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Mazzochi to HDems: “You’ve done nothing” about corruption

Thursday, Feb 27, 2020

* I also told subscribers about this earlier today. The Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board’s executive director Brent Fischer testified at a House appropriations committee yesterday and was asked about Forrest Ashby. He was the guy Mike McClain was trying to protect when he vouched for him to two Pat Quinn administration officials. McClain said Ashby “kept his mouth shut on Jones’ ghost workers, the rape in Champaign and other items. He is loyal to the administration.”

Tony Arnold at WBEZ

“You’re saying that you paid Mr. Ashby $60,000 a year not to actually do the curriculum review and development but to just observe some classes and hire some interns?” Rep. Deanne Mazzochi, R-Elmhurst, asked Fischer.

“Well I mean he could participate but it wasn’t like he was gonna be the ultimate decider as far as what the curriculum was,” Fischer responded.

“Right,” Mazzochi shot back. “So what’s his value add for $60,000?”

Fischer said he did not publicly post the contractual position, but instead offered it directly to Ashby since the two already had a rapport. Fischer testified that he knew Ashby because he had volunteered on one of Fischer’s own campaigns. But he added that nobody from Pritzker’s campaign, the governor’s office, the speaker’s office, or McClain recommended he hire Ashby on contract.

* Just before the House adjourned today, Rep. Mazzochi rose to say this

I would like to alert all the members of this chamber that back in January many of you were extremely upset about the fact that a man named Forrest Ashby was being given political insider privileges and perks in connection with potentially keeping his mouth shut about ghost-payrollers and covering up knowledge about a rape in Champaign.

Yesterday at the Public Appropriations Committee hearing meeting was the first time we have on our side of the aisle had an opportunity to actually ask someone from the administration, what was going on with that. And as it turned out, this same person was given a $60,000 a year, no-bid job, based on his personal connections to the executive director of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board.

We have called for investigations, we have called for transparency, as to what this person did, what did he know, and more directly, what was Mike McClain doing. Who was he getting into these political positions. We don’t agree with ghost-payrolling and if you don’t think that this kind of thing isn’t ghost-payrolling, I don’t know what you think is.

We’ve called for investigations, and you’ve done nothing. You haven’t convened any committees, you haven’t done any investigations, you haven’t made sure that this is not happening throughout all levels of our government. And I would like this body, because you said you were upset, you said you were concerned, to actually do something.

This was two months ago, that you found out about this, and you’ve done nothing. It’s unacceptable, and I would really like to know when you’re going to finally tell your leadership that this kind of corrupt culture is not acceptable here in Springfield, and finally start doing something about it.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

26 Comments
  1. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 1:00 pm:

    sheesh. You’d think the dems failed to impeach a corrupt governor, and then pardoned him or something…

    I hope the ILGOP enjoys sleeping in the bed their party has made for them.


  2. - Altgelds Ghost - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 1:02 pm:

    Mazzochi is absolutely right. The corruption and institutional cover-up which condones the action are killing Illinois.

    Corruption is not a partisan issue. The only way to change Springfield is for some elected officials to have the courage to demand change.

    The House Dem Freshman women demanded a vote on the RHA and now its the law.

    That group’s silence on the ethical issues is deafening.

    Everyday people see that for many in the Capitol the rules do not apply.

    Illinois has devolved from a one-party state to a criminal operation not much different than a narco-state or Sicily before all the arrests in the last two decades. and Big Boy is happy to let them do it as long as he gets his press releases and Ann us happy.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 1:07 pm:

    I guess Ms. Mazzochi missed where the President of the Untied States, a Republican, pardoned the disgraced governor was impeached and removed, by both Democrats and Republicans.

    If i were Ms. Mazzochi I’d be more worried about that former, disgraced governor cheering that POTUS and Republicans than calling out Dems here.

    Does Ms. Mazzochi plan to run supporting this POTUS… while talking about ignoring corruption?

    That’s fun.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 1:09 pm:

    === Illinois has devolved from a one-party state to a criminal operation not much different than a narco-state or Sicily before all the arrests in the last two decades.===

    Explain both Mike Tristano and Scott Fawell.

    Thanks.


  5. - JP Altgeld - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 1:09 pm:

    He’s obviously correct and the comparisons to what the GOP has done about Trump are completely irrelevant.


  6. - Responsa - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 1:10 pm:

    ==I guess Ms. Mazzochi missed where the President of the Untied States, a Republican, pardoned the disgraced governor ==

    I guess I did too, because the Blago was not “pardoned”.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 1:11 pm:

    Commuted. Apologies. Corrected.

    My bad.


  8. - revvedup - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 1:19 pm:

    Likely not the only insider giveaway at the ILETSB over the years; investigation of “consultant” hires with ties to the Board should commence. Board decisions regarding training standards, waivers, and forcing municipalities to write ordinances the way the Board demands (violating the Illinois Municipal Code and Counties Code) should also be reviewed, given that some lawsuits have been filed Against the Board on soe issues.


  9. - Captain Obvious - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 1:22 pm:

    I can answer the representative’s question on the time frame for Democrats investigation of state level corruption. That would be never.


  10. - Altgelds Ghost - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 1:24 pm:

    OW et al,

    I clearly stated corruption is not partisan. Tristano and Fawell and Arroyo and Blagojevich. Yes, both parties in Illinois have lots of names to mention.

    Its because we have a corrupted system. Both sides are complicit because, in reality, both sides work for the same side — the inside. Elected officials and their enablers cronies have created an inside/outside paradigm in Springfield where everything is controlled and for the benefit of the inside.

    Most of those who deny the reality do that to create disinformation to hide the reality from the citizenry.

    Don’t believe me?

    Then why does the bipartisan task force on Medicaid, the group spending more than 20 billion a year from the budget, hold private meetings with legislators and a select few lobbyists, but not all registered lobbyists are allowed into the room? The combine lobbyists are invited in. The same folks who pushed Rauner and MJM to move Medicaid recipients to MCO’s giving private insurance companies a $3 Billion dollar slice of Medicaid spending.

    A deep blue state that has private insurance companies in the middle of the government and the poor people who need healthcare. The biggest thing MJM and Rauner did together was screwed the healthcare of millions of poor people so private companies could make $3 billion a year off the taxpayers.

    This is not a partisan issue


  11. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 1:27 pm:

    === That would be never.===

    … and yet a Democratically controlled House impeached a governor, and with a Senate trial, Democrats voted to remove that governor.

    Your term of “never” got awfully short.


  12. - Say What? - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 1:31 pm:

    The “yeah, but look at the other guy(s)” answer/commentary is weak tea.

    This matter rests with the ILGA. Period. The Feds have their own problems. Corruption is not partisan. Clean it up. The public’s tolerance for the good ole boy, insider, pay to play culture was frazzled and is now non-existent.

    Pushing Kelly Cassidy out front repeatedly is a start, but probably doesn’t qualify for the Lion Found his Courage Legislative Award. It most certainly is not fair to Rep. Cassidy.

    The incestuous, interconnected dynamic of the entire culture is the underlying problem, not a solution.

    The underbelly of a very unsavory situation really isn’t news. Sometimes not understanding that something is wrong is as alarming as the acts themselves.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 1:40 pm:

    === The “yeah, but look at the other guy(s)” answer/commentary is weak tea.===

    My take, my position on this, is clear…

    If Ms. Mazzochi feels this need to make this a partisan dressing down of what is being done or not done… as the Feds are still issuing subpoenas and moving forward with apparently(?) multiple investigations around Mr. McClain, she better fully grasp that while her own political (and this is a political, partisan blast) apparatus won’t be financially capable to dedicate a political prong on corruption with a former governor touting conspiracy theories and supporting a POTUS who will lose this state handily… it’s really lousy and terrible *politics*. Even Leader Durkin made clear this POTUS gave up on Illinois as voters know the former governor ain’t a good man.

    I’m coming at this from the political rationale that deciding to make ignoring corruption a partisan thing to make hay isn’t at all smart given recent events.

    Madigan was at his lowest, yet his Speaker seat count is at its zenith.

    The rest is McClain, and his worry (or he should be more than worried?) about what might be coming next.

    With respect.


  14. - Hyperbolic Chamber - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 1:54 pm:

    Isn’t there an investigation ongoing by entities (ISP, IG, AG, USAtty) that would be more expert in such matters? The House GOP wants to have the House trample on that work? The difference between a “witch hunt” and a legitimate investigation is the target (Duh).


  15. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 1:57 pm:

    For pete’s Sake.

    Mazzochi got her job as state rep in July of 2018 thanks to a backroom deal where Patti Bellock agreed to step down early rather than finish her term and in exchange GOP township committeemen agreed to appoint Mazzochi.

    This is the same sort of political deal-making that Republicans decry when it occurs in the other party.

    I don’t recall Mazzochi shedding tears over how the Rauner administration handed out Tollway contracts and jobs, did I miss that?

    She is a hypocritical pander bear.

    And for goodness sake, stop being a victim. you are a state rep now. If you think the law should be changed, file a bill and get to work, show us 60-30-1.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 2:21 pm:

    === Its because we have a corrupted system. Both sides are complicit because, in reality, both sides work for the same side — the inside. Elected officials and their enablers cronies have created an inside/outside paradigm in Springfield where everything is controlled and for the benefit of the inside.===

    Then Ms. Mazzochi is…

    1) Part of that crony system and is deflecting that by making it partisan.

    2) Someone utterly oblivious of your masterful way of avoiding the word “combine” while keeping the tin foil in a hat securely in your head.

    Why do i say that?

    === Most of those who deny the reality do that to create disinformation to hide the reality from the citizenry.

    Don’t believe me?

    Then why does the bipartisan task force on Medicaid, the group spending more than 20 billion a year from the budget, hold private meetings with legislators and a select few lobbyists, but not all registered lobbyists are allowed into the room? The combine lobbyists are invited in.===

    “ - Altgelds Ghost -, This is a Wendy’s”

    Ms. Mazzochi is talkin’ corruption for election purposes, not to keep secret the “Skull and Bones Society” that does legislation.

    Whew.


  17. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 2:34 pm:

    ===This is not a partisan issue===

    *proceeds with partisan diatribe*


  18. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 2:36 pm:

    === *proceeds with partisan diatribe*===

    - Candy Dogood -

    That’s not fair, it’s a “combine” diatribe.

    :)

    Be well.


  19. - OldCrow - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 3:05 pm:

    what can we expect from a Rep who was only in attendance for 60% of the house votes?

    there are a significant amount of reforms needed to rebuild the public trust in state government but as some have stated before, whats stopping her from filing these bills–oh wait it’s an election year and they need talking points


  20. - Back to the Future - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 3:21 pm:

    Some things to keep in mind on this very old, but very disgusting email.

    Nothing to remember is that Governor Pritzker Was really upset with the content of the email.
    JBP also appointed a person from a church in Quincy, Illinois in June of 2019 to the State Police Merit Board. The State Police are investigating the suspect email from a former representative from the Quincy area that mentioned the gentleman that has made the news who is also involved in church related work in Quincy. The gentleman worked for the Pritzker campaign and got a contract job from the Govs administration.
    Although it might seem awkward, perhaps the State Police should contact the State Police Merit Board member and see if he knows anything about the email, the former State Rep. or the email.


  21. - anon 1962 - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 3:42 pm:

    Good to know that corruption is bad, only if the other party indulges in it.

    Does anyone realize what an upside-down statement that is?

    Clean it up Springfield, please. The public continues to lose confidence in state government, if that’s even possible.

    You’re in a fish bowl being watched by 1000s who are deciding what their next life moves are.


  22. - Stas - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 4:50 pm:

    And she’s proposing legislation to change the Pension Clause in the IL Constitution also….

    http://ilga.gov/legislation/101/HJRCA/10100HC0038.htm


  23. - Guess Again - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 7:34 pm:

    @Oswego Willy:

    A commutation of a prison sentence to time served (almost eight years)is not a “pardon.”


  24. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 7:36 pm:

    - Guess Again -

    Good thing I already admitted I misspoke, LOL


  25. - Back to the Future - Thursday, Feb 27, 20 @ 8:04 pm:

    To err is to be human.
    I often have problems with spell check, but that is another issue.


  26. - MaryLouise - Tuesday, Mar 3, 20 @ 11:03 am:

    What’ going on with the Representative that stole the person from a Charity?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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