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posted: 8/5/2013 5:00 AM

Why aren't Democrats' trips investigated?

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U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam faces an ethics investigation for a trip he took to Taiwan.

Since 2007 when Roskam, a Wheaton Republican, took office, he has taken six trips worth about $79,000, including the one to Taiwan. Democrats who have taken many more trips, which in many cases included their spouses, are not being investigated,

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For example; U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Evanston Democrat, has taken 23 trips accompanied by her husband on 10 of those trips, at a cost of $198,293.39. Also, over the same period, Rep. Danny Davis, of Chicago, took 21 trips worth about $87,000, Rep. Louis Gutierrez, of Chicago, took 21 trips worth $127,800, Rep. Bill Foster, of Naperville, went to Israel with his wife during his first term at a cost of about $19,000.

According to Illinois Campaign for Political Reform Deputy Director David Morrison, the trips can be valuable. On the other hand, they can be just junkets. Based on the known number of reforms that have taken place, let the public decide political reform or junkets.

Schakowsky's husband accompanied her on 10 trips to places such as Brazil, Italy and Hawaii among others. Aspen Institute required that the spouses who attended take part in the lectures and meetings because they are such an integral part of the member's life.

The American people must ask themselves who are these people? Why are they spending all this money on these representatives? And why are these folks not subjected to an ethics investigation? Is it because they are Democrats and Rep. Roskam is a Republican?

Silvio Pontarelli

Mount Prospect

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