Quick Hits – September 5, 2023

Quick Hits – September 5, 2023

I truly enjoyed a glorious four-day weekend with a much-needed writing break, but now I’m a day behind and my plan is to actually do a quick Quick Hits, which I don’t think I’ve ever done before. Let’s see if I can pull it off!

And they’re (not) off!

Today, September 5, marks the official beginning of the 2024 campaign season when Illinois candidates can start circulating their nominating paperwork to acquire those requisite voter signatures. But while those political engines are revving up, the sound that you’re not hearing is that of any Kane County Republican gearing up to challenge anyone.

Incumbent Republican Rob Russell will likely win another coroner term, and ironically, recorder Sandy Wegman is facing a GOP primary challenger. But Democrat incumbents like County chairman Corrine Pierog, state’s Attorney Jamie Mosser, circuit clerk Theresa Barreiro, and auditor Penny Wegman all appear to have a clear shot to the 2024 general election.

Chris Lauzen
Andro Lerario

And this abject Kane County Republican failure to mount any challenge to those eminently vulnerable Democrats proves just how far the mighty have fallen. And the blame for that uncontrolled descent lies squarely at the feet of treasurer Chris Lauzen and his hand appointed GOP Party head minion Andro Lerario, who’d rather fall for Trump election lies than make any effort to compete with the Democrats.

With Lauzen’s winking approval, Lerario is far too busy going after fellow Republican County clerk Jack Cunningham for having the temerity to a $2 million grant that would the envy of local election authorities all across this vast nation. But oh no, not them! With absolutely no evidence to prove their absurd theory that this money comes from the dark side, Lerario and his lapdog, Campton Hills County board member David Young, are staging regular protests outside Cunningham’s office.

Having unleashed the kind of Trumpian insanity that has potential candidates scurrying away from the KC GOP in droves, Lauzen simply sits back and snickers to himself as the Party ceases to exist.

Lerario claimed he was “interviewing candidates” back in late July, but we can all tell how well that process went by continuing lack of them. It’s downright disgraceful.


Waiting for slating?

Since no Republican’s rushing to toss their hat in the ring, I wouldn’t be surprised if the smarter GOP candidates are waiting to learn of Trump’s presidential campaign fate before committing to the ballot. Their too-obvious problem is, if the felony addled candidate somehow manages to make it through the primaries – a slim possibility as it stands now – he’ll bring the entire party down with him just like he did in the 2020 general.

And what Republican wants to spend all the time and money required to run for countywide office, only to be out of the running before the race even begins.

Conversely, if Trump fades back into the obscurity he so richly deserves and a Haley or DeSantis gets the nod, without their favorite boogeyman to rile the Dem base, Republicans will be the ones celebrating on November 6, 2024.

The problem with waiting to have the Party slate you after the March 19 primary is, particularly with the capable Mark Guethle leading the KC Democrats, Republican candidates will be so far behind in the voter impressing game that only the most tireless campaign workers will be able to catch up.

Put more simply, you cannot give your opponent(s) a six-month messaging head start and expect to win a general election.

Of course, I’ll keep my ear to the ground in regard to any unannounced candidates circulating signature sheets, but we won’t know for sure how these races will round out until that December 4 final nominating petition submission deadline.


Really? You can’t slate judicial candidates?

Having literally written the book on the electoral subject, you’d think I’d know a thing or two. But until my good friend and crack attorney, Jeff Meyer, set me straight, I thought judicial candidates could be slated just like everyone else.

But no! Per the 1994 Bonaguro v. County Officers Electoral Board, 158 Ill.2d 391 ruling, it can’t be done.

It would seem our pesky Illinois Constitution specifically stipulates that judicial candidates must be nominated by their respective Party’s voters, which means, even if it’s uncontested race, they must officially win the primary to be considered “nominated.”

And that completely eliminates the possibility of being slated in the general, with the narrow exception of a judicial nominee being forced out of the race due to illness or death.


And speaking of judges…

Sandra Parga

Having previously laid them out in great detail, I won’t rehash all the reasons I find Kane County associate judge Sandra Parga so objectionable. That said, whenever someone I’m not too terribly fond of goes out of their way to prove me right, I consider it to be fair game.

Sure enough! In her effort to win KC’s 4th subcircuit, judge Parga is hosting a whiskey themed September fundraiser where attendees can buy into sponsorships at various levels:

  • $250       Rye sponsor
  • $500       Bourbon sponsor
  • $1,000   Whiskey sponsor
  • $2,000  Top Shelf sponsor
  • $5,000  Co-Host sponsor

This kind of alcohol themed event would be questionable on the part of any Kane County candidate, but it particularly calls a judge’s capacity to grasp the gravity of the office and the ethical standard involved into question.


So much for taking the DUI high road, right?

That means, though I’m likely spitting into the wind, considering how judicial races are my specialty, if any Dem contender wants to unseat the unlikeable Parga in the primary, or if a Republican attorney wants to take a shot at the 4th subcircuit, I’d be willing to help them out at the friends and family rate.

It’s not too terribly difficult to find me.


No endorsements!

The savvy candidates already understand endorsements no longer matter, so why bother wasting time trying to secure them? There is no past or current Kane County elected official whose blessing won’t cost a candidate more votes than it will get them. It’s the nature of the hyper partisan beast these days.

But since most hopefuls haven’t quite caught up with this reality, they’ll be scratching and clawing to get the kind of endorsements that don’t matter at best, and will lose them votes at worst.

Regardless of those realities, the candidates who should NEVER offer or accept endorsements are:

  • Sheriffs
  • State’s Attorneys, and
  • Judges

because those critical elements of our criminal justice system must remain above the fray to be effective. The clear conflict of interest involved in bestowing a blessing upon someone who’s staffers inevitably appear in the same courtroom in the name of justice cannot be tolerated.

So, if the usual suspects persist in this endorsement pointlessness, The First Ward will be particularly brutal in it’s coverage of that development, including, but not limited to, filing the appropriate ARDC and JIB complaints and perhaps initiating some court proceedings of our own.

In the words of the great Austin Powers, “Oh, behave.”


So much for brevity. Perhaps I’ll do better next time.

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