Friday, April 29, 2011

Rise Up from the Ashes

All those monster tornadoes, river floods, 100 mega-watt lightning strikes criss-crossing the State mean one thing in Lake County -- Spring has finally arrived. Not coincidentally, Spring is the time set aside for spring-cleaning. In the springtime many an operative's fancy will lightly turn to thoughts of furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves, their upkeep & maintenance. Operatives desiring a how-to on the ins and outs of getting their ashes hauled, are directed to this informative News-Sun write-up ...
Diana Kuyper: Hauling ash takes some heat
Full disclosure, your LakeCountyEye just reads the News-Sun for the articles.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dialogs in Democracy: 05.15.11

Dialogues in Democracy

Lake County Forest Preserve District's
Adlai E. Stevenson II Historic Home
25200 N St. Mary’s Rd.
Libertyville, IL

Program: $15

To Reserve:

www.stevensoncenterondemocracy.org

Phone: 847-816-7433

Outstanding speakers followed by an opportunity for conversation over coffee in the surroundings that inspired "The Man from Libertyville"

Sun., May. 15, 2pm
– Build Back Better – A New Teaching Hospital in Haiti

The earthquake that destroyed Haiti's central teaching hospital killed hundreds of doctors and nurses. Dr. David Walton and Marjorie Benton will speak about Partners in Health’s efforts to rebuild a 320 bed hospital to serve patients and train health care workers. Dr. Walton is a senior resident of Brigham Women’s Hospital at Harvard and will be the director of the new hospital.

Marjorie Benton has served as U.S. representative to UNICEF, chair of Save the Children and the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago. She is a senior advisor to Partners in Health.

Send your free or not-for-profit Lake County events to LakeCountyEye@gMail.com

Monday, April 25, 2011

Overstate of Emergency

Republican ideologues bent on blowing up the US government by any means necessary, even if it takes blowing up the world economy, took another step in that direction. The sabre-rattling was ratcheted up a notch, as mouthpieces for the conservative agenda threatened, in front of the teevee cameras this weekend, to see the US Government default on its debt obligations.

Lake County's very own Eighth District Congressman Joe Walsh (R-Crackpot) was spotted on Face the Nation yesterday, defending their Path-to-Armageddon™ ...
BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, let me ask you this, Congressman. I mean, what do you think would happen if in fact, Congress voted not to raise the debt ceiling? What do you think the impact would be not just in this country but around the world? Is that being overstated?
REPUBLICAN JOE WALSH: It is being overstated. It's being overstated.

Face the Nation
Sobering words indeed. Especially coming from someone who does not seem to have the word overstated in his vocabulary.

Curiosity to the peak and scrappin' for a challenge, your LakeCountyEye consulted teh Google for other matters that Congressman Walsh has deemed overstated. Here are Ten:

Ten More Issues Joe Walsh Believes Are Overstated
  1. Global Warming
  2. Houston, we have a problem.
  3. You're fired.
  4. E=mc2
  5. The population of Lake County is expected to exceed 800,000 by 2020.
  6. ... and the Lake County Board better get on the stick before it's too late.
  7. Get Cash for Gold, Fast!
  8. No taxation without representation.
  9. Reports of Mark Twain's death.
  10. That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Look for your LakeCountyEye, overstating the facts, near you.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Congressman Over-the-Top

In just four short months, we've learned that Joe Walsh will say pretty much anything that's on his mind. His Tea Party handlers have given him the talking points but he wants to be loved so much by his right-wing fans that he keeps going even farther than they would imagine.

Are you concerned that Medicare won't be there to cover you when you're old? That if the 2012 Republican budget sponsored by Congressman Ryan passes you'll have to beg an insurance company to cover you when you are old and sick? Joe Walsh thinks that's fine and dandy. In fact, his main concern is the incredible burden his children and grandchildren will have to pay to keep the old farts alive.

At his Town Hall on April 11, he predicted, with a straight face, that in 30 years, his kids are going to be paying 80 to 90 percent of their income to support Medicare and Social Security. (Yes, we have it on tape.) Ninety percent? We thought slavery was abolished 150 years ago.

So (follow the Joe logic here), if old people have to go to the insurance industry for medical coverage, and the insurance industry is able to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions (something else he voted for), then old people will be denied treatment for everything and die. Voila! Junior Walsh will be able to stop eating cat food because he won't have to support nearly as many oldies. Death panels, indeed.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Case Scenario

Today was Earth Day 2011 in Lake County, and the UN mandated holiday was observed in typical fashion here. Wetlands continue to be drained to clear a Shermanesque corridor for the Route 53 Extension. Lake Michigan continues to be drained to subsidize the water slide industry, west of Route 21. Angry mobs pull down more annoying wind turbines. A decommissioned Zion Nuclear Plant stews in its own juices. Creationists plot to replace Science with Religion in school curricula. And the Lake County Board contemplates erecting migrant worker shanty towns on Forest Preserve property, to goose the county population past the magic 800,000 number.

Of course Earth Day is not all fun and games. Now that global warming has passed the point of no return, and kicked-in full-bore, your LakeCountyEye is frankly pessimistic. After the environment collapses, what goes next? Economic collapse? Collapse of Democracy? Collapse of the social order? Something worse? Tough questions indeed. Your LakeCountyEye hopes the Governor signs that conceal-carry law before it's too late!

Of course protracted climate change doesn't have to be all gloom and doom. There are well-documented feedback mechanisms that drive global warming. For instance as the Earth temperature increases, polar ice melts. As the ice melts, less sunlight is reflected back into space. The Earth temperature increases some more. And repeat.

But Climatologists have identified opposing feedback mechanisms that actually work to cool down the planet. As temperatures increase, expect more drought, wildfire, monster hurricanes & tornadoes. Expect a rising percentage of people to be displaced from their trailer-park, rural and red-state homes. Decreasing numbers of office seekers, who had counted on these now displaced people for their votes, will be elected. And maybe government will finally take meaningful steps to counteract global warming.

So your LakeCountyEye sees a sliver of hope on this Earth Day 2011. Unless of course you happen to live in McHenry County.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q the Eye/04.20.11

Dear LakeCountyEye,
The votes were counted and he won hands down
So they sent him off to Washin'ton town
With his best dress suit still his buckskins brown
A livin' legend of growin' reknown.
Davy, Davy Crockett, The Canebrake Congressman!

He went off to Congress and served a spell
Fixin' up the Gover'ment and laws as well
Took over Washin'ton so we heared tell
And patched up the crack in the Liberty Bell.
Davy, Davy Crockett, Seein' his duty clear!

Him and his jokes travelled all through the land
And his speeches made him friends to beat the band
His politickin' was their favorite brand
And everyone wanted to shake his hand.
Davy, Davy Crockett, Helpin' his legend grow!
Yee Haw, I'm fixin' to run for the US Congress! Where do I sign?

On a Rocket to the Top

Dear Crockett Pot,

You're running for Congress? Take a number -- and your LakeCountyEye doesn't mean Congressional District number. Now that Melissa Bean has gone the way of the Phil Whooping Crane and has departed from the field, everyone and their lawn gnome thinks they can be the next Congressman.

Joe Walsh's inexplicable victory does prove something: anyone can run and win in the Eighth Congressional District. It does not prove however that anyone-can-win-in-the-eighth is a winning campaign strategy. That would be like saying because a tattoo artist in Trailerpark Illinois can win the Mega-Million, buying lottery tickets is a winning investment strategy.

But speaking of the Mega-Million, that Congressional seat is well within your grasp. All you need to do is follow your LakeCountyEye 7-step sure-fire-path-to-victory winning strategy:
  • Raise a fist full of cash.
  • Make friends with local power brokers.
  • Raise a pocket full of cash.
  • Make friends with Springfield power brokers.
  • Raise a hat full of cash.
  • Make friends with DC power brokers.
  • Raise a suitcase full of cash.
Congressman Walsh, who's been in DC only three months now, has already raised some $400,000 for his re-election. How much is in your warchest? Coffer? Piggybank? No doubt, the checks are in the mail. You would still probably be well advised, in the near-term at least, to not be shopping for that condo in the beltway burbs.

Your LakeCountyEye does have one more suggestion. If Donald Trump won't return your fundraising calls, you may want to try the next best thing: Stump like Trump. If Trump demands Pres Obama's birth certificate, then you should demand Obama's birth certificate. It's working for Trump. It worked for Walsh.
Off through the woods we're ridin' along
Makin' up yarns and singin' a song
He's ringy as a b'ar and twice as strong
And knows he's right 'cause he ain't often wrong.
Davy, Davy Crockett, The man who don't know fear!

The Ballad of Davy Crockett
If you are an elected official, or a previously elected official, or just a private citizen under indictment, send your political questions to Q the Eye c/o ... LakeCountyEye@gMail.com

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Valet Park

Lake County is in the grip of gold rush fever. Except, instead of gold it is real estate. And instead of fever, substitute frenzy.

As readers of this blog are handsomely aware ...
Boom Goes the Housing Market
the Lake County Board is on-the-record projecting that the county population will exceed 800,000 by 2020. Real estate speculators naturally want to know where the influx of new residents will occur, and are now closely monitoring the County Board for their buy signal.

As readers of this blog are profusely aware ...
Honey I Shrunk the County Board
it is a poorly kept secret that legislation waits in Springfield that will allow the Lake County Board Commissioners to keep control over the Lake County Forest Preserves. (Current statutes mandate an independent Forest Preserve Board when the county population reaches 800,000.) The smart money -- which knows how to add 2 plus 2 -- can see that the County Board's gobsmacking projection of 800,000 residents by 2020 means but one thing: the County Board is planning to sell off the Forest Preserves to the highest bidder in an effort to raise hard cash to maintain liquidity.

One immediate effect would be a dramatic increase in county population.

The real estate speculators, no surprise, want their piece of the action and are poised to buy up all the land adjoining those Forest Preserves going to the auction block. One unanswered question remains: Which Forest Preserves?

As a service to real estate speculators, boodlers, and fast-buck artists in general, your LakeCountyEye has obtained a classified list of proposed housing developments, subdivisions, theme parks, mega-malls being considered by the County Board. Your favorite Forest Preserve may soon become a construction zone. Interested operatives will have guess which Forest Preserves are impacted. There are ten & shhh don't tell anyone:

Ten Proposals for Developing the Lake County Forest Preserves

  1. Six Flags Over Fourth Lake

  2. Cuba Marsh Guantanamo Bay Condo Co-op

  3. Fort Sheridan Miniature Golf and Go Karts

  4. Independence Grove 1776 Medieval Faire

  5. Adlai E Stevenson Historic Haunted Halloween Home

  6. Baby Huey's Petting Zoo & Duck Farm

  7. Wadsworth Savanna Bikini-Wax No-Touch Car Wash

  8. Universal Studios Ethel's Woods

  9. Illinois Beach Park Spent Fuel Rod Repository, Water Slide & Adeline Geo-Karis Wheel

  10. Lakewood Olympic Size Equestrian Village

Look through your surveyor's equipment for your LakeCountyEye. At a Forest Preserve near you.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Boom Goes the Housing Market

Lake County realtors are reporting record new listing contracts, as desperate home sellers are busting down their doors to get in on the ground floor of an anticipated housing market boom. Does this mean the greatest real estate market bust since the Great Depression is at long last over? Not exactly.

The Lake County Board projects a massive influx of 90,000 people to flood the county between now and 2020. How massive is 90,000 people? To put that in perspective, since 2000 Lake County experienced a massive influx of only 60,000 people -- during what was the county's greatest housing boom since the post-WWII boom of the 50s.

What is the basis for the Lake County Board's incredible, some would say fraudulent, projection? As readers of this blog are anxiously aware ...
Honey I Shrunk the County Board
the Lake County Board is in the process of reducing its number to 18, based on a projected increase in county population to 800,000. The Daily Herald explained the rationale behind the startling facts & figures ...
Vernon Hills Republican Aaron Lawlor, the vice chairman of the committee, recommended eliminating two county board districts Monday. By law, the county board can have no more than 18 members once a census shows the local population exceeds 800,000, and that could happen in 2020.
Lake Co. Board could shrink this year
Lake County's population currently stands at 710,000. An influx of 90,000 new residents by 2020 would be needed to fill the deficit.

When exactly these 90,000 people are arriving is unclear. Which is little comfort to Lake County home sellers, some of whom have watched their homes languish on the market, unsold, for nearly 3 years.

As a service to readers, your LakeCountyEye has put the question to the experts: the Internet bettors. An Intrade account has been created where professional bettors can place bets on when the county's highly anticipated influx of 90,000 people will peak.

As betting pools go, this one is no different than a standard office pool. There are still some slots open to operatives who think they are smarter than the pros -- and who know when Lake County will crack the magic number of 800,000. Currently, ten slots are available; you need to predict when the Lake County population will hit 800,000; operatives, place your bets!

Ten Projected Dates
When the Population of Lake County
Reaches 800,000

  1. When Hell Freezes Over

  2. When Frogs Grow Hair

  3. Till the Cows Come Home

  4. 1000 Parsecs After the Battle of Yavin

  5. The Twelfth of Never

  6. Armageddon 2012

  7. When Shrimps Learn to Whistle

  8. The Day When the Route 53 Extension Opens

  9. TBD

  10. When Monkeys Fly Out of Your LakeCountyEye's Butt

Look for your LakeCountyEye at a pharmacy near you. In the Preparation H aisle.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Honey I Shrunk the County Board

As if their 50 minutes with the shrink was up, this committee convened with one purpose in mind and one purpose only: shrink the Lake County Board. As readers of this blog are acutely aware ...
The Incredible Shrinking County Board
the 2010 Census requires the Lake County Board to draw a new map for itself. What the 2010 Census does not require is for the Lake County Board to eliminate some of its own seats so that the reins of county government remain firmly held by the interests of a powerful & well-connected few. Nonetheless the County Board did not decline the opportunity -- and a hand-picked committee of board members was created, made up of five of the sharpest knives in the Republican drawer plus two of the sharpest crayons in the Democratic box.

As every operative knows, it's good to have a cover story before commencing a job, and this crew seemed to settle on two. As reported by the Daily Herald, committee vice-chair Aaron Lawlor framed their plan as a cost-cutting measure:
Cutting two commissioners from the roll also will save the county money, Lawlor argued. The savings could be as much as $80,000 per person once salary, health benefits, mileage reimbursements and other job-related costs are totaled
Lake Co. Board could shrink this year
Back in the day, your LakeCountyEye fondly remembers, the rallying cry on everyone's lips was:
No Taxation Without Representation!
Nowadays the slogan seems to be: "No representation, if that means tacking a couple grand more on the budget!" Of course $80,000 could also be saved by cutting commissioner salaries -- but that was a motion that never made it to the table.

As every operative knows, it's good to have a plausible cover story before commencing a job. So the committee also waved about an obscure Illinois Statute capping board districts at 18 members, for counties with more than 800,000 people. Currently standing at 709,000 in population, Lake County would not be bound by the statute -- but the committee seemed to regard this more like a rounding error to be corrected in the 2020 Census:
Lawlor's plan had several vocal supporters, including board veteran Stevenson Mountsier. "We need to start planning now (for the expected mandatory reduction in 2022) and take the first step," said Mountsier, a Lake Barrington Republican.
Lake Co. Board could shrink this year
The county population only increased by some 60,000 during the 2000-2010 period, which saw Lake County's biggest housing boom since the post WWII 1950s. Given the county is currently mired in its biggest housing bust since the Great Depression, operatives are no doubt wondering where are these additional 90,000 people coming from? Is Disney building a park in one of the Forest Preserves?

Let's suppose they do, and the county population doubles. The Lake County Board still lobbies Springfield for legislation it wants, on a regular basis. There is one law on the books requiring counties with more than 800,000 people to have a separate and independent Forest Preserve Board. Informed sources tell your LakeCountyEye that lobbying efforts made sure there was legislation prepared in Springfield to repeal that law, in case Lake County exceeded 800,000. Lake County Board members do double duty as paid County Forest Preserve Commissioners and do not want give up their control over the county forest preserves.

Why haven't they put any energy into repealing the law capping board members at 18, as well? The fact that Lawlor, Mountsier and the rest of the committee were eager to accept the 18 member requirement as a fait accompli suggests one thing to your LakeCountyEye: the entire meeting was more tightly scripted than Kabuki Theater. Your LakeCountyEye wants to know why the State's Attorney isn't investigating the committee for violating the Open Meetings Act.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Incredible Shrinking County Board

The Lake County Clerk neglected to attach the required label on the County Board 2010 election ballot:
WARNING Some Shrinkage May Occur
As readers of this blog are painfully aware ...
County Board Remap Magic
the Lake County Board wants to shrink itself from 23 members to 21. The National Retail Federation estimates that 79% of all shrinkage can be attributed to theft. Lake County voters are advised to monitor their wallets & pocketbooks, accordingly.

The Daily Herald has the disturbing figures:
If the county goes ahead with a 21-district map, the target population per district would be 33,498, officials said. As a result, some current districts that have larger populations will be divided. Conversely, some that are below that ideal population will be combined with parts of others to hit that figure.
Lake Co. Board could shrink this year
Democracy, measured by access to power, is proportional to representation. As an example, in 2002 there were 10837 people for each McHenry County board member. By contrast, in that same year, a Lake County board member represented 28015 people. In 2002, undeveloped McHenry County was nearly three times as democratic as Lake County.

The proposed target population number of 33498 means each Lake County board district will bear an increase of 5483, from ten years earlier. A change of this magnitude amounts, per voter, to a startling 17% decline in representation. To put that number in perspective, laid end-to-end, 5483 voters would span the entire Route 53 Extension breakdown lane.

Informed sources say the Lake County County Board has been closely monitoring the spontaneous citizen pro-democracy uprisings in the Mid-East and elsewhere. In an effort to prevent a copycat pro-democracy movement from taking root in Lake County, the County Board has decided to implement these anti-democratic, Realpolitik measures over the next ten years. The near term goal is to consolidate power by eliminating five members from the board. One board member, Aaron Lawlor, summed up the hurdles they face:
Trying to whack at least five commissioners' jobs in 10 years would be "near impossible" politically because the move would pit sitting board members against each other in the 2022 election, Lawlor said.
Lake Co. Board could shrink this year
Grover Norquist famously said ...
Our goal is to shrink government to the size where we can drown it in a bathtub.
BrainyQuote
The Lake County Board is next scheduled to take a bath in 2012.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

County Board Remap Magic

Lake County Board's Remap Committee met yesterday. There was a fly on the wall. It sent us a report.

"The purpose of the committe, it was said, was to start creating a "fair" new map for county board districts. The committee consisted of five Republican board members (Chair Diana O'Kelly, Aaron Lawlor, Steve Mountsier, Linda Pedersen and Brent Paxson) and two Democratic members (Mary Ross Cunningham and Bill Durkin). Wait...five to two from a board almost evenly split between Republicans and Democrats? Ah, magic already!

Much discussion ensued about the state's requirement that districts be 1) equal in population, 2) represent the interests of minorities as far as possible and 3) be compact. Several members brought up that the County Board was sued last time around for failing to abide by the first two provisions. (And lost.)

Then the board moved on to the most important business on the minds of several members: reducing the size of the board. This is fairly obviously being done so that the Republican majority can reduce the number of pesky Democrats on the board. Redistrict them and get them to run against each other. Easy, peasy!

But the move had to be justified. State law says county boards need to be reduced to 18 if county population reaches 800,000. "We might get up to that number in the next ten years," said member Mountsier, "so we should start shrinking now." Huh? You start planning now for a hypothetical situation that might never occur? When do governments ever do that?

So the plan is to reduce the board to 21 members. Of course, since the population of Lake County increased dramatically since 2000, each district will be significantly bigger in the remap. Republican plan, apparently: fewer districts, less representation.

'And we'd save $75,000 if we cut two board members,' said Aaron Lawlor. 75K? That's pocket lint in a budget of more than $300 million.

Another member mentioned that two Republican county board members were retiring anyway. As if it is Republican seats that are going to be eliminated.

But the last word was had by Brent Paxson. 'I think we should do this because it's good government even though we probably won't hit 800,000 [population] in ten years.' He means there's no darned reason to limit the size of the board to 18 or 21 or 2, but they're going to do it anyway.

Exactly. The Board is going to do what it wants. Who needs any stinkin' legal justification? In the end, the vote to reduce the number of members to 21 was typical of the Lake County board.

O'KELLY: All in favor?

COMMITTEE: Aye.

O'KELLY: All opposed?

COMMITTEE: [crickets]

So get ready for a map that (like magic) pits two Democrats against each other (four Dems in all) in two of the new districts. Wouldn't it have been nice if the County Board had considered going non-partisan instead? Nah, that would be too much like voodoo."

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Freakout Punch

As readers of this blog are abundantly aware ...
Freak Out
the discrete art of freak-show politics flourishes, brimming with pith and vinegar, and one of its uncompromising habitu├ęs is Lake County's very own State Senator Dan Duffy. Its latest breakout, according to FOX Chicago News, occurred when ...
Two state senators had to be separated by their colleagues Thursday during an ugly argument over a nominee for a political post, trading insults in a spat that escalated until they stood nose to nose in a committee room bickering at one other. The argument between Democratic Sen. Antonio Munoz and Republican Sen. Dan Duffy was over Gov. Pat Quinn's nomination of Terry Cosgrove to serve on the Illinois Human Rights Commission. Cosgrove runs Personal PAC, a group that advocates for abortion rights
Quinn Nomination of Terry Cosgrove Ignites Ill. Senate Dispute
The bare-knuckled Duffy picked a fight with the stringbean Cosgrove over some direct marketing spam Personal PAC sent to mailboxes in Duffy's 26th Senate District. So mean!

Duffy has been no stranger to either to this blog or the local MSM, generously providing both over the years with an abundance of weapons-grade reportage materiel. Regarding his tenure in Springfield, Duffy told the Pioneer Press (proudly reproduced on his website) ...
"I'm not down there to make friends," Duffy said.
Duffy submits bill restricting red-light cameras
Duffy apparently a man of his word, the remark appears to be no idle boast or threat. The CapitolFaxBlog got a taste of Senator Duffy's famous fists of fury after attempting to investigate his Facebook page:
The Senator has apparently blocked me from accessing his FB site. He reportedly suggested in a caucus meeting the other day that no Senate Republicans should ever speak to me. Yes, he has quite the little temper.
Temper, temper
What's on the horizon for the State Senate's homegrown Chuck Norris? Duffy told the Daily Herald he ...
expects to see the boundaries of his district change and is aware he could even be "mapped out" of his district. "I know I'm a target because I've been outspoken regarding a lack of transparency and a lack of ethics guidelines in Illinois," Duffy said. "I know being vocal has been put a target on my back ... but I'm not concerned about it. I can't do anything about it."
Suburban redistricting committee members outline priorities
Not to mention he may be a target because he has no friends -- on either side of the aisle.

Your LakeCountyEye suspects that Duffy secretly hopes to be mapped out of his district, for the opportunity to resign his Senate seat in a blaze of righteous indignation. Your LakeCountyEye, naturally hopes otherwise and wishes Duffy many years of public service to come. There's a Woody Allen joke ...
this guy goes to his psychiatrist and says, "Doc, my brother's crazy. He thinks he's a chicken." And the doctor says, "Well why don't you turn him in?" The guy says, "I would, but I need the eggs."
Annie Hall
Senator Dan Duffy is certainly nobody's chicken. But your LakeCountyEye still needs the eggs.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Freak Out

Reports of the demise of freak-show politics are greatly exaggerated -- at least in Lake County. As reported on this blog, the April 5 election sent a signal that Lake County wasn't in a mood to vote for the sort of single-issue, extremist, fringe candidates that they favored in 2010:
Low Votage Voters
All of which is unwelcome news to satirical political bloggers, especially those who churn their bread and butter satirizing politics, on the Internet.

However aid & sustenance has arrived in the form of an unlikely white-knight, State Senator Dan Duffy (Fightin'26th). Often affectionately dubbed the Ted Nugent of the Illinois Senate, Duffy's latest altercation occurred during a committee hearing over the appointment of some abortion-rights libtard to some phony human-rights commission. The Daily Herald has the blow-by-blow ...
At one point, committee chair Sen. Tony Munoz, a Chicago Democrat, cut Duffy off. "Do not attack someone," Munoz said loudly. "You're attacking me right now," Duffy replied. Later, Munoz and Duffy had what appeared to be a heated exchange in a corner of the meeting room, even as the hearing continued. "Let's hope we don't have to get boxing gloves out," said Sen. Dale Righter, a Republican from downstate Mattoon.
Duffy has heated exchange in hearing
Your LakeCountyEye understands that threats to bring in a security detail had to be acted upon. In fact the fracas grew so loud that Speaker Michael Madigan adjourned the House session to get a ringside seat on the action.

If anyone could be counted on to ignore the wishes of the electorate, that would be Sen Dan Duffy. Despite what the voters may have said, freak-show politics is alive and kicking in Lake County. Hang in there Dan -- your LakeCountyEye needs the easy material!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Low Votage Voters

Lake County smashed all existing election records Tuesday, with an anemic minus 14.98 percent voter turnout. A mathematical anomaly of this sort can occur in an election where more ballots are cast against, than for, any particular candidate.

Exit polls attribute the low numbers to the fact that Lake County's registered voters, as well as registered ballot stuffers, were unaware that an election was scheduled on April 5. Exacerbating a less than optimal situation, Lake County's election officials were unaware that an was election scheduled on April 5, either. The News-Sun has the raw numbers ...
Just under 15 percent of Lake County's registered voters cast ballots Tuesday, a figure which disappointed County Clerk Willard Helander.
Voter turnout a 'disappointing' 14.98 percent
Hmm, wouldn't a rockbottom 15% turnout be less likely to overload and bring down a county-wide tele-network vote counting system? Your LakeCountyEye suspects that Helander was actually as happy as a short-billed duck in shallow water. But what does your LakeCountyEye know?

As readers of this blog are well aware ...
Voters to Tea Partiers, Creationists: Meh
overall it wasn't a good night for teapartiers or anti-government-libertarians or one-issue candidates or silly-parties in general. Not a single creationist will get to teach the intelligent design at Stevenson High School. Professional atheist Rob Sherman will have to keep his day job as Illinois's professional atheist. Army Colonel Roman Golash (ret.) will not be seen battling islamo-fascism from the halls of Palatine Township High School. The Common Sense Party won't be subdividing Barrington Hills into low-low-costing quarter-acre tracts. And political operative Joe Ptak won't have to look any more at those mean yardsigns planted by those mean political operatives.

With Internet Powerhouse™ Andy Martin removed of the local picture, does this mean freak-show politics has run its course in Lake County? Luckily there is still Eighth District Congressman, Joe Walsh. Hang in there Joe, your LakeCountyEye needs the easy material!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Voters to Tea Partiers, Creationists: Meh

Expecting to sweep into office on the heels of the Tea Party triumph in November, many far-right-wingers decided this was a perfect time to take on local governments and school boards. Not so fast. We have not found a single election where they were swept into office, except in one case where there was no choice. And in another case, it was a complete rout of those who would remold the schools in the image of their own religions.

All sides know that electing teaparty/creationists on school boards (rather than other boards) has the most potential for bringing religion to government. So why was uber-teapartier and Lake County Republican Chair Bob Cook running for the Wauconda Park District? Doesn't make much strategic sense to us. At any rate, he finished last, so we don't need to worry about the tea partiers preventing people from hugging trees.

In the Stevenson High School District in south central Lake County, on the other hand, four good-schools-for-all incumbents were returned to the board besting three creationism-touting challengers.

And in the Barrington High School District, where five people were running for three seats, the two non-tea-party candidates received the highest number of votes. Competing for the last seat, two tea-partiers are neck and neck, virtually tied at this point.

In Round Lake CCSD 46 in Grayslake, the tea party was more successful, but not for the expected reasons. The incumbent (non-tea-party) school board president was ousted, but more because of perceptions of financial mismanagement than anything else. In this race, two tea-partiers join the board along with the one non-tea-partier incumbent who was reelected.

And then there's the Lake Zurich School Board. All four candidates for that school board told the Daily Herald that they believe in teaching creationism in the schools. However, in a followup article, one backed off his answer and said he misunderstood the question. He was elected. Another guy running was an incumbent who had never before made noises about wanting to do any such thing. He was re-elected. The final spot, by default, will be filled with one of the true believers.

But he's only one vote. It is obvious, at least to this blogger, that voters are not flocking to the tea party side. They just need good alternatives to vote for. Signature gathering for the 2012 election starts this September. Think about it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

What If They Gave an Election
and Nobody Came?

It was predicted on the Mayan calender 3000 years ago. Timewave-zero calculations mathematically prove exactly when it will occur. It will be observed by astronomers as the Earth aligns with the galactic equator. The approaching Armageddon of 2012? Nope, your LakeCountyEye refers to the approaching municipal election of 2011.

The municipal election is a short one-day away. These biennial off-year elections are scheduled for the opportunity to choose your village trustees and library boards and junk. Naturally the newspapers, like the Daily Herald ...
Prove the experts wrong and go vote
and the Northwest Herald ...
Why vote Tuesday? It's your money
are all publishing their civic-minded editorials urging their readers to stop reading their publications and go vote. As if. And as if. And as if.

No doubt everyone will be at their polls on Tuesday, bright and early, rain or shine. But being a non-partisan blog, your LakeCountyEye takes pride in presenting all sides of an issue -- be it the pro side or the con side or the whatever side. And there is a case to be made for not voting tomorrow. Quite a few cases, actually, and as excuses go some of these are pretty good. So here are ten reasons why you should not vote tomorrow:

Ten Reasons for Not Voting in the 2011 Municipal Election in Lake County
  1. If no one votes, the Lake County Clerk's job can be eliminated.

  2. Anyone who voted twice in the last election gets a pass on this one.

  3. Illinois bars no longer are closed on election day.

  4. You'll be paid much better for your vote in Cook County.

  5. Voting just encourages them to schedule more elections.

  6. Vote with your feet: go shopping for shoes.

  7. As if they actually pay people to count your vote.

  8. If no one else votes, your LakeCountyEye's ballot wins.

  9. Your vote makes a difference ... haha psych!

  10. Oh what the hell, party like it's Armageddon 2012.

Look for your LakeCountyEye in your polls, watching you vote.