WE ARE ILLINOIS
Did Halvorson Meet with Rezko about Airport?
Ozinga Press Release
MOKENA, IL – Rick Bryant, a top aide to Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Chicago) and the Executive Director of the Abraham Lincoln National Airport Commission, revealed in a Saturday column that convicted "fixer" Tony Rezko pushed a Third Airport plan for the south suburbs that closely resembled the plan Debbie Halvorson sponsored this year.
Bryant claims that on June 25, 2006, Rezko met with Jackson to push the creation of an airport authority that would have given eminent domain, condemnation, taxing, and contract-awarding powers to unelected, appointed insiders – a structure that would have been all too susceptible to Rezko-style pay-to-play crimes.
Rep. Jackson, Bryant says, rejected Rezko's plan. But Bryant says that the Rezko plan's hallmark – giving tremendous clout to appointed, unelected board members – made its way into Halvorson's airport bill:
"Pay-to-play was the pathway laid out in Senate Bill 2063, sponsored by state Sen. Debbie Halvorson. That bill would have codified what Rezko essentially proposed to Jackson, ALNAC and its developers (SNC-Lavalin and LCOR), which was to create an airport board comprised of appointed – not elected – commissioners.
"These non-elected insiders would have enormous powers to control the project – including eminent domain, condemnation, taxation, and contracts galore – yet they'd stand accountable to no one.
"Rezko, of course, is the governor's former cloutmeister who was convicted Wednesday on 16 of 24 counts in federal court for selling seats on state boards to the highest bidder."
"…Rezko's proposal wasn't dead. Senate Bill 2063 attempted to revive the Rezko model by giving non-elected appointees unprecedented political power through pay-to-play donors."
In the wake of Bryant's revelations, Debbie Halvorson owes her constituents honest answers to the following questions:
Ø Did Halvorson ever meet with Rezko or Rezko's associates about the Third Airport?
Ø If so, did Halvorson sponsor Senate Bill 2063 at Tony Rezko's request? Was anything offered by Rezko in exchange?
Ø If not, still: why did Halvorson sponsor a bill that would have created ample opportunity for the same kind of cash-for-appointments schemes for which Tony Rezko was just convicted?
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