Both men took off the gloves in the month before the primary, sending out negative mail pieces and taking out mud-slinging radio ads. Lauzen accused Oberweis of trying to buy his way into office. Oberweis questioned Lauzen’s judgment and accused him of being a “career politician,” casting Lauzen’s 15 years in the General Assembly in a negative light.
In the end, Oberweis won both the regular and special primary elections decisively. But while Lauzen has called Oberweis to concede, he has not publicly offered his support in the special election. In fact, in a letter to supporters sent last week, Lauzen criticized Oberweis for being willing to “say or do anything to get elected … no matter how personally destructive or untrue.”
Waiting for apologyIt’s ordinarily expected that the losing candidate in a primary election will come out publicly and support the winner. Lauzen said he is willing to help Oberweis, but wants an apology first.
“All I ask of Jim is to correct the record,” Lauzen said. “I’m not corrupt; I don’t buy people off. I’m happy to help as soon as he repairs the damage he’s done to my reputation.”
Lauzen mentioned a couple of specifics. During the campaign, Oberweis accused Lauzen of poor judgment for taking money from a company under investigation by the Illinois attorney general’s office. The company, International Profit Associates of Buffalo Grove, is also at the center of a massive federal sexual harassment lawsuit.
In December, Lauzen returned nearly $100,000 in contributions to International Profit Associates and its owner, John Burgess, but the Oberweis camp questioned why Lauzen took the money in the first place and compared him to several Democrats who had also taken IPA money, including Sen. Barack Obama and Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Additionally, the Oberweis camp was critical of Kane County Republican Chairman Dennis Wiggins for accepting a paid position with Lauzen’s campaign. Oberweis spokesman Bill Pascoe called for Wiggins’ resignation from the Kane Republicans, but Wiggins declined, choosing instead to take a leave of absence until after the primary election.
Pascoe accused Wiggins of “(selling) himself to the highest bidder,” a statement which upset both Lauzen and Wiggins.
“He attacked my integrity,” Wiggins said of Oberweis. “I’ve worked for the party for 45 years. He owes me a hell of an apology.”
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