Winters: 'No quid pro quo'

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-112914781425083.jpg’, ”, ‘State Rep. Dave Winters’);

State Rep. Dave Winters (R-69, Shirland) responded to questions regarding his appearance on Scott Fawell’s clout list after publication of last week’s article, “Locals on Fawell’s ‘master list’.” The list was compiled by Fawell beginning in 1991 to keep track of what he considered to be political favors.

Fawell is the star witness in the corruption trial of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, and was Ryan’s top aide when Ryan was head of the Illinois Secretary of State’s office and while he was governor.

Winters appears three times on the list for being the recipient of campaign funds from Ryan and sponsoring two low-numbered vehicle license plates.

State campaign records show Winters’ campaign received $10,000 from Ryan’s campaign war chest on Oct. 4, 1996.

Winters said the purpose of the contribution was to keep Winters’ campaign intact.

“George never asked for anything in return…There was no quid pro quo,” Winters said.

The term “quid pro quo” is Latin for a deal meaning “this for that,” or something given or received in exchange for something else.

Fawell is currently in federal prison after being convicted in 2003 on racketeering and fraud charges. The list helped Fawell keep track of favors to steer state contracts to supporters and for other politically-related purposes.

Ryan is on trial in federal court in Chicago. He is accused by federal prosecutors of helping award state contracts to cronies, and in return, allegedly receiving cash, gifts and vacations.

Ryan was secretary of state from 1991 to 1999, and governor from 1999 to 2003.

Winters was a Winnebago County Board member from 1986 to 1992, and has been a state representative since 1995.

Among the allegations that surfaced after Ryan’s tenure as secretary of state was that employees in the secretary of state’s office were alleged to have performed campaign work on behalf of Republicans while being paid by the State.

During Winters’ successful bid for re-election last year, Democratic challenger Carroll 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.

Winters is currently a member of the following legislative committees: Committee on the Whole, Child Support Enforcement, Labor, Environment and Energy, Telecommunications, Workers Compensation and Unemployment, Pension Fund Management Procurement, Elections and Campaign Reform.

From the Oct. 12-18, 2005, issue

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