Sunday, May 22, 2005

Violate Federal Law, Visit a European Country

DownLeft has a comment on the Tristano indictment & reminds everyone that Rep. Shimkus (IL-19) is connected. Without being held accountable – yet. He should be. After he had Secretary of State employees helping him on state time during his 1996 victory in the Republican Primary, Deb Detmers Fansler, his district director returned the favor only 4 years later. Maybe it’s not a campaign issue if the employee gets a free trip to Europe to “observe Ukraine Elections."

From January 27, 2003, the Mike Ramsey Copley News Service reported from Chicago (HEADLINE: Shimkus aide describes role in Ryan scandal):

An aide to U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, on Monday described her role in raising political funds for former Gov. George Ryan during the 1990s, a process that federal prosecutors say was rife with corruption.

Deb Detmers was campaign finance director of Citizens for George Ryan (CFR) from 1991 to 1995 as the organization amassed money for the Kankakee Republican's election to a second term as Illinois secretary of state.

Detmers said she helped determine quotas for department heads and their employees, who were expected to sell tickets to Ryan fund-raisers. The tickets cost $100 apiece for an annual Chicago event and $50 for a downstate version, she told jurors in the federal racketeering trial of CFR and a top Ryan aide of that era, Scott Fawell.

"If there were departments that weren't meeting their goals, (Fawell) had offered to make calls to directors," Detmers said of Fawell's interest in a 1991 downstate event.

The two fund-raisers typically brought in about $500,000 annually, she said, but election-year pressure in 1994 meant employees had to shoulder an additional $35-a-ticket affair in Chicago.


Detmers is currently district director for Congressman Shimkus. The Delavan native told jurors she has been granted immunity for her testimony at Chicago's federal courthouse, where the high-profile trial entered its third week.

Detmers acknowledged she was paid by Ryan's state office for four months in 1991 while spending half of her time doing campaign work illegally.

More recently, working in support of Shimkus' re-election bid last year, Detmers said she used sick days with permission from her boss, chief of staff Craig Roberts. Because of redistricting, Shimkus squared off against incumbent U.S. Rep. David Phelps, D-Eldorado, who lost in the November election.

Voters continue to re-elect Rep. Shimkus. He doesn’t deserve re-election.

Deb plead innocent yet she obviously violated the Hatch Act. She remained on the federal payroll instead of taking Leave Without Pay.


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