State Representative Ron Sandack (R – Downers Grove) has a primary. Named a standout freshman by numerous groups, he has nonetheless drawn an opponent.
Sandack campaigned against gay marriage, and then voted for it. But key lieutenants of his opposition have detested Sandack personally since he beat them in Downers Grove village races years ago. So, it is impossible to know where personal score-settling ends and honest disagreement begins.
Taking his sincere critics at their word, they say, “We cannot trust Ron because he said one thing and did another.”
They are entitled. Joining me in this belief is … Ron Sandack, who has thoughtfully and respectfully listened to and spoken with all who express it, taking responsibility both for his switch and for earning back their trust.
What of his opponent?
One might expect the alternative candidate to be noted for his probity, honesty and responsibility.
But that turns out not to be the case.
Instead of Ron Sandack, his critics say, Downers Grove should send to Springfield… someone who refuses to take responsibility for his actions, someone who simply cannot tell the truth.
Keith Matune, an Illinois Education Association member teaching social studies at Waubonsie Valley High School, has been arrested three times on six different charges.
Indiana, Virginia and Illinois have issued warrants for his arrest.
He passed a bad check for $500 in Virginia in 1991 -- and skipped town before his trial date.
Virginia issued its felony arrest warrant on March 26, 1991.
DuPage-area police pulled him over May 3, 1991. Virginia’s warrant popped up, so he was taken to county jail for extradition.
In 1993, he pleaded guilty to public indecency. He was also charged with resisting arrest. He was sentenced to a year in Indiana jail.
He was arrested for criminal trespass in a girls' dormitory at the great Purdue University on January 17, 1994, according to police documents.
He told Waubonsie, when applying to teach Illinois kids, he had never been arrested.
He lied on his other school applications. And on the Daily Herald candidate questionnaire. When the Daily Herald got the facts, he claimed his priors were expunged, even though -- obviously -- they are not. That's another whopper.
He issued a press release in January that invoked the Illinois State Police to claim he had never been arrested. As a guy who once wore handcuffs in court, he knew that was false.
He claims gymnastics “Consensus All American” status. But he forgot to tell Purdue about his distinction. Its official website does not list him –- or any gymnast of his era -- as “All American,” since Purdue did not field a Division 1 gymnastics team then.
The General Assembly, to which he thinks he should be elected, says 'public indecency' is a sex crime. Illinois public school teacher applicants must disclose all such findings. Perhaps most deeply troubling of all -- Matune's applications show that when he asked for exposure to our kids, he refused to tell the truth.
My first multi-candidate Illinois Republican primary was the 12-person scrum to succeed Don Rumsfeld in 1969. Including that race, I have never seen a greater string of untruths in a Republican primary than from Ron Sandack’s opponent.
In fact, I doubt I have seen anyone who has told as many lies as he has, including lies back then –- to appear in court in Virginia, for example; recently -– on his numerous applications; and now –- to the Daily Herald on March 5, and in his January press release.
Anyone genuinely seeking an opponent to Ron Sandack would have stayed 30 miles from this candidate.
That leads me to think Ron’s old village haters recruited Keith Matune. They needed a warm body to pursue their ancient enmities. Obviously, they could not find a worthy alternative to take on one of Springfield’s finest young legislators.
That’s why I think Matune has no business in a Republican primary. The Democrats in Springfield lie about tax hikes, calling them “temporary.” We tell truth to Mike Madigan’s power.
Matune should withdraw from the race. Waubonsie should hold him to account for the false application. He needs to address his lies on public documents all over three states, not start a legislative career.
Say what you will about Ron Sandack, an American Conservative Union 2013 rated "Conservative," -– he owns his choices, and takes the responsibility that comes with them.
His opponent? He has no one left to lie to.
Chris Robling is a former executive director of the Cook County Republican Party, award-winning news anchor and Chicago Commissioner of Elections.