Bernard Schoenburg: Capital Township supervisor lives elsewhere

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

The Capital Township supervisor no longer lives in Capital Township.

But, said Sangamon County Treasurer TOM CAVANAGH, that doesn’t mean he can’t continue to do the job, and he’s moving back into the township soon.

“I moved last summer,” Cavanagh said. “I live in Leland Grove with my girlfriend.”

The couple — she is Leland Grove Ald. DIANN REED, who works for the state — will be moving to Springfield, as ground has been broken for a home in the Tara Hill subdivision.

Under a unique state law, the Sangamon County treasurer is also Capital Township’s supervisor and collector.

But, said Cavanagh of the law, “There’s nothing in there that says anything at all about residency.”

Cavanagh was elected without opposition to a third four-year term as treasurer last year. He notes that his predecessor in the office, the late JOE BONEFESTE, lived in Springfield Township — outside of Capital Township, which is virtually contiguous with the city of Springfield.

Cavanagh, 55, has been divorced since 2009 and has two grown children.

He was very open about his new address, and let me know of the move to Leland Grove when I asked him who he supports for mayor.

Cavanagh, who was county auditor for six years and on the Springfield Park Board for 10 years, said he originally was for current Auditor PAUL PALAZZOLO, who withdrew from the race for mayor after not getting the Republican Party’s nod. Palazzolo was Cavanagh’s campaign manager for the treasurer post in 2002, he said, and “did a great job.”

Cavanagh said he’s given mayoral candidate MIKE COFFEY JR. a $100 donation, but knows and likes all the remaining candidates and his donation is “not to take away from the other people running.”

Cavanagh also was on the board of the Illinois Association of Park Districts for six years, and said he is campaigning for the former executive director of that group, TED FLICKINGER, who is running in the April 5 election for Springfield Park Board.

 “He is truly a national leader in parks and recreation,” Cavanagh said.

Schock’s NPR vote

When recently in Springfield to address the Citizens Club of Springfield, U.S. Rep. AARON SCHOCK, R-Peoria, said he had argued to fellow House Republicans against a cut of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He noted at the time that National Public Radio got something like $20 million annually from that source, and he thought “rather than excite a lot of people who enjoy these things, it’d be better to keep them with us on the overall big cuts that we’re gong to need down the road.”

But Schock was among House members voting to end funding for NPR in a  228-192 tally last week.

STEVE DUTTON, spokesman for Schock, said reasons include a recent comment by an NPR official that the network would be better off without federal funding, and that NPR’s CEO makes $1.2 million a year “which is … an unreasonable amount of money for a salary if taxpayer dollars are involved.”

Meanwhile, LORI YATES, a former executive assistant to then-Attorney General JIM RYAN in Springfield who went on to work in some high-level government and political jobs nationally, is back in central Illinois and working for Schock.

Yates, 43, left a job with the National Zoo to move to Peoria to be closer to family. Originally from Metamora, she had been a full-time lead advance person for then-first lady LAURA BUSH during President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign in 2004. She met Schock while staffing a Laura Bush visit to Peoria last fall.

“We just got to know one another and talk about how I could help in the district,” Yates said. “I’m handling events, all the scheduling, this type of stuff.”

Her job as special assistant to the congressman pays about $80,000 annually.

Remembering David Broder

Let me join in helping celebrate the life and work of DAVID BRODER, the Washington Post reporter and columnist who died March 9 at age 81 from complications of diabetes.

Reading his columns and seeing him on TV has reinforced for me for decades that facts beat flash when making a point. He was legendary for talking to people across the country to find out what was really in the minds of the voters. He was a student of us.

I’ve only had flashes of contact with Broder; we sat next to each other typing once at a national convention for state lawmakers in Chicago, and I said hello as we witnessed a Springfield rally together. But I have always taken pride just knowing some similarities in our roots — suburban Chicago native and Cubs fan who worked at The Pantagraph of Bloomington. Originally from Chicago Heights, he started in Bloomington in 1953 — a year before I was born — and spent two years there before moving on to Congressional Quarterly. He joined the Washington Post in the mid-1960s, and visiting my friend JON PERKINS, another Pantagraph alum who was a copy editor at the Post, I got to peek in Broder’s office one weekend — and saw the legendary stacks of newspapers.

“As fine a journalist as David Broder was, he was an even finer man,” Perkins told me. “He was more than accommodating to any fellow journalist and stood out as a real gentleman in a very competitive business.”

He balanced reporting and column writing, and did it with an unassuming class. I, and so many others, miss but will always prize his work.

Bernard Schoenburg is political columnist for The State Journal-Register. He can be reached at 788-1540 or