Republicans at War – A Re-Run

I thought this article, which I first put up April 11, 2010, might help explain what is going on at the courthouse, so I am running it again.

Keith Nygren

Lou Bianchi

In case you haven’t noticed the forces grouped behind McHenry County Sheriff are at war with the forces behind McHenry County State’s Attorney.

I have no clue when the war started, but it was manifested in Sheriff Keith Nygren‘s not emceeing State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi’s re-election kick-off.


The recruitment of Dan Regna, an assistant state’s attorney under the discredited regime of State’s Attorney Gary Pack intensified the battle.

The use of sheriff’s deputies and another former assistant state’s attorney to induce the now 25-year old college student Amy Dalby, who worked for Bianchi, to take and provide computerized internal documents, including ones which looked political, for what certainly appears to be political purposes added to the intensity.

Regna didn’t fade away, instead sought and received a special prosecutor from Associate Judge Gordon Graham to look into charges that Bianchi used his office for political forces.  [Since I wrote this, Regna has informed me that it was not his petition, but one by Amy Dalby that was used by Judge Graham to initiate the Special Prosecutor process.]

Friday a Grand Jury was authorized with former Judge Skip Tonigan continuing as the special prosecutor named by Graham.

Zane Seipler

Supporters of Regna are also supporters of Graham. That they seek a negative outcome for Bianchi is a given.

Sally Wiggins

Nygren primary opponent Zane Seipler has asked for a similar special prosecutor to look into Nygren’s use of his office for political purposes.

Enter the wild card of attorney Sally Wiggins, who at this very moment is seeking petitions to run against Graham as an Independent.

Rest assured this has not gone unnoticed by Bianchi supporters.

Pete Gonigam’s First Electric Newspaper has reported and confirmed that Bianchi has hired defense attorney Terry Ekle to represent him in the investigation that Graham set in motion.

Mike Mahon

Gus Philpott

Meanwhile, Nygren has both a Democratic and Green Party candidates lined up in opposition in the November general election. Most observers think that having both Democrat Mike Mahon and Green Gus Philpott, who writes the Woodstock Advocate, will help Nygren emerge victorious.

The Northwest Herald continues to prop Nygren up, while the Woodstock Advocate, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department Exposed, which supported Seipler in the primary election, and, once in a while (yesterday, but not today), former Democratic Party candidate for Coroner Dave Bachmann’s Dirty Keith vs. Dirty Harry weigh in on the pros and cons of the candidates.


New Democratic Party Central Committee Chair Mike Bissett helps teach campaign techniques before his recent election.

The Democratic Party, with new party Chair Mike Bissett (husband and campaign manager of McHenry County Board District 5 member Paula Yensen), has not played a visible role yet.

McHenry County Monopoly, a campaign piece local Democrats put out in 2008.

But, surely Republicans remember the devastating McHenry County Monopoly piece mailed out two years ago. Then, there wasn’t enough money to get it to everyone, but you can see below now good it was. See

There was no "GO" square on the game of McHenry County Monopoly.

McHenry Dems Attack Republican Monopoly

Democrats Gof for Republican Vulnerabilities – 1

Democrats Go for Republican Vulnerabilities – 2

Democrats Go for Republican Vulnerabilities – 3

Democrats Go for Republican Vulnerabilities – 4

Democrats Go for Republican Vulnerabilities – 5

How’s Your Town Ranked by Local Democrats?

Local Republicans have never come up with something as creative as the Democrats’ monopoly piece. It didn’t do them any good in the countywide races, but the Dems did pick up two county board seats.

Can’t you think of new items that could be added this year?

I certainly can. There are

  • two Metra Railroad Stations with political connections (think of variations on “Take a Ride on the Reading”)
  • suits to fire Sheriff’s deputies that the deputies win costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and wages for time denied work, plus interest on the late paid wages
  • the shooting range incident
  • the Grand Jury probe of Bianchi
  • the 2030 plan
  • the 75% sales tax increase in Crystal Lake imposed by an all-Republican city council
  • the Grafton Township follies with different factions of the local Republican Party doing everything by facing off with paintball guns at 10 paces
  • the reluctance of Republican Party township officials in Dorr Township to allow and up and down vote on whether to return $1 million to township taxpayers
  • Valley Hi’s management problems
  • McCullom Lake’s ground water pollution
  • traffic congestion (always a good negative for non-incumbents)
  • whatever sports complex/baseball stadium gets millions of dollars of Federally-subsidized money from the County Board
  • property taxes staying high while property values have fallen
  • and I’m sure those reading this will add to my quickly thought up list in the comment section.


Republicans at War – A Re-Run — 2 Comments

  1. Not a bad summary…However when it comes to Bianchi I think you are missing a few key points.

    First, how the cops on the street don’t feel supported by Bianchi and how many simply don’t think he has integrity. That had as much or more to do with Regna running than anything…and we are not just talking about the Sheriff’s department it is good cops all across the county.

    Second (but related to number one), is Bianchi’s choice of a right hand man in Salgado. Salgado’s relationship with that FOP club that was involved with the shady telemarketing had much to do with how current cops on the street started to develop questions about the office’s integrity.

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