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Proviso Probe

Monday, September 24, 2007

Lipinski chief of staff tells citizen journalist to "talk to the hand"

On Friday, Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-Western Springs) hosted his annual senior fair at a recreation center in Berwyn. The fair brought together a number of government agencies and some businesses who provide services for seniors. Lipinski took three or so questions from the audience, but largely constituents got access to Lipinski by approaching him and talking to him.

This woman* asked Lipinski a question about his vote for the Bush-supported FISA bill in July. Wikipedia has background on the July vote.

Rita Maniotis is an activist with Near West Citizens for Peace and Justice and a Green Party candidate for state representative. Maniotis was video recording Lipinski at the senior fair.

Jerry Hurckes, Lipinski's chief of staff, was trying to keep Maniotis from getting good footage of Lipinski.

In the video clip you can see Hurckes using his hand to block Maniotis' view of Lipinski. When I saw Hurckes doing this, I turned my camera on and began filming. The clearest view of Hurckes harassing Maniotis is at about 15-17 seconds into the view I posted. Assuming it took me a few seconds to get my camera set up, Hurckes was behaving like a poorly socialized third grader for 20-30 seconds before Lipinski told him to behave.

I owe a huge thanks to Steve Backman of Citizens United in Forest Park for help making this video tape. He loaned me the camera and transfered it to a digital format that could be posted on You Tube.

  • What is Hurckes thinking when he is harassing Maniotis?
  • What should people infer about Lipinski based on Hurckes' behavior?
  • Should Lipinski fire Hurckes over this incident?


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Also, the candidates running against Lipinski in the Democratic primary are: Jerry Bennett, Jim Capperelli and Mark Pera. Jerry Pohlen of Berwyn is circulating nominating petitions to run for the seat as a Green Party candidate.

*I assumed she was with Near West Citizens for Peace and Justice, but Rita Maniotis didn't know her name. Maniotis is the secretary for Near West Citizens for Peace and Justice. [UPDATE: EK wrote down the woman's name as "Loretta Luizzi". I will check to verify this.]

[UPDATE: In a May 7, 2007 article in Daily Southtown, two Hurckes political rivals expressed suspicion that Hurckes used a village inspector to retaliate against and individual who challenged Hurckes in the village elections. On election night Hurckes made a quote that foreshadowed Hurckes getting even.
"If you battle the king, you better kill him, or he's going to come back and haunt you," Hurckes said on Election Day as he ribbed the rival Unity Party and alluded to a challenge for the mayoral seat in 2009.

[Suspicion about Hurckes using the village to retaliate against his political opponent was probably re-enforced by a March 4, 2007 Kristen McQueary column (Daily Southtown) that tells the story of Hurckes calling the police to see how they handled a flimsy complaint against his opponent about improperly shoveling snow.]

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2 Comments:

  • The way that these staffers act, you'd think she was attempting to talk to the king of the district, not her representative!!

    I notice that Lipinski let his chief of staff swat at Rita quite a bit before he stopped.

    I would love to see the video she ws taking.

    By Blogger Bridget, at 3:31 PM, September 23, 2007  

  • The election “could go either way,” Vice President Cheney told Sammon, senior White House correspondent for The Washington Examiner, which will begin running excerpts from the book Monday. “Right now, we're sort of in the area where we're pretty evenly balanced on both sides.”

    As for Obama, a senior White House official said the freshman senator from Illinois was “capable” of the intellectual rigor needed to win the presidency but instead relies too heavily on his easy charm.

    “It's sort of like, 'that's all I need to get by,' which bespeaks sort of a condescending attitude towards the voters,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And a laziness, an intellectual laziness.”

    By Anonymous Obama's lazy, at 5:26 PM, September 23, 2007  

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