Local News

Geneva man continues push for anti-Burns calls with abortion-related email

Precinct captain says email was to his own volunteers, not what he plans to send out before election day

GENEVA – A Republican precinct captain from Geneva is continuing to promote controversial election calls against incumbent mayoral candidate Kevin Burns, according to emails he sent out Sunday night seeking volunteers to make those calls.

Burns is seeking a sixth term in the April 6 consolidated election against challenger Tom Simonian.

Simonian had said he talked to Bobby Piton April 1 and told him to stop or take his name out of it.

“He said, ‘All right I’ll stop,’” Simonian said.

Simonian said he was unaware of the renewed push until a reporter called him.

“He said he would stop,” Simonian said Sunday night. “I did not give him permission. He’s not calling on behalf of me. But I don’t have legal standing to stop him.”

A Geneva resident provided a forwarded copy of the email to the Kane County Chronicle.

Piton’s email states he will send mass emails at 9:30 a.m. Monday and Tuesday.

Piton’s email focuses on Burns’ support for abortion rights, stating, “Burns does not represent the America we grew up with. He supports the execution of the most innocent among us – babies up to the moment of birth … If this works, perhaps it can be a template for the Nation to remove amoral politicians.”

The email subject states let’s “help elect Tom.”

The email also states Monday’s email will be from a Geneva High School student who “wrote up his findings about how Geneva has done economically with Burns as mayor over the past decade.”

In a text message, Piton said Sunday night’s email was sent to his volunteers only, and is not the email planned to be sent on Monday. That one is about local issues, not national ones, according to his text.

“That email was sent to volunteers only, just about the status of (the) abortion issue,” Piton’s text stated. “That isn’t what I’m sending (Monday and Tuesday). So some volunteer is in fact a volunteer of Burns. Let that volunteer know they shouldn’t send that out. It’s on them if they do.”

Burns said, “My opponent’s failure to denounce the disturbing and distasteful actions of his friend confirms beyond a doubt that he is complicit and culpable.”

Simonian said Piton is not his friend.

“I don’t know this guy from Adam,” Simonian said of Piton. “I met the guy once. I don’t know the guy. He called me, he said he lived in Geneva, ‘I understand you’re running and I’d like to meet you and support you.’”

As to the focus on abortion in a local race, when Piton was first asked if he was applying the same standard to Simonian as to Burns, Piton had said, “I don’t think he believes in abortion.”

Piton said his belief was based on a private conversation with Simonian “that met my litmus test.”

But regarding that private conversation with Piton, Simonian said, “I said I don’t believe in abortion - but I believe everyone has a choice to so what they so please, as long as it’s legal.”