Prosecutors are looking into allegations by a Chicago Alderman that campaign workers are paying people to vote in an Illinois election.
Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, said Monday that the office's election unit is "looking into" a complaint against state Rep. Ken Dunkin of Chicago. The complaint was first lodged by Alderman Pat Dowell, a supporter of Dunkin's opponent in the Democratic primary who on Sunday released videos that she says were made by "volunteers" who entered a Dunkin campaign office to secretly record the payments.
A spokesman for Dunkin said the accusation was "baseless."
One video, reportedly made inside a Dunkin campaign office, shows workers apparently making payments with $50 bills. A second one, on the sidewalk outside a building sporting Dunkin campaign signs, records a conversation with a woman who appears to be giving directions to a man about how he can make money if he votes a certain way. The Associated Press could not immediately verify the authenticity of the videos.
Why are state officials taking an interest in this particular instance of possible vote fraud? Here's why:
Dunkin has come under fire for supporting Republican legislation.
"He has been the spoiler for Democrats on several key votes affecting union allies, either by being absent or voting against party-led attempts to weaken Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's position in negotiations with the state workers' union," writes ABC News.
In fact, Dunkin's opponent Juliana Stratton was endorsed by President Barack Obama, a rarity. The President recorded radio and TV ads supporting Stratton.
The Secretary of State Jesse White, a Democrat who supports Stratton over Dunkin said, "it is clear that bribery was taking place."
"I'm disappointed in him (Dunkin)," said White, who was re-elected for his fifth term in 2014. "Shame on him."
The race is on track to become one of the most of expensive legislative primaries in history, with at least $2 million in donations flowing in to the race. The primary will be held on March 15.