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Who is misrepresenting the truth in 10th District Illinois State Representative's race: Accusers or accused?
Former 28th Alderman Ed Smith, current 28th Alderman Jason Ervin and Pamela Reaves-Harris, who is running for the 10th District Illinois State Representative Democratic slot are accusing Eddie Winters of misrepresenting the truth about his domestic background. Reaves-Harris, backed by both Smith and Ervin, is running against Winters in the Mar. 18 primary election.
Despite the rhetoric of the Ervin/Smith/Reaves-Harris camp, proof that they present in support of their allegations show that it is they who are misrepresenting.
Ed Smith apparently began this campaign in Mt. Vernon Baptist Church on Jan. 5. He claimed, as reported by CBS, that Winters is a “wife-beater” who “failed to pay child support and leaves his kids starving.” Winters filed a defamation lawsuit against Smith for $100,000 last Monday.
In two different press releases from Ervin, he focuses on "domestic violence" implying that an alleged incident made some time between 1999 and 2004 is true. And, he states that there are multiple suits against Winters for child support.
His "proof" for domestic violence is a lawyer's office billing line item description.
The front page of a "Petition for Contribution of Attorney's Fees and Costs," which is a modification of a custody agreement, is the "proof" for "multiple suits."
This later document is not a suit. Our request for additional "proof" of this accusation has not been honored.
The item on the distributed billing document that is circled reads:
"TELECONFERANCE WITH Client to get info on allegation that he broke mother's jaw from O/A and the medical cards. Client informed me that there was only 1 altercation betw. Him and the mother and she started it by hitting him while he was driving, she grabbed the steering s[w]heel and he hit her to get her off him and the steering wheel. They almost had an accident and he pulled over and got out with his sister. There are witnesses to that. He does not believe her jaw was ever broken. There was no police rept, no O/P [Order of Protection], no report on this job, etc. A big lie..."
Ervin refers to the accusations with these statements in two press releases:
"...we have Chicago Police Sergeant Eddie Winters with allegations of domestic violence. This type of violence, too, is prevalent in the community served by this district."
"...Chicago Police Sergeant Eddie Winters, he continues to misrepresent the truth. Winters offers no explanation and continues to deny the troubling allegations of domestic violence and multiple suits brought on behalf of the people of the State of Illinois, for his failure to provide adequate support for his children. It is disappointing that Chicago Police Sergeant Eddie Winters would allow the people of the State of Illinois to handle the welfare of his children."
During the Candidates' Forum of the Wicker Park Committee (WPC), Reaves-Harris stated that she had no control over what others [Ervin and Smith] said, implying that she did not make these statements. After the meeting, to this reporter, she and Ervin were making the same allegations based on the billing document.
What are facts about Winters' background?
In fact Winters holds a Federal Top Secret Security level clearance. That security level was given in 2013 when he moved into a special unit of the Chicago Police Department.
In order to be given such a security level, the FBI, over a 6 to 9-month period, performs record checks with various Federal agencies and local law enforcement, as well as a review of credit history and a background investigation that covers a 10-year time period. This is further explained on the FBI site:
For a Top Secret security clearance, the background investigation includes additional record checks which can verify citizenship for the applicant and family members, verification of birth, education, employment history, and military history. Additionally, interviews will be conducted of persons who know the candidate, and of any spouse divorced within the past ten years. Additional interviews will be conducted, as needed, to resolve any inconsistencies. Residences will be confirmed, neighbors interviewed, and public records queried for information about bankruptcies, divorces, and criminal or civil litigation. The background investigation may be expanded if an applicant has resided abroad, or has a history of mental disorders, or drug or alcohol abuse. A personal interview will be conducted of the candidate.
What is good for constituents?
These types of personal attacks on candidates are not new. In the "good old days" of Chicago politics, those not in favor with the "machine" often faced difficulties. In the long run it was the people of Chicago who suffered the consequences of government against not for the people.
How can disregard for the interests of citizens be dealt with? By each resident being registered to vote then getting out to EVERY election as an educated voter.
For Chicago residents who believe getting involved and voting makes no difference…that is flat out WRONG! There is a local example that proves it.
When 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack initially ran against incumbent Ted Matlak for the 32nd Ward Democratic slot in 2007, he too experienced a whole bag of dirty tricks. In the primary resulted in Matlak being forced into a run-off with Waguespack, who filed a defamation lawsuit against Matlak, Berwyn Alderman Michael Phelan and defeated 32nd Ward aldermanic challenger Cataherine Zaryczny, from Ukrainian Village, for $5 million.
Waguespack defeated Matlak in the run-off by a 121 votes and garnered the aldermanic position in the general election.
What the people in the 10th District need, in this State Rep race and all the rest, is to be able to focus on the qualifications and abilities of the people running. They need to be able to learn what those candidates want to focus on in fulfilling the position they are seeking.
Then constituents need to vote for the person they believe to be trustworthy and professional, who has a plan to address issues that effect life in the State. They need to focus on a candidate that they believe will attend to the business of the State and comes back from Springfield and communicates with ALL the constituents in the District.