October 15, 2006

Boland feeling heat for giving tuition aid to donor's daughter

Scott Reeder, the Dispatch/Argus' man in Springfield, hits Rep. Mike Boland with a sticky story 23 days out from election day.
The daughter of one of Rep. Mike Boland's larger political donors has received legislative college scholarships worth about $10,000 from the lawmaker and hopes to receive more tuition aid from him in future years.
In this case, Rep. Boland, D-East Moline, gave scholarships to Alleyene Suehl, the daughter of Barb Suehl, a successful real estate agent in the Fulton area. Mrs. Suehl donated $15,891 to Rep. Boland's campaign in 2004 and 2005.
She is the top individual contributor to Rep. Boland's campaign during the last seven years, said University of Illinois professor Kent Redfield, an authority on Illinois campaign contributions. (This excludes contributions from labor unions, businesses, political parties or political action committees.)

In the 2004 campaign, Mrs. Suehl's contributions to Rep. Boland's election bid ranked second among all sources, exceeded only by money from the Illinois Democratic Party, according to the "Almanac of Illinois Politics."

Mrs. Suehl said her income has varied during the past seven or eight years. She earned $130,000 or $140,000 some years, but on average she earned about $100,000, she said.

She added that, because of a slow housing market, she may earn $80,000 this year.

In a 2000 interview with The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus, Rep. Boland said he would not give a scholarship to any student from a household with an annual income greater than $100,000.

Rep. Boland said Tuesday that he has since adjusted that threshold to $120,000.

According to 2000 census data compiled for the "Almanac of Illinois Politics," the median family income in Rep. Boland's 71st House District is $49,059.

Rep. Boland said Alleyene Suehl is the only child of a political contributor for whom he has provided a scholarship. He said he does not consider the family wealthy.

"To have said, 'I'm not going to give you a scholarship because your mother gave my campaign money,' would have just been wrong. Alle is the most outstanding applicant I have had for a scholarship in the 12 years I have been a representative," he said.

Rep. Boland said he was in no way influenced by campaign contributions when he selected Alleyene for the scholarship. He said the young woman takes after her mother in being community minded.
This can't be good for Boland.

The entire legislative scholarship program has come in for criticism in the past year in the wake of a prior media story about who uses it and to what extent and many question whether it shouldn't be eliminated altogether.

While it's hard to question the idea behind it, namely that deserving young people can get much needed and greatly appreciated help with often enormous tuition costs, it's unfortunate that they gave the responsibility for chosing receipients to actual politicians.

Needless to say, the temptation to use this perk as a way to repay donors or as a quid pro quo for future donations or other benefits is probably too much for politicians to resist, as appears to be the case with Rep. Boland.

And when you've said you'd not give a scholarship to anyone with an income over $100,000 and then you give a scholarship to your largest donor and it's revealed that their income is over $100,000, simply saying you "adjusted" the threshold to $120,000 is ... well, it doesn't come across too well. (though the $100,000 limit was set 6 years ago, and tuition costs have skyrocketed since then.)

Ms. Suehl, the young woman who recieved the tuition help, is an only child and had lost her father when he passed away in 2004. Whether it's acceptible for Rep. Boland to choose to award the scholarship to the daughter of a large donor even though their yearly income was approximately $80,000 is a matter for debate.

Read the rest of the story here.


At 10/15/2006 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was only a matter of time before someone noticed Mike Boland up in Fulton all the time. The timing of the $12,000 check seems questionable.

At 10/15/2006 9:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not think that it is right that the paper did this hit piece against Rep Boland so close to the election. To say that someone that makes $100,000 is rich is crazy. This is a non traditional job, not a union job, where she has to pay for her own insurance and doesn't get a company car. With her husband passing away it makes it hard for her to make it and Mike Boland has stepped in and helped this young deserving girl out. Boland said that she is the best candidate he has seen in his 12 years. I believe him.

At 10/15/2006 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This story hardly seems unbiased without an examination of all the candidates; Vershoore, Jacobs, Seiben, Moffett, etc etc etc....

Any locals in the mix should have been looked at for a totally indepth report on the "story".

As it is reported today in the Daily Disgrace, it simply looks like the media took the easy road and regurgitated the press release from Boland's opponent. I am not a big Boland fan but what ever happened to noble Jouranalistic reporting these days??

At 10/15/2006 1:09 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

These scholarships have been political "plums" and the criteria is very subjective. The end result is usually that politically connected applicants get them over applicants who are more needy and/or more qualified.
All the legislators do what Boland did and the way the system is, inevitably there are some unhappy people out there.

When a state rep gets these scholarships, they have a block of time, say "4 years worth" or something like that and basically, they can carve it up however they wish. They may choose to carve it up by semesters and give away, say 8 semesters to 8 applicants, or they may give the whole 4 years, a full ride, to one person. For Boland, the smart thing would have been to divide it up.

The media SHOULD keep scrutiny on who gets these scholarships because it is not for public knowledge and the politicians prefer to keep it quiet. One year John Gianulis's granddaughter got a scholarship. Now I am sure that one was based on strictly on her academic criteria, right?!

Incidentally, Boland recruited Mrs. Suehl to run for 16th District State Central Committeewoman, a position on par to what Mary Boland has in the 17th C.D. Heck, maybe Mike is looking for a second wife in case he needs a spare.

At 10/15/2006 6:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

in the last 6 months we have found out that mike boland has awarded two scholarships to two individuals, each whose families were well off enough to send them to private high schools, with both high schools outside the 71st district. one in clinton, iowa, and the other in niles, illinois. one, it seems as pay back for a significant campaign contribution, and the other to a politically connectd staffer on the payroll of lane evans. is that fair? is that right? i dont think so. i hope haring awards scholarships to kids from the district, educated in the district, and those who truley and financially need it.

At 10/15/2006 8:44 PM, Blogger tiz said...

I put myself through college. Except for a small academic scholarship and a pell grant my first year, not a red cent came from anyone other than me. Why? Because my family's income came from one of those "union jobs" that anon @ 9:30 thinks is so great. My family income wasn't even HALF that of one of Mrs. Suehl's *bad* years. I excelled in a public school that was in Mr. Boland's district and lacked the luxury of driving to Iowa (or Rock Island for that matter) for private school. I don't want a medal or a cookie, but I will write something I never thought I'd write: I hope Mike Boland loses because of *this specifically* and for no other reason. Maybe it would deter anyone else wanting to pat the backs of already (relatively) well-off donors. And yes, if you make $100,000 a year you're well off compared to most people in Boland's district. I guarantee 95% of the kids Mike taught at Glenview had family incomes MUCH less than that, and he has to know this.

I would expect this crap from a Republican. Hell, I might expect it from someone like Mike Jacobs *dons flame suit*. But to see Mr. Boland involved in something like this hurts.

At 10/15/2006 11:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Boland doesn't need to worry about the papers outrageous clip job on his charicter. Mike boland is beter than the paper and doesn't need their endorsmnet or the fools that will read this trumped up charges that the D/A has put against him. He will prevail and be the next Rep because he is the better man.

At 10/16/2006 7:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 23:20 - you may be wrong if several things play out:

1)Boland gets no help from the party (Gianulis) and that's entirely possible.
2)There are enough Republicans in his district and independants who buy the BS dished out.
3)Madigan is not "there" for him for whatever factors in play any given day.

This one is getting too close for Mike and he's going to have to work his a--- off election day like never before.

At 10/16/2006 8:27 AM, Blogger A_A_D said...

How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?

Four; calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.

Abraham Lincoln

I hope my faith isn't misguided, but I've always figured Boland was one of the "good guys", and I really can't believe this is anything more than Boland and his big heart getting him into trouble.

If I'm not mistaken, this Alleyene Suehl girl did an internship at Boland's office. Lots of other students who have interned with Mike Boland's office have ended up with scholarships.

Maybe that should be the story?

Boland likes to give scholarships to students he knows personally, people who he's seen helping others in the community.

Maybe that's not everyone's idea of the best way to decide on who gets tuition assistance, but it's not corrupt or illegal, I'm not even sure if it is improper.

Perspective is important in cases like this, and it's not like Boland's been sending improper emails or IM's to his scholarship recipients like Republican Congressmen have been caught doing. There's nothing illegal about what Mike has done.

Does anyone even know who else applied for this scholarship? Unless someone proves different, I'm inclined to believe Boland that Alleyene Suehl was the best applicant and deserved the scholarship based on merit.

At 10/16/2006 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boland needs to produce who applied for scholarships if he wants this to go away

At 10/16/2006 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a non issue. Only 10 comments on it. Boland shows once again that he is bigger than this type of smear job.

At 10/16/2006 6:51 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Well, now there's 12. ;-)

While you may be right about it being a non-story, I'd advise you that assuming that public opinion is reflected by the number of comments left here is risky at best.

At 10/16/2006 8:24 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

If Haring doesn't run out of resources, he has a shot. The wild card is how much money Tom Cross puts in this race at the last minute. So far, Steve Haring is NOT one of their targetted "6 in '06" .

Madigan will prop Mike up. If he loses, party leaders have an "out" - They will go back to Madigan the day after and say: "Sorry, Boland was a loose cannon and he did it to himself.
We'll win it back."

People tend to forget that the RI Republican Party Chairman is Mike Jacobs' aunt. (Perhaps "the fix is in"?) Obviously, the Jacobs faction would like to be rid of Boland. Then there are the traditional Lane Evans Democrats -they never liked Mike...but this time they are really pissed because he challenged Phil for Congress.

We don't have straight ticket punch anymore. So there's a scenario where Democrats are quietly crossing over or withholding their vote from Mike. If you think it can't happen here, just remember when Randy Thomas beat Don Wooten.

The Dems can co-exist with a Republican for 2 years if they need to, if they really want to get rid of someone bad enough.

2 more years and the machine can run someone else for state rep. in '08. Phil Hare will recruit somebody. But it's not over for Boland. He is a fighter and he will always be running for office.

At 10/16/2006 9:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These Idiots at the Dispatch while writing a totally biased and planted story failed to mention that every time Mike has named the scholarship recipients he did a press release with thier names and schools they were to attend. This was not hidden in any way and Mike as always does things in the open because thats precisely the honest and open public servant he is.

Mike will be fine because no one will work harder or fight more for the working folks Mike truly cares about

At 10/17/2006 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is unfair to Mike Boland. He is for CUB and he has kept our utik=lity rates in check. Why don't those boneheads at the D/A write about that.

At 10/17/2006 5:54 PM, Blogger Mike Huntoon said...

Since I work as Boland’s Chief of Staff during the day, I am imagining that there are folks out there waiting for my comments about the scholarship situation. I seem to have somehow ended up in the role of Boland’s online spokesman on blogs during my personal time.

The simple answer to give is that Alleyene Suehl deserved the scholarship she got, she won it based on her own merits. Of course that answer won’t satisfy everyone, so I’ll try to explain all the details to the best of my ability.

For the record, the only legal requirements concerning General Assembly Scholarships are that the student receiving the scholarship reside within the boundaries of the Representative’s district, and the tuition wavers only apply to State of Illinois Universities. Any other standards are set by the Representatives and Senators themselves. Each Illinois Senator and Representative is allowed two full four-year scholarships per year. Representative Boland splits his up into 8 full year college scholarships. If a student doesn’t choose to use the summer semester of their scholarship, Boland gives the unused portion to a different deserving student.

Mike Boland’s scholarships are awarded based on a broad range of criteria. Because academic achievement is important, Boland looks at the student’s grade point average and the kind of classes they are taking. He also considers extracurricular activities, and he does look at financial need, but it’s not the primary criteria.

Willingness to give back to the community is really the most essential qualifying factor. Every year Representative Boland gives a speech to his scholarship recipients, stressing that their scholarship comes from the taxpayers, and that he expects his scholarship recipients to find a way to pay back the investment to the community.

The Scholarship application we’ve developed at Representative Boland’s office is several pages long, and it includes an essay question at the end. When it’s all said and done, after reviewing grades, and financial need, community service and extracurricular activities, Mike actually tries to picture what each applicant might have to offer back to the community, and he makes his final determination from there.

It’s not like we keep these scholarships a tightly guarded secret. In past years we’ve sent out letters to guidance counselors announcing the scholarship’s availability, and I’ve written and submitted news releases to the media announcing them. I’m not sure how much attention the counselors paid to the notice, and I don’t remember ever getting any coverage in the Argus / Dispatch either.

I believe that most years we get about twenty or twenty-five applicants at Mike Boland’s office, and because of our ability to award unused summer semesters along with the normal full year scholarships, we are usually able to offer some kind of scholarship to about half of our applicants.

When Mike Boland awarded Alleyene Suehl a scholarship, he knew it would very likely be used against him by his political opponents. Boland and I discuss potential scholarship recipients several times during the review process, and I told him he’d get slammed hard for giving a scholarship to a large contributor. I even speculated it could cost him his House seat and thus it could cost me my job as well. As our discussion continued, Boland asked me if Alle (pronounced like the word - alley) deserved the scholarship based on her own merits.

Alleyene served in our office as an intern in the summer of 2004, and again in 2005, so I know her personally. She is a strong student, who was involved in organized athletics, as well as a great number of other community activities. Alle was also the recipient of a number of awards and honors. In addition to her school and extracurricular athletic commitments, I also noted Alle worked part time, and that she and her family had served as hosts for several foreign exchange students. Alle even brought one foreign exchange student along for her internship at Mike Boland’s office. That was a really great experience for us all, allowing a wonderful young exchange student to see (and participate) in Illinois State Government up close and personal.

Thinking honestly about Alle’s attributes in comparison to the other applicants, I had to admit, based on all the criteria we use to judge candidates, that Alle was one of the very best. In fact, I can only think of a relatively small handful of students, in all my years with Boland, who could match up across the board to all of the attributes Alle exhibited. There was no way I could deny that, based on merit, Alleyene Suehl was more than qualified.

Mike Boland and I both know it would be wrong to give someone a scholarship because of a campaign contribution. But, turning the question on it’s head, we had to ask ourselves if it would also be wrong to totally rule out a scholarship applicant because of a campaign contribution by her mother. Was I really willing to look Alle Suehl in they eye and tell her, “You were the best candidate that applied, but we can’t give you the scholarship because your mom is politically active.”

Mike Boland chose not to penalize Alle Suehl because of her mother. He decided that doing the right thing by one young girl was more important than what people might think about the action in political terms.

For the record, in 1995 Mike Boland set his top income threshold for scholarship recipients at $100,000 total household income. In 2003 we reviewed and revised that to an upper limit of $120,000 household income to allow for 8 years of inflation. Most of the scholarships go to students with families who make far less. We try to look at the entire picture, and envision what the student might bring back to the community.

For the record, Jerimiah Posedel, who was a staff person for Congressman Evans, once applied for and received a scholarship from Representative Boland’s office, based upon his own merit. I am sad to say that Jerimiah was let go by Lane Evans because he got the scholarship from our office, at least that’s what I read on The Inside Dope - http://theinsidedope.blogspot.com/2006/05/evans-officially-out-of-race-former.html As should be obvious from that article, Jerimiah Posedel was free to endorse someone other than Boland for Congress, we award scholarships based on merit, not political considerations, and we don’t ask anything in return for the scholarships we give out!

For the record, relatives of John Gianulis, Rock Island Democratic County Chairman and Chairman of the Statewide Democratic County Chairman’s Board, as well as (until recently) a top employee of Governor Blagojevich - http://theinsidedope.blogspot.com/2006/09/gianulis-to-retire-from-blago.html - also had relatives apply to Boland’s office for scholarships. Because we award scholarships based on merit, and not political considerations, we were NOT able to offer a scholarship to John’s relative!

Now, I hope the situation is a bit more clear to everyone, at Mike Boland’s office we give scholarships based on the merit, not for political favors or contributions, but despite whatever the political ramifications might be, based upon merit.

At 10/17/2006 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad that everybody that is writting in on this subject thinks that it is OK for Mike Boland to give his friend Barb Suehl's daughter the scholarship. The fact that she gave him $16,000 had nothing to do with this scholarship. If this were Evans, Jacobs or Verschoore then there might have been a bad thing but Mike Boland is not like that. He started Citizens Utility Board and he has kept his roots with the little guy. Mike Boland is a guy like you and me and he deserves better than this kind of slime. Boland will lead the ticket as a backlash for this kind of dirty trick.

At 10/18/2006 10:09 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Note to the commenter who is frantically trying to start a scurrilous rumor. Unless you can provide even a shred of proof or a source, it's not going to be published.

At 10/18/2006 9:37 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

Anonymous, I think if it were Jacobs or Verschoore, nobody would have noticed or said anything because it would have been just a case of "politics as usual" . Nobody expects better from machine politicians. However, with Boland, the bar is set kind of higher and maybe people expected better (plus he is in a competitive race). I am glad Huntoon wrote in to clarify. I give him the benefit of the doubt. It sounds like a tough call, but they went with their conscience. Who can blame them for that? You have got to be able to look in the mirror in the morning and say you did the right thing.

I remember the story about Phil Hare canning Jeremiah Posedehl because Boland gave him a scholarship. It is weird and it's petty and mean-spirited and it serves to show the kind of operator that Phil Hare is. The Evans camp has always been jealous and resentful of Mike Boland. That goes back a long time. There was nothing wrong with Posedehl going to a fellow Democrat for a favor. If the Evans camp expected Posedehl to be their bitch 100%, maybe they should have taken care of him in the FIRST place? Assuming that Lane Evans is as wonderful and caring as everyone says he is, then I maintain that he never knew about all the crap that Phil pulled in his absence. On the other hand, if Lane DID know and DID approve of all of Phil's meddling in local politics, then he is just another two-faced politician.

And for the record, it was a different state rep, Joel Brunsvold who gave Gianulis's granddaughter a scholarship. (I am sure it was based on "merit" too, wink-wink) That is my point because that is precisely the kind of whore that Joel was. There is a HUGE difference between Brunsvold and Boland. No, Mike is not without his faults and yes, sometimes he disappoints, but at the end of the day I think MIke believes in what he is doing and in making government better serve people.

Now with other state reps - like Brunsvold for example, there is no expectation at all. The machine props them up and they DO help the machine, but they are usually worthless beyond that.

TID, I am starting to get curmudgeonly and buy into the old adage that "they are all a bunch of crooks"!!

At 10/18/2006 10:03 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Wise observations there Nico.

As to whether "they're all a bunch of crooks".... as they say, don't get me started.

Perhaps saying they're all crooks isn't fair, but I'd give you "a majority".

Too much money, too much temptation, too much power. Not enough openess and honesty (if there's any at all)

At 10/19/2006 8:49 AM, Blogger Huntooner said...

thanks for filling in some holes in my information nicodemus ;)

I'd heard rumors about Joel giving a scholarship to one of John G's relatives, but I never knew for sure if that was true or not.

What I do know, was that a totally different relative of John's applied to Mike's office but wasn't accepted.

At 10/19/2006 10:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hutton and th Dope can play echo chamber all day long, but Boland's decision to give this woman's daughter a taxpayer scholarship after she gave Boland $16,000 is fishy!

Haring has a plan to clean up Boland's scholarship mess.

Boland also took all this money from Mid America Energy. What about lowering our utility rates?

At 10/19/2006 11:13 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

No one named Hutton has commented here.

And "Haring has a plan to clean up Boland's scholarship mess"??!!

That's just... dumb. This is why Haring would make a better rep?

What exactly is this "plan", other than to not do the same thing?
Is he going to yank the young girl's scholarship out from under her?

I hope Haring has more to offer than a "plan" to clean up a not-so-messy "mess".

At 10/19/2006 12:06 PM, Anonymous mama said...

At least that girl could afford her tuition if she lost her scholarhsip.

My kids never had scholarships and as a single mother making $30,000 a year I could not afford to pay their tuition. At least Mrs. Suehl could make sure her daughter finished college without the aid of a scholarhsip.

My kids will be in debt for many years after taking out loans and getting some grants that don't have to be paid back.

I didn't even know that we could have called our State Rep for help with college like this. How many scholarships do they get?

At 10/19/2006 3:40 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Hey mamma,
There are literally hundreds of scholarships available (if not thousands) and any school counselor could help your kids find them. There are also all sorts of on-line resources and books to help find them.

Scholarships are not handed out like candy however, and are usually based on some condition, and that condition usually includes that the student show excellent achievement in grades and other activities, whether it be sports or something else.

But there are also many scholarships that are based on ethnic groups, or fraternal organizations or any number of criteria.

Before complaining about your kid not getting a scholarship, perhaps you should wonder why you didn't look into it yourself or examine their grades.

At 10/19/2006 4:24 PM, Blogger Mike Huntoon said...

somone said - ""I didn't even know that we could have called our State Rep for help with college like this. How many scholarships do they get?""

To answer your question, each Representative and Senator gets the equivalent of 8 years of scholarship to give out.

I am of the opinion that one of the biggest problems with the scholarships is that they are not better known. As I've said before, I tried publicizing the General Assembly Scholarships available from Mike's office, back when I forst started to work for Mike in '98 and '99, but my press releases never made the news.

At 10/19/2006 4:25 PM, Anonymous mama said...

The only point I was really trying to make is that the girl was lucky her mother could afford to pay her tuition if she lost her scholarship. Most people wouldn't have that luxery.

My kids had a couple of scholarships that paid $250 and $500 a year. Book money.

I wasn't complaining my kids didn't get big scholarships that paid their tuition. I was just pointing out the way a lot of our young people have to go to college. Grants and loans.

I know other kids with rich parents who got bigger scholarhsips. Nothing wrong with getting what you can!

At 10/19/2006 4:52 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Mama, thanks for explaining. I see your point.

At 10/19/2006 6:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was watching the channel 4 news when I spoted a story about people protesting at Mike Boland's office. A gathering of African American leaders from around the area held a protest and complained that Boland took a scholarship from Percy Atwater's daughter (because Aretha's dad didn't contribute to Boland's fundraiser) and gave to this rich white girl.

Watch the channel 4 news tonight for more on this important issue.

It looks as though this issue isn't going to go away any time soon!

At 10/20/2006 6:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much did you pond scum pay these people to stage the manufactured protest?

At 10/20/2006 7:04 AM, Blogger Mike Huntoon said...

The Percy Atwater situation was way back in '95 or '96, so it sounds like there's an opportunist trying to bring up old news for political gain!

I wasn't working for Boland yet when all that happened, but from talking to Boland, and reviewing news clips, it's pretty clear that Aretha flunked classes and lost her scholarship.

It's really that simple folks!

At 10/20/2006 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now you people are accusing these African Americans as being bought off and lying. This is a travesty when people start with the name calling without knowing all of the facts.

At 10/20/2006 8:21 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

No, my little friend, the travesty here is the attempt to turn a minor molehill into some racially charged mountain.

The protests were a setup, and Huntoon is simply telling the truth as was reported in the press.

Again, the only travesty is the transparent attempt to blow this issue up way, way, WAY out of proportion for cheap political purposes.

It's disgusting.

And since when have you ever given a damn was was true or not?? What a laugh.

At 10/20/2006 11:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much did you pond scum pay these people to stage the manufactured protest? These are the words that I was refering to, this was asked to a group of African Americans. I never said or infered the race issue. To say that I am trying to turn a minor molehill into some racially charged mountain. Do you think that these People that took time out of their day to protest at Mike Bolands office felt that it was a minor molehill or a mountain. People don't picket over molehills. When was the last time that you took the time and energy to go out and protest? What was the issue? Did you consider it a mountain or a minor molehill?
To try and minimize this issue is the travesty.
Mike Boland taking away scholarships of people that don't pay for play whether it is an African American or a rich white girl is wrong. I am suprised that you go for this kind of slimy behavior from our trusted leaders.

At 10/20/2006 11:25 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I feel the protests were both manufactured and misguided as well.

The guy involved is also head of "Democrats for Zinga".

And the fact that they're protesting a state rep who doesn't even represent them is kind of curious, don't you think?

If they're so sincere about this issue and getting congressional scholarships for their children, wouldn't you think that they'd be talking to Rep. Vershoore, since these "protesters" all live in his district, NOT Boland's?

Seems more than a bit fishy to me, as does the freaky Boland hater who has been absolutely frantic in trying to exagerate and distort this issue here.

At 10/21/2006 10:43 AM, Blogger rope-a-dope said...

The demonstration in front of Boland's office was actually by a bunch of African American kids from Rock Island.

I feel sorry for those poor kids, because they were dragged out of school for now good reason, they don't even live in Boland's district.

Wouldn't the children be better served by staying in school, they certainly won't win any scholarships or awards by skipping school.

At 10/22/2006 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For you that don't know those RI kids were on vacation and I believe that it is good to let kids see how government works even if they had been taken out of school. It is called a year round calander. These kids get three breaks during the year where they get two weeks off. They make up for it with a much shortened summer break.

At 10/22/2006 1:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To see how government works, there are a lot better seats than inside cars parked in a parking lot (where the protest occured.)

At 10/22/2006 7:09 PM, Anonymous looney tunes said...

Asking the Jacob's family about Boland is like asking Elmer Fudd about Buggs Bunny. You might get a quote but it's likely to be about a rascally rabbit.

It's a hatchet job worthy of the best Looney Tunes episode.

The Argus-Disgrace and their Republican friends seem determined to unseat Mike Boland at any cost, even if the price is the truth!

At 10/22/2006 7:23 PM, Anonymous Bobbi-Sue Huntoon said...

The protest at Boland's office was a cheap set-up.

If the protesters would have wanted a meaningful dialog, they would have phoned ahead to Boland's office and made sure Boland himself would be available for comment.

Instead, a news reporter showed up 10 minutes in advance asking the staff in Boland's office if we knew anything about the event about to happen.

When we said we had not been contacted about any kind of event, the reporter kind of crept out of the office literally saying, "Please don't tell them the little girl from News Channel _ tipped you off that anything's going to happen." (I did not name the particular channel or reporter out of my own sense of fairness.)

Tell me something . . .

Is that media looking for a balanced story? Or is it perhaps the media prefering to highlight the circus atmosphere the protesters created?

Our parking lot was blocked for nearly an hour, and several senior citizens in need of help could not even access our office.

How does that serve anything good?

At 10/23/2006 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People have a right to take protest when they feel injustice. It doesn't mean that you see injustest just that they do. Thank goodnes we live in a country where young people can protest what they believe to be injustice.

At 10/24/2006 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the demonstration at Boland's office was not a "set-up" I would have agreed with you Anon 23/10/06 21:14.

Freedom of speech is an essential right, and education is critically important.

After all ya can't fix stupid!

But the protest was led by the same man who leads "Democrats for Zinga", so it was transparently political.

At 10/25/2006 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What protest isn't political? I would have to say that all protests are political by nature.
The truth of the matter is that Haring has a comercial out about this scandle and it will and has hurt Boland.


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