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May 21, 2024

SIU Professor Used State Email To Electioneer In Favor Of Graduated Income Tax Referendum

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On August 11, 2020

Carbondale, IL. (ECWd) –

State employees should already know that electioneering using state resources, such as their state email accounts, violates state ethics laws.

State officers and employees take mandatory classes on the subject, but some still try to flaunt the system, thinking they won’t get caught.

We were recently notified of Dr. Jerry Becker’s use of his state email to forward electioneering material which asked people to vote “YES” on the Nov ballot referendum for the Graduated Income Tax.

Becker forwarded an email, from his “[email protected]” email account, to an unknown number of individuals.  Contained within the forwarded email, are links to documents asking people to vote “YES” on the tax referendum question.

This violates the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, 5 ILCS 430, in which “Prohibited Political Activity” is defined, in part, as:

  • (7) Soliciting votes on behalf of a candidate for elective office or a political organization or for or against any referendum question or helping in an effort to get voters to the polls.
  • (11) Distributing, preparing for distribution, or mailing campaign literature, campaign signs, or other campaign material on behalf of any candidate for elective office or for or against any referendum question.
  • (12) Campaigning for any elective office or for or against any referendum question.

This violates SIU Policy, Section 7 (A), by using university property and resources to distribute emails soliciting a “YES” vote on a  referendum question on the November ballot.

This also violates the Governor’s “Prohibited Political Guide” and the Executive Ethics Commission’s published brochure.

We asked Dr. Becker to comment, but he has not responded as of publication.


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  • Dave
    Posted at 09:40h, 11 August


  • Tony
    Posted at 09:44h, 11 August

    A math professor shilling for graduated income tax? That’d be a disqualifier to teach math in my book.

  • PK
    Posted at 11:54h, 11 August

    I did not find Mr. Becker on the math department faculty and staff page at SIU’s web-site…a right solid Saluki minus.

  • BW
    Posted at 04:35h, 20 August

    He’s not a real math professor. He teaches in the education department with the rest of the liberals.

    • PK
      Posted at 20:30h, 23 August

      Oh. I thought the math department’s faculty and staff list was already updated to reflect that he was no longer employed…on account of the University policy violation.