The Young Republicans of McHenry County are building a float at Melissa Denker’s farm in Dunham Township this Saturday from 9-2. The contact phone number is 847-533-1390.
Archive for the ‘McHenry County Young Republicans’
Friday night, candidates courted Young Republicans at the McHenry County Republican Party Headquarters, located in the “V” of the Crystal Lake Plaza.
Larry Emery of Crystal Lake, a candidate for Algonquin Township Trustee was first up. He told of retiring recently from Sears after 33 years, starting new company HSMS Consulting, his having volunteered during the fall campaign, volunteering at the Bethesda Thrift Shop and, more lately, to help move State Rep. Mike Tryon’s office equipment and supplies to a new location.
Grafton Township Road Commissioner candidate Tom Poznanski explained that he had worked for the District for eight years and how he tried to convince his boss, Jack Freund to run for re-election. When that attempt was unsuccessful, Poznanski decided to run himself. So it was from pounding in stakes for signs in past elections to knocking on doors this year.
Marty Waitzman, who is running for Grafton Township Supervisor, spoke next. He had the audience howling as he told of confronting motorcyclists when he worked as a policeman in Lake County.
Pointing out that the men he had stopped were bigger than he, Waitzman explained that he affected an effeminate voice.
He figured that he was in a win-win situation as a result.
If the motorcyclist beat him up, all they could claim was they had beaten up a gay cop.
If he bested them, they would have been lost to a gay cop.
The quandary he put them in resulted in a successful traffic stop.
Next was Rob Parrish, who is running for Nunda Township Highway Commissioner.
“Together with his family, we made the tough decision to retire the company due to the negative economic indicators regarding the poor housing market, liquid asphalt prices reaching an all time high, ever-increasing crude oil prices, and skyrocketing salt prices.
“After 30-plus years, Parrish Paving Inc. closed it’s doors as a successful, profitable, and well established family business in McHenry County.”
Parrish said he decided to take an offer to work for Geske and Sons Inc., a larger local paving company, once a former competitor. Prior to accepting to join Geske, Rob’s main concern was finding jobs for all the valued employees that had worked for Parrish Paving for over 10 years. Rob asked the Geske family to give his men a fair shot to join the team at the company as well. After quality interviews, all Rob’s men were hired.
After joining Geske, Parrish streamlined the bidding process by implementing computerized job costing, increased crew organization and implementation on job sites which increased average daily production and ended Saturday overtime work hours.
Parrish said he decided to run for Nunda Township Highway Commissioner because he believes the the citizens of Nunda deserve a candidate with the proven leadership and extensive trade knowledge to run the Road District like an efficient paving business by providing Quality service at a fiscally responsible price.
YR member Eric Sivertsen was the next candidate to talk. He said he was running for both the McHenry Grade School Board and the McHenry County College Board, both of which needed more conservatives on their panels.
Also running for MCC’s Board was Tom Wilbeck. He talked about the need for a business approach to the proposed Health Club.
YR’s also discussed plans for the upcoming year, including a billboard, participation in parades, a candidates’ night and a Valentine Day’s gathering.
Here are the details from Melissa Denker:
“This month for our January Business Meeting, we are creating a presentation about the plans & goals of the McHenry County Young Republicans for the year of 2013.
“It is an excellent way to kick off the year and crucial in keeping everyone up to date on how our organization is doing!
“I can personally say we have a lot in store this year and we are ready to take on the elections coming up.
“The meeting will be held at the Republican Headquarters at 7pm on the 18th of January.
“Don’t hesitate to contact us at 847-533-1390 for more information! We hope to see you there!”
Republican Headquarters is located in the Crystal Lake Plaza at the tip of the “V.”
He wasn’t at the front of the parade but the owner of Port Edward, Ed Woloweic, was the Grand Marshall.
The parade took about an hour, truncated because of construction south on Route 31.
Most of the politic entries which I try to document were fairly near the front of the parade.
But, before they arrived, a volunteer for Congressman Peter Roskam, who will, pending a political upset of tremendous proportions, represent Algonquin Township in Congress next session, was sighted passing out small bags. With candy on their minds, a lot of folks took them.
Of course, there were the members of the Algonquin Village Board.
But before the politicians came Police Chief Russ Laine.
And an entry dedicated to the Chicago Cubs.
Founder Favorite Rusty Cherbak was surrounded by a Chicago Cubs wish fulfillment contingent.
There was even a goat. A billy goat, of course.
Then came the village politicians.
Village President John Schmidt waved.
Village Trustee Bob Smith was accompanied by Buzz Lightyear.
Village Trustee Debbie Sosine was in waving mode.
Trustee Jerrold Glogowski was one of three trustees walking the route handing out candy.
The other two were Jim Steigert and John Spella. Handing out candy is the Algonquin Parade is easy on Route 31 because the spectators are all on the south side of the street.
The village clerk came dresses as the clown Lazy Bonz.
The first partisan politician was District 1 Republican McHenry County Board member Bob Bless.
District 1 Republican McHenry County Board members Marc Munaretto and Anna Miller were driving in a Mercedes convertible by Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Bob Miller.
I asked Munaretto, who is not running for re-election to the County Board, whether he was running for re-election for Algonquin Township Clerk.
“You’ll have to wait and see,” he replied.
That was the same answer he gave last year before for filing deadline for County Board.
There are no Democrats in District 1, but there is one in District 5–Paula Yensen.
Next came Jean and McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi.
McHenry County Auditor Pam Palmer followed Bianchi.
Both Bianchi and McHenry County Auditor Palmer are unopposed this fall.
Kane County politicians followed the McHenry County ones.
There were two County Board members, Hollie Lindgren and Maggie Auger.
There are always pictures that could have been. The one below was going to be of the current and future Kane County Auditors, incumbent Bill Keck and candidate Terry Hunt.
Fortunately, I got a shot of Keck and Hunt before the parade.
“Take my picture. Take my picture,” the two members of the Eagles, a youth football team shouted as they mugged for my camera.
How could I resist?
Interrupting the parade was the girder from the World Trade Center brought by the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District.
On the sides of the fire engines you can see the above sticker.
I was seated on the porch of a closed building when I way something political after a truck for the Red Run. (The 5K is August 11th starting at Presidential Park in Algonquin.)
It was the McHenry County Republican Party entry…right at the end of the parade.
There was a banner for GOP State Rep candidate David McSweeney up front.
Right behind were people carrying Congressman Peter Roskam signs.
Then, Dave McSweeney passed me quickly. I got his attention and he turned around so I could get the photo above.
Next came the McHenry County Republican float.
I just kept snapping my shutter, getting County Board member Nick Provenzano and County Chairman & State Rep. Mike Tryon.
Next came supporters of State Senator Dan Duffy, whose district mirrors that of David McSweeney on the eastern edges of McHenry and Kane Counties.
Next I found McHenry County Board member Robert Nowak.
And with the passing of the next entry, cheerleaders from CEE Snowball Blast Grand Champion, the Algonquin Founders Day Parade was over.
Afterward, however, the young man who had been assiduously gathering candy during the parade put on a Young Republican sticker and agreed to let me take his photograph.
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A special note for you Sheriff’s Department watchers. The McHenry County Sheriff’s Department had no entry in the parade. Neither Sheriff Keith Nygren nor his Undersheriff Andrew Zinke was anywhere to be seen.
Join the McHenry County YR’s for our July Meeting
What could be more fun than eating tacos while talking guns and politics?
We will be meeting tomorrow, July 20th at 7pm at Tacos El Norte at 4318 W. Elm st in McHenry for our July Meeting.
We have several things on the agenda, including plans for
- a meeting at the gun range,
- a fundraiser, and
- the upcoming parades.
After the meeting we will show our support for a great local business, and enjoy some of the best tacos in town.
This is the second article on the McHenry County Young Republicans 52nd District State Representative District Candidates’ Forum at Crystal Lake’s McHenry County College. The first is here.
Another interesting exchange involved abortion.
Both David McSweeney and Daniele Rowe said they were Pro-Life.
Rowe said it was one of the most asked questions when she knocked on doors.
Appointed incumbent Kent Gaffney’s answer was, “For me the social issues [are] not the focus of my campaign.” He said they divide the party.
The man he replaced, State Rep. Mark Beaubien was elected and re-elected with the strong and strident support of Personal PAC, an organization I do not hesitate to label as “pro-abortion,” since it favors allowing women to have an abortion up to the day before birth.
I note that Gaffney is not endorsed by Personal PAC. (The endorsements are here.)
Nevertheless, the Republican electorate locally is divided about 60-40 in favor of the Pro-Life position on abortion, so if McSweeney and Rowe each get half, they would tally 30% apiece, while Gaffney’s proportion on this issue would be 40%.
A related issue brought up was civil unions.
McSweeney said he was “absolutely” in favor of repeal.
Rowe said she “would support repeal,” while Gaffney replied,
“The law is passed. It’s not on my agenda to repeal the civil unions [legislation].”
All three agreed on the advisability of allowing individuals to carry guns to protect themselves. Gaffney pointed out that the effort had 68-69 votes in the current House (with 71 needed to withstand an expected veto by Governor Pat Quinn].
An issue on which the three were divided was whether the legislature should be part-time.
McSweeney called for a pay cut, no pensions and meeting only once every two years, as is the case in Texas.
Rowe pointed out she was the first to come out against legislative pensions, doing so at her announcement of candidacy.
She will not take a legislative pension, if elected. She also aid that the $68,000 salary was “way too much for that part-time position.”
Gaffney, who also opposes legislative pensions, made the case for being a full-time legislator, 24-7.
“It’s not necessarily a bad thing.”
[Having served as a fell-time state rep. for 16 years, I must admit to wondering how one could be an adequate state legislator working part-time. Government is so inadequate that a legislator's intervention or that of his or her staff is constantly necessary. I'd go so far as to assert that government just doesn't work.]
McSweeney says he will serve no more than three.
Gaffney also supported term limits, ten years, and told me later he will not serve more than three terms.
I’m pretty sure Rowe did, too, but it didn’t make my notes.
One point Rowe did make the others ignored were the very few Fiscal Notes requested in the General Assembly.
Six Fiscal Notes for 600 bills.
So for the vast, vast majority of the bills legislators had no clue what they would cost.
When I read this story in the Daily Herald, I was astounded.
I remember the 1993-94 session, I filed a Fiscal Note on every Public Aid bill because House Speaker Mike Madigan would not advance one of my welfare reform bills.
The Rules then and now say that Fiscal Notes have to be filed before a bill can received a final vote.
In effect, I had control of all welfare legislation that session. Sponsors tried to convince me to drop the notes and some even convinced me to do so. But my requests killed a lot of really bad legislation.
Other years, I’d have a staffer file a Fiscal Note on every bill.
I can’t help but wonder why someone did not step up to that role after I left the house in 2001.
One would think GOP Leader Tom Cross would do that routinely employ that tactic, if only to slow down the Democrats’ legislative agenda.
When questioned about involvement in local government and politics, McSweeney has the biggest resume. Rowe detailed extensive volunteer activity of local and Wisconsin Republicans.
Gaffney told of having worked statewide with the House Republican Organization.
One question was asked that none of the panel members seemed to understand.
In Illinois, individuals have a $1,000 a person exemption income from taxes.
Corporations used to enjoy a similar $1,000 exemption, but not since the Democrats repealed it.
From the question, it seems that really small businesses not only have to pay taxes on dollar one, but have to make quarterly tax filings.
McSweeney advocated eliminated taxes on businesses earning less that $5,000 a year.
Red Light cameras came in for universal opposition, as did Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s Speed Cameras over almost all parts of the city. McSweeney labeled as “a new scam.” Gaffney said he had voted against the bill.
There was a lot more, of course, but this will have to suffice from me.
Nobody had a clue about one question asked by an audience member, so, before jotting down a few notes about what the three candidates said at the McHenry County Young Republicans Candidates’ Night, let me share the topic:
“the corruption in Burton’s Bridge”
Burton’s Bridge is a little community straddling the Fox River between Prairie Grove and Island Lake on Route 176. It is unincorporated.
The biggest controversy I can remember was in the 1990′s when a strip joint opened for a while at a bar in a residential neighborhood. Limos bringing men in at least the first night. That sort of place.
Since then, I haven’t heard complaint one.
Needless to say, none of the candidates had a clue about the topic either and no audience members seems to have approached the two candidates who stayed more than a little while to talk to potential or, in Kent Gaffney’s case, actual constituents.
Besides Gaffney, appointed to fill out Mark Beaubien’s term, sate with challengers David McSweeney and Danielle Rowe on the McHenry County College stage.
Gaffney’s theme was his value as having headed the budget staff for the ten years before he was appointed State Rep. by a committee of McHenry, Lake and Cook County Republican officials.
In a word, “experience.” Experience in the area that virtually everyone agrees is the biggest problem in state government.
McSweeney emphasized his independence from current Republican House leadership…read Gaffney’s former employer and ardent supporter Tom Cross.
In a blow to the revolving door relationship of lobbyists to legislators, McSweeney said he would push for an absolute ban on ex-legislators being legislative lobbyists.
[Perhaps you noticed that Kevin McCarthy, one of the sponsors of the ComEd/Ameren rate hike bill just quit the Illinois House and has been hired as a ComEd lobbyist. "Isn't that special?," as the Church Lady would say.]
And from his attacks on township and county government, I’d have to say I see a theme of independence from local politicians as well.
He also struck out against township government…and McHenry County government. He charged both had “bloated” budgets.
Tea leaf reading is what I attempt to do and I can think of several potential incentives besides running with the theme that Illinois has too, too many units of local government for his attacks on the local partisan governments controlled by Republicans.
Gaffney is supported by Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Bob Miller’s family in Cary. Just today, I’ve been told, his mailing featured the endorsement of Miller’s daughter Rebecca Lee in her role as head of the Algonquin Township Republican Central Committee. Miller’s wife Anna is a member of the McHenry County Board. You can find some other township and county officials endorsing Gaffney here.
So maybe township government run by supporters of your opponent are an easy target.
Just a theory, but hard to see how McSweeney could get hurt much politically.
The third candidate, Danielle Rowe, also stressed her independence, pointing out her “people’s endorsement” from the Illinois Tea Party.
Gaffney told of the committee that had been formed to study consolidation of governments. I think that is the committee Democratic Party State Rep. Jack Franks sponsored after he had not too much success in taking over townships in his legislative district. No luck in Greenwood Township, for instance, where he put on a full-court press using his campaign fund’s resources.
At the Marengo Expo Marengo Township Supervisor Steven Weskerna told of discussing the subject with Franks on Saturday, as he asked my opinion. Weskerna was on one of the Marengo-area grade school boards when three of the four districts consolidated.
He said all of the savings were eaten up as they equalized the lower salary schedules upward to that of the highest paid teachers.
I suggested that townships needed to develop cost-benefit data which would show, for instance, what road district employee costs are now and what the employees would be paid under the union contract covering county road workers. It’s hard to believe that the total cost would be less under county control.
Another issue proponents on getting rid of township government ignore is how much subsidy that taxpayers in the developed townships would pay in order to bring up the most rural townships’ roads and bridges up to acceptable standards.
And, that’s not even addressing the point of whether county snow trucks would leave the most rural roads until last, much as side streets in Chicago are at the end of the line during a major snow storm.
Finally, Rowe defended townships as better because they are more local that county government would be.
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This morning at breakfast at Andy’s Family Restaurant, my two companions told me of a robo-calls they had both received.
Naturally, I asked what it had been about.
One had hung up almost immediately and had no idea.
The other said it had been from “two guys and woman,” but he had no idea of the content.
He said it was pretty long.
He also told us of research he’d read that said such calls made little impact.
I suggested that perhaps it was too long and was told that it was “long.”
Turns out it was from the three candidates who will be debating at McHenry County College tonight at 7.
The McHenry County Young Republicans are sponsoring a debate for the three State Rep. candidates in the southeastern-most of our five districts:
- Gent Gaffney
- David McSweeney
- Danielle Rowe
Last Saturday night at 7 the County Board candidates you see above gathered at McHenry County College to present their credentials and answer questions.
Tonight, three aspirants to fill the full term of the late State Rep. Mark Beaubien will do the same.
Because of the hotness of the race, there will probably be a larger crowd than a week ago.
For the western half of McHenry County, most County Board candidates will be at the Marengo Chamber of Commerce Expo at Marengo High School on Saturday and Sunday.
The Young Republicans provided a public service Saturday night by sponsoring a candidates night for McHenry County Board candidates in District 5 and 6.
The Friday night counterpart for District 2, 3 and 4 candidates, on the other hand, had three incumbents who defended their maximization of the tax take from taxpayers.
Only $8 a household was the best defense.
Four incumbents skipping the Saturday night’s affair (tax hikers in boldface type):
- Tina Hill – District 5
- John Jung – District 5
- Virginia Peschke- District 5
- Mary McCann – District 6
There only incumbents from Districts 2, 3 and 4 who missed the Friday night meeting were County Board Chairman Ken Koehler from Crystal Lake and Wonder Lake’s Draffkorn. Both voted for the tax hike.
I wondered if the absence of those who voted “Yes” for big levy was because the tax hike question asked of District 2, 3, and 4 candidates the night before.
To their credit two of those from District 2 who voted to maximize the tax take, Jim Heisler and Donna Kurtz attended and gave their defenses. Koehler also voted for the one and one-half percent tax hike, the most allowed by the Property Tax Cap.
In District 3, Mary Donner, who also supported maximizing county taxes, was in attendance defending her vote.
Of the incumbents absent in District 5, Jung supported the tax hike and Hill did not. Peschke did not cast a vote.
In District 6, incumbent Mary McCann was the only incumbent missing. She supported the tax hike.
So, when the same question was asked of candidates in District 5 and 6 as was asked of those from District 2, 3 and 4, there was no one on the stage to defend the maximum extraction of taxes possible from us taxpayers.
Do I sense an issue that might have some traction?
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The roll calls that might interest you on the tax hike: