Friday, January 06, 2006

Eisendrath Fires First Shot

A lot of people have been wondering when Edwin Eisendrath's campaign for Governor would start doing something to be well, visible. Apparently, that day is today. Not surprisingly, his opening salvo deals with the fundraising and investigation issues that have been dogging the Administration.

This is just the type of problem that I would imagine the Governor's campaign had hoped to avoid having to deal with in a primary battle. But Eisendrath appears in the race to stay, and as such, the next 60 days are going to be interesting ones, with the Governor's campaign trying to shift to a health and education focus, while Eisendrath and the Republicans will keep trying to keep the media and public attention on ethics and reform issues.

The following is a press release that was just issued by his campaign:

Edwin Eisendrath today called on Governor Blagojevich to come clean with the people of Illinois about quid-pro-quo contributions to his political funds in exchange for pension fund investments.

“The Governor’s fundraising scandals continue to undermine trust in the pension system, and erode confidence in government,” said Eisendrath. “It’s unfortunate that he continues the tired tactics of changing the subject and ignoring the problem.”

The Teachers Retirement System of Illinois, which represents 330,000 public school teachers outside of the City of Chicago, has now filed suit against three Blagojevich campaign insiders seeking millions in damages. Two of those appointees have pleaded guilty to the kickback scheme and the third is facing trial.

Eisendrath thinks the legislature should begin an official inquiry.

The tangled web of money and influence peddling allegedly begins in the Governor’s office with public documents linking “public official a” to the plan to kickback money to the Blagojevich campaign fund by lobbyists seeking pension fund investments for their clients. “Public Official A” has been identified as the Governor himself by people close to the investigation.

Illinois taxpayers are already spending millions in support of several ongoing investigations into the pay-to-play politics of the Blagojevich administration.

Eisendrath called on the governor to cut short those investigations by voluntarily detailing which contributions to his funds came from lobbyists working for any consultant to the state’s pension funds, or any recipient of pension fund investments.

“As governor I would act immediately to restore trust in the pensions and confidence in government. Tens of thousands of teachers are counting on these funds, and both teachers and taxpayer continue to pay to support those funds,” said Eisendrath, a Democratic candidate for Governor and former Clinton appointee. “Instead of waiting for the US Attorney to do it for us, the Governor should take four steps right away:

  • Investigate and determine how the fund investments and contracts were related to contributions.
  • Disclose the findings of that investigation
  • Discipline those involved.
  • Return any contributions related to this pay-to-play scandal.”


At January 6, 2006 at 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whats interesting is to see GRod's strategy here, do they try to ignore, deny or counterattack? I'm not sure that any of those options will work.

At January 6, 2006 at 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eisendrath can say whatever he wants, but his campaign will still attract little attention from anybody around the state. If I was the Governor, I would just ignore these attacks.

At January 7, 2006 at 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ignore?! Are you kidding? It will be impossible for the Gov to ignore the issue he ran on, won on, and then perfected-improper fundraising.

At January 7, 2006 at 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing EE says matters unless he can get on TV.

At January 8, 2006 at 8:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eisendrath is the only choice for the Dems. Blaggo will go down in the General. The establishment better get on Eisendrath or its over for the Dems.


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