Friday, March 30, 2012

Investigation: Obama Broke Illinois State Law By Handing Out Scholarship Outside His District

It's one of the biggest scams Illinois state legislators have going. They are allowed to hand out a limited number of scholarships to Illinois public universities as long as the recipient lives within their district. Some don't follow the law. The BGA has this Chicago Sun-Times report:
Add President Barack Obama to the list of current and former Illinois lawmakers who may have violated the lone rule of the controversial legislative scholarship program: that the recipient live within the awarding lawmaker’s district.

In 2002, 2003 and 2004, while serving as 13th District state senator, Obama awarded one-year free-tuition scholarships to Angela Bennett to attend Southern Illinois University. Her home address was in the 7400 block of South Luella in Chicago, state records show.

In 2004, Obama gave a one-year scholarship to Brooke Henton to attend the University of Illinois. Her home address was in the 7500 block of South Oglesby.

Both addresses were within the boundaries of Obama’s district prior to the redistricting that followed the 2000 Census. And Bennett lived in Obama’s district when she received her first scholarship from him, in 2002.

However, once new legislative boundaries took effect in 2003, neither address remained in the 13th District, according to district maps and elections officials. Both Bennett and Henton were less than a block outside the new boundaries — so they should not have been eligible for a scholarship from Obama from 2003 on.

An Obama spokeswoman declined comment.
No word yet from White House legal counsel Kate Shaw on this one. Also, no word yet on this story from crime fighter Patrick Fitzgerald.