IL-14: Jim Oberweis in Brouhaha Concerning County Clerk Early Voting Picture

Jim Oberweis
Dave Rickert

Is this photo considered an ad for early voting or endorsement of two 2020 candidates?

Last Thursday was the first day of early voting across Illinois for the primary election on March 17.

While early voting at this time will be confined to the county clerk offices, or where applicable, municipal boards of election offices, or through mail-in balloting prior to taking place at satellite locations in early March, the election officials, usually the county clerk want to get the word out.

Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham (R, Aurora) issued this picture taken with State Senator Jim Oberweis (R, Sugar Grove) and Kane County Treasurer Dave Rickert (R, Elgin):

Clerk Jack Cunningham, State Senator Jim Oberweis, Treasurer Dave Rickert
Kane County Clerk’s office Early Voting station
Picture from James Fuller Twitter

The above pic was tweeted by Daily Herald reporter James Fuller describing as “interesting”. In a subsequent tweet, Fuller revealed this additional information:

“We’ll see if anyone files an ethics complaint. It was sent out by Clerk’s office staff, with the county seal on the press release, presumably using taxpayer resources. Doesn’t explicitly say anything about an endorsement, but could raise eyebrows.”

James Fuller tweet 2/6/20

Those who follow me on Twitter know I responded to the thread simply stating there is nothing wrong with the picture since it was advertising early voting, not any kind of endorsement with a particular officeholder.

Most people know, Oberweis is running for Congress in a contested primary in the 14th to determine who will challenge Congresswoman Lauren Underwood in the fall. Oberweis is at this point the frontrunner most likely to win on March 17, according to the latest polling data available.

Rickert is unopposed on the primary ballot for county board chairman of the Kane County board and will face one of two Democrats in the fall.

The three elected officials all live in different congressional districts.

But the benign advertising of early voting has not stopped people complaining, including this tweet alerting one of the 14th district Indivisible chapters in Twitter and Underwood’s congressional Twitter account:

Still stand by what I tweeted last week that there is nothing wrong with this picture and it is not politicking or an endorsement of any kind. No one has electioneering materials displayed.

As someone said, some people have to have something to complain about on any given day.


IL-14: Jim Oberweis in Brouhaha Concerning County Clerk Early Voting Picture — 8 Comments

  1. I don’t think much will come from an ethics complaint, but the picture does show a lack of good judgement from the clerk and gives further proof that the Republican establishment is in the bag for Oberweis.

  2. My first tweet on the blog was a clear joke/attempt-at-humor that it’s rare when Jim Oberweis isn’t the oldest person in a picture, as is the case here. Clerk Cunningham is in his early 80s, about 7-8 years older than Oberweis.

    Questionable judgement, I agree. But given Cunningham is in his 80s in his 5th term, even an ethics complaint will not phase him.

    Whether entire Kane County Republican establishment in the bag with Oberweis? Unknown.

    Sue Rezin has support from former State Senator & former County Board Chair Karen McConnaughay, in addition to current State Senator Don DeWitte. Kane County Republican Party Chairman is neutral in 14th.

    The big name is outgoing Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen, and he and his wife both attended the Batavia debate.

    No love lost between Lauzen and Oberweis from the 2008 double-primary victory of Oberweis over Lauzen, and how nasty that race was.

    Whether Lauzen can go publicly support Rezin or Ted Gradel is unknown, but him being in attendance that night was not just to watch a debate for entertainment purposes.

    To date, he’s neutral, and we do know James Marter circulated petitions for Lauzen, which have now been withdrawn.

    At this point and seeing how this race has shaped up, my guess Lauzen will stay neutral.

  3. If a Dem did this, this post would be a call for that person’s head!

    More hypocrisy from extremists.

  4. John, I doubt that it violates the letter of the law, but in IMNSHO it surely crowds the spirit.

    Oberweis & Rickert have nothing to do with the operation of the County Clerk’s office.

    The former is a state legislator and federal candidate.

    The latter is the county treasurer running for county board chairman.

    If either or both had something to do with the law allowing early voting, MAYBE we could justify their mugs in a presser by the the County Clerk.

    As it stands, all this is to me is two politicians taking advantage of an opportunity to get their names and faces out before the voters using a vehicle (early voting) they have nothing to do with other than as candidates for office.

    Every candidate in Kane County has as much relevance to early voting as do these two. Where are the rest?

  5. I agree with your analysis, John.

    There is nothing here of ethical concern.

    I personally almost never early vote because I like to see campaigns develop to the very end.

    If I am traveling on Election Day to another District I will vote a day or two early, but never 40 days early.

  6. Of course this is viewed as “nothing to see here”.

    I find it offensive, suspect, and a clear ethics violation.

    Are you excusing this behavior because of age?

    Good sense and ethical execution of an elected office don’t apply if one is old and a Republican, or a Republican candidate?

    For heavens sake, how much more of this are we going to normalize before our entire government is so corrupt it no longer resembles what the founding fathers envisioned?

  7. Ms. Blohm, well, it’s your or anyone else’s right to file the complaint.

    As I said in my 1st comment above, it’s questionable.

    Should Clerk Cunningham have avoided it?


    If I were in Cunningham’s place, would I have done it?


    We’ll see if anything happens.

  8. John, why can’t you just do all the research, and do all the writing, and respond to every comment in a timely fashion saying the thing I want to hear, and why can’t you do all the political activism that I want to do for me?

    John, why can’t you come over and bake a cake?

    John, why won’t you tie my shoelaces for me?

    John, can you wash my dishes?

    John, can you just do everything for me?

    mchenry county blog community

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