The fat lady hath sung!

As the great Larry Jones and I prophesied some three years ago, yesterday, by a rancorous 14 – 10 vote, the Kane County Board finally approved the Maxxam Partners drug rehabilitation center slated to go in the old Glenwood School building adjacent to the village of Campton Hills.

Apparently, the third time really was the charm!

Though it wasn’t nearly as nutty as the union packed video-gaming vote board meeting chaired by former board member Cathy Hurlbut back in 2007, that doesn’t mean the four-hour free-for-all wasn’t one for the ages.

Glenwood School

To be clear, having grown weary of the rehab center debate, I did not attend, but I’ve received numerous reports, which I’m more than happy to relay to you. As a high-ranking Kane County official said when the gavel finally came down, “That’s four hours of my life I’ll never get back.”

The festivities commenced with a plethora of public speakers, most of whom voiced their vast displeasure with the Chairman and County Board for allowing “this kind of thing to happen.” And it quickly got personal, too.

You see, one of the more fascinating dynamics in local politics occurs whenever a group of NIMBYs comes to the realization they’re about to lose a multi-year battle. Then they go for the jugular, and that’s exactly what happened yesterday.

To be fair, some of those fine Campton Hillians politely reiterated the old arguments that the rehab center wasn’t a good idea because:

  • No nearby public transportation
  • No nearby hospital
  • It would overwhelm the local fire protection district with calls
  • Pharmaceutical “run-off” would contaminate local wells

while others went after certain board members and State’s Attorney Joe McMahon for “capitulating” to the developer.

The highlight of those tirades had to be Campton Hillian, Dick Johansen, accusing board member John Hoscheit of single-handedly making the rehab center a reality. His conspiracy theory was, since Hoscheit’s wife works for an alarm company that did a presentation for Maxxam, he somehow rigged the vote to get her the contract.

All I can say is, I’m really starting to think Churchill was right when he said, “The best argument against Democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

First, I hardly think one potential contract is gonna make or break your average alarm company. And second, if that actually was the case, I hardly think that contract would be enough to convince 13 other board members to blindly go along with him.

It’s hard enough to rein the current Kane County Board into reasonability, much less get them to agree the sky is blue. While I certainly respect John’s political acumen, not even he could pull off that kind of political sorcery.

And speaking of the current county board, following the lead of the public speakers, their pre-vote debate quickly descended into a similar anarchy, highlighted by Chairman Chris Lauzen and outgoing board member Don Ishmael exchanging barbs. Once that cat was out of the bag, the recriminations against Maxxam and their peers freely flew!

The battle basically broke down along voting lines, with 14 board members correctly claiming the deal on the table was better than fighting a $68 million discrimination lawsuit they’d inevitably lose. The Chairman and the dissenting 10 demanded their Campton Hills constituents’ voices be heard and acknowledged.

But as acrimonious as it was, the meeting was not without its humorous moments!

On more than one occasion, retired 16th Circuit Judge Ed Schreiber, a vocal opponent of the rehab center, shouted “point of order” from the pews which solicited a mixture of board chuckles and glares.

Most of us know only those on the dais can issue that interjection, so I’m sure it was rather odd to hear it coming from the peanut gallery. This also begs the question of how the Judge would’ve reacted to a courtroom observer soliciting a similar interruption.

Then, as the marathon session wound down and they finally got to the consent agenda (approving resolutions en masse), board member Jarett Sanchez declared, “You all know I’m against the Longmeadow Bridge, but in the interest of moving things along, I won’t pull those resolutions off the consent agenda just to vote no.”

KDOT head honcho, Carl Shoedel, summarily bestowed his “Good Sportsmanship” award on Sanchez for mercifully bringing the proceedings to an end.

Of course, the massive irony was, with the exception of the vote itself, the rest of the lengthy meeting was absolutely pointless. Given the legal realities, the board had no choice but to approve the project.

The bottom line? Failing a successful private lawsuit, the rehab center will occupy the former Glenwood School building and the County insurance carrier will pay most of the $4.6 million going to Maxxam and $970,000 to the Glenwood School to settle the $68 million suit. The taxpayers are on the hook for a measley 500 grand.

And speaking of marathon sessions, let’s stop right here! On Friday, we’ll discuss how the bloom is finally off State’s Attorney’s Joe McMahon’s rose as board members attacked him for failing to adequately defend Kane County. Until then!

Quick Hits – Sometimes ya gotta fight!

The Daily Herald did a pretty good job covering the latest Kane County Zoning Board of Appeals get together in which that illustrious group, for the third time, voted down the Maxxam Partners’ planned Campton Hills drug rehabilitation center.

Since their decision is merely advisory, for the third time, the fate of the project rests with the full County Board, who may as well give it the thumbs up, because, in the words of that great philosopher Blondie, it’s coming in “one way, or another!”

Another no vote would be as futile as trying to get Angelina Jolie to stay on her meds.

But the most fascinating part of that meeting came when retired 16th Circuit Judge Ed Schreiber took Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon to task for “capitulating” to Maxxam in a proposed settlement to their $68 million lawsuit against the County.

Glenwood School

Schreiber said his own foray into determining the quality of the KCSAO’s defense of the two previous County Board no votes left him with the sinking feeling that none ever existed. Of the pending settlement he told the ZBA, “It’s even worse than the two prior proposals. This is less a settlement than a complete capitulation.”

The former Judge further explained that McMahon “misled” him into believing no such deal was being considered.

And that sounds about right for our State’s Attorney who’s so mired in the Cook County Laquan McDondald shooting trial, he has no clue as to what’s going on in his own office.

Some folks also suspect the Judge was the source for a series of possible McMahon/Maxxam conflicts of interest involving folks related to the old Glenwood School. As a result of that information, Chairman Chris Lauzen publicly accused McMahon of failing in his role as the county board’s attorney as a result of those prior relationships.

McMahon denied any conflicts exist.

This is a case in which I’d have to agree with the State’s Attorney. That same data was forwarded to me, and when you consider the eminently incestuous nature of those Kane County courthouses, any state’s attorney worth their salt would have developed all sorts of legal and/or personal relationships with developers, lawyers, and a slew of politicians along the way.

The truth is those were just garden variety connections with which virtually every countywide elected official must contend. The real three-fold problem is much more serious:

1. McMahon is an absentee boss who’s no longer interested in the job

Again, as a result of the Jason Van Dyke prosecution, McMahon is almost never in the office. When he does show up, sources tell me he goes up the freight elevator, spends a few hours at Peck Road and Rt. 38, and disappears.

Other sources told me that McMahon, always on the lookout for a better gig, never stays in one job for very long, and he’s been State’s Attorney for eight long years. With the Trump administration passing him over for that federal prosecutor position and the Van Dyke prosecution becoming a liability, he’s completely checked out.

2. That leaves Joe Lulves running the Civil Division show unchecked

And as every County Board member will attest, Lulves doesn’t have a clue. He may have been named prosecutor of the year in 2016, but when it comes to civil law, he’s lost. His most recent FOIA request denial to me was riddled with so many inaccuracies and misapplications of the statute you’d think it came from a first-year law student.

During my brief stint at the County Clerk’s office, I quickly noted that Lulves’ theory is to keep the County Board and elected officials in the dark to reduce the impact on his office. Judge Schreiber was right when he said the time for a zealous defense against the rehab center was those first two board votes. But with McMahon constantly in Cook County, Lulves ignored the problem until his boss couldn’t.

The bottom line there is, Lulves’ incompetence has and will continue to cost the Kane County taxpayer copious amounts of cash.

3. The KCSAO won’t fight lawsuits

And that failure falls squarely at McMahon’s feet.

Trust me! I get that settling lawsuits is frequently the most expedient thing to do. But when you settle every last one of ‘em, it’s gonna start costing you even more money because the local attorneys are bound to catch on.

High-ranking Sheriff’s deputies, jail administrators, county board members, and elected officials consistently complain to me about McMahon’s utter unwillingness to fight. The best evidence of this lack of legal backbone is Schreiber’s depiction of the proposed Maxxam settlement. There really is nothing in it for Kane County.

To be fair, that previous ZBA member publicly referring to addicts as “animals who should be locked up” made the State’s Attorney’s legal life far more difficult, but he’ll get no sympathy from me. Welcome to the eternally fascinating herding cats aspect of public service. No one said that state’s attorney gig was going to be easy.

But now it’s too late. Borne of Lulves’ lackadaisical attitude and approach, the rehab center is coming in and taxpayers, through the county’s insurance company, will be underwriting a rather large portion of it.

Until McMahon is either voted out or he starts putting plaintiffs on notice that he’ll actually defend the County, it’s only going to get worse.

Quick Hits Will be Back on Monday

Dear Adoring Throng,

As a result of three meetings on the first book today, as well as a strange (non-life threatening) medical issue my wife is dealing with, Quick Hits will be taking a break with the promise of returning on Monday.

The plan is to discuss how Kane County States Attorney Joe McMahon’s refusal to fight lawsuits against the County is getting more expensive than fighting them is. That also boils down to Civil Division head Joe Lulves’ basic legal incompetence.

I will also add that, after last night, it’s clear the Bears will have another dismal season and great white hope Mitch Trubisky is nothing more than the reincarnation of Bob Avellini – a .500 quarterback at best.

Until Monday!

Jeff

Quick Hits – Am I the last real liberal left?

My accelerating disappointment with my progressive brethren and sisteren would most certainly indicate that’s the case. To add insult to injury, the icing on that hypocritical cake is, the only person who seems to see eye-to-eye with me on the most basic truths these days, is my rather conservative friend, Bill Wright.

“Geez Jeff! Not another bleepin’ anti-liberal rant. Aren’t you getting tired of bitching about why progressives suddenly suck? I thought you were one of ‘em!”

Actually, I am on both counts, but having called out so many conservatives and Christians for applying the standards they love only to everyone else, it would be beyond disingenuous for me to let liberals slide, especially when the hypocrisy is this egregious.

But before we continue, let me make it clear that I do not support, condone, or follow Infowars or Alex Jones in any way, shape, or form. That bleep makes me long for the days of the Fox News Glenn Beck.

Alex Jones

For the uninitiated, Jones and his Infowars website spew some of the stupidest bullshit I’ve ever seen, including, but nearly not limited to, a conspiracy theory claiming the Sandy Hook school shooting never happened. In the end, he’s just another garden variety fearmonger who preys on old white people who believe black folks are coming to steal their garden gnomes.

As a result of some erudite individuals calling Facebook out for removing seemingly innocuous posts while giving Jones and his ilk free rein, a majority of social media sites just banned Infowars and similar way-out-on-the-bell-curve political groups.

Though I want to be clear that Facebook and all the other sites have every right to refuse service to anyone for any reason, I think it’s a huge mistake for four really good reasons.

1. Prohibition never works

Anytime we ban anything, alcohol, drugs, books, or music, it only serves to make the item more alluring. When Tipper Gore led the fight to put warning labels on music, it backfired to the point where kids sent sales of suspect CDs through the roof. And that wasn’t even an outright embargo!

To wit, Jones still has his website which will inevitably become more popular than ever.

2. Banning Jones gives him credence

I don’t care what anyone says, the best course of action in these cases is to let stupid people talk and remove all doubt. Believe it or not, I have (just) enough faith in my fellowman to believe that most of them will eventually see bullshit for what it is.

But when you censor Jones, those fence-sitting folks start thinking, “What could possibly be so dangerous that liberals don’t want me to hear what he has to say?” And they go to his webpage to find out.

When Shaquille O’Neal says the world is flat, I don’t argue with him or push the censorship button, I laugh and walk away.

3. The basket of deplorables isn’t going anywhere

This one completely kills me. Liberals seem to think that banning Jones is going to make the people most susceptible to that stupid shit magically disappear. I hate to tell you  folks, but they’re not going anywhere.

Hillary Clinton correctly called them out in her 2016 campaign, but then she ignored their vast economic dissatisfaction and contempt for government as usual to the point where a buffoon like Donald Trump kicked her ass.

It’s just like the Geneva Police Department’s refusal to attend area gang summits. To do so would mean admitting Geneva gangs actually exist. The joke among local law enforcement agencies is that gang members dematerialize upon entering the city and rematerialize on their way out.

4. The standard is impossible to apply

This is the real problem. How can any company possibly apply a social media standard to billions of users across this vast globe? It can’t be done.

I still can’t figure out why Facebook removed a What’s Happening in Batavia post that explained why Batavia has such absurd electric rates. (The moderators did not remove it.) My guess is taking Mayor Jeff Schielke to task for that failure did the trick, but no one is sure. (And I’m convinced Schielke was the one who went to Facebook, too).

If a post that mild was removed for “violating social standards,” asking why Infowars was allowed to roam free is a very good question. But Facebook’s response should’ve been to relax the standard, not to tighten it and make it worse.

A simpler and more reasonable set of rules would be far easier to objectively enforce.

Take hate speech. It’s such a situational morality that it’s virtually impossible to define. Generally, if a white person uses the N-word that’s unacceptable. But what if they’re talking about the word itself or repeating rap lyrics? What if two black folks are using the word as a term of endearment? So, how do you effectively apply the standard?

And if one word can cause that many problems…

 

Look! If there is a Christian God, I can’t wait until Jones comes face-to-face with Her. And I fervently hope she’s a black woman along the lines of Leslie Jones. But the fact that I fail to agree with anything that falls out of his fetid mouth doesn’t mean I won’t defend Jones’ right to spew stupid shit to my death. Because if you start shutting folks down for spewing stupid shit, Bill and I will be the last two Facebook users left.

And I’m not sure how far conversations on grilled pork chops and craft beer can go.

What really frost my flakes is, liberals are supposed to be the guardians of truth, justice, and the American way, especially when it comes to freedom of speech. For them to stomp their feet with glee at this ominous turn of social media events makes them every bit as hypocritical as the Trump supporters they love to loathe.

If you’re offended by someone or some thing, then don’t read their stuff. But don’t abrogate my right to read it – and dismiss it for the BS it clearly is.

If you could legislate, ban or beat stupidity and bullshit into submission, I’d be the first on board. But you can’t. And any attempt to do so always makes it worse. I’ll say it one more time, let stupid people talk because they always hang themselves.

Quick Hits – The Aurora Democrats really are nuts

When embarking upon my first professional countywide campaign back in 2016, then Kane County Board member and current State Senator, Cristina Castro, warned me to avoid the Aurora Democrats at all costs. As she put it, “Those people are nuts!”

But I didn’t listen! Why, my semi-flip response was, ‘Cristina, I’ve covered Kane County politics for ten long years. There is nothing I haven’t seen.” Ms. Castro simply flashed a knowing smile and simply said, “OK!”

All I can say is, I’ve never been more wrong in my entire bleeping life.

By the end of that Coroner campaign, we had to cut ties with virtually all of the Aurora Democrats because they were doing considerably more damage than good. The 2 a.m. drunk phone calls from campaign volunteers were the icing on the cake, too!

Aurora Democrats

And they certainly haven’t gotten any better. In fact, I’ve never seen a group so magnificently mired in the Einsteinian definition of insanity. Here’s what I mean!

Trust me! I understand that running candidates against your enemies is the height of political gamesmanship, but it rarely works, and it almost always backfires. Just ask Governor Rauner about Sam McCann.

When KC Chairman Chris Lauzen ill-advisedly ran Anita Lewis against sitting board member Don Ishmael, and she won by six votes, anyone who follows local government dam well knew that wasn’t gonna be the end of it.

And sure enough! The Aurora Democrats are challenging Ms. Lewis by running Olynda M. De Hoyos for that seat as an “Independent.” Even though political turnabout is always fair play, this ploy is as futile as becoming a Trump cabinet member.

First, the Chairman and his wife Sarah are formidable and relentless campaigners. And second, the activist supporting Ms. De Hoyos has lost more elections than Lar Daly and Ray Wardingly combined. (Look it up!) His intercession is the fastest way to defeat.

C’mon! If you’re going to play the political tit-for-tat game, you need to consider whether your candidate can actually win the race, because if the numbers aren’t there, the other side’s counter-response will likely hurt the greater cause.

To wit, prior to this development, the Chairman had no reason to focus on any county board race, most of which are done deals. But now he has a reason and it’s going to hurt all of the Democratic candidates.

But while this silly scenario is somewhat to be expected, the latest Aurora Democratic plot is beyond the political pale!

Former County Board member Brian Pollock, who couldn’t even manage to keep his own seat, is championing State Rep Linda Chapa LaVia for Kane County Chairman. And, believe it or not, that movement is gaining momentum.

But Chapa LaVia couldn’t win the Aurora mayoral race where she’s strong, so what makes anyone think she could beat Chris Lauzen where he’s strong? So, what’s the point?

I understand why those Dems are horked off at Lauzen, but to quote the late, great Judge Donald Anderson, “There are times you need to keep your powder dry.” And this is certainly one of those times, Because Democrats are still the minority county party and a motivated GOP provides a rising tide that lifts all Republican candidates’ boats.

If you’re going to start flexing your electoral muscles and taking on Republicans, Chris Lauzen ain’t the place to start! He will be chairman as long as he wants to be chairman.

But I’ve saved the worst for last!

For reasons I can’t possibly fathom, the Kane County Young Democrats, an Aurora-based group, inserted themselves into the eternal battle between Lauzen and Coroner Rob Russell. To quote them, “Lauzen, your time is up. We WILL elect someone to replace you.”

Apparently, they’re still drinking.

The first question is, why on God’s green earth would a group of Democrats insert themselves into a battle between two Republicans, especially when that fight weakens both? The second question is, since they couldn’t get Chapa LaVia, Pollock, or Ishmael elected/re-elected, and they couldn’t save the Aurora Election Commission, what makes them think they can beat the Lauzens?

Hint! They can’t!

Once again, all needlessly entering that fray did is fire up the Republicans who’ve put aside their differences to the point where even Lauzen and KC GOP Chairman Ken Shepro are getting along.

That’s even more impressive than Donald Trump giving LeBron James a great big hug.

Add the Kane County Democrats absurdly throwing a slew of cannon fodder candidates into the mix, and the once Trump demoralized Republican Party is now firing on all cylinders. And the Dems capacity to regularly shot themselves in various appendages means the lone countywide Democrat who could’ve won probably won’t.

So much for starting with the kind of small victories that lead to larger ones.

The bottom line is, I’ve never run into a political gaggle that has more faith in themselves with absolutely no evidence to support that that faith. Since they own no mirrors and have no self-reflective capacity, they will continue to do the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. And all Kane County Republicans have to do is shut up and watch the Aurora Democrats hang themselves – and every other Democrat – as they almost always do.

All I can say is, I won’t be disagreeing with Ms. Castro again anytime soon!

 

Quick Hits – August 3, 2018

Doesn’t she bear some responsibility?

Before I get more death threats, I want to be perfectly clear that “revenge porn” – the nonconsensual sharing of compromising photographs or videos of a former paramour – is never OK. I don’t care how horrific a breakup might be, not only is that kind of violation of trust a felony in Illinois, but it says far more about the picture poster than the victim.

And revenge porn is particularly egregious when it’s perpetrated by a Republican State Rep who sits on the Springfield anti-sexual harassment task force. Why is it almost always a Republican legislator?

Sauer

You probably already know that first-term Lake Barrington State Rep Nick Sauer admitted to creating an artificial Instagram account intended to distribute nude photographs of a former girlfiend and subsequently encourage interested males in graphic conversations.

For reasons I can’t begin to fathom, Sauer started this bizarre behavior shortly after they started dating, which means it’s technically not an act of “revenge.” But that has no bearing here because the statute clearly covers the publication of sexual images without the consent of everyone involved.

Though he quickly resigned and brought his reelection campaign to a screeching halt, that’s gonna be the least of Mr. Sauer’s worries. He’s looking at one to three years in prison and 25 grand in fines – per revenge porn count! And the law enforcement agencies involved love to make an example out of politicians.

But while no one should ever be subjected to this kind of public humiliation for any reason, shouldn’t the ex-girlfriend bear some of the responsibility for her unfortunate plight?

First, she and our fine former State Rep met on Tinder. Though it’s not a completely fair portrayal, for the uninitiated, the Tinder app is widely regarded as the best means to a quick hookup. It’s the place to go if you want to skip all those dating niceties.

The bottom line is, anyone whom avails themselves of Tinder knows what they’re getting into.

So, it’s only fair to call into question the judgement of any individual who would share nude photographs with someone she barely knew from a hookup app. In this undeleteable Internet age, even if they met through something as mild as Match.com, I just don’t get this whole naked picture exchange thing.

Again, the woman involved is clearly the victim, and I truly hope the judge teaches Sauer a lesson he won’t soon forget, but this scenario completely diminishes those #MeToo women who played absolutely no rule in their abuse.

 

Baseball players! Delete your Twitter account now!

And speaking of items never departing the Net, it would seem that Milwaukee Brewers’ relief ace Josh Hader isn’t the only major league player with a bad Twitter habit. Since we last spoke on this issue, Yankee’s starter Sonny Gray, Braves’ starter Sean Newcomb, and Nationals’ shortstop Trea Turner have all become the subject of old homophobic and/or racist Tweets.

Much like Hader’s high school tweets, Newcomb’s and Turner’s were issued when they were merely 18, which I will continue to contend is a mitigating factor. If any of us were forced to watch a movie of our entire high school career we’d probably go into a permanent cringe.

I’m still inclined to afford Gray semi-absolution for tweeting stupid shit as an occasionally imbecilic 22-year-old minor leaguer, and I’m bettin’ alcohol was involved. But as comedian Craig Ferguson quipped in regard to Mel Gibson, “I was a blackout drunk for 15 years and I never went full “Third Reich” on anybody’s ass at any point.”

So, some sensitivity and tolerance training might not be a bad thing in his case.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees

But, c’mon people! Do you really want to “out” yourself like this on social media? Hasn’t President Orangeman Group made it clear how intolerant and truly stupid Tweets can truly come back around to bite you in the butt?

Regular folks might get excoriated locally or lose a job, but our four major leaguers are paying a much higher price because now they’re being booed off the field on a regular basis.

I’d like to apply my favorite TV judge’s somewhat favorite axiom here, “Say it forget it; write it regret it,” but I know none of y’all are gonna listen. You’re just going to keep putting that bullshit out there and ranting about freedom of speech when you get called out.

Just put the cell phone down and walk away!

 

I’m still in love with Pope Frank!

Not only did he take the unprecedented step of stripping a sexually abusing Cardinal from his office, but he just let conservative Catholics know – in no uncertain terms – that the death penalty is “inadmissible in all cases.” To add insult to conservative injury, he also insisted that the faithful consider helping the poor and migrants to be equally as important as fighting abortion.

Pope Frank

Then the Pope explained these rulings should apply to all Christians.

In other words, in the tradition of the greatest religious leaders, he called out his flock for being a bunch of flippin’ hypocrites. And that regular popping noise you’ve been hearing is Catholic and Christian heads exploding everywhere.

How long do you think it will be before Fox News labels Pope Francis as the leader of an Argentinian terrorist sleeper cell?

We will be delving into this topic quite a bit more in upcoming columns. Meanwhile, I’m wondering if you can you get arrested for kissing a sitting Pope on the lips?

Quick Hits – Anatomy of a State Senate Appointment

In the words of a suddenly not-so-infamous former president, “Let me make one thing perfectly clear,” nothing nefarious happened as the Kane and McHenry County Central Republican Parties endeavored to appoint soon-to-retire 33rd District State Senator Karen McConnaughay’s replacement.

This exercise is simply intended to shed light on what turned out to be a fascinating political process.

For background purposes, Ms. McConnaughay announced she wouldn’t run in June, and then set an official “retirement” date of September 3, leaving a couple of months of her term. And it’s a good thing she let us know she was stepping down, because no one would’ve noticed otherwise.

Six contenders submitted applications to fill that seat despite the understanding they’d have to start campaigning right out of the gate. Since the 33rd lies between Kane and McHenry Counties, the two county GOP Chairmen created a board of elected officials from both counties to interview the candidates. Here’s how those interviews went:

1.  Michael McMahon

McMahon, a retired Chicago firefighter with no connection to KC State’s Attorney Joe McMahon, never had a shot because no one’s ever heard of him. Had he gotten the nod the Dems would’ve pounced on him in November.

 

2. Laura Pollastrini

A Hampshire precinct committeeman, her claim to fame is performing judicial candidate Tom Hartwell’s dirty work by challenging primary opponent Elizabeth Flood’s nominating paperwork.

Having sat in on that two-day hearing, I was not at all impressed with Ms. Pollastrini or her attorney. Again, the fact that she’s another general unknown with no real fundraising prospects doomed her from the start.

 

3. Steve Andersson

I love Steve and thought he did as good a job as any Republican could as our 65th District State Rep. Though I will continue to sing his praises for breaking the State’s budget stalemate, the majority of Illinois Republicans don’t nearly feel the same way. Despite being the best candidate on paper, the odds of him winning an election in the demonstrably GOP 33rd fall somewhere between slim and none, and so did his chances of being appointed to that seat.

 

4. Carolyn Schofield

A former Crystal Lake City Councilman and Current McHenry County Board member, Ms. Schofield’s public service resume is truly impressive. That said, her consistent political problem is she’s not the brightest bulb in the pack as her senate appointment interview clearly demonstrated.

Upon being cross-examined on city council and board votes that clearly undermined her claim to a staunchly fiscal conservative mien, Ms. Schofield replied, “People weren’t as concerned about property taxes back then.” She also bragged about having union support, which certainly didn’t help her cause.

So, the interviewers quickly crossed her off their list.

 

5. Allen Skillicorn

Considering he’s the sitting 66th District State Rep and the former KC GOP Deputy Chairman, Skillicorn probably should’ve gotten the nod. But Allen doesn’t play well with others and the fact that his ideological tendencies are too much for today’s Illinois Republican Party really says something.

I understand his people are furious he was passed over, but this is what happens when you consistently call out your fellow Republicans in an effort to furiously pander to your base.

 

6. Don DeWitte

Though I’m surprised he got the gig, the former St. Charles Mayor and current RTA Board member was the most logical choice. He may not have run a campaign in over a decade, and he was never elected to anything more than mayor, but as we sift through our Gang of Six, DeWitte clearly stands the best chance of beating 33rd District Democratic nominee, Nancy Zettler.

Don DeWitte 2

That said, he almost derailed his appointment when his response to being asked to describe his upcoming campaign strategy was essentially, “I’m Don DeWitte!” It’s certainly a vintage DeWitte answer and I loved it, but the interviewers were not amused.

Thankfully, they didn’t let that minor ego attack alter their judgement.

 

7. Mark Davoust

“But Jeff! I didn’t see him in the list of contestants?”

No, you did not! But that doesn’t mean our Kane County Board member, the one who lists breathing and staying awake at board meetings as two of his major political accomplishments, didn’t try to wrangle the seat for himself.

When he told Shepro he’d apply for the gig only if he was assured of being the chosen, it didn’t sit very well with the KC Republican Chairman. In fact, it led to a rather short telephone conversation. Talk about a massive entitlement mentality! This man continues to mistake a tailwind for talent.

 

In the end, this is a rare case in which a political process wasn’t quite as bad as watching sausage being made. DeWitte will do fine in Springfield, or at least as well as any Republican General Assemblyman can be expected to do, and with his central Kane County name recognition and a reasonable campaign work ethic, he should easily prevail in November.

But the cast of characters did make this one a far more fascinating proposition.