When Congress returns to DC next week, staffers expect this week's Roll Call's piece about Cong. Dan Lipinski's 3rd District chief of staff Jerry Hurckes to get more Capitol Hill attention. Congressional rules bar staffers from flaunting their federal influence to bully their way around back home, and Hurckes is on the hot plate for allegedly doing just that.
Angered and insulted by fellow Oak Lawn trustees investigating whether the city should have their own lobbyists to bring needed federal funds back into the district, Hurckes soundly panned the idea at a recent city council meeting, and then proceeded into claiming responsibility for a litany of federally-funded earmark projects.
Back in Oak Lawn, they're ticked that Hurckes is all talk. Two fellow trustees wrote in the local Southtown Star that Hurckes brags, but doesn't deliver. They challenge the paper to find the money Hurckes says he's brought home.
So, allegedly, not only does Hurckes unethically point to his influence muscle to bring home the bacon, when they open the sack back home, there's nothing inside.
Hurckes had a tough primary for his Oak Lawn trustee seat in 2007, but when he emerged the victor over the local Unity Party slate, he said on Election Night, "If you battle the king, you better kill him, or he's going to come back and haunt you."
Oak Lawn had better get ready to go to the mat on this one, because Hurckes plans on coming back again in 2009. He recently registered a campaign committee for an Oak Lawn mayoral bid next year.
Lipinski, a so-called Blue Dog Democrat who follows his dad's (former Cong. Bill Lipinski's) voting pattern, is being challenged in the fall by a little-known Bridgeview Republican Michael Hawkins.