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):
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.
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):
P.O. North Box 64884
Chicago, IL 60664
Chicago, IL 60637
Employer: Illinois Secretary of State$916.84
Committee to Elect Anne M BurkeCateringGene & Georgetti500 N. Franklin St.
Chicago, IL 60610Michalowski, Edmund
822 S. Bishop #3
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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:
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
(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)
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