Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Jan Schakowsky, Robert Creamer, and the Illinois Public Action Council

Cross-posted on Marathon Pundit.

Earlier today Robert Creamer, the husband of Cong. Jan Schakowsky, (D-IL), was sentenced to five months in prison and 11 months house arrest for his role in a 1990s check-kiting scheme while he was the head of defunct Illinois Public Action Council, a consumer advocacy group.

Schakowsky has not been implicated in the scheme.

Jan Schakowsky is one of the most liberal members of Congress. She is a member of the far-left Progressive Caucus. Other members of the caucus include such "stars" as Cynthia McKinney, Maxine Waters, Dennis Kucinich, Jim McDermott (Baghdad Jim), Bernie Sanders, and Lynn Woolsey.

Schakowsky made her name in the Illinois Public Action Council. From 1976 to 1985, she was the IPAC program director. Four years later, Jan organized a senior-citizen rally that was a TV reporters dream. In 1989, cameras caught Schakowsky-led seniors chasing the powerful then-Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Dan Rostenkowski, (D-IL). That protest drew national attention.

The Illinois Public Action Council was known for the aggressiveness of its members, particular in their "pro-consumer" door-to-door fundraising efforts. Those same IPAC members proved to be a useful ground force that got Schakowsky elected to Congress in 1998.

After Illinois Public Action folded, Robert Creamer went on to serve as a highly paid political consultant for Democrats such as Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Congressman Lane Evans, and Chicago Alderman Joe Moore, among others.

In short, Creamer was not a "Mr. Mom."

As for the spin from the Creamer camp that no one lost money because of his check-kiting, that may be true. But Creamer in essence obtained interest-free loans from those banks.

And while Schakowsky was not involved in the day-to-day affairs of the Illinois Public Action Council, she was on the IPAC board of directors while her husband was committing bank fraud.

32 comments:

Anonymous,  10:28 PM  

Roger Creamer? Nice one, wingnut.

John Ruberry 11:18 PM  

I had a Cynthia McKinney moment.

Manly Man,  11:50 PM  

Bernie Sanders will be in the Senate next year, which I personally think will lead to hilarity and mirth.

Bill Baar 6:30 AM  

There was an episode of Night Court where a lawyer said the best thing we can do for the poor is not become one of them. Maybe that's how Schakowsky-Creamer view Progressivism.

Anonymous,  8:02 AM  

Rember that Creamer plea bargained, and received a much lesser charge and sentence than originally intentioned.

Creamer was taking money out of one lobbying entity, scheming to bankrupt it, pay himself from a second entity, and leave the original entity deep in debt and bankrupt, which is a preferrential distribution, and smells like fraud in this case.

One must consider, and a leak would be appreciated here, did Creamer plea bargain so that his wife was not charged as a co-conspirator?

His trial certainly did not get much coverage here in Chicago. How about some investigative journalism?

Anon

Bill Baar 8:16 AM  

Don't plea bargins have to be disclosed?

Randall Sherman 8:59 AM  

There are some questions that must be answered here. First, Creamer's sentencing was originally scheduled for last December 21. Why was it delayed for more than three months?

As for the "slap on the wrist" sentence by Judge Moran (a one-time state representative and a former alderman in Creamer's home town of Evanston), I can only conclude that the judge might be going senile. Moran could have checked with Chicago Alderman Dick Mell, who saw Creamer take hundreds of thousands of dollars in the first Blagojevich gubernatorial campaign as a "consultant" and do nothing on Rod's behalf,

Finally, why hasn't our U.S. Attorney sought to go after Creamer's wife, Cong. Jan Schakowsky, for her role in this matter. She served on the board of Creamer's organization and I believe they filed joint tax returns. So why did she get a pass?

Skeeter 9:16 AM  

Sherman, your comments went over the line. It is one thing to attack Mr.Creamer. It is another thing to attack the honesty and dignity of a United States District Court judge.

Judges are at risk on a daily basis, and need increased security, because people like Randall Sherman, having heard none of the evidence, read none of the pleadings, and with no known knowledge of criminal law, make personal attacks on sitting judges.

Want to make baseless attacks on the decision and on the Congresswoman? Fine. But keep personal attacks on judges out of it.

You owe Judge Moran an apology, Sherman.

Anonymous,  9:38 AM  

Skeeter's logic is impeccable. Since judges are in a dangerous line of work, they should be free to make insider deals to ensure that their friends don't get in trouble.

And if the citizens question that? Then we are lumped in as judge-shotting nuts.

Perhaps, just maybe, the press could shed some light on the plea bargain, and how Jan got off the hook here.

By the way, my understanding is that the delay in sentencing was so that Jan and Bob could take a lobbyist paid vacaction to Cabo San Lucas. Or that could just be a coincidence.

Randall Sherman 10:13 AM  

Note to Skeeter: Before you go and attack me for criticizing one of the few judges at 219 S. Dearborn who I had thought had some common sense (because he had served in the General Assembly, albeit some 40 years ago), you might want to go over to the State Board of Elections and pull the campaign disclosure reports for 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore's campaign committee for the years 1997 and 1998.

There you will find something that I assume you will agree with me is quite fascinating. For there you will find among the reported income to Moore's committee and reported expenditures from it a series of loans to Creamer's organization, which were soon repaid.

What will strike the observer as strange is the fact that Moore's committee would loan Creamer's group several thousand dollars, get a payment back a short time later, then loan several thousand dollars more just a few days later.

In the end, the money was repaid to Moore's committee (along with about an extra $25 thrown in, the equivilent of a transaction fee). But what it did was make it appear that Moore had raised more than $30,000, when in fact his committee only registered a net gain of about $25. By showing those raw overall income figures Moore and his fundraisers would find it that much easier to raise additional contributions from area businesses and owners or managers of buildings throughout his ward (particularly those buildings likely to have numerous building code violations). All thanks to the assistance of Moore's buddy, Bob Creamer.

Perhaps the Statute of Limitations prevents the feds from making a case now against Creamer (or Moore) for the aforementioned transactions. But this pattern of past behavior could have (and should have) been considered by Judge Moran in the course of detemining Bob Creamer's sentence. It seems clear to me that this was not the case.

I fear that Judge Moran will need to seek forgiveness for his actions from Almighty God, for he shall get none from me.

RANDALL SHERMAN

Anne 10:15 AM  

Laugh so you don't cry. Schakowsky is my congressperson too.

http://backyardconservative.blogspot.com/
2006/04/hero-of-common-man.html

Ravenswood Right Winger,  10:22 AM  

US District Judge James Moran's son-in-law is Peter "The Great" Giangreco, who has worked on several Democratic campaigns (Dawn Clark Netsch, our current beloved Governor). Further, Giangreco had worked with Creamer and Schakowsky and had sat on the board of one of Creamer's organizations.

Judge Moran is a fomer State Rep. from Evanston, and was elected as a Democrat. Judge Moran should have recused himself.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/lake/chi-0604060259apr06,1,362029.story

Carl Nyberg 12:10 PM  

So how does Creamer's misdeeds compare to Tom DeLay's? Dick Cheney's? The entire Washington GOP establishment?

Anonymous,  1:03 PM  

Maybe he should change his name to "Screecher"

Bill Baar 2:57 PM  

Good question Carl,

Delay is indicted for evading campaign finance laws to fund candidates.

Creamer-Schawsky's conviction was kiting checks to put money into his pocket.

If Delay guilty, its still a far different kind of crime. Delay's one not for personal gain, but for political gain instead.

Anonymous,  3:10 PM  

Yes Carl,

Delay did not have to plea bargain to keep his wife in office. He resigned.

Skeeter 3:19 PM  

Bill Baar said...
"Good question Carl,

Delay is indicted for evading campaign finance laws to fund candidates.

Creamer-Schawsky's conviction was kiting checks to put money into his pocket.

If Delay guilty, its still a far different kind of crime. Delay's one not for personal gain, but for political gain instead."

That is actually not correct. Creamer never personally profited off any of his deals. He returned all the money. He made no gain. He did what he thought was necessary to keep the organizations running.

John Ruberry 3:41 PM  

That is actually not correct. Creamer never personally profited off any of his deals. He returned all the money. He made no gain. He did what he thought was necessary to keep the organizations running.

Skeeter, Creamer got his organization an interest free loan. Not legal. Check kiting, if allowed to run amok, challenges the integrity of the financial system.

Even if the organization helps "the little guy" out there, it's still a crime.

Bill Baar 4:08 PM  

Skeeter,
It went into his pocket. That's what he pleaded guilty too. Doesn't matter that he laundered it as his salary. How else can criminals pay themselves without laundering the stolen cash through a front org?

The indictment alleged Creamer caused a series of insufficiently funded checks and wire transfers to be drawn on accounts he controlled as executive director of the Illinois Public Action Fund. According to the indictment, he allegedly then used the inflated balances to pay the group's expenses and own salary.

Randall Sherman 4:44 PM  

To ravenswood right winger,

Thanks for your information regarding Judge Moran's son-in-law. I agree with you that Judge Moran should have recused himself from this case. If the U.S. Attorney's office filed an appeal, I would not be shocked to see the U.S. Court of Appeals remand the cas back for resentencing before another judge.

For the record though, it should be noted that Judge Moran wasn't elected to the General Assembly from Evanston, although he lived there then (and in the 1970s when he served a term as Alderman of Evanston's 3rd Ward). Moran's one term in the Illinois House was as part of the Democratic horde of 118 candidates (headed by Adlai E. Stevenson III) who ran in the "Bedsheet Ballot" House election of 1964 (after previous redistricting of the State House had been declared unconstitutional, and efforts to draw a new map had failed, forcing all representative candidates to run statewide). Each party put up a slate of 118 candidates for the 177 seats. Unfortunately for the Republicans, 1964 was the year of the Goldwater debacle, and they spent two years on the short end of a 118-59 House makeup.

After new (and constitutional House districts were drawn in time for the 1966 elections, Moran sought re-election in the subruban district he lived in, but finished fourth in the race for the district's three seats (the one Democrat to win in that district in 1966 was Harold Katz of Glencoe).

Anonymous,  5:09 PM  

Bob Creamer DID benefit and Skreecher is absurd to think he did not. These are not private sector business people but poverty pimp con artist non for profits.
Have you seen Bob Creamer dress? or his lifestyle?

If the Judge is Giangreco's in law there is clearly a conflict of interest and just because it is Democratic or liberal does not make it not so.

The issue is not if DeLay is worse, I don't like DeLay or Abramoff either. Congressman Jan and her husband Convict Cramer are unethical and bad people.

Anonymous,  5:11 PM  

If you start digging you will find more on this dynamic dou power couple of politics.

Randall is right, Rod Blagojevich was furious that Cramer, at the insistence of Mell, got $600,000 and did nothing and could not win the 9th CD or Evanston. All BS and all about the money.

Anonymous,  5:24 PM  

Didn't Jan vote against recognizing Christmas????

John Ruberry 5:37 PM  

Here is the resolution she and other Democratic "prizes" such as Baghad Jim McDermott, Lynn Woolsey, Bobby Rush, Alcee Hastings, and Robert Wexler voted against:

Whereas Christmas is a national holiday celebrated on December 25; and

Whereas the Framers intended that the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States would prohibit the establishment of religion, not prohibit any mention of religion or reference to God in civic dialog: Now, therefore be it resolved, that the House of Representatives –

(1) Recognizes the importance of the symbols and traditions of Christmas;
(2) Strongly disapproves of attempts to ban references to Christmas; and
(3) Expresses support for the use of these symbols and traditions, for those who celebrate Christmas.

Alex A,  6:16 PM  

Recognizing Christmas is bad and only Congressman Shakowsky and her husband get to run candidates and celebrate holidays. You are either secular or Jewish, no one else need apply. Stupid goy.

Anonymous,  7:19 PM  

Skeeter,

Creamer did not get to steal much money because he was caught. There was not indication he was going to return anything before he was arrested.

Anonymous,  7:58 PM  

Creepy convict con artist Creamer only returned money because he got caught and was forced to.
Jan the witch is standing by her man and claims igorance but they lived together without having real jobs.

Skeeter 9:14 AM  

John Ruberry said...
"Here is the resolution she and other Democratic "prizes" such as Baghad Jim McDermott, Lynn Woolsey, Bobby Rush, Alcee Hastings, and Robert Wexler voted against:

Whereas Christmas is a national holiday celebrated on December 25; and

Whereas the Framers intended that the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States would prohibit the establishment of religion, not prohibit any mention of religion or reference to God in civic dialog: Now, therefore be it resolved, that the House of Representatives –

(1) Recognizes the importance of the symbols and traditions of Christmas;
(2) Strongly disapproves of attempts to ban references to Christmas; and
(3) Expresses support for the use of these symbols and traditions, for those who celebrate Christmas."

What an odd idea, John. They want to keep government out of religion.

Sounds like a radical idea -- in 1788.

Please tell me that you are not a product of our public schools, John. Please tell me that you are a drop out. I refuse to believe that anyone so lacking in knowledge of history could graduate from high school.

Anonymous,  2:57 PM  

Honoring Christmas, and recognizing religious contributions to our country are not keeping government out of religion.

Congress voted to have money go to a Jewish school in North Africa, and Abramoff skimmed money to a settlement in the West Bank. This is all OK for Jan but not for Christians.

Recognizing the contributions and respecting religion are NOT a violation of Separation of Church and State.

Skeeter 9:51 AM  

It is tragic that Christmas needs Congressional approval in order to continue.

Is that your point?

Anonymous,  11:43 PM  

It is tragic that Jan Shakowsky and her Convict husband cannot honor or respect Christmas or Christians.

Anonymous,  2:46 PM  

Jan Shankowsky was married to Creamer at the time, and was on the Board of the group when he was doing his fraud, getting a salary and kiting checks. Jan knew and she is immoral also.

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