Friday, July 29, 2011

Daddy-Owe

Your LakeCountyEye has been out of the loop, moonlighting as a process server. Has there been anything in the news this week?

Ha ha j/k. The Sun-Times is reporting that pay-as-you-go Congressman Joe Walsh is being sued by an ex for $100,000 in unpaid child support:
Freshman U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, a tax-bashing Tea Party champion who sharply lectures President Barack Obama and other Democrats on fiscal responsibility, owes more than $100,000 in child support to his ex-wife and three children, according to documents his ex-wife filed in their divorce case in December.
Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh sued for $100,000 in child support
Your LakeCountyEye hazards to guess that a story like this can damage Walsh, at least throughout the blogosphere. Having deadbeat dad on one's rapsheet is not likely to sit well with bloggers who, on the whole, tend live in the basements of a divorced parent. The Congressman is in danger of losing his sobriquet Screamin' Joe Walsh for the much less awesome Welshin' Joe Walsh. Some industrial-level damage-control may be the order of the day for the Eighth District Congressman.

Until then your LakeCountyEye has seen Walsh's oppo file, which contains more funny paper than a Las Vegas credit-default-swap. Here are ten items which caught your LakeCountyEye's eponymous LakeCountyEye:

Ten Little Known Facts about Joe Walsh
  1. Caught on a red-light camera turning right without a drivers license.
  2. Hacked Rupert Murdoch's cellphone.
  3. Bought Barack Obama's old Senate seat.
  4. Used to play lead guitar with the Eagles.
  5. Lathers. Rinses. Does not repeat.
  6. Sleeps at work.
  7. Walsh's number is on Dog the Bounty Hunter's speed-dial.
  8. A week before the 2010 election, gave away all-expense-paid 30-day south-seas vacation cruises to 291 lucky Melissa Bean voters.
  9. Once married to Liz Taylor.
  10. The diminutive Congressman is endorsed by the Club For Growth.

Look for your LakeCountyEye, knocking at your door, serving your summons.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bloomin' Crazy

A URL containing this provocative HTML page was spotted this morning on the LakeCountyEye RSS-feed:

/-crazy-freshman-finds-his-tea-party-stance-on-debt-makes-backers-nervous.html
And ha ha wouldn't ya know it, the crazy freshman would be none other than Lake County favorite son, Joe Walsh.

To be sure, your LakeCountyEye has seen enough of these Internet postings, taking aim at Walsh, the Republican Congressman from the Eighth District. A tiresome rant by some pajama-clad free-loader, living in the basement of a divorced parent, belaboring some left-wing talking-point that nobody cares about in a blog that nobody reads.

Your LakeCountyEye was poised to click the delete button until noticing the unexpected domain of the URL:

www.bloomberg.com
Ha ha, that's www.bloomberg.com as in Bloomberg Financial News. And they're ranting about Joe Walsh:
A former teacher with a history of foreclosure and liens for failing to pay income taxes, Walsh ran against runaway spending in Washington and the health-care overhaul law and won his swing district in 2010 by just 291 votes. He defeated Democratic Representative Melissa Bean, who had the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations.
Tea Party Freshman Finds Voters Uneasy About Stance on Debt
Your LakeCountyEye hasn't, technically speaking, actually read the Bloomberg story yet. Operatives able to finish an Internet business-news story without lapsing into a self-induced gummi-coma are asked to keep your LakeCountyEye apprised. Until then, your LakeCountyEye will assume the story is all like:
Wah-wah, we we're sorry we helped get this clown elected. Wah-wah, we want Melissa Bean back.
Wah-wah.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Tall Order

Will it be remembered as the opening salvo in a faceoff between two ambitious Illinois politicians -- one to rival Lincoln v Douglas from 1860? Congressman Joe Walsh on President Barack Obama, as reported in the Sun-Times by Lynn Sweet:
I asked him if he ever met the Illinois president. Said Walsh: "I met him once. He's tall."
Sen. Dick Durbin, negotiator, Rep. Joe Walsh, screamer
Oh snap!

As readers of this blog are highly aware:
Touch Wood
the diminutive Eighth District Republican Congressman is often described as Presidential timber capable of going head-to-head against President Obama in 2012. Well at least by fellow Republican congressmen who don't relish the idea of the elfin Walsh mounting a primary challenge against one of them in their home districts.

As of this posting however, the minuscule Walsh has not taken the Presidential bait. With the election clock running out, your LakeCountyEye is not surprised to see other enticements being floated in his direction -- and one golden thing in particular happens to be Barack Obama's Dick Durbin's old Senate seat. It was dangled recently by the right-wing-tools public-sector-pensioners at the McHenryCountyBlog who speculate that Lynn Sweet is really ...
trying to damage Walsh, sensing he may challenge Durbin in 2014 (assuming Walsh is re-elected, of course). That made me wonder if she has figured out that Walsh might be Durbin's next Republican opponent.
Joe Walsh for U.S. Senate against Dick Durbin?
Whether or not the pint-sized Congressman will snap at this offer remains unknown. Your LakeCountyEye assumes the lilliputian Walsh must be getting a big head from all the attention.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Touch Wood

Your LakeCountyEye can proudly relay the latest Michele Bachmann joke:
Q:
Overheard most often inside the Bachmann house?
A:
Michele Bachmann: "Not tonight dear, I have a headache."
Marcus Bachmann: "Not tonight dear, I have a headache."
Ha ha -- jinx touch wood! But in all seriousness, the LakeCountyEye mail-server seems to be under siege from Bachmann-for-President. The Inbox has accumulated so much spam from the Bachmann campaign that your LakeCountyEye now knows howcome the Chicago Mercantile Exchange quit trading pork bellies. They couldn't keep up ...
CME shuts down iconic pork belly futures market
The aforementioned Bachmann is a Republican candidate for the aforementioned President of the United States. If spam could be traded for votes, Bachmann would be in line to be the next President. Spam, however, is just spam. And as readers of this blog are blissfully aware:
Walsh for President!
it is Illinois Eighth District Congressman Joe Walsh who is in line to be the next Republican President of the United States. Of course, the devil is in the details, and Walsh has of yet to formally declare his intentions to run for President, at least to the Sun-Times's Lynn Sweet ...
Walsh told me he is going to run for re-election. He hasn't picked a district yet -- the Democratic Illinois mapmakers redrew the 8th district to make it more Democratic.
Sen. Dick Durbin, negotiator, Rep. Joe Walsh, screamer
This keeps nearby establishment Republican Congressmen
  • Peter Roskam
  • Randy Hultgren
  • Robert Dold
  • Adam Kinzinger
  • Don Manzullo
up nights with headaches. They shudder in anticipation of the day that Screamin' Joe Walsh announces that he has decided to run for Congress in their district.

Walsh's Screamin'-Joe-Walsh cable-teevee act has paid off handsomely in the form of exposure and donations. Walsh is energetic and telegenic and is amassing a formidable campaign warchest. Which is why the aforementioned Congressmen would much rather see Walsh run for President or something. At least over in someone else's district.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pick'n'Pay to Play

In retrospect it was bound to be inevitable. Now that Rod Blagojevich has been sentenced to life + 500 in Alcatraz for selling Barack Obama's Senate seat to the Kardashians, Springfield has apparently decided to do something about it. Your LakeCountyEye has discerned that Illinois Senate seats are no longer to be sold, like so much broccoli, on the auction block of avarice. Henceforward they are to be auctioned off fair and square under the auspices of the Illinois Lottery.

Details are sketchy but in what amounts to a sweeping overhaul of election law, Illinois's costly system of biennial General elections is to be eliminated in favor of a revenue generating public lottery, where election winners are to be selected the same way as are Mega-Million winners. In what is being hailed as a victory for democracy-loving people worldwide, anyone with a spare dollar for a lottery ticket may be in line to become Illinois's next Governor or US Senator. "We project this will eliminate our budget deficit by 2016," one non-imaginary source informed your LakeCountyEye. "It's a win-win for everyone."

The plan, to be incrementally phased in over a number of years, will begin with a trial pilot program. In the initial phase, each Springfield legislator's term length -- years served before their next re-election -- will be determined by lottery drawing. A recommissioned lottery machine, with pingpong balls numbered from 1 to 64, is slated to do duty in selecting each legislator's term length now. This phase alone is expected to generate enough revenue to pay off last year's Powerball winners.

Admittedly much of this is conjecture, stitched together from a variety of LakeCountyEye sources, including the Daily Herald:
Lottery to determine how long Illinois Senate terms will be
Operatives will be updated as the situation warrants. Until then remember ...
Please keep all tickets that you submit for the second-chance drawings until the promotion has concluded. If you are selected as a drawing winner, you will need to provide the ticket to the Lottery in order to claim your prize.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Motto Manufacturing

Your LakeCountyEye's psychic powers sometimes scares even your LakeCountyEye. Back in the day, the Village of Wauconda -- to as much hoopla as could be mustered there -- changed its village motto. And readers of this blog were informed that ...
Small-town villages are no different than tweeners. So when one village gets a new motto, then they all have to get new mottoes.
Motto Industry
Well, no sooner said than done! A month later and the News-Sun is reporting that the Village of Antioch will be following suit:
Capitalizing on Antioch's distinctive mid-century "Norman Rockwell" look and feel, its friendliness and proximity to the Chain O'Lakes, village officials are considering a new logo for the village. "Antioch — Authentic by Nature" is the winner of an informal poll of village staff and officials.
"Authentic by Nature" gets nod for new Antioch logo
How spooky is that?

Operatives seeking the identities of future winners (eg Election, Arlington, Mega-Million, whatever) are advised not to flood this blog with their requests. It needs to be stressed that your LakeCountyEye is no Carnac, nay nor even a Kreskin. Because readers of this blog also were told that ...
Villages looking for a new slogan are now expected to throw a bunch of hospitality-budget money at a downtown PR firm to come up with something suitable to everyone's liking. Unless it is a Lake County village, in which case for that downtown PR firm substitute a village committee. And for that hospitality-budget money substitute some slogan ideas donated by villagers.
Motto Industry
They must not have received the memo psychic vibes way up in Antioch. Their new motto is the result of a collaboration between a marketing consultant and the village Economic Development Department. According to the News-Sun ...
"The logo is in blue and green with the letter "O" depicted as a leaf. It was the suggestion of marketing consultant Robin Malpass.
"Authentic by Nature" gets nod for new Antioch logo
Warily optimistic, your LakeCountyEye looked up Malpass's company -- Robin Malpass & Associates:
About Us
Robin Malpass & Associates is a collaborative agency comprised of highly celebrated professionals dedicated to our clients' success.

Robin Malpass & Associates
Your LakeCountyEye is not quite sure what that means. This would be a strong indicator that the company is in the business of marketing & PR. They may even qualify as a downtown PR firm:
Contact Us
Robin Malpass & Associates
Main Office: 630 E Van Buren Street, Ottawa, IL 61350
Sales Office: 222 N Columbus Street, Suite 4508 Chicago IL 60601

Robin Malpass & Associates
Checking the scorecard, your LakeCountyEye successfully predicted that more village mottoes -- in this case Antioch's -- would be changing. However, your LakeCountyEye unsuccessfully predicted that Antioch would take the cheap route and photoshop up an idea likely suggested by a village trustee's middle-schooler. But your LakeCountyEye did successfully predict what every village secretly desires (and given the opportunity will in fact do) which is to hire a downtown PR firm to assume the culpability all the work.

Two out of three is pretty good, even in psychic circles.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cadge & Release™
Recurrent Issues

Those old enough to have lived through the Great Lake County Derecho of 2011, will recall the global-warming fuelled monster storm that rendered the county powerless for a week. The situation got so bad that the County Board Chair was forced to declare a state of emergency to create an impression that something was getting done. Well, the Daily Herald thankfully now reports that ...
The final two customers left without electricity after last week's storm had power restored early Sunday morning.
Power restored to last of customers cut off by storm
And as readers of this blog are currently aware ...
The Lake County 2011 Power Vacuum
your LakeCountyEye was one of the storm's victims, and despite promises of free beer, the ComEd repair truck could not be enticed into the LakeCountyEye compound. Furthermore, your LakeCountyEye can provide eye-witness & first-hand confirmation that at least one of those final two customers indeed had their power restored early on Sunday.

No sooner were the lights back on, that the LakeCountyEye eMail-Server crashed from the volume of queued Viagra spam tips that came flooding into the the LakeCountyEye Inbox. It's been that kind of week.

Among those tips was this week's winning Cadge & Release™ entry, submitted by frequent contributor e.e.comed. (Fittingly the e.e. stands for Electrical Engineer.) e.e.comed notes that the e-mails reproduced below are responses to requests for assistance sent to government representatives.

The Cadge (1):

Storm Update from Senator Suzi Schmidt
July 17, 2011
Dear [Redacted],

I have been in frequent contact with Emergency Management officials and the ComEd representative for our area. I have been receiving information from those of you still out of power and forwarding that information to ComEd via Emergency Management and our ComEd representative.

If you are still out of power, please contact me by email with your address. If you have already contacted me, please let me know if they have been out to restore your power.

ComEd is aware of most, if not all, of the pockets that are still without power and working with multiple extra crews to get those situations resolved, but we are happy to reiterate addresses without power.

As always,
thank you for the opportunity to serve you, and please don't hesitate to contact me if you need assistance.

Suzi Schmidt
State Senator
31st District
The Cadge (2):




JOIN MY NEWSLETTER

I have been in frequent contact with Lake County Emergency Management officials and now have contact information for the the Commonwealth Edison representative for our area. I have been receiving information from those of you still out of power and forwarding that information to ComEd via Emergency Management. If you are still out of power, please contact me by email with your address. If you have already contacted me, please let me know if they have been out to restore your power.

ComEd is aware of most, if not all, of the pockets that are still without power and working with multiple extra crews to get those situations resolved, but we are happy to reiterate addresses without power.

As always, please don't hesitate to contact me
with questions or concerns at jnewton@lakecountyil.gov or call me at (847) 807-9767.
Sincerely,

JIM NEWTON
Lake County Board - District 3

Sharpeyed Ops™ will notice that this week's winner is all Cadge and little Release. That is because neither iteration is believed to be an original. Your LakeCountyEye suspects that neither the State Senator nor the County Board Commissioner commands the resources necessary to produce an email form-letter that could just as easily have been downloaded from the office of a ComEd PR Flack. The first operative to find an original will be named grand prize winner. In the course of their investigations, operatives may encounter an opportunity to promise free beer. They can certainly fare no worse than your LakeCountyEye.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Walsh v Dold?

The Daily Herald reported that Carol Sente announced she will run for re-election to her Illinois House seat. Sente will not run for Congress in the 10th District:
Sente to run for re-election
The news should come as no surprise to readers of this blog:
Who's On, Tenth?
According to the seldom-visited-so-be-sure-to-click-the-link-below TeamAmerica10th blog ...
I guess cooler advisors and friends must have convinced Sente that the new 10th District wasn't quite drawn as a walk-away for a Dem as some might like to think, or was intended, plus anyone running against Bob Dold is already about a million dollars behind, not to mention facing a three or four-way primary before even getting to the general. So, Dems, it's back to the drawing board, unless socialist/facist/anarchist Ilya Sheyman is your cup of tea.
Dold too Bold for Carol Sente, So It's Back To the Drawing Board for Dems; Quick, Get Susan Garrett on Speed Dial, Stat!
It's been TeamAmerica10th's contention all along that the 10th is shaping up to be a safe Republican Congressional District. This is a fact not lost upon Republican as well as Democratic power brokers and, your LakeCountyEye has learned, not lost upon Joe Walsh's re-election campaign.

Joe Walsh -- remember him? -- is the Republican Congressman from the 8th, who's been redistricted into Democratic strongholds west of O'Hare. As of this posting, Walsh has not declared his re-election intentions. He has few good options and your LakeCountyEye assumes Walsh has not yet made up his mind. The 8th District will become too blue for him to win. While nearby 6th and 14th Districts will be an easy win for a Republican, both are held by Republican Congressman -- Peter Roskam and Randy Hultgren -- and Walsh would almost certainly find himself in tough Primaries, there. Walsh has nonetheless commissioned telephone polls to gauge his prospects in the 8th, 14th and 6th Districts.

One District seldom mentioned in this calculus is the 10th, and with good reason. Conventional wisdom holds that the redistricted 10th will be too liberal for the extreme Libertarian Walsh to beat the incumbent Republican Robert Dold in a Primary. On top of that, Walsh would have no chance in the November election against any Democrat.

Of course if the conventional wisdom was always on-the-money, this post would have been about 4-term Congresswoman Melissa Bean. Given that the 10th may not be an easy win for a Democrat -- and in fact may very well turn out to be a safe Republican district -- has Walsh reconsidering his options there. Walsh lived in the 10th as recently as 2008, and is now only a mile or two outside the new district boundary. The 10th should be shaping up to be a much more tempting pick-up opportunity for him than it would've seemed even ten days ago. Operatives are advised to be on the lookout for a telephone poll asking if they would vote for Walsh or Dold in a primary election.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Lake County 2011 Power Vacuum

Still waiting for the ComEd truck to arrive, your LakeCountyEye has been subsisting on portable generator power since Monday's seiche inundated the county. Note to operatives, those downed trees make for excellent firewood if you are running a steam-powered generator. (Your LakeCountyEye has discovered that stolen yardsigns do as well -- provided they are cardboard.)

Speaking of ineffective outdoor mass marketing, not unnoticed were the humorous hand-painted signs:
Free Beer for ComEd!
These numerous signs were to be found at homes hoping to solicit some preferential service out of their power company. Not to be outdone, your LakeCountyEye posted this humorous hand-painted sign in front of the LakeCountyEye compound:
Ha Ha -- Free COLD Beer for ComEd!
The next day there was a ComEd post-it note on the sign:
Ha Ha, if your beer is cold, call us when your power is out.
In times of adversity like these you could do worse than recall the political advice of one uber-operative, whose name escapes your LakeCountyEye at the moment:
"Never let a serious crisis to go to waste."
For instance, operatives are challenged to blame the outage on Obamacare or the debt ceiling or some junk like that. In that spirit, your LakeCountyEye has compiled a list of ten opportunities to take advantage of before the lights come back on.

Ten Must-Do's in a Power Outage
  1. The red light cameras are down -- run a red-light.
  2. This is a perfect time to "rewind" the power meter.
  3. Lights out at the tanning salon? Time to buy that battery powered tanning-bed.
  4. No video poker? Then play Internet poker.
  5. Is the a/c kapoot? Treat the family to a round of frapp├ęs.
  6. Enjoy those energy inefficient incandescent bulbs 100% guilt-free.
  7. That rack-of-lamb on reserve in the sub-zero freezer for that special occasion ... now is the time to toss it on the Weber.
  8. Drive down to Barrington Hills for some awesome outdoor lighting displays.
  9. Take the opportunity to declare an emergency; seize dictatorial powers.
    (Applies only to County Board Chairs.)
  10. Lincoln surfed the web by candlelight. So can you.

Don't look for your LakeCountyEye, not without a flashlight.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cadge & Release™
Information Wants to be Free

While waiting for the lights to come back on, your LakeCountyEye has been passing the time playing Internet games ... on the LakeCountyEye nuclear-powered iPad ... over at the Zion nuclear-powered Muni Wi-Fi hotspot.

As readers of this blog are cagily aware, Cadge & Release™ is the hottest Internet search-engine game ...
Cadge & Release
where contestants are challenged to match a MSM Internet news story against an unattributed press release or wire service item.

This week's winning Cadge & Release™ entry comes from frequent commenter, OldWeirdHerald:

The Cadge:

DART
Forty-five years after the federal Freedom of Information Act was enacted, mountains of unfilled requests from the public and the press remain, with some of the oldest stretching back 20 years. A newly completed analysis by the public-interest group National Security Archive at The George Washington University found the oldest request still pending at the National Archives dates to May 1991. The Defense Intelligence Agency still hasn't completed one it received in August 1993. The Air Force's oldest dates to April 1995. Among the laggards are the official libraries established by former presidents. The George H.W. Bush Presidential Library still hasn't finished a 1998 request for documents about the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 that blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland. Also outstanding is a 2009 request filed with the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library for material about the 1965 coup staged by Joseph Mobuto in the Congo. LBJ signed the act into law on July 4, 1966.

Darts & Laurels
The Release:
Washcall: Freedom of Information Act requests drag on
WASHINGTON - Forty-five years after the federal Freedom of Information Act was enacted, mountains of unfilled requests from the public and the press remain, with some of the oldest stretching back 20 years. A newly completed analysis by the public-interest group National Security Archive at The George Washington University found the oldest request still pending at the National Archives dates to May 1991. The Defense Intelligence Agency still hasn't completed one it received in August 1993. The Air Force's oldest dates to April 1995. Among the laggards are the official libraries established by former presidents. The George H.W. Bush Presidential Library still hasn't finished a 1998 request for documents about the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 that blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland. Also outstanding is a 2009 request filed with the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library for material about the 1965 coup staged by Joseph Mobuto in the Congo. LBJ signed the act into law on July 4, 1966.
X...X...
scrippsnews

OldWeirdHerald comments that when you are a news gathering outfit and happen to be situated 50 miles away from any news, the press release is indispensable for one's bread and butter.

Operatives are reminded that there are other sources on information to be had on the Internet besides your Facebook Wall. Who knows, that buried news item may make you next week's big winner!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Triple Agent?

Senate District 26 not withstanding, there must be a lot of long stop lights in the new Illinois House District 61, because the 61st was redistricted to look like a red-light camera:

61st House District

Red-Light Camera
Thank you for enjoying this hilarious LakeCountyEye Double Vision™
The new District 61 extends from the upper right corner of the State all the way down to Gurnee and beyond. And all the way west to Antioch & Lake Villa -- but not quite beyond enough to where JoAnn Osmond, the current 61st District Rep, lives. Osmond according to the News-Sun has nonetheless vowed to run for re-election there ...
State Rep. JoAnn Osmond, R-Antioch, said she will seek re-election to a sixth term in the Legislature from the 61st House District. "I am aware that the requirement is to live in the district you serve," Osmond said. "In the Democratic redistricting process, I was drawn out of my current district. My plan is to relocate to the 61st District upon a successful bid for re-election."
Osmond seeks re-election
As readers of this blog are vaguely aware, there was some speculation that Osmond might run for re-election in the adjoining 64th District ...
Ozymandias, I Met a Traveller from an Antique Land
A decision to run in the 61st, by your LakeCountyEye's reckoning, poses little downside risk for Osmond. Osmond's best chance for victory is in the 61st where she would have name recognition and be the incumbent.

If Osmond does win there in 2012, she would be required to relocate to somewhere within the 61st District boundaries. However, as Joe Walsh has proven, it is possible (not to mention economical) to live out of your legislative office. Illinois Reps get a stipend to maintain an in-district office, so Osmond may be considering the same solution. As readers of this blog are doubly aware, Osmond currently dual-uses her legislative office with her insurance business ...
Double Identity?
Operatives are advised to keep an eye peeled for a triple-use facility
  1. Legislative
  2. Insurance
  3. Home-Address
being leveraged somewhere in the new 61st District, if Osmond is successful in her re-election bid.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Stipendous!

In Lake County the dog days of summer do not creep in on little cat's feet. Unlucky residents displaced by Monday's twister are being forced to endure spartan living conditions of no electricity or running water. The lucky residents, on the other hand, are up north in their vacation cabins -- where they enjoy spartan living conditions of no electricity or running water. All of which, as every operative knows, means this is the time of year to announce re-election plans.

According to the News-Sun ...
State Rep. JoAnn Osmond, R-Antioch, said she will seek re-election to a sixth term in the Legislature from the 61st House District.
Osmond seeks re-election
And according to the Daily Herald ...
Rep. Kent Gaffney, who was sworn in to join the Illinois House Monday, says he intends to run for election in 2012. Gaffney last week was appointed to finish the term of Rep. Mark Beaubien, who died of a heart attack in June.
Gaffney looking to run for House seat in 2012
Among Gaffney's admirers are the generous government pensioners at the McHenryCountyBlog ...
The base salary for a state representative is $67,836, so Gaffney is taking quite a pay cut by stepping into the public eye. This is still further evidence that people seek pubic [sic] office for more than the money.
Lake County Dem Does Opposition Research on Kent Gaffney
Absolutely -- they also seek public office for the generous government pensions.

Moreover our Springfield reps typically pull in more than the base salary. They get additional stipends for committee assignments and leadership posts. The Daily Herald reports ...
Antioch Republican JoAnn Osmond is one of six assistant minority leaders in the House who receive an additional $17,235 a year for the post. She said party leaders do put in a lot of extra work each year, even during the six months when the legislature is not in session. "I don't think people realize the amount of work that goes into it," she said. "But that's not to say it's not something we could look at and review. I should say I am a little surprised by the amount of money."
State legislators' stipends cost taxpayers $1.7 million
Adding $17,235 to that $67,836 yields $85,017. A committee assignment here, a leadership post there, and -- surprise! -- pretty soon they're talking some real money!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Who's On, Tenth?

No sooner than being redistricted into Lake County are rumors spreading that 6th District Congressman Peter Roskam will dump Lake County in favor of greener pastures down in the 8th district. A concidence or does Lake County have collective halitosis or something? As readers of this blog are breathlessly aware ...
The Domino Effect
the rumor is all breadth and little scope.

The newest rumor making the rounds is epicentered in Lake County's boring congressional district, the 10th. According to Lynn Sweet of the Sun-Times:
The 2012 Democratic field in the new 10th congressional district may have an additional candidate, state Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills). Sente joined the state House on Sept. 12, 2009 (to finish former state Rep. Katy Ryg's term), elected to a full term last November. Sente's base would probably be the western part of the district, which on the east hugs northern suburbs on Lake Michigan. Sente told me she will make a decision by this Friday--July 15.
Illinois 10th House 2012: Sente mulling bid, Schneider raises $321,085
Your LakeCountyEye doubts that Carol Sente will throw her hat into this ring. There is an order-of-magnitude difference between running for State Rep and running for Congress. But more importantly just about anyone with a "D" after their name and breathing is currently being sweet-talked into taking their shot in the 10th. But being serenaded with candy & flowers by party suitors promises not a cake-walk ahead of thee to the nomination.

After all the petitions are filed your LakeCountyEye wouldn't be surprised to see ten names on the Democratic primary ballot for the 10th. Here, by your LakeCountyEye's count, are ten of them:

Ten Candidates More Likely to be Seen
on the Democratic Primary Ballot
for the 10th Congressional District
  1. Sid Mathias
  2. Internet Powerhouse™ Andy Martin
  3. Dan Seals
  4. Charlie Sheen
  5. Scott Lee Cohen
  6. Princess Nudelman
  7. Alan Keyes
  8. Bo Derek
  9. Rod Blagojevich
  10. Joe Walsh

Look for your LakeCountyEye in the 10th Congressional District soliciting your John Hancock.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Domino Effect

The Iowa straw poll will be tallied on Aug 13 in Iowa, which means within just a mere 5 weeks there will be a new President of the United States. Lake County naturally is abuzz. As readers of this blog are utterly aware, the odds-on favorite to win the straw poll is Illinois favorite son, Joe Walsh:
Turnouts & Turnovers
So naturally it should come as no surprise that the 8th District Congressman Walsh has other plans -- which is to run for re-election in the 14th Congressional District.

Sharpeyed Operatives™ will observe that Randy Hultgren is the sitting Republican Congressman in the 14th. And in a fair primary fight Hultgren cleans Walsh's clock. If Walsh wants to be the next congressman from the 14th he will have to pull the equivalent of a political ace from his sleeve. Which at this moment is what he is hoping to pull.

Walsh's operatives are pumping the blogosphere with rumors that Peter Roskam -- the sitting Republican Congressman in the 6th -- plans to run for re-election in Walsh's old district, the 8th. For details of the rumor, look no farther than the limited-government government pensioners at the McHenryCountyBlog ...
If Roskam ran in the new 8th, he'd probably win big. He may be the only Republican who could win there. 400,000 of his current constituents live in the new 8th. He [sic] lots of money and name identification. And, he has already beaten Tammy Duckworth once. If he feels strongly enough about Republicans retaining control of the U.S. House, he could make the run. It would pretty much guarantee that the Democrats would not pick up one seat they are counting on. Randy Hultgren could then run in the 14th District and Joe Walsh in the 6th District.
Could Roskam Stun Chicago Democrats by Running in the 8th?
This is known, in politics, as the Domino Effect. Walsh pushes Hultgren out of the 14th and into the 6th. And then Hultgren pushes Roskam out of the 6th and into the 8th.

Why doesn't Walsh just run in the 8th, his own district? Because he can't win there. Compared to the 6th and the 14th, the 8th is more ethnically diverse and contains many more undesirable Democratic voters. Which is why lots of Democrats but no Republicans have announced they are running for election in the 8th.

Your LakeCountyEye notes that if the dominoes do fall exactly as Walsh hopes, it's Roskam who winds up the low man on the totem pole.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Q the Eye/07.08.11

Dear LakeCountyEye,

Your wizardry at opposition research is nothing less than mind boggling. How do you do it? Are you a WikiLeaks source contributor? Do you hack into the NSA? Do you have a Voter Vault account? Presently I am completely beholden to press releases and other bloggers. But occasionally I need to dig up an original fact on my own, and I hope to learn your secrets! There is an all-day-ride ticket at the Corn Maze waiting up in Spring Grove, for your trouble.

No Government is Better than Limited Government

Dear Public Sector Pensioners,

You are asking your LakeCountyEye to divulge closely held secrets of the trade. These are secrets imparted in the utmost confidence directly from the Dalai Lama of oppo research, Karl Rove. Secrets your LakeCountyEye took a blood oath on a stack of Bibles never to divulge to another mortal being. But since you demonstrate the proper inner worthiness, your LakeCountyEye deems this to be the auspicious moment to break the silence.

You should not need to be reminded that what follows is for your eyes, and your eyes only. Your plan of attack is divided into discrete phases. Please devote your undivided attention -- your LakeCountyEye will enumerate the secret phases of oppo research only once.

Phase #1
Open a browser of your choice and navigate to: google.com
Phase #2
In the search bar, type in the target of your curiosities.
Phase #3
Wait for it ... wait for it ... ahhh ... all your base are belong to us!
The Google search engine is a bottomless well of information attainable by those who know how to tap into it. Master it and you will have met the enemy and they will be yours.

There are salaries hidden deep in the well:
And perks hidden deep in the well:
And even recent home sales hidden deep in the well:
Use this weapon wisely. Jedi Master Rove never tired of saying: with great power comes great responsibility. If this were to carelessly fall into the wrong hands -- let's say those RINO Rockefeller Republican bloggers -- there is no telling what calamity may befall upon the universe.

One final consideration: faithfully follow Phases #1 & #3 precisely as written -- these will never change. But Phase #2 is different. Always remember, when initiating a new search, be sure to type something new into the search bar:
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

Thursday, July 7, 2011

LakeCountyEye:
Now on the McHenryCountyBlog

A deal sure to rock the blogosphere like not since AOL acquired Huffington Post, the McHenryCountyBlog and the LakeCountyEye are announcing plans to form a strategic partnership. With overhead and costs of maintaining an Internet blog soaring, the two Chicago suburban blogs have agreed to combine resources in a measure to offset eroding return-site-visits and poor quarterly earnings.

One feature of the partnership requires each blog to post passive links to the other blog's posts. Although regarded as friendly rivals, industry analysts note that there is little chance of visitor poaching as the overlap between either blog's market-base is negligible. The deal is widely perceived as win-win for all parties.

The cooperative deal was unveiled today when the McHenryCountyBlog posted a repro of some year-old LakeCountyEye posts:

Lake County Dem Does Opposition Research on Kent Gaffney
It is unclear the role that Hairdresser On The Move - Ted plays in the deal.

Although the above link has been posted to fulfill the agreement for reciprocal passive links between the two blogs -- operatives are warned not to click on the image above at risk of inducing a cascading browser infinite regress.

Commenting on the new cooperative arrangement, your LakeCountyEye observed: "Now that it's bound into a partnership with those public sector pensioners, this blog is going to have to retire that lame public-sector-pensioners gag."

The public sector pensioners at the McHenryCountyBlog were unavailable for comment.

# # # #

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Roundabout Lake?

In another victory against job-killing federal regulations, the village of Round Lake lifted its no-wake ordinance on Wooster Lake. Considered a win for libertarians, the village board there voted to rescind any speed restrictions imposed on Wooster Lake boaters. According to the Daily Herald ...
property owners along Wooster Lake are now responsible for settling their differences and deciding whether to have no-wake restrictions for the roughly 100-acre body of water.
Round Lake ends boating speed limit for private lake
Of course as every operative knows, inland boats + warm weather are like firecrackers + lit cigars. Perhaps recognizing they may be sitting on a powderkeg -- or perhaps on the advice of legal counsel -- Round Lake Mayor James Dietz issued a legally indemnifying caveat:
"We wish people would behave," Dietz said.
Round Lake ends boating speed limit for private lake
A tall order for a community where the wheels of justice sometimes turn old-Dodge-City-style: an aggrieved gets behind the wheel of an old Dodge Ram-150 and an aggriever ends up beneath the wheels of an old Dodge Ram-150.

Luckily for all concerned, the Ram-150 was not engineered to be driven atop inland lakes during summer months. However, with lifted speed restrictions, basic physics necessitates an increased probability of untoward mishaps among Wooster Lake boaters.

Your LakeCountyEye has learned that the Lake County Division of Transportation is ready and waiting with one proven remedy. As readers of this blog are roundly aware ...
Roundabout Trips
roundabouts are not only being promoted as the superior solution for traffic safety, be it on land or be it on sea -- but ground is already broken and they are being dug, probably at an intersection near you. There is money waiting to be spent. And there are politically connected contractors ready to build. An explosive combination as your LakeCountyEye has ever known!

Are there aqua-roundabouts waiting, just around the corner, for Wooster Lake? It could happen.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Roundabout Trips

It's looking like State Senator Dan Duffy's crusade to eliminate the red light camera scourge has finally seen the light of day. One man's quixotic jihad to liberate Lake County from the scourge of electronic traffic surveillance never attracted much traction in Springfield, foundering on the shoals of indifference and derision. Well those days may soon be over, as the venerable Lake County red light camera seems destined to become a thing of the past.

The fiendishly simple plan is both fiendish in conception and simple in execution. If Springfield will not consent to eliminate Lake County's traffic light cameras, then Lake County will just have to eliminate its traffic lights. While the news of a traffic-light-free county would seem to be a free-market libertarian's dream come true, there is a hitch: those traffic lights will be replaced by nanny-state (and tres French) roundabouts. The Daily Herald has pounded the pavement with the scoop ...
Roundabouts, regarded by the county as a new option to traffic signals or stop signs, are being installed at successive intersections on Hunt Club Road at Wadsworth Road and Millburn Road.
New way of getting 'round
In fact, it's looking like either Lake County has the roundabout fever -- or Lake County's politically connected contractors just hit the jackpot ...
Others [sic] roundabouts in the development stage include Cedar Lake Road and Monaville Road in Lake Villa, scheduled for next year, and River Road at Roberts Road in Barrington, scheduled for 2014
New way of getting 'round
It is hoped that when all the traffic lights are scrapped to make room for roundabouts, all the red light cameras will be scrapped as well. No one would be crazy enough to think a public-sector union employee might be paid to monitor cars going round and round and round in a circle all day, from a traffic command center somewhere. Ahem.

Tres informed sources inform your LakeCountyEye that before the end of the decade the traffic light will be a rarer sight in Lake County than Kent Gaffney. Plans are even being drawn at this very minute to install a roundabout & tollway oasis combo at every mile marker on the Route 53 extension. "Can you think of a better way to direct traffic to overpriced gas and greasy chicken balls?" one tres unnamed official asked your LakeCountyEye.

Operatives are advised to get some practice in before attempting to circumnavigate one of Lake County's new roundabouts. Your LakeCountyEye can be found driving in circles somewhere -- look for the low-speed vehicle with the frozen left turn signal.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Pork Barrel Pooka

During hard economic times and in an era when the GOP wants to see government shrunk into receivership irrelevancy, operatives should be heartened to know that a good dollar is still to be made off of government service. And as an Illinois House Republican staffer. Case in point, Kent Gaffney who gave up a lucrative state government job to finish Mark Beaubien's term in the 52nd Rep District. As readers of this blog are richly aware, the taxpayer was compensating Gaffney at $106K for his annual services as a research analyst ...
A Round-Trip Ticket to Pookaville
Gaffney moved to Lake County in 2008, but continued to work in Springfield. The same taxpayer was kind enough to also pay for Gaffney's Springfield lodging expenses at the elegant & convenient State House Inn.

Billing records indicate it cost $30,000 to house Gaffney and two other Republican staffers for a five month period ending June 1, 2011:
STATE OF ILLINOIS OFFICE OF THE COMPTROLLER AGENCY CONTRACT REPORT FOR BUDGET FISCAL YEAR 2011 THROUGH ACCOUNTING PERIOD 10/11 FOR PERIOD ENDING 04/29/11
Operatives, when visiting Springfield, are advised to consider a stay at the State House Inn -- elegant, convenient and a good deal awaits Republican staffers.

On an annual basis, Gaffney's Springfield lodging works out to about $24,000:
($30,000 / 3) * (1 year / 5 months) = $24,000
And that divided by 12 works out to about $2,000 a month. It goes without saying that $2,000 is not only a month's rent on a nice apartment but would cover most mortgage payments.

This can be illustrated against a real-world scenario, one chosen at random from among recent local home sales:

BlockShopper
You're an average working family and buy a nice house for $1,165,620. Given a deal of no money down and zero percent annual interest, $2,000 per month would pay off that house in under 50 years.

Did your LakeCountyEye mention that a tidy sum is still to be made off of government service, even in a bear market? Bears repeating!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Round-Trip Ticket to Pookaville

Like Brenda Starr, Star Reporter -- not since the dew point broke 75F, has Lake County gotten this moist over a mystery man. The mystery man in question is Kent Gaffney, who was chosen by local GOP kahunas to complete Mark Beaubien's term in the 52nd Rep District. Gaffney is such a complete unknown that your LakeCountyEye was convinced that this was an occurrence of a pooka, a mythological creature that is never observed, like the invisible rabbit Harvey in the movie of the same name:
Another Pooka from Pookaville
The Daily Herald was able to track Gaffney down, plausibly debunking the pooka rumor ...
Gaffney may not be widely known in the area — having moved to Barrington from his native Springfield only a few years ago
Gaffney talks about succeeding friend Beaubien
Records indicate that Gaffney moved to a Lake Barrington gated-community in 2008. The Herald story does not say why the long-time Springfield resident moved to Lake County, and in particular to Beaubien's 52nd Repesentative District. Not, apparently, to change jobs. Despite moving to Lake Barrington, Gaffney remained on the Illinois House payroll as a well-paid research analyst. According to the State-Journal Register well-paid to the tune of $106,000 annually:

Salaries - State of Illinois
Nor, apparently, is a research analyst a work-from-home job either. Despite moving to Lake Barrington, Gaffney lodged at the Springfield State House Inn during House session -- and on the taxpayer's nickel:

STATE OF ILLINOIS OFFICE OF THE COMPTROLLER AGENCY CONTRACT REPORT FOR BUDGET FISCAL YEAR 2011 THROUGH ACCOUNTING PERIOD 10/11 FOR PERIOD ENDING 04/29/11
The State House Inn comes highly recommended. By no means the least expensive luxury hotel in Springfield, it does have the best view of an easy-to-walk-to State Capitol:

The State House Inn
Now that Kent Gaffney is Lake County's newest State Rep, there is presumably an opening in Springfield for a research analyst, one with travel and lodging expenses paid. Your LakeCountyEye wants to know where they hide all the research analyst job application forms.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Another Pooka from Pookaville

Fans of the silver-screen -- and who among operatives is not? -- all remember the Jimmy Stewart classic Harvey. The title character, Harvey, a 6 ft tall invisible rabbit, is a species of pooka, an imaginary being that only Jimmy Stewart can see.

The reason your LakeCountyEye brings up this creature of folklore, is because a real live pooka has been, erm, observed here in Lake County. In fact, not just observed but chosen to complete Mark Beaubien's term. A non-existent being -- a pooka -- has been tapped by the local GOP to be the new 52nd District State Representative. According to the disgruntled public-sector pensioners at the McHenryCountyBlog ...
In a stunning decision, the committee of Republican Party leaders charged by law with selecting a replacement for State Rep. Mark Beaubien have selected the head of House Republican Leader Tom Cross' Appropriations Committee staff. The choice is Lake County resident Kent Gaffney.
Unknown Tom Cross Staffer Kent Gaffney Picked to Replace State Rep. Mark Beaubien
Your LakeCountyEye first suspected that Kent Gaffney was actually a non-existent pooka after reviewing the results of an unscientific poll conducted in the 52nd District: a whopping 100% of respondents had never heard of him. Although a legal resident of District 52, terribly informed sources say Gaffney, like Harvey, has never actually been seen in the district.

The selection of a ghost-legislator puts on ice another empty seat in the State legislature and it is speculated that the choice was necessitated by the Illinois GOP's commitment to smaller government. One terribly unnamed source told your LakeCountyEye, "phooey, what's the big deal, anyways, over one more empty suit down in Springfield representing Lake County?"

Harvey

Gaffney
Another hilarious
LakeCountyEye Double Vision™
Look for your LakeCountyEye ... well, don't bother. Face it, you'd have better luck finding Harvey.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cadge & Release

Seeing nothing pencilled in the calendar, your LakeCountyEye has made a list of favored timekillers activities for passing a long holiday weekend:
  • Watch a Parade
  • Read the Darts & Laurels column in the News-Sun
  • Play a Search Engine Game
Operatives might have assumed there would be a parade this weekend somewhere in Lake County. Your LakeCountyEye however could scout up nary the mention of a parade, anywhere, in either the News-Sun or Google.

Fortunately your LakeCountyEye was able to find both a Darts & Laurels column and a search engine, which when combined yields in the latest Search-Engine Game craze ...
Cadge & Release
The rules are simple. In the Darts & Laurels column, the News-Sun briefly illustrates an issue with a paragraph-length description, while declaring their approval (Laurel) or disapproval (Dart). Even though the written descriptions appear to be original work, some are thinly reworked press releases.

Pick a Dart or a Laurel. Your challenge is to find the original press release, using a search engine of your choosing. You will be judged on both speed and accuracy. Reprints will be accepted, but additional points are awarded for locating the source of the press release. In the case of a tie, the most compact and contiguous search string will be awarded the prize.
This week's prize goes to frequent commenter Asian Carp, dialing in from Waukegan Harbor:

The Cadge:

DART
Statistics compiled by the Coast Guard show the use of alcohol while boating was the leading contributor to on-the-water accidents and the needless loss of 126 lives during 2010. With the long Fourth of July weekend just ahead of us, the Coast Guard Auxiliary encourages boaters to "Boat Responsibly" and be sure you have a designated sober and qualified coxswain on board to ensure your boat gets back to the dock safely. In all, 605 deaths from boating accidents were recorded last year, with July being one of the most hazardous months for boaters. During 2010, alcohol use was involved in 330 boating accidents and, in addition to contributing to the deaths of 126 boaters, resulted in injuries to 293 others. Just as in driving a car, alcohol use while boating can lead to impairment of critical senses needed to avoid boating accidents.

Darts & Laurels
The Release:
Alcohol and Water DON'T Mix ...
When Boating Safety is Involved

WASHINGTON – Statistics compiled by the U.S. Coast Guard show the use of alcohol while boating was the leading contributor to on-the-water accidents ... and the needless loss of 126 lives during 2010. With the long Fourth of July weekend just ahead of us, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary encourages all boaters to "Boat Responsibly" and be sure you have a designated sober and qualified coxswain on board to ensure your boat gets back to the dock safely. In all, 605 deaths from boating accidents were recorded last year, with July being one of the most hazardous months for boaters. During 2010, alcohol use was involved in 330 boating accidents and, in addition to contributing to the deaths of 126 boaters, resulted in injuries to 293 others. Just as in driving a car, alcohol use while boating can lead to impairment of critical senses needed to avoid boating accidents. Slowed reaction time and diminished decision making ability can make your day on the water a less than enjoyable one. Additionally, alcohol can cause dehydration and illness when you are exposed to a hot, sunny day of boating. "Boat Responsibly" ... and don't mix alcohol with your day on the water. Save the "bourbon and branch" until you return home. The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer Component of the United States Coast Guard created by an Act of Congress in 1939. The Auxiliary supports the Coast Guard in nearly all of the service's missions.
###
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Public Affairs

Operatives are invited to belly up to the bar with your LakeCountyEye this 4th of July weekend at the Park City Riverboat Casino.