Category Archives: Kent Gaffney

McSweeney Sets Fund Raiser Sat., October 26th

State Rep. David McSweeney’s has scheduled a fundraiser from 6-8 on Saturday, October 26th, at Wool Street in Barrington.

The price is $35, $50 per couple.

The details of State Rep; David McSweeney's fund raiser are above.
The details of State Rep; David McSweeney’s fund raiser are above.

The Host Committee consists of

  • Lou Bianchi
  • Rich Carter
  • Bob Cook
  • Mark Daniel
  • Geri Davis
  • Gene Dawson
  • Larry Emery
  • Kent Gaffney
  • Robert Gottardo
  • Robert Hanaford
  • Mark Kownick
  • Donna Kurtz
  • Bill LeFew
  • Chuck Lutzow
  • Bill McLeod
  • Anna May Miller
  • Bob Miller
  • Dave Nelson
  • Keith Nygren
  • Linda Post
  • Ed Ritter
  • Danielle Rowe
  • Nick Sauer
  • Allen Skillicorn
  • Demetri Tsilimigras
  • Monica Young
  • Rich Young

Noticing the License Plate Tax Hike to Aid Mainly Downstate Parks

If you drive around Illinois, you will see lots of state parks.

They are as common in many non-Chicago metropolitan counties as forest preserves and conservation district sites.

The difference is that state taxpayers (disproportionately from the Chicago metropolitan area, especially the suburbs) pay for the upkeep of state parks while local taxpayers foot the bill for forest preserves and conservation district sites.
License Plate Renewal 9-6-13
So, it was with more than a little interest that I saw on the back of my license plate renewal post card (no return envelopes anymore) that $2 had been tacked on “for state parks.”

Senate Bill 1566 is the culprit.  You can see how folks voted below:

Locally,
Locally, State Representatives Jack Franks and Kent Gaffney voted against the measure. Mike Tryon voted for it.
State Senator Pam Althoff
State Senator Pam Althoff voted against the bill.  State Senators Dan Duffy and Chris Lauzen did not vote. (Since a number of positive votes are needed, not voting is pretty close to voting “No.”)

Kent Gaffney Lands on His Feet

Kent Gaffney
Kent Gaffney

Kent Gaffney, who resigned a bit early from his position as State Represented had moved over to McGuireWoods Consulting as a Vice President of State Government Relations.

Based in Chicago, Gaffney will “assist clients with legislative, appropriations and regulatory needs,” according to the company web site.

McGuireWoods Consulting is a subsidiary of the McGuireWoods law firm.

Prior to joining MWC, he served as the 52nd District State Representative in the House of Representatives of the Illinois General Assembly. In that capacity, Kent served on the Revenue & Finance, Insurance, Armed Forces and Military Affairs, Small Business Empowerment & Workforce, and General Services Appropriations committees.

Before becoming a legislator, he was the Director of Appropriations for the Illinois House Republican Caucus from 2001-2011. Kent has also served as the Deputy Director of Appropriations and as a Research Analyst for utility and healthcare committees.

Kent is a Governor-appointed Commissioner on the Budgeting for Results Commission, which is a statutorily created Commission charged with reforming the Illinois budget making process. Kent was also chosen to be a member of the inaugural class of the Edgar Fellows Program

Gaffney graduated from Purdue University in Political Science in 1990.

He was appointed to fill the unexpired term of State Rep. Mark Beaubien. He lost the Republican primary election to David McSweeney.

David McSweeney Sworn In as State Representative

I missed the press release below about Dave McSweeney’s having been appointed to succeed appointed State Rep. Kent Gaffney, who replaced State Rep. Mark Beaubien.

Apparently, Gaffney decided to give McSweeney something of a head start. Seniority doesn’t mean as much in Springfield as it does in Washington, but it will probably get him the lowest license plate number of those elected in November, 2012, a better parking space and, if Tom Scott has broken with the assigned seating practice of his predecessor, Lee Daniels, the seat of his choice after all senior to him have made their selections.

The press release quotes McSweeney saying this:

“Fiscal responsibility with each tax dollar is my priority from day one.”

This is his “day one.”

Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Pete Cavanaugh swaers in David McSweeney as his daughter Melissa watches.
Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Pete Cavanaugh swaers in David McSweeney as his daughter Melissa watches.

David McSweeney Appointed to State House

Barrington Hills, IL – Representative elect David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) was appointed to the Illinois House of Representatives today to serve the remainder of the term of retiring State Rep. Kent Gaffney (R-Wauconda). McSweeney is set to be officially sworn in on January 6th and will represent the current 52nd district during the 97th General Assembly lame-duck session scheduled from January 6th – 8th.

“I am honored to receive this appointment and now it’s time to get to work and tackle the state’s major fiscal challenges,” said McSweeney.

“The 52nd district has a tradition of honest and responsive leadership in government.

“I will continue that strong tradition and I thank and commend Rep. Gaffney for his service and commitment.

“Kent has served our state well and I’m confident that he will continue to be a leading voice in helping to solve the major issues that we face.

“I also want to acknowledge the longtime service of Mark Beaubien to our community.”

McSweeney has a successful business background in which he has worked as an investment banker, financial consultant and currently as an investment specialist.

McSweeney will lean on that experience and ‘know-how’ and has pledged to take a common sense business approach when drafting and supporting legislation.

“We have a responsibility to act now on key legislation that will significantly impact our state’s fiscal future,” added McSweeney.

“Fiscal responsibility with each tax dollar is my priority from day one.”

The 98th General Assembly will convene on January 9th. McSweeney will then represent the newly mapped 52nd District, which will include parts of Algonquin, Barrington, Carpentersville, Cary, Fox River Grove, Island Lake, Lake in the Hills and Wauconda.

Tryon’s Plastic Re-Cycling Bill Bagged by Governor Quinn

Mike Tryon’s plastic bag re-cycling bill was vetoed by Governor Pat Quinn.

The bill that State Rep. Mike Tryon passed to set State standards for re-cycling plastic bags got vetoed by Governor Pat Quinn over the weekend.

The report of the veto, a wish-fulfillment of 13-year old Abby Goldberg of Lake Zurich, ran in Monday’s Chicago Tribune.

Change.org got involved with an online petition.

Tryon, the House Sponsor of Senate Bill 3442, didn’t get a mention in the article.

Environmentalists opposed the bill because it prohibited local municipalities from imposing stricter rules than those set forth in the bill.

Lake County Democratic Party Chairman Terry Link was the Senate sponsor.

Locally, State Senator Pam Althoff voted for the bill. Colleague Dan Duffy did not. State Representatives Tryon and Kent Gaffney supported the measure, while Jack Franks voted “No.”

The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County sent out the following information from the Illinois Environmental Council on the bill:

This bill would have banned the municipal regulation of plastic bags, including community plastic bag bans, fees, and takeback programs.  This bill also would have created a statewide program for the recycling of plastic bags.  Read more about our concerns here.

As the Governor explained in his veto message, “Local authorities and the environmental community strongly oppose this program because the metrics are simply not aggressive enough and home rule preemption prevents more stringent local regulation.”

Last week, the Illinois Environmental Council released its 2012 scorecard.  Governor Quinn now has a 100% environmental record for the bills that he has taken action on during the 2012 session according to our scorecard.

Veto session is scheduled to begin November 27, 2012.  We will keep you updated to let you know whether the sponsor of this legislation moves to override the Governor’s veto.  Check out how your House and Senate members voted on this bill.

In the meantime, be sure to thank Governor Quinn for taking action to support the environment through the contact form on his website.

Illinois Environmental Council Releases Legislative Ratings

Jack Franks let his Com Ed chainsaw bill see the light of day on March 6th in the House Public Utilities Committee. Opposition was so great that he did not allow an up or down vote.

The Illinois Environmental Council has released its ratings and the highest for a McHenry County legislator is Mike Tryon at 79%.

State Senator Pam Althoff received a 57% score.

Democrat Jack Franks, whom I have dubbed “Chainsaw Jack” for introducing a bill that would allow Com Ed to cut down any tree within 20 feet of an electric line, scored 54%.

And the organization didn’t even use the House Bill 3884 that the lead editorial in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday the second week of March railed against.

Appointee Kent Gaffney came in lower–50%.

Lowest was State Senator Dan Duffy. He got 21%.

You can read the bills on the IEC’s score card and how the group wanted legislators to vote here.

How legislators voted can be found on the score card, which can be found here.

Kent Gaffney Reports on One-Day Session

A press release from State Rep. Kent Gaffney:

Kent Gaffney

Special Session: No Comprehensive Pension Reform, House Votes to Expel Smith

Springfield, IL… On Friday the Governor called a Special Session for lawmakers to consider pension reform to save the State’s growing pension crisis, however, no true reform was enacted.

State Representative Kent Gaffney (R-Wauconda) was disappointed with the legislation presented and voted against Senate Bill 3168 because it lacked the needed reform.

“Illinois has the worst public pension system in the nation. We need comprehensive reform that includes all of the pension systems.

“Upon becoming a lawmaker, I chose to reject a legislative pension and support reforming the pension system for all lawmakers, but a piecemeal approach to this problem is not the answer we need,” said Gaffney.

“I am calling on the Governor and Speaker Madigan to step up and show some leadership on this issue and quit playing political games.”

The bill offered Friday would have only have only reduced the state’s $83 billion unfunded pension liability by $42 to $45 million.

“I truly believe we’ve got one shot at meaningful pension reform. The bill that was dropped upon us Friday – while symbolic – would have done very little to solve our pension crisis.

‘I believe the Governor should have kept us in Springfield until we reached a compromise on real reform that would stabilize our public pension systems and protect Illinois taxpayers.”

Because the Governor called a special session rather than a regular session of the House, lawmakers were eligible to receive per idem for the day.

In an effort to save taxpayer dollars, Rep. Gaffney sent a letter to the Clerk rejecting the per diem.

In addition to pension reform, the Illinois House of Representatives voted in favor 100-6 to expel indicted State Representative Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) from the Illinois House.

Rep. Smith was arrested March 13, following an undercover investigation by the FBI; Smith now faces federal bribery charges for allegedly accepting a $7,000 cash bribe.

Rep. Gaffney voted in favor of expelling indicted State Representatives Derrick Smith.

Medicaid Reform: “Chainsaw Jack” Franks – No; Mike Tryon, Pam Altoff & Dan Duffy – Yes; Kent Gaffney – Absent

Sunday's Tribune editorial on Medicaid claims those who voted "No" have no right to vote "Yes" for more money for schools or public safety.

The State is in a fiscal pit brought on, I would argue, by far too many people not willing to vote, “No.”

Perhaps someone other than I voted “No” more often in the Illinois General Assembly, but I doubt it.

I know that when the Illinois Conservative Union was keeping track of budget votes in the 1970′s I voted to appropriated less money than anyone else. (Ask John Curry, who did the tallies.)

And I didn’t vote for Governor George Ryan’s Illinois FIRST bonding program for which my 14-year son will still be paying off, if he doesn’t leave Illinois to avoid that and other burdens, when he is in his late 20′s. A lot of that money went to pay for asphalt, a road surface that needs replacement about every five years and most assuredly should not be financed with 25-year bonds.

But in the fairly large vote to cut welfare’s medical benefits last week, State Rep. Jack Franks cast a vote against reform by voting “No.”

Voting in favor in the House, as explained in this press release, was State Rep. Mike Tryon.

Kent Gaffney did not vote.

State Senator Pam Althoff and Dan Duffy also supported the changes.

Gaffney Campaign Manager Found to be Posting Comment on McHenry County Blog, Volunteering for McSweeney Campaign on State Time

My heavens.

Who would have thought that typing in a comment on McHenry County Blog would end up in a suspension?

Well, it was a bit more than that.

State Rep. Kent Gaffney’s campaign manager Nick McNeeley also volunteered for opponent David McSweeney’s campaign while on the state payroll.

That’s what a letter after the report from House Minority Leader Tom Cross, who initiated the probe, to Legislative Inspector General (and former State Rep.) Tom Homer says, as you can see below:

Commenting on McHenry County Blog and volunteering for opponent Dave McSweeney's campaign on state time was found to be a "No-no" for Kent Gaffney's campaign manager Nicholas McNeeley. The letter is dated March 8, before the primary election.

I found out from Mike Riopel post on the Daily Herald. The DH found the information from David Ormsby in this article on the Illinois Observer.

McNeeley’s punishment?

Five days suspension (April 2-6) and six months’ probation, plus conversion of all sick time from September 1 through November 15, 21011, into vacation time.  And reassignment from his position in Research and Appropriations staff “to another position.”

Read the report for yourself below:

And here is Tom Cross’ response, dated March 8, 2012:

One might note that today is almost two months after the election.

McSweeney Outspends Gaffney – $354,000 to $235,000

Kent Gaffney

I have to admit to being astounded at how much Dave McSweeney spent in his Republican Party campaign.

$354,000 or $74.64 per vote.

As I examined State Rep. Kent Gaffney campaign disclosure form, filed in mid-evening, I discovered that he spent less–$235,116,80.

That’s $59.04 per vote.

Both are so, so high…especially compared to third place finisher Danielle Rowe, who spent $7.04 a vote.

Of course, the candidate who spent the most won the election.

Gaffney had $5,800 on hand at the end of the quarter, March 31st.

Gaffney continued to report contributions of $1,000 or more after the end of the reporting period, that is, starting April 1st:

  • $1,000 – TR PAC
  • $22,776 – Citizens for Tom Cross  (for legal fees)

So the cost of the campaign will be even more that $235,000 when all the bills have arrived and, presumably, paid.

The total spent by the three candidates is about $609,000. But that doesn’t include bills paid after April 1st.