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Letter: Why We Back Dan McConchie for 26th State Senate race – It’s a Trust Issue



ImagesBARRINGTON – Five precinct committee chairman from the Fremont Township Republicans say their "only choice" in a three-way primary to fill retiring State Senator Dan Duffy's 26th Senate seat is Dan McConchie.

They say that GOP candidate Martin McLaughlin was less than forthright about contributions he has made to Democrat candidates over the years, and express disappointment that a third candidate – Casey Urlacher – chose not to show up for the endorsement session despite promising to attend.

They write: 

This past Saturday, the Fremont Township Republican Organization held an endorsement session for the contested Republican primary races occurring in our township. In the race for State Senate, we came to the unanimous decision that the only choice in this race is Dan McConchie. We believe that neither of the other candidates have demonstrated the same commitment to Republican values or is able to earn the trust of Republican voters as Dan McConchie. Here's what happened:

No to Martin McLaughlin

Martin McLaughlin spoke first and primarily discussed the pension issue, which is his professed expertise. However, during the question and answer session, when asked how he would solve the pension crisis, his answer lack any specificity. He may understand the problem, but didn’t appear to have a plan for how to solve the problem.

Of greater concern, we asked whether he had ever previously supported Democratic candidates. He replied that yes, he had given $1000 one time to a Democrat, Daniel Hynes. He said he had done so because Hynes wanted to unify the Comptroller and Treasurer offices in order to save taxpayers $11 million per year. McLaughlin went on to say that he voted for Hynes, but that it was the only time he had done so and has otherwise always voted Republican.

His answer does not match the public record.

Our Background Research: Our prior research showed that McLaughlin did give a gift to Daniel Hynes for $1000, but not for his race for Comptroller. According to the FEC, McLaughlin donated $1000 in 2004 when Hynes was running for US Senate against Barack Obama. Presumably, Mr. Hynes was not going to be able to unify the Illinois Comptroller and Treasurer offices from Washington, D.C. were he to be elected.

McLaughlin also stated that he had donated to another Democrat who was a friend from college, but that those were the only two times he had donated to a Democrat. 

According to the FEC, Martin McLaughlin was not as entirely forthcoming as he claimed to be. He actually has donated to Maria Pappas for US Senate and Tony Miller for US Congress (although we will give him the benefit of the doubt and presume Miller is his friend from college). We have attached a screenshot of the FEC data so you can see for yourself.

While this may seem like a small matter, it is a matter of trust. If a candidate cannot be forthcoming and honest in front of a township committee, can he be trusted once in office? 

According to a search of FEC and Illinois State Board of Elections data, there is no record of Martin McLaughlin ever donating to Republicans, even after announcing a run for this office.

In regards to his voting record, we can find evidence that Martin McLaughlin has pulled a Republican primary ballot only one time — in 2014, despite regularly voting in general elections.

Conclusion: We believe that Martin McLaughlin’s inability to outline a plan on the issue he seems to understand the most, lack of a clear Republican record and unwillingness to tell us the truth in regards to his political past disqualifies him from voters’ consideration. 

No to Casey Urlacher

Casey Urlacher never showed up to our endorsement session, despite having promised to attend. His representative had stated he would be there by a specific time at the end of our session. We waited for a while after our other candidates had left to give him an opportunity to present. Obviously, an unwillingness to follow through on his commitment to appear concerns us – can he be trusted to follow up on his commitments to his constituents while in office?

Our Background Research: In our research, we observed that Casey Urlacher has never voted in a primary and only once in a general election. He has given only one publicly-reported political contribution to a partisan race prior to his announcing his run for Senate. It was to a Democrat. He only began donating to Republicans after announcing his run for this office. Additionally, when he ran for Mayor of Mettawa, his campaign manager was Scott Cisek, Executive Director of the Cook County Democratic Party.

Conclusion: We believe that Casey Urlacher’s lack of a voting record, lack of a Republican track record and unwillingness to follow through on his commitments disqualifies him from voters’ consideration.

Yes to Dan McConchie:

Dan McConchie was clear and articulate, demonstrating a strong understanding of the issues facing our state and a history of commitment to Republican values. Additionally, when asked about his plans for enacting change, Dan demonstrated a clear understanding of the current political situation and outlined a plan on how he would directly engage in a political sense to help further the cause.

Additionally, Dan has an inspiring personal story of overcoming adversity that we believe makes him uniquely resilient in the face of a Springfield machine that has perverted too many of our elected officials.

Our Background Research: In our research, we observed that Dan has a long-time commitment to our values. Dan has:

o   Pulled a Republican primary ballot 8 out of 8 times

o   Given 100% of his publicly-reported contributions to Republicans

o   Worked professionally for 20 years on conservative policy issues

o   Been a long-time Republican precinct committeeman in Ela Township

Conclusion: Dan McConchie’s clear Republican record, life-time conservative values, and broad understanding of the issues facing Illinois convinced us that Dan can be trusted to represent us in the 26th District.

In a primary election, voters are not only selecting candidates who reflect their values, but also candidates that they trust. It is our conclusion that in the race for the 26th Senate District, the only Republican who can truly be trusted to represent us is Dan McConchie, a lifelong Republican.

We encourage you to join us in working to ensure Dan McConchie wins the Republican primary for State Senate on March 15. 


John Vincent – Fremont 112

Bob Bednar, Jr – Fremont 115

Glenn Garamoni – Fremont 117

Gloria Henke – Fremont 119

Gary Sarsok – Fremont 123


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  1. McConchie is one of a handful of candidates I have met in over 30 years of conservative politics that I would support for any office. Yes, even President of the United States. His integrity, knowledge and intellect are hard to match. He will be a giant among the pygmies that unfortunately ruin Illinois politics.

  2. Interesting. I’ve heard McLaughlin speak at many events, including a debate with McConchie put on by the McHenry County League of Women Voters. I have heard him give several examples of how he would reform the state pension crisis: move new state employees to defined contribution; reduce size of government through attrition; provide existing pension recipients an opt out to control their own pension; move state actuarial standards to the federal standards; and consolidate state safety plans to reduce operational expenses & costs, to name a few.
    He has accomplished real republican initiatives in the village where he presides as village president, such as reduce taxes, reduce spending, reduce size of government, and consolidated government agencies to save costs.
    I don’t believe the 5 committee chairs here are accurately stating McLaughlin’s voting record. Partial information & 1/2 truths are still lies. And, it’s my understanding that there are some 20 precinct committee chairman from the Fremont Township Republicans – where are the rest of them who were present for this forum?
    McLaughlin has stated that he will limit the # of terms he will serve and that he believes in government reform and instituting term limits. McChonchie has stated publicly, such as at the McHenry County debate, that he believes term limits are ineffective. It sounds as though McConchie is looking for a lifetime political career. McConchie has already made a career out of politics as a professional lobbyist (“Dan McConchie, MA, is a national pro life lobbyist and member of a (sic) Informed Choices Pregnancy & Parenting centers in Chicago” http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/author/Dan-McConchie).