The following press release has been received from the campaign of Democratic Party candidate for McHenry County Sheriff Mike Mahon.
In it, the number and amounts of contributions from county Sheriff’s Department vendors and providers of services, plus members of the Sheriff’s Merit Commission are listed.
The money paid to the various suppliers of goods and services to the Sheriff’s Department are not included.
“PAY TO PLAY” AT HOME IN McHENRY COUNTY SHERIFF’S
OFFICE, CANDIDATE MAHON OBSERVES
Contributions from firms doing business or having personal ties with the Sheriff’s Office or the County of McHenry make up a large percentage of the campaign warchest Sheriff Keith Nygren has piled up over the years, an analysis by the Mike Mahon for Sheriff Campaign shows.
In fact, taken as a lump sum the business contributions coincidentally are about what Nygren has on hand for this year’s campaign.
“This is a perfect example of the ‘pay to play’ syndrome Illinoisans are all too familiar with,” said candidate Mike Mahon. “The same vendors who line up at the door for taxpayer-funded contracts stop by the campaign fund pay window on the way in.
“In Illinois, unfortunately, incumbency is the gift that keeps on giving.”
Mahon pledged that if elected, he would not accept campaign contributions from any firms doing business with the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office or McHenry County in general. This comes on top of his previous pledge not to accept contributions from Sheriff’s Office employees. Nor would he accept campaign funds from individuals who serve on the Merit Commission or any other boards or commissions whose members are nominated or appointed by the Sheriff.
Mahon further noted that many major officeholders in Illinois have already moved away from accepting contributions from firms doing businesses with their offices, including Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
A mere 20 firms doing business with the Sheriff’s Office have contributed some $133,172.00 to Sheriff Keith Nygren over his years in office, either from the firms themselves or from high-ranking individuals within those firms. This is slightly more than the $122,944.44 Nygren reported as having on hand in his last report to the State Board of Elections.
The Mike Mahon for Sheriff Campaign compiled public election records to conduct the analysis, which shows a troubling reliance on publicly paid vendors who fuel Nygren’s political campaign engine.
The vendors ranged from attorneys handling labor and Merit Commission issues, to a psychologist working in the McHenry County Jail, to companies that supply automotive services; badges and uniforms; and even decals and striping for marked Sheriff’s vehicles.
The largest single contributor was the R.I.T.A. Corporation, which while not doing business with the County, has as its President Brian Goode, a member of the Sheriff’s Merit Commission. R.I.T.A. has dumped $57,540 into Nygren’s campaign coffers since 1997.
The next highest total was contributed by Cabay & Company of McHenry, which provides toiletries and sundries to the County Courthouse. The firm, combined with Jason, Scott and Kenneth Cabay personally, has contributed $17,895 to the Nygren campaign fund since 1998.
Below is a list of the firms included, the number of contributions over the years and their cumulative total. The list is by no means exhaustive, but represents the highest dollar contributors who could be identified.
Below you see the names of contributors and (in parentheses) the number of contributions, then, the cumulative dollar amount contributed:
- R.I.T.A. Corporation (15) $57,540
- Cabay & Company, plus Jason Cabay (21) $17,895
- Radicom (18) $9,485
- Remke Grp., plus Tony & Amy Remke (23) $8,880
- Lang Chevrolet, plus Gary Lang (15) $8,460
- Ottosen, Britt, Kelly, Trooper & Gilbert law firm of Wheaton (11) $6,590
- Stan’s Office (12) $6,130
- Pettibone (18) $3,540
- Dr. Robert Meyer (6) $3,360
- Fechheimer, aka Flying Cross, (9) $2,800
- Jake the Striper (8) $1,777
- Claudon, Kost, Barnhart, Beal, Ltd. law firm, Canton, IL (5) $1,270
- Worldwide Traveler (4) $1,180
- Susan Connor (4) $835
- Zukowski, Rodgers, Flood & McArdle law firm of Crystal Lake (5) $820
- Harrison law offices of Woodstock (2) $770
- Mineola Marine (3) $630
- Legat Architects (2) $510
- Smitty Auto Body (2) $400
- R&D auto (1) $300