Friday, June 26, 2009

Elected office used for politicking?

Recently my attention was called to a couple of photographs on Dan Regna's website that show Dan in McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren's office. The sender of the letter to me containing a print-out of these photos suggested that a County taxpayer-supported office was used in a political campaign. Dan was running for State's Attorney at the time.

You can check out the photos yourself at Scroll down just a little to the photos under the title "Sheriff Nygren Endorses Dan Regna, January 10, 2008". One is a "That's my boy" photo with Keith standing with his hand on Dan's shoulder; you'll see it. The other is a shirt-sleeve business meeting (well, "photo op", since a photographer "just happened" to be there).

By the way, just who was the photographer? A County employee? If not, how did s/he get into the building with a camera? The guards are pretty good at keeping cameras and tape-recorders out of the building.

Maybe I'm particularly sensitive to the use by an elected official of his office (or of his "Office") for any business except proper County business (is that redundant?). A few years ago I received a envelope bearing the Sheriff's name and his badge of office, and I wondered for what court case I was receiving a subpoena. It turned out to be a fund-raising letter!

At the time I barked and whined about use of the badge of office in a political letter. The badge and the Office, even the title of Sheriff, go with the elected position and belong to the People; they are not personal to the person who temporarily fills the office by election. They should not be used in any unofficial capacity.

Now, if you go to the Endorsements tab on, you'll see the very first endorsement sure looks like a letter from the Office of Sheriff. See the badge at the top of the letter? See the signature above the title "Sheriff"? See the small print at the bottom with the P.O. Box for a mailing address?

When I'm sheriff, County taxpayer money will not be wasted putting my name on every vehicle. All that is, is rolling advertising for the next election. The badge and title will be used only for official business.

When's the next election for Sheriff? I called the Elections Office and learned that the next election cycle for McHenry County Sheriff begins with the General Primary Election in February 2010. Whew! Okay, so that's a while off. Plenty of time.

And then I asked when the petitions would be available. "August 2009." OK, so good; a year. And then she said, "In a couple of months."

Whoa! This is 2009. Where has the year gone?

For the past two elections for Sheriff, I have thought about running. I already have my Motto figured out, and I've already chosen my first hire.


Ole Blinky said...

Det. Pyle (MCSD) worked on the Regna campaign. I believe I remember him handing out Regna fund raiser fliers during working hours at the Sheriff's Department. Summer of 2007. He's now Sgt. Pyle. I don't know what the rules say about that.

Another Lawyer said...

If you run for sheriff, I'll run for McHenry County State's Attorney again ....(and I'm not Dan Regna)

Gus said...

What a team!

I've already made a decision about building a war chest. I'm not going to, because I hate filling out forms. This way, no one will be able to accuse me of receiving illegal campaign funds!

I've got my campaign slogan; and now I've got my campaign symbol - a push broom. Guess I'll head over to Ace Hardware in August and pick out a big one. And, no, I won't let them donate it!

DA said...

What an idea! Then you can play at being a cop again!!!!

Can't wait, can you??

Of course there is the little detail that you would actually have to convince people to VOTE for you!

What would your slogan be? "I want to play cop again! elect me now!"