Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pardon Me!

The new year 2009 is fast approaching. That means two things to watch out for:
  1. Federal indictments.
  2. Lame end-of-year-roundup blog posts.
Your LakeCountyEye is no exception to this tradition and takes its lede from a Dec 20 news item. Our Governor, bleepin' Rod Blagojevich, issued 22 pardons on that day.

"While facing his own legal cloud, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich decided to pardon 22 other people. The Democratic governor rarely acted on pardon applications during his six years in office. The backlog of requests at one point topped 1,600. But Blagojevich has acted more often in recent months. His office says he issued 22 pardons Friday, the same day Blagojevich vowed to fight the federal corruption charges he faces."

We won't speculate on the motives behind our Gov's sudden gesture of beneficence. But we will say if the Governor is in a pardoning mood, then keep them coming! Here's a list of our recommendations for Lake County:
  1. Terry Link, State Senator & Lake County Democratic Party Chair
    A pardon for each deceased person on Link's 2008 nomination petition.

  2. Pete Couvall, former Democratic Party Vice-Chair
    The same pardon granted to Link plus an up-to-date 2009 phone book.

  3. Bill Gentes, former State Senate candidate
    A pardon for "misrepresenting" an easily checked fact. Which the Daily Herald proceeded to do.

  4. Dan Seals, Congressional Candidate
    A pardon for flooding the street with below-cost gasoline.

  5. Robert Sabonjian, Lake County Board Commissioner
    A pardon for making crank calls.

  6. Tom Adams, former Green Oaks Mayor
    A pardon? LOL

  7. Scott Gifford, Deer Park President
    A pardon for hiring R&W Clark to renovate the Vehe Barn, and failing to Google their bonding company. (Just Google Individual Surety Ltd. to find out what we mean.) Good luck, Scott, on recovering any of that $972,924!

  8. Sally Coffelt, Lake County Recorder of Deeds
    A pardon for each relative drawing a County paycheck.

  9. Melissa Bean, Congresswoman
    A pardon for living in Mark Kirk's district.

  10. Ed Sullivan Jr, State Representative
    A pardon for all incidents where too much alcohol was consumed by at least one participant. Bonus: pardon jurisdiction to include Sangamon County.

  11. Willard Helander, Lake County Clerk
    A pardon for each moving violation.

  12. William Cellini, Springfield Power Broker
    A pardon for whatever it was he did. Now about that casino in Waukegan ...

  13. George Bridges, Lake County Judge
    (Despite losing his judicial election, Judge Bridges immediately got reappointed to the bench.) A pardon for ignoring the wishes of the people.

  14. Mark Curran, Lake County Sheriff
    The Sheriff is pardoned ... that is until he switches to the Bull Moose Party.

  15. Bob Wargaski, Island Lake Agribusinessman
    A pardon for living high off the hog.

  16. Lucy Prouty, Ela Township Supervisor
    A pardon for the Rte 22 chainsaw massacre. Who wanted those 112 old trees anyways?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Avon Township Slate files to run

Well election season is in full stride it seems, with announcements flying fast and furious. This party seems quite well organized, it remains to be seen how successful they will be because the incumbents are well entrenched and very old school, and if I am not mistaken very republican. They even had the guts to vote themselves pay raises recently. This race ought to be close.
FROM The WAUKEGAN NEWS SUN-- A full slate of candidates has been announced for the April 7 Avon Township election.

Sam Yingling, candidate for Avon Township supervisor, will lead the Avon Forward Party.

"I am excited to be working with a group that has such diversity in its professional background," Yingling said. "Our candidates are committed to restoring fiscal accountability to the taxpayers, reversing the pay raises for elected officials that the current administration approved, reigning in the out-of-control township spending, as well as making the property tax assessment process 100 percent transparent."

Yingling's running mates are Lisa Rusch, township clerk; Bryce Carus, assessor; Tom Brust, highway commissioner; and Sherry Ridge, Chris Ditton, Marc Feldstein and Randy Evangelides, trustee candidates.

For information, go to or call (847) 543-8396.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Macgillis files to run for Round Lake Mayor

The Waukegan News Sun has this announcement today about a former Mayors of Round Lake's son running for Mayor. The current Mayor is Bill Gentes who lost a nasty state senate race to Dan Duffy last November. Round Lake politics is known for Gentes fighting with the old guard of Round Lake with his firing of the old Police Chief, and throwing some light on the shady dealing of the past.

What is it with family members running for office in this state?

NOTE: I tried to find pictures of anyone in this newly formed group, but was unable to find much that did not include the current Mayor which seemed inappropriate, send a pic here if you read this.

ROUND LAKE -- Dan MacGills, the son of a former mayor, has announced he will seek to unseat incumbent Bill Gentes in the April 7 election.

"People have had enough of the present administration under our current mayor," said MacGillis, who will lead a slate of candidates in the newly formed Community Connection Party.

MacGillis, a 50-year Round Lake resident, is a member of a pioneer Round Lake family and previous owner and director of the MacGillis Funeral Home. His father, Douglas MacGillis, was elected mayor of Round Lake in 1961.

"My father's vision was to see the population of Round Lake grow along with business opportunities," he said. "We now have enough roof tops -- growing Round Lake as an economy is next."

Besides MacGillis, other slate candidates include Nancy Piscitello for village clerk, and trustee hopefuls Don Newby, Laura Frye and Susan Triphahn.

Newby is an incumbent and has a long record of community involvement; Frye is an attorney who resides in the Parkview area; Susan Triphahn is the current president of the Lakewood Grove Homeowners Association; Piscitello is a 10-year resident living in Bright Meadows.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Fact Check

If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts.

Albert Einstein said that, so it must be true.

John Patterson, who writes the political blog for the Daily Herald, demonstrates how a theory need not be inconvenienced by something like the facts. Patterson has a theory about our Governor, bleepin' Rod Blagojevich. Patterson says Blagojevich "never ever missed an opportunity to use an official state action to his benefit or advancement."

A pretty good theory. Except that Patterson himself points out that Blagojevich missed just such an opporunity during his Dec 19 Friday press conference. On that same day, Blagojevich pardoned someone who was unjustly imprisoned for 20 years.

"But imagine the effect if Blagojevich has used his national spotlight on Friday to announce the pardon" writes Patterson. This would send a strong message to the House Impeachment Committee. "A message to those who’d rush to judgment before his case has even gone to a preliminary hearing."

In other words -- and as Patterson ably demonstrates -- if the theory isn't illustrated by the facts, then make up some facts to illustrate the theory.

Now Mark Curran, Lake County Sheriff, also has a theory.

Curran, who was elected as a Democrat, recently switched to the Republican Party: "I am changing parties as a matter of conscience." Curran explained why to WBBM reporter, John Cody. He thinks the Democratic Party is the party of corruption.

Another pretty good theory, all things considered. That is, until Cody brought up ex-Governor George Ryan. Ryan is sitting in a federal prison, convicted on charges of corruption. Also Ryan is a Republican.

If Curran was phased by this inconvenient fact, he wasn't letting on. "That just shows Ryan was acting like a machine Democrat", explained Curran.

In Sheriff Curran's universe, apparently, if someone is corrupt, they must be acting like a Democrat.

Now, Einstein showed that we live in a very strange universe indeed. But just the thought of Albert Einstein somehow ever crossing paths with Sheriff Curran, makes my head explode.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Special Election Spectacle

Willard Helander: Against a special election before she was for it.Everyone seems to have an opinion about whether Illinois needs a special election to fill Barack Obama's Senate seat. Willard Helander, Lake County Clerk, is no exception. Just last week Willard was loudly indicating that a special election is a bad idea. She didn't like the cost: "Almost a million dollars for bad behavior" Ms Helander told the News-Sun, "the big loser in all of this would be the taxpayers.",5_1_WA11_ELECT_S1.article

An understandable reaction, considering Ms Helander is our County Clerk. Given a special election, her office would be required to conduct both county-wide primary and general elections -- and on very short notice. Everyone knows how much our government bureaucrats look forward to getting extra work!

Well, bureaucrats perhaps with the exception of Willard Helander. Despite all said prior and to the contrary, Ms Helander is now telling the News-Sun that a special election is a marvelous idea: "the fairest and the best solution". To all the naysayers, Willard is reassuring ... "It's not terribly complicated. It's time for fairness, trust and fiscal responsibility."

Yes but what about that million bucks a special election will cost? "Helander believes the cost of printing federal ballots in Lake County would be under $2,000.",5_1_WA22_WILLARD_S1.article

Willard Helander, an elected Republican office-holder, may have the well-deserved reputation of being the Katherine Harris of Lake County. But her one-eighty turnaround, today, regarding a special election is so stunning that I got whiplash from just watching.

Remember when Jane Byrne was Mayor of Chicago? And how she would behave erratically from time to time, and everyone would ask if it was the Good-Jane or the Bad-Jane who was running the city on any given day. Does this mean there could be a Good-Willard and a Bad-Willard running our County Clerk's office?

OK, these are the holidays and we ought to be charitable. The News-Sun says that Republicans statewide have ramped up a campaign calling for the special election. Likely what happened was the Illinois or Lake County Republican bosses took notice that Willard Helander was not toeing the party line on the special election. And Willard was taken to the woodshed.

My only remaining question is what methods of persuasion did they use on our County Clerk?

The picture is of Willard Helander Lake County Clerk

5000 Words on the Housing Mess from the NY Times

There was an excellent article on the Bush administration's ignoring many of the warning signs of the housing collapse in this weekends New York Times. It's highly recommended reading to get a sense of what happened. I should also note that the White House has called out the Times for poor reporting on this, however having read the article I would believe the Times over the White House. Many of the facts that they quote in the articles are clearly substantiated elsewhere and not solely from dissenters with an axe to grind.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The price we continue to pay

Driving home before the BIG storm hits I hear on the radio that a barrel of oil is going for around $26.00. As I hear this announcement some moron in an SUK, oops, SUV, races around me. When gasoline was $4 per gallon these guys were getting in the way going real slow. Price drops and they're back to being a menace on the road. And none of them will ever wonder why the price of oil jumps up and down like a yoyo. The oil companies, along with the filthy rich who played games trading our mortgages using worthless paper, are part of the reason why we're heading to a deep recession, why it is that many are losing their jobs, why it is that many of us are too scared to spend anything for fear we won't have a job soon. They grew fat and happy and we just keep on paying. Will we ever learn that we cannot trade short term happiness for long term security? Probably not.

But if don't we will continue to live by the golden rule...those who have the gold make the rules.

And yet the means by which to change it all is right at our finger tips. Bringing regulation back to the banking and securities industries will keep them in line. They grew really rich when they knew the rules by which they had to live. Taking away those rules has led us right back to where we were before the great depression. The tech bubble bursting should have shown us that these boys cannot play well without rules.

Next, invest in companies that are researching and developing alternative fuels. It will free us from the tyranny of the oil companies. I have always found it rather puzzling that if the price of a gallon of milk rises $0.10 we scream, but gasoline can go up 100% and we just try to live with it. Well, we see how far that got us.

This is going to be an ongoing conversation, so more later.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lake County board member latest to flee Democrats

Latest defection from the Lake County Democrats is County Board member Bob Sabonjian son of the former Democratic Mayor of Waukegan. The most interesting part of the article below is his quote that he left the Democratic party because and this is the quote "Since the election, however, Sabonjian has become dissatisfied with partisan politics, particularly when it came to leadership posts and committee assignments." The odd thing is that the Republicans were the ones who were the ones handing out those assignments not the Democrats.
From the Daily Herald-- Just a month after the presidential election of Barack Obama put Illinois Democrats on top of the political world, the party is taking hit after hit after hit.

First came the arrest of Gov. Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges. Then came the defection of Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran to the Republican Party.

The latest shot was fired in Waukegan, where veteran Lake County Board member Bob Sabonjian on Tuesday confirmed he has left the party and will serve the rest of his term as an independent.

Sabonjian said he was driven to defect by growing political partisanship on the board, which doubles as the county's forest preserve district board, and infighting within the local Democratic organization.

"This is something I'm doing because this is something my conscience is telling me to do," said Sabonjian, 53, who last month was re-elected to a four-year term.

Democratic board member Angelo Kyle, one of the panel's senior members, hopes to persuade Sabonjian to reconsider.

"I certainly want him to carry out the balance of his term under the banner of the party (with which) he was elected," said Kyle, also of Waukegan.

Sabonjian's victory in November - and four upset wins by Democratic newcomers - helped close the Republican majority on the county board to 13-10.

Since the election, however, Sabonjian has become dissatisfied with partisan politics, particularly when it came to leadership posts and committee assignments.

He feels Democrats deliberately were kept from top posts. County Board Chairwoman Suzi Schmidt, a Lake Villa Republican who assigned members to committees and chose leaders, rejected the accusation.

Sabonjian's Democratic roots run deep. He is the son of the late Democratic Waukegan Mayor Robert Sabonjian, who led the city in the 1980s.

The younger Sabonjian, a county board member since 1999, had been considering running for mayor in 2009 but recently backed off that bid, saying infighting in the local party soured him on the idea.

"These guys can play pretty ugly," Sabonjian said. "And I don't want to submit my wife or (myself) to that ugliness."

On a separate note, Bob should smile during his official portrait more often, what a depressing picture.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Interesting speculation here

This is from the Wall Street Journal (with a hat-tip to CapitolFax) about the timing of the arrest of Blago.

Lake County Sheriff Changes Sides

Lost in the Blago mess is some major local news. Sheriff Mark Curran who ran as a Democrat two years ago and won, is switching parties to become a Republican. Curran defeated long time Republican Sheriff Gary Del Re who was tainted by all sorts of scandals during his terms in office and Curran ran an effective campaign to oust him.

Heres what I would speculate happened. Its hard to beat an incumbent, and its even harder to beat him in a primary. So republicans who were unhappy with Del Re encouraged Curran to run as a Democrat, so durring a general election you would have the Dem turnout coupled with the Republican's disenchanted equaling a Curran victory, which is what happened. What suprises me is the switch took two years to take place.

The only reason I can see for the switch is that Republican States Attorney Mike Waller needed Curran to undermine his Democratic opponent in the 08 general Mike Jacobs, which Curran did by endorsing Waller and denouncing Jacobs while doing so, effectively torpedoing Jacobs in the election. I would then predict that when Waller steps down, Curran, a lawyer, will run for States Attorney. You heard it here first!

Article in Daily Herald is here.

Article in News Sun is here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Handy scorecard format of the Blago charges.

The Washington Post has a great graphic breaking it all down here!

Friday Edition... More on our Governor, plus roads.

Our Friday feature selection for your reading enjoyment has some Blago fun and games for you, plus some other stuff.

This article in Salon entitled Glengarry Rod Blagojevich, had me laughing for nearly 15 minutes. I think it might be one of the best Rod parodies I have read this week, although upon reflection this uses actual dialog from the indictment, so it may be true and therefore I should feel sick about this.

The Daily Herald editorial board opines about a potential Special Election.

The News Sun reports from the future about Illinois and where we are headed.

The Tribune editorial board says, It's time to remove him. Of course he wanted to remove them so this might be tit for tat!

If this man say's he is troubled by your behavior as an elected official you have some serious issues.

Road improvements like the 120 bypass took a big step forward this week according to these articles here and here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Avon Township is another Lake County Township that is Fiscally Irresponsible.

I had an opportunity to attend the monthly board meeting for Avon Township on 12/9/2008. The meeting also included a Levy Hearing for 2009. Surprisingly, both meetings were conducted at 2:45 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. respectively. When questioned why board meeting were conducted at 3:00, the official party-line given to those attending is that in the winter months, the board moves the meetings to the afternoons to encourage the elderly to show up because of the potential of inclement weather in the evenings. Fair enough, but when I looked at the Avon Township Website, it reflects that afternoon meeting are held six months a year. I know we have tough winters here, but six months worth! In my view, afternoon meetings are a deterrent from constituents showing up.

As noted above, there was a Public Hearing for a Levy increase for Avon Township. The Avon Township Board is asking for an 8.9% Levy increase. They told those attending the board meeting the Levy increase would come from “new construction” and would not increase the property taxes of those currently living in the township. In 2008, Avon Township asked a 7.9% increase and received a 7.4% increase.

During the Monthly Board meeting, the board was asked by an individual sitting in the audience if they had voted themselves a pay-raise for 2009. The answer was yes and no further questions were asked. Trustee Tim Powell got on his soapbox, and in a condescending manner, began to pontificate on how responsible the board was in executing their fiduciary responsibilities. Well if you weren’t a well informed constituent, you might buy Powell’s line of bull and think that our tax-dollars are thoughtfully and frugally spent by Avon Township.

Here are some Avon Township tidbits you might want to chew on:

Pay-raises for 2009
  • The Assessor is getting a whopping 15% pay increase
  • The Trustee and Clerks are getting a 3% pay raise
  • The Supervisor is getting a 4% pay raise

Under the Freedom of Information Act, anyone can ask for a copy of the expenditures our elected officials execute in their day to day duties. I was quite surprised given that Trustee Powell made it a point to say that Avon Township is a responsible steward of the tax-payers to find some unusual expenditure for 2008. How about $161.25 for a hammer on 7/16/2008 or $429.79 for a ladder on 6/9/2008? Every month, multiple cell phone bills in excess of hundreds of dollar are spent by the township. Why isn’t there a single plan? Looking at the amounts spent on cell phones, are we being charged for non-official calls? Is there a $600 toilet seat hiding somewhere in the expenditures?

I challenge Trustee Powell to debate his comment about being good stewards of the Avon Township Tax-Payers. I think not!


Rod, government is not for sale to the highest bidder. Do the State and it's citizens a favor...RESIGN NOW!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reformer Governor Rod Blagojevich Arrested!

As I read the indictment and watched the press conference I was struck by the absolute brazenness let alone craziness of his behavior, as the feds closed in on him, he accelerated his actions, rather then stopping like a normal person would. In the last 5 weeks he believed that he could still clean his reputation up and run for President of the United States in 2016.

From the page 74 of the indictment:
In addition, in the course of the conversations over the last month, ROD BLAGOJEVICH has spent significant time weighing the option of appointing himself to the open Senate seat, and has expressed a variety of reasons for doing so, including frustration at being “stuck” as governor, a belief that he will be able to obtain greater resources if he is indicted as a sitting Senator as opposed to a sitting governor, and a desire to remake his image in consideration of a possible run for President in 2016, avoid impeachment by the Illinois legislature, make corporate contacts that would be of value to him after leaving public office, facilitate his wife’s employment as a lobbyist, and assist in generating speaking fees should he decide to leave public office.
The bolded text is one of the most bizarre statements in this entire process. Despite all of this going on and his name being dragged through the mud for nearly 2 years he believed he would not only be made whole public relations wise in eight years, but whole to the extent that he could run for President of the United States.

I truly believe he is delusional, and the only way he might get off is to plead insanity, and based on the above I think he has a case!

Breaking News from the Chicago Tribune (Updated)

Source: Feds take Gov. Blagojevich into custody

A source said today that Gov. Rod Blagojevich was taken into federal custody at his North Side home this morning. The U.S. attorney's office would not confirm the information.

A Blagojevich spokesman said he was unaware of the development. "Haven't heard anything -- you are first to call," Lucio Guerrero said in an e-mail.

The stunning, early morning visit by authorities to the governor's North Side home came amid revelations that federal investigators had recorded the governor with the cooperation of a longtime confidant and had begun to focus on the possibility that the process of choosing a Senate successor to President-elect Barack Obama could be tainted by pay-to-play politics.

Blagojevich was taken into custody hours after the Tribune reported that the investigation into allegations of pay-to-play politics within his administration had been expanded to include his pending choice of a Senate replacement for Obama. The Democratic governor has said he expects to make a decision on the state's next senator in weeks.

Sources told the Tribune that investigators intensified their investigation into Blagojevich amid concerns that the process of choosing a new senator could be tainted. The actions by federal authorities came a day before Blagojevich's 52nd birthday.

The Tribune previously disclosed that federal investigators had recordings of Blagojevich. Those recordings were aided by the cooperation of longtime Blagojevich confidant and former congressional chief of staff John Wyma.

On Monday, Blagojevich said he has done nothing wrong in his stewardship of the state and challenged critics to record him because his discussions were "always lawful."

UPDATED-- Here is a copy of the 78 page indictment. PDF file.

Here is a Press Release from United States Attorney Peter Fitzgerald's office. PDF file.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Great Lakes Compact takes effect today

The Great Lakes Water Compact takes effect today. It means that no one will be able to take huge amounts of water out of the Great Lakes, even one drop at a time, without showing they are replacing it. If you live outside of the drainage basin for the Great Lakes you best take care of your aquifers because you will not be allowed to use the Great Lakes as a water source.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

More on Township pay raises

Back in October Wauconda Township officials gave themselves a nice pay raise...

"The Wauconda Township Board Wednesday night approved pay raises across the board for nearly all elected officials of more than 12 percent after several residents spoke up against an initial proposal for more than 25 percent salary increases during a four-year term of office."

Many of these Boards know that hardly anyone pays attention to what they're doing. Many will claim that they don't want Chicago style politics in our communities. The difference between Chicago and here is that Chicago has more TV stations, radion stations and newspapers than we have. The lack of oversite by the press makes it easy to hide what you're doing. So one should not act so surprised when a long time Mayor or Clerk is brought up on charges. Their public persona is far different from their private one.

Wauconda Twp. OKs hefty raises for some officials

Infrastructure improvements

As President elect Obama is pushing hard on using infrastructure improvements to boost the economy. Many of us campaigned to pass a capitol works bill in Springfield so we could take advantage of the millions of dollars in Federal money available to us if we simply provide matching funds. This single event could provide thousand of jobs and help to improve the business environment in Illinois. But for some strange reason the big 3 leaders in Springfield cannot seem to get their collective act together. Now we have the possibility of being able to add more to the list. Hopefully new leadership in the State Senate will allow us to take advantage of what appears to be some much needed help.

The answer to reviving this economy is staring us right in the face and yet the political will to stand up to three men could not be mustered this past year. Many of our Reps and Senators just seem to stand around watching and waiting doing nothing to resolve the problem.

Today's Daily Herald listed a number of projects including expanding Routes 47 & 45. I would add Routes 120, 176 and east-west rail lines to the list. While we're at it let's take a look at the many communities where a new municipal center could be built or new sidewalks or water lines, sewer lines would make life safer and better for all.

One Senator was retiring so he didn't care.

Another Rep just kept saying "We're broke, We're broke" like a broken record offering no solutions except to cut spending (like that would produce jobs). He complained that the Democrats won't let him do anything while also saying that if you took a vote of his colleagues in Springfield he would be in the top 5 in popularity. Well since he thinks he is so popular how come he was only able to pull in $250K to McHenry County this past session while everyone else was bringing in twice that much or better? And that included members of his party with less seniority. He apparently doesn't understand that this is no popularity contest.

Below are the dollars brought in to McHenry County and a link to the story:

From the NWH:

“The following is a tally of the state and federal monies directed back to McHenry County through legislator earmarks and member initiatives since 2003, or since the legislator took office:
$28.8 million U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo, R-16th
$14.1 million U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean, D-8th (took office 2005)
$3.1 million Ill. Rep. Jack Franks, D-Woodstock*
$501,000 Ill. Rep. Mike Tryon, R-Crystal Lake (took office 2004)
$250,000 Ill. Rep. Mark Beaubien, R-Barrington Hills
$0 Ill. Sen. Pam Althoff, R-McHenry
Total: $46.8 million”

Earmarks help many legislators send money to their constituents

More Self-Appointed Pay-Raises

Following Lake Co Board members' self-appointed raises a few months ago, officials of Grant Township of Lake County have assured themselves whopping raises, too. The 3 officials standing to gain the most are:

Walter Kubalanza Tax Assessor (going from $59K -> $70K in '09 - '13)

Kim Kiesgen Highway Commissioner (going from $64K ->$70K in '09, -> $72K in '10, $74K in '11, and $76K in '12)

Kay Starostovic (going from $61,500 -> $70K in '09 - '13)

ONLY STAROSTOVIC VOTED AGAINST THE RAISES and the motion to provide raises beginning next year passed a few weeks ago.

Given the economic down-turn, do these large raises seem appropriate right now? Public officials keep getting more money off the tax payers when everyone knows tax payers throughout Lake County including in Grant are already overburdened with enormous property taxes in a less than stagnate economy.

If you get this far, I too, will be a frequent poster to the "Keeping and Eye on Lake County Illinois. My blogging name is DMAC57. I am a fifty something male whose political alliance has been all over the spectrum in my few decades on earth. As a 30 year Vet, I had a very right/middle view on life until I took the uniform off. Then my political mind woke up and my ideologies shifted to more left/central. We are a country built on diversity and hard work. While I don't believe government should be in our back pockets, I do believe we all need government to assist us in our pursuit of liberty and happiness. I am a staunch believer in the mantra of government for the people by the people.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Grayslake Mayor Race Filling up Fast!

Ron Jarvis a current Grayslake Trustee threw his hat into the mayoral ring yesterday. This article in the Daily Herald has the details. Jarvis feels that outgoing Mayor Tim Perry has not done anything for the village, however Jarvis has been a trustee for 6 years and some of them overlaped Perry's terms in office and could be blamed for the same things, so that does not seem like the best election strategy, but what do I know!

Jarvis joins another Grayslake trustee Rhett Taylor who announced his run for mayor yesterday on the blog!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Grayslake Mayor not running for a Third Term

One of the more well known Mayors in Lake County has decided not to run for a third term. Tim Perry (pictured) of Grayslake announced what had been an open secret for months, that he was not running. As Mayor he is well known for the Fairgrounds move, and of course canceling at the last minute a giant motorcycle "gang" gathering this summer. As Mayor, Perry was very active in county activities and led the way on numerous economic and transportation issues. As a Republican he was always at odds with the Democratic stronghold of Prairie Crossing, where I would imagine a challenger will emerge to Perry's anointed successor. Ultimately I would speculate that more then 2 people will run for the Mayors spot in Grayslake. One name that has been rumored as well is current trustee Jeff Vogel.

Grayslake mayor won't seek third term, backs trustee to fill post

From the Daily Herald-- Grayslake Mayor Timothy Perry says he won't pursue a third term, and supports a village trustee to fill the post.

Perry said Trustee Rhett Taylor has the necessary qualifications to take over as Grayslake's top elected official. Perry said he decided to step aside after Taylor showed a desire to become mayor.

Taylor, 39, has served six years on the village board over two terms, with other stints on the economic development and plan commissions. Taylor released his formal announcement Monday, followed by Perry's statement Tuesday.

"He's a true public servant," Perry said of Taylor.

Taylor said he plans to continue expansion of Grayslake's tax base if elected mayor. He said the village is ready

"We've been moving very much in a positive direction for eight years," Taylor said.

Perry, 49, has been Grayslake's mayor since 2001. The executive at State Bank of the Lakes in Grayslake served as a village trustee from 1996 to 2001.

Village trustee Jeff Werfel said he'd heard some buzz several weeks ago that Taylor was exploring a run as mayor. Werfel said Perry and Taylor are tight, so it was unlikely the men would have run against each other.

"Somebody else will probably pop up and run against (Taylor)," Werfel said.

Werfel made an unsuccessful effort to topple Perry as mayor in 2005. He was re-elected as a village trustee last year.

Taylor, an Abbott Laboratories employee, has lived in the Grayslake area for more than 30 years. He said he understands the residents' desire to keep a small-town feel in Grayslake.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Senator Durbin asks President Bush to give Ryan Clemency

Its a rare case when I agree with the op-ed page of any newspaper, but today's Daily Herald editorial castigating Senator Dick Durbin for asking President Bush for clemency for former Governor George Ryan is just plan foolish. Ryan is a crook and deserves one thing...what he got... which is a prison sentence. I understand the compassion aspect, but is the Senator asking for clemency for every convict who is over 70 and has an ailing spouse, or just the ones who have won some big elections? If the Willis family, the ones who suffered the most from Ryans crimes want him in jail, that's where he should stay!

Durbin wrong to seek Ryan clemency

Daily Herald-- Two weeks ago, Sen. Dick Durbin, Illinois' senior senator, said he will recommend another term for Chicago's federal prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald. And we thought that made a lot of sense.

After all, Fitzgerald's office has aggressively and successfully prosecuted state and city officials for corruption. Didn't matter if they were Republicans or Democrats. Old or young. Corruption is corruption. And in Illinois, it was time somebody stepped up and said enough.

Apparently, though, Durbin is feeling a little sentimental right now about the highest-profile person Fitzgerald's office sent to prison. And Durbin's hoping President Bush will remember he once was considered a "compassionate conservative" when he determines whom he pardons or grants clemency to before he leaves office in January.

"Justice is a sword that should be tempered with compassion," Durbin wrote to Bush in asking that former Gov. George Ryan's 6 1/2-year sentence for racketeering, fraud, lying to investigators and tax charges be commuted to time served (a little more than year).

"This action would not pardon him or remove the record of his conviction, but it would allow him to return to his wife and family for their remaining years," Durbin wrote.

We feel some compassion for former Illinois first lady Lura Lynn Ryan, who is reportedly in ill health. But her husband abused the trust of the people who elected him and he must serve the time a judge felt was appropriate for those crimes.

Fitzgerald's lieutenants are adamant in opposing clemency for Ryan and we agree with their thoughts as reported last week.

"Gov. Ryan was convicted of serious felonies after a six-month trial," a joint statement by his prosecutors said. "The evidence revealed a pattern of corrupt conduct over a period of many years by Ryan... His conduct had adverse tangible consequences to the public safety and welfare of its citizens."

A juror on the case, Kevin Rein, wrote a letter to the Chicago Sun-Times chiding Durbin for thinking about taking this action. He rightly states that Ryan did the damage to himself.

All who oppose clemency also rightly point out that Ryan has never taken responsibility for his actions.

In fact, Ryan said he had a "clear conscience" when entering prison in November 2007.

That's a key point. George Ryan never thought he'd be caught. Never thought he'd be convicted. Never thought he'd go to prison. And now he is playing the sympathy card. And Durbin and Gov. Rod Blagojevich and former Gov. Jim Thompson all have been sucked into the cause. We urge President Bush not to join in the pity party.

George Ryan wants to spend time with his family. We think he should continue to reflect in prison on the fact that a bribery scandal in the secretary of state's office he led resulted in the deaths of the six children of Rev. Scott and Janet Willis.

Our sympathies lie with them.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Welcome to Keeping an Eye on Lake County

I envision this blog becoming a discussion of what good government should be, could be, what it's supposed to be, certainly not what it has become. I have been involved with local politics for many years contributing via many different avenues from elected office to political activism. Besides keeping an eye on Lake County we will also keep an eye on McHenry County, the region and the State with insightful commentary and analysis of current events and governing. We invite comments because it is the sharing of views, even those different from our own, that will help solve the many issues we face today. So, welcome to Keeping an Eye on Lake County.

My name is Adamant and I live in Mchenry County. I like to dwell on possibilities asking the what if questions and then go exploring for possible answers. I'm pretty much center-left on the political spectrum. If it makes sense and it helps the most people then let's do it, but don't break the bank either.

Lake County Board-- Same as it ever was!

After saying that partisanship would not play a part in County Board politics, the republicans on the county board apparently did just that by removing Democrat Angelo Kyle (pictured) from his Vice Chairmanship, leaving Democrats with no leadership positions despite having made substantial gains (4 seats going from 6 to 10) this November.

Two years from now the Republicans might have to eat today's actions if the Democrats gain two more seats and take voting control of the board. High risk strategy!
From the News Sun-- In what could be the first sign of a partisan rift, Democrats expressed disappointment at being shut out of all the top leadership posts on the Lake County Board and Lake County Forest Preserve Board, despite gaining four board seats in the Nov. 4 general election.

During reorganization meetings Monday, the newly seated county board voted 23-0 to re-elect Suzi Schmidt, R-3rd, of Lake Villa, as board chairman, and re-elected Bonnie Thompson Carter, R-5th, of Ingleside as forest preserve president by a 22-1 vote.

However, the selection of the county board's vice chairman and the forest preserve's vice president split along party lines. The county board voted 13-10 to elect David Stolman, R-20th, of Buffalo Grove as vice chairman over Audrey Nixon, D-14th, of North Chicago, and the forest preserve board voted 13-10 to elect Carol Calabresa, R-15th, of Libertyville over Angelo Kyle, D-12th, of Waukegan.

The county board and forest preserve board are comprised of the same members and have the same terms of office, and members elect their leaders following board elections every two years. With Democrats gaining four seats on the County Board, the Republican advantage on the board has been reduced from 17-6 down to 13-10.

Some members of the growing Democratic minority on the County Board expressed anger that Democrats were not included in at least one of the four leadership posts.

"As far as I'm concerned, the era of cooperation is over," said a visibly upset Robert Sabonjian, D-8th, of Waukegan.

Sabonjian said he was particularly disappointed the Republican-controlled board replaced Calabresa with Kyle as vice president of the forest preserve board.

"It's all about retribution and pay back for the election," he said. "I'm really disappointed."

Kyle said he too felt that politics played a role in the outcome.

"I don't think it's ever been this partisan since I've been here," he said. "It's going to be a rough two years if it continues to go this way."

Schmidt said she does not believe partisanship was a major factor in who was chosen for the leadership posts.

Schmidt said she nominated Calabresa for forest preserve vice president because Calabresa had previously served as forest preserve president and had an extensive knowledge of forest preserve issues.

Schmidt said she believes everyone will work together and doesn't foresee a partisan rift.

"I don't see a lot of changes," she said. "We have some great new board members coming on who I'm thrilled about working with."

A total of six new members were sworn in Monday, including five Democrats and one Republican.

The new Democrats who joined the board are Diane Hewitt who knocked off Republican incumbent Randy Whitmore in District 2; Melinda Bush who defeated Republican incumbent Larry Leafblad in District 6; Pat Carey who unseated Republican incumbent Terese Douglass in District 11; and Terry Wilke who defeated Republican incumbent Bob Powers in District 16. Democrat Michelle Feldman, a former Deerfield trustee, also joined the County Board after winning an uncontested race for the seat held by long-time board member Carol Spielman, D-22nd, of Highland Park.

Republican Linda Pedersen was also sworn in after winning a close race against Democrat Peter Grant for an open seat in District 1.

Some of the new Democratic board members said they were hopeful the board could put partisan differences aside in the best interests of the county.

"There will be an adjustment period, but I have no doubt we can work together," said Carey, a former mayor of Grayslake.

Wilke agreed: "There's been a lot of talk about partisanship but my hope is we won't see that in the future."

But Wilke said he hopes the diversity of the board will be reflected when committee assignments are made next week. "I don't think anybody should have a problem with having balance on the board," he said.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Welcome to the Eye on Lake County

This is a collaborative blog, with 5 authors right now. Each of us will be using a screen name to give our insight on whats going on in Lake County. The stories and observations will cover politics ranging from library districts all the way up to those who represent the county in State politics. The current group of 5 bloggers range across the entire spectrum, from solid conservative to liberal. So you will get some unbiased and some bias as well in there blog opinions, but we will be engaged and thats whats important!

Commenting is allowed! You just have to register which is quite simple, and we intend to not censor anything, except profanity, rascism, personal attacks and libel, otherwise go for it!

My name is Bemused and I will posting here periodically, I live in the center of the county and reside in the center of the political spectrum, I get worked up about county and muncipal issues the most and will probaly focus on that here.

So welcome to our blog!