This afternoon’s guilty verdict in the George Ryan trial was no surprise to anyone understanding federal law. When Deb Detmers accepted immunity for her testimony, it was just a matter of time.
Shades of Michael Tristano -- former Secretary of State employees helped John Shimkus (IL-19) -- on state time -- achieve his 1996 victory in the Republican Primary. Deb Detmers Fansler, his current district director, acknowledged that she initially adopted fundraising goals from former Secretary of State Jim Edgar's administration. After the election, Rep. John Shimkus hired Deb from the Index Department in Ryan's office in addition to Craig Roberts, Rodney Davis, and Mary Ellen Madonia. Steve Tomaszewski worked for George Ryan when he was the Secretary of State concentrating on operations in Central and So. IL. Common practice for staffers during the Edgar and Ryan years included campaign work on state time and using state computers and other taxpayer-paid resources to increase the campaign war chests for the GOP legislative candidates. On the record, the time for the state workers appeared as compensatory leave and payments from the House Republican Campaign Committee although the time off and payments never covered all the campaign work.
The IL-19 congressional representative’s record is mediocre at best. This year is no different. His schedule on The Hill for the 2nd Session of the 109th Congress is only 97 days (less than the 108 days in 1948) long. It is not much time to work in the best interests of the public trust. Rest assured he will find the time to follow the money as well as he has in the past. When he needs to prioritize, his constituents know that he prefers to work towards increasing the gap between the CEOs and the disappearing middle class. His military "experience" is a joke, and it shows in his record. He votes against vet legislation every chance possible. He could be better on senior citizen issues, too.
Promoting tax gimmickry, retrograding into pre-20th Century Social Darwinism, and delivering bupkis to the quality of life in IL-19 are the hallmarks of the John Shimkus anti-Christian values.
The constituents of IL-19 deserve a good representative. As an uber-conservative, fundamentalist conformist, non-questioning, Christian Republican, John Shimkus is not that man. His allegiance is blind obedience to his Party leaders (e.g. the very rational, coldly calculating, ruthless, unscrupulous Karl Rove, et al.) and a do-nothing Congress lacking any form of oversight. He will continue doing nothing to help the fortunates achieve a better quality of life for themselves. Recently, he has already voted against net neutrality. In the past, he never lifted a finger on the Antifreeze Bittering Act of 2005 (H.R. 2567 ) in his own committee. Wildlife and family pets simply are not worth his time and more proof of his belief in survival of the fittest.
For someone who was supposed to be a Lutheran minister, John Shimkus has proven himself to be nothing more than a sycophant for the Republican Party. As he shows his true colors to the voters willing to acknowledge fact, they are also reminded that everything happens for a reason.
Although Rep. Shimkus refuses to make good on his pledge of a term limit, IL-19 voters have the power and the opportunity to force it upon him – with a real majority.