Anonymous “Hit Piece” Sent Widely in County

Wish I had seen the hit piece on McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi that arrived late last week.

I didn’t get one yet, but readers in Cary, Crystal Lake and Harvard reported its receipt. (If you got one, please email me and tell me where you live.)

It’s obviously from state’s attorney challenger Dan Regna’s supporters.

As soon as I heard it was sent without any identification of the sender, I thought of the movie “Chicken Run.”

Not for the courageous escape attempt of those chickens, but for the more traditional association that we have when we think of chickens–chicken-heartedness.

The hit piece was sent first class so the post office would not have records of who mailed it.

Its senders wouldn’t want to risk federal mail fraud charges.

But, the supporters were not first class.

I haven’t seen an envelope, but I’m told whoever sent the expensive four-color piece failed to put their names on the reprint of Amy Mack’s front page Daily Herald article.

In the article, she revealed that State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi spent office money to feed employees who were working what Bianchi says was unpaid overtime, for the reception at which he was sworn in and for some $300 for parade candy.

Of course, all of this passed muster of McHenry County Auditor Pam Palmer’s office before it was paid.

“If they are not legitimate, then the auditor should be sending them back,” Bianchi is quoted in the article.

The article claims this adds up to $17,000.

Among the fallout from the article is probably the challenge first-term Auditor Palmer is receiving from Crystal Lake attorney Richard Kelly, Jr.

I speculated on Thanksgiving that the McHenry County Board may actually have been the cause of Kelly’s challenge.

Since my first job at the United States Bureau of the Budget, I’ve been a cost-benefit guy.

Bianchi’s “Happy New Year” mailing points out that his office has saved $10,000 a week by ending former State’s Attorney Gary Pack’s outsourcing of legal work to private attorneys, some of whom are supporting Regna’s campaign.

You know a candidate’s supporters have to be pretty insecure to send out a mailing and not follow state law requiring that the sender’s identity be on the mailing.

One would guess it was financed by attorneys who ought to and, undoubtedly, do know better.

You see, state law says that such mailings must identify the sender. Not only that, but its cost must be reported as a contribution “in-kind” on Regna’s campaign finance reports.

We’ll see if it shows up there with the name and address of the person who paid for it.

If anyone will send me a copy of the mailing–the envelope and its contents–I’ll be happy to file a complaint with the State Board of Elections. My address is 275 Meridian St., Crystal Lake, IL 60014.

Someone wrote that the piece says it was reprinted with the permission of the Daily Herald.

I suspect that such permission was not given, but, if, by chance, it is was, then the State Board of Elections would have a place to start tracing who sent the mailing.


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