Tim Johnson Watch

Representative Tim Johnson was elected to represent the residents of Illinois' 15th Congressional District in Central Illinois. His constituents should know what he's doing.

Location: 15th Congressional District, Illinois, United States

A concerned citizen of Central Illinois.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Tim Johnson's Tainted Campaign Cash, Part III

Last week, TJW reported that Johnson took $1000 in 2004 from Nicholas Hurtgen, who has since been indicted on charges of defrauding the State, the Illinois Facilities Planning Board, the Chicago Medical School, and a related charitable trust out of millions. That post further reported that Johnson also took $1000 from Hurtgen's wife, Catherine, who has been reported to have laundered Nicholas's contributions to state officials (Johnson was a state legislator at the time) because SEC rules restricted Nicholas from making such contributions directly.

But it gets still fishier. It turns out that on October 28, 2000 -- the very same day that Hurtgen's wife gave Johnson $1000 -- Johnson also received $1000 from Stuart Levine, who was indicted as Nicholas Hurtgen's co-conspirator in the same fraud. (UPDATE: Levine pleaded guilty today.)

So let's review. Just 10 days before a close election (Johnson beat Mike Kelleher 53%-47%), Hurtgen's wife and his indicted co-conspirator each give the maximum to Johnson. Hurtgen, who can't give Johnson money because federal anti-corruption rules would then restrict his ability to seek State business -- and in any case couldn't give him more than $1000 under then applicable campaign finance laws -- doesn't give him a cent. We can't know what was in anybody's mind, of course, but it's hard to believe this was a coincidence. The clear inference is that Hurtgen encouraged his confidantes to funnel money to Johnson so as to evade both campaign finance limits and anti-corruption rules designed to prevent exactly this kind of influence peddling.

UPDATE: Also maxing out for Johnson on October 28, 2000, was George Ryan's son, George Jr. As you will recall, Johnson was a favorite recipient of Governor Ryan's largesse. Hurtgen, meanwhile, was a bit player in Ryan's corruption, in addition to his own criminal problems. Oh, what TJW would have given to be a fly on the wall during that fundraiser....


Blogger Philosophe Forum said...

Wonderful research! There's definitely a pattern, & people need to acknowledge it.

Go vote today!! Get these people out of office!

12:28 PM  

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