Friday, August 12, 2005

Truth vs. Myth

To those willing to believe the John Shimkus propaganda machine, the man is honorable, trustworthy, and hard working. His only interests are those benefitting the quality of life for his 19th CD constituents. To those knowing the true qualities of John Shimkus, the statements are laughable.

Very little research unearths a non-existent legislative record. He brings in the pork funding. He does quite well selling himself and responding to mailbag questions on the Congressional Record. He remains in Congress because he is a product of the good-ol'-boy establishment -- something IL excels at. He is an embarrassment to the people that grew up with him, thought they knew him, & now regret ever voting for him.

His main legislative staffers are former staff members for former-governor and future-imnate Ryan (e.g., Deb Detmers, et al.). Everyone knows that each one of them actively raises campaign funds for their boss. Translation: They regularly violate the Hatch Act (& one got a European trip one taxpayers' expense -- A person can only imagine the taxpayer-paid perks his family members enjoy!).

Campaign contributions are an issue for everyone, and anyone willing to look hard enough finds what they seek. The Shimkus PAC has never returned the money from Tom DeLay's PACs. In an additional note, the Wal-Mart Stores Inc. PAC for Responsible Government is listed on the FEC website as a qualified non-party committee. According to the McCain-Feingold finance law, the Wal-Mart PAC can only contribute $5,000.00 to a candidate per election. The organization contributed that amount on October 28, 2003. This is correct - assuming that it is a multi-candidate PAC. That makes their contribution of December 16, 2003, above the total amount a PAC can contribute per election, and in violation of McCain-Feingold. His staff provides Wal-Mart-level quality customer service. The company influences well.

So. IL's economic health is worse than ever thanks to their illustrious representative. He has yet to lift a finger. He is in the White House's good graces, AND So. IL counties suffer some of the highest unemployment numbers in the state. All legislation that benefits labor is a guaranteed Role Call NO vote from John Shimkus, too.

His work on the House Energy Cmte. funds his campaigns rather well, obviously (everyone does it so why not?). Land south of I-64 has some of the richest coalfields in the nation & a good deal of oil. The current technology should be enough for processing without severe environmental degradation. His "power" in the committee has done nothing about this and making So. IL the most important thing on the agenda. Instead, he "delivered" tort reform for the White House by campaigning for Judge Karmaier last year. The incument gerrymandering, & the DCCC assured him that he did not have to campaign for himself.

His "powerful" seniority on the House Energy Cmte. is worth less than nothing to his IL constituents - AND - It is the only committee assignment has had since the first time his gullible supporters erroneously put him in office. After completing negotiations on the Energy Bill, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay reportedly snuck in a $1.5 billion taxpayer-funded giveaway to Halliburton Corporation and other big oil companies. This Energy Bill is so full of pork and taxpayer subsidies for profitable oil and gas companies that Tom DeLay did not think anyone would notice. Nevertheless, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) caught it and blew the whistle. Adding insult to injury, DeLay's provision could funnel the money through a private consortium in his hometown of Sugar Land, Texas. Approximately $3.6 million in Texas taxpayer funds created the organization with the promise of creating 1,500 jobs. So far, new jobs have yet to materialize, and gasoline prices continue to rise. For looking the other way, John Shimkus could see additional contributions from TRMPAC. It has been a few years so he is due for a show of Majority Leader gratitude.

Loopholes in American fuel economy regulations have allowed automakers to produce cars and trucks that are significantly less fuel-efficient, on average, than they were in the late 1980's. He "values" bi-partisanship on such issues as the SIUE Ethanol plant. Ethanol plants would ensure the use of a LOCAL renewable fuel source, yet IL does not have more ethanol refineries to show for it. Again, so much for the value of all that seniority power from the ONLY committee assignment John Shimkus has ever had.

As for the military record of the 1976 plebe, he does not even qualify for "weekend warrior". Any combat-trained active-duty Army service member knows that real weekend warriors serve 1 weekend monthly & 2 wks. in the summer. John Shimkus does not. His current unit is the 157th Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) Detachment. It is a local unit that includes many staffers, Secret Service agents, and CIA agents, among others. It allows members of Congress and other public servants to stay connected to the military after leaving active duty. Today, most serve on a points-only basis, in which they receive only points toward their retirement fund as compensation. That means he never attends a drill. For the past 9 yrs. (& counting), the Hill's unit lets him attend special "VIP drills" to maintain his current time in grade. Beyond that, weekly meetings when Congress is in session. He will probably retire a full colonel, too. The best his constituents can expect from a West Pointer that spent 4 years on the "other" Dean's list.

There is one thing John Shimkus has accomplished. He proves to everyone how simple it is for the wrong person to win an election:

  • Know how work the Illinois political system that reinforces the already established ol'-boy network and make it work for personal political ambitions.
  • Have the right people in key positions to keep the campaign money rolling in on federal time. Getting caught is an opportunity to make a deal for immunity, take a European trip at taxpayer expense, and return to continue the work as if nothing ever happened.
  • Tell people what they want to hear to keep the votes rolling in. After being in office long enough to become the "darling of the party" and one of the "good little soldiers", it is too late. . .
. . . or is it? Yes, even a dishonorable, self-centered, mendacious person can keep his pledge of a term limit. The voters can force it on him by voting him out of an office he never should have entered in the first place & voting someone in (NOT a lawyer) that is really better for So. IL -- Something that should have happened in 2004. Something that NEEDED to happen in 2004.

IL residents need the Let's-Make-a-Deal incumbents to permanently retire. Their lives and livelihoods depend on it.

2 Comments:

At 12 August, 2005 07:56, Blogger Amy Allen said...

"His "powerful" seniority on the House Energy Cmte. is worth less than nothing to his IL constituents..." I would imagine that the farmers in the 19th may disagree with you.

 
At 18 May, 2006 19:38, Blogger Milton said...

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, who also representspart of Springfield, ranked 12th among Illinois Housemembers, but 300th in the full House. WOW--Shimkus is weak maybe it because he does not do anything or because he broke a term limits pleadge. John Shikus' staff is run by former George Ryan poltical hacks that lead him around like a puppy dog.

 

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