Back on January 26th, McHenry County State’s Attorney candidate Patrick Kenneally held a fundraiser at Turnberry Country Club. I had to hurry off to the League of Women Voters’ County Board Districts 4, 5 and 6 Forum, so missed the speech.
Kenneally’s speech and some photos I took follow:
As Lou’s successor, there is one indispensable responsibility that I believe I have the solemn duty to uphold as State’s Attorney. And that is, beginning any speech with a corny joke. [Joke, which I found quite funny, is omitted.]
Today is a wonderful day for me and my family.
I look around this room and I know that I have been blessed beyond anything I deserve.
I have a wife. A beautiful and incredible wife who I love beyond any measure and who loves me.
A wife who has been willing to bear the weight and, sometimes, adversity of this political campaign with me.
I have two little sons, Patrick and John.
Though little Patrick has shown no interest in picking up the mantle of his father’s impressive athletic career (at least in my own mind) and little John seems to be pop fully awake and want to play at 2 a.m.…I look at them and feel nothing but gratitude.
I have two affectionate and self-sacrificing parents and two wonderful and accomplished sisters.
They say you can’t choose your family, but the truth is if I had a choice, they are who I would have chosen.
I have Lou Bianchi standing behind me.
This truly remarkable man who’s tenure as State’s Attorney has been epitome of fortitude, courage, and resilience. This man who has restored the State’s Attorney to its rightful owners…the people.
I hope to not just be your next State’s Attorney…I hope to be your next Republican State’s Attorney.
Here’s what I think that means.
Being a Republican state’s attorney means recognizing that there is no higher purpose for government than first and foremost to keep the public safe to exercise freedoms this country so graciously imparts.
Being a Republican state’s attorney means understanding that the purpose of the criminal justice system is not to be a surrogate parent or caretaker.
The purpose of the criminal justice is to turn criminals into self-governing people and, if this is not possible, remove them from society.
Do this with rehabilitation through limited and cost-effective services.
Also do this by creating a culture of unwavering accountability in courtrooms.
By not allowing criminals to blame society or concoct some other cop-out/sob-story to evade responsibility.
This does not happen as the result of a speech or good intentions; holding criminals accountable must be fought for…day in and day out.
That is especially true in the society we live in today that is increasingly defined by relativism, universal victimhood, and overriding commitment to self.
Now you may have noticed we are playing up the Irish theme in this campaign. J.K Chesterton said of the Irish:
For the Great Gales of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad
For all their wars are merry
And all their songs are sad.
Truth be told, as an Irishman, I get misty listening to sad Irish ballads. And, truth be told as an Irishman, I am a little pugnacious. I am willing to fight wars and to fight merrily.
“Merrily,” not in the sense that I enjoy high-stakes courtroom battles proceeding from some human tragedy.
Merrily in the sense that I know as a State’s Attorney, I am fighting for the right and the just side.
I think we owe Lou another round of applause.
But I think we owe Lou more than that.
I think we also owe Lou the peace of mind of knowing that the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office he has worked for, been indicted for, and fought back for will remain with a new generation of leaders that will keep it as a public trust.
I hope to be one of these leaders, I thank you all for being here in support of this campaign, and I ask for your vote on March 15, 2016.