McKenna's Ethics Under Fire From GOP Foes

Firing squad circles

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Andy McKenna (R) is running for Governor of Illinois: The former Student Government president at Notre Dame was Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party from 2005 to 2009. | Read Full Profile

    Andy McKenna is facing a Republican firing squad.

    Gubernatorial primary challengers Bill Brady and Bob Schillerstrom have now joined Dan Proft in attacking McKenna for allegedly using his former position as chairman of the state party to gather intelligence on possible opponents before launching his own campaign.

    Worse, the state party has opened an ethics investigation into the matter.

    The crux of the issue is a $28,000 poll of potential Republican candidates that McKenna authorized in April, when he was still party chair. McKenna's name was included in the poll.

    "His actions reek of impropriety," Brady said in a statement posted on his campaign website, "which is why I am calling on McKenna to come forward and set the record straight."

    Likewise, Schillerstrom posted a statement on his site saying "[McKenna] had the opportunity to recruit candidates for Governor, and picked himself. He had the chance to lead Illinois Republicans with integrity, and chose to use Party resources to advance his personal interest instead."

    Proft has been the most aggressive in criticizing McKenna, citing not just the poll but meetings McKenna had with prospective candidates before abruptly stepping down in August to run himself.

    "I [do] not think it was ethical for him to have solicited meetings with declared or prospective gubernatorial candidates and [ask] them to lay out their game plans without disclosing that he was considering a run for governor himself," Proft wrote on his website. "I am not among those who fell for it."

    McKenna's not even the frontrunner - that would be Jim Ryan.

    Maybe the firing squad is just warming up before hunting big-game.

    Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.