Saturday, May 30, 2009

Voted Off the Island Lake?

The village of Island Lake describes itself as A Community of Friendly People, but your LakeCountyEye doesn't think the city hall there ever got the memo -- there is a political fault line dividing the Island Lake government. Resulting in what seems to be misconduct on the part of its elected officials.

The outcome of the April 2009 election found Island Lake's village board split down the middle. In one corner were John Ponio, Laurie Rabattini and Don Saville. In the other corner were Connie Mascillino, Donna O'Malley and Rich Garling. The Mayor, Debbie Herrmann, stood as the tie breaker.

The uneasy equilibrium broke when Garling resigned.

As the Northwest Herald reported last week, Herrmann, in her position as mayor, has the authority to name a replacement trustee. Mascillino, O'Malley and Herrmann want former trustee Don Verciglio. (Verciglio missed re-election in April by a few votes.) Herrmann intended to exercise this authority during a scheduled May 28 meeting.

Apparently Ponio, Rabattini and Saville caught wind of this -- and skipped the May 28 meeting. Lacking a quorum, Herrmann was unable to legally convene the meeting. As things stand, Island Lake is currently short a trustee.

According to the Daily Herald, Ponio, Rabattini and Saville denied that they had boycotted the meeting by pre-arrangement. Rabattini said she has the stomach flu. Ponio said he was out of town. Saville was not returning calls.

If you heard something sounding like a seismic seiche surging over Island Lake, that was really the sound of your LakeCountyEye's shit detector exploding.

Ponio, Rabattini and Saville seem to have agreed in secret and in advance to boycott their May 28 meeting. Isn't a conspiracy of that nature a violation of the Open Meetings Act? And aren't willful violations of the Open Meetings Act by elected officials prosecutable offenses?

Time for the organization of Lake County Democrats to wake-up!!!!

 Contrary to what one might think, Lake County's western border is not Route 45 or even Route 83.   If you pull out a map, you will note that Lake County's western border is really Route 12.  So what are the Lake County Democrats doing to cultivate the democrats and independents west of Route 83?  Why does the organization of “Lake County Dems” relinquish responsibility to the the 8th District Democrats and Independents?  Merely having a chair seat for this the 8th Dems in the Lake County Democrats inter-sanctums is not fair representation of the county's democrats and the  independents!

   The state reps, senate and county board seats are filled by Republicans in Western Lake County. Yet there has been a progressive population explosion out here.  The old Republican  demographics of western Lake County are shrinking as noted by the election results from this past November.  Even the views and voting records of the State Representatives and County Board are really centrist or slightly left in thinking.  In the view of this author, these representative are merely Republicans in Name Only (RINO).  

  So wake up Lake County Dems and look past Route 83!  There is an untapped bastion of blue in Western Lake County.  Stop solely relying on other organizations to cultivate that blue and get involved!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dan Duffy Defends our Constitution?

A bill sponsored by Senator Link, that would have put speed cameras around schools and hospitals, went down in a crushing defeat today. I guess Senators have decided that protecting seniors and kids is not a very high priority.

What's raising our curiosity, though, are remarks made by newbie Senator Dan Duffy that speeding cameras and red light cameras are unconstitutional. Let me get this straight: the right to break the law is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution? Sorry, I've never seen that clause.

Inquiring minds would like Dan Duffy to explain. And if the cameras are unconstitutional, why hasn't the senator challenged them in court? Or is he just "courting" votes?

Friday, May 15, 2009


Lake County Clerk Willard Helander is providing an online survey to the public on proposed legislation to change the 2010 Primary Election to a later date, with April, May, June and August as options.

The survey can be accessed through the County Clerk's website at Survey - 2010 Primary Election by clicking on "Survey - 2010 Primary Election" in the Quick Links. The survey is less than 10 questions in length and is anonymous.

This author believes we should not change the local primary dates further than March. Local candidates are not getting campaign financing from national PACs and need the time from February to November to campaign.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Skinny on Schmidt

The latest skinny, reported by the Daily Herald the NewsSun and the Pioneer Press, is that Lake County Chair Suzi Schmidt is running for Michael Bond's open Senate District 31 seat. According to the NewsSun Schmidt said
I've been mulling this over for a long time, probably for the last four months. I always have problems with the state (government), and I thought I'd just get my name out there.
Your LakeCountyEye hazards to guess that Schmidt would have been still mulling four months hence, had not Bond announced his plans to run for the 10th Congressional District.

Not so, reports the Pioneer Press:
Schmidt said Bond's decision to run for Congress was not a factor in her decision to seek the state senate seat. "Whether he was running or not I was going to run. That didn't have any influence on my decision at all," she said.
Readers are encouraged to make up their own joke regarding the LakeCountyEye's schmidt detector here.

Admittedly your LakeCountyEye is at a disadvantage when it comes to reporting any skinny on Suzi Schmidt, at least when it comes to handicapping her campaign prospects. Schmidt represents County Board District 3, and is not up for re-election until 2012. Which means Schmidt takes a minimal electoral risk running for anything in 2010. County Board 3 is fully contained in and at the western portion of Senate 31. It is a compact district of about 20,000 registered voters -- about 1/7 of Senate 31's total.

The Herald also reports that Schmidt has the backing of Lake County GOP Chair and Lake Villa Township Supervisor, Dan Venturi. This is surprising because your LakeCountyEye expected Venturi to run for Bond's seat. The rumor rumbling through northwest Lake County had been that JoAnn Osmond was planning to retire from her Representative District 61 seat before her term expired. Venturi would be appointed to sit out the remainder of her term. And Venturi would run for Senate 31 in 2010 -- using the Rep seat as way to ensure the pole position against his primary competitors.

But according to the Herald,
Venturi doubts Schmidt will have any serious opposition in the 2010 GOP primary.
OK but let's not forget Senate 31 will be an open seat. And only 1000 signatures are needed to be on the GOP ballot. So whether or not deals have been struck to see that Schmidt rolls to an easy primary win, your LakeCountyEye predicts there will be a crowded field of primary candidates for Senate 31.

On both sides.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Coming Soon to Illinois, the "Incumbent Protection Act"

Our reps in Springfield represent a single constituency: the constituency of getting themselves re-elected. If there was any doubt of this, they are poised to pass an incumbent protection act -- HB0723 -- which will make it harder than it already is for you or me to get our names on a ballot.

Normally a candidate gets on the ballot by running in a primary. When there is no candidate, an established party can use their caucus power to place someone on the ballot after the primary. But under the proposed legislation, a candidate in these circumstances will also be required to gather petition signatures. And not the normal number of signatures, but a prohibitive 5% to 8% of registered voters. Combine this with a shortened primary season, and the effect will be to effectively bar opposition candidates from seeing their names on the ballots, unless they run in the primary.

The true goal of the bill is to keep so-called 3rd Party candidates -- specifically the Greens and Libertarians -- off the ballot. This is shown by the fact that HB0723 has the support of both the Republican and Democratic Parties. All of our Lake County and other local Representatives voted for the bill -- with the exception of Beth Coulson and Paul Froehlich. The Bill already passed in the House.

A vote in the IL Senate is coming up. If you believe that democracy means having a choice in the voting booth, then your LakeCountyEye encourages you to contact your Senator and urge him or her to vote against HB0723. The Illinois Green Party has contact information on their website. And even if he is not your Senator, your LakeCountyEye urges you to contact Senator Terry Link and express your opposition. Link is a primary sponsor of the bill.
UPDATE 05/11/2009 5:00 pm
Kudos to State Senator Terry Link for amending the bill. Link's amendment lowers the requirement to the normal number of signatures required of a party candidate -- 0.5% of registered voters. But according to the Ballot Access News
The petitions would need to be circulated between mid-February and mid-April, not good months for petitioning in states with severe winters.
And provides an abbreviated two month window to meet the requirements. Still, the amendment delays passage of the bill. Your LakeCountyEye hopes a delay that proves be indefinite.