Lauzen Accuses McConnaughay of 'Pay-to-Play' Politics

At a press conference Tuesday, state Sen. Chris Lauzen, who is seeking the GOP nomination for Kane County Board chairman, says the current board chair is using vendors and other county "players" to boost her campaign coffers.

At a "press conversation" Tuesday at the "Honest Abe" Lincoln Inn, a Republican candidate for Kane County Board chairman seat accused the present board chairman of "pay-to-play" politics.

GOP candidate and Illinois state Sen. Chris Lauzen handed out documents showing donations made to Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay, according to an article by Eric Schelkopf in the Kane County Chronicle.

Lauzen said 80 to 90 percent of the donations McConnaughay received are from folks who've done business with the county, according to an article by James Fuller in the Daily Herald.

Lauzen is facing off against Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns in the March 20 primary for the GOP board chairman nomination. McConnaughay is running for the Republican nod in the 33rd District state senate seat.

Lauzen told reporters that he wasn't making an accusation of criminal misconduct but was trying to show a pattern.

“The definition of corruption is serving yourself or your pals rather than the public,” Lauzen said in the Chronicle story.

"I just follow facts to conclusions," he told the Daily Herald. "I think it’s clear. There’s just too much smoke here.”

McConnaughay said she was not going to let Lauzen smear her reputation.

“Chris Lauzen is a coward,” McConnaughay said in the DH story. “This is a pattern of behavior of his that doesn’t surprise me at all."

"Engaging in character assassination as a method of campaigning is despicable,”  she told the Chronicle.

In a at the Hilton Garden Inn in St. Charles, Lauzen started the rhetoric that ties Burns to the McConnaughay administration.

"This race in the Republican primary will boil down to a competition between grassroots reformers who intend to significantly improve county government versus establishment insiders protecting their status quo," Lauzen said."

I want to remind the senator that he is running against me and not the current County Board chairman," Burns said at the Friday forum. "It's fashionable to criticize those who hold the office for the organization you want to lead, because in some respects, it becomes red meat," he said.

Fuller's lead in the Daily Herald story offered an interesting contrast.

"Either Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay is a crook or state Sen. Chris Lauzen is a cowardly hypocrite," depending on who you believe, it said.


Editor's note: A technical glitch prevented links from publishing in a previous version of this story. 

The Chronicle article is here: http://www.kcchronicle.com/2012/01/17/lauzen-accuses-kane-county-of-pay-to-play-politics/aa0bxur/?page=1

The Daily Herald article is here: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120118/news/701189877/

Both are excellent.

Sandy Kaczmarski January 18, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Nothing said about hypocrisy. Just confusion and a little too much theatrics.
Karen Phillips January 18, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Enough theatrics to go around. You made very pertinent comments in regard to the donations taken at the county. Should this not change? I agree that many important matters need to be discussed. This is the first one on the agenda next month. Maybe that is why it was addressed...so it could be debated?
Justin Eggar January 19, 2012 at 01:52 AM
I cannot blame candidates for not allowing "open hunting" on their blogs. There is enough irrelevant trash talk that occurs on the internet that we don't need to allow it directly on a blog. Note, every post a politician has spins our of control into blather that has almost nothing to do with the original topic. Let them have a place to post a point... and if it's so far outside the truth that it draws our attention I'm sure we'll find a forum to discuss it.
Karen Phillips January 19, 2012 at 04:50 AM
Justin, When it is wrong is when a candidate is critical of another for closing out the public. Add that to the quote that all ideas are worthy of consideration as proclaimed by Mr. Burns. Is transparency and openness only critiques left for Lauzen when he requested that those having press credentials at his own press conference. Why do you think a $41,000 campaign consultant was there with Burns "press secretary?" Add that to the county taxpayer supported PR guy that now "volunteers" for a candidate. Let's be honest. They were attending to "spin" any message of candidate Lauzen's out of control. Mr. Burns, tear down the closed wall on your blog or please don't proclaim yourself as such an open candidate. Just kind of an open one if the time and place is right.
Terry Bermes January 21, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Considering the current state of the political atmosphere, I'd have to question the judgement of a candidate who would open up his/her campaign website to public commentary. There are multiple means for a candidate to make himself/herself open to the public but I certainly wouldn't leave my website open to public postings. For the record - I won't be voting in the Republican primary and have no horse in this race. In fact, I can't say that I'm doing cartwheels over any of the four major party candidates...it's gonna be one of those elections.


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