This exceptionally sourced news report reveals the truth about Liz Gorman and her husband Gerry Gorman. Many of you are currently witness to the Gorman's vile character assassination campaign against me and other good Republicans in this year's primary election. It's time to shine a light and examine who these two people really are, and why the Gorman's continue to attack, disparage, and undermine the Republican Party here in Cook County.
Orland Park, IL – During the 14 years Liz Gorman held a seat on the Cook County Board of Commissioners, the Democrat majority was acutely aware of the "For Sale" sign on her vote and according to a new report, they were not shy about purchasing her support.
The new report from Better Governance Associates examines Gorman's voting record as well as some of her personal dealings and identified a troubling trend of using her position as a member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners for personal gain.
According to the report, "Elizabeth 'Liz' Gorman is spectacularly ill-suited to mount a Republican Primary challenge for the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Gorman's myriad political and legal troubles, along with her voting record during her previous stint on the county board, will render her unacceptable to most primary voters."
In 2003, shortly after joining the Board, Gorman immediately signaled her willingness to offer her vote in exchange for personal advancement by voting to install a Democrat on the Metra Board of Directors. All of the Republican Commissioners were supporting a different candidate for the Metra Board.
Her reward for siding with Democrats? She was named the chair of the panel that appoints members of the Metra Board. Practically from Day 1, Gorman understood that betraying her party and betraying her voters would yield perks and personal advancement.
In 2008, she helped bail out former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger's fiscal mismanagement by voting to approve a $3.75 billion borrowing plan most of her fellow Republicans opposed.
"I look at it as the administration went along with us," she told the press. "The administration worked with us to come to that compromise."
She again helped bail out Democrats in the 2012 budget negotiations by voting for current Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's budget that contained alcohol, tobacco, and parking tax hikes.
These votes not only helped her personally they also bought a lack of scrutiny into how she managed her campaign and government office funds. She pursued an Executive MBA from Notre Dame University and used $6,000 of her County Board contingency funds and $14,750 from her political funds to pay for the degree. And she didn't even send a thank you card to Cook County taxpayers for helping her get a degree from Notre Dame.
In fact, she did the opposite claiming she went to a "prestigious college" to "better herself and her constituents."
Just exactly how does her getting an MBA help her constituents? She said it helped by allowing her to get to know other people in the program. The County budget continues to be a mess and taxes continue to go up, but her message to her constituents is her social circle got wider and they should be happy about it.
While the MBA cost much more than the money she used from government funds and her campaign fund, her actions raise a serious question. Should taxpayer funds be used for the personal benefit of elected officials? Because there was no ordinance expressly prohibiting Gorman from using government money to offset tuition costs, she got away with it.
Of course, the idea that it would take a specific law to prohibit an elected official from using taxpayer money for personal gain seems preposterous. It ought to go without saying that using taxpayer money to get an MBA on its face is wrong but apparently basic ethics and morality are lost on Liz Gorman.
The report also details information about a 2006 lawsuit she and her husband filed against Chrysler. The couple had owned two Chrysler dealerships and they accused the car manufacturer of not loaning money to black customers. Her husband claimed he had detailed notes of racial slurs from Chrysler managers. When the judge asked for the notes – Gerald Gorman claimed he "lost them."
The central evidence in their lawsuit was lost?
Or maybe it never existed…
The case was eventually dismissed but the Gorman's appealed in the Seventh District Court of Appeals. In dismissing the case, Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote the Gorman's had "behaved like a pack of weasels and can't expect any part of their tale to be believed."
In fact, Chrysler won a $4.2 million judgement against them. While the car company was trying to collect the judgement, the Gorman's steered $400,000 to a political campaign account Liz controlled. The court ordered the funds in the account to be frozen, but the very next day, Liz directed her treasurer to transfer all of the money in the account into another political committee under her control.
A federal judge called her actions an "obvious attempt to defeat [Chrysler's] collection efforts." In the end, they filed for bankruptcy and avoided paying the judgement against them. The judge even went so far as to recommend Gorman be held in contempt of court based on actions to hide the money owed to Chrysler. In a written statement the judge said, "the court recommends that Mrs. Gorman be found in contempt" and all of this happened while she was a sitting Cook County Commissioner.
Many are calling Liz Gorman the Mike Madigan of Republican party politics. She certainly is hoping Republican Primary voters will forget her history of using her office for personal gain. The primary election is June 28th. The incumbent, Conservative Sean Morrison, is running against Gorman in the Cook County Board of Commissioners District 17 race.