Kane County Board Candidate Geneva Mayor Burns Uses City Email for Campaign

Into my inbox yesterday dropped over a hundred pages of email exchanges between Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns and others.

Here's what yone finds in a Google search for "Burns, Geneva, IL."

A combination of official and campaign emails for Burns show up in the following exchange after the campaign learned that Congressman Randy Hultgren was not going to endorse Burns as he expected.

They were from his official email account, the one that says, “mayorburns@geneva.il.us,” just as you see above.

Gathered through a Freedom of Information request, I’m told.

Nothing particularly out of the ordinary about using email to communicate with others.

Except in this case, it’s about Burns’ campaign for Chairman of the Kane County Board against Chris Lauzen.

That might raise some eyebrows.

Let’s look at an email chain that starts on Saturday, January 14th, and ends on Wednesday, January 18th.  With these emails one has to start at the bottom and read up.

It’s from Pat Brady, presumably the Chairman of the Illinois State Republican Central Committee.

He emails Burns at his office address asking him to call because “I want to get this fund raising back on track.”

Since personal or campaign email addresses are sometimes hard to find, while a mayor’s is easy, perhaps one could understand why it was used.

But for Burns to reply using his office email certainly does raise some questions.

Phone numbers are exchanged and one would assume they got together that way.

Then, on the 17th, Brady writes about opponent Lauzen’s shortcomings. “Pound him on this…Nobody more ethically challenged than Chris.”

Burns replies,  “Consider it done!”

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Let’s look at Batavia Township Republican Chairman Ellen Nottke’s use of the official email of Mayor Burns.  The chain starts the same day as Brady’s.

The discussion is about how Lauzen is about to hold a press conference on transparency and how to reply.  It veers off in the direction of who could be convinced to criticize Lauzen.  They plan to hand out a Sunshine Report at the press conference.

There is indirect input from current County Board Chairman and State Senate candidate Karen McConnaughay about how people other than candidate Burns needs to be criticizing Lauzen.

Some blacked out adviser emails the official email address saying that McConnaughay suggests a Democrat running for County Board Chairman, Sue Klinkhamer and Bill Wyatt.

Former Kane County Board members Bill Wyatt and Jan Carlosn are mentioned by Nottke.  She also suggests getting Chicago Democrats who “hate lauzen” to sign a letter saying he doesn’t work well with Democrats, that he is known as “sen. no.”

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On January 20th, Nottke was still using the Mayor’s official email address to ask whether he had received an internet contribution from Andy Faville.

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On February 1st, the official email address is still being used in this discussion of Congressman Randy Hultgren’s unexpected intention to endorse Lauzen for County Board Chairman.

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Burns is clearly disappointed.

Using his campaign email address he writes,

“Since the ‘decision’ Sean [McCarthy] has not been able to get in touch w/ Randy.

“Sean did mention that he and Jerry Clarke asked Randy to call me…to date not a god damn word.

“Apparently Randy’s busy @ a Prayer Dinner in D.C.  Won’t he be surprised when he learns there is no god.”

The email exchange about signs below has Nottke using a non-official blackberry email address, but Burns replies using his mayoral email address.

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On February 3rd Nottke emails the Daily Herald article about the joint interview of the candidates to Burns’ Blackberry, but Burns replies from his government email account.

On February 4th, Bob Mann sends a congratulatory email to the Mayor’s official email about calling Lauzen out. Burns uses his official email to reply.

The same day, a Saturday, Burns uses the same email to ask that a modified “Bob Mann” letter go out “today.”

Carolyn Zinke also sends a letter of praise for the negative comments about Lauzen in the Daily Herald to the Geneva address. Again, Burns replies using the government email.

On Feb. 6th Burns again uses his government email for political purposes.

Using the same email, Burns and staff try to figure out how to get into the Holmstad, a seniors’ residence.  A “Sue” (Klinghamer?) is involved.

The same day, Burns uses his official email to follow advice from Pat Brady to personally call Michael Donahue, V.P. of Geneva’s Midwest Wind Energy for a $500 contribution.

Feb. 7th same routine. Pat Brady had a letter he wanted put in Patch and there was a discussion of a meeting that night.

Only another Freedom of Information request will determine if Mayor Burns is still using his official email address for political purposes with less than four weeks left in the campaign.


Kane County Board Candidate Geneva Mayor Burns Uses City Email for Campaign — 14 Comments

  1. Boy, is this a cast of Kane County characters.

    Let’s see.

    Jan Carlson was the Chairman of the McConnaughay campaign, soundly defeated in election but then given a third or fourth pension by McConnaughay at the RTA.

    And another job with Cook Co.

    Must be where his Democrat friends ready to through dirt on Lauzen are..

    Ms. Nottke, considered the most profane and most abusive of this crew should resign lest she be publicy humiliated by her vile and very personal outlandish comments.

    Her main political client, the sitting State’s Attorney Joseph McMahon of Kane County, should terminate her contract immediately and forever, if he has already not done so.

    Since the contents of the e-mail is traveling through social networking sites there should be some cause for concern on her part.

    Kevin Burns asks Congressman Hultgren what will he do when he finds out there is no God after attending a church meeting?

    Hm. Better ask him yourself.

    Ms. McConnaughay, busy working with a Democrat to ensure that not all the dirt comes from just one direction.

    She is the gift that keeps on giving.

    Yes, a true conservative if there ever was one.

    Willing to make suggestions on how to muddy up Republicans far and wide.

    Can someone please tell these imposters to now longer pretend to care about the Republican Party? Their words, soon to be published far and wide, read differently.

  2. The comment about “no God” should be enough to expect Burns to drop out of the race.

    And if Karen doesn’t disavow or “clarify” her contributions, then support should be pulled on her as well.

    Carlson is the Ken Koehler of Kane County.

    Enough said.

    The said part is the reflection this is on the Republican party and its candidates.

    Surges could be the preferred candidate, but he can’t pay taxes timely and Lauzen is just as petty and self-centered as Karen, probably more so.

  3. This is Kane County politics at its finest.

    All of the old rats coming out of hiding and they all got caught. J

    oe McMahon has some tough times ahead also.

    This may be a time to clean the rats all out of the nest.

    Mr. Hastert can’t be to happy today.

  4. It gets even better… in the email exchange between Burns and Brady, the phone number Burns gives AND the phone number printed on Burns’ Campaign materials are the Mayor’s cell phone!

    Taxpayers are paying for all his campaign phone calls as well.

    Maybe someone should FOIA those calls and texts.

  5. You are kidding me?

    Reformer has the nerve to call Nottke/Burns rats?

    This is just another instance of the pot calling the kettle black.

    Just another diversion tactic on the part of Lauzen/Zahm because their emporer has no clothes.

  6. I have custody of a large amount of the Mayor’s Cell phone records too. If he tries to stay in the race we will go there next. I have worked at non-profits where if you call anyone non-business related on the organization’s cell phone besides your wife and kids you can lose your job. That’s why I never take a cell phone from a client. Mayor Burns’ appears to feel differently about the proper use of a taxpayer paid cell phone.

  7. Wow,

    “find out there is no god” that is going to play well…

    Not using the municipal account for political stuff is government 101 isn’t it?

    Looking forward to seeing more

  8. This should be a lesson to Randy Hultgren who let himself be used by the old guard Republicans and phonies like McConnaughey.

    What message does this send to the voters in your new district Randy?

    You’ll pay the price in the fall.

    Your campaign gopher Nick is another flip flopper,but we thought you had more class.

  9. I don’t blame Hultgren, he backed out of this brokered arrangement.

    I think Burns should quit and I’m holding my breath for McConnaghay’s mea culpa.

    But….generally speaking nobody does this kind of stuff for free, or at least without their own agenda.

    Zahm is described as a political operative.

    I have to question his motives, other than his saintly clean government altruistic aims, in this.

    As a “political operative”, which horses is he backing in Kane County and other places?

    Having said that, my concerns about his interests take away nothing from what he revealed.

    Some reprehensible comments and actions, to be sure. And repercussions hopefully to follow.

  10. Seriously.

    No one this stupid should be allowed to govern anything.

    Even rank wanna-bes like Nottke should know better.

    You don’t use government emails for anything but government business.


    I’m guessing if someone reports this to the State Board of Elections there’s going to be some hell to pay.

    In fact, I think that’s how Judy Erwin lost her job at the State Board of Higher Education — she used her work email to campaign for a fellow Democrat. (Not that this is a Democratic problem. All these yahoos are Republicans).

  11. Rats….yep. ellen should talk about a sholarship, Kevin should talk about the Hastert connection. Just the tip of the iceberg.

    The wheels on the big bus are falling off.

    And KM is right in the middle of it all. Next 3 weeks should be fun.

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