Once again, I was going to take today off, but, once again, duty calls. I guess we’ll stick with five days a week as long as the book publishing process is going well and the muse continues to be benevolent.
An IYC correction
Because their names sound similar, my Illinois Youth Center – St. Charles sources incorrectly reported that the inmate who attacked the guard during the April riot and the inmate who instigated the most recent attack were one and the same.
That is not the case. It was two different “residents” of that fun facility.
But all that means is there are two individuals who should be prosecuted for aggravated battery and not just one. But we know that won’t happen anytime soon because Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon is far too busy prosecuting the McDonald/Van Dyke case in Cook County to serve the voters who actually elected him.
Sadly, it will take a death at the IYC before someone finally does something about it.
Karen McConnaughay is everything that’s wrong with Illinois politics
Partly because a reader politely asked for a history lesson, and partly because the Daily Herald is disseminating their typically absurd propaganda again, as she strolls off into the political sunset, let’s examine the real legacy of 33rd District State Senator and former Kane County Chairman Karen McConnaughay.
You see, the DH typically doesn’t do glowing 600-word pieces on retiring Collar County politicians, but they made an exception in Ms. McConnaughay’s case, because she regularly bats her eyelashes at and says nice things to those editors and reporters.
But the truth is – and that reporter knows the truth – Karen McConnaughay was one of the most infamous absentee board members in Kane County history. Committee chairman had to force her ass out of bed to get a quorum on many occasions.
The only reason McConnaughay got into politics was she joined (and later took full credit for) STOP (Stop Taking Our Property), a group that shuddered at the notion of the bicycling rabble riding through their Fox Riverfront backyards.
Public service has never been her first concern.
Sensing her malleability, disgraced Speaker Denny Hastert and Kendall County political hack Dallas Ingemunson tabbed her to be their Kane County Board chair lackey. And she faithfully served them for two long terms.
Serving those who elected her has never been her strong point.
Though she’s incredibly talented, her vast insecurities (most elected officials are incredibly insecure) rendered her an imperious, utterly ineffective, and quite vindictive Chairman. She was so paranoid of her own staff that she installed a security system covering Building A hallways that fed directly into her office.
She spent taxpayer money faster than a drunken Kardashians on Fifth Avenue, she never met a tax or fee hike she didn’t like, and, as former Beacon-News reporter Dan Campana demonstrated, she took pay-to-play to an entirely new level.
Cook County ain’t got nuthin’ on her.
When Campana and I started taking her on in the Beacon, McConnaughay responded by going after anyone she believed was behind the bad press. She went after board dissenters with all guns blazing, too. This infuriated the countywide electeds to the point where they hatched a plan to get rid of her.
So, emissaries Treasurer Dave Rickert and County Clerk Jack Cunningham approached then State Senator Chris Lauzen to run against her. They promised political and financial support as well as the prospect of him actually being able to accomplish something. Lauzen was always a Springfield outsider.
When Lauzen accepted their offer, realizing she could not beat him, McConnaughay turned and ran. Though some serious folks consistently deny this, I’ve heard the 33rd State Senate District was constructed just for her.
And she’s hated that job every step of the way because she can’t stand being a lowly downstate minion. She was on the fast track for greater things – Bruce Rauner became quite enamored of her – but when a couple of jealous peers disclosed her close Kane County union connections, McConnaughay’s star suddenly dimmed.
Bruce doesn’t like unions.
Despite her incredible luck, she’s managed to accomplish absolutely nothing during her Springfield tenure. Even old friends like Mike Kenyon and Ellen Nottke have turned on her because she dismissed them the second they became politically irrelevant.
My favorite McConnaughay State Senate story is, upon meeting with a constituent who’d asked for help with an Elgin project, she wasn’t shy about explaining that her assistance required a sizeable campaign contribution. Unscrupulous Kane County Board member Mike Kenyon was at that meeting, and even he couldn’t believe her brazenness.
McConnaughay’s new “job” with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America is just another Ron Gidwitz crony hire, the kind that Ms. McConnaughay has taken advantage of, and offered, throughout her charmed political life. If you’re interested, I’m taking bets on how many days she actually shows up at the “office.”
Put more simply, when she walks away September 3rd, Karen McConnaughay will not be missed.
Had the Daily Herald been covering Chris Lauzen’s retirement, they would’ve gone to great lengths to list every single quibble and controversy they’ve already attached to his name. But because McConnaghay was smart enough to avoid offending their eminently delicate sensibilities, the DH is more than happy to whitewash her corrupt legacy.
Not on my watch!