Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Saturday, July 08, 2006

ILLINOIS POLITICS: TOP AIDE TURNS ON DANIELS AT SENTENCING

SPRINGFIELD---For two years in the mid-1990s, Illinois House Republican leader Lee Daniels and top aide Michael Tristano helped make DuPage County the epicenter of state political power.

Now, Tristano appears to have turned on his former boss, implicating the Elmhurst Republican in a scam that saw state workers used on GOP campaigns.

In asking federal authorities to be lenient with his pending prison sentence, Tristano admits ordering state employees to assist with political campaigns but says he was instructed to do so. His bosses, he emphasizes in court papers filed this week, were Daniels and the Republican leadership.

An employee in Daniels' Elmhurst office referred calls to attorney Tom Breen, who did not return a message left Friday. Jeffrey Steinback, Tristano's attorney, also did not return a message Friday.

Tristano is scheduled for sentencing next week in federal court after pleading guilty in connection with the misuse of state personnel costing taxpayers upward of $200,000 between 1998 and 2001 when Daniels and Republicans were bitterly fighting Democrats to reclaim the political majority in the Illinois House.

Tristano's implication of Daniels and Republican leadership is contained in court documents filed to support his request that he receive the minimum sentence of a year and one day in federal prison.

Current House Republican leader Tom Cross of Oswego was a member of the House GOP leadership team under Daniels but Friday said he was not aware of the conduct Tristano's alleges.

"I have no idea. I mean, I looked at the document and I think he's primarily talking about Representative Daniels. But other than that, we could all speculate forever," Cross said.

Former state Rep. Kay Wojcik, a Schaumburg Republican and former member of Daniels' leadership team, also said she was unaware of such activities.

Messages left with other House Republican leaders from the Daniels era were not returned.

Other key Republicans also said they didn't know of the illegal activities described in Tristano's case.

"I had no idea. He ran his thing. I ran my thing. It was kind of a hot and cold relationship," said James "Pate" Phillips, a Wood Dale Republican and former Illinois Senate president.

Allegations of misuse of state employees and the subsequent federal investigation have long hounded Daniels, forcing him to resign the chairmanship of the state GOP and then contributing to his ouster from the House Republican leadership post in 2002. He announced last year that he would not seek re-election, bringing to an end a legislative career that began in 1975.

Current DuPage political leaders sought to distance themselves from Daniels and Tristano, the husband of Cook County Judge Sandra Tristano.

State Sen. Kirk Dillard, a Hinsdale Republican and chairman of the county GOP, pointed out that Tristano is from Cook County and the alleged misconduct occured in Springfield, not Wheaton.

IT APPEARS THAT THE REPUBLICAN SCANDALS ARE ABOUT TO START SURFACING AGAIN..............STAY TUNED!!!!!

AND BUSH WANTS YOU TO VOTE FOR TOPINKA, ANOTHER REPUBLICAN!
I DON'T THINK SO.


Source of Information: Daily Herald State Government Editor
Jo Patterson
July 8, 2006

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