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A Letter to the People, Lake County Indiana, Corruption, Pay-to-Play, Pete Visclosky

Below is a letter written by Christopher Mullins which addresses the corrupt state of Lake County, Indiana.  Please link, copy, paste, send to friends, enemies or whatever.  We have very little time to get honest representatives elected in the May primary.

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Christopher Mullins, and I have been active in conservative and pro-taxpayer causes, off and on, since 2000. Over the past ten years, I grew to admire the resiliency of the American public, their ability to stand up for what is right, to never countenance hatred against family values and our cultural heritage, and to glower over those politicians who hold little or no regard for ethical conduct.

I must then appeal to you, as a citizen who is greatly concerned with the direction our beloved country is going, to your belief in holding politicians liable for their machinations and their specious belief systems. As such, I must request you please take a deeper look at the unprecedented corruption, as well as the unsung political reform movement currently taking place here in Lake County, Indiana.

Much can be said of the staggering levels of corruption and graft, which has turned Lake County into a verifiable ‘Tammany Hall’ style syndicate, consequently enabling 80 years of Democratic rule in Indiana’s First Congressional District. For even the late Attorney General Robert Kennedy had remarked that Lake County was one of the nation’s most corrupt counties. U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Merrillville), 26-year incumbent for Indiana-District 1, has the reprehensible distinction of being named one of the 15 most corrupt Congressmen, by the independent watchdog firm Citizens For Responsibility And Ethics In Washington (CREW). For example, Rep. Visclosky’s ties to the troubled, now-defunct lobbying firm PMA Group run deep, having secured more than $23 million in earmarks for PMA Group clients in 2008 (with $117 million total in earmarks for 67 projects), and another $10 million in 2009. Moreover, Visclosky has given other lobbying firms, such as K&L Gates, a similar “swift path to earmarks”. Given all of this, I weep for the people of Northwest Indiana; for Rep. Visclosky has only directed 3% of his earmarks to local businesses and nonprofit entities, depriving his own constituents of sorely needed financial resources.

Municipal governments in the region have also been subjected to such incredible graft. Robert Pastrick, the former mayor of East Chicago for 33 years, along with six shell corporations and two of his allies, was ordered to repay the city $108 million in their 1999 “sidewalks for votes” scheme. In rendering this verdict, District Judge James Moody declared Pastrick-run East Chicago a “corrupt enterprise”, which was the first time any federal judge has used such terminology to describe a city government. Furthermore, Pastrick’s successor, George Pabey, was indicted last month on embezzling city funds for remodeling one of his residences. Last but not least, 38 of 53 officials in East Chicago had been convicted of vote fraud in the 2003 mayoral Primary. Unfortunately, similar occurrences of gross corruption have also occurred in Hammond, Gary and Merrillville.

But what is not usually known, is the extent to which such large-scale corruption had permeated into the Lake County Republican Party. The Lake County Democratic Central Committee (LCDCC) had conducted a progressively ruinous campaign to ensure political control of the region, by paying off a handful of Republican officials, and/or respective relatives and business associates. The LCDCC seemed to conduct these efforts simply to sabotage honest, genuinely conservative Republican candidates. In other words, this small yet highly influential (i.e., LCDCC-connected) cadre of Republicans would routinely favor “patsy” candidates in a given Primary election, so that the Democrats could cruise to easy victories in the General election. A pointed example of this is former East Chicago Republican chair Bob Cantrell, who was sentenced to 78 months of jail in 2008, for 11 counts of ‘defrauding the public of honest services while working for a public entity’, “insurance fraud using the U.S. Mail”, and filing false tax returns. Cantrell has long been noted as a Democratic plant, claiming ties to the GOP while pulling the rug out from under honest Republican candidates in their Primary elections. What is unfortunate, though, is that strains of this puppetry still rear their ugly head in 2010, with multiple “planted” candidates (i.e., those that have not made any effort of campaigning, who cannot articulate their platform) trying to siphon votes off of candidates of honorable repute.

In general, things are rapidly changing for the better, however, as the extent of the corruption in Lake County has reached critical mass. Over the past twenty years, a highly spirited group of reformers have worked diligently to clean up the corruptors and infiltrators that had turned the Lake County GOP into a token opposition. St. John GOP Chairman Joe Hero and Hammond GOP Chairman Rob Pastore have spent their entire public lives working to make local Primary elections free and fair, without the pernicious tentacles of the corrupt LCDCC getting in the way. Highland GOP Chairman Mario Martini and former Highland Chairman Cy Huerter also strived to support and mentor honest, genuinely conservative candidates, in spite of apparent risks to their reputations. And former U.S. Attorney Joseph VanBokkelen strove to pursue corrupt politicians in every nook and cranny of the region, conducting unprecedented investigations and prosecuting several landmark corruption cases.

Citizens should be able to seek redress from their representatives, without “pay for play”. Yet this is how “politics as usual” has always been in Lake County. I have written several Letters to the Editor and Guest Commentaries, as well as a few dossiers chronicling ethics violations and general corruption, and I try to keep up the faith that things might change here. Though I know that more and more work needs to be done, in order to get the public to realize that graft and avarice from their elected officials is not acceptable, it is becoming more difficult by the day.

Please, I beg of you; there are several pro-reform, pro-taxpayer, genuinely conservative candidates running for local offices in 2010, who desperately need your moral and financial support. In my best estimate, these fine folks have allied themselves with all that is ethical and just, and have never been associated with “pay for play” and other such nefarious schemes. Rob Pastore is an example of such a candidate, in that while he has never run for political office, he has served the people of Hammond and Northwest Indiana without resorting to corrupt practices and ethical lapses. Yet in spite of the lack of mainstream media coverage, Pastore’s (and others like them) consistent message of eliminating the “politics as usual” is starting to gain traction with hard-working people all across Northwest Indiana. For it is this new breed of Republicans, both having an unmitigated commitment to fiscal and social conservatism, and lacking the devilish taint of corruption that had served to poison their efforts here in the past, which will help turn this long-suffering region around.

Thank you for reading this letter, and may God bless you and your families. These candidates, such as Rob Pastore and Cy Huerter, need your support: If you have anything to give, please open your hearts and contribute all that you are able. The time is now; for if we cannot manage to elect such honest, fundamentally good people in the Primary on May 4th, and subsequently in the General election, we may not have another opportunity to shatter the circle of corruption here for another 20-30 years.

Sincerely,

Christopher Mullins

Some Informative Contacts:

Northwest Indiana Patriots (Local Tea Party Group) – http://www.nwipatriots.com

CREW articles on Rep. Visclosky: http://www.citizensforethics.org/node/39810

http://www.citizensforethics.org/node/43122

Rob Pastore, Candidate for District 1-IN, U.S. House: http://www.robpastore4congress.com

Cy Huerter, Candidate for State House District 11: http://www.citizens4cy.com

Related posts:

  1. House Ethics Committee Stonewalled by Visclosky, Pete’s Pay-to-Play Case kicked up to the Dept. of Justice.
  2. Lake County Indiana Tea Party, Mark J. Leyva Homophobic?
  3. Pete Visclosky Costs the People of Indiana $400 Million Dollars by Voting YES to Obamacare.

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