I had another post I was hoping to work on today, but when I logged in I saw a zillion hits on an old post about the corruption investigation into former Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock. The post always gets a lot of hits when a new story about his criminal trial makes it into the news, so I went looking and wow: Prosecutors in Chicago to drop charges against former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock if he pays back IRS, campaign. I wasn’t sure I believed the headline, because the sheer volume and size of the many financial crimes committed by Schock were first, much larger than the dollar amount being mentioned in the stories, and amounted to a whole lot more than just tax evasion. So why the sudden change of heart from the prosecutors?
I’m hardly the only one who is asking that question: Editorial: The downfall of Aaron Schock: Greed and ego.
The downgrading of the criminal case is a head-scratcher. Repaying the IRS and his campaign fund seem to be admissions Schock misspent money and violated tax laws. Federal law forbids taxpayer money and campaign money from being spent for personal use. That’s also what tripped up former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Remember the elk heads and the Michael Jackson memorabilia bought with campaign money? For that, Jackson and his wife, former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, each spent time in federal prison.
So another Illinois Congressman who committed similar infractions had to pay back every dime (not just a fraction), and still had to spend time in prison? The Congressman who had to spend time in prison was African-American and was a Democrat, and by some strange coincidence, the Congressman who isn’t have to spend prison time for the same kind of crime (and gets to pay back only a fraction of the stolen funds?)—is a white Republican.
But that couldn’t possibly have anything to do with it. Can it?
Is it cynical of me to expect that now that this deal has been struck, that Schock will be getting some appointment from the White House. I mean, the scale of his corruption is extremely small potatoes compared to the alleged president, but he would fit right in. And his extreme anti-gay rhetoric (despite almost certainly being a self-loathing closet case) would certainly appeal to the alleged vice president.
I mean, the Get Out of Jail (almost) Free had to come from somewhere, right?