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Kelly Mazeski

Kelly Mazeski

The same day lawmakers in Springfield blew a key budget deadline for the second year in a row, a handful of suburban candidates signed up to mount challenges in previously uncontested legislative races.

For the Senate, Democrat Melissa Coyne of Fox Lake has emerged as an opponent for longtime Republican state Sen. Pamela Althoff of McHenry, while former North Barrington Trustee Kelly Mazeski of Barrington Hills will run against the Senate’s newest member, Republican Dan McConchie of Hawthorn Woods.

Read more here.

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Algonquin village president says opposition “based on absolute falsehoods”

Stop LongmeadowOpponents of the long-planned Longmeadow Parkway project say some of Kane County’s election results have given momentum to their cause, but one Algonquin official said the opposition is based in misinformation.

In a Dundee Township referendum on Tuesday’s ballot, 8,657 voters accounting for 68.5 percent of respondents said they wanted municipal officials to oppose the project. The referendum’s wording mentioned “air, noise and water pollution and negative impacts to property values.”

Read more from the Northwest Herald here.

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After nearly 48 hours of waiting for McHenry County votes to be counted, Dan McConchie declared victory Thursday afternoon in the race to replace state Sen. Dan Duffy in Springfield.

“It goes to show the voters up here really did their homework,” McConchie said of his win. “I not being a public official before had the least name recognition but I ended up winning in the end. It shows voters did their own research and saw through the attacks against me.”

Read more here.

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Senator%20Dan%20DuffyState Sen. Dan Duffy announced Wednesday that he will be vacating his 26th District seat next month to take a leadership position with Prevent Child Abuse, a Chicago-based group.

“This position at PCAA is a perfect fit for me and a combination of all my past experiences,” Duffy said. “It combines my passion for business, politics and public service. It is an outstanding organization and I can not wait to get started.”

Read the Chicago Tribune article here.

According to a press release issued by Prevent Child Abuse America today (seen here), Duffy will succeed retiring PCAA President and CEO James M. Hmurovich, whose 2014 compensation totaled approximately $185,000 in 2014 according to public records.

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Longmeadow Parkway

Dundee Township voters told the Kane County Board to stop construction of the Longmeadow Parkway extension Tuesday.

Unofficial results showed 70 percent of voters rejecting the road and bridge project, with all precincts reporting. The 5.6-mile expanded parkway would run from Huntley Road on the west side of the Fox River to Route 62 on the east side.

Read more here.

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election-2016Polls in McHenry County will stay open until 8:30 p.m. today after problems with the electronic poll books in several precincts caused delays for some voters.

McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan said the polls will be allowed to stay open for another 90 minutes longer than originally planned after an emergency court order was granted.

Read more here.

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26th District Candidates

 

Three candidates are campaigning for our votes on March 15th for a seat representing Barrington Hills in the Illinois Senate 26th District:  Dan McConchie of Hawthorn Woods, Casey Urlacher of Mettawa, and Martin McLaughlin of Barrington Hills.

So far, all three candidates are making the usual assurances to voters that they will fight corruption and tear down political barriers in Springfield, as well as cut spending, fight income tax increases, freeze property taxes, veto taxes on retirement income, retain and promote businesses in Illinois, etc., but the question is which one of them is best qualified to fulfill these commitments?

We’ve studied each of these contenders for some time, and would like to share our views on which one will best represent Barrington Hills and the surrounding communities (discussed in the order in which they appear on the ballot).

McConchie 002Dan McConchie:  McConchie, 43, holds a B.A. in Biblical Studies and a M.A. in Christian Thought, Emphasis in Bioethics.   He has never held elected office serving any public constituency, however he has been active in politics as a lobbyist for a number of years.

According to his presumably self-authored LinkedIn profile (seen here), he’s an “expert” in strategy development, fundraising, lobbying, marketing and electioneering, and those attributes are apparently valuable to his current employer, Americans United for Life, a 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is to “To defend human life from conception to death,” according to their most recent IRS 990 filing (seen here).

In his Twellow profile (seen here), McConchie is much more blunt in his biography, describing himself as an, “agent of darkness (I’m a lobbyist).”   Yet his Daily Herald candidate profile (seen here) lists no response at all to the question of current occupation. McConchie now denies being a lobbyist.

In August of 2015, McConchie first announced he was running for the State Representative seat for District 51 to be vacated by Ed Sullivan of Mundelein (announcement seen here), but his campaign for that office was short-lived.  Soon thereafter, Dan Duffy announced his retirement from his 26th Senate District position, and McConchie hastily switched his candidacy to that race.

Based on financial reports submitted to the State Board of Elections, McConchie and his handlers are very good at fundraising.  However, we can find only one donation from a resident from his hometown of Hawthorn Woods in the amount of $80 (from the person who serves as Ela Township Assessor, and coincidentally as the treasurer of McConchie’s campaign).  This leads us to question how involved McConchie has ever been in his community.

He’s also garnered significant six-figure donations from Political Action Committees (PACs), so much so that the Northwest Herald in their review of 26th District candidates wrote, “Given the amount of political action committee money being spent in support of McConchie, we question how beholden he’d be to Rauner and the PACs supporting him.”

We share this concern.  McConchie doesn’t endorse term limits, and he has no elected experience, so why are so many deep pockets seemingly trying to buy the election for him and more importantly, for what gain?

We question what advocacy he will provide for residents of Barrington Hills considering his campaign workers turned our Village Hall grounds into a patchwork highway billboard with dozens of his campaign signs strewn all over on a recent Sunday night.  Perhaps this demonstrates his true regard for our community.

Casey UrlacherCasey Urlacher:  Urlacher, better known as “Brian Urlacher’s brother” in the press (as though that needed to be elucidated), is the current mayor of Mettawa, a village similar to Barrington Hills in that is primarily five-acre zoning.  Casey first took office in the quiet Lake County community of about 550 in 2013.

In his 2013 mayoral candidate profile published in the Daily Herald, Urlacher committed himself to transparency, maintaining the village’s financial position and protecting the character of Mettawa, though he declined to answer questions related to civic involvement or any arrests or convictions, but that’s not unusual for such standard forms.

His public profile deals significantly in his childhood upbringing, athletics, partnerships in entertainment venues, and his current position with Englewood Construction Company developing large real estate projects for retailers.

Urlacher’s initial entry in to the current senate campaign did not go well, when over 1,000 of his candidate filing petition “signatures” were disqualified by the Illinois State Board of Elections (SBOE).

Apparently, he’d submitted forms with printed names only, and not actual voters’ signatures.  Some petitions did not contain the required notarization of the circulator’s name, and signatures from people outside the 26th District were submitted.

He claimed he was being targeted because, “the name recognition [of his famous brother] bothers them [his opponents].”  The question is, did his name recognition carry any weight in the decision to allow him to remain on the ballot by the SBOE?

The Urlachers have done an impressive job of soliciting campaign donations, though given some of the high-profile businesses named in filings, it’s difficult to discern which brother solicited them.  In spite of this significant campaign finance bonanza, Urlacher has reported donating over $78,000 of his own money, which is a significant amount for someone just 36 years of age.

He’s also accepted money from unions, which is troubling, since nearly unilateral pension reforms are desperately needed in order for our state to have any hope of financial survival.

McLaughlin 008Martin McLaughlin:  McLaughlin won election as President of Barrington Hills in April of 2013, after defeating a two-term incumbent in this community of 4,200, comprised of four counties.  This, despite the fact his campaign was outspent by a factor of 5:1.

He ran on a platform of decreasing taxes and spending, reducing exorbitant legal expenses, restoring the cash reserves that the village once relied upon, and increasing transparency in all aspects of village government.

In less than three years in office, McLaughlin has managed to accomplish all of these goals, even with the resistance of a majority of a partisan board loyal to the former president for the first two years of his term.  In three years, tax levies have been lowered, spending year-over-year is down, legal expenses have plummeted and cash reserves are returning to a level maintained by village boards prior to 2005.

In fact, as a result of his hard work in improving the financial position of Barrington Hills, in 2015, voters elected three new trustees over a slate including two incumbents after residents had seen the positive results of the change McLaughlin had effected on the board of trustees.

According to his public profile, McLaughlin’s business background is in investment management.  He spent 21 years as partner, and ultimately president, of Killian Capital Management.  In 2007, his firm merged with ASB Investment Management where he now holds the position of managing director.

In his state senatorial campaign, McLaughlin has managed to raise a significant amount of campaign contributions that are comparable to what other candidates in other state senate races have raised.  However, candidates in these other races are not running against opponents who seem to have financial backers desperate to see them seated for purposes that will likely be unknown until after the election.

Still, McLaughlin was in this same position back in 2013 when he won, but in this current race, he has something his opponents do not have: the unanimous endorsements of all four mainstream Chicagoland newspaper editorial boards.

The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Daily Herald and Northwest Herald have all endorsed McLaughlin, primarily on the merits of his accomplishments in office and his business acumen. (Click on the title of each newspaper to read the newspaper’s endorsement).

McLaughlin’s peers in the Barrington Area Council of Governments also endorse his bid, which is no easy feat, since these are elected officials who must come to some consensus regularly, in much the same way as the senate should be doing in Springfield.  These nods of approval come from the elected, non-partisan leaders of Cuba and Barrington Townships, North Barrington, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Tower Lakes and Deer Park.

Our views:  All too often, political campaigns become popularity contests, especially when it comes to village, school or park boards — the majority of which are unpaid volunteer positions.  In this race, however, voters will determine who is the most qualified to be paid to work for the interests of the 26th district in the Illinois Senate for the next four years.

In other words, we voters are making an important hiring decision on March 15th.

If one distills all of the campaign literature and websites, the business and government experience and the community accomplishments of all the candidates into candidate résumés, only one candidate in our opinion clearly deserves to get hired with our votes.

Since taking office, Martin McLaughlin has advocated strongly for the residents of Barrington Hills.   His expertise in finance and his ability to bridge political divides have returned positive results, and clearly has improved our community beyond his promise.

We have every expectation he will do the same for the residents of the 26th district when elected and deserves our vote.

-The Observer

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Dan McConchie

Dan McConchie

The McLaughlin campaign has received word that multiple complaints have been filed against lobbyist Dan McConchie, candidate for State Senate, for breaking election laws and illegally coordinating campaign activities with special interest PACs and political nonprofit organizations.

“It’s no surprise that an insider lobbyist would try to skirt the rules for his political gain,” said campaign spokesman Collin Corbett. “Dan McConchie has repeatedly claimed that his lobbyist background would help him play ‘power politics’ in Springfield. Now we see just what he means when he says that. For taxpayers who are sick and tired of paying for corruption in Illinois, Dan McConchie is just another political insider who will do and say anything to get elected. The voters deserve better.”

Read more from the Barrington Courier-Review here.

Editor’s update:  The Chicago Tribune and Barrington Courier-Review have recently disabled their links to the press release, the balance of which reads as follows:

The initial complaints, the campaign has learned, are over a fake newspaper sent to voters in the 26th District in February by an independent expenditure PAC.

This political mailer contained quotes given by the candidate directly to the PAC, clear coordination and a direct violation of Illinois election law.

Complaints were also filed over a property tax forum held yesterday evening.

This forum was hosted by the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI), a 501c3 nonprofit, yet in the lead up to the event and at the event itself candidate Dan McConchie promoted the event as his own using IPI resources, was the beneficiary of advertisements for the event paid for by IPI’s tax-exempt funds, and was promoted as a candidate at the event where he gave a campaign speech and attendees were encouraged to support him.

Each of these are a violation of Illinois election laws and IPI’s nonprofit status.

Copies of the complaints, including the documents supporting the claims referenced in this release, available upon request.

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If the mailers in the Republican primary to replace retiring state Sen. Dan Duffy are to be believed, two of the candidates are secret Democrats and the other is a special interest lobbyist.

All three candidates — Mettawa Mayor Casey Urlacher, Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin and Hawthorn Woods resident Dan McConchie — said Thursday they are disappointed by the race’s negative tone.

“We have serious problems in the state right now and we need serious candidates,” McLaughlin said. “Whether that’s Casey, Dan or myself, I’d rather the public gets an opportunity to judge us on our qualifications, not on misinformation.”

Read more here.

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election-2016Three years ago, we launched LIVING60010 with a very specific goal in mind – to shed light on all the positive things happening in our community, and the individuals that work tirelessly everyday to shape 60010 into one of the best places in Illinois to raise a family.

As we move closer towards this year’s primary election on March 15th, we have the opportunity to nominate three proven leaders from 60010 who have done an exemplary job in their respective roles. Each of them have been true advocates for reform and together can make a big impact in Springfield.

Read more of Living 60010’s local candidate perspectives here.

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