While the Blago trial slimes Chicago, more rotten business floats to the top. This one's called Save A Life Foundation. Sounds admirable, sounds clean. Well, it went belly up a while ago, but the stench lingers.
How interesting that it involves some of the same names sniffing around the Obama Senate seat.
Doug Ross drew attention to this when the Blago Bleepin Golden scandal first blew up last year, noting at the time Rep. Jan Schakowsky's spousal abuse of another non-profit that landed him in jail. About a month ago I saw this new wrinkle.
The questions Ross posed then still remain. Big Government asks again and adds some more:
I wondered too. So I emailed Rep. Schakowsky's office. I've lived in her district since the last census shifted me from the 10th to the 9th. The line runs right down the middle of my street. I emailed on June 25th and posted the letter on my blog the same day. No response other than this:
1. What was the dollar amount of Schakowsky’s intended 2009 earmark for SALF?
2. Why was Rep. Schakowsky funding a non-profit years after it was the subject of four ABC7 News Chicago exposes?
3. What’s the relationship between Rep. Schakowsky and the charity’s founder/president Carol J. Spizzirri, whose organization obtained “at least $8.6 million in federal and state grants”? (Chicago Tribune)
4. Does Rep. Schakowsky think SALF should be investigated in order to determine if those millions were properly spent?
Since Rep. Schakowsky’s 2009 SALF earmark didn’t get funded, do these questions matter? Why not let this sleeping dog lie and…move along, nothing to see here? On the other hand, one might ask if this illustrates the degree of due diligence Rep. Schakowsky applies to all her funding requests.
But this article isn’t about those questions, it’s about this question: Since the money didn’t go through, why should Schakowsky refuse to disclose the facts or answer whether or not she thinks the organization should be investigated? Since the ABC7 series, others have raised more questions about SALF and what happened to all the money they received? (And so will we, in a later article.)
From: U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky firstname.lastname@example.org.Well, we just had another census, so you would think Rep. Schakowsky's office would figure out who's in the district. I did include my street address on her email form. But I thought I'd contact them again, the old-fashioned way, so I sent the same letter to the local Evanston office last Thursday, noting I'd emailed with no response. Yesterday morning I called.
Date: Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 3:11 PM
Subject: RE: Your recent message
Thank you for taking the time to get in touch and share your views with me. If you are a resident of the 9th Congressional District and have included your address, I will get back to you shortly. You don't need to do anything else.
If you live in the 9th Congressional District and have not included your address, please do so and I will respond to your concerns. Unfortunately, due to the large amount of correspondence, I can only respond to constituents.
I first talked to someone named Jenny who answered the phone, introduced myself as a constituent and said I had emailed her office and had only gotten an email form response saying if I were a constituent they would get back to me soon. I told her I had heard nothing further.
I asked how the office responded, would it be via email or hard copy letter?
Jennie didn't know
So I asked if they kept a log of incoming letters? I was worried at the non-response, so sent a hard copy to the Evanston office address.
She checked and said they got it today.
She said they will give me a response in the mail.
I asked what was the normal turnaround?
She put another guy on the phone.
Dave. 2 to 3 weeks according to Dave.
He asked what the letter was about.
I said SALF as I had seen something about it in the news.
He said I would definitely receive a response.
Jan Schakowsky's one of the biggest spenders in Congress. Don't her constituents and the country deserve to know whether she's using a non-profit as her personal piggy bank with our money?
It seems to be a pattern.
And I would add, if you and the media care about saving a life, Jan Schakowsky, a young woman's life is on hold--Annabel Melongo blew the whistle--now she sits in the Cook County Jail.
P.S. Who else pursued the same course, when others backed away: Why is this not a surprise. Yes we can.