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Blago Scandal Fallout Keeps Staining Politicians

Two prominent Illinois politicians who might have been appointed senator instead of Roland Burris are in hot water.

by
Doug Ross

Bio

January 14, 2009 - 12:19 am
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The fact that Roland Burris will apparently be seated as the next U.S. senator from Illinois doesn’t mean that corruption charges against other candidates connected to the scandal are going to go away. That includes questions surrounding two prominent Illinois politicians who very well might have been appointed instead of Mr. Burris.

In the complaint filed by the U.S. district attorney against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, the unnamed “Senate Candidate 3” played a minor role.

Pundits assert that “Senate Candidate 1″ was Barack Obama’s choice: his friend Valerie Jarrett. And “Senate Candidate 5″ was reportedly Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., a man with a better sense of “fundraising” than Carolyn-esque entitlement.

But who was “Senate Candidate 3″?

That would appear to be none other than Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). Schakowsky herself has avoided major scandal in the minefields of Illinois politics. But her husband has a deeply troubling history with non-profit organizations. This history leads to some intriguing and sordid story lines that involve other non-profits and other “Senate Candidates.”

There’s something about Jan

In 2006, Anne Leary reported that Schakowsky’s husband, Robert Creamer, was sentenced to five months in prison and eleven months of house arrest for bank fraud and tax violations involving a non-profit called the “Illinois Public Action Council” (IPAC). The indictment charged Creamer with floating “check and wire transfer deposits between bank accounts to … hide their deficiencies … [and used] the inflated balances to pay expenses of his organization, as well as his own salary and … expenses.”

Creamer resigned his longtime leadership positions after “the FBI questioned him about a $1 million overdraft. … [He was also charged] with failing to pay more than $300,000 in federal income taxes for employees of the group and for himself between 1996 and 2000. Four other counts allege he filed false income tax returns between 1996 and 1999. … Each count of bank fraud [carried] a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and [a] $1 million fine.”

Schakowsky herself served on the board of IPAC while her husband was “swindling nine financial institutions of at least $2.3 million while he ran a public interest group in the 1990s.” And USA Today reported that Schakowsky “co-signed the fraudulent tax returns.”

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