CHICAGO - Congressman Bobby Rush (D-01) is running for re-election in 2014, despite his being on leave of absence since September 12, 2013, reportedly due to his wife's health issues. Rush isn't voting on major legislation, or representing the 1st CD residents by being active in the U.S. House.
But Rush's wife's health is not the only concern the 20 year congressman is facing. He's had troubling paying property taxes on his Chicago home, the Chicago Sun-Times reports, as well as difficulty paying employee income taxes and property taxes on lots and buildings associated with the church he and his wife established several years ago.
Rush's Federal Election Commission records show he's paid his wife over $400,000 since 2007 to consult him in his campaigns. There's no election commission record of him paying rent for his Chicago offices.
He's also not able to account for $1 million grant a non-profit in his district received from SBC to create the Bobby L. Rush Center for Community Technology as part of the Rebirth of Englewood Community Development Corp, the Better Government Association reports.
Rush has consistently won re-election for the past ten terms with 75 percent of the vote. In 2012, after Illinois Democrats redistricted the 1st CD to include sections of rural Will County in the far southwest suburbs, popular Blue Island mayor Republican Don Peloquin was able to gain only 27 percent of the vote.
One candidate has filed petitions for ballot access in the 1st CD for the 2014 Republican Primary: Jimmy Tillman, the son of prominent Chicago alderwoman Dorothy Tillman. Rush has no Democrat primary challenger in the 2014 Democratic Primary.
Illinois' 1st Congressional District 2012 map