Tuesday, June 8, 2010

State Senator Terry Link Turns To Convicted Felon to Help Fill Eddie Washington Vacancy

State Senator Terry Link hasn't had a lot of success politically branching out from Lake County, as he lost recent bids for president of the State Senate and also got crushed in his bid for Illinois Lieutenant Governor.

But in Lake County, he rules with an iron hand.

He's been Chairman of the Lake County Democratic Party for over 15 years now. After all, he built it into what it is today, going back to when Lake County was a solid red.

His vast network of cronies and political supporters (captained by our friend "Sneaky" Pete Couvall) knows no equal.

And now, he's in charge of naming a replacement to fill the vacancy in the 60th State Legislative District caused by the untimely death of Eddie Washington. Who has he turned to to help choose a successor? None other than a convicted felon, Cynthia Alexander.

Alexander is a frequent go-to person for Link, and has worked on his campaigns for pay, not to mention helped out for other political tasks, such as objecting to Republican nominating petitions.

According to the Daily Herald archives,

Alexander was a Long Grove criminal defense lawyer, and considered as judge material in some circles, when she was indicted in September 1990. Federal prosecutors said she helped a man who had a $6,000-a-day cocaine business in Waukegan and North Chicago, where Alexander now lives.

Federal Bureau of Prisons records show Alexander, now 47, was convicted of aiding and abetting a conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine. She began serving a seven-year penitentiary term July 8, 1992.

Alexander was released from a federal prison in downstate Pekin on Nov. 26, 1997. She was placed on five years probation after the release, according to the prisons bureau.

(Daily Herald, February 16, 2006, "Democratic Party leader hired ex-con - Whether that's a bad thing is up for debate among watchdogs and experts," by Bob Susnjara)

The Waukegan News-Sun reported today that Link had appointed Alexander to serve on the nominating committee to replace Washington, for which the power struggle to succeed poor Eddie started among the cutthroat Dems even before the body was cold.

The News-Sun forgot to mention the little bitty detail about Alexander having served time and being a felon, but hey, it's just Lake County politics, after all. Alexander has also worked for other Lake County political figures such as perennial 10th Congressional candidate Dan Seals.

Link has been unapologetic about tapping Alexander in the past and paying her for political work, contending that she deserves a second chance.

But does appointing a felon to help fill a vacancy to the Illinois General Assembly go a bit far?

Why they are even going through the motions, I don't know, since County Board member Angelo Kyle is going to get it.


Anonymous said...

Representative Washington was all about giving former criminals a second chance...so maybe it makes sense that Ms. Alexander is one of the committee members to choose a successor to complete Rep. Washington's term.

When Sen. Link is able to surround himself with people like Alexander, Couvall, and the convicted petition circulators, and still win elections easily, you have to start to wonder about the voters in the district are thinking. Do they actually embrace the 'criminal element'? Electing these types would go a long way to explain the decline of Illinois and specifically the 30th senate district in recent years.

Anonymous said...

Spot on, Anon 10:54. Makes you wonder how our State can ever rise above the corruption and the Chicago style politics that seems to define those of us from IL. Isn't that a sad commentary. When one thinks about the antics of Pete Couvall and his thug buddies, when you think about the rather bizarre behavior of Terry Link, it's hard to see light at the end of the tunnel. These Democrats play by their own set of rules that lack values that should be front and center. Throwing the bums out would seem to be the only way to correct all of this, State-wide, perhaps even at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. but you know that isn't going to happen. We can't clean up the mess here in the 10th Congressional District with the likes of Gash, Gill and those off-center people, so it seems unlikely that we're going to find a breath of fresh air standing ready to fill Eddie's seat in Springfield.

Anonymous said...

Great job, as always, connecting the dots, TA. Too bad, but it probably won't matter that you have brought this to light. Terry Link picked Alexander because she would do whatever she was told. But he could have picked any one of a dozen or more people for that. It's not like she will actually have a 'real vote' when it comes to picking Eddie's successor, Angelo Kyle (you're dead-on that he's the obvious choice). So, to say there is a felon picking the next member of the General Assembly isn't really true (and she is no more a crook than many of them down in Springfield now).

Sad to say that Eddie's death was the best thing that could have happened to Link politically, since he couldn't stand Washington and had failed to knock him off every time before.

Anonymous said...

If Commissioner Kyle is appointed to the state house, who will replace him, in the county board? Sen. Link would probably ask Chairman Schmidt to appoint a Waukegan Township official, since that person would have high name recognition, in the 12th county board district.

Who will the republican candidate be, for the 60th House Dist.? I think that Circuit Court Clerk Sally Coffelt, State's Attorney Michael Waller, and former Shields Township Supervisor Chuck Fitzgerald live in that distirct.

Phil Collins

Anonymous said...

Too late for the Republicans to run anyone in the 60th, kids.

Anonymous said...

Do the Democrats have anyone running? What is the process for them in this case?

Anonymous said...

Whatever we do, it can't be that woman Patricia Jones or do they call her Jezabell? We need real lawmakers.

Poor Eddie didn't know what he was getting himself into.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Patricia Jones will go away quietly now since Eddie just gave her $750,000.00 of the good old taxpayers money. Let's do better than this Lake County and don't let Ms. Jones tell us that she knows about Eddies fight for the ex-cons. She is only talking about her brother. Let her figure out how to take care of him without Eddie. By the way has anybody checked on Eddies campaign funds? If Patricia gets his fund, then all his contributors should request a refund.