Corruption and politics seem to go hand in hand while voters lament the lack of credible candidates. The vetting process on a party level is supposed to help weed out people who may not be in the best position to set up and serve. That process fails when big money gets involved to help mislead voters. The quality of candidates backed by big money in the Algonquin Township races should come as no surprise as they are pledged to deliver on policies that benefit few working families.
In the 2017 Spring Republican primary race, Liberty PAC backed Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner candidate, Andrew Gasser over incumbent Republican Robert Miller despite Gasser having no qualifications for the role. Gasser, a Tea Party favorite and chair of the Tea Party in Space group, has several foreclosures and a failed business and does not own property in the county, currently serves as a District 1 County Board representative and can often be seen pacing about the dais and storming out of county board meetings.
Gasser, despite being a local party leader, is backing another Tea Party favorite, Rachael Lawrence, who also has a questionable legal past with multiple felony DUI and assault charges for striking an officer as well as an order of protection filed against her. Lawrence insists all charges were dropped yet the criminal case files are publically available under her maiden name, Guest, “…If you prefer to focus on decades old dismissed charges, that’s your prerogative,” she wrote in an attempt to explain her past.
Even school board races feature candidates of similar caliber. One such race is the D155 district race where hopeful candidates are vying for a seat to help shape the future of a nationally recognized high-performing school district. In this race, two Tea Party candidates stand out: Donna Kurtz, and Scott Vetter.
Donna Kurtz hopes to be elected to the same board where her mother, Rosemary, currently serves. It is difficult to pin her down on the issues after she advocated for outsourcing in one public forum and just the opposite in another. Kurtz has pledged to vacate her current county board seat if elected to the D155 school board in a grand effort to cut the school budget.
Vetter is married to a charter school teacher and would benefit from Education Secretary DeVos’ push for school voucher funding, but his campaign literature clearly paints such teacher relationships within families as a negative for his opponents. As a candidate, Vetter has openly advocated for outsourcing more of our school services, citing the D155 budget posted online for school bus services, “There are 30 listed ways of outsource that we only use 2 of,” he wrote.
Last year Vetter also wrote a threatening manifesto to the local Democratic party which roused
concerns and prompted officials to report the incident to police. “Protestors? Political activists? No! Say it! Saaaaaaaaay it! These cowards, these animals, waiting outside the TRUMP rallies are nothing but TERRORISTS”, Vetter wrote and said that, “…You are either PART OF THE SOLUTION or PART OF THE PROBLEM. Continue to IGNORE THE PROBLEM and you will sadly end up SUFFERING THE SOLUTION…”
The goal for local Tea Party members seems to be efficiency in pandering to a negative stereotype for Illinois politics. Rather than take a risk of having to wait for elected officials to become corrupt in office, they are opting to forward corrupt candidates who are already well on their way. The influx of cash to support these candidates county-wide doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon.
Editor’s Note: Rachael Lawrence contacted GPI late Monday to state that she is not now and has never been, a member of, or affiliated with, the Tea Party. Mrs. Lawrence also stated that she has “always been forthright“ about her sole 2005 misdemeanor conviction and stated that she “has maintained a spotless record for over a decade“. Mrs. Lawrence is a candidate for the office of Algonquin Township Trustee. Her website is [www.RLforIL.com and Facebook page is www.facebook.com/RachaelforIL].