Illinois state Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur)
Illinois state Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) sees a certain profile emerging among the lawmakers who have recently had their offices raided by federal authorities as part of an ongoing crackdown on local corruption.
“It seems that the people being caught up in this are more about promoting themselves than looking out for the taxpayers of this state,” Caulkins told the Chambana Sun. “This is what happens when one party has complete power of government.”
Illinois state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) is the latest political figure with ties to longtime House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) to become ensnared in the brewing scandal.
Illinois state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) | http://www.senatormartinsandoval.com/
Federal agents recently executed search warrants on several properties tied to Sandoval, who has been in office for more than 15 years and is a member of the Senate Democratic Caucus leadership as well as chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. While it is not publicly known what agents were seeking in their search, Sandoval is known to have ties to Madigan, who has also seen several other close associates come under criminal scrutiny in recent months.
“It’s another sad day for Illinois politics and in Illinois government when we keep seeing elected officials and leaders under suspicion for abusing office,” Caulkins said. “It discredits all of us when we have so many elected officials who abuse their office.”
In the case of Sandoval, Caulkins hinted that you could almost see it coming.
“It doesn’t surprise me that he thought he was above the law,” Caulkins said. “He’s the same guy that had the reenactment of the Trump assassination at one of his fundraisers. It shows you how brazen Chicago politicians can be when they feel they have complete power and don’t fear any internal investigation. Thankfully, the federal government is involved in trying to help us root out corruption, which is a huge burden on taxpayers.”
Caulkins said the seed for much of the corruption can be traced back to the way legislative maps are drawn up so unfairly.
“This gerrymandered map in Illinois is the foundation for corruption,” he said. “The people deserve to have a fair representation, honest representation. If you really care about what you’re doing and you’re not in it for yourself, then it’s easy to avoid being placed in a position where your vote can be bought.”