Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Fickle Finger of the FEC

I've got this card and it's effing golden.With Lake County favorite son Rod Blagojevich now into the second year of a 14 year prison sentence, the question eating at every mind is: "Howcome Lake County favorite son Jesse Jackson Jr only got 30 months?" The former Congressman, according to NBC Chicago ...
pleaded guilty to charges he used $750,000 in campaign funds on spa treatments, vacations, household supplies and celebrity memorabilia.
Blago Brother Rips Jackson Sentence
The workings of the criminal justice system difficult to decipher, your LakeCountyEye went to an expert for some answers -- Dr. I.M. Bhatschidtkhrazzi, Professor of Criminality at the College of Lake County.

Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi, who agreed to meet with your LakeCountyEye on condition that the time spent could be used against a community service obligation, said "if you think Jesse Jackson Jr got a sweetheart deal, then Randy Hultgren just won the lottery."

"Randy Hultgren?" asked your LakeCountyEye.

"Fourteenth District Congressman." said Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi. "He lives in Winfield.  But he represents 15% of Lake County."

Your LakeCountyEye knew that.

"I'll grant you it's the 15% that no one has ever seen." continued Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi. "But did you know Hultgren was caught under-reporting $83,000 in campaign contributions? And all he gets is a slap on the wrist."

The Dr. produced a Northwest Herald news-clipping:
The Federal Elections Commission slapped U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren's campaign with a $2,500 fine for failing to report more than $83,000 from his first election in 2010. Under a negotiated agreement hashed out with the FEC, Hultgren for Congress must also strengthen its internal controls to prevent a repeat occurrence, and send a staffer to an FEC seminar.
Hultgren campaign fined by FEC for underreporting 2010 income
"Hultgren is fined $2,500, while some staffer who falls on his sword is sent to a FEC seminar." marveled Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi. "I'll bet the FEC bills campaign operatives at least $2,500 to attend the same seminar!"

The penalty did seem like small potatoes to your LakeCountyEye.

"$83,000 goes into $750,000 about 9 times." continued Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi. "If Jesse Jackson Jr had gotten an equivalent sentence, he would have been fined 9 times $2,500 -- which is $22,500."

For the average Congressman, about a week's worth of call-time, observed your LakeCountyEye.

Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi was not through, though. "Look at it this way. If Hultgren received a sentence proportional to Jackson's, Hultgren would be facing 100 days in a federal lockup."

Enough to harsh anyone's buzz, your LakeCountyEye thought out loud. "Do you have any parting advice?"

"Absolutely." said Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi. "Tell your operatives, never run for Governor. Run for Congress instead. In the western burbs."

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