LETTER TO THE EDITOR

From: Vince LaMie Woodworth, IL
Candidate for State Representative District 105
Contact information: email vince@vincelamie.com campaign website www.vincelamie.com
phone 815.471.2769

I grew up in Kankakee and still subscribe to the Daily Journal. Lately there has been a lot
of coverage for opinions in favor or against George Ryan's early release from federal
prison. I found myself trying to form an opinion. In this process my sympathy for Mr. Ryan
and his family was pitted against my anger toward our Illinois government so corrupted by
money, so I tried to get more information about the case.

I had read about the health issues the Ryan family faces, but I didn't recall (I probably
never knew) the actual crimes for which Mr. Ryan had been convicted. I thought it was
appropriate to review those crimes while also considering the family's hardships and the
victims of the crimes.

I found a list of crimes through the Chicago Tribune's website.

Count 1 racketeering conspiracy:
Ryan and Lawrence Warner conspired to defraud the people of Illinois by using Ryan's
elected offices for personal gain. Ryan defrauded the state of honest services by funneling
lobbying contracts and state leases to Warner and others, using and promoting state
employees for political work and gutting the Secretary of State's internal investigation
unit.

Count 1 explicitly states the crimes were against the people of Illinois, i.e. the victims.
The remainder of the crimes were attempts to cover up those crimes or using the postal
system to distribute illegal funds.

If Mr. Ryan does not qualify for early release, the decision falls to President Obama
because Mr. Ryan was convicted on federal charges. If President Obama chooses to grant
early release, it should not be done without releasing all federal prisoners in similar
circumstances. Mr. Ryan should not get considerations that are not afforded to any other
prisoner.

If Illinois were not the poster child for corrupt government, and if Mr. Ryan's actions and
the actions of so many Illinois politicians had not eroded our faith in our governmental
system, I would advise Mr. Obama (I'm expecting a call any day now) to grant early release
to Mr. Ryan.

But considering Illinois' well-earned reputation for corrupt government and the crimes
committed, I would advise Mr. Obama not to grant early release.

I realize there is no absolute correct answer to this. If someone came to a different
conclusion, after considering all the information, it could be a reasonable conclusion.
Finally, is there more information that needs to be considered about this case? If the
crimes were against the people of Illinois, why didn't the people of Illinois bring those
charges against Mr. Ryan?