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Proviso Probe

Monday, March 13, 2006

CRIME, Congressional candidate misuses non-profit funds

Phillip Jackson is running for Congress against Rep. Bobby Rush.

Jackson is the executive director of Black Star Project, a non-profit corporation. On August 29, 2005, Black Star Project gave $600 to Sen. Kimberly Lightford.

Tax exempt non-profit organizations aren't supposed to give money to political campaigns. However, it is legal to pay salaries and have the staff contribute to campaigns. This allows the government to get a bite of the action through the income tax. Skipping this step is sorta like cheating the taxman.

Jackson non only is the executive director of Black Star Project, he's the former CEO of the Chicago Housing Authority and has held other executive positions in government and the non-profit sector. He's a sophisticated guy, so I'm surprised he did something that's pretty dumb.

The Attorney General's office says Lightford's campaign did nothing wrong by accepting the money. The non-profit is the only party running afoul of the law.

That's good news for Lightford, because Black Star Project isn't the only non-profit that gave to her campaign. Lightford also took $300 from the Austin Childcare Provider Network in August, 2005. The Austin Childcare Provider Network gets $100,000 per year from the State Board of Education (out of a total budget of $400,000). As chair of the education committee, Lightford oversees the budget that included this grant.

Does Black Star Project get grants from the State Board of Education?

If there was an explicit quid pro quo, Lightford's conduct would be illegal, if difficult to prove.

6 Comments:

  • My two cents on Lightford is that she's more sloppy than calculatingly venal.

    $300 isn't much of a kickback on a $100,000 grant. But Lightford's been in the game a long time. She was first elected to the Senate in '98 and was a Maywood trustee before.

    And she isn't dotting "i"s and crossing "t"s like she's supposed to.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 1:19 PM, March 13, 2006  

  • I'm surprised at Jackson too. But, I'm still rooting for him over Rush. If you look at Rush's record, in many instances he is useless, he doesn't even have the courage to vote on many of the issues. I'm wondering why he is even holding office. His constituents need to get rid of him. It is time for some new blood.

    By Blogger Cynthia, at 3:58 PM, March 13, 2006  

  • Having heard so much good stuff about Philip Jackson I think Jackson will make a great congressman. Bobby Rush should just go focus on his church and his rebuilding activities in Englewood. That appears to be his baby now.

    By Blogger Levois, at 10:52 PM, March 13, 2006  

  • Karen Yarbrough Continues to Show Lack of Respect for Community

    Representative Karen Yarbrough claims to be an advocate for the 7th District, yet her financial statements show otherwise. Yarbrough filed pre-election reports with the State Board of Elections today showing she accepted campaign contributions from QC Holdings Inc, a leading provider of payday loans in the United States, owning and operating over 400 stores in 23 states. Payday loan companies are thieves in the night that take money away from our residents who are struggling to feed their families. The $3500 that Representative Yarbrough accepted could easily be the amount one of these predators takes away from our residents in a single day. Yarbrough also reported accepting $500 from Consumer Lending Alliance, Inc., a high-interest loan company that targets low-income workers. Other similar contributions include $500 from Advance America and $500 from CashAmerica.

    In a recent survey from the Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems, Yarbrough voiced opposition to additional casinos, yet she turned around and accepted contributions from Hawthorne Race Course, known for its gambling. Representative Yarbrough has been anti-gambling to the point that she would not support the Veterans when they asked for a special lottery to support their causes, but she did not blink an eye to accepting $1000 from Hawthorne. Karen Yarbrough is just another example of do as I say, not as I do.

    In the 4th District, Senator Kimberly Lightford has been fighting for legislation that will regulate the payday loan industry that is killing communities like those in the 7th District. We need to vote for a winning team, a team that will fight for the future of our communities. On March 21 vote for the winning team of Lightford and Welch.

    By Anonymous Emily Robinson, at 2:22 PM, March 15, 2006  

  • Emily, didn't you get the memo?

    Chris Welch is running a positive campaign.

    (For those not in the know, Emily Robinson is the press secretary for the Welch campaign.)

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 9:16 PM, March 15, 2006  

  • Lightford's report shows..

    Black Star Project- $1000
    Penn National Gaming- $1000
    Progressive Church- $1000
    Rev. Meeks- $10,000

    So &*%#$)* what?
    and so it goes...

    By Anonymous AB of Bellwood, at 10:00 PM, March 15, 2006  

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