Republican David McSweeney is slamming the latest political mailer to go out on behalf of his opponent in the Barrington-area 52nd House District race, calling it an inaccurate insult and further proof that Dee Beaubien isn't the independent candidate she claims to be.
Beaubien, however, stands behind the piece and maintains that given the uphill battle independents face, she'll take all the help she can get, even from the state's Democratic leaders.
The first negative piece of the campaign, which like her three earlier mailers was funded by the Democratic Party of Illinois, focuses on abortion. It shows a woman covering her mouth, and says McSweeney's "extremist positions on women's rights are unspeakable."
It states the Barrington Hills financial consultant would oppose abortion rights in the case of rape, incest and when the mother's health is at risk. It cites McSweeney's past financial support from an unidentified "radical" special interest group whose leader believes that once married, a woman can't be raped by her husband.
"To make that accusation is absolutely 100 percent outrageous," McSweeney said. "I'm pro-life, but I favor exceptions for the life of the mother and in cases of rape and incest."
Beaubien, a retired mental health counselor who also resides in Barrington Hills, said McSweeney has been quoted to the contrary in the past. She's given the go-ahead to each of the Democrats' mailers.
"Everybody has the right to change their mind, but I wouldn't have approved anything that wasn't factually accurate," Beaubien said. "(McSweeney) has been endorsed by all the conservative right-to-life groups."
In total, Democratic leaders have contributed more than $51,000 in recent weeks for those mailings, polling and two staffers with ties to Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.
"Dee Beaubien is completely joined at the hip and doing business with Mike Madigan," McSweeney said. "She claims she's an independent, and she obviously isn't."
Beaubien said that because McSweeney won the GOP primary, she never expected Republican leaders to back her campaign.
"I understand that the House Republicans can't help and the position the party is in," Beaubien said. "You can't run a race like this without help, and I'm accepting help from people who are offering it. Does that mean I'll be controlled by the Democrats? Absolutely not. Nobody tells me what to do."
None of her other mailers mentions her opponent. Instead, they paint the wife of the late Republican state Rep. Mark Beaubien as an "independent voice" who will fight for Medicaid reform, property tax relief, the environment and cuts to legislative pay. She says she'll also donate her own salary to charity if elected.
McSweeney has put out three mailings of his own so far focusing on his business background and calls for job creation, pension reform, property tax relief and investing in schools.
The 52nd House District covers parts of Algonquin, Barrington, Barrington Hills, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Island Lake, Lake in the Hills, North Barrington, Oakwood Hills, South Barrington, Trout Valley and Wauconda.