January 6, 2014. Matteson, IL. It’s safe to say that nobody has worked harder over the past three years to win the trust and confidence of the voters of Illinois’ 2nd US Congressional District than Marcus Lewis. That includes convicted former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and the current scandal-plagued Congresswoman Robin Kelly. Now, Lewis is making his third bid in as many years for the same controversial US House seat.
If the voters of IL CD 2 would stop electing criminally accused Representatives, maybe Marcus Lewis could stop running for Congress. Image courtesy of Marcus Lewis for Congress 2014.
The March 2014 Democratic Primary for the US House of Representatives is actually a rematch of the 2013 Special General Election to replace convicted former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. Ironically, the race pits an incumbent who’s not really a Chicagoan against a challenger who isn’t really a card-carrying Democrat.
Technically, Rep. Kelly is from Matteson, Illinois. She just promotes the notion that she’s a New Yorker throughout her real life, like on her car license plates and the list of her campaign contributors. For Lewis’ part, he’s technically a Democrat since he’s running in the party’s primary for the Democratic nomination. But he’s the polar opposite of the typical Chicago Machine Democrat. He’s more of an independent, reform Democrat.
Kelly vs. Lewis – Round 2
The contrasts between incumbent Congresswoman Robin Kelly and three-time challenger Marcus Lewis couldn’t be more different. Kelly is a career politician backed and funded by wealthy and powerful New York Super PAC’s. Lewis is a citizen-candidate and decades-long postal worker whose literally been sued by Eric Holder and the US Justice Dept to stop him from running for Congress simply because he’s a mailman.
In this author’s eyes, the fact that Marcus Lewis stood up to the Chicago Machine, Wall St intimidation and even threats of arrest and prosecution for nothing more than running for office shows that if the voters of the 2nd US District in Illinois are looking for an unflinching and righteous Representative that will fight for them against even the most powerful and sinister Washington forces, Lewis may be their candidate.
In Lewis’ first attempt to unseat Jesse Jackson Jr. in 2012, the challenger was first forced to collect 20-times the number of valid petition signatures simply because he was an ‘independent’ and Jackson and Kelly were Democrats. Then, he was repeatedly left out of local Chicago TV and radio shows when they presented candidates to their listeners. But with a dedicated and passionate voter base of regular citizens, Marcus Lewis went on to shock the field by garnering over 40,000 votes. That turned out to be more than the vote totals of Robin Kelly, who herself received just over 30,000 votes, and the rest of the challengers combined.
Last year, in the Special Election to replace Jackson, Robin Kelly was again aided by the New York and Washington establishment in the form of non-stop free media coverage and over $2 million in contributions from a New York Super PAC led by billionaire Michael Bloomberg. And with the exception of the few large-format publicity events like the WVON radio show, Kelly didn’t even bother showing up for the community-based candidate forums or neighborhood candidate events at the local schools.
Going after Robin Kelly
This time around, Marcus Lewis is going after the tarnished first-term incumbent right from the start. After spending two elections telling and showing voters his qualities as an intelligent, hard working, husband, father and religious man, it’s time to show the voters who Robin Kelly really is. Unmasking the rookie Congresswoman shouldn’t be too difficult considering she reportedly drives a car with Illinois license plates that brag she’s proudly from New York.
Lewis is quick to show the various pictures sent to him by voters of Robin Kelly’s personal vehicle with the tribute to New York. The somewhat offended local residents say they believe a community’s Representative in Congress should be proud to be from the community, not New York. Speaking of pictures, Lewis also doesn’t hesitate to show the picture from Kelly’s PR stunt in which she tried to show her District that it’s easy to live on $4.30 a day like many of her own food stamp-receiving constituents must do.
The only problem, the Congresswoman’s designer handbag featured prominently in the shot is reportedly worth enough to feed a small family for months. But Rep. Kelly’s faults aren’t only on the level of arrogance and insult. Those same personality traits may have gotten the Congresswoman in criminal trouble when she was Chief of Staff to the criminally-tainted former Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.
Treasury Inspector accuses Robin Kelly of possible criminal activity
With Rep. Kelly’s backing by the Bloomberg empire and the New York media outlets that carefully control everything Chicagoans read, hear and watch on their TV’s, it’s no surprise that most voters aren’t even aware of Congresswoman Kelly’s ongoing criminal problems. In 2010, Kelly worked as Chief of Staff for the mob-connected, failed-bank-owning Alexi Giannoulias. Both lost elections for higher office that year. But after an internal investigation, the Illinois Treasury’s Inspector accused Kelly of committing dozens of criminal acts and abusing her position.
As detailed by a Chicago Tribune investigation in February 2013, Kelly is accused of coming and going as she pleased from her job at Treasury while simultaneously running for the office of Illinois Treasurer. The alleged crimes were perpetrated when Kelly reportedly filled out time sheets, not to match her actual time worked, but to achieve the maximum payments from taxpayers. The Inspector showed a repeated pattern of Kelly revising her time sheets over 100 times in 16 months to reflect 7 hours per day or 35 hours per week, all while her emails show she didn’t work those hours and only submitted them to get paid.
In addition to that, Treasury rules required Robin Kelly to get the approval for the timesheets from a supervisor prior to taking time off. But more times than not, Kelly only had one of her underlings approve her state payments, well after the personal time off was already used. The internal audit of Kelly’s records while working as Treasury Chief of Staff shows that during the 16 months in 2009 and 2010 when she campaigned for Treasurer, Kelly submitted 107 requests for time off. A full 82% weren’t approved and many were filed well after the fact.
The Treasury Dept’s auditor, a non-partisan accountant who’s served under both Democrats and Republicans, had scathing criticism for Robin Kelly and her abuse of the Treasurer’s office while employed there. The auditor explained Kelly, "could come and go as she pleased without consequence. It also appears that (her time-off) calendars were made to match the times that they needed to, in order to end up with a 35-hour work week and/or 7-hour day, because of the number of times they were approved, reversed, reapproved, reversed again, approved a third time, etc.”
For the future, for the community
When asked to comment on his opponent’s ethics investigations and criminal probes, Marcus Lewis declined saying, “I don't want to get caught up in the silliness of nothingness. I have a solid plan of action to have federal involvement to invest and lay the ground work for industry to provide good paying jobs in this community.”
While Rep. Kelly has the luxury of not needing a plan to rejuvenate and revitalize the District and only needs to do whatever her multi-million-dollar backers suggest, challenger Marcus Lewis, in his third bid for this US Congressional seat, has a well-thought, detailed plan to bring commerce, jobs and industry to the area.
First and foremost, Lewis explains, “I am against the TPP Treaty.” For those not aware, the TPP trade deal is still a secret because it’s been drafted behind closed doors. Portions that have been leaked by WikiLeaks show it to be a multi-national government of its own that takes precedent over national governments and Constitutions like that of the United States. Most critics also fear it will only send more American jobs overseas like so many trade deals before it.
On the issues
Marcus Lewis proudly includes the fight of the 99% in his campaign for Congress. In one recent announcement he explained, “The top one percent in this country have reaped untold fortunes through Congress because of laws rewritten to their advantage.” Promising to sponsor Bills in the US House to undo the recent changes that have made the rich richer and everyone else poorer, Lewis warns the Washington and Wall Street elite, “You may call me names but the constituents of the 2nd Congressional District will know they have a champion and I will fight for what is right.”
Showing why he’s so popular with independent voters in the District, Marcus Lewis doesn’t hesitate to talk honestly with voters and tell them his positions on even the most hotly-debated issues. While the incumbent Robin Kelly is silent on the notorious TPP trade deal, Lewis fiercely opposes it and the multi-national corporations pushing it behind closed doors.
Lewis also insists he’s against discrimination, but not like most Democrats who footnote that with exceptions for friends, family members and campaign donors. Lewis insists, “Discrimination in areas of education, employment and contracts based on race, color, creed, national origin, gender, religion or disability will NOT be tolerated in the least. I and my office will fight with vigor against this type of evil that has traditionally been used to halt the progress of Americans through no fault of their own and left them with shattered dreams unfulfilled that would have been assets to our district and to the population at large.”
Another position of Lewis’ that appeals to typical voters but not the political powers entrenched on each side of the debate is gun control and the 2nd Amendment. The candidate explains that he supports the right to keep and bear arms, if for no other reason than to be able to defend one’s self and family inside their own home. But he also supports common sense limits like the over-availability of cheap ammunition.
Summing up his work ethic, dedication to the community and his plan for the District, Marcus Lewis says, “We must try something and if that does not work we must try something else, but we are going to keep trying until we succeed.” That probably shouldn’t be a surprise coming from an under-funded citizen-candidate who’s running for the third time against a scandal-plagued US Representative. Maybe the third time will be the charm for the hardest-working candidate in the race.
For more information, visit MarcusLewisForCongress2014.com.
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