Illinois Democrat accused of buying off political rival

According to the New York Post, an Illinois Democrat stands accused of using the prospect of a job to buy off her political rival.  

The paper reported on Monday the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) issued a recommendation asking the House Ethics Committee to investigate allegations surrounding Chicago-area Rep. Marie Newman.

Opponent allegedly offered a six-figure job if he agreed not to run

That came following an OCE report which stated that Newman promised to hire Iymen Hamman Chehade as a staff member if he promised not to run against her.

Chehade works as a humanities professor at Columbia College who is also known as a vocal advocate for Palestinian causes.

He has since announced plans to seek the Democratic nomination in Illinois’ 3rd congressional district, which is currently represented by Newman.

“At the start of her 2020 campaign, Rep. Newman made Mr. Chehade certain promises about future employment in her congressional office,” the OCE report stated.

“Those promises were reduced to a contract signed by both parties,” it explained, adding that Chehade was to start working in January of last year and expected to be paid $135,000 and $140,000

“In 2021, after Rep. Newman did not hire Mr. Chehade, he sued to enforce the contract, claiming that he decided not to run for the 2020 congressional seat in reliance of her promise to hire him as a foreign policy advisor and either District Director or Legislative Director in her congressional office,” the report continued.

Brian Svoboda serves as Newman’s attorney, and the Post quoted a statement from him in which he argued that the OCE report leaves out important details.

Newman touted her left-wing credentials

He pointed out how the report “fails to mention that Rep. Newman came from a business background in startups, where it was common to seek employees for positions that did not yet exist, with organizations that did not yet exist and may not exist for even two years.”

The Associated Press noted that Newman was first elected in 2020 when she managed to unseat Rep. Dan Lipinski, someone the news service described as “a staunch abortion opponent and one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress at the time.”

In contrast, Newman characterized herself as a “true Democrat” who “would fight for Medicare for All, abortion rights and a path to citizenship for people in the U.S. illegally.”


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