Madison - St. Clair Record

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St. Clair County Democrats pay ESL election workers about four times more than others

By The Madison County Record | Jan 22, 2015

St. Clair County Democrats paid election workers in East St. Louis about four times as much as other workers last October, state records show.

A report at the Illinois election board shows the Democratic central committee paid $42,800 to 27 workers in East St. Louis, an average of $1,585.

The central committee paid $71,035 to 173 other workers, an average of $411.

Though East St. Louis voters generally cast straight party ballots, they varied in their commitment to particular Democrats.

A total of 7,056 East St. Louis voters cast ballots, though not every voter cast a vote in each race.

Among those who voted, 808 passed up the chance to choose Charles Suarez for St. Clair County treasurer and 764 passed on electing Heinz Rudolf circuit judge.

County Clerk Tom Holbrook came up empty on 723 ballots, State Sen. Clayborne on 703.

Board of Review member Charlotte Moore fared best among candidates for county office, capturing all but 550 votes.

Among candidates for higher office, former governor Pat Quinn fared worst. He missed out on 719 ballots.

Bill Enyart for Congress missed out on 612, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin on 556, and Attorney General Lisa Madigan on 553.

The city’s favorite, Secretary of State Jesse White, collected all but 332 votes.

His Republican opponent, Michael Webster, captured a single vote in three precincts and two votes in each of four precincts.

They spared a Republican they could have removed with only 33 percent opposing retention of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier. But, East St. Louis handily awarded Karmeier victory with 62.21 percent (3,793) “yes" votes.

Democratic investment in East St. Louis pays dividends

Three of every eight dollars paid by the St. Clair County Democratic Central Committee for election work went to East St. Louis.

Workers there brought out more than 6,200 votes for every Democrat on the ballot, against no more than 420 for any Republican.

They rescued County Treasurer Charles Suarez and State Sen. James Clayborne, who trailed Republicans by thousands in the rest of the county.

They nearly overcame deficits that judicial candidate Heinz Rudolf and Board of Review candidate Charlotte Moore incurred among other voters.

Incumbent Circuit Judge Stephen McGlynn defeated Rudolf by 789 votes, and James Wilson defeated Charlotte Moore by 1,013.

East St. Louis voters turned the county around for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan, who easily won reelection.

They turned the county around for U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart, who lost the 12th Congressional District.

The central committee has highly valued East St. Louis workers for years.

It paid $2,000 each to 14 workers in 2004, and $1,500 each to 21 more.

A federal jury would later convict four of them of buying votes for $5 and $10.

In 2008, only six workers received more than $1,000, but the central committee provided $13,800 to the East St. Louis Democratic Club.

The central committee gave the club nothing in 2012, but it boosted direct payments to workers.

One received $2,500, ten received $2,000, and ten received $1,500.

The central committee respected Cahokia too, paying $1,500 each to three workers and $1,000 each to three.

In East St. Louis last October, the central committee paid $2,000 each to mayor Alvin Parks and 12 other workers.

State Rep. Eddie Jackson and eight others received $1,500 each.

Two workers received $1,000 each, one received $600, one received $400, and one received $300.

No workers outside of East St. Louis received more than $1,000, except two in Washington Park and two in Centreville.

Payments fell in proportion to distance from the Mississippi River.

Twelve workers in Washington Park received $10,500, an average of $875.

Seven in Centreville received $5,300, an average of $757.

Cahokia fell out of favor, with no worker receiving more than $500.

Ten workers there received $4,700, an average of $470.

Nineteen other workers on the flood plain from Dupo to Fairmont City received $9,225, an average of $486.

On higher ground, 56 Belleville workers received $18,760, an average of $335.

The central committee employed more than twice as many workers in Belleville as in East St. Louis, but spent less than half as much compensating them.

Eighteen workers in Fairview Heights received $7,000, an average of $389.

Twelve in Swansea received $4,400, an average of $367.

Eighteen in O’Fallon received $4,750, an average of $264.

Three in Collinsville received $1,450, an average of $483.

Eighteen on the county’s rural side received $4,950, an average of $275.

The central committee employed three office holders, paying $400 to Suarez and $300 each to State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly and Coroner Rick Stone.

The central committee paid $500 to its chairman, Robert Sprague.

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