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Thursday political ticker: Drano and Donley edition

Randy Donley calls it quits for re-election to the McHenry County Board, and state lawmakers with way too much free time create what I will mockingly call the Illinois State Clogged Drain Registry.

• Down the drain: Illinois can have my drain cleaner when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

As of Sunday, you have to show a photo ID to buy drain cleaners, pool cleaners or any other caustic substance, and then sign a log documenting your name, address, date and time, the brand name and net weight.


Reporter Sarah Sutschek wrote in her article on today's front page that the legislation came as a result of two Chicago women who were "badly scarred" after having acid poured on them. Not at all to disparage the plights of these poor women, but I don't have to tell the state when I'm buying a baseball bat (because I might hit someone's head or a car window with it), or hot dogs (because I might choke on one).

I'll save whatever state bureaucrat is in charge of The List a few minutes of investigative work: I have a clogged sink in my master bathroom. I'll be buying a small bottle of Drano tonight at Woodman's in Carpentersville. I hear the bottle now comes with a plastic drain snake, too, so you might want to take note of that. I know you don't keep track of that yet, but when someone in Chicago gets garrotted with one and the General Assembly creates the Drain Snake Registry, you can add me to the database.

The law is yet another example of Illinois lawmakers' misguided belief that we're just one new regulation, one new law, one new tax increase away from utopia.

But lawmakers take note: Utopia has a balanced budget. Utopia doesn't have pay-to-play politics. Utopia doesn't send two consecutive governors to prison. And utopia isn't a deadbeat that waits six months or more to pay its bills.
• Donley changes his mind:
Randy Donley getting off the ballot, going once, going twice, sold!

Donley, R-Union, decided to not seek another term after all, he told me after I noticed that his name was withdrawn from the March 20 primary ballot. The main reason, he said, is that he can pay full attention to the auction business he is creating.

He said he has recently gotten his auctioneer license from the state, and wants to dedicate his attention to the startup.

"I have every intention to really, really push forward with my auction business full-strength," Donley told me. "It's not fair for me to think about another term, knowing full-well that I'm starting this business."

As I blogged last month, Donley filed papers to run for another term after months and months of telling everyone he had no intention of running again for District 6, which covers the county's rural western half. He told me then that he filed because people passed petitions on his behalf and begged him to stay on. He filed out of respect for their efforts, but reserved the right to withdraw.

Donley withdrew last Friday, according to the McHenry County Clerk's Office.

The race for District 6 is now a 10-way GOP primary, with three incumbents and seven challengers running for the party's nomination March 20. Three Democrats are running on their party ballot for four slots. All 24 seats on the County Board are up for grabs this year because of post-census redistricting.

Donley's decision means that longtime County Board Chairman Ken Koehler, R-Crystal Lake, is rid of his three most significant detractors. Marc Munaretto, R-Algonquin, is not seeking re-election, and Barbara Wheeler, R-Crystal Lake, is running instead for the 64th House District of the General Assembly.

Senior Writer Kevin Craver can be reached at kcraver@shawmedia.com.

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