Zahm Calls Press Conference on Burns' E-Mail Messages

Jon Zahm files FOIA that shows several alleged campaign-related conversations between GOP officials and Kevin Burns, Kane County Board chairman candidate, while using a mayor's office e-mail address.

Jon Zahm, Kane County Conservative Coalition chairman and political consultant for state Sen. Chris Lauzen, called a press conference for 4 p.m. today (Feb. 22) to reveal information on e-mails sent by Lauzen's GOP primary opponent, Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns.

Burns and Lauzen are candidates for the Kane County Board chairman position. The primary election is March 20.

Zahm filed a Freedom of Information Act Request with the city of Geneva on Feb. 10 requesting specific records in several areas of the mayor's office.

On Feb. 17 the City turned over 116 pages of e-mail records between Kevin Burns and the following Republican Party insiders:

  • Ken Shepro—St. Charles Township chairman and attorney for the Kane County Board
  • Karen McConnaughay—Kane County Board chairman and Senate candidate, 33rd District
  • Mike Kenyon—Kane County Republican chairman and Kane County Board member, 16th District
  • Pat Brady—Illinois Republican Party chairman
  • Ellen Nottke—Batavia Township Republican Party chairman

"What we have here is an inside look at how this group plays politics. The mask is off and the taxpayers of Kane County can read for themselves the vulgarities, the hatred, the manipulation, the depravity that some Republican party insiders practice," Zahm said.

Zahm has created numbered packets, 1-116, and will present an index at the press conference and highlight some of the most shocking dialogues. "I am not editing anything. I want the press and public to see these records in their entirety as I will make electronic copies available after the conference as well," Zahm said

"At a minimum," Zahm said, "after the public digests all of this vile content, there will be calls for Burns to resign from this race and from his Mayor's seat and Batavia Township Chairman Ellen Nottke to do likewise from her party boss and precinct committeeman positions."

"In 1996 I filed a FOIA in the Village of South Elgin. Upon return of the records I requested the Village Manager resigned in disgrace and the Village Finance Director followed suit a short time later. I have been a watchdog in Kane County fighting for open and honest government against those who reward their friends and punish their enemies. This is a continuation of that work," Zahm concluded.


SOURCE: Jon Zahm press release.

Ray Schneider February 22, 2012 at 08:16 PM
I find this appalling. That it now comes to searching though someones emails to "get dirt" on them ?
Jim MacRunnels February 22, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Really Ray.... to use the government email or phone for campaign issues is illegal. How many emails? 116!!!!! related to his campaign. I have seen some of them that were posted on the McHenry County Blog and all I can say is OH MY! Mr. Burns and friends will be getting a few calls from the AG's office. So Ray, if you think it is ok for elected officals to use public funds for personal gain you need help.
Greg Nelson February 22, 2012 at 08:31 PM
That's why governmental things should always be transparent to everyone. The good ole boy ways must stop now! We need to get out of this LOOP of "I wash your hand you wash my hand" ways so we can cut taxes and spend only what is needed! The big issue is the need to FOIA when it should all be out in the open and easy to get at, it is 2012 isn't it and not 1960!
Jim MacRunnels February 22, 2012 at 08:31 PM
“Since the ‘decision’ Sean [McCarthy] has not been able to get in touch w/ Randy. “Sean did mention that he and Jerry Clarke asked Randy to call me…to date not a god damn word. “Apparently Randy’s busy @ a Prayer Dinner in D.C. Won’t he be surprised when he learns there is no god.” This just a part of one of the emails that Mr. Burns and Ms. Nottke had. And the Randy is Congressman Hultgren. I only wonder how that endorsement of KM is looking now?
Jon Zahm February 22, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Rick, Please make immediate correction to this story. I am not Chris Lauzen's Campaign Manager or Chairman. I have worked as both a paid consultant at times and volunteer at other times since 1991. The highest titular position I held with his campaign was Field Director in 1991. Jon Zahm
Greg Sykes February 22, 2012 at 08:54 PM
You should be utterly embarrassed, Nagel.
Charles Menchaca February 22, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Jon, I have removed those parts about you being Sen. Lauzen's campaign manager and chairman. —Charles Menchaca, Editor, Batavia Patch
Jon Zahm February 22, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Thank you, Charles.
Justin Eggar February 22, 2012 at 11:45 PM
On a slightly different note... I don't suppose you put in an FOIA for Lauzen did you? It's always interesting to see what goes on in peoples email.
Lois Lane February 23, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Jon Zahm is such a bore, he has been since the first time I met him in late '90's. So if he isn't the campaign manager or the chairman what is he? I listened to his speel in Geneva tonight and he sounded like a gossip from Peyton Place!
Charles Emout February 23, 2012 at 03:03 AM
The content of these emails is at the very least unbecoming of a candidate for public office, especially when sent from a taxpayer funded email address. What's more troubling to me are comments made by Mr. Burns in these documents that he's "working from his Blackberry." This begs the question, "Who owns the Blackberry?" Is this also a City owned Blackberry that he's using to coordinate his campaign activities, and if so, is he also using his taxpayer funded cellphone to make & receive campaign related phone calls? If I've learned nothing else watching political scandals unfold in this great state, I've learned that where there's smoke there's usually fire....
Karen February 23, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Now I don't have to worry about making sure that the good people of Kane County know what kind of person Kevin Burns is. I first met Kevin at the Red Ribbon Celebration and Expo in Geneva. When I asked Kevin when he was going to submit an ordinance banning synthetic drugs to the Geneva City Council, he told me that I need to talk to the police chief. I told Kevin that Aurora mayor, Tom Weisner, proposed the first ordinance banning synthetic drugs in the western suburbs. Kevin said "No, not my job". Apparently, he thought that it was my job! By the way, I live in Aurora. A month or two later, I sent Kevin an email letting him know that I was contacted by a Geveva resident concerned about his inaction with regard to a ban. He responded that it would be a waste of taxpayer resource. He also said that all of the retailers had agreed not to sell synthetic drugs. I explained the reasons why bans are effective tools for law enforcement even with state and federal legislation. A few weeks later, I learned that while an undercover officer was in one of those stores, a young person made a purchase of synthetic marijuana. What timing! Unfortunately, this was before the Illinois ban and with no ban in effect, there was no course of action for the officer. Geneva finally got their ban dispute the objections of their mayor. I just thought that the good people of Geneva deserved to know the truth about why they were the last town in the area to get a ban on synthetic drugs.
Karen February 23, 2012 at 04:34 AM
By the way, my name is Karen Dobner. I didn't mean to leave out my last name.


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