The PAC is headed by Operating Engineers Local 150 President Jim Sweeney, a staunch ally of House Speaker Michael Madigan. The entire $675K contribution came from the Fight Back Fund, which lists the same address as both Local 150 and the Fight Back for a Better Tomorrow PAC.
So… what’s going on?
* Check out their new B-1. They’re spending $600K on TV ads opposing Rep. Scott Drury, who is running for attorney general and is a noted Madigan foe.
…Adding… A couple of recent Drury press releases. Yesterday…
Earlier today, Scott Drury’s campaign for Attorney General announced the endorsements of three leading Illinois criminal justice reform advocates:
· Thomas P. Sullivan – former United States Attorney, Northern District of Illinois and Co-Chair of the Commission on Capital Punishment and the Illinois General Assembly’s Capital Punishment Reform Study Committee whose reports were influential in the decision to abolish the death penalty in Illinois;
· Rob Warden – co-director of Injustice Watch, an investigative journalism organization dedicated to criminal justice reform; director emeritus of the Center on Wrongful Convictions (CWC) at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law; and a founding director of the Innocent Network, an international affiliation of organizations providing pro bono legal services to convicted persons with claims of actual innocence;
· Leonard C. Goodman – an attorney committed to representing the indigent, who has won awards for his work on behalf of the wrongfully convicted and on behalf of an Afghani man detained at Guantanamo Bay without charges or evidence of any wrongdoing.
“I am proud to have earned the support of these leaders in the criminal justice reform movement,” said Drury. “These endorsements are a testament to my long-standing commitment to fix Illinois’ broken criminal justice system.”
Criminal justice reform is a major issue in the Attorney General’s race. As a State Representative, Drury was responsible for the passage of groundbreaking legislation designed to end wrongful convictions in Illinois. As a result of his efforts, Illinois now has best-in-the-nation laws regarding the recording of custodial interrogations and eyewitness identification procedures.
In announcing their endorsements, Warden, Sullivan and Goodman had this to say about Drury:
“As someone who has worked more than three decades for criminal justice reform, I am looking for an Attorney General who has demonstrated a commitment to fixing the dysfunctional Illinois system,” said Rob Warden. “That is why I am endorsing Scott Drury for Illinois Attorney General. I have worked closely with Scott on a number of criminal justice issues and have seen his dedication to meaningful reform. Illinois needs a leader like Scott Drury.”
“I do not often get involved in politics,” Thomas Sullivan stated. “However, having worked with Scott Drury and witnessed his steadfast advocacy for criminal justice reform in the face of intense opposition, I proudly endorse him for Illinois Attorney General. Having personally worked to end the death penalty and wrongful convictions in Illinois, I know how hard it can be to enact these types of reforms. Based on my personal experience with Scott, I am confident he is the best qualified candidate to get the job done.”
“I proudly endorse Scott Drury for Illinois Attorney General,” said Leonard Goodman. “During Scott’s time in the General Assembly, he was instrumental in passing long-overdue reforms designed to end Illinois’ regrettable history of putting innocent people in prison for crimes they did not commit. Because of Scott’s work, more custodial interrogations are recorded, and police throughout the state must now follow standard eyewitness identification procedures.”
These endorsements follow another major endorsement earned by Drury earlier this week – that of the News-Gazette. The primary election takes place on March 20, 2018.
Earlier today, Representative Scott Drury filed House Resolution 890 which calls for the immediate passage of legislation that will allow for the independent investigation many legislators have called for but not pursued. Here is a link to the resolution.
In the preamble, Representative Drury sets forth the various reasons why such an investigation is needed, including the mishandling of, and lack of transparency regarding, allegations of harassment, abuse and misconduct by Illinois Speaker of the House and his staff and attorneys. Representative Drury also sent the attached letter to every member of the General Assembly asking them to co-sponsor the resolution. In the letter, Drury makes clear that legislators’ careers “likely will be defined by how we respond to this issue. The time for blind loyalty has passed.”
The ultimate purpose of the resolution is to put in place legislation that will allow for a truly independent special counsel who can investigate allegations of sexual harassment, abuse and misconduct. The special counsel should have the power to issue subpoenas, command testimony under oath and bring appropriate civil and criminal proceedings.
Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to speak with Representative Drury today or over the weekend.