Friday, March 12, 2010

Off Message

Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran spoke recently at a meeting of the Republican Assembly of Lake County (RALC). Typically at these rank-and-file political events the guest tosses out some red meat to the party faithful for everyone's mutual enjoyment. Curran, breaking with tradition, spoke in favor of citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Uh huh. At a RALC meeting. Amnesty for illegal aliens.

For those just tuning in, RALC is the local political organization that features items like this in their quarterly newsletter:

The Platform, Jun-Aug 2008
Republican Assembly of Lake County
Your LakeCountyEye has to admire anyone with the whatchamacallits to talk up amnesty in front a roomful of those guys. It's either that or someone who has drifted that far off script may just be taking their instructions from:
  1. His Manchurian Controller
  2. Outer Space
  3. God
Reading between the lines of the Daily Herald, it may be option (c):
Curran in the past has said he was opposed to any effort to allow the estimated 15 million to 20 million people who entered the country illegally to become citizens said his change of mind on the issue was driven mainly by his Catholic faith. He said his review of the position of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on immigration reform convinced him that he had to soften his own view to reflect the teachings of his church. "When faith conflicts with politics, faith wins every time with me," Curran said.
Lake County sheriff goes against the grain
Your LakeCountyEye doesn't doubt the Sheriff's faith in a higher authority. Nonetheless, at sober moments it's hard to disregard what John F Kennedy said in 1960:
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute--where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishoners for whom to vote--where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference--and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him. I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish--where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source--where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials--and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.
Address of Senator John F. Kennedy to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association
Your LakeCountyEye knew Jack Kennedy. Your LakeCountyEye worked with Jack Kennedy. Sheriff Curran is no Jack Kennedy.


Nicki said...

I'm so irritated about this, I hardly know where to begin. But here goes anyway ... Religion has NO PLACE in government, at any level, in this country. If Mr. Curran's policies and practices are guided first and foremost by his religious beliefs, then he has NO PLACE in government and should be removed from office at the earliest opportunity.

Clearly, our characters are all formed by a host of influences, some ingrained in us through our upbringing and some adopted deliberately as thinking, rational people. But it's incumbent on all of us, whether elected officials or not, to recognize that our own beliefs and preferences are personal and individual and not to try to inflict them on others.

Mr. Curran has a right to whatever personal opinion he wants on the question of amnesty for illegal immigrants. But, in his elected capacity, he does not have a right to ANY opinion formed primarily by his religious views.

This is not the first time Mr. Curran has made it clear that his actions in his official position are governed by his religion. Since he seems to be incapable of separating his personal version of church from state, he is unfit to hold public office.

redtail said...

Thanks for that comment, Nicki. We agree wholeheartedly. It would also make a *great* letter to the Daily Herald!

Anonymous said...

Without a doubt, illegal immigrants in this country is a big problem. In fact, it's so big that no public officials ever step up and do anything about it. They're more content to let the problem keep growing.

Am I the only one that sees it differently? Mr Curran looks like the first (and only) elected official willing to initiate a discussion on the issue. If the illegals should go, so be it, but it's not going to happen that way until the issue is brought up and discussed.

I like Mr. Curran's courage. Maybe that's what has been lacking in the rest of our public officials.

A little faith can go a long way.

Old Oak said...

Anon 11:26- The problem is that Curran and Suzi Schmidt as the County Board President had to actively seek out the authority to empower deputies to check immigration status of individuals they stop in the first place. They were not exercising authority already granted to them, Curran went out of his way to seek it. His officers are currently conducting immigration inquiries on Curran's order. His job is the leader of the county's police force and his comments undermine or dilute the orders his officers operate under.

This isn't courage, this is a demonstration of saying anything to win an election. Curran hasn't a sincere or courageous bone in his body. He certainly hasn't instructed his deputies to cease conducting immigration status checks, has he?

That he credits the source of his inspiration to Catholic bishops is utterly inappropriate. If our sheriff is now authorized to seek out laws in accordance with his church, why couldn't he have been a Rastafarian?!

Anonymous said...

My inspiration comes from devil worship-could I be the next sheriff?
Crazy, right-just like Curran.

Lake Watcher said...

BP (& Nicki)

The sheriff is entitled to let his religious beliefs guide how he governs. He is not allowed to play preferences or in some way support his religion with his elected office. I am a republican and believe in the separation of church and state. BUT, many people of faith build their moral structure off of their faith. You cannot separate this. You can disagree and not vote for this person, but letting his faith guide his governing is not illegal.

Curran has sought out the powers in regard to immigration because he has a duty to uphold the law. That does not conflict with then believing there should be a political solution for the millions of people that are here illegally. I completely disagree with him regarding amnesty. In our party his position is not one you take because you are trying to win an election. He is going to win this election hands down but the next primary will be a problem for him.

Old Oak said...

Perhaps Lake Watcher is the Restafarian.

Curran is going to win this election hands down?!!?

You base that on some recent polling? The truth is that Curran is going to need every dime the Lake County GOP can cobble together and he's still likely to shoot his campaign in the foot before November. When will the Lake County GOP decide they're throwing good money at bad candidates? June? July?

What offices is the Lake County GOP willing to sacrifice just to see Curran get re-elected? Remember, Tom Cross and Christine Radogno expect their candidates to raise a lot of money also, but Curran is already costing the party fortunes.

Nope. Lake County Watcher may be watching. But certainly not seeing. Just talking.

Curran is a flake. He's rarely in his office these days. He's utterly lost the confidence of his officers, undermining the authority that HE HIMSELF asked of the Department of Immigration. He actively sought out the authority to check immigration status, but now he's changing his mind. Pity it isn't to one that works.

Lake Watcher said...


I base my observations on several fronts. First, Curran has a very loyal following that will turn out to vote. This loyal following is energized. Second, the primary turnout in Lake County (i.e. Republican ballot vs. Democrat ballot) mirrors a national trend that clearly favors Republicans at this time. All indications are that things will not get better economically or politically for the Democrats (read forcing healthcare vote). Lastly, in Lake County, the two parties will be targeting the county board not county-wide officers. If the Democrats want revenge and go after Curran then they lose focus on what I would think would be the Holy Grail, two seats and the County Chairmanship. Curran has family money to make up the difference. I admittedly know nothing about his opponent so that last point certainly may be moot.

Old Oak said...

LW_Nonsense! What loyal following would THAT be? The Democrats that worked so hard to elect him? Think again. The deputies that put so much faith in his administration? Think again, again. The core Republicans that hoped like heck that he would be a fundraising super-star, the flagship of the Lake County Leadership Team? Think again, again, and again.

Curran is a goof. An utter disappointment personally and professionally. The legal community think he's a boob. The law enforcement community think he's clueless, AND, now don't trust him, especially because he's never in his office. The entire non-Catholic community think he's a zealot, an inappropriate one at that. And the Democratic community know he's a traitor, of low morals, looks goofy, smells bad, sucks his teeth, chews with his mouth open, flatulates, is harmful to small animals, and is a known carcinogen. And the core of the Lake County Republican Party think they paid for a Cadillac and got a Yugo.

I know Doug Roberts. Merely ask anyone in the Lake County Courthouse and they will tell you he's brilliant. Ask any deputy or local police force that he has dealt with, and that includes just about every police force in Lake County, and they'll tell you he's a straight-up, fair and honest attorney. Those same groups of people will tell you they are also utterly disappointed with Curran. You actually may be his only supporter in the western hemisphere. Lonely?

Old Oak said...

ps: Roberts also happens to have a net worth sufficient to dominate Curran on every front. And two county board seats ain't that hard, amigo.

Kay Hoogland makes Aaron Lawler look like a pre-schooler. Lawlor's never even paid property taxes, fer cryin out loud!

Roberta Potempa is running against someone Lake Zurich already, and recently rejected. And for good reason.

David Weinstein came within a hair's breathe of winning a judicial seat in 08, and is now running in both a smaller district, and against a guy who seems to have made a career out of insulting and dismissing the residents of his very own neighborhood.

Beverly Mull is totally loved in Zion. Every mom who brings her kids to the library loves her, and will be the source of the highest turn-out Zion has ever experienced.

So good luck with holding on to the Board. Hope that GOP money tree has reached sequoial proportions, cuz cousin, you gonna need it!

Nicki said...

Wow, Blue Prairie, tell us how you really feel about Curran!

Your comments about him are consistent with my own observations as well as what I've heard from others, including some in the legal community. I'm glad you went ahead and used so many colorful adjectives about him so I don't have to. I can't imagine that he has a strong base of support; obviously no Democrats will support him, and by now the Republicans are probably realizing that he's too unstable to be valuable.

I've also heard good things about Doug Roberts from people who know him.

Lake Watcher said...


Very entertaining. I do not even know where to begin so I will leave it that we disagree. November is coming fast and the climate is not in your parties favor. Surely you can see through the haze that you live in.

Old Oak said...

Sorry, haven't been to many parties lately, so not sure what you mean. My party's intentions are clear; our path is before us and we're on it. This exchange demonstrates what's really happening in Lake County. The GOP just yadaa-yadaas, but when someone steps up, they get schooled. We're steppin' up all over the place and the bell's about to ring. But good luck with Curran.