar 31, 15 @ 10:04 am:

    Said it before and I stand by it…that office is going to take more than one coat of Kilz.


  2. - Near north - Tuesday, Mar 31, 15 @ 10:16 am:

    Brady could have extracted at least a dozen– I, me or my’s from his press release. I’m sure he’s a humble guy, just drives me crazy.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 31, 15 @ 10:16 am:

    Lots of people will be getting knocks on doors.

    I wouldn’t send any emails saying I did nothing wrong, antagonizing anyone, Jeb Bush or no Jeb Bush…


  4. - Norseman - Tuesday, Mar 31, 15 @ 10:22 am:

    Press announcement: I’ve decided not to run for Schock’s congressional seat.


  5. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 31, 15 @ 10:27 am:

    With the central Illinois federales in charge, it would seem the real estate transactions are at the top of the list.

    Real estate leaves quite the paper trail.


  6. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Mar 31, 15 @ 10:28 am:

    ===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.===

    And remember kids, if the Feds ask you a question, you better tell the truth because they already know the answer. Also, the first one on the bus gets the best seat.


  7. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Mar 31, 15 @ 10:34 am:

    Darin LaHood has the upper hand in this special election so no surprise that Dan Brady has bowed out. Glad to keep him as my state representative.


  8. - Peoria Guy - Tuesday, Mar 31, 15 @ 10:39 am:

    LaHood is a shoe-in barring some extraordinary circumstances.


  9. - Illini97 - Tuesday, Mar 31, 15 @ 11:01 am:

    Agreeing with 47th. If the Feds show up and ask a few questions, they already know the answer. Your answer had best agree with theirs.

    If it ends up going into his real estate and LLC dealings, the circle of defendants almost has to expand.


  10. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 31, 15 @ 11:10 am:

    Always worth reminding at times like these, it is a felony to lie to an FBI agent, even if you’re not under oath.

    You can lie to cops all day long, but not the FBI.

    And they decide what constitutes a lie.

    Going to be a good spring for lawyers in Peoria. Because you need a lawyer.


  11. - DuPage - Tuesday, Mar 31, 15 @ 11:18 am:

    If I was a GOPGA member or for that matter any member, I would be very careful about acceptin’ any campaign money from Rauner. Tom Bass might be watching, listening, waiting for that to happen.


  12. - LizPhairTax - Tuesday, Mar 31, 15 @ 11:21 am:

    Slightly off topic, but I remember Bill Foster living large in Rep. Hastert’s post-speaker office for a bit until the post election reassignment. LaHood or whoever wins, but let’s save time and say LaHood, should just keep it as is for giggles. He’s moving to another office soon enough.


  13. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Mar 31, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    We knew it was going to bad when he resigned. It will be interesting how bad and who got on the bus early!


  14. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 31, 15 @ 1:14 pm:

    Will there be no GOP debate? A rubber stamp from Rauner?go with the name you know…


  15. - anonin' - Tuesday, Mar 31, 15 @ 1:23 pm:

    No one expected Dan Brady or PizzaBobby to run so a press release was not needed.


  16. - A guy - Tuesday, Mar 31, 15 @ 1:43 pm:

    ===*** UPDATED x1 - Dan Brady takes himself out===

    He often does.


  17. - Shore - Tuesday, Mar 31, 15 @ 2:29 pm:

    Schock’s staff, probably late 20s at oldest, weren’t making a lot to begin with, don’t have $3.3 million for legal defense to fall back on to pay lawyers, now don’t have income and his name besmirching their job hunts. I can’t imagine them playing hardball with prosecutors. He on the other hand faces a tough decision for a high flyer whether to return to Peoria or stay in dc.


  18. - Dirty Red - Tuesday, Mar 31, 15 @ 4:29 pm:

    “Excellent! The field must be intimidated by my presence. My path is nearly cleared. VICTORY SHALL BE MINE!”

    - Thought bubble above Kent Gray’s head


  19. - walker - Tuesday, Mar 31, 15 @ 6:52 pm:

    As Word said RE is where the big money is. We’ll see if they find anything.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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