Nancy Zettler Complaint Outlines John Ryan Campaign

McHenry County Blog tried to play the role archivist for the District 300 School Board campaign, but did such an inadequate job compared to tax hike proponent Nancy Zettler.

This only spokesman I’ve seen this year for the tax hiking group Advance 300 said John Ryan and Monica Clark “ran a very expensive, professionally run campaign with

  • a professionally produced web site at,
  • two automated phone calls,
  • professionally produced oversized yard signs,
  • a professionally produced mailer which apparently went out to all District 300 residents, and
  • two door hangers, one of which was personalized by voting area.


Sounds a lot like the professionally produced “Vote Yes! Vote Yes!” campaign that hiked District 300 tax rates and put homeowners into debt for decades, doesn’t it?

The one that cost $150,000 or so.

Zettler reports asking Ryan after the League of Women Voters candidates’ forum whether Jack Roeser was backing him.

In her complaint, she says he replied that

“yes, Roeser was paying for his signs, his phone calls, his mailers and his door hangers. He denied Roeser paid for his website.”

Zettler then reports she asked how much Roeser had spent on Ryan’s campaign and Ryan reported he did not know because Roeser hadn’t told him.

Then comes this interesting sentence:

“It is important to note that Mr. Ryan boasts of running several other candidates’ campaigns so he must be familiar with the requirements of reporting and it is no excuse that a contributor of goods and services hasn’t told you what they’ve spent.”

Zettler then notes, incorrectly, I might add, that

“On April 17, 2007, Jack Roeser reported that he donated $30,000 to FTN, presumably to cover expenses or contribute to candidates. He did not disclose any in-kind donations he may have made.

“Two things are clear at this point. One, Mr. Ryan and Ms. Clark have gone way beyond the $3,000.00 minimum and two, that Jack Roeser and FTN are by far the largest contributors to their campaigns. Yet, no disclosures have been made.”

As I mentioned yesterday, I can empathize with Zettler’s frustration. The late reporting of in-kind contributions happened in, I think, all of my primary challengers’ campaigns during the 1990’s. The primary offender was the pro-abortion Personal PAC.

The problem is that state law provides no penalty for a candidate’s not reporting them until after he or she is informed of how much they cost.

I would note that Zettler is an attorney and I would expect a higher degree of precision from a lawyer making a complaint than from a layman.

Jack Roeser did not contribute $30,000 to FTN. It was from Otto Engineering.

At least that’s what the State Board of Elections web site says.

I do note a pre-election report amended May 1st that FTN reports March 13th $1,320 of in-kind expenditures to both Ryan and Clark

Previously, they did not show up and should have.

Ryan, by the way, filed a statement of organization of his committee, Citizens for John Ryan, on May 1st.

So did Monica Clark.

A candidate is required to file such a statement whenever it spends or raises $3,000.

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