People 'Schocked' by allegations

Sean McGowan

WOODFORD — Facebook contains many colorful personalities, reveals controversial opinions and can even demonstrate social awkwardness.

The beloved social network housed a small debate Feb. 12 on whether or not Woodford County residents would vote for 18th congressional district representative Aaron Schock, R-IL, if he decided to run for governor.

The root of the debate stems from an ongoing ethics investigation involving the congressman. The Federal Election Commission is examining Schock's conduct in allegedly seeking more than the $5,000 maximum solicitation to fund a super political action committee.

"The release by the Ethics Committee of this report from the Office of Congressional Ethics is just one more step in the long process of adjudicating ethics complaints that can be submitted by anyone for any reason," Steve Dutton, Schock's communications director, said.

"We remain firmly convinced that Congressman Schock will be exonerated when the Ethics Committee examines the complaint and in due course resolves this matter."

However, some are not convinced of Schock's innocence. Peoria area resident John D. Shoup does not approve of Schock for governor because of the investigation.

"I'm truly tired of the immoral trend (in which) our culture seems to be going," he said. "I find as these types of stories come up that people are not surprised or even touched by the immoral effect it has on us."

But resident Julie Driscoll disagreed that anyone should condemn Schock for a rumor so far deemed inconclusive.

"He hasn't been proven guilty," she said. "I think everyone needs to wait and hear both sides before they make up their mind."

Schock has not announced whether he would run for governor. Those who announced their candidacy thus far include 24th district representative Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, and 44th district representative Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, as well as Gov. Pat Quinn.

Many others said they are considering it but have not made a decision. The next election will occur in November 2013 for the 2014-18 term.

"At the right time I will be making an announcement," Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who has floated several surveys asking if he should run.

Lawmakers found in violation of House rules are subject to a letter of reproval, fine, reprimand, censure or expulsion. This means Schock's potential punishment could go as far as ineligibility in the gubernatorial race.