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McConnaughay Touts Record of Bond Upgrades

McConnaughay press release: The District 33 state Senate candidate will bring valuable record of success to legislative battle over spending and debt.

  • Editor's note: This is a press release from the campaign of Karen McConnaughay, a candidate for District 33 state Senate.

While Illinois is hit with yet another downgrade of its debt, one candidate for the legislature has a record of winning credit upgrades by cutting spending and building strong financial reserves.

"In the midst of the great recession, while municipalities, counties, states and even the United States of America have seen their debt downgraded, Kane County has been upgraded by multiple rating agencies because of our conservative fiscal policies and our commitment to a sound balance sheet," said Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay, candidate for the state Senate in the 33rd District.

Moody's Investor Service downgraded the State of Illinois to A2 rating, making it the worst credit risk among the 50 states.  The company cited the state's inability to effectively deal with its budget shortfall and institute structural financial reforms. See story

In 2010, Moody's upgraded Kane County's debt rating to Aa1. In 2009 Standard & Poor's upgraded the county to AA+, citing the County's "maintenance of very strong financial reserves despite challenges faced by decreasing revenue streams."

Standard & Poor's credits McConnaughay's financial stewardship in making their upgrade, noting that Kane County "has been able to build and sustain strong reserves due to conservative fiscal management."

"We need more legislators who understand what is needed to reverse this devastating trend in our state's debt," said McConnaughay. "Every downgrade costs the state millions in debt service and it falls on Illinois families and businesses to foot the bill. I have been able to turn this trend around in Kane County during a recession when our property tax base was collapsing, and we did it by fighting to reduce spending and the size of government."

Kane County's recently passed Fiscal Year 2012 general fund budget is $7 million less, in real dollars, than the general fund budget passed in FY06. In the same period, total employee headcount for departments under the Board's supervision has decreased 25 percent.

"The governor and Legislature must stop making excuses," said McConnaughay. "I'll bring my unique experience and record to Springfield and fight to get our fiscal house in order like we have in Kane County."

The 33rd Senate District includes northeastern Kane and southeastern McHenry Counties.

To see the Standard & Poor's report click here.

Jeff Ward January 15, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Oh Pulleeeaaaase! Is this what the chairman is down to crowing about? I suppose when you pass out 50 percent raised to your department heads, build an inadequate jail, blow a $40 million surplus, court lawsuits by alienating every elected official in Kane County, and pass out county contracts to all your cronies, there isn't much PR left. Citing a bond rating increase from AA+ to AA1 is like bragging about your credit rating going from 700 to 701. Though it's a truly terrifying thought, like the emperor, the chairman's wearing no clothes.
Terry Flanagan January 15, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Since when do bond ratings constitute the measure of effective government? Considering the bond raters role in the credit swap derivatitives debacle, it would take a lot to convince me that these ratings mean anything, much less a report card of how well local government is doing. Yet local officials point to their bond ratings as some sort of crowning achievment. It's not borrowing power that determines how well your government is doing, but how it spends and manages its money. If government is cutting services to manage its debt, the creditors may love it, but the citizens are being short-changed. If the debt is incurred for unnecessary projects or for projects that are too costly, then the ratings for the bonds used to fund those projects don't really tell the whole story. The management practices that lead to higher bond ratings are those that make the bond holders and underwriters comfortable, including maintaining large cash reserves for debt service. High bond ratings do very little to improve the lives of ordinary citizens.
John Anderson January 16, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Of course Ward has to make a trollish remark...anything at all that reflects positively on McConnaughay just gets his little feet a' stompin'. You need a new act, Ward, maybe Kiss The Sky will hire you to stock old 45's...or maybe your hero, Chris Lauzen (Senator Zero) will let you walk his dog.
Jeff Ward January 16, 2012 at 04:54 PM
just love it when the McConnaughay folks start coming after me with aliases. It means I'm doing my job. It says it all that the only thing the chairman can brag about is an absurd and minuscule bond rating increase at the hands of rating companies that declared mortgage backed securities were safe. John, (not your real name) perhaps it's time to start talking about Karen's new found family values. And the person I'd start the conversation with is the one who always does her polling. Jeff
John Anderson January 16, 2012 at 07:03 PM
You're not "doing your job," Ward; I don't believe you have one of those. Why are you so afraid of admitting you're in Lauzen's pocket? And really...making some slimy remark about "family values," proves nothing is beneath you. Go gripe about soccer parents, it's more your speed.
Jeff Ward January 16, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Couldn't you have done a little better with your alias? John Anderson? Not very creative. I thought Mike Garrity was a bit better. And you're right! I should be focusing on the Chairman's continuing shortcomings, especially in animal control. Like sending out court summons to responsible citizens who had their pets vaccinated months ago because the animal control folks have a 7 month data entry backlog. Thank you for reminding me about that! Jeff
Jim MacRunnels January 23, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Let's talk about bond ratings: Italy AA2 France AAA Spain AA2 Enron Before they declared BK AAA and the best one of all USA AAA only a few trillion in debt. Got to love those ratings. And Bill Paige.....I mean John Anderson how did that Thomas lawsuit turn out?
Jim MacRunnels January 23, 2012 at 04:53 PM
If you look at the amount of debt the county has since the chairman has been in charge, it has more than doubled. The team just keeps spinning the number. I only hope the folks of the 33rd look at the real Karen.

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