Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL, i.e. Chi & points west, including OP) made Chi Trib editorials today, lede item, “Davis' marvelous adventure”, which follows on AP and Trib (also here) and other stories about his taking moola for a seven-day trip to Sri Lanka, once Ceylon, from the terroristic Tamil Tigers, who use suicide bombers and child soldiers, according to our govt. He says he has seen no evidence that says they put up the money — for him and an “aide.”
Given . . . incriminating disclosures [involving Tom DeLay, R.-Texas] about congressional junketeering, you'd think experienced hands such as Davis, a Chicago Democrat, wouldn't take tickets from strangers
says Trib today. But junkets are important to Davis, who “has accepted 47 trips paid by private groups since 2000 [and] ranks 15th among the 535 members of Congress in accepting” them. 15th out of 535, wow! He likes to travel.
Trib wants a rules change, requiring Congressmen to hit up taxpayers for such trips if such are needed.
Another question has to do with Davis’ knowing what the heck is going on, period, if he isn’t up to speed on Tigers’ doings in and out of Sri Lanka, including paying off U.S. officials, as 11 of their supporters have been recently arrested for doing. And he was the good-govt. non-Stroger candidate for county board presidency slating! Wow again!
(On the other hand, give Davis a hand for his work on alleviating the plight of nonviolent drug offenders, as explained here. He’s making a push this fall for the so-called Second Chance Act, of which he is lead sponsor. It’s considered a wedge into this matter, though it does not specify the nonviolent part. In any case, he got favorable mention from the Drug War Chronicle, published by StoptheDrugWar.org.)
Later: Danny Davis update was supplied by Chi Trib 8/28 by John Biemer, whose account is very straightforward, and appreciated for that. It’s a summary of what’s been done, with a nice pulling of it together. Davis
said he went to [Sri Lanka] to see how reconstruction and aid money was being distributed after the 2004 tsunami at the behest of his constituents. But the community that prompted that weeklong trip appears to be a small one.
Forty-four people in his district, in fact, per the 2000 census. But not they but the Tamil Tigers paid $13,150 in laundered funds, say law enforcers. Davis said he didn’t know that, saving his thanks for a Tamil cultural organization, the Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America, based in south suburban Hickory Hills.
In yet another district, the 6th, in Glendale, FBI found information that led to 11 arrests for helping to aid the Tigers illegally. A Davis aide claimed many Tamils in his district but named none for Chi Trib. Most of the Chicago-area Tamils are from India anyhow, according to various sources whom Biemer names. When Davis got back from Sri Lanka, he got a $500 donation from his Hickory Hills Tamil contact.
Looks fishy. Davis was roaming outside his district even before he roamed all the way to Sri Lanka. Why?