Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dan Cronin – Getting Things Done

“DuPage County families are making tough decisions every day. Government must do the same."

- Dan Cronin

Dan Cronin is the only serious candidate in the DuPage County Board Chairman race. Dan’s long time service to his constituents, and his legislative abilities, have been acknowledged time and again. We see all of the local newspapers endorsing Dan. We see DuPage County legislators endorsing Dan. Pro-life groups. Education groups. (See list below) All have come forward to say that Dan is the man to lead DuPage County. The Chicago Tribune has declared Dan to be “among the best in the Senate.”

There’s a reason. His record.

Critics use a candidate’s record all the time. I did when I compared the words and records of Dan’s opponents.

I exposed Gary Grasso’s links to gambling and compared his statements about his alleged fiscal conservatism to the budget mess in Burr Ridge.

Debra Olson chose to make herself the queen of transparency and ethics. I show her actions and her words don’t necessarily align, especially in the areas of her receipt of campaign contributions from DuPage County vendors, her buddy-buddy relationship with ARAMARK, her vaporous 2010 County Board budget claims, and her asleep at the switch oversight of the DuPage County Water Commission. The list goes on and on. At best, her ethical lapses show she is a hypocrite.

As measured by the vehemence of the comments on the blogosphere, Cronin’s opponents certainly touched a nerve when they attacked him about his vote on a one-quarter cent sales tax increase. I laid out the reasons Dan voted for the sales tax increase, which came only after the same people who criticize him were unable to make the tough choices required to balance their own budgets and went crying to Springfield for help. They called to Dan for help, he helps, and they criticize him for his help. Those critics shouldn’t be allowed to have it both ways.

Lastly, I outlined my rationale for voting for Dan.

But what has yet not broken through the noise of the campaign is a snapshot of Dan’s record in Springfield. Dan is no sunshine patriot. Dan constantly fights Springfield, in Springfield, for the people of DuPage County. He did when the Republicans were in the majority. He continued the fight during the past few years when the Democrats completed their corrupt control of Springfield. Dan’s efforts keep DuPage County in better shape than our neighbor to the east, Cook County, and other counties in the state.

Fiscal Responsibility

On budget matters, Dan is a consistent voice for responsible government. Since 2004, I have found 37 instances where Dan has fought spending and tax increases. There are probably more.

Some highlights:

Dan sponsored the DuPage County property tax cap legislation to halt double-digit increases in annual real estate taxes. In 2009, Dan opposed FY2010 Quinn budget proposal that contained the largest tax increase in Illinois history, calling for 50% increases in personal income tax and taxes on employers, and raided the pension fund for $3.2 billion. 

In 2008, he did the same thing on Blagojevich’s bloated FY2009 budget that again increased taxes, swept state funds for use by the governor, proposed selling the Lottery and other state assets, and increased spending on an already out of balance state budget. 

In 2007, Dan opposed Blagojevich again when Blagojevich proposed a budget relying on a Gross Receipt Tax. Dan has fought against every Democrat budget proposal going back to 2004, where I stopped my examination, including a July 2004 proposal where he led the Senate Republicans in halting a new $300 million job killing tax. Dan has voted against all of the raids on the state pension fund proposed by the Democrats, while trying to implement common-sense pension reform.

Dan is pro-fiscal reform. In 2009, Dan advanced proposals that would have saved the state $3.4 billion in the first year alone through cutting waste, Medicaid and pension reforms and limited state-mandated education expenditures that passed costs to the localities. He sponsored the bill that instituted the Illinois Accountability Portal where taxpayers can track how their dollars are being spent. Dan supported the tax accountability act that requires a three-fifths majority vote by General Assembly to increase any taxes.


Both sides of the aisle acknowledge Dan Cronin as the leader in Springfield on education issues. Dan is the current minority chairman and spokesman (and former chairman) of the Illinois Senate Education Committee, which oversees every key education issue in the state. As chief sponsor of the Chicago Public School reform, he demanded local accountability as well as improved standards for teachers, administrators and students. Dan secured millions in funding for new school construction in suburban districts. Dan is a strong advocate for new approaches to public education, including charter schools and alternatives to teacher certification to expedite the hiring of new, qualified teachers.

Transparency and Good Government Reform

Few people remember that Dan was the first legislator to call for the impeachment of Rod Blagojevich. Months before any other legislator, Dan was building support among his colleagues to impeach Blagojevich. Dan sponsored the impeachment resolution in the Senate. Dan sponsored the recall legislation to permit voters to remove elected officials from public office. Dan was out in front when he reformed the state eminent domain laws to protect private property owners from government intervention. Dan sponsored a Senate bill to limit contributions to political campaigns in Illinois, and created laws to improve security at schools, protect women and children from domestic violence, strengthen teen driving laws and reduce gun violence.

Dan’s opponents have whisper thin credentials. They make promises that have no way to keep. They are tied into special interests, and have broken their sacred trust to the people. Compare them to Dan’s accomplishments.

You can’t. There is no comparison.

Vote for Dan Cronin.

For my analysis on the other DuPage County Board Chairman candidates:

Cronin Endorsements

Patti Bellock - State Representative, 47th District
Bob Biggins - State Representative, 41st District
Joe Birkett - DuPage County States Attorney
Fred Bucholz - DuPage County Recorder
Joe Cantore - Forest Preserve Commissioner, District 2
Kathryn Cermak-Durante - Addison Township Supervisor
Chicago Tribune
Clarendon Hills Doings
Tony Cuzzone - York Township Trustee
Daily Herald
Patrick Durante - Addison Township Republican Chairman
Jim Durkin - State Representative, 82nd District
Elmhurst Doings
Barbara Finn - York Township Trustee
Mike Formento - Milton Township Republican Chairman
Chris Heidorn - Milton Township Supervisor
Gwen Henry - DuPage County Treasurer
Paul Hinds - York Township Republican Chairman
Hinsdale Doings
Illinois Citizens for Life
Illinois Federation for Right to Life
Italian American Political Coalition
Chris Kachiroubas - DuPage County Circuit Court Clerk
Moon Khan - York Township Trustee
Gary King - DuPage County Clerk
Dan Kordik - York Township Clerk
Michael Kwasman - Mayor, West Chicago
John Millner - State Senator, 28th District
Pamella Moretti - Addison Township Clerk
Barbara Murphy - DuPage County Republican Chairwoman
Marsha Murphy - Forest Preserve Commission, District 1
Rachel Ossyra - Naperville Township Republican Chairman
Linda Painter - Forest Preserve Commissioner, District 3
Dewey Pierotti - DuPage County Forest Preserve President
Sandy Pihos - State Representative, 42nd, District
Michael Prueter - Lisle Township Republican Chairman
Randy Ramey - State Representative, 55th District
Ron Sandack - Mayor, Downers Grove
Dick Schroeder - York Township Highway Commissioner
Darlene Senger - State Representative, 96th District
Peter Siekmann - DuPage County Coroner
John C. Smith - Winfield Township Republican Chairman
Frank Soto - Mayor, Bensenville
Sun-Times Oak Brook Doings
The United Hellenic Voters of America
John Valle - York Township Supervisor
Deanna Wilkins - York Township Assessor
May Yurgaitis - Naperville Township Trustee
John Zaruba - DuPage County Sheriff


The Factor said...

Just a few comments regarding your points against Mrs. Olson..
1)ALL of the donations you refer to are dated prior to her forwarding of ethics reform. She never said she hadn't taken money from county vendors or contractors, but that she wouldn't. And if you look at the dates, she hasn't.
2)You missed the "ara"mark! Debra voted for Aramark's competitor. Also, Erin Vaughn (sp?) did not begin work with Debra until she had left Aramark.
3)Water Commission $$$. This commission was formed by legislation supported by Dan Cronin, and is headed by Mr. Rathje, a strong Cronin supporter. They are a seperate entity from the County Board, and are solely responsible for monitoring their own funds.

Cincinnatus said...

Olson provided a revised ethics statement saying her company does business with the county.

ARAMARK received an unusually, almost unprecedented. favorable ruling which allowed it to bid on a contract already won by another vendor. Olson received contemporaneous campaign contributions. Some of those contributions have not been returned as she recently stated, according to Illinois State Board of Elections record. Erin Vaughan was a vice president of ARAMARK, and now works on the Olson campaign.

The oversight of the Water Commission is provided by the County Board Committee of Public Works. Olson is the Chairman of that committee.

The Factor said...

County contracts are public record. Check them. I know her company. I've worked with them. NOTHING there.
Once again, you're right, Erin Vaughan WAS with Aramark, and NOW works voluntarily with the Olson camp. Also, the "unreturned" donations, as you have previously stated, were personal ones, and are not tracked in the same manner. You or I have no way to know if they were returned or not. Or at least, we shouldn't.
And lastly....
Rarely, but usually once, you're WRONG. The Water Commission in NOT overseen by the chair of Public Works, anymore....thanks to Dan Cronin.

The Factor said...

Let’s talk about conflicts. Cronin’s law partner is already a County Board member. Exactly how is THAT not a conflict – to have two business partners on the same board? Furthermore, Cronin is the County Party Chairman, also running for County Board Chairman, who used County Party resources for robo calls and letters to party faithful while running his County Board Chairman campaign. Andy McKenna has just been deemed in violation of Ethics rules for doing exactly that. Cronin ought to be censured by the County Party and resign his post as party chairman. Cincinnatus seems to like the Chicago-style political hack m.o.

Cincinnatus said...

The "personal" contributions list the contributor's address as the ARAMARK corporate headquarters, and if I remember correctly, not in the section for where the person works.

I concede your point about the Water Commission oversight. Fact remains, the money was used to cover the County Board's inability to meet their financial obligations.

Still trying to understand what accusation you are making about the conflict of interest. This seems like a major deflection of Olson's own ethically challenged record, and not a refutation of it.