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Senator’s “riding the wave with the rich” pitch called “totally inappropriate”

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

* Mark Maxwell

Dozens of social media posts and promotional videos posted online reveal State Senator Patricia Van Pelt, a Chicago Democrat, is looking to cash in on cannabis and go “riding the wave with the rich” in the final days leading up to a highly anticipated vote that could legalize recreational marijuana for adult use in the state.

Since her re-election victory in November 2018, Van Pelt has launched an aggressive social media campaign recruiting potential investors to attend her seminars. Tickets for her upcoming events are listed on Eventbrite at a non-refundable rate of $99.95.

“You’re going to learn how to invest in the stock market and what cannabis companies are viable,” Van Pelt said in a video she posted online to promote Wakanna, a company she co-founded last month along with three other women.

In one post, Van Pelt says you can purchase cannabis stock at $0.72 cents per share. In another post, she urges potential investors to “move expeditiously” and “imagine going from $0.02 cents a share to $60 a share in three years,” which would be a 3,000 percent return on investment.

She also claimed she nearly doubled her money in a matter of roughly three weeks. […]

Van Pelt’s insinuation was “totally inappropriate,” a top ranking member of the Legislative Black Caucus told WCIA. Speaking on a condition of anonymity, the lawmaker said it was “just wrong” for “someone in [Van Pelt’s] position of power and influence to try and make money for herself.”

After reviewing several Facebook posts, the source felt Van Pelt was intentionally misleading the people in her district or in her church congregation.

“Because she’s a senator, they must think, ‘Oh, she must know something!’”

I told subscribers about this months ago. It’s really a bad look.

* From EventBrite

Investing In Cannabis Stock & Other Emerging Industries
by Dr. Patricia Van Pelt

Join the 1000s of people that are riding the wave to wealth through the emerging industry of Cannabis!

About this Event

“Investing in Cannabis Stock/Hot Stock List Combo” (includes a list of 25 of the hottest cannabis stock on the market) & “Investing in Cannabis Stock 101” is an ONLINE CLASS that teaches attendees how to access the millions of dollars being generated through the worldwide resurgence of the Cannabis industry.

* Facebook

Get you a ticket to the other side of wealth conference! You can leave a legacy!

Posted by Patricia Van Pelt-Scott on Friday, April 12, 2019

Without mentioning her name, Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) asked during a committee hearing today whether something could be done to address this issue. Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), the legalization bill’s sponsor, said she would definitely work with Righter on language.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - IlliniPowWow - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 12:39 pm:

    Isn’t this a possible crime as well under the SEC? If she’s pumping a specific stock, especially a penny stock, it could lead to some serious investigations.

  2. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 12:45 pm:

    Quite embarrassing that Van Pelt, one of the cannabis bills sponsors, is working in such a shady way for personal financial gain.

  3. - Shytown - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 12:46 pm:

    And people wonder why voters don’t trust politicians. This is shameful.

  4. - Commonsense in Illinois - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 12:50 pm:

    Paging the Inspector General…

  5. - Centennial - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 12:54 pm:

    IG is the least of her worries, and I don’t see why there needs to be language to address her actions. The SEC will likely address the actions directly with her…

  6. - vole - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 12:56 pm:

    Filling the swamp with the corrupt.

  7. - Someone you should know - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:02 pm:

    Ummmm, that’s taking Side Hustle a step too far

  8. - Father Ted - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:03 pm:

    “Get you a ticket” is pretty egregious in and of itself.

  9. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:03 pm:

    –“Because she’s a senator, they must think, ‘Oh, she must know something!’”–

    And a doctor, too, for double your snake-oil pleasure.

    She’s definitely shaking a red cape in front of the federales bulls. Her clout and every other politician would be wise to steer well clear.

  10. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:08 pm:

    ==Isn’t this a possible crime ==

    If not, it should be. $99.95 for stock tips from a state senator, for an industry that would greatly benefit from legislation currently being considered by that same state senate? This was a Ryan Zinke-level bad idea.

  11. - Unpopular - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:10 pm:

    Turn up the Smart Approaches to Marijuana Press Release Generator to level 10.

  12. - Gooner - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:16 pm:

    The fact that she views making money off something she can influence in Springfield shows the depth of our problems.

    It doesn’t seem to have occurred to her that this may be wrong.

    I always hate mention of “the swamp” but this is a great example. Like it or not, it does exist.

  13. - A guy - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:19 pm:

    Might be a Federale or two who have already coughed up the $99.95 or $39.95 or $19.95 or all of the above to hear her promote her 2 cents on this. Ugh. This is way past a bad look.

  14. - Occasional Quipper - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:26 pm:

    As long as she votes present on the bill then it’s okay, right? /s

  15. - Yup - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:29 pm:

    Looks like Senator Van Pelt has a strong financial stake in another portion of the growing hemp economy. She is co-founder of Wakanna, specializing in CBD products.

  16. - City Zen - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:34 pm:

    I’m not a cannabis expert, although I play one in the state senate.

  17. - Chicagonk - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:40 pm:

    This is jaw-dropping even for Illinois standards. A state senator pushing penny stocks on Facebook implying the possibility of 3000% returns?


  18. - Jocko - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:41 pm:

    ==she nearly doubled her money in a matter of roughly three weeks==

    Paging Charles Ponzi (exclamation point) I guessing Than Merrill didn’t have any upper management “opportunities” at next week’s real estate class. /s

  19. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:51 pm:

    Hint to Senate Dem leadership-First order of business would be to remove Van Pelt as a sponsor of SB0007

  20. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 1:56 pm:

    $99? You can read up on marijuana stocks on the internet for free. Morningstar, Zacks, Investopia, Motley Fool, etc

  21. - Alanonymous - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:03 pm:

    Trifecta going here. She touts her proximity to legislative power, her alleged financial expertise (?) and let’s not forget that “Dr.” Patricia Van Pelt wants to tell you about products used medicinally.

    Her bio claims her PhD was obtained from an online college and is in “non-profit agencies.”

  22. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:08 pm:

    –$99? You can read up on marijuana stocks on the internet for free. Morningstar, Zacks, Investopia, Motley Fool, etc–

    I’m guessing the market here is not uber-sophisticated investors.

  23. - Cheswick - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:42 pm:

    Also, she is not licensed by the Illinois Secretary of State to sell securities or give financial advice, per a call to them.

  24. - Occasional Quipper - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 2:47 pm:

    Wow. All kinds of interesting stuff on her Facebook page. On 8/3/14, she was presented with a BMW for being promoted to SVP at “Doing My Own Business”. Here’s a quote from the page:

    Hello everyone,

    When I took on the job as Senator, I knew I would have to find another source of income to sustain my then-current lifestyle. So I took a chance and started my own part time marketing business, Today, I am happy and proud to announce that after just 6 months, I have made over $100,000.00 working part time. And the good thing about it is that I also make thousands of $$ in residual income every single month. I must say, I am blessed. Check out my promotion here:

    The post then has a couple of links that are no longer active. Sounds legit to me.

  25. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:15 pm:

    More interesting stuff, from this blog in 2015:

  26. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 3:31 pm:

    Inappropriate, ok. But some senators and representatives have non legislative work. Some examples Sommer and McCombie are realtors, Demmer works as a hospital administrator, some downstate reps are farmers like Holbrook and Bailey. Do they all recuse themselves if a bill comes up that might intersect with their work?

  27. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 4:06 pm:

    If only she was a minivans had a t v show

  28. - Vole - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 4:07 pm:

    “Do they all recuse themselves”?

    Well, they might be well trained into not providing much oversight into the regulatory agencies impacting their professions, iow, not asking the right questions — questions that might better serve the public interest instead of their personal interests.

  29. - Charlie Brown - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 4:21 pm:

    Steans has the ability to remove her as a sponsor.

  30. - Occasional Quipper - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 4:26 pm:

    ==But some senators and representatives have non legislative work==

    It’s one thing to have legitimate professions like real estate and farming. But pyramid schemes don’t count. You can’t tell me she rose to the level of Senior Vice President of a multi-level marketing firm without knowing that it was a scam. And $99.95 for an online (not even in person) course on how to make money on cannabis stocks? Is there anyone who thinks that’s a valid profession? It’s shameful.

  31. - Anonanonsir - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 5:32 pm:

    ==Speaking on a condition of anonymity, the lawmaker said it was “just wrong” for “someone in [Van Pelt’s] position of power and influence to try and make money for herself.”==

    You’ve gotta be kidding me. Look around.

    OK, Van Pelt’s actions are inappropriate and irresponsible. It would be hard to find anything good to say about them. Agreed. But it appears that she started her public service work in 2011, which puts her on track for a Tier Two pension, right?

    There’s something slightly ironic about legislators who are financially set with a Tier One pension seeking to crack down on a colleague who worked her way up from Cabrini Green.

  32. - Well... - Wednesday, May 15, 19 @ 11:39 pm:

    I blame the electorate…

  33. - A guy - Thursday, May 16, 19 @ 9:05 am:

    == seeking to crack down on a colleague who worked her way up from Cabrini Green.==

    This is definitely more lucrative than the 3 Card Monty scheme on the L. Gotta give her that.

  34. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, May 17, 19 @ 7:39 am:

    Occasional Quipper who appointed you the person who decides what occupations are legitimate or not?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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