Had some other downstate Republican congressman resigned suddenly amid allegations of padding his mileage reimbursement, as did Aaron Schock of Peoria six days ago, the world outside his district might scarcely have noticed.
But Schock was not just another face among the 18-member congressional delegation from Illinois. His celebrity status among both the Illinois Republican Party -- in which he was the fastest-rising star -- and Republicans in Congress -- for whom he was a prolific fundraiser -- made his fall into an enduring national news story.
The story took a serious turn Friday when reports emerged that the U.S. Attorney's Office in Springfield has launched an investigation into Schock's campaign spending and his reimbursements from his taxpayer-funded congressional office. Chief among the questionable expenses are some 90,000 miles for which Schock submitted reimbursement claims that, according to reporting by Politico, were fraudulent.
(Read more about Schock's resignation and fall from grace at Reboot Illinois.)
While one Illinois politician spent the weekend being bashed in home-state newspapers and beyond, another gained two boosts from those newspapers. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was endorsed by both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times for the second time this election season. The two newspapers cited similar reasons for their endorsements: Emanuel has helped lead the city through difficult times and has proven that he can continue to improve the city with his tough attitude. The papers' editorial boards said, on the other hand, that the challenger, Cook County Board Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, has not offered enough specifics during the campaign, despite his earnest desire to do good for the city.
(Read the rest of the papers' endorsement points at Reboot Illinois.)
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