Letter to the Editor: While Lauzen Attacks, Burns Runs on Record

Mark Wissing, Geneva Township supervisor, says the difference between the two GOP candidates for County Board chairman is shown in their campaign strategies.

Dear Editor,

Republican voters will be faced with a decision in the primary election to select a new County Board chairman candidate. The choices are Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns and state Sen. Chris Lauzen.

The current County Board chairman, Karen McConnaughay, has decided to run for the new 33rd State Senate seat. This is a loss for Kane County but good for the people of Illinois. McConnaughay has demonstrated strong leadership with conservative fiscal responsibility that has placed the county in excellent financial position.

The candidates have chosen different campaign strategies. Mr. Lauzen has decided to attack Karen McConnaughay’s character and reputation. He has accused her of pay-to-play politics and when asked to prove it he offered no evidence. During two separate debates with Burns (his opponent), Lauzen has turned his attention away from the priorities facing the county and has chosen a position of hostility and false accusations against Karen McConnaughay.

Mayor Burns has decided to demonstrate his track record of bi-partisan support and the skills to run a city with a multimillion-dollar budget. Burns understands the necessity of smaller government and believes in the elimination of unnecessary regulations. Under Burns' leadership, Geneva has reduced its spending significantly.

We don’t need divisive, unproven rhetoric from any candidate; we do need well-reasoned, thoughtful actions from someone who knows the issues at home in Kane County. I believe Kevin Burns has the experience, commitment and integrity to keep us on the road of success for the future of Kane County.


Mark Wissing
Geneva Township Republican Chairman

Debbie King January 30, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Yes, Debbie King is my real name, and my story is true. It happened in March of 2011. And for some reason, he did what he did.
Ellen Nottke January 30, 2012 at 09:43 PM
what is really annoying to me is that anyone that has an opinion other than Karen Ramey's or Jim McRunnels is some kind of insider. We're all insiders - It's a letter to the editor - as defined, the opinion of the writer, if you don't agree write your own damn letter and get it published instead of bashing someone that has taken the time to voice their opinion. And yes, once again, I'll state in the spirit of full disclosure, I am a friend of Karen's I am a friend of Kevin's I am a friend of Mark's I am a friend of Matt's my real name is Ellen Nottke I was born in Chgo I moved to Batavia 21 years ago. I have two grown daughters and even if they were still toddlers act a whole lot more grown up than Karen RP and Jim Mac. Get over yourselves people and work for your candidates and quit the bickering. It really is unbecoming.
Debbie King January 31, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Sue, I am glad you had a good out come, I didn't. I felt it my duty and right to tell my story, just as you did. Personally, I am not too happy with any of the choices in this election.
Jim MacRunnels January 31, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Really Ellen......unbecoming......the thought of Sen. Lauzen running Kane County must make you crazy. You have decided to post under your own name, that is the first step to recovery. But back to the issues......Geneva's tax increase, water rate increase, electric rate increase and downtown plague those are questions still needing answers.
Karen Phillips January 31, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Ellen, My comment was specifically about mortgage relief and a program that may help homeowners find some. I do find it ironic that in the past week there has been more criticism on: Who was allowed to attend a press conference (especially when the conference subject matter contained suggestions for campaign finance reform (which will be discussed at the county next month), the mortgage relief program and a call for a levy freeze. There was an effort to bring forth honest discussion about: Changes to legislative scholarships not allowing family members of insiders (darn that word again) to apply Ethics reforms so it is known who is financing campaigns and candidates and officials disclosing this relationship before voting. Finding possible ways to cut costs so taxpayers don't bear the burden of paying more taxes for less services. Kevin Burns is proposing a moratorium on local road impact fees to move economy. Lauzen calls for mortgage relief and a ban on windmills and mining restrictions in Kane Co. Great news on all counts. My opinion and definition of being an 'adult' is having the courage to express an opinion and speaking out if you find something which concerns you in the workplace (even if it is financially risky). I respect your right to an opinion and it's understandable that your'e frustrated at the Patch policy of community commentary. I guess as adults we all have to accept it but that is what makes Patch unique.
JoAnn January 31, 2012 at 06:04 PM
For the record, this is the first time I have commented on Patch but cannot let go unchallenged Debbie King's comments. I find her description of her experience with Chris to be out of the realm of possibility based on my interactions and the interactions of others with Chris. Chris is the epitome of a gentleman, he listens attentively, and he is extremely responsive to his constituency. I'm not sure who Debbie met and talked to, but I'm confident it was not Chris Lauzen.
Debbie King January 31, 2012 at 06:32 PM
I am glad we have the right to express our opinions, you have yours, and I have mine. Maybe he was having a bad day, but what I wrote happened.
Jill K. Amoni February 01, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Chris Lauzen is a man of impeccable character. I have known him and honored and respected him for 17 years. As far as I'm concerned, Mr. Lauzen should run for President of the United States. With him in charge we'd be out of the abyss we've been wallowing in for over 3 years. I've known no one in government I could ever trust as I trust Chris Lauzen...it's just not possible in this day and age. He has proven himself to be highly principled and highly responsive and I would further exclaim that I have never before, in my 6 decades on planet Earth, EVER met anyone that even comes close to the man and leader he is. In addition to being a fiscal genius and highly resistant to any kind of waste, he will be the best steward of OUR money. This is not just MY opinion...it is shared by many, including many on this thread. I'm not highly political because the political landscape is littered by the corrupt. I am justifiably jaded. Chris Lauzen is the ONLY politician I trust and believe me...that speaks volumes. And just as a side note....a few years ago, during Burns' tenure as mayor, I had occasion to visit the city's offices on South St. Since I'm used to having my thermometer at 68° in the winter, I was uncomfortably HOT while there and looked at their thermometer which was set at 76°. When I emailed Mr. Burns, suggesting how much money it would save taxpayers to turn the heat down to 68 or 70°, I got no response. I'll cut him slack for that...maybe he didn't get it!
Sandy Kaczmarski February 01, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Debbie King, I believe you. I worked for Lauzen in his district office and that's how he gets when he comes unglued which is often. He is very scripted and falls apart if you throw him off --like asking him a difficult question. He is often rude and short with people. His mortgage relief plan is a campaign gimmick, he didn't devise anything. His senate website was always painfully out of date, until he decided to run for board chair. The Lauzen you witnessed is the Lauzen that has earned a reputation among his colleagues as being argumentative and difficult to work with. His record in Springfield isn't impressive. He's looking for a pay raise to triple digit income, with no downstate travel for four years before he retires. This isn't about the voters, it's about him.
Debbie King February 01, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Sandy, Thank you!
Bill Page February 01, 2012 at 02:14 PM
No, MacRunnels, this is me. And you've got the spelling of my name wrong. As well as your facts about the Thomas case,etc. But I can say with certainty that I'll take being hauled into court for refusing to give up sources over Zahm's background. I wear mine as a badge of honor...I doubt he can say the same.
Karen Phillips February 01, 2012 at 02:14 PM
This debate has sunken to such an all time personal low that I would call for Rick Nagel to bring those making the last several comments into his office personally to be identified. When you have documentation and public record to make claims it is one thing but to launch such vicious attacks is another. Sandy, I read that you had a terrible experience while working for Chris Lauzen. I have heard both good and bad recollections for memories of just about every candidate. Since you did not part your employment experience on good terms Lauzen is mean, does not run his office well has no programs of value. His opponent has some incidences of his own that no one wants to discuss either. I have had my unfortunate experiences with a county leader, duly noted. I have no recourse but to keep with the public documentation because if I swore to any other experience most likely her supporters would call me a liar. Anything I say about Jon Zahm would be critiqued as a bias since we support the same candidate. But do I think some anonymous thug like John Anderson that would accuse a man of "dealings" with boy without any substantiated proof? Revolting. Where is "John" Anderson? Mr. Nagel should stop this immediately. It borders on serious recklessness.
Bill Page February 01, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Karen: I've stayed away from this nonsense for a reason; the same characters, the same feuds are still roiling around Kane. I support Kevin, you know that and so does the press as my name is featured prominently on campaign releases. You support Lauzen, which is no surprise as you have done so for years. So we're on opposing sides..so what? Or at least it should be "so. what." Unfortunately, every time someone writes something in Kevin's favor they are immediately torn to shreds by Chris' supporters. Jon's attack on Sandy is a perfect example. The subsequent attack on Zahm was not nice, but has become the norm on this site. Enough is enough for all sides Curie's supporters.
Sandy Kaczmarski February 01, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Jon, you obviously don't know me or my beliefs. It's no secret I ran for board chair; I lost. It was four years ago. I ran against Karen's policies and cronyism, not the Republican Party. Since that campaign, I am firmly independent and support candidates for their character and dedication to public service. I welcomed an opportunity to work in my senator's office and was grateful to have an opportunity to help constituents. I ended up filing a complaint against Lauzen with the Illinois Ethics Commission for running his campaign office out of his district office which is paid for by taxpayers. I would have done the same if he was a Democrat. I do not believe an elected official is above ethical conduct as outlined by the state.
Karen Phillips February 01, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Political consultants are daily targets for hostility from just about every direction. So are candidates that express concern for matters of disclosure, ethics and justice. I have witnessed both Senator Lauzen and Mayor Burns step up for people and defend them. Both showing class and professionalism. Let's challenge every candidate to disclose the identities of their campaign staff and encourage Mr. "Anderson" to come forward. I am not hopeful that he will. I am writing about taking a courageous stand today and questioning why so many were critical of Senator Lauzen when others that they support and consider Facebook friends did the exact same thing. My name is there. The video and supportive documents are there and this is my personal letter to the editor.
Jon Zahm February 01, 2012 at 02:47 PM
"John Anderson" if I find out who you are you might end up in court sued for libel like the 4 people associated with the lies spread about me in Maple Park were. Unfortunately that was a sealed settlement that I can not discuss. You are an anonymous coward. The "questions" in St. Charles were asked of the police about a week before the vote in the 1996 County Board race I lost to John Hoscheit. The investigator told me he did not think it had merit so he waited until after the election to question my and my youth campaign volunteers. After they and their parents were questioned and it was found that every relationship was clean and legitimate I was complimented for all my volunteer work with youth. At that time it included St. Charles Park District and Salvation Army Valley View Youth Center and Elgin Continental Little League. My background checks are all clear and any effort to imply otherwise will require you to furnish proof or get sued if you put me in "a false light" or allege I committed a crime. Note that no one answers my factual statements. I lived in Kane County from 1988 to 2008 and still live in the same 14th Congressional District until the new lines take effect. I have more of a stake in campaigns in Kane than most people. Rick Nagel, you better watch these comments closely.
Jon Zahm February 01, 2012 at 02:47 PM
And, by the way, I lost the Maple Park campaign in 2005 by 19 votes as a year and a half resident versus a lifelong 60 plus year resident. And this was after a mailer deemed libelous by Judge Brown was mailed anonymously all over town in the Saturday mail before the Tuesday election. Perhaps "John Anderson" had something to do with this mailer?
Jeff Ward February 01, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Bill, I agree! As long as folks clearly identify themselves and any connection or self-interest, by all means, please join in the debate. As long as he let's us know who he is, Mark Wissing has every right to write as many letters to the editor as he wants. And he has a right to support the candidate of his choice. As the GTRC that's exactly what he's supposed to do! Though I would not choose this forum to go after an ex-employer for reasons that have nothing to do with his politics, Sandy has the right to her opinion of the senator. Patch readers are smart enough to determine the credibility of a commenter. It's equally disingenuous for Jim and Jon to go after Matt Gaunt who clearly isn't an insider - he simply votes for people I don't - and there are a lot of those folks out there. When I read Karen Phillips endless' posts that go after everyone who's against Lauzen, it only makes me want to vote for his opponent. I graduated from high school and would encourage the rest of you folks to move this conversation above that level. Jeff
Karen Phillips February 01, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Bill: Candidates are being accused of "drive by attacks", "gutter politics", revolting behavior", being called "dispicable" and worse by the Burns and McConnaughay camp. And this is in published letters to the editor! All signed and recorded. Most of the rest of it is from the rest of the public. I tried to bring the conversation back to the ISSUES of mortgage relief, lowering taxes, freezing the tax levy. I can only speak for the crisis in Geneva where residential and downtown areas are in a free fall. The program was trashed, Lauzen's focus on ethics reform (I guess that has become a bad thing) and the man was called 'dispicable' by your own supporters. So much for reasoned debate! If you want to protect multi million political donations and the unbelievable trail that leads to contracts, fine. The subject matter was pertinent in that the office being sought is the same one receiving the lopsided donations. You would have thought reform was a horrible concept the way Lauzen was targeted! I am sorry for Sandy's experience but I don't think that every solution that is proposed by a candidate should be trashed seconds from its introduction without trying. In fact, people have contacted the Lauzens to say they are happy to be able to apply soon to save the dollars on their mortgage, some saving over a thousand dollars.
Karen Phillips February 01, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Jeff, Count me among the tea partiers, Chairman McConnaughay, cheerleaders and pom poms, downtown Chamber , right leaning Republicans, school board leaders, and community activists and the many others all have been taken to your target range .. It's all in good spirit so far. And I happen to even like some of these decisions these people make. Even Karen is following (another candidates) lead and not taking a second pension. Good news for taxpayers! Will other candidates follow the lead of Lauzen and now McConnaughay? And by the way, you are still winning as the most repeated responder in the reply to commentary contest. And Jeff, I happen to agree with Mr. Carroll on investigating IT costs before spending money, Sandy K. on her call for campaign reform, Mr. Flanagan's amazing posts and any citizen or city council member trying to attack real problems in any community. The county board too for the challenges they face in the upcoming year. I will wear your critcism as a badge of honor joining so many others that I may or may not always agree with! Thanks.
Sandy Kaczmarski February 01, 2012 at 05:16 PM
It should be noted that neither Lauzen nor McConnaughay would be affected by any pension reforms because they are already in office.
Karen Phillips February 01, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Sandy, Would this not be an agreement not to take a second pension which is so prevalent and reported on so much these days? I think it would also be in regard to Robert Russsell that would have a second pension when leaving his DuPage position, Catherine Hurlbut, from county board to Circuit Clerk and one candidate running in the Auditor's race. Let's face it. A government pension can be a highly sought out perk which, if adressed honestly, can likely taken into consideration by anyone that seeks office. Especially if a candidate is transitioning from one professional field or retirement to another. And, Sandy your experience in the workplace was unfortunate. I have had some of the very same experiences in the past years in regard to county leadership matters. That however, has not tainted my impression that there are many dedicated people in public service that are there for the entirely right reasons. I applauded your decision to run for higher office, to highlight some real concerns and call for reform.
Rick Nagel (Editor) February 01, 2012 at 06:17 PM
I deleted a comment by John Anderson that violated our terms of use.
Karen Phillips February 02, 2012 at 05:28 AM
Get ready Patch readers. I just got a call on this from the campaign.The attack by proxy team is going to try to make a case against Chris Lauzen for paying his property taxes 2 days late years ago. Now here is the truth (that just maybe they don't want you to know). He had to go to the hospital because he had a kidney stone and spent an extra day there to pass it. This was obviously fed to the Kane Chronicle to beat up the guy that wants to make some changes. Yep biased again. And in the spirit of full disclosure for the John Andersons/Bill Pages of the world that dig this stuff up, I paid late in 2007. My mom died on Sept. 3rd and I was not paying attention to the demands on our property in Geneva. Guess that 2 day delay could make me a hypocrite too. I better get out of the way of that moving Burns bus!!
Sandy Kaczmarski February 02, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Man, this blog gets curiouser and curiouser. Doesn't seem like much of a story and really didn't need to know about Chris passing kidney stones! TMI! Tax issues didn't seem to slow down Cathy Hurlbut much. http://bit.ly/AFk0WZ.
Rick Nagel (Editor) February 02, 2012 at 02:16 PM
I deleted several comments because they violated terms of use.
Bill Page February 02, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Karen: I don't care about this "late tax" issue in the least. I think it was one of the silliest litmus tests ever concocted...precisely because it ends up with the proponents tying themselves in knots as they make a distinction between "their guys" late filings and "the other guys." It's really a lesson in how idiotic zero tolerance policies are...the stance Lauzen took - and Jeff Ward backed - was if you pay your taxes late, you're unworthy to hold office. Period. There was no kidney stone exemption, no bringing in the crops exemption, no pay the employees first exemption. Nope. The law Lauzen wanted and Jeff supported was draconian: pay late, you're unfit. So now as they're being hoist by their own petard the excuses start. My reaction is not finger-pointing, but more, "What the hell did you think would happen?" You make stupid rules, you get stupid results. Paying taxes late is not a crime, it happens. And when it happens people pay the tax and penalty and all is right with the world. It's disingenuous of anyone to suggest that the law proposed by Chris wasn't targeted at Cathy Hurlbut. It was. Let's all be adult enough to admit it. Let's all be adult enough to admit the proposed law was a bad idea...unless everyone who supports it, supports the "no exceptions, even for me" clause.
Jeff Ward February 02, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Bill, Let's be careful here! My complete theory has been, if you can't serve on an Illinois park district or fire protection board because you pay your property taxes late - then it should apply to every office holder. And now Ms. McConnaughay, who didn't say a word when Hurlbut was chronically late, has suddenly co-opted my viewpoint when it comes to Cliff Surges. I also believe the current Illinois park/fire board law, sponsored by Kay Hatcher, offers a reasonable grace period before it kicks in which is certainly the way to go. The bottom line is, we don't want people in a position of power, who chronically can't pay their taxes in a timely manner. It's not rocket science. Jeff
Bill Page February 02, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Jeff: If I got that part wrong, my apologies. However, my points still stand: this is a dumb litmus test that ends up with proponents making exceptions when it suits their purposes. Chris' law did not have exceptions or grace periods, so why the whining when it's pointed out several of the people he endorsed were late? (I think flogging Chris for being a day late is beyond silly, by the way) He should admit it was a stupid proposal, aimed at one person, and move along. And honestly, in the pantheon of faults that elected officials can have, paying their taxes late just doesn't register for me.
Karen Phillips February 02, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Actually maybe there are some good points here in both perspectives. Jeff is right to point out the hypocrisy. But the history on the legislation as it was proposed was to remove one member on the fire board that some powerbrokers in Kendall County wanted gone. Everyone seem to jump ship when it was expanded to include some pretty important VIP's that had repeated issues. We should hold people to higher standards when they are elected. It's a club and honor that should be exclusive. My boiling point, I must admit, is when Ms. Hurlbut made the statement that she was being "patriotic" for paying late since she is paying more. And someone driving around a BMW and having vacation property while the employees can't pay for gas to get to work its a little grating. Can we agree to not use a heavy hammer on the private citizen or the week late offender? I differ that it was aimed at one person. The hyocrisy of making it exclusive to a water reclamation board or a fire board just seemed silly. If a lower office that may be volunteer is mandated by legislators (Hatcher's bill) why not those that are higher ranking? JMO.


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