Democrats in ESL Ask "Why now?"
…For decades the U.S. attorneys for Southern Illinois stood
on the sidelines when it came to prosecuting vote fraud in St. Clair County.
Until last year, election fraud was the domain of the state’s attorney and
sheriff. So why is U.S. Attorney Ron Tenpas jumping into these waters now? And why with such determination, as evidenced by last month’s blizzard of federal grand jury subpoenas and FBI raid on East St. Louis City Hall?
Those are the questions some Democrats are posing…
You have got to love that! The democrats are not upset that it is happening only that it is now being investigated…
…”And quite frankly, the very selective way that it’s being researched may
even border on racism and not just politics,” said Alvin Parks, a Democratic precinct committeeman in East St. Louis, a former City Council
Do you believe that they are pulling the race card out? Too much!
True, the probe is about what happened on Election Day, Parks said.
“And it’s also about ‘Let’s see if there’s anything else going on either at
City Hall or one of the other public entities,'” he said.
Parks said his theory is bolstered by recent guilty pleas to federal fraud
and money laundering charges by men with deep ties to Democratic politics:
former precinct committeeman Marvis “Swamp Dog” Bownes, in 2003; and Phil Cohn,
a businessman with ties to Charlie Powell and Kelvin Ellis, two of the precinct
committeemen subpoenaed by the federal grand jury in East St. Louis last month.
Ellis’ office in City Hall was also raided.
“The Cohn situation, the Marvis Bownes situation,” Parks said. “They might be
cooperating to get their times reduced.”
And, there’s more…
In early September 2003, U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald nominated Tenpas to
replace Miriam Miquelon, who had quit as U.S. attorney after only 11 months on
Tenpas, a career prosecutor from Maryland, had been picked by Fitzgerald for
his eagerness to go after corruption and his lack of ties to the area.
Six weeks later, Leander Brooks, 40, a Precinct 26 election judge, was
arraigned before a federal magistrate judge in East St. Louis on four counts of
Brooks later pleaded guilty to the charges. In late September a federal judge
sentenced him to 18 months in prison — the first time vote fraud charges have
ever sent a metro-east resident to prison.
On Nov. 18, nine Democratic precinct committeemen showed up at the U.S.
District Courthouse to answer grand jury questions about the Nov. 2 election.
This was followed five days later by the FBI raid on the East St. Louis City
Hall, where they seized documents and computers from the office of City Manager
Bob Storman and Ellis, director of the Department of Regulatory Affairs.
The U.S. attorney’s office is probing election fraud, mail fraud and
obstruction of justice, according to one of the FBI warrants used for the City
To McGlynn, the Republican lawyer, the probe now under way is long overdue.
That’s because the Justice Department, during the eight years it was under
the control of President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, did not make a priority out
of election fraud in St. Clair County or anywhere else, McGlynn said.
“I would just say that the information of widespread and systematic voter
fraud (in East St. Louis) has been open and obvious for a long time,” McGlynn
Haida denied that politics has ever played a role in his office’s
“Political affiliation is never a factor in a our presentation of a case,”