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Daily Herald Schock endorsement draws heat

6 March 2011 RS 35 Comments

Garbage area, Elgin IL Garbage area, Elgin IL (Photo by The Elginite).

The Daily Herald endorsed incumbent Mayor Ed Schock for reelection Sunday, drawing a furious response from the newspaper’s readers. As of 9pm Sunday, 20 comments had been posted to the article on the newspaper’s website, nearly all of them condemning the editorial board’s decision to endorse the controversial mayor. One reader posted two comments in support of Mr. Schock, but both comments were downvoted by other readers.

The comment that was most upvoted reads:

Does anyone remember the days when newspaper endorsements meant something?

Back when endorsements were more than just 100 words long? Back when editorial staffs were made up of professionals with more than 2-3 years experience and knew more about a city than just how to get to city hall?

Or, when newspapers used to explain in detail their reasons for endorsements and even cite examples of why and why not someone didn’t get a nod?

Now, at least in the Daily Herald’s case, the only way to get accurate information on a candidate is to go to a forum and hear and see yourself. One must ask the candidates your own questions and investigate their potential for changing Elgin.

But, take heart. Should one decide to attend a forum and it looks as if there are no available seats, you can take the seat marked, “RESERVED FOR DAILY HERALD.”

That seat will always be empty.

Another Daily Herald reader writes:

Under Schocks RULE: 2000 Elgin jobs lost, a crippled downtown & economic corridor, ramming a “business license” through and putting 2 groups with no accountability in charges of those funds (Chamber & DNA). Everything was fine during the boom years & boat money- but in the last 2 years he’s taken absolutely NO ownership, or done anything to change the climate. If he’s had a vision-he’s kept it very hidden-but maybe that’s the point inasmuch as there’s been no transparency under his administration-do you think that’ll change. Of course NOT! Elgins continuing downhill spiral was at this man’s hands, and Herald you reward him-interesting.

Another reader criticizes Mr. Schock for fiscal irresponsibility:

Term limits. Schock is not fiscally responsible and does not do his homework. Look at the 46 million dollar The Centre for instance — he said it was a “gift to the citizens”. Gift, I don’t consider something we all are continually paying for a gift. What about that Wing Park Blvd. center island — very impractical. What about the years of downtown business streets torn up for repair? What about the city streets that are constantly patched and remain in bad condition? What about the constant building of new golf courses when golf has been a declining leisure activity? What about the bike paths people hardly use and were unnecessary? Other equally uneducated council members agree with him and approve unwanted and unnecessary projects. Time for a new mayor and replacement of long-time council members.

Another reader brings up the U-46 lawsuit that Mr. Schock had informally agreed upon in 2004:

I have enjoyed reading the comments as to what others think of when they hear “Mayor Schock” mentioned. I think of pitbulls, hiring school district cronies, and his shouting “Futterman” when he found out that his former school, Coleman, would be changed from lily white to mostly Hispanic due to the 2004 proposed boundary change. Now that the lawsuit is actually underway, I think of a crumbling school district and urban decay. What an endorsement for mayor!

The overwhelmingly negative response to Mr. Schock’s endorsement raises the question of whether the longtime incumbent will be able to draw enough votes outside of his NENA stronghold, where Schock signs can be seen in abundance along with signs for city council candidates John Steffen and Anna Moeller, both of whom along with Mr. Schock live in that area of the city known for its politically active residents and liberal leanings.

Mr. Schock is also a landlord in that neighborhood with four properties on Jefferson Avenue registered to living trusts under his name or his wife’s. One building appears to be his primary residence but at least two of the buildings are multi-unit rental properties according to township records.

The incumbent mayor, who has been in office for 12 years, has raised a record amount of money in this election cycle, roughly twice as much as he has in previous cycles, an amount that his opponent Councilman Dave Kaptain calls “scandalous.” Mr. Kaptain has relied on volunteers, small donations and self funding for his grassroots campaign for mayor.

Dave Kaptain: Candidate for Mayor
City Council Candidate Profiles
Mayor Ed Schock sees no conflicts of interest
Mayor neglected basic infrastructure
Businesses fund mayor’s election campaign
Ed Schock increased mayor’s pay 8-fold
Ed Schock blamed for U-46 lawsuit
Schock denies responsibility for U-46 lawsuit
Daily Herald Schock endorsement draws heat
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Lawsuit puts liquor commission in spotlight

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35 Responses to “Daily Herald Schock endorsement draws heat”

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  1. rm says:

    Well, if Ed is bothered by any “heat” he wasn’t showing it this afternoon at the Symphony.

    He was sleek, assured and busy shaking the hands of the well-dressed wellwishers who gathered around him (not sure if any of those fans actually live in Elgin, though).

    And why should Ed worry? He’s got the money players on his side - all the guys growing rich off of Mexican sweatshop labor and local “revitalization” and “image” deals.

    And if he’s the “devil,” at least he’s the devil we know.

    Many people are supporting Schock simply because Kaptain and his wife - humorless, childless greeny fanatics - are the unknown devils who could really make things around here unbearable.

    I mean, what mainstream resident will vote for a guy whose campaign vision consists of spending city money to “educate” Elginites on how to live like Chinese peasants, growing their own vegetables and peddling around on a bike? Dave is a guy who thinks that the No. 2 problem in Elgin is changing Elgin’s “focus from bringing new, higher income residents to the city.” Yeah, that “focus” has been a real big problem over the years, hasn’t it, Dave? But Dave has always felt threatened by the idea of having articulate, affluent, educated Americans moving into Elgin. They might not fall for his “sustainability” schemes or his indifference to the public policies that make for safe neighborhoods, good schools and thriving retail environments.

    So there you are. Remember, both Schock and Kaptain are loyal subjects of the Imperial Wizard of Elgin’s Illegal Alien Klan, John G. Dalton and Dalton’s ferret “Senator Noland,” so in the end what difference does it really make? At least, though, we have a real contested election where good ol’ Ed won’t be able to slip into another term without having some of his and Elgin’s dirty laundry hung out to dry.

    Let the games begin…

    • Bob says:

      Kaptain cannot get elected or re-elected mayor without AFLA. Schock doesn’t even care about this group because he doesn’t need their votes. Kaptain does.

      • Dave Reinert says:

        AFLA only has a handful of votes. They have a big voice with little support.

        • Bob says:

          That handful of voters dumped Figueroa and Walters in the last election and put Dunne and Prigge on the City Council.

          • Dave Reinert says:

            Figueroa and Walters did not hard enough. If they had they both would have won. Dunne and Prigge can thank them both for the effort they put into the campaign. If I remember right there was only a hand full of total votes cast in the last city election. People don’t get real excited about voting in these off year elections. In any election, if you don’t work hard enough you may be sent packing. Just look at the poor turnout in the Chicago election last month. Millions of dollars were spent in that election. The winner in the race for mayor was on TV several times per hour. He also had all of the big power people on his side. How could he get beat? Don’t give AFLA so much credit. They would like us to believe that they were the power brokers. Groups like that are a danger to our Constitutional Rights. Their agenda scares me.

  2. Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:


    In my opinion, I think you are taking criticism too far with your devil words regarding both candidates.

  3. George Rawlinson says:

    To RM:

    I don’t know who you are, but I find your personal comments about Dave Kaptain and his wife extremely offensive. No surprise, then, that you hide behind the anonymity of an online posting to say something completely inappropriate. It’s a lowlife way of abusing our precious freedom of speech. No electronic coward is so stupid as to not find a reason for such vile conduct. I know Mayor Schock, and I know Dave Kaptain, too. Both, I’m sure, would welcome your early exit from Elgin, if in fact you live here rather than in some rat hole of venom and anger.

    - George Rawlinson

    • bob says:

      Wow, George.

      “I find your personal comments… extremely offensive.”

      That is your choice. Why choose that choice?

      ” lowlife way of abusing ”
      “electronic coward ”
      “so stupid ”
      ” vile conduct”
      ” your early exit from Elgin”
      ” rat hole of venom and anger”

      All that for someone who never said a bad word about you!!! Speaks volumes about you. Little about rm.

      I pity you, old man.

  4. Dave Reinert says:

    George, you acted on the post appropriately. The poster makes no sense as usual. This person has little respect for anyone or anything. Just consider the source.

    • Anonymous says:

      It was a knee jerk reaction to something so mean-spirited that I commented without thinking things through. Why validate the unseemly diatribe of an obviously disenfranchised sociopath? There’s a right way to criticize people in public service. And attacking their family members or their private situations, whatever they may be, isn’t it.
      Lesson learned.

      • bob says:

        Keep on keeping on, george.

        “obviously disenfranchised sociopath?”

        You live in the wrong country, george. In Iran you could just take him out and shoot him. Darn your bad luck.

  5. George Rawlinson says:

    My apologies. The previous post did not have my name attached. I don’t have much experience on these sites.

    - George Rawlinson

  6. LFG-A says:

    My own comment on the DH article still rings true, in a hope a non-partisan way:

    “Where is the content of this article? Pros and Cons then the overall endorsement for an elected position? This is BAD journalism, I expect much more from the DH Editorial board, tsk tsk.

    Go to the forums, read the Local Elgin Blogs and News - find their fan pages on Facebook, read the literature and campaign websites. Inform yourself, heck GOOGLE it, then vote.

    For a city of 108,000+, it’s very discouraging to see less then 6,000 vote in the last municipal election. We’ve all got to work together to get additional Elginites informed and involved - these issues affect us ALL today and in the future. You can’t just go around touting the past to get elected, where can you take us in the next 4-years? Change is good, not to be feared.”

    I did see on Kaptain’s Twitter/Facebook - his Question of the Week to residents is VERY relevant based on the feedback from this endorsement, I suggest you all take a peek.

    From Facebook.com/KaptainforMayor:

    Question of the Week: Do campaign contributions influence political decisions?

    In a non-partisan municipal election, where does the cost to run a winning campaign vs. influence from donors come into play?

    Do campaign contributions influence political decisions? Do you see this happening in Elgin?

    Please read the link and tell Dave your thoughts.


    • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

      Why would Mayor Schock want to take campign contibutions from

      K Hovanian T&C Homes LLC 1806 S Highland Ave What does this home builder hope to gain?

      Lombard, IL 60148 $750.00
      10/25/2010 1A
      Citizens for Ed Schock

      Randall 90 LLC $500 Auto Mall What does this auto mall developer on Randall hope to gain?

      Kent Shodeen $500 If this is a builder, what does this builder hope to gain?

      Michael Vondra Properties Acct. $1000 If this is Michael P Vondra that has or had ties to founding Bluff City Materials what does this donor hope to gain?

      I didn’t bother to go through all of the Mayor’s election contributors but I just can’t help but express my disapproval of who he takes contributions from since there is a good chance they will want or some may already have gotten incentives from the city council in the past.

      Because of that I just think the citizen’s of Elgin would want more distance between the Mayor and the money these companies give to him for the campaign.

      Have you been Schocked enough lately?

      • Dave Reinert says:

        CH, All these companies want is good government. I think your mind is workiing overtime to make something out of nothing.

  7. Dave Reinert says:

    I’m sure Dave is a fine individual. I was never one to vote an competent incumbent out of office when I can depend on his years of experience as being thorough and accurate. Mayor Schock has a fine record along with qualities Elgin needs to lead our city. Mayor Schock has shown understandability, dependability and actionability. He can pass the test as a good leader. He has demonstrated sound leadership in working with an informed council. They have kept the tax rate the same year after year. Something the taxpayer depend on to keep their taxes within reason. The Daily Herald endorsed Mayor Schock for another four year term. I applaud their recommendation of Mayor Schock. Don’t vote against a man who knows how to run our city. We are not against Dave Kaptain. We are for Mayor Schock for all of the good he continue to do for our city.

  8. Wondering1 says:

    Gee, what great facts today. Schock’s neighbor as a candidate. Candidates from the same neighborhood or same part of the city. Only 6,000 voted in the last election. And, nobody thinks Elgin needs a ward system for electing council members? Not much good will happen in Elgin until council members are elected by ward and become actually accountable to the voters of each ward, instead of to those who bankroll their candidacy.

  9. QueenBee says:

    I never imagined there would be so many negative comments in the Daily Herald about Mayor Schock so early in the campaign. Someone hit it right on the head when they said Mike Warren has been his protege. That bothers me more than the Mayor being the Mayor. The Mayor can only be accused of being himself but Warren can rightfully be accused of being a younger version of the Mayor. I see the plan as Warren continuing to be a younger version of the Mayor.

  10. chance says:

    Let’s look at what mayor Schlock has accomplished. Elgin reputation all time low. Elgin Medium income is the lowest in the area even lower than Hanover Park. Elgin school enrollments registered as 63% low income. Neighborhoods especially in Elgin’s older section run down and overcrowded.

    Elgin has such a poor per-capita income population we can’t attract good retailers and they go to So. Elgin, Lake in the hill etc. He believes Elgin immigration is diversified and an economic benefit to Elgin Don’t knows what kind of juice he drinks, but he should change brands. Mayor Schock doesn’t realize that you don’t build a strong community by allowing thousands of low income uneducated people to make their home here and do nothing about except blame the Federal government. I say vote for David Kaptain he sure would be better than Schock. Lastly the good old Herald’s reporters work around Elgin with their heads in the sand

    • Dave Reinert says:

      Your post is what I would expect from a Kaptain supporter. I think you have your head in the sand for these kind of remarks.

  11. QueenBee says:

    Let’s be honest, Mr. Reinert, Prigge won because he had the right message at a time when the citizens needed a strong message. The voters were getting tired of illegals killing our city and he had the guts to call the mayor and council slouches & softies. People believed him and sent him to office. I attended every single forum and listened to Prigge and he didn’t flinch one bit. I sat in my chair with my son at the Eagle Heights and NENA forums and watched him look everyone in the eye when he spoke about illegals and bad reputations. Nobody else, even Dunne, came across as committed and genuine as Prigge did.

    Dunne won because he got Veteran support and fireman support and had just as many details about the city budget and programs as most of the councilmen did. He also is a conservative who sees Schock and others as tax and spend politicians. Dunne knows where the flaws in this city are and what projects are getting preferential treatment. Dunne is a sharp cookie for sure and unlike anyone on the council I can remember. Dunne was also supported by more groups than just AFLA.

    Really, it was no small task to get Walters and Figueroa defeated. Prigge and Dunne went right after them. They get credit for taking out two of Schock’s allies in one election. Now it’s time to finish the job by getting someone to replace Warren and make sure another one does not get in in Anna Moeller.

    Is Dave Kaptain the best challenger in the history of Elgin elections? No. But he is the only worthy challenger Schock has ever had and I think voters will give him a try.

    • Dave Reinert says:

      You are entitled to your opinion. The totel number of votes cast in that electio indicates that most citizens in Elgin could care less about any council candidate. I was in the GOP for 30 years. I talked to thousands of voters about turnout in these elections. If you work hard and get your people to the polls anyone can win. I have iived in Elgin for almost 75 years. I have not noticed any major changes taking place. The normal rebuilding process has been the most notable. The downtown area has turned into a residential district. Homes have decreased in value. Shopping centers are vacant. The list goes on and on. It will not matter who gets elected, Elgin will continue to grow at a normal city rate. There will be no big surprises.

      • Steve says:


        I have lived here for only 11 years and I find some of your comments to be correct. You have lived here almost 75 years and you say “I have not noticed any major changes taking place…. Homes have decreased in value. Shopping centers are vacant. The list goes on and on.” I too have noticed this since I have lived here. However, Mayor Schock has been in office the entire time I have been here. So I can honestly say that with an attitude like yours it is no wonder that Elgin is stuck in the past. With Schock at the helm it will no doubt stay the status quo. I for one think it is time for a change. It’s time to bring “some change for the better” to our community. And I think Dave Kaptain is just the guy to do it. I just hope others feel the same way and don’t share your cavalier attitude of “It will not matter who gets elected, Elgin will continue to grow at a normal city rate.”

        Steve Knight

        • Dave Reinert says:

          You are entitled to your opinion. I have seen mayors come and go. Elgin had some real colorful individuals over the years. Al had the grandious idea that Elgin was going to become the greatest city in the U.S. Staying the status quo has been the answer for year in and year out. Elgin has been like every other city in the metro area. The corridor along I-90 has all grown because of the location not because of governmental intervention. With Mayor schock we know what to expect. If you watch the city council meetings on Comcast the agenda is the same meeting after meeting. An item is presented by the city manager, a motion is made for approval, the clerk calls the roll with little or no discussion, and each member votes in favor. I do not recall watching a vote where the outcome was not unanimous. The agenda is set by the city manager. If a citizen is allowed to speak on a problem he/she has a few minutes is given but no action is ever taken. Dave Kaptain has been on the council for several years. Do you think his record as a member has changed Elgin? Elgin has a favorable police and fire department. Elgin has a working public works department. Elgin has an excellent parks and recreation department. Elgin’t tax rate is within reason at $1.93. Elgin has many other fine programs for the different sections of the population. The above continue too improve under the fine leadership of Mayor Schock. If it is not broken,why fix it? Keep Mayor Schock, Warren, and Steffen. Add a third person like Anna Moeller and continue moving Elgin in the right direction. There will always be areas for improvement as long as there is money in the budget to finance them. I think mayor schock has proven he can do things and stay within financial restraints. That is the key to good government.

  12. rm says:

    Today’s top news includes NPR’s vice president for fundraising, Ron Schiller, caught on tape performing a bigoted rant against the Tea Party and “white middle-America.”

    This is, of course, national news, but it has local implications for anyone puzzled by the DH’s recent endorsements and the broader reasons for Elgin’s deterioration and the people behind it.

    Mr. Schiller, of course, is part of the privileged American aristocracy: Ivy-League educated, a home in Aspen, and recently employed for years at one of the world’s elite institutions, the University of Chicago.

    His obvious loathing and contempt for “white middle-America” passes for mainstream opinion in Mr. Schiller’s refined society. It’s only when it’s displayed to the general public in connection with a taxpayer-funded organization that it sets off any alarms.

    It looks like NPR is trying to distance itself from Schiller as best it can. But would Mr. Schiller’s attitudes be offensive to anyone who lives in those NENA mansions, calls the shots in Elgin, or makes the endorsements at the Daily Herald?

    Look at what’s happened to Elgin and who has profited from it. How else to explain the policies that have controlled the Daily Herald’s editorial pages or Elgin’s political and economic direction than to say that they represent a sustained attack on “white, middle-America” and its desire for safe neighborhoods, good jobs, good schools and honest government? Does anyone really think the conditions in Elgin don’t represent what people like Mr Schiller want? What do you think the Daily Herald is talking about when it celebrates the end of what it calls “Ozzie and Harriet” environments in the suburbs?

    Clearly, Mr. Schiller would feel himself to be slumming, but ideologically he would be very comfortable living among the residents of NENAland in Elgin or serving on the DH editorial board.

    Everyone who counts in Elgin - the narrow little group of business elites, the labor bosses, the politicians, the churches, service clubs and cultural elements - is on board with an agenda based upon replacing “white, middle-America” residents with poverty, dependency and ethnic division. Isn’t that just the Chicago Way, the political doctrine to which so many of Elgin’s leaders now subscribe?

    And don’t look to the mayoral election to provide any alternatives to that agenda. The election is simply a spat over the best way to exploit those conditions.

  13. Todd Martin says:

    The issue is the question of will better serve the City of Elgin as Mayor: Schock or Kaptain.

    RM, of course, goes into a racist diatribe attacking the Northeast Neighborhood Association, the Daily Herald, and National Public Radio.

    As I understand it, RM believes in a sinister conspiracy happening right here in Elgin. I suggest he take off the tin-foil hat and start taking some anti-psychotic medication.

    • bob says:

      Todd, when are you going to provide the proof of rm’s lies and racism you keep claiming he spews?

      • Todd Martin says:

        Bob, look at what “RM” is saying over and over again:

        “the narrow little group of business elites, the labor bosses, the politicians, the churches, service clubs and cultural elements - is on board with an agenda based upon replacing white middle-America residents with poverty, dependency and ethnic division”

        Based on his rants, he seems to really think that the Mayor, his opponent, the city council, trade unions, local churches, and business owners are conspiring to expand and exploit people of low income or low education. Further, he claims the “whites” are being pushed out in favor of minorities in order to maintain a class of serfs to serve the rich.

        Do I really have to prove for you his thesis is incorrect? How about “RM”, the anonymous person who claims this absurdity, provide some evidence. How about “RM” stating his real name so that he can own up to his words that directly accuse individuals of misconduct?

        • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

          RM - Could you please share with us your real name?

          • One Vote says:

            One could just as easily say that you are so deeply entrenched in the big government progressive agenda that you cannot see what is really happening here.
            As for rm’s description of the elites, he’s in good company. The Chicago Council on Foreign Relations compared the attitudes of elites vs. the general public and found the elites to be far more liberal than the people they lead.

  14. Combos says:

    Why is the only race that has a quality competitor in it is the mayor’s race?
    There are three opportunities for council seats! If there ever was a time for good people to step up it’s now. Instead there are MAYBE 1-2 challengers worthy of a look. If that’s the best we can do, we are in sadder shape than I imagined.

  15. Change council Now! says:

    The Elgin City Council took steps to help Senior Services Associates expand its downtown space and approved a contract with the police union at Wednesday evening’s council sessions.

    Acting on a suggestion Councilman Mike Warren brought up in February, the move would allow Senior Services to expand beyond the 800 square feet it rents at 105 S. Grove Ave. to include another 6,900 square feet of room close by at 107 S. Grove and 205 Fulton St. All three sites in question are overseen by Elite Management, 164 Division St., located in the Professional Building downtown.

    Warren, who like Mayor Ed Schock is running for re-election, noted that Schock told him he knew Ron Cope, one of the owners of the Professional Building, who also own the properties in question. Schock put the parties in touch.

    Councilman John Prigge tried to convince the council to table the measure, stating that because Warren only brought it up in February, it came up too fast. He said he was not 100 percent comfortable with it and suggested a decision wait until May, after the election and with a new council seated.

    His motion failed 4-3, with Prigge and Councilmen Rich Dunne and Dave Kaptain, who is running for mayor, wanting to table it and Mayor Ed Schock, Councilmen Mike Warren, John Steffen and Bob Gilliam negating the move. Only the same four voted for moving the motion forward to an upcoming regular meeting for approval, but that was sufficient.

    Steffen mentioned that other options had been explored for extra space, to no avail. While not against the project per se, Kaptain objected, claiming that it appeared council members tried to negotiate a deal before bringing it to staff.

    “Staff should be there from the very beginning,” Kaptain said.

    “There was no deal cut,” Warren said, noting he took offense at what Kaptain was implying.

    “This isn’t like this is the first time this has occurred. There is nothing new here,” Schock said, strongly asserting no deals have been made.

    “The timing of this is exquisite. I wanted to take the ‘politicalness’ out of it. I don’t want that for this team,” Prigge said.

    City Manager Sean Stegall mentioned that the purchase of service agreement with Senior Services was due to be on the meeting agenda regardless of its amended nature. To leave it off might seem equally political, Stegall said.

    As set at the committee of the whole session, the agency would receive $10,170 in 2011 as part of the agreement to provide services to local seniors and about $14,000 more to cover seven months’ rent for the additional space this year. The city then would have to come up with extra money to help pay the rent for two years beyond that. The money would come from Grand Victoria Casino money the city receives.

    Rent on the property would be $3,600 per month, which would include all utilities. A code inspection would be done prior to any agreement. Senior Services would continue to pay $800 a month out of its own funds. The deal is contingent upon Elgin Township pitching in $833 a month, which it is set to discuss at its April 6 meeting. The city would contribute $1,967 a month toward the rent.


  16. Sally Foster says:

    Hi, are you aware the post was from 2011