Friday, January 20, 2006

Back in the News

Deb Detmers, the notorious District Director for Rep. John Shimkus, has been giving her testimony in former Gov. George Ryan’s trial. The CBS Chicago affiliate provided the January 18, 2006, article below:

[. . .]
Two big annual fundraising events known as "salutes" to Ryan -- one downstate and one in the Chicago area -- brought in a combined $500,000. She testified that one of her duties was to allot political fundraising tickets to such events to the various departments under Ryan when he was secretary of state.

State employees were then asked to accept an allotment of tickets and sell them as a way of gathering money to fuel Ryan's political campaigns. She said the total raised that way topped any other source of funds used to fuel Ryan's campaigns.
[. . .]
Detmers did testify that at least one state employee she knew refused to sell tickets and wasn't fired for it. She admitted that when she first went on the payroll at the secretary of state's office she spent at least half her time doing political work for Ryan's campaign fund.

After four months of that, she got a full-time campaign job, she testified. Under cross examination by Ryan defense attorney Dan K. Webb, however, Detmers testified that she enjoyed politics and spent much more than 40 hours a week doing her job.

"Do you think the State of Illinois got a fair shake from you," Webb asked.

"I think it got a fair shake," she said.
[. . .]
No wonder there was immunity for testifying.

The following text is from the January 19,2006, Chicago Tribune:
[. . .]
Detmers said Chicago-area employees who raised the most funds for Ryan were feted at lunches attended by Ryan.

She also testified she was aware of aggressive fundraising tactics used on employees at licensing facilities.

"What did you do about that?" asked Assistant U.S. Atty. Patrick Collins.

"I didn't do anything," she replied.

On cross-examination, Detmers acknowledged she initially adopted fundraising goals from former Secretary of State Jim Edgar's administration.
John Shimkus hired Deb came from the Index Department in Ryan's office in addition to Craig Roberts, Rodney Davis, and Mary Ellen Madonia. Steve Tomaszewski worked for Ryan when he was the Secretary of State concentrating on operations in Central and So. IL.

Obviously, Deb does her job well without feeling the need to twist arms. She also feels justified in her actions since she reasons that the State received a “fair shake”. In addition to all of this, Deb genuinely loves politics.

Now she is a federal employee on the John Shimkus payroll and has been since voters mistakenly put him in office. His constituents should wonder how much fundraising she –- and the other former Ryan employees -- are doing on AND off the job. The Office of Personnel Management is very specific about the prohibitions.

The congressman requires his staff (except for the higher-echelon “Ryan 4) to pay for his expenses and chauffer him around the 19th CD & the DC area without receiving the allowed reimbursement. It is not an easy thing to do when a staffer receives the lowest wage possible. At least when they are at the top echelon of his staff, they sometimes benefit. Deb's definitely at the top.

John Shimkus – “He is a nice guy”. He should be. He was supposed to become a Lutheran Minister. Instead, he chose to become a "nice guy" politician with very sharp horns that are quite obvious to anyone willing to truly see him – and admit what they see.

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