Local politicians tied to multiple admittance requests

Several local politicians have been cited on the Chicago Tribune’s Web site as having helped multiple students on a University of Illinois “clout list” gain admittance into the University.

U.S. Rep. Timothy Johnson, R-Urbana, requested entry for 10 students, and six were known to be admitted, the Tribune reported.

“(Johnson) passes along these requests from time to time,” said Phil Bloomer, Johnson’s press secretary. “We get a lot of types of these requests. He’s made calls to the University to pass along these requests … He prefaces his conversations by saying ‘This is in no way asking any favors, we’re just passing along the constituent’s request.’ And we’re happy to do so.”

Bloomer added, “There’s never been in any way any threat involved.”

State Rep. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, is known to have asked for four students to be admitted, and three were. Former state Rep. Richard Winkel, R-Champaign, made seven requests and it is known that at least five were admitted, according to the Tribune.

In total, the Tribune reports that 481 admission requests were made in the last five years by 114 elected officials.