by: Diane Benjamin
The incredible waste of taxpayers dollars before the 2010 election didn’t make much news downstate. The media thought it was nothing more than politics and questions from republicans were unjustified. Maybe the people of Illinois knew better. Maybe the people are sick of low job growth, companies leaving the state, and high taxes. Maybe they are sick of Democratic policies. Whatever the reason, hopefully it is a new day in Illinois.
This article received little play downstate. Since Quinn is under numerous investigations, maybe he will be joining Blago. The anti-violence program has been proven to not have targeted the worst neighborhoods even though Quinn claimed it was to fight violence. See if you think Quinn was trying to help or buying an election.
This is from the Chicago Sun Times
Ex-top Quinn aide: NRI emails sent to ‘educate the campaign’
Gov. Pat Quinn’s former chief of staff said Thursday he was simply trying to “educate” the governor’s campaign when he wrote in a 2010 email that Quinn’s new anti-violence program could help energize black voters.
Four years later, Jack Lavin found himself testifying for hours in front of a legislative committee about that program, the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, which has become a key topic in this year’s gubernatorial campaign since a scathing February audit.
In the email in question, Lavin told Quinn campaign manager Ben Nuckels that “The [African American] community tends to break late [in voting decisions] so we have some time.”
“The Gov’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative will also help on the jobs and anti-violence messages,” Lavin wrote. “If we agree that this election is about turning out the base, particularly [African American], Hispanic and women, we better start thinking about our targeting and not only about the general electorate.”
Lavin said he sent the email from his personal computer and email account on a Sunday in September 2010. And he explained it Thursday by telling the General Assembly’s Legislative Audit Commission “elections are about referendums on incumbents.”
“What have they done? What have they accomplished? Have they shown leadership? What have they done for our town or community?” Lavin said. “Campaigns are about messaging and educating various constituencies about the incumbent.”
Lavin said an epidemic of gun violence in Chicago prompted the rush to launch NRI. But Rep. Ron Sandack, a Downers Grove Republican, noted that voters cast their ballots for governor less than two months after Lavin sent his email.
“You wanted to energize a base, just as this email says, sir,” Sandack said. “This was all about getting people to the polls on or before Nov. 4.”
Lavin denied it. He is one of seven former members of Quinn’s inner circle subpoenaed by the Legislative Audit Commission for two days of hearings that began on Wednesday.
Quinn campaign spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said Lavin’s email clearly was “not government conversations.” She added that a campaign would “want to promote” what the governor was doing to fight violence, as it would other parts of his record.