Tag: scandal


Calls for Protest of Sen. Dick Durbin’s Chicago Offices


Chicago, Illinois, May 20, 2013 – Today, Republican activist William J. Kelly is calling for an investigation into Sen. Dick Durbin’s role in the IRS scandal.  He has issued the following statement:

Senate Democrats have called for congressional hearings into the IRS targeting of conservative organizations for special government scrutiny calling it “an outrageous abuse of power.” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the second ranking Democrat in the Senate, was among those calling for congressional action.

But Senate Democrats – including Durbin – must also be investigated for their role in exerting pressure on IRS employees to target select groups for scrutiny. Once a special prosecutor is named, all senatorial email communications and phone records connected with this scandal must be released and made available to the public.

Some of the IRS abuses include special audits of conservative and tea party organizations, holding-up applications for tax exemptions, and demanding detailed personal information about donors, employees, and members of the organizations. The “fishing expedition” raises serious questions about the use of governmental power to punish the President’s political enemies.

Last week, Durbin compared the IRS’ thug tactics to “the worst days of Richard Nixon’s administration.” But Durbin has been publicly involved in pressuring the IRS to investigate conservative groups since the targeting practice began in 2010.

In his October 11, 2010 letter to IRS Commission Shulman, Durbin wrote:

“One organization whose activities appear to be inconsistent with its tax status is Crossroads GPS, organized as a (c)(4) entity in June. The group has spent nearly $20 million on television advertising specific to Senate campaigns this year. If this political activity is indeed the primary activity of the organization, it raises serious questions about the organization’s compliance with the Internal Revenue Code…

I ask that the IRS quickly examine the tax status of Crossroads GPS and other (c)(4) organizations that are directing millions of dollars into political advertising, and respond with your findings as soon as possible.”

Exactly what other (c) (4) organizations did Sen. Durbin mean? Was this an isolated incident or was he more deeply involved in pressuring the IRS to investigate his political or ideological opponents? What kind of pressure did he apply? What did he know? Who did he talk to?

On Tuesday, Tea Party and conservative groups will be protesting outside IRS offices around the country.

Now I am calling on them to protest outside Sen. Durbin’s Chicago offices as well.


William J. Kelly is a longtime Republican activist and former 2010 candidate for Illinois comptroller. He is the president of an Emmy award-winning TV production house with offices based in Chicago. Kelly’s encounter with Sen. Durbin went viral in 2011 and received national attention.



Scotty, we hardly knew ye!

 Democrat Lt. Governor Candidate Scott Lee Cohen Resigns Amid Scandal

Statement by William J. Kelly, Executive Director of Rebuild Illinois

Scott Lee Cohen, the Democrat nominee for lieutenant governor never even got elected to a full term and Second City’s already working on the musical. The Democrats were so eager to get rid of him, they did everything but hold a knife to his throat.

Aside from the reports of Cohen’s abuse of his ex-wife and the accusations that he held a knife to his ex-girlfriend’s throat (prostitute or not), I don’t know why Governor Pat Quinn is complaining. He has proven this year that he doesn’t really want reform. Having Cohen on the Democratic ticket could have had some positive upsides. If Quinn was really desperate for a bridge loan, he could have just had Scotty taken him down to the pawn shop on Clark Street. How much are Abe Lincoln artifacts going for these days? I mean, at Cohen’s pawn shop, you wouldn’t get market value but still. With Illinois on the brink of insolvency, these times call for creativity.

In terms of creativity though, Scott Lee Cohen also falls short. Cohen’s a betting man. He used two million of his pawn shop proceeds to buy the lieutenant governor’s seat and won the primary with no media scrutiny. However, in terms of pioneering pay-to-play politics, Blagojevich beat him to it. It is a good thing Rod Blagojevich didn’t know Scott Lee Cohen in 2008. Blago wouldn’t have sold Obama’s seat, he probably could have pawned it instead.

 Illinois needs campaign finance reform now. We need to enact laws that prevent pay-to-play politics and spending caps across the board. We need full transparency and an end to all legal loop holes that circumvent campaign finance laws. In Illinois, state Republicans have proposed HB5008 to limit campaign contributions from legislative leaders and their caucus committees and political parties. Quinn’s reform bill only made House Speaker Michael Madigan and other elites even more powerful. This law puts no monetary limit on leaders and political parties during the general election. Governor Quinn, what kind of reform is that? Unless Pat Quinn is ready to pass a real reform bill, he may want to keep Scott Lee Cohen’s pawn shop number handy for future reference.