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House GOP candidate rents to a sex offender, blames Madigan for “trying to distract” voters

Wednesday, Aug 24, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* As subcribers already know, Republican House candidate Jerry Long is being blasted in a new Democratic Party of Illinois campaign mailer for renting to a sex offender

Long rents out a house to a 32-year-old man who was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. According to the state’s sex offender database, the man is listed as a sexual predator who committed his crime against a 13-year-old when he was 24.

The house is next door to Long’s on Carr Street in South Streator. […]

In a telephone interview, Long said he was “dumbfounded” by the mailer. He said he and his wife conduct a “standard check” on all tenants but wouldn’t say how the sex offender in question fell through the cracks.

He noted the piece was funded by the state Democratic Party, which is chaired by Speaker Madigan.

“This is clearly Andy Skoog and Michael Madigan trying to distract from their disastrous record,” Long said. “I feel they are desperate.”

Perhaps that’s why most of Long’s neighbors have Skoog signs in their front yards. /s

       

32 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 3:39 pm:

    “Speaker Madigan and the rental markets he controls”?


  2. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 3:42 pm:

    Is doing a background check on all potential renters a standard practice? Then it’s legal to refuse to rent to a convicted sex predator (even if they did time)


  3. - A guy - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 3:43 pm:

    Put a Skoog sign in the renter’s yard. Touche.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 3:46 pm:

    ===This is clearly Andy Skoog and Michael Madigan trying to distract from their disastrous record,” Long said. “I feel they are desperate.”===

    So… was that a non-answer answer or just the default answer for all questions, not just questions about a renter and their past?

    Man, “Fire Madigan” is looking better and better this time around.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 3:51 pm:

    I guess the Long and short of this is that this race might have a Skoog-y Doo ending, starting with the mystery of the unvetted candidate.


  6. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 3:52 pm:

    Sex offenders have to live somewhere.


  7. - Republicrat - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 4:05 pm:

    If what is being said is accurate, there was a 13 year old involved. Yes, they do have to “live somewhere.” Perhaps a little further south than earth.


  8. - Put the Fun in unfunded - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 4:09 pm:

    I thought we wanted to “ban the box.” If he were hiring the guy to paint the house, he couldn’t have even asked about his criminal history until he made the offer.


  9. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 4:14 pm:

    This is an easy one for voters to understand. They aren’t going to blame Madigan for Long’s poor decision.


  10. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 4:14 pm:

    =Sex offenders have to live somewhere.=

    Says who?

    Mr. Long needs to work on better banter. His is getting old.


  11. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 4:17 pm:

    ===Perhaps that’s why most of Long’s neighbors have Skoog signs in their front yards. /s===

    I’m not sure you needed a snark label there. If his neighbors have kids, that legitimately might be exactly why they’re not supporting him.


  12. - Downstate GOP Faithless - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 4:30 pm:

    Time for HRO to give up on this race.


  13. - Anon - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 4:31 pm:

    I’m not really a fan of this style of negative campaigning. Renting to a sex offender is a lot like hiring a felon. Not everyone does it and frankly it seems like the person in question has already cooperated with the authorities in carrying out their sentence.

    We really need to believe in clemency and invest in programs that help reduce recidivism — but maybe I should expect this from a state that had a really nasty habit of convicting and killing innocent black men for crimes that they didn’t commit.

    As a civil society where right white rapists get probation and don’t have to register as sex offenders, we really need to question the kind of people we are when we’re using a crime that’s been handled in the court system already as an excuse to punish a third party that’s completely unrelated to the crime.

    Maybe we’re just bad people.


  14. - illini - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 4:32 pm:

    I have had one rental house for over 20 years. Given the information that is readily available from Judici and other sources, it is inconceivable to me that any kind of diligent check would fail to turn this up.

    Oh, I forgot — Because…..Madigan!


  15. - Doug Simpson - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 4:49 pm:

    @anon (431pm)

    Thank you and well said. I couldnt agree more.


  16. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 4:54 pm:

    “Sex offenders have to live somewhere.”

    To put this more in a context our legislators can understand… “Farnham and Hastert are gonna have to live somewhere.”


  17. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 5:09 pm:

    If one googles the offender’s name it pops right up…pretty easy to check…the offender came from Kansas…maybe long could ’splain why he stayed…cheap rent?


  18. - Independent - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 5:12 pm:

    If this were a Rauner-funded mailer against a Democrat who rented to a sex offender commenters would be signing a different tune. Be consistent.

    The guy did his time and yes, he has to live somewhere. Would you rather have him homeless, even more desperate, and more likely to commit crimes again?


  19. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 5:16 pm:

    ===If this were a Rauner-funded mailer against a Democrat who rented to a sex offender commenters would be signing a different tune. Be consistent.===

    I know that looking at this from the political, I’m quite clear my comment would be exactly the same.

    They didn’t vet the candidate. “Who is living in your rental?” That’s like textbook vetting. its a lacking of doing a fundamental.

    Those get mocked no matter the side.


  20. - Chicagosez - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 6:50 pm:

    I work at a property management company, and we do a credit check. If someone has proven to be trustworthy and can prove they are employed, that is good enough for us to run the business effectively. I’ll tell my boss never to run for public office


  21. - Jerry in Chicago - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 7:00 pm:

    Sex offenders have no rights in America. Everyone knows that.


  22. - burbanite - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 7:42 pm:

    Google Crime Free Ordinances.


  23. - Federalist - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 11:18 pm:

    Are not the Democrats who are so insistent that felons vote? If they can vote they should be able to rent.


  24. - Michael Westen - Wednesday, Aug 24, 16 @ 11:54 pm:

    Ok Anon the minute you send your thirteen year old to the sex offender’s house is the minute I’ll agree to have him live next to me. Why not send your thirteen year old? The guy paid his debt to society right? So, nothing to worry about.


  25. - crazybleedingheart - Thursday, Aug 25, 16 @ 6:47 am:

    ==
    =Sex offenders have to live somewhere.=

    Says who?==

    == Yes, they do have to “live somewhere.” Perhaps a little further south than earth. ==

    I’d feel safer living next door to a sex offender than either of these commenters.


  26. - JS Mill - Thursday, Aug 25, 16 @ 8:53 am:

    =I’d feel safer living next door to a sex offender than either of these commenters.=

    That is your prerogative. Please feel free to check your local sex offender registry and relocate nearer to a sex offender of your choosing.

    I will wait to hear about your experience.


  27. - Delimma - Thursday, Aug 25, 16 @ 8:56 am:

    The only thing about this that I find odd is that it a GOP candidate that is “soft on crime” and a Democrat, acting like giving someone a second chance is a bad thing. Topsy turvy.


  28. - JS Mill - Thursday, Aug 25, 16 @ 8:56 am:

    @ crazybleedingheart BTW- he is listed as a sexual “predator”, this is not a guy who simply made a mistake.


  29. - Delimma - Thursday, Aug 25, 16 @ 9:01 am:

    At one point, I represented people who had been committed as “sexually dangerous.” These were not criminal punishments, but civil in nature. The committed person had a right to ask for release, but these commitments were otherwise essentially permanent. The people I met and the things I read were scary and so far beyond what I realized was out there (and I have represented child molesters and rapists).

    I don’t add this to the discussion to say that what was done here with the terrible background check was right or wrong. I don’t add this to say it’s right or wrong to attack a landlord for renting to someone who has served their time.

    I just point this out because there’s some stuff out there on the fringes of sanity that you cannot see or know based on a typical interview or background check. There’s some truly messed up people out there.


  30. - NoGifts - Thursday, Aug 25, 16 @ 9:21 am:

    Check the registry and you’ll find that you already live next to plenty of sex offenders.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 25, 16 @ 9:28 am:

    ===Check the registry and you’ll find that you already live next to plenty of sex offenders.===

    … or read the mail piece and see that a candidate for state representative is renting to…

    It’s the politics. It’s the lack of vetting. It’s the ridiculous response of “because… Madigan”.

    Right or wrong, the politics of lacking a true vetting have come back to haunt. That’s all that’s at play. He can’t deny who he is renting to in this instance. Had they vetted this better, there would be, at the very least, a better response than “because… Madigan”.

    If it were Skoog, I’d feel the same way. The politics make this a sidebar, but the response is what makes this news.


  32. - Groucho - Thursday, Aug 25, 16 @ 11:16 am:

    I rent apartments. The standard background check only covers the customers reported debt history and credit score.
    Although I am not 100% sure, I don’t think you can refuse to rent to someone because of past convictions.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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