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The [Wednesday] Papers

"State Rep. Monique Davis of Chicago has resigned from office, ending a nearly 30-year career in which she developed a reputation as an outspoken lawmaker unafraid of controversy," the Tribune reports.

"Davis submitted a letter of resignation in late December, but it was not received by the Illinois House clerk until Tuesday."

So . . . snail mail?

[Davis] did not shy away from controversy, taking heat for remarks in which she said some community members thought police were responsible for killing children in Chicago and for railing against an atheist during a committee hearing.

Davis also was embroiled in a legal fight with Chicago Public Schools, which said she owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid rent for her legislative offices. She also was involved in another controversy when a statue depicting a life-size slave went missing from CSU, only to turn up in her legislative office. Davis said her boyfriend had taken the sculpture with a school administrator's permission after learning it was being housed in a warehouse. She later returned the statue.

In her retirement letter, she also praised House Speaker Michael Madigan for his "ethical leadership." For real.

*

"Davis wasn't contested in her bid for re-election in November, leaving a spot open in the new Illinois General Assembly that's set to be sworn in next week.

"Her replacement will be picked by local Democratic leaders. Her district included parts of Morgan Park, Beverly, Chatham and Roseland, as well as suburban Blue Island, Orland Park and Alsip."

See, if she had retired before the election, voters would have had the chance to choose her successor. I'm sure Madigan's ethical leadership played a role in making sure that didn't happen.

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Comment: A faithful reader writes . . .

"Just wanted to point out that Davis would have had to resign quite a while ago to give voters an option. Like, October of 2015, to give anyone a shot at submitting petitions to run in the March 2016 primary, and August of 2015 to give most people time to figure out how to do that. And if she had resigned then, they'd have appointed someone new, who could then have run as an incumbent. So it's not all her doing; the calendar pretty much requires that anybody thinking of running should plan to face an incumbent."

My reply:

"Sure - the length of a campaign! But couldn't she have just announced back then that she wouldn't run for another term?"

The reader's reply:

"I can't know what's in her head. She may not have known then what she knows now. She could announce now (or six months from now) that she won't run again in 2018, but then she'd have to serve two more years, and apparently she's not up to it."

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Yeah, I don't buy it. The burden of proof is on her - and her convenient successor; no pol in Illinois has earned the benefit of the doubt in these situations.

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See also: Get Lost, Voters: Once Again An Illinois Lawmaker Steps Down, And Party Insiders Pick The Successor.

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Assignment Desk: What did Justin Slaughter know, and when did he know it?

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Previously in Monique Davis:

* October 12, 2007:

Illinois schools now require students to observe a moment of silence every day.

Brought to you by the Democrats . . .

"Our children deserve . . . a moment of silence," said Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago), another one of Springfield's guiding lights. Perhaps students will use that moment, she says, to "listen to the rustling of leaves, to listen to the chirping of a bird."

* January 22, 2010:

Today's Worst Person In Chicago . . . . . . is state Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago).

"Sneed has learned Davis, who already is in hot water for a $500,000 bill allegedly owed to the Chicago Board of Education, is now refusing to return a $25,000 sculpture of an African slave, which is owned by Chicago State University!"

The question is: Why hasn't she been arrested? And how wimpy are the cops who tried to take back the statue and were turned away by Davis?

* January 25, 2010:

Speaking of children, state Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) asked in a weekend account in the Sun-Times "How in the hell does a 400-pound statue leave a state facility and they don't know where it is?"

You tell us, Monique!

* February 26, 2012:

"The state's controversial 'legislative scholarship' program carries a simple rule for Illinois lawmakers: They may award tuition waivers for state-sponsored schools only to students who reside in the lawmaker's respective districts," the Better Government Association reports in the pages of the Sun-Times.

"But since 1999, state Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) has awarded taxpayer-funded scholarships to at least 10 students who records show lived outside of her Far South Side district at the time they received free tuition, the Better Government Association has found.

"Davis, who has served in the Legislature for 25 years, didn't return calls on this subject or a related BGA finding that her political supporters were among those to benefit from free tuition.

Maybe she couldn't make it to the phone because she was outside listening to the rustling of leaves and the chirping of a bird.

*

"Davis awarded freebie scholarships to two students who lived in the 7100 block of South Dobson - almost three miles outside of her district, records show.

"The students - Cornel McKay Jr. and James McKay - collectively received three years of free tuition at Illinois State University, according to records obtained from the State Board of Education. The total cost to taxpayers: nearly $40,000, records show.

"Neither McKay could be reached for comment, but a man who answered the phone at the Dobson Avenue home and identified himself as Cornel McKay Sr. said: 'You're talking about very personal matters and a politician that I know personally, and I'm not sure if I care to answer any questions.'"

We paid for his kids' tuition, but it's personal and none of our business.

* April 27, 2012:

"We've tried to ask Democratic state Rep. Monique Davis questions about her ties to the Brainerd Community Development Corp., a nonprofit providing adult literacy, GED and computer classes at her district office on Chicago's South Side," the BGA writes in the Sun-Times today.

"But Davis won't talk to us about Brainerd employees who've collected signatures for her nominating petitions, notarized her petitions, examined the petitions of political opponents, donated to her campaign and handled the selection of legislative scholarship recipients.

"She won't talk to us about the $235,000 in grants she directed to the organization from 2000 to 2005. She also won't tell us if she had a hand in the group receiving another $900,000 in state grants since 2006.

"And Davis won't tell us why she's let the group occupy her district office rent-free even though Chicago Public Schools - which owns the building - sued her for $600,000 in unpaid rent, taxes and fees.

"Curiously, Brainerd officials have indicated on government grant applications that part of the money they receive is for rent."

Well, she does love her moments of silence.

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Editor's Note: All dead links in the above items are on the Sun-Times, not me.

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See also: Slur By Davis Nothing New.

"She has done it before. The benefit of doubt, therefore, cannot be extended to State Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago), who recently befouled a legislative hearing with an anti-Semitic slur."

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The Racist Effect Of Budget Cuts
Why Chicago State gets screwed way more than the University of Illinois.

Lil Bibby's Arrests
Chicago's red zones.

Remembering Evanston's Father Mulcahy
Best Army chaplain ever.

Meet Evanston's American Toby Jug Museum
Hidden gem in a basement.

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BeachBook

"They will be blaming poor people and immigrants. Even teachers."

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

Because it's news when the president(-elect) starts every day this way. Ignore the president's statements? No. But how you cover the statements - and the pattern - is the key.

*

Wrong. Bad journalism can be corrected in the short term and improved in the long term. Fake News is forever, and those who create it have no interest in making it real - because it's made up.

*

It's not a budget, that's for sure.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Art of fact.



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Posted on January 4, 2017


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