The August 2005 passage of the African American HIV/AIDS Response Fund law, which Howard co-sponsored, laid the groundwork...
The Chicago not-for-profit organization -- founded by state Rep. Connie Howard (D-Chicago) -- went on to get $1.2 million in taxpayer money from that program...
Among the expenses in question are $5,607 for tickets and a skybox for the September 2007 Chicago Football Classic...
records show Kelly, Estes and another Let's Talk, Let's Test employee have made a total of $3,273 in campaign contributions to Howard since 2004. In addition, the foundation paid Howard $5,500 to rent office space in her campaign office in 2004.
"When people write a check to me, that is a personal check from them," Howard says. "That's their business. It has nothing to do with the organization."
But wait, you also get:
Besides getting $1.2 million in state health department money for HIV and AIDS prevention, the Let's Talk, Let's Test Foundation has also gotten $500,000 from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to buy and rehabilitate a nine-unit apartment building on the South Side.
Let's Talk, Let's Test paid $379,000 in July 2007 to buy the building at 7948 S. Evans.
The foundation had planned to use the remaining money from the commerce department for renovations so it could then rent out the building and use the income for future HIV-testing and AIDS-awareness activities.
But the rehab project cost more than planned, and the foundation ran out of money to finish it, according to Lloyd Kelly, the foundation's executive director.
So, more than two years after the foundation bought the building, it remains vacant. In July, city building inspectors declared it "vacant and open," which could lead to demolition proceedings.
But Kelly says the foundation is still hoping to find a way to finish the project.
"The concept is a good one. It would be a travesty" if it fails, he says.
The headline on that last story is "$500,000 for building rehab, and nothing to show for it".
I'll bet there isn't "nothing" to show for it. Who sold it? Who got commissions? Who got $121,000 to not renovate it?
Remember, it's NEVER "wasted". Some cui, somewhere, bonos.