I was more than a bit surprised when those general assembly Democrats remapped Republican state rep Keith Wheeler right out of his relatively safe 50th district seat and smack dab into the massively gerrymandered and far more questionable 83rd. It’s not that I wouldn’t put anything past that overly corrupt supermajority, it’s just that Keith’s capacity to play well with others has earned him a certain respect on both sides of the aisle.
Not to worry I figured. A savvy campaigner like Keith with wide support from both parties would make mincemeat of the utterly unremarkable Matt Hanson, a candidate who couldn’t even hold onto his Kane County board seat.
But then, just last week I learned the Democratic State Central Committee poured a terrifying 250 grand into Hanson’s campaign. That made me wonder who the amicable Mr. Wheeler might’ve inadvertently crossed. After all, it’s not that difficult to get on someone’s Springfield bad side.
It was in the process of trying to come up with an answer that I finally figured out the nefarious Democrat’s plan.
You see, they don’t want reasonable Republicans like Wheeler roaming around Springfield. They’d prefer to have the looney Trumper types like gubernatorial and attorney general candidates Darren Bailey and Tom Devore in the mix because they make their stilted woke agenda look almost reasonable by comparison.
So, it was Keith’s capacity to play well with others, effectively govern, and his refusal to get hung up on already resolved socials issue that made him a target. As I frequently wrote in my not-quite bestselling book, “Politics ain’t a game for sissies.”
That means, not only are we in danger of losing one of our best legislators, but he could be replaced by one of the worst candidates – and most questionable human beings – I’ve covered in 15 long years at the keyboard.
We’d constantly hear stories like this when I was running Ron Ford’s Kane 2018 County board campaign, but this one was the worst.
A restaurant owner showed up to work one day only to find a 4- by 4-foot Hanson sign prominently posted on his property. Incensed by the interloper, he cut it down and replaced it with one of Ron’s. When Hanson discovered the switch, he burst into the restaurant demanding that the manager put his sign back up. When she said no, he got so belligerent that the Aurora Police had to remove him from the premises.
Then there are the tales of Hanson’s outrigh corruption.
After he was unceremoniously bounced from the county board, the Kane County Democrats conspired to appoint him to the Metra board with a $15,000 a year salary just for showing up to 12 meetings. But there was a fascinating hitch in their giddyap.
I personally warned both Hanson and board chairman Corinne Pierog that his current employment at the Burlington Northern Railroad automatically disqualified him from serving on ANY railroad board. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the insidious nature of that conflict of interest.
Despite my altruistic intercession, Pierog and Hanson proceeded with the appointment anyway. But before the ink could dry on the paperwork, Metra sent Pierog and Hanson a scathing missive chastising them for their blatant attempt to ignore their most basic ethical standard and marginalize the board.
As bad as all that is, this is the story that reveals the real Matt Hanson.
Thanks to one brave woman, The First Ward broke a rampant sexual harassment scandal that had engulfed the Kane County state’s attorney’s office in 2019. After the smoke cleared, the details were damning enough to force then state’s attorney Joe McMahon to not seek reelection.
As part of that process, I was invited to present my findings to the county board, but when I went 15 seconds over my three-minute limit, board member Hanson flashed his watch at the chairman while enthusiastically tapping a finger on it to cut me off. Never mind that a slew of female prosecutors quit as a result of McMahon’s failure to address the issue, Hanson couldn’t bear the thought of his lunch being 30 seconds late.
The bottom line is, Matt Hanson isn’t fit to hold a middle school student council seat, much less the Springfield variety. And the only reason the Dem central committee is supporting him with this kind of campaign cash is they know he’ll be another unconditional yes vote on insanity like the Safe-T Act, mandated sex ed in schools, and any number of absurdly progressive measures.
Worse yet, as a dyed-in-the-wool union member, does anyone really think that Hanson will do anything to solve the pension crisis? He’s the last thing the insolvent and overly woke overstate of Illinois really needs.
Please don’t let the Democrats get away with this gerrymandering scheme by voting for Keith Wheeler. You won’t be disappointed. But if you vote for Hanson, you certainly will be.