* Good point…
* And check out Sen. Raoul’s response to the Tribune story…
Democratic attorney general candidate Kwame Raoul paid more than $13,000 to a former Blagojevich administration official who pleaded guilty to steering state business to companies in which he had a stake and then pocketing much of the money.
Raoul said he was “unapologetic” about hiring former Department of Children and Family Services deputy director Bamani Obadele to help with his campaign, saying ex-offenders deserve second chances.
“I don’t think it’s something we should just say as policymakers, we should put our money where our mouths are,” said Raoul, a state senator from Hyde Park who has worked on criminal justice issues. “I can’t ask people in the private sector to do it if I won’t as well.”
In 2011, Obadele was sentenced to six months in federal prison on a mail fraud count. He admitted directing DCFS contractors to buy promotional items, such as magnets, yo-yos and tote bags, from a company he secretly owned. Gov. Rod Blagojevich had met Obadele years earlier, striking up a conversation at a South Side police station where the teen was shining shoes. The then-governor appointed Obadele to be deputy director of external affairs for DCFS in 2003, but he resigned in 2005 amid an investigation.
Obadele also worked for Rep. Julianna Stratton’s campaign in 2016 and did some volunteer work for Gov. Rauner’s 2014 campaign. He worked for Rep. Justin Slaughter’s surprisingly close primary race this year (and is taking the blame in some quarters for how that turned out).
The bottom line is he made some really big mistakes, then he paid his debt. Even so, this story was bound to run sooner or later. If he stays clean, the issue will likely fade away. Other people have moved beyond much worse.