SEE THE DOCS: Illinois Policy Institute received $500,000 from GOP Candidate Bruce Rauner

Back in November, Bernie Schoenburg of the Springfield Register Star reported that Illinois Policy Institute, a 501(c)(3) policy organization received $500,000 from GOP candidate Bruce Rauner. 

Here are some of the screenshots that confirm that the John Tillman’s Illinois Policy Institute received the donations from the Bruce Rauner Family Foundation. Some of those donations are reflected here (Guidestar.com):

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Dan Proft is also a “senior fellow” of the Illinois Policy Institute and is a paid consultant and partner of the Illinois Policy Institute’s sister organization, the Illinois Opportunity Project. Illinois Opportunity Project is a 501(c)(4) organization with cloaked donors. It is not known whether Bruce Rauner has donated to the Illinois Opportunity Project. 

According to Guidestar, Jack Roeser’s Family Taxpayer Network also received $400,000 and Roeser’s group also received another $40,000 from Bruce Rauner and his wife to his Renaissance PAC. 

The Democrat Record of Dan Rutherford’s “Alleged” Accuser

Chicago, Illinois, February 10, 2014 - For weeks, the alleged scandal involving the alleged victim of Illinois treasurer Dan Rutherford has turned the GOP race for governor into a strange circus. The accuser’s attorney, Christine Svenson, had been refusing to give a straight answer on anything…even the name of the victim.

This has been the case of the ALLEGED GOP ACCUSER WHO CANNOT BE NAMED.  

Given the timing of the allegations to coincide with the gubernatorial primary, Rutherford preemptively called out his opponent Bruce Rauner as the source of the attack a week ago. Rauner – a close friend and ally of Rahm Emanuel – has denied any involvement.  But there is good reason to believe Rauner is behind the attack. 

A federal lawsuit against Rutherford was finally filed Monday and the identity of his accuser – a longtime Democrat – is now known.

The suit charges that Rutherford sexually harassed Michalowski (a real looker) and three years ago, in 2011, groped in genitals. The suit also alleges that Rutherford’s chief of staff, Kyle Hamm, pressured Michalowski to do political work and failed to investigate his complaints.

The accuser’s name is Edmund P. Michalowski of 822 S Bishop St Apt 3 Chicago, Illinois.

According to the records and his own statements, Michalowski is a longtime Democrat operative who worked for Mayor Daley and Secretary of State Jesse White and ran a campaign for Circuit Court Judge. After resigning the Illinois treasurer’s office, Michalowski bounced back and immediately began working for the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.

Below is a copy of Michalowski’s voting record – with votes in most of the Democrat primaries – and his list of campaign contributions – again all contributions to Democrats and one contribution to Dan Rutherford. Mr. Michalowski is also having serious financial issues ranging from divorce to foreclosure and bankruptcy. The upshot: Michalowski is desperate for cash.

Here’s one vote for this as one of the foulest campaign smears ever.

Take a look at the records below (emailed to me this weekend):

’13

’12

’11

’10

’09

’08

’07

’06

’05

’04

’03

’02

’01

’00

’99

’98

General Y Y Y Y Y
Primary Y-D P-D Y-D Y-D Y-D
Muni Primary Y Y
Municipal Y
Pres Primary Y-D Y-D
Special
Special Primary

Contributed By

Amount

Received By

Description

Vendor Name

Vendor Address

Michalowski, Ed
P.O. North Box 64884
Chicago, IL 60664
$500.00
6/6/2001
Individual Contribution
Citizens for Jesse White
Michalowski, Ed
P.O. North Box 64884
Chicago, IL 60664
$500.00
6/12/2002
Individual Contribution
Citizens for Jesse White
Michalowski, Ed
P.O. North Box 64884
Chicago, IL 60664
$500.00
6/11/2003
Individual Contribution
Citizens for Jesse White
Michalowski, Ed
P.O. North Box 64884
Chicago, IL 60664
$500.00
7/3/2004
Individual Contribution
Citizens for Jesse White
Michalowski, Edmund
822 S. Bishop
Chicago, IL 60607
$200.00
4/26/2006
Individual Contribution
27th Ward Reg Democratic Org
Michalowski, Edmund
3539 S Maple
Berwyn, IL 60402
Occupation: Director
Employer: Secretary of State
$350.00
9/11/2000
Individual Contribution
27th Ward Reg Democratic Org
Michalowski, Edmund
3539 S Maple
Berwyn, IL 60402
Occupation: Director
Employer: Secretary of State
$200.00
9/26/2000
Individual Contribution
27th Ward Reg Democratic Org
Michalowski, Edmund
3539 S Maple
Berwyn, IL 60402
Occupation: Director
Employer: Secretary of State
$400.00
11/2/2001
Individual Contribution
27th Ward Reg Democratic Org
Michalowski, Edmund
3539 S Maple
Berwyn, IL 60402
Occupation: Director
Employer: Secretary of State
$400.00
11/11/2001
Individual Contribution
27th Ward Reg Democratic Org
Michalowski, Edmund
P.O. Box 64884
Chicago, IL 60664-0105
$500.00
9/21/1999
Individual Contribution
27th Ward Reg Democratic Org
Michalowski, Edmund
822 S. Bishop

Chicago, IL 60637
Occupation: Attorney
Employer: Illinois Secretary of State$916.84
10/16/2007In-Kind Contribution
Committee to Elect Anne M Burke
CateringGene & Georgetti500 N. Franklin St.
Chicago, IL 60610Michalowski, Edmund
822 S. Bishop #3

Chicago, IL 60607$2,200.00
11/24/2009
Loan Received
Friends of Ed Michalowski
   Michalowski, Edmund and Veronica
822 S. Bishop St. Unit 3
Chicago, IL 60607$250.00
11/6/2006Individual Contribution
Brandon Phelps for State Representative
   Michalowski, Edmund P
1548 W Jackson
Chicago, IL 60607$500.00
6/2/1998Individual Contribution
Jesse White For Secretary Of State, Inc
   Michalowski, Edmund
P.O. Box 64884
Chicago, IL 60664$300.00
9/15/1999Individual Contribution
Dan Rutherford Campaign Committee

Filing Date: 10/7/2013    Case Type: PETITION FOR DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE Division: Domestic Relations Division

Plaintiff(s) Attorney(s)
MICHALOSKI EDMUND P PRO SE
Date of Service Defendant(s) Attorney(s)
MICHALOWSKI VERONICA ROSENBERG WYPCH LLC

Illinois Policy Institute Caught Tweeting “Hate” Piece Against William Kelly

Capture of Illinois Policy Institute's Direct Message on Twitter

Capture of Illinois Policy Institute’s Direct Message on Twitter

Chicago, Illinois, May 9, 2013 – So how has the Illinois Policy Institute used its 501c3 tax-exempt status lately? To inform and debate Illinois’ broken pension system? No. To pontificate about educational choice and reform? No. To use its official Twitter account to message personal attack pieces against yours truly to its “followers?” To manufacture the hateful attacks in the first place?

The answer is “yes” and “yes.”

The poorly-written attack piece, “How Do You Solve a Problem Like William Kelly” was posted by John Dyslin, a staffer for Commissioner Dan Patlak at the Cook County Board of Review, and appeared in an unregulated sign-up blog online. Yesterday, the Illinois Policy Institute was caught private messaging the piece on Twitter shortly after the hate piece went “live.” Some of the messages were forwarded to me.

Other than a comparison of me to Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music,” (weird), the piece was all hate-based vitriol, misleading and false statements, and made-up things I never said. Dyslin’s writing would never pass journalistic muster – in a newsroom you can’t make-up quotes to fit your story. Hate pieces are like that.

Illinois Policy Institute has long portrayed itself as an organization above the fray. But the reality is that it has a history of attacking people behind-the-scenes. John Tillman, Dan Proft, and others in the Illinois GOP political establishment have attacked real conservatives for years. Moreover, they have misused some tea party leaders to help them attack good people. They view the tea parties as something they can control for their own political purposes.

But this time, IPI has publicly been caught in the act of sowing personal attacks. Illinois Policy Institute donors, you have been put on notice about how this organization and its leaders really conduct themselves when they believe no one is looking. It’s reputation is now forever tarnished. Whatever credibility it had, is gone.

So how did this latest round start?

For the past week, Illinois Policy Institute has been furious over a blog I wrote in Chicago Now about the financial interests of key staff in the virtual charter school plan – a plan that could extract $16 million in local tax dollars. Yes, that’s $16 million in Illinois tax dollars that IPI’s staff would control.

Illinois Policy Institute has been asking its subscribers to oppose the new bill that would put a one year moratorium on virtual charter schools – and yet it has never disclosed to them its financial interest in the charter plan. That’s why I wrote the blog.

So, steaming over my column, Illinois Policy Institute sent a threatening email to Chicago Now demanding the blog be taken down. The organization also pressured a tea party group into disinviting me from speaking last weekend. After all, that’s the role of a tax-exempt non-profit i.e. to censor conservative columnists and prevent them from speaking at tea party rallies.

Illinois Policy Institute’s John Tillman and Dan Proft are also livid because I was responsible for helping to upset the rotten applecart known as former GOP Chairman Pat Brady, who resigned Monday.  You see Brady, who was appointed by Illinois Policy Institute board member and fundraiser Andy McKenna, is a key Tillman-Proft ally.

It doesn’t bother me that the Illinois Policy Institute is mourning Pat Brady. He deserved to go. I’m glad I made sure he did. Brady’s resignation must have been the final straw for Tillman and Proft.

In all of this, a serious issue is Illinois Policy Institute’s relationship with John Dyslin. Dyslin lists in his bio that he is a “Liberty Leader” for the Illinois Policy Institute. So did Illinois Policy Institute direct him to write the personal attack piece so they could promote it to their lists? That’s a pretty safe bet and it is a misuse of their 501c3 tax-exempt status.

Dyslin has written other personal attack pieces against me whenever I have dared criticize Illinois Policy Institute’s operations – again likely at IPI’s direction.

According to For the Good of Illinois’ Open the Books Portal, Dyslin’s day job is as a $46,000 a year staffer at the Cook County Board of Review. For months, I’ve seen Dyslin’s posts on Facebook and Twitter during the day when he is supposed to be working on behalf of Cook County taxpayers. Commissioner Patlak should definitely conduct an internal investigation on Mr. Dyslin’s internet “activities” and release the results to the public.

Like many, I have my detractors. But I can also tell you that for years, before I ever penned a word of criticism, I reached out to work with every single one of them over and over again. My hand was bit off every time. I can tell you that all of them have taken aim at me first and always from behind – a cowardly form of attack. I attack from the front and out in the open. I criticize what they “do.” They attack me “personally.” They scream that “I burn bridges.” I will tell you that they burned them first. There weren’t any bridges left to burn.

Dyslin has posted on Facebook that John Tillman, Dan Proft, Jack Roeser, and Sheriff Mark Curran have been in contact with him regarding the article.

What these “detractors” don’t like is that when they attack me, I fight back. What these “detractors” don’t like is that I have shined a spotlight on their bad or unethical behavior. Here’s a solution for them: stop doing bad, unethical things.

I have been an ardent conservative and anti-tax activist for more than 20 years. I have confronted corrupt liberal Democrats at every turn. I also haven’t been afraid to call out corrupt members of my own party. In all of that time, I have never hesitated to put myself, my reputation, and my safety on the line. It didn’t scare me to challenge Rep. Bobby Rush for Congress back in 1994, to challenge Rahm Emanuel or his petitions for mayor on the basis of residency in 2011, and I am sure as hell not scared of the ethically-challenged Illinois Policy Institute.

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William J. Kelly is a conservative columnist with national publications including the Washington Times Communities and the American Spectator. He is the founder of an Emmy award-winning TV production house with offices in Chicago. For more information about William Kelly, watch the “Conservative in Chicago.”

Kelly Responds to Illinois Policy Institute on Virtual Charter School Attack

I recently wrote a column calling out Illinois Policy Institute officials for being dishonest about their interests – financial and otherwise – in the Illinois Virtual Charter School plan. More than $16 million in tax dollars are at stake.

Apparently, the piece is being tweeted out by the Illinois Principals Association and school district superintendents. So angry Illinois Policy Institute representatives contacted the website’s editors and demanded that the story be taken down immediately. It is important to see what organizations like the Illinois Policy Institute do behind-the-scenes.  This is a copy of one of the threatening and disparaging emails sent.

The problem with saying something isn’t true is that you have to prove it is false. Illinois Policy Institute can’t magically waive its wand and make facts it doesn’t like go away. As President Ronald Reagan once said, “facts are stupid things.” That’s why the article stands as is – without any correction. It is also why the Illinois Policy Institute must explain itself. And “no, that’s not true” is not good enough when the hard facts suggest otherwise.

So let’s go through Illinois Policy Institute’s grievances one-by-one:

First, they say its officials don’t have a financial interest in this multi-million dollar virtual school plan. But Virtual Learning Solutions, the entity that will govern the Illinois Virtual Charter School, lists Ted Dabrowski, Illinois Policy Institute’s Vice President of Policy as its secretary and Eric Kohn, whose wife is the institute’s Senior Manager of External Relations, as its treasurer. So what is their real interest here?

Illinois Policy Institute says that its officials will not manage the virtual charter school. But Virtual Learning Solutions is named as the organization that will govern the charter school entity for 18 school districts. So what does that mean? Will Illinois Policy Institute officials control jobs? Vendor contracts? The millions in Illinois tax dollars the virtual charter will receive? Who will be salaried? Are we really supposed to believe they get nothing out of this?

Second, they dispute the $8,000 per student figure – that’s in Illinois tax dollars from local school districts. They say “the amount of money that the virtual academic program will receive per student will be determined by the Illinois Charter Commission and that amount has yet to be determined.” That’s just double talk. The $8,000 is the amount per student that Virtual Learning Solutions has requested as part of its proposal. VLS projects a few thousand students by year five if the virtual charter is approved. So $16 million in state tax dollars is right on target.

Most puzzling of all, a representative for Illinois Policy Institute says that Eric Kohn, treasurer of Virtual Learning Solutions, “never had any contracts with Cicero President Larry Dominick” and that he “never served as the personal spokesperson for Jeff Pesek.”

But Eric Kohn was Operations Manager for Dan Proft’s Urquhart Media and benefitted from no-bid contracts from Cicero president Larry Dominick and Jeff Pesek. That’s a fact. He has been the spokesperson for Jeff Pesek and the Morton school district 201 for years – and was quoted in newspaper articles for Pesek as recently as the end of 2012. Kohn still works out Dan Proft’s offices for Urquhart Media in Chicago, where he operates other non-profit organizations, including the Chicago office of America’s Future Foundation and other groups. All of this information is in Kohn’s LinkedIn bio and in internet sources. Kohn submitted a much thinner bio – minus his Cicero connections – to the 18 school boards. (See Page 207).

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There is more in Kohn’s background that should raise red flags. Kohn is the treasurer of one Fiscal Accountability PAC - a PAC started by Illinois Policy Institute president John Tillman and is an a consultant with Merc Strategies, which received thousands of dollars in fees from Proft’s Liberty Principles PAC. Proft has long been partnered with the Illinois Policy Institute and is a paid consultant to Illinois Opportunity Project, which also donates to campaign for governor, his PACs, and candidates.

Did K12, Inc. even bother to vet Kohn and his background? K12, Inc. has enough problems with lawsuits and scandals - did they really need this connection to a corrupt Chicago suburb and its mob-connected figures?

And if there isn’t any problem, why be so dishonest about  all this? Isn’t Illinois Policy Institute supposed to be about honesty, integrity, and transparency? Or maybe its not.

All of this is an issue because Illinois Policy Institute and its sister organization, Illinois Opportunity Project, have been lobbying against HB 494, legislation that creates a one year moratorium on online schools. To use tax-exempt organizations to lobby against legislation that an organization’s staff has a vested interest in – that raises significant conflict-of-interest concerns. Yet, Illinois Policy Institute never mentions its vested interests in Illinois Virtual Charter School in any of the staff written articles, on news websites, or in email blasts to subscribers.

Illinois Policy Institute needs to finally come clean for the benefit of school choice advocates, for parents, and their children. I am sure they would welcome the change.

Dishonesty is never good public policy.

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See Illinois Policy Institute’s Threatening Email Attacking William Kelly

It is important to see what organizations like the Illinois Policy Institute do behind-the-scenes.   This is a copy of a threatening email the organization sent to try to get one of my columns taken down.  It is not the first time the organization has done this. Since Illinois Policy Institute officials did not have the facts to support their position, they sadly rely on personal attacks.  Their email didn’t work and the original column stands as is.

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Per your request, I have attached a Word document with 10 examples of the author violating Terms of Service. Specifically, the author is in violation of the following terms:  Do not provide User Content that: is defamatory, threatening, disparaging, grossly inflammatory, false, misleading, fraudulent, inaccurate, unfair, contains gross exaggeration or unsubstantiated claims, violates the privacy rights of any third party, is unreasonably harmful or offensive to any individual or community.

As I said on the phone, we have had previous interactions with the author and he has refused to stop publishing inaccurate information about our organization. In the past, he has even used our requests to further publicize his work.

We hope you will please remove this post immediately.  The blogs give credibility to a blogger who otherwise would not be viewed as a credible source.  Because of your site’s strong brand and credibility, the information on the blog is considered true. To illustrate this point, the blog is being tweeted and promoted among school superintendents — among many others. We hope that you can please address this issue with urgency, as the legislation it refers to is being voted on in Springfield today. As the Tribune reported this morning, many superintendents are traveling to Springfield to voice their opinion on this bill. This blog  — and all its inaccuracies — are in tow.

 Thank you,
Diana Rickert – 

Diana Rickert
Director of Media Relations
Illinois Policy Institute

Proft, Tillman Attempt To Get Negative Story Killed

Recently, Illinois political grunt Dan Proft and John Tillman of Illinois Policy Institute attempted to get a story killed by contacting the publication.

The story, “Rahm’s top donors buying up Illinois GOP” discusses the so-called “Republican” donors that have been part of Rahm Emanuel’s inner circle. These same donors have given thousands of dollars  (at the same time) to Republicans and Democrats like Emanuel, Barack Obama, and Rod Blagojevich.

Now they are paying off the Illinois GOP and people like Proft and Tillman.

The negative story apparently upset Proft and Tillman.

But facts are facts.

The editor of the publication explained to them firmly: Unless you can prove that the information in the article is not true, the story stands.

And stand it does.

Read the article that Proft and Tillman were so upset about: “Rahm’s top donors buying up Illinois GOP”

ELECTION 2012: LIBERTY PRINCIPLES PAC RUSHES TO AID PRO-ABORTION CANDIDATE

After pledging not to help pro-abortion candidates, Proft’s Liberty Principles PAC gives $40K to help Arie Friedman, who admitted in September he was “pro-choice.”

http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2012/09/republican-friedman-hoists-pro-choice-banner-sets-off-firestorm-in-29th-senate-district.html

(Source: Illinois State Board of Elections)

FLASHBACK: Proft’s Pro-Abortion History

READ MORE: Proft helps pro-abortion candidates get elected:  http://www.examiner.com/article/illinois-gop-candidates-who-are-weak-on-abortion

(Source: Examiner)

CICERO THUGS UP FOR ELECTION NEXT YEAR:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2008-09-25/news/0809242317_1_town-pacts-school-districts

(Google: Larry Dominick, Cicero, Dan Proft, Craig and Jeff Pesek)

PRO-RAHM DONORS SITTING ON “TWO PARTY SYSTEM PAC.” Ken and Anne Griffin – top donors to Rahm Emanuel – who have been seeding the Illinois GOP and “conservative” groups with money are sitting on a PAC called Two Party System PAC. Could they be any more obvious?

(Source: Illinois State Board of Elections)

MORE ELECTION NEWS:

HOLLYWOOD READIES RELEASE OF ‘SEAL TEAM 6 ‘DOC TO HELP OBAMA’S RE-ELECTION

http://nation.foxnews.com/liberal-media-bias/2012/10/25/bias-alert-hollywood-big-wig-editing-releasing-seal-team-six-documentary-help-obamas-re-election-bid

POWELL ENDORSES OBAMA AGAIN, CBS FORGETS TO ASK HIM ABOUT BENGHAZI

http://nation.foxnews.com/colin-powell/2012/10/25/cbs-doesnt-ask-colin-powell-about-benghazi-lets-him-praise-obama-almost-10-minutes

OBAMA TELLS ROLLING STONE: ROMNEY’S A ‘BULLS***TER’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2223130/Keeping-classy-Mr-President-Obama-describes-Romney-bullshitter.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

COMING SOON: THE FULL HALF-HOUR TV EPISODE OF WILLIAM J. KELLY’S INTERVIEW WITH DINESH D’SOUZA FOR “AMERICA’S INSTANT TOWNHALL”

KELLY CHALLENGES PROFT TO EXPLAIN HIS OBAMA-RAHM LINKED FUNDING

(Lisle, Illinois) – William J. Kelly, Chairman of the Chicago Republican Organization, addressed TAPROOT Saturday morning and discussed the growing scandal involving John Tillman, Dan Proft, the Illinois Policy Institute, and their web of money from major contributors to Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama. One of the contributors was a former executive with Soros Fund Management.

Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform has reported that the Rahm-Soros tainted money was used by Tillman and Proft to undermine conservative and tea party candidates in the recent March 20, 2012 primary. In that primary, Proft endorsed Tom Smithburg, Kelly’s opponent for 42nd ward GOP committeeman. Smithburg’s family is also a major donor to Rahm Emanuel.

Kelly has called on Proft to come to the next TAPROOT meeting in May to answer these questions about the tainted money trail.

The chart from Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform indicates a troubling pattern of how the Illinois Policy Institute and multiple political action committees may have been used by Tillman and Proft to stack the deck against conservative candidates.

Links at:
 

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KELLY RESPONDS TO PROFT BACKLASH, CATTONI EMAIL

From Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform

To All My Fellow Tea Party and Conservative Friends,

Many of you probably received an email from Illinois Tea Party organizer Denise Cattoni late yesterday, which also named me.  The email was in response to a letter I posted on my website in praise of a flowchart being circulated by Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform.

See my letter here.

First of all, I just want to say that I don’t blame Denise Cattoni for the email. Not at all.

Dan Proft is the typical bully who doesn’t pick on people his own size. Instead, he is hiding behind a poor soul, Denise Cattoni, expecting her – forcing her – to defend him. Defend him in the same way poor Denise Cattoni was forced to defend Proft’s friend and ally, the disgraced Steve Stevlic and his prostitution problems.

There is a very critical reason why this email was sent out yesterday.

Because the flowchart (see chart) released by the Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform, was very damning and damaging to Proft, John Tillman, Andy McKenna, and Pat Hughes and the unfortunate game they appear to be playing under the guise of “real reform.” Ironically, the chart was based on very simple, searchable information from the State Board of Elections website – information anyone could have uncovered.

I am the subject of criticism because I support the effort of Citizens for Ethics Reform. And now, many more people do as well.

Why?

Because with so many red flags being raised about Proft and his Cicero dealings, his bullying attempts to silence some tea party organizers who are critical of him, and now this new information about how the Illinois Policy Institute is being used or misused – we all need to be asking some serious questions.

Unfortunately, there are some people that do not want us to ask or talk or discuss what is going on here. But if the Tea Party movement – the conservative movement – hopes to have any legitimacy now or in the future – how can we not ask these questions?

Do we just ignore bad/wrong/corrupt behavior because someone happens to hide behind the word “conservative?” Isn’t the tea party movement in Illinois supposed to be about asking tough questions, freedom of speech, and uncovering ethical abuses of power?

To be quite honest, I wish all of this were not the case. I have tried to reach out and work with many of these people and their “organizations” for years. But now I understand why they were so unwilling to work with so many reform-minded people and tried and true conservative leaders inIllinois.

In my opinion, it is because they do not care about real reform. But for those of us that do care about real reform, how can we not stand up and speak out when it is necessary?  We cannot allow anyone – no matter who they are or who they purport to be – to bully us into silence. I hope that all of you who are reading this will continue to ask the tough questions that need to be asked.

I certainly intend to do that and more.

Please feel free to share the above flowchart on the Illinois Policy Institute’s activities with your contacts.

Faithfully,

William J. Kelly

KELLY PRAISES ILLINOIS CITIZENS FOR ETHICS REFORM’S EXPOSE ON TILLMAN, PROFT

From Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform

Dear Illinois Conservative and Tea Party Friends,

It is never easy to stand up to a bully. It is also not easy to stand up to a group of greedy bullies who are exploiting Republicans and conservatives in Illinois for their own personal gain.

Yet that is exactly what the watchdog group, Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform, is doing.

Knowing what it takes to stand up to the bad guys and fight back, I applaud Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform for its bravery and will work with them in any way that I can.

In Illinois and even in the conservative and tea party movements, truth has been in short supply for some time now. Even some so-called leaders in the conservative movement have purposely looked the other way or refused to call out what is happening in plain site.

Back in 2008, I welcomed the Tea Party movement’s emergence onto the national and local political scene.  As a conservative with a 20-year history of activism, I felt that finally, finally, we would have the numbers to pressure the media and Illinois’ political leaders – Democrat and Republican – into telling the truth.  But I feel as if the efforts have, too often, been thwarted.

The Tea Party has been disappointed. They have been let down.

But, most of all, they have been duped.

However, the protective veil against those who have been doing so much harm may be disappearing.

On Monday, Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform released a disturbing flowchart that exposed what the “conservative” Illinois Policy Institute is really doing, how it is doing it, and who is involved.  It is an indictment of how we, as conservatives in Illinois, continue to get hoodwinked by hustlers who know how to talk the conservative talk but aren’t really walking the conservative walk.

We accept people at face value. We don’t always do our research. And, because of that, we really do not know who we have been dealing with or giving our loyalty to.

Illinois Policy Institute’s John Tillman talks and writes about ethics and corruption in government and how we can change the system.  For years, Dan Proft has ranted about Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and how he games the system for personal benefit.  And both have raised millions of dollars from contributors by doing so.

However, the Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform’s flowchart exposes the fact that these hustlers are just gaming the system too. And they have been doing it in plain site.

Simple searches on the Illinois State Board of Elections website reveal the Illinois Policy Institute’s involvement in a network of shady political action committees and an organization called the “Illinois Opportunity Project.” All of the PACs are housed at the tax-exempt Illinois Policy Institute and are used to shuffle the same donors’ money around to the same handful of candidates backed by Dan Proft’s Liberty PAC.  Not to mention, Proft for Governor’s campaign coffers.

It’s quite the dirty little shell game. Tricking and evading the system to extract hundreds of thousands of dollars from the same donors.

How does any of this benefit the conservative movement or the tea party in Illinois?

It doesn’t.

Who does it benefit?

John Tillman, Andy McKenna, Patrick Hughes, and Dan Proft.

Instead of those millions of dollars being squandered for personal political gain by the Illinois Policy Institute , how much better off would we be if had conservative candidates and  individual tea party groups around the state been the recipient of those funds? Continue reading