Rep. Dunkin accused of buying votes

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State Rep. Ken Dunkin, D-Chicago, said accusations of buying votes is ridiculous. (WLS)

A Chicago alderman and the Illinois secretary of state leveled accusations Sunday that state Rep. Ken Dunkin, D-Chicago, is buying votes for his re-election bid.

Alderman Pat Dowell (3rd Ward) and Jesse White made the accusations. Both are supporting Dunkin's opponent in the upcoming Democratic primary.

Dunkin, who is often at odds with the state Democratic leadership, is in a hotly contested primary race against challenger Juliana Stratton.

Dunkin denied the allegations, calling the claims ridiculous.

"It is another example of them being in a desperate mode and not talking about the issues," Dunkin said.

Dowell claims the Dunkin campaign bussed voters to a Bronzeville early voting site on Saturday and paid them after they returned to Dunkin's campaign office. Dowell sent four undercover volunteers into Dunkin's office to witness the alleged fraud and videotape it on their cell phones.

"We cannot have the sanctity of voting broken by a desperate and unethical candidate who is seeking to do everything he can to win re-election," said Dowell, who held up a plastic bag with crisp $50 bills and claimed that it was dirty money.

"You will see in video, people being told how to vote, where to vote and the fact you come back to the office to get paid," Dowell said.

White added of the video: "This is one of the worst things I've had the opportunity to see."

Dunkin said state House Speaker Mike Madigan is behind the effort to smear his campaign. Dunkin, who has received big campaign contributions from Republicans, has voted against Madigan on several issues, denying him a veto-proof majority that would break the partisan stalemate in Springfield.

"Mike Madigan will tell elected officials to do whatever he thinks he can to derail an independent voice for a man standing up in his district," Dunkin said.

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