Candidate attacks with ‘old news’

Democrat Carroll Brumfield, candidate for state representative in the 68th District, an area currently represented by Republican Dave Winters (R-68), blew the dust off “old news” Sept. 17 to launch an attack on Winters’ link to former Gov. George Ryan, who was indicted last December.

Ryan was charged on federal racketeering, conspiracy and fraud charges in connection with issues such as the licenses-for-bribes scandal, allegedly lying to federal investigators and awarding contracts and leases to cronies and family members.

In addition to being governor, Ryan was also secretary of state when he allegedly oversaw systemic corruption that included having secretary of state staffers perform campaign work and fund-raising for candidates on taxpayer time.

Brumfield called Winters’ not being aware that state personnel were paid by taxpayers while doing work for Winters’ campaign one of several “egregious breaches of the public’s trust.” Brumfield added that if Winters didn’t know about the connections, he should have because “a seasoned politician understands what’s happening in his own campaign.”

Specifically, Brumfield cited court records that he said indicate “Jeffrey Olson of Galva, while working as a secretary of state employee, testified under oath in federal court that he did work for Rep. Dave Winters on state time. …records show staffers collected $9,392 in reimbursements by filing vouchers stating they made 145 trips to Rockford in a four-month span.”

Winters called Brumfield’s information “old news,” and that the campaign work was done on weekends. Winters explained that there was “no way” he was to know that the campaign work that was performed on weekends was done at taxpayer expense, because the state employees received time off during the week or “comp time” in exchange for their weekend work on his campaign.

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