Thursday, December 20, 2007

Lake Country Republicans Call on Terry Link to Withdraw; Lake County State's Attorney Investigating Petition Fraud; Link Clams Up UPDATED x2

It may not be long before this smile is wiped right off Terry Link's face.
The secret that wasn't much of a secret can now be told, and that is that Lake County State's Attorney Michael Waller has been investigating the allegations of petition fraud on State Senator Terry Link's nomination petitions for the last several weeks. As you might expect, Waller's office won't comment on the results thus far, but the investigators have talked to many of the people whose signatures were allegedly forged, and you can also expect that the two primary circulators, Jerry Knight and Kenneth Davison, are going to be very sought-after interviewees with the State's Attorney's office.


The Daily Herald has a story up here. I find it interesting that a few weeks ago, when confronted with the allegations, Link stated that either "Republican operatives" who were interfering in a Democratic primary were to blame, or someone was simply playing "games." Today, when questioned by the Herald about the investigation, Link has no comment and stated, "I'm not going to try the case in the media." My, what a difference a few weeks make... Not only has he clammed up all of a sudden, he sounds like he's already been indicted (maybe he sees the writing on the wall...?)

Today Lake County Republican Chairman Daniel Venturi released this open letter:


December 20, 2007

Open letter to the Voters and Elected Officials of Lake County

As Chairman of the Lake County Republican Party, I have paid close attention to several media sources discussing the alleged pattern of fraud looming over Senator Terry Link’s nominating petitions. It has been nearly a month since the Daily Herald broke the first news story.

After learning of the allegations of petition fraud, I requested Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Waller to begin an investigation of the matter as a result of the flow of information into our headquarters. I am pleased to state an investigation is underway.

My staff and I have conducted an examination of all nominating petitions circulated by Jerry D. Knight and Kenneth Davison, the two primary petition circulators who account for more than 75% of Link’s signatures. Not only does there appear to be a clear pattern of fraud associated with the signatures purportedly obtained by these two individuals, I am disturbed to report the alleged pattern of fraud may be systemic among other Democratic candidates, reaching from one end of the county to the other.

The following Democrat candidates had Knight and Davison as circulators for their own candidacies:

Angelo Kyle, Candidate for State Representative, 60th District: Obtained 700 signatures from Knight and Davison

Jim Parks Candidate for State Representative, 62nd District: Obtained 495 signatures from Knight and Davison.

Diane Hewitt, Candidate for County Board District 2: Obtained 50 signatures from Knight and Davison.

Coroner Richard Keller, Recorder of Deeds Mary Ellen Vanderventer, State’s Attorney candidate Michael D. Jacobs and Circuit Clerk Court candidate Cynthia Purim Haran: Obtained 270 signatures from Knight and Davison.

I am outraged that Senator Terry Link, who is also Chairman of the Lake County Democrat Party, has not ordered an investigation into this matter. I am further outraged that not one of the Lake County Democrat elected officials whose petitions have been tainted by this fraudulent activity have demanded an investigation. Their silence serves as an endorsement of the activities leading to the allegations of a “pattern of fraud.”

It is my hope, with the attached summary and details, to shed light on the blatant disregard for the electoral process and criminal activity demonstrated by certain members of the Lake County Democrat Party.

It is crucial to draw attention to this matter immediately, so the State Board of Elections does not join the Lake County Democrat Party in turning a blind eye on this criminal activity. Anything less than Senator Link’s removal from the ballot will be viewed as condoning these actions and will lead to further erosion of the public’s confidence in our electoral process.

Respectfully,

Daniel Venturi
Chairman
Lake County Republican Central Committee
847-401-8822 cell phone


See a copy of the actual letter here. The letter was widely disseminated to the news media and many government officials, including the governor (who appoints the members of the State Board of Elections), Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and both the majority and minority senate leaders (who confirm the appointments of the members of the State Board of Elections). Also, a few governmental watchdogs like Cindi Canary of the Illinois Coalition for Political Reform and Jay Stewart of the Better Government Association (frequent critics of the State Board) were also copied. Part of the intent is to ensure that for Friday's hearing on the Link petitions, the Board members understand that a whitewash of the Link scandal is simply not going to be possible with the eruption of media attention that the petition debacle has now engendered.

Attached to the letter was the 90-page overview of the evidence that we had here a few days ago.

Also, the demonstration up in Waukegan went very well. Around 30 people marched to Link's house and then to Dem headquarters. It was a peaceful demonstration. Photos and a video are coming. The Daily Herald and the News-Sun covered the event so expect some coverage in the MSM tomorrow.

UPDATED: Here's the video link, courtesy of an anonymous commentor. They were certainly an enthusiastic bunch!

ONE MORE THING-- someone who isn't banned from Ellen of the Tenth, please go over there and ask her why she's been so silent on the Link scandal, along with all the other Dems. Ellen constantly brags about her ability to root out injustice and expose the truth, but it apparently only applies when Republicans are the target. Dan Seals, Jay Footlik, Dem county-wide candidates, how do you guys feel about all this? What, dead silence? That's what I figured....


UPDATED x2 12/21/07 7:15 a.m.: The mainstream media has some decent coverage this morning. In addition to the Daily Herald article mentioned above (front page in this morning's print edition, above the fold placement with headline "Criminal Probe of Petitions"), there is a sidebar that covers yesterday's protest. There is a big spread in the Waukegan News Sun on page 4 that includes the picketers. Also, the Chicago Tribune has a good article that mentions Chairman Venturi's call to also look at the other Democratic candidates petitions that had Knight and Davison as circulators.

This has got to take the cake, though--notwithstanding the trouble Link appears to be in, he apparently is sticking with the story that this is all an inadvertent mistake. BUT, he then goes on to tell the Tribune that "I never personally circulated one petition, so there is nothing [the state's attorney] can do to me."

Well, I have a suspicion that certain people are already vowing to make Link eat those words.

Can you really believe the chutzpah? Never mind accountability to the voters, Link is only concerned about whether a criminal probe can touch him. Was it part of Link's plan all along to not circulate his own petitions so he could disavow any anticipated trouble, or is he simply trying to take further advantage of his own laziness?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Video exists! See You Tube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF8WltSkZX0

I am Sparticus said...

TA,

We should not call him Terry Link. Every head of a conspiratorial mafia gang needs a nickname. Link is gone.

His name is Castro.

Will Castro lose his grip on power in Lake County? Will there be a coup?

Anonymous said...

"Just because signatures have been forged does not mean there are irregularities. Forgery requires criminal intent."

This quote comes from an "official" of the State Board of Elections. It appears in the Waukegan News-Sun this morning. Serious news articles on this fraud and State's Attorney Waller appear this morning in the Chicago Tribune, The Daily Herald and The Waukegan News-Sun. WKRS radio in Waukegan has been constantly harping on this the past few days.

And our State of Illinois Governmental Agency? "Just because signatures have been forged does not mean there are irregularities. Forgery requires criminal intent."

Forgery INCLUDES intent! Forgery is an intentional, not an inadvertent action! I is an intentional act of FRAUD! The forger is deliberate attempting to mislead in order to obtain a certain result. In other words, INTENT! How sad to see the Illinois State Board of Elections turn a blind eye to the law and the facts.

I expect the State Board of Elections to certify Link's name for the ballot in spite of the clear pattern of fraud. The quote from the official of the State Board of Elections shows how warped their views are.

Time for some serious change in State Government. It isn't coming from the Democrats.

Louis G. Atsaves

kellyann1293 said...

In addition to the YouTube video, there is also a downloadable Windows Media file. It's about 10 minutes long and 10MB in size.

http://www.bestsharing.com/files/LrPQZA383062/Link.wmv.html

Team America said...

Thanks KellyAnn. Nice job up in Waukegan yesterday!

Anonymous said...

It looks like Terry Link's scandal will now hurt other Lake County Democratc candidates -- Angelo Kyle, Dr. Keller, etc.

I wonder when they will figure out that their names have now been drawn into the criminal investigation and will be repeated in the press.

Anonymous said...

TA - Gotta tell you, your blog is probably the most factual blog out there! Just read Capitol Fax and it appears Miller's become the apologist for Terry Link - I don't think he realizes he loses credibility (maybe doesn't care) when he joins Link in stating "local Republicans and Bill Dugan's Operating Engineers 150 have been involved with the petition scandal from the beginning..." What's he suggesting - the two circulators were furnished by the union and the GOP - is he nuts? Any reasonable individual regardless of party preference would conclude, especially after reading the December 8th transcripts, that NO "local Republicans" or "Local 150" folks were involved - only Pete Couvall - right hand man to Senator Terry Link and Vice Chair of the Democrat Party. This is not a partisan issue - this is a criminal act - attempting to shift the focus is an old trick, but it won't work here. It's not about politics, it's about criminal activity!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1032: Just looked at my Cap Fax - you're right - can't believe he wrote that - but what I found even more disturbing was his comment that the Board of Electins "has never done anything like that, however, and Link is expected to survive a Board of Elections hearing later today" in response to Johnson's assertion that Link be thrown off the ballot for petition fraud.

My question is this, IF THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTION HAS NEVER THROWN ANYONE OFF THE BALLOT FOR AN EGREGIOUS PATTERN OF FRAUD, WHY DO WE HAVE A BOARD OF ELECTIONS?

I understand the commissioners are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. First off, that appears to be a problem in and of it's self - who is going to stand up to any incumbent Senator and do the right thing at the risk of losing a generous annual stipend of $30,000?

Second, isn't the purpose of this board is to protect the integrity of the electoral process?

If that is its stated purpose, then a class action lawsuit against the SBOE filed by taxpayers of the 30th Senate District should be done immediately, as they have failed to protect the integrity of the electoral process and subjected every taxpayer within the district to representation by an individual whose petitions contain a pattern of fraud. Tax dollars for the SBOE should be returned immediately!

This is the first time I can honestly say, I wish I lived in the 30th Senate District - I would start the filing!