Instead of finding a quote from each of the nine District 1,2 and 3 candidates for McHenry County Board who were featured in the McHenry County League of Women Voters Forum, let’s take a look at their answers to one question.
Some background first.
William Saturday, a North (now Bernotas) Middle School gym teacher got enamored with one of his female students.
(When I asked a niece about the same age, but from another middle school about Saturday, she replied, “Oh, you mean Mr. Hands.”)
The night she graduated from middle school, they had sexual intercourse.
Saturday got tired of using condoms and drove her to Woodstock’s McHenry County Health Department on a Saturday for a shot of Depo-Provera, a three-month ovulation suppressant.
Then Saturday decided to get married.
The jilted high schooler went to the Crystal Lake Police, who wired her.
She contacted her lover and got him to admit the affair.
He went to jail for a felony.
An uproar came from the public when parents learned that their minor children could get birth control medication and condoms without their permission.
The battle which ensured pitted Pro-Lifers against Pro-Choicers.
Considering the League approved all of the questions asked at the County Board forums and a question about Title X’s return has been previously asked to all Board candiates, I have to assume that its predecessor organizations (before being merged into one County League) were on the losing side of the County Board fight to stop taking Title X money from the Federal government.
The resolution of the fight in the 1990’s was one worthy of Solomon, in my opinion.
The Board dumped the $40,000 Federal program because the bureaucrats who wrote the rules in the early 1970’s included a provision that there could be no discrimination on the basis of age.
That meant services from any money accepted had to be offered to girls and boys, no matter how young.
So the County Board kicked out Title X…
But (and here’s Solomon part) substituted county money to provide the services covered by Title X with the exception of contraceptive services to minors…unless a youngster had parental permission.
McHenry County, by the way, is the only county in the country that has deep-sixed Title X.
The issue even made it to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
You can read a comprehensive cover story from World Magazine here.
As far back as 2010, the radical Pro-Abortion group Personal PAC asked the following question to candidates:
Will you SUPPORT the availability and accessibility of family planning services for everyone in Illinois regardless of age?
That question was added because of the action by the McHenry County Board.
I asked the question to Jack Franks at his Woodstock County Board Chairman Town Hall Meeting and he refused to answer it.
The League asked about applying to Title X Federal money again Tuesday night.
From the answers, one can figure out that a lot of the candidates had no clue about the 1997-98 controversy.
First was District Two Democrat Suzanne Ness.
She pointed out that Title X was “money that we as a County don’t take.
“I don’t understand why we leave that money on the table.
“I am in favor [of taking Title X grant money].
Next was District 2 candidate Carolyn Schofield.
It was “before my time’ [on the County Board],” she said.
She was certain that such a consideration was “something would stir up a lot of tension.”
The third District 3 candidate, Josh Howell said there “were a number of strings that Board members at the time were not willing to [accept].
He indicated he was not in favor of changing current policy.
District 3’s Lori Parrish said, “I need to learn a whole lot more about that.
“When an entity receives Federal funding there are a number of stings attached,” the former District 47 grant writer continued.
Kelli Wegener, also from District 3, agreed with Parrish, said
“It’s a very controversial subject.
“There are many ties.
“All need to be educated about it.”
Joe Gottemoller of District 3 was the only candidate who knew the history of the controversy.
“Do you remember the 14-year old girl brought to the County for birth control?” he asked.
The issue was about whether a child could come in without the parents being told.
He said he didn’t thing that parents should be excluded.
District 1’s Chris Spoerl said, “as a CPA, [I know that] not only strings are attached, [but that a government has] to worry about replacement [of income currently spent on the function]. He pointed out that shifting current money was usually not allowed.
He admitted to not being “up on Title X.”
He said he would approach the issues “from a cost-benefit” point of view.
“Normally, I’d take it,” he added.
District 1 Democratic Party candidate Michael Vijuk was in favor of taking the money.
“I’m in favor of Title X.”
He added, that the County “would have to abide with the strings.”
The final respondent, Robert Nowak, is also from District 1.
“I’m a little unsure of this,” he said.
“I’m a little concerned about being attached to young children twelve years old and not notifying the parents.”