Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Pop a Pill

Do the Dew
Pop Quiz!

Can you identify this substance? What is ...
  1. Addictive.
  2. Induces euphoria.
  3. Lacks nutritional value.
  4. Creates animus when proscribed or subject to tariff.
If you answered ...
OPIOIDS
... good guess! But the correct answer is:
SODA POP
Haha, were it not a multi-billion dollar industry, your carbonated beverage would be classified as a Schedule I Controlled Substance. But as things stand, millions of soda pop addicts are held hostage daily to the carbonated beverage cartels -- and woe unto anyone who deems it wise to impede the flow of sugary (and artificially sweetened) beverages:
It's been just over a week but Cook County's new tax on sweetened beverages is on the fast track toward becoming one of the more vilified public policies in recent memory.
It's been 9 days. It's time to repeal Cook County's soda pop tax
What do the candidates have to say about the universally reviled soda tax? Ammie Kessem is a candidate for State Rep in District 19, on Chicago's Northwest side:
Ammie Kessem for State Rep
And as far as your LakeCountyEye can tell, Kessem has nothing whatsoever to say about the soda tax in Cook County:
Ammie Kessem for State Rep: Issues
Note to Ammie Kessem Ops: Your candidate is missing a bet.

Just sayin!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Nobody Here Except Us Chickens

a chicken in every can
Who doesn't eagerly look forward to their next Lake County rubber chicken dinner? If that is you, your LakeCountyEye has good news. The bottom just fell out of the market:
The movement to grow backyard chickens has caused controversy in many suburbs, so it should be no surprise that a proposal to house thousands of them just outside North Barrington's village limits is drawing resistance from the birds' prospective neighbors. If approved, a plan calls for the cluckers to be used for egg production on a large-scale poultry farm at the southwest corner of Scott Road and Route 59.
Thousands of chickens on suburban farm? Plan has neighbors upset
Basic market forces dictate that whenever your supply of chickens go up, your catering costs necessarily go down. It doesn't necessarily mean it will cost your pocketbook less to attend that next rubber chicken dinner. But analysts do agree you can look forward to a lot more rubber chicken dinners.

Analysts, however, are in disagreement over what the word clucker was doing in the aforementioned Daily Herald story ...
"a plan calls for the cluckers to be used"
After looking up clucker in the dictionary your LakeCountyEye has some ideas. No fewer than ten:
10 Words that Rhyme with Clucker
  1. Pucker
  2. Sucker
  3. Chukkar
  4. Muckraker
  5. Smucker's
  6. Scupper
  7. Bugger
  8. Fluffernutter
  9. Clunker
  10. Clusterbump
Look for your LakeCountyEye winning the Pullets-er Prize near you.

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Price is Right

Willie Sutton robbed banks. Nowadays just go to Congress instead.

Haha, the banking sector is giving away money to your US Representatives. For instance, Randy Hultgren has taken home more than $1,000,000 from financial interests:
Rep. Randy Hultgren: Campaign Finance/Money - Industries - Representative Career | OpenSecrets
Perhaps not coincidentally, Hultgren, Lake County's boreal Congressman, voted recently to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act:
A bill that repeals it has made its way through one level of Congress. The Financial Choice Act, passed by the House of Representatives last week, repeals many of the financial rules and regulations in what's called the Dodd-Frank Act that was passed in 2010.
Illinois Reps weigh in on House vote to repeal Dodd-Frank regulations
The new Republican Bill would ...
tie the hands of bank regulators and make it easier for banks to again take risks that endanger our economy. The bill would repeal the Volcker Rule, which prohibits banks from gambling with customer money;
What is the Financial CHOICE Act (HR 10)?
Perhaps not coincidentally, Randy Hultgren was seen this week at the Waukegan Casino:
Keep calm and Carey on. This is merely another hilarious LakeCountyEye Double Vision™!
Note to Ops: Your odds are better at the craps table.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Block the Vote

Lake County wants $130,638 from the Illinois State Board of Elections:

State cuts 2017 funds for voter registration integrity
The Lump Sum Grant is intended to help the County strike fraudulent voters from the rolls. To be sure, at 130K it would seem that Lake County has more ghost voters that it has graves. But one veteran observer says don't be fooled by the numbers, look at the figures instead: "I don't think there are 130,000 ghost voters registered in Lake County. That works out to only one dollar per vote!"

In any event, this ghost story will have to wait until next year. Because of the budget impasse, the check isn't even in the mail:
Local election authorities will lose more than $4.4 million in grant funds this year that pay for, among other things, purging ineligible names from voter registration rolls.
State cuts 2017 funds for voter registration integrity
Princess Nudelman did not return your LakeCountyEye's calls.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

On the Wrong Side of the Tracks

How to cut your property tax.
What are the chances an exploding oil train will explode in Lake County? One bookmaker told your LakeCountyEye that the exact odds would depend on the over/under. So your LakeCountyEye took a measuring tape to Round Lake Beach and observed the over/under there to be about 13 feet & 6 inches:
In fall 2015, what turned out to be the largest road-improvement project in Lake County history provided a Canadian National Railway overpass at Rollins Road, along with additional lanes and a modified intersections at Rollins and Route 83, which eased flow to an estimated 41,500 vehicles per day.
Lake County, IDOT hit with $7.1 million judgment in Rollins Gateway lawsuit
Haha, to build the overpass for the Canadian National Railway, Lake County had to seize property. The owner sued:
Lake County and the Illinois Department of Transportation must pay $7.1 million to the owner of a Round Lake Beach shopping center as compensation for land taken and other damages as part of the Rollins Road Gateway Project.
Lake County, IDOT ordered to pay $7.1 million to Round Lake Beach business owner
A knowledgeable insider explained how the Lake County Treasury operates: "One $7 million wrongful eviction lawsuit here, one $7 million wrongful eviction lawsuit there, and pretty soon you're talking real money."

Note to Railroad Ops: Always build your tracks over the road. Railway underpasses are subject to floods. Just sayin!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Mr Curran Goes to Springfield

An actual unretouched screengrab from the Daily Herald website:
According to the Herald story ...
DuPage County Board Vice Chairman John Curran has been appointed to replace the state senate seat left vacant by Christine Radogno, a Lemont Republican, officials said Saturday. Curran has served as a DuPage County Board member since 2008, most recently as vice chairman since 2012.
DuPage County Board member appointed to state Senate vacancy
Curran no doubt should be thrilled at his appointment to the State Legislature. By anyone's estimation this counts as an out-and-out promotion. Curran's tenure as a County-level elected official reaches back to the mid 2000's. And one does not often see a public servant leapfrog out of County government and straight into the Springfield Capitol dome. Your LakeCountyEye sends hearty congratulations to State Senator Curran!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Grade on a Curve

... tick ... tick ... tick ...
Some people would rather take clean-up detail after a catastrophic flood than be asked to solve a story problem. If you are that guy, here is this week's story problem:
An exploding oil train, measured from the tip of the cowcatcher to the tail of the caboose, is 27 miles long. And you would swear it was moving along no faster than ¼ mile per hour. How much time would you have to kill at the crossing before this train rolled by?
Answers must be submitted in a SASE. Please show your work.

SPOILER ALERT!

The correct answer is:
108 hours
(27 miles ÷ .25 mph = 108 hours = 4½ days)
Coincidentally, 108 hours is also the duration that the CN rail crossing in Mundelein will be down this week:
Route 60/83 at the Canadian National Railroad tracks in Mundelein closed Monday morning as work began on repairs to the grade crossing there. The crossing is scheduled to remain closed until 6 p.m. Friday, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Repair work begins on Mundelein crossing
Note to Ops: This is why you had to learn algebra.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Missed the Boat

Make up your own poopdeck joke here.
Your LakeCountyEye just rowed in from Waukegan Airport. And boy are your LakeCountyEye's arms tired!

Haha, If you haven't received your FEMA disaster relief money yet, the check is in the mail, your LakeCountyEye has learned. Or as the case may be, in the mailboat.

The delay is attributed to Governor Bruce Rauner's reluctance to declare Lake County a flood disaster area:
Rauner is getting trounced in the local media for failing to visit, fly over, make a statement — or even send a tweet — after an unprecedented amount of rainfall in northern Illinois caused flash flooding, leaving subdivisions under water, shutting down a major amusement park, flooding a community college and even prompting the evacuation of a local hospital.
Rauner stumbles on Midwest flood response
For the record, there is no truth to the rumor that Rauner fell overboard while surveying the floods and has been missing at sea ever since. That is because Billionaire-Governor Rauner did declare Lake County a flood disaster area, the very minute it became a political liability to not do anything.

Note to Ops: If a Coast Guard Cutter weighs anchor on your front lawn, you can tell them to call off the search & rescue operation.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Same Name Different Lake

An actual unretouched screengrab from the Daily Herald website:
According to the story, which is attributed to the Sun-Times ...
A haggard-looking Dennis Hastert can be seen in a booking photo released Wednesday -- the first public image of the former House speaker after his 13 months in federal prison for scheming to cover up his sexual abuse of boys. The image comes from the Lake County sheriff's office, where Hastert, 75 -- called a "serial child molester" by a federal judge -- was processed after his release from a Minnesota prison.
Lake County sheriff to electronically monitor Hastert
Sparing no expense, your LakeCountyEye conducted a thorough analysis of public records and can now report that there is a Lake County in Minnesota. Also there is a Federal Prison in Lake County Minnesota. And that former US Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was incarcerated in that Lake County Federal Prison. In Minnesota ...

Lake County, Minnesota
Note to Ops: If Hastert owes you money, this means you won't be able to collect in Waukegan.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Lake County Bailout

Demonstrating a keen grasp of the obvious, Governor Bruce Rauner declared Lake County a disaster area. The News-Sun said:
Gov. Bruce Rauner toured flooded areas in Lake County on Friday as officials warned that the worst is yet to come in some areas, with the potential for record flooding along the Fox and Des Plaines rivers. While some anticipated the governor might declare the county a disaster area when he went to Gurnee around 10:45 a.m. to survey the damage and meet with local officials, he initially did not, drawing criticism from two local Democratic legislators and others. Hours later, at about 5 p.m., Rauner reversed course, issuing the disaster declaration not only for Lake but for Kane and McHenry counties as well.
After tour of flooding, Rauner declares Lake, Kane, McHenry counties disaster areas
Illinois Billionaire-Governor Rauner was not quite as stingy in the past when it came to doling out the flood disaster declarations, as this 2016 press release attests:
A state disaster declaration makes a wide variety of state resources available that can help communities respond and recover from flooding. Such resources include sandbags, sand, pumps, trucks, inmate crews and other assistance to ensure public safety.
Governor Rauner Adds 11 Counties to State Disaster Proclamation for Flooding
Note to Ops: do not try to be reimbursed for repairs to your leaky cabin in the Dells.

To be sure, along with the great power of a disaster declaration comes great responsibility. Declaring Lake County a disaster area has consequences -- consequences mandated by the State of Illinois, and having impacts as far-reaching as they are wide. Well, no more than 10 of them, by your LakeCountyEye's count:
Spoiler Alert:
What to Expect When Lake County is
Declared a Flood Disaster Area
  1. Illinois Beach State Park will be moved to McHenry County.

  2. Scoop the Loop host to classic Land Yachts as well as Sea Yachts.

  3. All wrongful convictions henceforth decided under Maritime Law.

  4. Lake County sinkholes will be registered as inland lakes.

  5. The Race to Mackinac Island to start from Hawthorn Woods.

  6. Asian carp are now eligible to vote.

  7. No more jokes about why it's called Port Barrington.

  8. The Lake County Joint Action Water Agency would be rebranded as the Lake County Water Abatement District.

  9. Goodbye: Route 53 Extension
    Hello: Route 53 Suspension Bridge

  10. Lake County will be renamed: No-Wake County
Look for your LakeCountyEye dowsing near you.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Flight from Liquidity

If the mission of the Lake County Joint Action Water Agency is to bring Lake Michigan water to the homes of Lake County, it may be time to rethink that mission. As of late, most Lake County homes are under Lake Michigan.

Haha, Illinois Billionaire/Governor Bruce Rauner found time to be in Lake County today. Your LakeCountyEye got this snapshot of the Governor surveying the floodwaters:

You've been served, Gov. Rauner
While the Governor was earning his sea legs, he may not have seen these Tweets:
"Lake County residents have been working to pick up the pieces after major flash floods hit the area. The governor has not declared a state of emergency for Lake County, so residents with devastating property damage and no flood insurance have been unable to get access to low-interest loans that help people rebuild."

"Today, the governor will be in Lake County touring flood sites. The devastation experienced by our constituents over the last few days needs to be seen to be understood. Clean up from this historic flooding is going to take all of us working together."

"With more flooding expected to occur this weekend, we urge Governor Rauner to do what Governor Walker has already done, declare a state of emergency and call in the National Guard to provide much-needed relief to flood victims. Lake County residents need this help immediately."

'Asleep at the wheel': Yingling, Bush call on Rauner to issue disaster declaration for Lake County
A spokesman told your LakeCountyEye: "The Governor is an old-hand when it comes to filling sandbags. The Bruce Rauner Turnaround Agenda has been sandbagging the State of Illinois since 2014!"

[h/t: Crain's]

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Damn Over the Water

aquaholics anonymous
There is no truth to the rumor that a leaky Lake Michigan water pipe in Grandwood Park is responsible for the flooding in Lake County. As a matter of fact the widespread floods were delivered by storms of global warming Biblical proportion.

The News-Sun got the scoop:
Torrential rains pounded Lake County overnight Tuesday into the Wednesday morning commute, with flash flooding closing major roadways, shutting down Six Flags Great America and the College of Lake County, swamping basements and forcing the evacuation of residences from Mundelein to Fox Lake.
'It just didn't stop' — flooding sweeps Lake County during series of storms
One spokesman told your LakeCountyEye: "This is the third or fourth hundred year flood we've seen this century. And it's only 2017. The truth in advertising statutes may obligate us to change the name of Lake County to Flood County."

Your LakeCountyEye will keep you apprised when further developments warrant.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Water is the New Oil

a two cents plain
Lake County got some new pipes. Has there been a spike in medical marijuana sales? Nope, these pipes disperse Lake Michigan water:
An often overlooked part of daily life in the 1,900 homes and businesses that comprise Grandwood Park changed last week as Lake Michigan water began flowing from taps, showers and hoses.
Lake Michigan water flows into new areas of Lake County
There is no truth to the rumor, your LakeCountyEye learned, that the water is for a new bottling plant that will truck bootleg, tax-free soda into Cook County.

In reality, the pumps are running dry. The Daily Herald talked water with Grandwood Park resident and Lake County Board member, Steve Carlson ...
he supported the need for a new source after the well system basically dried up years ago during a drought. "It's something we had to do," Carlson said.
Lake Michigan water flows into new areas of Lake County
Your LakeCountyEye will keep you apprised when further developments warrant.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Lifestyle of the Party

survival of the fitness
Note to Ops: unless your lifestyle approaches the lifestyle of the rich and famous be prepared to lose your health insurance. Lake County Congressmen Peter Roskam and Randy Hultgren both voted to repeal your Obamacare. And you're to blame. That's because it's your unhealthy lifestyle that is driving up everyone else's insurance premiums.

Haha, the GOP figured out they can keep their premiums low by excluding from Trumpcare those who make poor life choices. And since your LakeCountyEye has never met an Operative who did not maintain the lifestyle of a college sophomore, they mean you!

Despair not, however. Trumpcare is all about choices. You may choose to pay a lot of money for a junk policy. Either that or you can make some existential choices, live healthy, and forgo health insurance entirely. Either way and whether you like it or not, the GOP will make you adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Despair not, however. Your LakeCountyEye has surveyed the best healthy-living clickbait the Internet has to offer. Not only is a healthy life within reach, but you can get there in 10 easy steps:
Ten Lifestyle Mistakes to Avoid in Lake County
Don't Try Any of This ... ... Unless You're Ready for Some of This!
1.Living Near the Route 53 ExtensionLung Disease, Heart Attack, Stroke
2.Living Near an Exploding Oil Train TrackExploding Oil Trains
3.Living Too Far from Cook CountyMuffin Tops, Bat Wings, Turkey Wattles and Tax-Free Soda
4.Living Too Close to McHenry CountyYou May be a Redneck
5.Jogging in a LCFPDEbola Transmitting Mosquitoes
6.Driving Your CarLake County Sinkholes
7.Getting Out of Your CarTicks!
8.Fourth of JulySee: Exploding Oil Trains
9.Substitute Beer for SunblockSPF Zero
10.Blow Off the Boss's Rubber Pizza Re-Election FundraiserUnemployment Insurance
Look for your LakeCountyEye living it up near you.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Boom or Bust

The Lake County exploding oil train did not explode in Lake County yesterday. In fact it failed to explode.

WLS-TV reports that ...
Emergency crews are on the scene of a freight train derailment in far southwest suburban Plainfield Friday evening. The derailment happened around 7:30 p.m. near Rte. 59 and Riverwalk Court. No injuries have been reported. About 25 cars derailed, police said. Police said about 40,000 gallons of crude oil have leaked from three cars. Firefighters have barricaded off the leak and prevented it from reaching the DuPage River. They are also taking all possible precautions to prevent a fire from starting. The Canadian National train was traveling northwest at the time of the derailment.
About 40,000 gallons of crude oil leak after derailment
The CN train that failed to explode in Plainfield is the same Canadian National line that crisscrosses Lake County:
One spokesman with his ear to the rail explained the misfire: "The train derailed in Plainfield and not in Lake County for the same reason Canada observes the Fourth of July on July One: Canadians operates on their own time schedule."

Your LakeCountyEye will keep you apprised when further developments warrant.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Road to Ill Health is Paved with 53 Extensions

There's a signpost up ahead ...
Note to Operatives: If you are sick of hearing about the Route 53 Extension then hit the volume on your Beltone. That's because the Route 53 Extension will make you sick.

According to the Daily Herald:
Opponents of a proposed Route 53 extension into Lake County are seeking support for a study to determine potential health impacts of the highway.
Grassroots group wants health study of Route 53 extension
Along with being pancaked under an 18-wheeler, other health risks associated with prolonged exposure to a highway include lung disease, heart attack and stroke. And if to add insult to injury, no one living near the Route 53 Extension will have any health insurance, because the GOP is going to kill the Affordable Care Act.

Peter Roskam (Lake County's vestigial Congressman), who voted to repeal Obamacare last month, was quick to issue a statement: "Voters can rest assured that Trumpcare will be a huge improvement over Obamacare. Under Trumpcare your exposure to the Route 53 Extension will be classified as a pre-existing condition -- a major benefit. Provided, of course, the Route 53 Extension gets built first!"

That's all your LakeCountyEye has. Please bend over and cough.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Door to Door Campaign

All you people tryin' to sleep I'm out to make my midnight creep.
Ever since Peter Roskam voted to repeal Obamacare, he's been having trouble sneaking out of buildings. His constituents are now all standing at death's door.

Haha, Roskam, Lake County's vestigial Congressman, has taken to secreting himself in and out of public venues to avoid contact with voters and the press. The press noticed, nonetheless:
Several congressmen, including Roskam, slipped through the side doors of the restaurant
After protesters gather, Rauner skips Republican fundraiser

What Roskam, a Republican from Naperville, does not like is meeting with actual voters, not unless he can hand-pick them.
Come out, come out, wherever you are, Peter Roskam

constituents of Congressman Peter Roskam — one of the most powerful Republicans in Congress – have accused him of ducking their questions. As CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley explains, Roskam is now ducking reporters' questions as well.
Rep. Roskam Avoids Angry Constituents At Chicago Appearance

The closed door meeting comes just four days after Roskam's staff in his West Chicago district office abruptly canceled a meeting with 16 constituents who had arranged to meet with them about their concerns over a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Protesters gather outside GOP meeting attended by Roskam
Of course, if you're in a hurry and the front door is out of the question, there usually aren't many other options available. Unless you are Peter Roskam -- who by your LakeCountyEye's count has found 10 alternate exits to look for whenever he's in the sights of a reporter or voter:
Ten Doors to Watch
for Peter Roskam
  1. The Back Door
  2. The Side Door
  3. The Stage Door
  4. The Revolving Door
  5. Better a Door Than a Window
  6. The French Doors
  7. The Trap Door
  8. The Barn Door
  9. The Double Doors
  10. The Pompa Door
Look for your LakeCountyEye to defenestrate near you.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Love Goes Out the Door When Money Comes Innuendo

Is it Door # 1? Door # 2? Or Door # 3?
Everyone knows that if it is Thursday it is time to play the game sweeping the Internet by storm ...
Which Door Will Peter Roskam Take?®
This week's winner is the Daily Herald. The Herald (who was all over Governor Bruce Rauner like duct tape on actual ductwork) spotted Roskam in a Rosemont doorway:
Tickets for the "Cocktails with the Congressmen" event at Gene & Georgetti steakhouse ranged from $10,000 for hosts to $100 for general admission. Along with Rauner, congressmen Peter Roskam of Wheaton, Randy Hultgren of Plano, Rodney Davis of Taylorville, Mike Bost of Murphysboro and Adam Kinzinger of Channahon were scheduled to attend the event, closed to members of the media. Several congressmen, including Roskam, slipped through the side doors of the restaurant, to the jeers of the roughly 50 protesters outside.
After protesters gather, Rauner skips Republican fundraiser
Sharpeyed operatives should note that Peter Roskam (Lake County's vestigial Congressman) was seen slipping through the side door.

If you did not win, there will be another opportunity next week (and every week) to play ...
Which Door Will Peter Roskam Take?®
Campaign trackers and Roskam PAC staff are not eligible.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

In Your Case I'll Make an Exemption

Meanwhile in Florida
It has come to your LakeCountyEye's attention that property taxes are due in Lake County. Two weeks ago. Oops.

While searching the sofa cushions to take care of the minimum payment, your LakeCountyEye came across a tip for reducing your tax bill. It's called a General Homestead Exemption, according to this Daily Herald story:
Homestead exemptions, granted for homes occupied by their owners, make up as much as 95 percent of eligible property in some townships but as little as 70 percent in others.
How suburban assessors discovered hundreds of illegal exemptions
And while you can claim the exemption for your primary residence, enterprising home owners are also taking the exemption for their vacation homes, rental properties, and most importantly Florida real estate.

While technically not legal, this seems a win-win by your LakeCountyEye's reckoning. Even if it did mean you would have to live in Florida.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Chicken Dance

Hindsight being 20/20, it is now apparent that Joe Walsh was voted out of Congress for not being extreme enough. And while there may be no second acts in life, the ex-Lake County Congressman quickly slid into broadcasting, where he is now a DJ. And (as his rabid fans attest) Walsh performs under the stage-name DJ-Walsh-Alt.

Note to Ops: Need a superstar DJ to beat-mix your next Rave, EDM Cellar or wedding rehearsal, and you don't have an unlimited budget? DJ-Walsh-Alt will have even your sleepiest septuagenarian tripping the light fantastic quicker than you can say gangnam style.

Catch these snaps of DJ-Walsh-Alt on the floor ...
Joe Walsh Holds Summer Shindig
... of a recent McHenryCountyBlog hootenanny:


"What do you say we turn up the music and kick up some fun?"


You put your right wing in,
You put your right wing out ...



You put your right wing in,
And you shake it all about ...



You do the hokey pokey
And you turn yourself around and ...



... I wanna dance with you,
With you my Lambada, Lambada.
La La La La La La Lambada!


[h/t: McHenryCountyBlog]

Friday, June 9, 2017

Q the Eye/06.09.17

Dear LakeCountyEye,

Speaking for every public servant who has spent 5 years in the Illinois legislature, I deserve a gold clock -- and not a primary opponent. Objection your honor!

A Former Federal Prosecutor
Dear With Whom Do You Wish to Speaker?Ὥρος Hōros

Your LakeCountyEye firmly believes that if Illinois legislators were intended to serve for life, there wouldn't be term limits.

You are not alone, one Lake County favorite son finds himself in a similar predicament:
The first statewide project coordinator for the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program is planning to challenge state Rep. Scott Drury of Highwood in the Democratic primary next spring.
A challenge for Drury
Take heart, your LakeCountyEye firmly believes that whenever there is the political will there will be a political way. In your case, the way is to simply vacate your legislative seat and run for Governor instead.

To be sure, a state-wide campaign will pose challenges totally at odds with running for some local office from out of your kitchen. Totally. And you're probably thinking "anyone like me who ran for Governor is asking to get his clock cleaned." And you would be right. Don't expect to make it through the primary with more than a few hundred votes. But -- wait for it -- after that defeat, file to run as an Independent for your old legislative seat. With the ballot name recognition gained from running in a state-wide contest, you would be a shoo-in.

And you go back to Springfield where that gold watch is waiting. Tick tock!

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

Monday, June 5, 2017

Two Thumbs Up

Note to Ops: If you want to see Peter Roskam at a townhall you will have to first get a job -- a job on the editorial board of Chicago's leading business publication. Roskam, Lake County's vestigial Congressman, sat down with Crain's Chicago Business last week for a one hour interview. In the video, Roskam confirms that legislating is indeed like making sausages -- he wanted to get out of there in the wurst way.
See for yourself. Slide the shimkus over to the last minute, at about -1:10 ...

Watch Roskam's interview with Crain's

Crain's:Thank you for coming by.
Roskam:YEAH IT'S GOOD ALRIGHT
(Thumbs Up)
Peter Roskam subsequently disappeared faster than the Republican Liberty Caucus prescription Rogaine at the US Capitol drugstore. It is not known if Roskam exited by way of the back alley.

Your LakeCountyEye will keep you apprised when further developments warrant.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Townhall on Affordable Health Care


Adopt-a-District Town Hall with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky
Join the Coalition for a Better Illinois 6th as they host Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky for the first open town hall meeting with a sitting Member of the U.S. Congress in Illinois’ 6th congressional district in a very long time. Everyone is invited to attend.
  • Saturday
    June 3, 2017
    5:00 to 6:30pm
    (Doors Open 4:30)

  • Fremd High School Auditorium
    1000 S Quentin Rd
    Palatine, IL

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Census Fakers

Watch out for the fuzz.
Note to Ops: If you've been getting primo tee times at the Antioch Golf Club that may not be a sign that you got clout. It might be because the Lake County population has been plummeting. At least according to the Lake County Gazette (Lake County's most trusted fake news source):
Lake County lost more than 5,000 residents between July 2015 and July 2016, following a statewide trend that has seen 91 percent of counties experience outmigration. The Chicago Tribune recently described the political and economic effects outmigration can have on areas, including the loss of federal and state funding for various programs because it is based on population.
Lake County residents follow flood leaving state
A nearly one percent drop in population over a 12 month timespan is precipitous -- even by the standards of the Lake County Gazette. So your LakeCountyEye looked up the Chicago Tribune article that was cited:
Lake County's population fell between 2015 and 2016, but only barely, new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show. There were 703,047 people living in Lake County as of July 1, 2016, down from 703,413 a year earlier, according to the estimates released Thursday. The loss of 366 residents reflected a decrease of less than one tenth of 1 percent.
While Chicago region loses people, Lake County population remains fairly flat
Some back-of-the-napkin math reveals that 366 is, in fact, not more than 5,000:
366  ≱   5000
When asked to explain the discrepancy, one authorized fake news spokesman said: "If you're just looking at a Lake County population census map, then absolutely the numbers don't add up. But 366 beats 5000 on the Lake County electoral college map."

That's all your LakeCountyEye has. Nothing else to see here, please vote with your feet.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Dump and Dumper

If U.S. President Donald J Trump's poll numbers are in the outhouse that may be because he's been taking a lot of crap, lately, from the lamestream media fake news.

At first flush, Trump was the butt of this Saturday Night Live joke ...
Trump: I sit on every chair like it's a toilet.
Crack reporter, Anderson Cooper was next to pile on.  He let rip with ...
If Trump took a dump on his desk, you'd defend it.
Perhaps unable to hold it in, it was then Congressman Peter Roskam who, in the end, unloaded on Trump ...
Cong. Roskam Tells Trump: Dump Your Tweeting

Peter Roskam is a number-two also-ran for the Republican US Congressional leadership. One spokesman said: "Anyone who says Mr Roskam is in the tank for Donald Trump is talking out of their ass."

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The $25MM Schilla in the Strom

25 million here, 25 million there, pretty soon you're talking real money.
Note to Ops: If you aim to burn some rubber thru a Tollway Oasis, watch out for pedestrians. That's because the Illinois Tollway Authority has gobs of walking-around money to hand out. And by gobs, your LakeCountyEye means $25,000,000 of them.

According to the Daily Herald ...
Illinois tollway directors unanimously voted to study extending Route 53 north Thursday, approving a $25 million consulting contract amid furious lobbying for and against the project.
Tollway OKs $25 million, 4- to 5-year study of Route 53 extension
Lake County officials welcomed the decision. One told your LakeCountyEye: "We got a golf course in Lake Villa Township to sell them."

That's all you're LakeCountyEye has. Don't forget to tip your tollbooth operator.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The $750K Gorilla in Lake Villa

"Owning a great golf course gives you great power."
Note to Ops: If you aim to burn some rubber down Route 120, watch out for pedestrians. That's because there seems to be gobs of walking-around money in Lake Villa Township.

The Daily Herald says ...
About half of Lake Villa Township's $1.4 million reserves would be spent in a plan to buy a failing golf course located mostly outside the township. Lake Villa Township Supervisor Dan Venturi said his plan to buy the nearly 100-acre Antioch Golf Club for around $750,000 would preserve the value of homes adjacent to the 18-hole, par-70 golf course. Most of the homeowners live in Lake Villa Township.
Why Lake Villa Township wants to buy a failing golf course
In situations like this, local government would normally pressure the Lake County Forest Preserve to obtain the worrisome parcel of land. But it appears that Lake Villa Township plans to cut out the middle-man, and will opt to directly buy the Antioch Golf Club, before the developers can. Perhaps they just couldn't wait?

One impacted homeowner told your LakeCountyEye that "when your voters live on Clout Street, the Township better get off the dime". That's because there are outside buyers eyeing the failing golf course, all with plans of their own.

Ten of them, by your LakeCountyEye's count:
10 Blueprint-Ready Projects
Being Discussed
for the Antioch Golf Club
  1. Last Exit Ramp Off the Route 53 Extension

  2. CN Railway Spur to Caboose Park

  3. Trumpcare Pauper's Cemetery

  4. The Waukegan Casino

  5. The Midlothian Manor Homeless Facility

  6. The Grayslake Trucking Terminal

  7. The Lakemoor Woodman's Grocery

  8. The Cary Gravel Pit

  9. The Vernon Hills Menards

  10. What Part of Crony Capitalism Don't You Understand?
Look for your LakeCountyEye to putt for the dough near you.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Chinese Diplomat on Future Relations with the US


Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy
Hong Lei, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Chicago, will discuss The Sino - United States Relationship in the New Era at a forum at the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy.
  • Sunday
    May 21, 2017
    2:00 pm
  • The Stevenson Center on Democracy
    25200 N St Mary's Rd
    Mettawa (Libertyville), IL 60048
    847-816-7433
  • $15
    (Students Free)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Q the Eye/05.15.17

Dear LakeCountyEye,

Property taxes are due next month. Help!

If my home is my shelter and if I am taxed on the value of my home then why isn't my home a tax shelter?
Dear $64,000 Question,Ὥρος Hōros

Simply save a penny every day. If you are like your LakeCountyEye then at the end of the year you will have the $3 needed to cover your property tax bill.

Haha, this illustrates an important point. Your property taxes are a zero sum game. Whenever your neighbor gets his assessment lowered, his property tax goes down and yours automatically goes up. Even if your assessment has not changed, your tax goes up because you have to cover the shortfall produced by your neighbor.

Luckily the assessment process in Illinois is a self regulating feedback loop that you can ride to your advantage.

Here's how: A sure sign that you are being over-assessed is when your neighbors cannot afford to pay their property taxes. When this happens it is only a matter of time before one of those neighbors is foreclosed on, and he loses his house to a tax sale.

That is your cue to spring into action. Since that home is likely to be sold significantly under market value, you can use the outcome of that sale to get your assessment lowered. These sales are not hard to find if you remember that Zillow is your friend. For example, this home in a nice Lake County neighborhood recently sold for $80,000 ...
Real Estate & Homes For Sale
... a steal by your LakeCountyEye's reckoning.

If you live in that neighborhood, print out the webpage, and remind your Township Assessor that assessments are based on comparative values, then demand to know why your assessment isn't $80K also. And watch your assessment shrink faster than the reserve funds at Lake Villa Township!

Take it from your LakeCountyEye: Don't look a gift house in the mouth.

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, May 11, 2017

Dead to Health Care Rights

All Trumpcare physicians hold medical degrees from Trump U.
People are dying to get out of Lake County. They've been departing to Randy Hultgren's district office in Campton Hills, where a mass die-in has been reported.

Hultgren, Lake County's boreal congressman, voted to repeal Obamacare last week. According to the Northwest Herald:
The Campton Hills district office of U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Plano, again was the center of protest Tuesday, but organizers called it a die-in, lying on the grass with cardboard tombstones and plastic skeletons to show their disdain for the American Health Care Act. Hultgren was among the seven Illinois House Republicans who voted May 4 to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren's office the scene of a die-in to protest American Health Care Act
In related news, people in Lake County are living longer:
People live longer in Lake County than in many of its counterparts across Illinois, and life expectancy in the county has increased since 1980 — but not as fast as the rate of improvement in other Chicago-area counties such as Cook and Kane, according to the results of a new national study.
Life expectancy increasing in Lake County, but health outcomes unequal
One spokesman spoke on conditions of anomalously: "If they repeal Obamacare, then people won't be living longer in Lake County. It will just seem that way."

Next Week: Where all the bodies are buried.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

Caption Contest!

No sooner had the GOP repealed Obamacare on Thursday, they all made a beeline for the White House and took a happy dance in the Rose Garden with President Trump. Operatives are challenged to find vestigial Lake County Congressman Peter Roskam in the photo, and then post this caption:
Rep. Peter Roskam casts the deciding vote to repeal Obamacare. So great!

Haha, trick question. Everyone knows Peter Roskam never poses in public for anything.

In fact, even though Roskam cast his vote in Washington around 2:00pm, he was seen back home at a Wheaton golf club -- before dinnertime:
According to the Daily Herald ...
Roskam was greeted by about three dozen protesters when he arrived early Thursday evening to a GOP fundraiser at Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton. Demonstrators carried Planned Parenthood posters and wore black veils because, they said, they were in mourning after the vote.
Hultgren, Roskam join majority in Obamacare repeal in U.S. House
The fundraiser became the locus of an impromptu townhall meeting. Wealthy donors were assured that under Trumpcare golfer's elbow would not be considered a pre-existing condition.

Your LakeCountyEye will keep you apprised when further developments warrant.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Haunted Highway

where the rubber check meets the road
If wishes were horses then beggars would ride. Provided, of course they were riding on the Route 53 Extension.

Haha, it's back. A new poll commissioned by a pro-highway construction special interest group reportedly breathes some life into the zombie Route 53 Extension. The Daily Herald has been keeping a close watch on the $3 billion tollway project:
Despite Lake County Chairman Aaron Lawlor's dropping support for the project in May, tollway leaders reaffirmed their commitment, indicating they'd hire consultants by last summer, but nothing's happened. That begs the question: Is the tollway all-in or getting cold feet? Proposals from consulting firms are still under review, a spokesman said. If officials needed ammunition to pull the trigger, they got it with the release of a report last week from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute
Is the tollway getting cold feet on Route 53 extension?
That begs the question, indeed.

Be that as it may, one obvious question remains to be asked: Will the Tollway Authority pull the trigger or get cold feet? A well-heeled spokesman said: "Let's build it in McHenry County, instead. That way no one will be surprised when they shoot themselves in the foot."
My Foot!
Your LakeCountyEye will keep you apprised when further developments warrant.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Fox Guarding the Chicken

Unlike Donald Trump, Peter Roskam has kept himself in the media spotlight by running away from the spotlight.

Haha, the Sun-Times went looking for Roskam, Lake County's vestigial Congressman, and they can tell you where he's hiding:
Last Friday, Rep. Peter Roskam was on Fox News. The congressman must like Fox News. Nobody gives him a hard time. What Roskam, a Republican from Naperville, does not like is meeting with actual voters, not unless he can hand-pick them.
Come out, come out, wherever you are, Peter Roskam
Here Peter Roskam demonstrates his technique for hand-picking the constituents that he will talk to:

"Nothing up my sleeve."

FOX News Dog Whistle
Hands down the most hilarious LakeCountyEye Double Vision™ ever!
NEXT WEEK: Small hands or merely sleight of hand?

Friday, April 28, 2017

Audrey Nixon


Audrey Nixon

From the Daily Herald:
Audrey Nixon, who some considered the matriarch of the Lake County Board because of her decades of dedicated public service, has died. Nixon, 81, was found dead in her North Chicago house Thursday morning, according to a news release from the county.
Veteran Lake County Board member Audrey Nixon dies
Our condolences.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

SB0909 TOWNSHIP ASSESSORS-LAKE COUNTY

Illinois State Senate Bill 909 will change how Lake County chooses its township assessors:

Provides that the county board of Lake County, by ordinance, or the voters of Lake County, by backdoor referendum, may vote to discontinue all offices of the township assessor in the county. Provides petition and referendum requirements. Provides that after the adoption of an ordinance, or after the approval of a backdoor referendum, to discontinue all offices of township assessor in Lake County, the office of township assessor is discontinued in each township at the end of each township assessor's term. Provides that at the end of each township assessor's term: (i) the Chief County Assessment Officer of Lake County assumes the duties of the township assessor; (ii) the county board members become the board of health for any public health district in the township; and (iii) the office of the township collector of the township ceases and the county treasurer assumes the duties of the township collector.

If passed, SB0909 would authorize the Lake County Board to abolish all township assessors and consolidate their responsibilities at the county level. An opportunity to place a binding referendum on the ballot would also be authorized if the Board declines to act.

Details of SB0909 TOWNSHIP ASSESSORS-LAKE COUNTY are available on the State of Illinois General Assembly website. I have links to both the webpage and PDF below.


SB0909

SB0909

SB0909 is currently in its Second Reading at the Illinois Senate. Before it can be sent to the Governor's desk, the bill must pass both in the Illinois Senate and House. Your representatives do want to know what you think.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Statement from 5 Lake County Assessors

We obtained a statement from the Lake County Township Assessors who filed a suit in Federal Court against Lake County, County Assessor Martin Paulson, County Treasurer David Stolman, and other county officials.

The statement is intended as a "response to comments made by a Lake County representative pertaining to township equalization and the federal lawsuit."

Annual township assessor equalization is not against the law as recently stated by a Lake County representative. In fact, it is encouraged by the Illinois Department of Revenue to establish an equitable and uniform spread of the real estate tax burden within a township and done by the majority of townships in the state without interference from their County Assessor. This was also the case in Lake County until 2016. When the County Assessor decided to prohibit changes, the assessors took their issues with him to the Lake County Board, who appoints the County Assessor, and to the Lake County States Attorney office, submitted supporting documentation for months to help them understand our position and did not file a lawsuit until nearly a year had passed. The Lake County State’s attorney confirmed that township assessors can equalize per the law and when they did and turned their books in to the County assessor he arbitrarily removed all of our work and applied across-the-board factors to all townships. After this was done, a lawsuit was filed in federal court.

The township assessors contend that by reversing all equalization they did, the county assessor is creating an inequitable spread of the real estate tax burden. Based on sales studies done on all areas of their townships, the assessors see that not all areas in a township increase or decrease in value equally from one year to the next and therefore should not be lumped together with an across-the-board factor established without input from the township assessors who actually value the properties. This method of “county assessor only” equalization does not establish uniformity – it has the opposite effect.

Lake County township assessors who equalize assessments annually do have the statutory authority to do so. Per Illinois statutes, the township assessor, county supervisor of assessments and the Illinois Dept. of Revenue may all equalize assessments annually. Illinois property tax law states that all assessments must be reviewed every four years (quadrennial assessment year) by township assessors. However, this is the minimum for which property assessments must be reviewed, not the maximum.

The federal judge who dismissed the lawsuit stated in his opinion “the assessors plaintiffs have not alleged that they are personally injured by any of the defendants’ actions.” The judge furthered stated “thus, if defendants’ actions have harmed anyone, it would be the taxpayers, who might end up paying an increased tax”. The judge also opined that the “taxpayer plaintiffs must bring their claims in state court” (rather than federal court.)

Equity of assessments is a major concern of township assessors because it creates a more fair spread of the real estate tax burden among property owners.

Gary Raupp, Vernon Township Assessor
Jeri Barr, Grant Township Assessor
Becci Tonigan, Cuba Township Assessor
Peggy Freese, Libertyville Township Assessor
John Barrington, Ela Township Assessor
# # # #

Monday, April 24, 2017

All Over Like a Cheap Suit

So sue me.
If Chicago was an island in the Pacific Ocean, then a Federal judge sitting on an island in the Pacific has dismissed a lawsuit to lower property taxes in Lake County.

Earlier this year, several Township assessors filed a Federal lawsuit against Lake County and County Assessor Marty Paulson. They argued that their civil rights were violated when the County raised thousands of their assessments. U.S. District Court Judge Robert W. Gettleman, however, was not buying it. According to the Daily Herald ...
Assessors have no legal right to have the values they set upheld, Gettleman said, and they have no personal interest at risk if their valuations are changed. Gettleman also said Paulson's reversals properly followed the assessment process. Additionally, Gettleman ruled the property owners' complaint against Paulson and the other defendants belongs in state court, not federal.
Federal lawsuit against Lake County officials over land values dismissed
One township-level spokesman said: "We didn't want to risk filing our suit in County Court, because Lake County is notorious for issuing wrongful convictions."

It is unclear who paid the legal expenses. Your LakeCountyEye suspects it did not come out of the pockets of the township assessor plaintiffs.

Friday, April 21, 2017

From Townhall to the Halls of Montezuma?

P.R. has a P.R. problem.

P.R. -- aka Peter Roskam -- aka Lake County's vestigial congressman -- is allergic to townhall meetings. Despite pressure from both the voters and the media, Roskam is afraid his constituents will be too uncouth to participate in a proper townhall. According to the Chicago Tribune ...
Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton says he's no fan of "circus" town hall meetings and prefers a more controlled setting for town-hall-style meetings by telephone
Roskam says he prefers doing town hall meetings over the phone
On the other hand, Randy Hultgren, Lake County's boreal congressman, held a civil townhall meeting this week. According to the Daily Herald ...
"Participating in big circuses is not productive," Republican Peter Roskam of Wheaton said earlier this year. We disagree -- and give kudos to Hultgren and the League of Women Voters for proving it can be done.
Editorial: Hultgren, league prove town halls can be effective
Civility prevailed even though Hultgren represents Lake County's Wisconsin border towns, as well as the unexplored areas of McHenry County. A constituency where the standard of living is based on fishing, hunting and subsistence farming, these are not the voters you would expect to meet in the bedroom communities that Peter Roskam represents.

How did Randy Hultgren do it? An authoritative sounding spokesman divulged the secret to enforcing decorum at a townhall meeting: "Pack the room with Federal ICE agents. If some chumbolone crosses the line, send him back to where he belongs. Mexico, no questions asked."

Here is an actual unretouched Daily Herald photo of townhall participants holding up their green cards:

Hultgren draws jeers, cheers
The spokesman elaborated: "Not only do you guarantee yourself a neighborly townhall, but you make America great again!"

A win-win by your LakeCountyEye's reckoning.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

From Townhall to Monty Hall?

There's an old saying in show business ...
Give the People What They Want
And there's another old saying ...
Politics is show business for ugly people.
So it should not come as a surprise that Randy Hultgren, this week, gave the people what they want. As readers of this blog are aware ...
Proxy Representative
Randy Hultgren, Lake County's boreal Congressman, was persuaded to hold a townhall meeting. According to the Daily Herald, Hultgren's district offices had been picketed and ...
The focus of many of those protests has been the call for a town-hall meeting with Hultgren. After working with multiple League of Women Voters chapters on the logistics, Hultgren, of Plano, provided that town hall at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
Hultgren draws jeers, cheers
Of course just as an attorney should never ask a question unless he knows the answer, a politician should never hold a townhall unless he knows who will be in the seats. One credible spokesman explained how it's done: "Don't bother filling the room with friends and relatives. Pack that room with all your lobbyists instead!"

Here is an actual unretouched Daily Herald photo of K Street lobbyists holding up their bid cards:

Hultgren draws jeers, cheers
The spokesman elaborated: "When access to your Congressman is on the table, you not only guarantee a civil townhall meeting, but the event pays for itself!"

A win-win by your LakeCountyEye's reckoning.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Proxy Representative

The two words most feared by the US Congress are town hall and town hall. So your LakeCountyEye was surprised to see this item in the Patch about Randy Hultgren:
After not meeting openly with constituents for far too long, Rep. Hultgren is having a question and answer session this Tuesday, the 18th of April, from 7p to 8:30p at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
Congressman Hultgren, IL 14th District, Holding Open Q&A Tuesday, April 18th
Those wishing to attend may want to book a room at Airbnb. While Hultgren is Lake County's boreal Congressman, St. Charles is nowhere near northern Lake County. Your LakeCountyEye looked it up: St. Charles is located between Virginia Ave and States Ave  ...
Not to be outdone, Peter Roskam has scheduled a townhall event as well. The time and place of the meeting cannot be disclosed, however. Roskam, Lake County's vestigial Congressman, was forcibly dragged out of an IranAir Airbus, last week, by Iranian Revolutionary Guards. And as a consequence, Roskam has been voluntarily admitted into the Federal witness protection program.

A spokesman however, would reveal that Peter Roskam has a new identity -- henceforth his legal name will be Randall Mark Hultgren. And that Roskam is holding his townhall meeting on April 18, from 7 to 8:30pm, at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.

Your LakeCountyEye will keep you apprised when further developments warrant.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

All Over the Map

Operatives of a certain age will recall when GOTV meant: go to your vehicle, drive to your poll, and vote for your man. Then drive to your poll in the next neighborhood, and vote for your man. Then drive to your poll in the next town, and vote for your man. And then, etc. etc.

Well, haha, you can throw away that gas-card. Thanks to the miracle of local government consolidation, serial voting is as easy in Illinois as one-stop-shopping. For example, you can vote in all of these municipalities ...
  • Oakbrook Terrace
  • Mount Prospect
  • Burlington
  • Streamwood
  • Lake Barrington
  • Hampshire
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Bartlet
... with the convenience of a single ballot!

The Daily Herald has the eye-opening photographic proof:

Editorial: Some things we can do to make local leadership more attractive
Of course some will look at a ballot like that and see nothing but partisan gerrymandering. The Independent Maps coalition issued a strongly-worded statement: "Should the career politicians be drawing the electoral maps, even while there are no candidates on the ballot? Or should Independent Maps be drawing the electoral maps, even while there are no candidates on the ballot? We think the choice is clear."