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How To Hire A Crooked Property Tax Attorney in Illinois to Lower Your Taxes

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									“Watchdog” Jenkins Tutorial:
How To Find a Crooked Property Tax Lawyer Using Public Records…
Corruption does not exist in a vacuum; meaning that Illinois did not earn its reputation for being the U.S.’s
most corrupt state simply because of a mysterious culture of corruption that exists behind closed doors. Instead,
all of Illinois’s illicit activities occur right out in the open; utilizing the inattentiveness of a State’s Attorney,
Attorney General, and Illinois State Board of Elections.

But at least there’s some good news for the rest of us: we can query public records to find the leftover
“crumbs” of that corruption that benefit us for a change. Of course, we’d be much better off without the
corruption in the first place.

If you go to the State Board of Elections (ISBE) website:

http://www.elections.state.il.us/

And click on “Go to the Campaign Disclosure Section”:




A tab titled “Campaign Disclosure” will appear. Under that tab you’ll see eight categories: Committee,
Candidate, Proposition, Contributions, Totals, Contact, and Links. Since we’re interested in finding a lawyer
with enough “clout” to influence an elected official into lowering your taxes, we will click on the “Candidate”
Category link:




This will bring up a page titled “Candidate Disclosure Search”:
Here you can search for a candidate, even if such a candidate is now an elected official. Even in cases where
said official never plans on running for Office again, he or she may still have a lot of activity in his or her
campaign fund; because the real goal of raising money in politics is often to subsidize the politician’s expensive
lifestyle.

In this case, we’re going to start by looking up James Houlihan, the current Cook County Assessor:




Be careful that you don’t misspell the person’s last name. I would suggest entering in as little information as
possible, to avoid limiting your results. Click on the “Search” button when you are ready to continue:




In this case, our query pulled back five results:
Although it can often be fun to explore the other candidates that come up in our search, we’re now going to take
a closer look at the third row from the top. Click on the link titled “James M Houlihan”:




Which will bring up a page with the candidate’s campaign address and a brief history of the candidate’s election
wins/losses. “GP” stands for General Primary, “GE” stands for General Election, and “Committee Name” is just
the ISBE’s name for what is more commonly referred to as a Campaign Fund; and it is my belief that ISBE
does this on purpose to reduce the amount of online viewers while simultaneously giving itself credit for
making public information more public:
To continue to Houlihan’s campaign fund, click on the link titled “Citizens for James M Houlihan”:




On the resulting page, you’ll first see a description of the campaign fund, which you’ll later see is misleading
and inaccurate:
Scroll down and you’ll see that the rest of the page looks like this:




What we’re interested in is the D-2 Semiannual report which, as its name implies, is filed with ISBE, by the
candidate, twice a year. One of the problems with the D-2 “report” is that, even though it’s posted online, it’s
not posted in a way that’s user-friendly or intuitive for most users. I think that this is because, again, ISBE is
trying to make the data less accessible than it could be.

To illustrate my previous point about the Illinois campaign fund being used to subsidize a politician’s lifestyle,
we’ll click on the link “D-2 Semiannual Report” for the dates 7/1/2009 to 12/31/2009, for the period of time
after James Houlihan made his decision not to run for reelection:




In the resulting page, you can see that there weren’t a lot of funds coming into the account during the second
part of 2009:
But if you scroll down a little bit further, you should see that Mr. Houlihan spent an awful lot of money in only
six months. A little over 70% of his $125,000 taxpayer-provided public salary, to be exact:




For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll take a closer look under “8. Expenditures:” and click on the link titled “a.
Itemized”:




In the resulting page, you can see why it might be advantageous to pursue a public service career in the U.S.’s
most corrupt state:
If you scroll down a little more, you’ll see that it gets even more interesting:
Where not only are his campaign contributors paying for his expensive lifestyle, including his car, but they’re
even paying his “violation” tickets. And that’s just the first page. But you can continue to look by scrolling
down to the bottom and clicking “Next”:




But in this case, we’re going to hit the Internet Explorer Back Button twice:




Until we get to the main Citizens for James M Houlihan page:




And let’s scroll down to find a period of time with a little more activity, and click on the link “D-2 Semiannual
Report” for the dates 7/1/2008 to 01/20/2009:




Now look under “1. Individual Contributions:” and click on the link titled “a. Itemized”:




And you’ll see a small variety of itemized contributors, many of whom contribute for a variety of different
reasons:
If we go to Google.com and look-up some of these contributors, we’ll see that contributors might be donating
for a variety of different reasons. Usually there’s some kind of business interest at stake, and they want to make
sure they’re in good standing with the public official for reasons that I think are fairly obvious.

Try this yourself. Start with Richmond Breslin:




And if a name is likely to be fairly common, try searching by that person’s name + “Chicago” or “Cook
County”:
And just for fun, we’ll try one more:




Now we’re on the right track to finding a well-connected attorney who had made his or her down payment on
access to an elected official capable of lowering your taxes. And now that you’ve learned to successfully query
public records for contributors, you’ll have to use your new skills to learn more about which attorneys are
legally bribing your Cook County Board of Review (BOR) Commissioner:
      Call the Board of Review at (312) 603-5542 and ask who your aligned BOR Commissioner would be.
       Based on your address and township, your commissioner should be one of the three people: Joseph
       Berrios, Brendan Houlihan, or Larry Rogers, Jr.
      When you’ve determined who the above person is, you can look them up the same way I showed you to
       look-up Houlihan’s contributors above. Don’t forget to cross-reference the names you find with Google
       until you find attorneys who appeal property taxes for a living.

If you’ve completed this tutorial appropriately, you’ll find that there are a lot of options; and you’ll be well on
your way to finding a crooked attorney who can lower your taxes in no time.


               - WWW.WATCHDOGJENKINS.ORG -

								
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