So, now airfare is a state senate campaign expense?
Given my predilection for steadfastly remaining in my home office, I fully understand why someone would want to avoid the 29.8-mile drive from South Elgin to Yorkville. But unless Illinois 25th District Republican State Senate candidate Beth Goncher did just that – three times – she’s certainly got some splainin’ to do!
You see, our intrepid candidate listed the following three expenses in her 2019 final quarterly campaign finance report:
10/15/19 $150.58 Spirit Airlines
10/29/19 $130.79 Spirit Airlines
11/06/19 $ 77.30 Spirit Airlines
First, I don’t think Spirit covers the South Elgin to Yorkville run, and second, unless you’re running statewide, I cannot comprehend the kind of state senate campaign related proposition that would require repeated air travel.
So, I reached out to Ms. Goncher in an effort to provide an opportunity to explain this conundrum only to be met with stone cold silence. Though I have no evidence they weren’t campaign expenses, that summary silence probably means they’re not!
And those liabilities are even stranger when you consider Goncher’s fundraising efforts have fallen flat to the tune of a meager $4,500 campaign war chest. That paltry amount wouldn’t get you elected mayor of Maple Park, much less put you over the top in the 25th.
If I was a betting man, her donors – predominantly other Republican politicians – probably paid for some vacation or business trip airfare, which wouldn’t surprise me considering Goncher’s political mentor is former 49th District State Rep Tim Schmitz.
Meanwhile, I’d like to thank the source who brought this story to my attention because I can only cover so much myself.
Dudes! The heat ain’t gonna die down!
Considering the frequency with which I hear things, it surprises me whenever a significant story somewhat escapes me. The irony is, when a source finally mentions it, they always preface it with “I’m sure you’ve heard this by now.”
So, It would seem that I’m a victim of my capacity to develop sources as was certainly the case here!
Two separate sources on two consecutive days just told me that Madigan bought and sold Elgin City Councilman, Baldemar Lopez, had every intention of running for the 65th State Rep seat currently held by Republican Dan Ugaste.
That news certainly comes as no shock considering we already covered how Lopez wouldn’t be sitting on his political laurels after spending 25 grand on that city council seat. Though the real irony is, Elgin City Council members may occasionally get appointed to a Springfield seat, but though they often try, they rarely get elected to higher office.
So, why didn’t Baldermar actually run, you ask? His posse, generally headed up by Elgin “activists” Jose Bosque and Anthony Ortiz, told him to wait until “the heat died down.” And the “heat” in question was WBEZ’s and my story uncovering Lopez’ role as a Springfield lobbyist, including how Commonwealth Edison paid him 60 grand to do what can only be described as nothing.
The massive irony there is, the heat actually had died down until Bosque and Ortiz, or Beavis and Butthead as I like to call them, turned the flame to high by filing frivolous ethics complaints against City Councilmen Terry Gavin and Rose Martinez in retaliation for a proposed ethics ordinance banning lobbyists from serving on the City Council.
Even the local papers started beating the drum on that one because Bosque and Ortiz completely ignored similar “violations” on the part of other councilmen they didn’t find to be nearly as objectionable.
Can you say, “Marvelously hoist by your own petard?” I knew you could! Though I’m not sure Shakespeare put it quite that way! With Lopez cowering in the political crawlspace, Democratic Kane County Board member Mo Iqbal ran instead.
The continuing irony is, the heat ain’t gonna die down anytime soon because Lopez still hasn’t filed his 2019 Economic Interest Statement and I’m not about to let that lapse go anytime soon! Right now, he’s staring down a meager $15 late fee, but if he doesn’t file by May 16, the fine skyrockets to $100 a day.
And we know Lopez hasn’t filed that EIS because he knows we’re watching, and having failed to be completely truthful on his 2018 iteration, he doesn’t want to admit – in print – that he’s really a lobbyist, a fact that would greatly impact his political aspirations.
But I’m nothing if not patient! (Stop laughing you bleeps!) I promise I will avail myself of the Kane County Clerk’s EIS portal every week in an effort to determine just when that document finally appears. And we’ll most certainly go over it if, and when, it does.
All I can say is, with friends like Jose and Anthony, who needs enemies?
And speaking of Mo Iqbal…
After barely serving a year on the Kane County Board, as previously mentioned, our perennial candidate is already seeking greener political pastures, which is a wee bit disingenuous when you consider his implicit promise to represent the fine folks of the 19th board district.
I just don’t understand how my somewhat savvy Elginians have been completely taken in by both Lopez and Mr. Iqbal, neither of whom had any intention of serving the voters kind enough to put them in office.
Though it’s a really a moot point.
Unless the demographics shift wildly overnight, the 65th was drawn to be a seriously Republican district such that no Democrat can possibly win it for the foreseeable future. We’re talking Pingree grove, the west side of Elgin, and portions of Hampshire, South Elgin, St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, and Huntley.
That’s about as Republican as it gets in Northern Illinois and, at least for now, there is no imaginable Trump backlash that will change that reality.
Sure! Ugaste only beat 2018 Dem challenger Richard Johnson by a mere 4 percent, but if Iqbal manages to get past primary opponent Martha Paschke – no guarantee there – his somewhat questionable work ethic will provide a proven campaigner like Ugaste with a huge upper hand.
There’s a vast difference between running for county board and state rep, and that shift starts with a massive jump in the number of doors upon which a candidate needs to knock. That means I don’t think Paschke has any shot in the general either.
So, here’s my point! If a candidate asks for your vote when they clearly have no intention of serving one full term, don’t vote for them! And those this-is-just-a-stepping-stone electoral intentions are generally pretty easy to ferret out!