Monday, March 6, 2017

Breaking News: Aurora Austriaco As Mike Madigan Pawn?

There's more news on Maine Township District 207 Candidate Aurora Austriaco from the North Cook News that documents the company Aurora is keeping.  We've covered how Aurora Austriaco has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Boss Mike Madigan and the 13th Ward political operation, but the news that she used Joe Berrios personal attorney for her ballot challenge?  That's nuts!
Maine Township District 207 School Board candidate Aurora Austriaco has friends in high places.

How high?

A State House speaker once helped her raise more than $497,000 to run for state representative.

One Illinois governor awarded her law firm nearly $1.5 million in state contracts.

A second appointed her to a powerful state commission.

Last month, when Austriaco faced a challenge to her nominating petitions that threatened to derail her candidacy, a top counselor to the powerful Cook County assessor stepped up to represent her before the Cook County Electoral Board.

Why would someone as well-connected as Austriaco -- a powerbroker who has rubbed shoulders with Democratic party luminaries like Michael Madigan, Rod Blagojevich, Pat Quinn and Joe Berrios -- bother to vie for a seat on a sleepy suburban school board?

She isn't saying.
Go read the whole thing.  It is damning.   Why would the Chicago Democrats care about Park Ridge and Des Plaines schools?  Money, of course.
But school boards represent an even bigger opportunity. High school districts are typically the biggest pot of public money in local government. And their budgets -- and automatic annual tax increases -- are vigorously defended by teacher’s unions, often the most politically organized group in a suburban community.

District 207 spends $130 million per year -- $115 million of which comes from local property taxpayers. That total includes hundreds of employees and tens of millions spent on outside contracts that can be steered to politically connected vendors.

Austriaco had once hoped to serve Madigan in Springfield herself.

Madigan initiated an Austriaco run for state representative in 2008 against longtime Republican incumbent Rep. Rosemary Mulligan of Park Ridge. Her campaign raised $497,962 from the state’s most committed Democrat interests, including tens of thousands from trial lawyers and public employee unions.

But her law firm’s $109,000 in donations to Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and the state contracts it received, ultimately did in Austriaco. She denied the donations were “pay to play,” but the connection proved too damaging.

Austriaco lost by 3,600 votes. But she stayed involved, serving as campaign treasurer in Murphy’s Senate campaign in 2016.

If she wins a spot on the Maine Township School Board, Madigan might get a return on his investment, just yet.
Emphasis, ours.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

New Endorsement for Aurora Austriaco: Roland Burris?

You guys remember Roland Burris?  The career politician who accepted the tainted Senate Seat from former disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich?  Yeah...that guy.

Here's Maine Township District 207 candidate Aurora Austriaco with Roland Burris.  A #DreamTeam for Park Ridge and Des Plaines, right?

Our schools, our kids, and our community deserve so much better than Aurora Austriaco.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Aurora Austriaco Claimed Victory Once? #FakeNews #Sad

This is too rich.  Seriously, too rich.  Aurora Austriaco ran for State Representative a while back (and that's where most of this opposition research has come from, btw.  We didn't make any of this stuff up, it is freely available out there online, you just have to look for it!).

Anyway, Aurora Austriaco must have thought that she was going to win handily because she was crowing about her big win to some weird media outlets and they got the story totally wrong.

Under the title of: "1st Filam to win Illinois assembly seat" in an outlet called the "Manilla Mail" there's a news piece that is totally fabricated and just flat out wrong.  As the current parlance goes:  "sad.".

From the piece:
Aurora Abella Austriaco, a Filipino American, made history in here by becoming the first Asian American to be elected to the state legislature. 
What made her success even sweeter is that this 43-year-old lawyer unseated an incumbent Republican state representative who served the district for eight terms by winning 59% of the votes cast. She was earlier wrongly reported as having lost the election. 
In her 17 years as a real estate litigation attorney and as a certified mediator, Austriaco has devoted herself to serving the children, elderly, women and minority population of the state.  She lost.  And lost bad.

She was trounced and only picked up 38% of the vote in her adopted hometown of Park Ridge.  

When you go to the polling place in Park Ridge and Des Plaines.  Just remember:  we've already said 'no' to Aurora Austriaco.  Say 'no' again this Spring for Maine Township District 207 School Board.

Video: Aurora Austriaco And Rod Blagojevich

We've told voters of Maine Township all about Aurora Austriaco's history of involvement with so-called pay-to-play schemes with disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.  It got so bad that the Daily Herald even covered it.

Check out this video above to shows Aurora at her worst.  And explains exactly why we can't afford to have her on our Maine Township District 207 School Board.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Full Details Emerge: Aurora Austriaco Isn't Right for Maine's Schools

We've compiled a very easy to follow, yet comprehensive look at Aurora Austriaco's history involving property taxes, pay-to-play allegations, missing public meetings and just how much special interests are involved in supporting her campaigns.  It is pretty incredible that she'd run for office knowing that all this stuff was out there.

You can read the summary about Aurora Austriaco here.

Des Plaines, Niles, Park Ridge:  we can, and should do soooo much better.

On April 4, 2017, vote #AnybodyButAurora.

Daily Herald Covers Aurora Austriaco and Her Pay-to-Play Ways

From Mike Riopell, who covers Illinois government for the Daily Herald comes this story about Aurora Austriaco, who is running for Maine Township School Board District 207, and her involvement in a pay-to-play with convicted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. 

Looks like Aurora has some explaining to do.  Why was she wining-and-dining Governor Blagojevich at the Union League Club and at a White Sox game?  Did it have something to do with the over $1.4M in state contracts that her law firm received?

From the Daily Herald:
Democrat Aurora Austriaco's law firm gave more than $130,000 to Gov. Rod Blagojevich and it has won nearly a $1 million in state contracts over the last four years. 
..."If you give that kind of dough and then your law firm is getting those kinds of projects, somebody ought to call her out on it," Mulligan said Saturday. "And I'm the one to do it."  
Mulligan directly alleges a pay-to-play connection between the donations from Austriaco's law firm - Peck, Bloom, Austriaco & Koenig LLC - and the state legal work contracts. Austriaco has not yet returned a phone call seeking comment. Nearly all of the donations came through the law firm, which twice set up the governor with meals and entertainment, once at a White Sox game and another time at the posh Union League in downtown Chicago. Austriaco and her husband have donated $1,200 directly to the governor.
We don't need this kind of politician in our kid's schools.

Aurora Austriaco Failed To Pay Her Property Taxes, Can't Be Trusted With Ours

Back when Aurora Austriaco was running for State Representative (she lost, of course), a major issue was raised about her fitness for office.  What was that issue? might think the whole pay-for-play thing with convicted Governor Rod Blagojevich might be a problem.  It was.  But that's not what we're talking about here.  Was it the fact that she missed so many meetings for the City of Park Ridge that they had to replace her on the Planning and Zoning Commission?  Well...that's not a good example for a public servant to lead, but that, too isn't the issue in question.

What was a big issue was the fact that Aurora Austriaco owned two homes.  One in Park Ridge.  And another in the city of Chicago.  And guess what?  She failed to pay her property taxes on her Chicago lakefront condo.

If Aurora can't even be bothered to pay her property taxes, is that the same kind of cavalier attitude she's going to bring to dealing with all of OUR property taxes on the school board?  Just take a look at your property tax bill.  Where do the biggest portions go to?  The schools.

And now someone who can't be bothered to pay their taxes on time wants to control all of ours?  Please.  We can do so much better than Aurora Austriaco for Maine Township School District 207.

Here's the mail piece to prove it all.  This was mailed to voters during Aurora's other losing campaign.