The Dennis Hastert/Kane County GOP political consultant problem

As I noted yesterday, state Sen. Chris Lauzen has a primary opponent. One way to look at this primary contest is to draw it out to the parallel battle between the old, flat-lined, unprincipled Republican Party and the counterinsurgency that is the TEA party movement. Lauzen was a forerunner of the TEA partiers, and the old local GOPers still hate him for it.

A little history is helpful. Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert might have hailed from Kendall County but his negative influence weighed heavily on the state party and on Kane County. In fact, a small cadre of people have emulated Hastert’s penchant for making a very good living while working in politics and government.

I’m not sure if current and former Hastert or state party advisors have been able to match Denny’s ability to turn humble public service into multi-millionaire status, but you can bet that most of the dozen or two dozen folks are doing just fine. Denny scored big in the real estate investment arena and now has cashed-in as a big time hugely paid lobbyist. He even lobbies for a foreign government. His allies have found a way to roll in some dough as well.

When the Republicans lost all of the statewide offices in the 2002 elections, several political and other so-called consultants gravitated to the county level. A handful of them found a home in Kane County – the largest county in Hastert’s congressional district.

For their names, you need only peruse the list of lobbyists and consultants hired on by Kane County during the past several years. Conservative Jim MacRunnels highlighted many of the associated problems with this sort of Republican Party sponsored bloat when he challenged the incumbent Count Board Chairman two years ago. Unfortunately, his under-funded campaign fell short.

Limited government? Fiscal responsibility? Accountability to taxpayers? Say those words to most of the above type of politicos and after the momentary blank stare what you’d get as a reaction would be lame talking points memorized in some form long ago when they decided to get a job as a Republican rather than a Democrat.

If you ever wonder why the Republican Party, its leadership, and most of those who get elected on the GOP ballot line, have failed the American public – you need to look no further than to see what motivates many of the individuals crowding our party’s ranks. For too many, they’re just making a living – and their success in earning a good income is their first and last priority. Nothing else matters.

There’s no need to do the math or estimate what percentage of the players are in it for personal gain and what percentage are in it to advance the principles articulated in the state and national Republican Party platforms. You need only look at the end result – which at this point is summed up as follows:

  • Polls show the national GOP is less popular than the TEA party movement  following its turn at holding power under Speaker Dennis Hastert.
  • The Illinois GOP has yet to outline an alternative vision for our state’s fiscal mess.
  • Counties like Kane have budgets that were busted even before the economy tanked.

And then there is that pesky Chris Lauzen, whose state senate district covers most of Kane and Kendall Counties. The Hastert cronies have never had much use for Republicans like Lauzen who were outspoken about Republican Party failures and governmental corruption.

There’s still more to come – stay tuned.

Up next: Chris lauzen’s primary race and Dennis Hastert’s legacy.