Company that makes campaign items says candidate owes money - FOX 32 News Chicago

Company that makes campaign items says candidate owes money

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By M.L. Elrick
Fox 2 News Investigative Reporter


DETROIT (WJBK) -- "An eight time felon and he has changed his spots," said Pam Sawicki.

I asked her whether she see different spots?

"The spots are still there just a different color."

For 42 years, Sawicki and Sons has made political signs, buttons, T-shirts and more.  And for 42 years, virtually every customer has paid them in full.  However, Pam Sawicki says Banks has turned her into a bill collector.

"I have made 14 phone calls since July tenth."

Their signs contain Banks' slogan, "bank on Banks", and some unintended irony.

"It's funny that it should be 'bank on Banks'.  Well, honey, I'm not his bank, and that's what he's treating me as if, oh, well, I'm a politician.  I don't have to pay my debts."

"If this is how he runs his campaign, how is he going to run being a state representative?"

That's a great question, so we tried running it by him.  Banks returned my call at 7:00 a.m. Friday saying he would talk to me after his colonoscopy.  By mid-afternoon, it was time to pay him a visit.  He didn't answer his door, not the front door, not the side door and not the back door, which makes me think he may still be full of, well, you know.

Banks says he's a changed man and that voters should judge him based on his record, but based on the records we found, nothing has changed.  He's still a deadbeat.

Banks knows his district pretty well and he should.  He's lived in quite a few of its homes.  In November 2010, his landlord filed eviction papers on a home on Newcastle.  In February, his landlady filed eviction papers on a home on Burden, and in May his landlord filed eviction papers on a home on Fleetwood.  The owner told me that Banks moved out just last month leaving him with bad checks.

Pam Sawicki, who has her own bad paper from Banks, can relate, and in a small way he's made Sawicki and Sons history.

What percentage of their business involving candidates would she say ends up with them holding the bag?

"Not even one-tenth of one percent."

Voters will decide on Tuesday whether Banks goes to the state House.  In the meantime, he's just happy to have any house.

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