Friday, July 31, 2009

Beyond Pwn3d by Bond

State Senator Michael Bond no doubt has been reading your LakeCountyEye's predictions here and here. What else explains Bond's announcement today to seek re-election to the 31st Senate District? Your LakeCountyEye's magic crystal ball naturally predicted this outcome months ago.

Sharp-eyed readers might remember that the magic crystal ball also predicted -- here and here and here -- that Mark Kirk will seek re-election in the 10th Congressional District. Admittedly Kirk is presently downstate somewhere (Lincoln County?) and pressing the flesh in a bid for the US Senate. This is no cause for alarm, sharp-eyed readers, Congressman Kirk will be back. Sooner or later. And seeking re-election in the 10th. The magic crystal ball is never disrespected.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Illegal Electioneering at the Lake County Fair

The cell phone photo on the left was sent to us yesterday. The photo was taken at the Lake County Republican Party booth at the County Fair. The photo is blurry but the handwritten sign reads ...
This happens to be illegal. Illinois law prohibits electioneering and voter registration in the same place. Illinois Election Code is quite clear about it ...
No deputy registrar shall engage in any electioneering or the promotion of any cause during the performance of his or her duties.
10 ILCS 5/5‑16.2(e)

And these guidelines are from the State Board of Elections:
Political parties having certified civic organization status must NOT conduct voter registration activities at political functions. Voter registration activities must be organized as separate and distinct functions by all organizations. Any type of electioneering or campaigning while conducting voter registration activities is STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
Deputy Registrar Guidelines, Page 4, (emphasis in the original)

In the past, Lake County Clerk Willard Helander has not been shy about enforcing this law. According to a 09/25/2000 News-Sun story, Helander was on hand to bust up a voter registration rally at the Jesus Name Apostolic Church in Waukegan.
Helander said she raised questions about planned registration in the church during the rally because, "You can't electioneer and do voter registration at the same place." Illinois law "prohibits electioneering and registration," she said. "You can't promote candidates when you register people to vote."
Willard Helander specifically objected to the use of Motor Voter forms at the Waukegan rally.
Helander also raised concerns about the use of motor voter registration forms instead of regular state forms by trained registrars. "With the Illinois form, you're registered from that moment," she said. "With the motor voter forms, you aren't registered until I get the form." Helander said her office discourages the use of motor voter forms. "We want deputy registrars to register voters," she said. "You fill out the motor voter form yourself. Sometimes we never get them back. Sometimes you can't read them."
According to our source the two Republican volunteers in the photo were handing out Motor Voter forms.

Where is County Clerk Willard Helander when we need her, to bust up this illegal voter registration operation at the Lake County Republican booth? Take another look at the photo. Do you see the red sign with the letters W I L L? That would be a Willard Helander yard sign. In case you don't know, the purpose of yard signs are to promote candidates.

Willard? ... Willard? ... Willard?
Anyone? ... Anyone?

Sheriff + Aperitif = ?

Lake County's comical Sheriff, Mark Curran, was spotted this week at the Lake County Fair. The conversation, as reported by the News-Sun:
Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran said he hoped everyone enjoyed the "romance of the fair." "I think it's great we're in this location, and it's great there's alcohol," Curran said, cautioning attendees to drink in moderation. He added that he was not concerned about alcohol being served on site. "Every other community fair has it. Every tavern has alcohol. Why should the fair be any different?" Curran said.
The News-Sun neglected to inquire if the County Sheriff's booth was offering free breathalyzer tests.

This concludes day 3 of your LakeCountyEye's week-long non-stop coverage of the Lake County Fair.

That New Ride at the County Fair is Called
Thrown Under the Bus

The following is from Paul Mitchell's website. Mitchell intends to challenge State Rep Sandy Cole in the 2010 Republican Primary. As reported here yesterday, Republican candidate Mitchell, without cause or warning, was uninvited from the Republican Booth at the Lake County Fair.

Mitchell today relays a conversation that took place this morning with Lake County Republican Chair, Dan Venturi:
Update on the County Fair Booth

My friends,

I know that there are other issues than mine demanding your attention, but I thought you would want to hear the latest development.

Just after 7:00 this morning, I received a call from Lake County GOP Chairman Dan Venturi. It was his desire to make clear to me his position, which is that while my efforts as a volunteer working the booth are welcome, my campaign materials are unwelcome. He was very clear in his statement that the party will not be neutral in my effort to mount a primary challenge to Mrs. Cole. Chairman Venturi asserted that incumbents are always afforded this sort of protection. I pointed out to him that four years ago, when Sue Simpson challenged the late Sen. Adeline Geo-Karis, her campaign materials were in the booth; his reply was that he wasn’t chairman then.

To my mind, this is an unacceptable position for the party to take. But I recognize the authority of the County Chairman to take this position.

Still, I regret his decision immensely. By placing the party in the position of standing beside, and even shielding, Rep. Cole, he necessarily places me in the position of being at odds with my own party. I am a lifelong Republican, and I am running as a Republican because I firmly believe that the Republican Party is the best hope for good government in Illinois.

But Sandy Cole does not deserve the protection of the party establishment. She voted with Gov. Rod Blagojevich to spend $15,000,000 of state taxpayer money on unethical, obsolete, embryo-destructive research. In the recent session, she voted with the Democrats to increase state funding of abortions, to repeal all restrictions on abortion including parental notification, and to protect abortionists from malpractice suits when they harm women. Also, given that Sandy Cole’s primary funding sources include the pro-abortion groups Personal PAC, Emily’s List, and Planned Parenthood, I have no doubt that she will vote according to their desires and support state recognition of same-sex relationships as being equal to traditional marriage, whenever that measure makes it to the house floor. Sandy Cole is not, as she is often described, a “social moderate,” she is an extremist on the pro-abortion side. She exhibits contempt for the party platform and for conservatives in general.

Clearly, this is not a fight I can wage alone. I’m going to need help to get the word out, and even in this internet age, that still means money. Sandy Cole has the financial backing of well-funded liberal groups that are extremely hostile to Republican principles. I have none. Except you. Please send a contribution of $25, $50 or $100 to me at: Committee to Elect Paul Mitchell, P.O. Box 153, Grayslake, IL 60073, or contribute on-line at Too, I need volunteers; please sign up to help me pass petitions to get on the ballot. Sandy Cole is not a person who reflects credit on the Republican Party. She must be defeated.

Finally, please help me pass the word about this fight. In Lake County, there is a lone conservative trying unseat a liberal Republican.

Thanks again for your continued support!
Your LakeCountyEye notes that yesterday Mitchell was told that elected officials only -- and not candidates -- were welcome to present their campaign material at the Republican booth. But today Mitchell is told flat-out that his particular campaign literature is not welcome. Why the change? A sharp-eyed LakeCountyEye operative yesterday observed Republican candidate Suzi Schmidt's campaign lit at the booth.

Your LakeCountyEye surmises that after powwowing all day yesterday, Republican honchos found themselves in a nasty pickle. Either ...
(A) Permit all candidate material (including Paul Mitchell's) at the Republican booth.
... or ...
(B) Prohibit any candidate material (including Suzi Schmidt's) at the Republican booth.
Since neither (A) or (B) appears palatable, your LakeCountyEye concludes the honchos settled on a compromise plan ...
(C) Throw Mitchell under the bus.
A win-win for everyone -- well, as long as you're not named Paul Mitchell.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Ride at the County Fair

Republicans feasting on each other: no, it's not a new game or ride at the Lake County Fair. But apparently the big tent does not include Paul Mitchell who is the Republican who is going to run in the primary against Representative Sandy Cole in the 62nd district. Here is what is on Mr Mitchell's website about an incident today, which we reproduce below.

Apparently he was kicked out of the Republican booth today at the county fair. To know who is who, in this email, Bob Powers was the County Board member known for one thing and one thing only -- being Sandy Cole's vote on the County Board. So one can speculate that Bob narc'd out Mitchell to Cole who whined to Venturi, and Mitchell was kicked to the curb.

My guess is that Mitchell, who is probably supported by the Right wing of the Lake Republicans, is going to expose some of the cracks in the Venturi GOP. This is a good start.
Republican candidate banned from Lake County Fair

I’m sorry to be cluttering your inboxes again so soon, but I wanted you hear what happened today in my campaign to unseat the RINO Sandy Cole. Following up yesterday’s message (quoted below) in which I told you that I planned to be at the Lake County Fair, I wanted to tell you about the funny thing that happened to me at the fair:

I was kicked out of the Republican booth.

Traditionally, the Republican booth at the Lake County Fair has been a place where all Republican candidates have been welcome to present their information and make contact with the voters. Even primary challengers to Republican incumbents have historically been welcomed there.

No more.

Two hours after I arrived at the booth this morning, with no warning, after no incident, I was informed by Avon Township Chairman Bob Powers that “[Lake County GOP Chairman] Dan [Venturi] says no candidates, elected officials only.” He handed me my small stack of handbills, the only materials I had placed on the table. I pointed out to him that only 8 days earlier, at last Monday’s meeting of the Lake County GOP central committee, he had himself announced that candidates would be welcome. Mr. Powers told me that he had quit any organizational authority for the booth last Friday, and that it was Mr. Venturi’s project now. I left quietly without making a scene. I attempted to call Chairman Venturi, but was told he was unavailable, and would return my call later. Hours later, he has not called.

What happened in that two hours? Certainly nothing negative I did. Some of that time I spent in the booth, greeting and chatting with the few passers-by that stopped, and some of it I spent wandering the hall, visiting other booths to talk to interested people. I had nothing but cordial conversations with anyone. But during that time, someone called Sandy Cole, and she came personally to bring more campaign materials and displays, and then she called Dan Venturi, to demand that he kick me out of the booth. As I left, I noticed that the “Mark Kirk for U.S. Senate” signs remained prominently displayed.

I had already learned two things about fear in this race: 1.) Sandy Cole is afraid of me. Desperately so. The premise of my campaign is that an underfunded conservative can beat an incumbent liberal in a Republican primary. I believe I can. I think it’s evident that Sandy Cole thinks I can, too. 2.) The Republican establishment in Lake County is afraid of Sandy Cole. The things I have been told by people in the party who want privately to support me but who fear publicly to do so had led me to believe this, but this incident confirms it in my mind.

This is an important incident, and it will lead to important consequences for Sandy Cole and the Lake County GOP.

In the meantime, take note: there is no “big tent” GOP in Lake County. Standing up for conservative Republican principles against entrenched interests will not be tolerated by the party’s current elected leaders. But there is nothing protecting the party’s elected leaders from an influx of conservatives running for precinct committeemen, and then voting them out of office. If you’re reading these words, and live in Illinois, it’s time and past time for conservatives to take back the GOP.

And to the other reform-minded candidates, local or statewide, who might have planned to campaign here, be warned.

In my run for the Republican nomination for state representative in Illinois’ 62nd district, I have met a lot of people, and gained a lot of encouragement. It’s already been a big education for me, and I have been truly humbled at the response I have gotten in my effort to present Republican voters in Lake County with a true conservative alternative to Sandy Cole.

Tomorrow, the campaign enters a new phase.

For much of the rest of this week, I’ll be campaigning at the Lake County Fair; look for me in the Republican booth. Coming up, I’ll be at the Young Republicans picnic on August 8th, I’ll be in the Gurnee Days parade on August 16th, and I’ll be at the RALC picnic on August 23rd. I’ll be getting my name out and making my voice heard in some important venues and to some important audiences.

And I’d like you to be there with me.

If you’d like to come to a picnic, march in a parade, or help me work the fair, please reply to this email! There’s more information about these events available at my campaign website at and I’d very much like to have you there.

Also, we’ll soon begin going door-to-door to collect the thousand signatures we’ll need to secure a place on the primary ballot. This is a very important task, and I’m going to need as much help with it as I can get. If you’d like to help, please reply to this email, or sign up at the campaign website.

In the meantime, please help me spread the word about this campaign. Please forward this email to your own lists, and tell your friends and families about our effort.

Thanks for your support!

- Paul Mitchell

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Q the Eye/07.26.09

Dear LakeCountyEye,

I'm the ex-mayor of a small town. So small, my wife ran the municipal daycare center. Now I've been indicted because I voted a couple times while in office to OK my wife's paycheck. I've heard of being in hot-water, but this is like throwing out the baby with the bathwater! Any suggestions?

Take it Out of My Hide
Dear TOMH,

Your LakeCountyEye salutes the hard work and dedication of our underpaid and underappreciated daycare workers. For every little one under the caring and watchful eye of one of these unsung heroes, there is one less unsupervised little one riding their bike over your LakeCountyEye's front lawn.

So your LakeCountyEye has taken a personal interest in your predicament. The bad news is that had you been reading Q the Eye™/07.18.09 you would never have gotten into the stew you're in. In that tale, a local mayor was caught pilfering health insurance for himself from his municipal employee's plan. Still, the State's Attorney's office (overseen by Michael Waller, a Republican) declined to pursue that case because they found no evidence of criminal intent, only an honest mistake. The moral of that sorry story was if you get caught with your hand in the municipal cookie jar, make sure you're in good standing with the GOP establishment. Lake County Republicans take care of their own.

If you're anything like the hapless ex-mayor in this Daily Herald story, you're doubtless convinced you did nothing illegal. And even if one of those annoying conflict-of-interest laws was trampled on, you acted in good faith. But take it from your LakeCountyEye, the difference between criminal intent and an honest mistake in the eyes of a State's Attorney's office is often a judgment call with lots of latitude for play, knowwhatimean?

Your LakeCountyEye is not about to name names regarding who the GOP establishment is. But Lake County State's Attorney Michael Waller's D2 filings are a good place to start looking. His donor list is a cornucopia of local movers & shakers. Waller has pocketed re-election dollars from local Mayors and Trustees and Township Supervisors and Judges and State Reps, and many, many more GOP heavyweights.

Waller had a tough election in 2008 and only managed to win by less than a percentage point. Your LakeCountyEye is sure all those contributions were greatly needed. And if human nature is what it is, greatly appreciated.

So if you ever decide to run for office again, before you do, you might want to consider throwing a few bucks toward your State's Attorney's re-election PAC. Think of it as insurance money.

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 ...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Drag Race?

The Lake County Journal has a new political cartoon about Mark Kirk's Senate announcement. Kirk looks happy. But Dan Seals looks even happier. Your LakeCountyEye wonders why? LOL

Your LakeCountyEye has methodically studied the cartoon for nuance. (Your LakeCountyEye has no life.) Take a close look, all the elephant-men are wearing suits. But what's Dan Seals in -- a pantsuit? And on the left Mark Kirk is definitely wearing a dress.

What's up with that?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lake County Eye Spots

The fallout from Mark Kirk's decision to run for US Senate has yet to settle. The 10th Congressional District is now a wide open seat. The latest developments ...

• Dan Seals will try again. Is the third time the charm?

• Susan Garrett will not run for the seat. Discretion is the better part of valor?

• Julie Hamos will run for the seat. You heard it here first.

• Jim Kirsch will run for the seat. You heard it here first.

• Internet Powerhouse™ Andy Martin is on the warpath. Oh snap!
Mark Kirk is the 2009 equivalent of that great political fraud (and also a Republican) [Senator]“Tail Gunner Joe” McCarthy.
• The Team America Blog now has a new mission. Will they get a new name?
The bloggers at Blue Lake Special have some funny suggestions:

Top Ten Rejected New Names for the TeamAmerica Blog
(10) Team America First through the Nineteenth
(9) TA: it now stands for Team Alaska
(8) Ellen's Illinois Tenth Congressional District Blog
(7) Falbe's Fables
(6) Now Even Less Bloody Likely I Get to Call Myself the X-Men
(5) Not Mark Kirk's Crudely Disguised Plugola Blog
(4) Team Just-Where-the-Hell-is-Decatur-Anyways-?
(3) Put a Kirk in It!
(1) Blog Cabin Republicans
• Charlie Cook moved his rating for IL-10 from Lean R to Toss Up
Cook Political Report

• Immediately following the Monday announcement Mark Kirk was on right-wing radio, working the base. Nobody's fool is he.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

10th Congressional Mosh Pit

10th District Congressman Mark Kirk neglected to close the door behind him on the way out. It seems that every confirmed, considering, recruited, rumored, and random-bystander candidate for the 10th Congressional District is no longer waiting in the wings. So many in fact, the sudden bump in candidate & campaign worker population may require the 10th be divided into 2 congressional districts ... Ten and Ten-Again.

The tally thus far, according to your LakeCountyEye's unofficial head count:

Mark Kirk (R)
Susan Garrett (D)

Elliot Richardson (D)
Michael Bond (D)
Dan Seals (D)
Patricia Bird (R)

Julie Hamos (D)
Beth Coulson (R)
Ed Sullivan Jr (R)
Ann Maine (R)
Bill Strong (R)
Chris Kennedy (D)
Dick Green (R)
Chris Canning (R)
Terry Link (D)
Michelle Feldman (D)
Jim Kirsch (D)
Alan Keyes (R)

Of course this is by no means a comprehensive roster of rumored candidates. And these are just the known rumoreds. How many unknown rumoreds are lurking? Your LakeCountyEye estimates somewhere between the high 4 and low 5 digits. If you or your candidate were neglected from the list, send name & party affiliation, if known, to

With so many names, who are the winners and who are the losers? Your LakeCountyEye doesn't even know who half of these people are. And probably doesn't want to ruffle the feathers of the rest. So your LakeCountyEye can state without hesitation that our Democracy is the unequivocal winner.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mark Kirk Still Mulling His Options

Ha ha just kidding.

Tenth District Congressman Mark Kirk finally, officially, damn-the-torpedoes-full-speed-aheadly pulled the trigger. Kirk announced today that he is going for electoral gold, the US Senate. The announcement was stage-managed from the front yard of one of Kirk's Northshore manses, somewhere down in the Cook part of the 10th that your LakeCountyEye couldn't find even with the LakeCountyEye SeeingEyeDog.

The exact location of the event was a Kirk-campaign closely guarded secret. So closely guarded, in fact, that had not your LakeCountyEye leaked the address here yesterday, it is doubtful if the press would have ever found the event. (And it would still be an open question if Kirk was running or not, and the headline of this post would not be joke). For that matter, no one would have been in attendance other than a smattering of Kirk supporters & family members. But as observed by the Tribune, members of the public from all walks of life were present:
Kirk and other speakers were buffeted by a group of protesters who said they favored health-care reform. Kirk supporters engaged in a shouting match with some of the protesters, and Kirk said "those are the left-wing guys."
Your LakeCountyEye's own reliable sources report hearing chants of Tastes Great! coming from one side, Less Filling! from the other.

Kirk Hands 10th Congressional District to Dan Seals

This was the headline your LakeCountyEye originally led with, only to be overruled by a pusillanimous editorial board. Kirk obviously was the 800 lb gorilla of the 10th District, and now that he has moved on to greener pastures, the field is wide open. Your LakeCountyEye predicts an influx of candidates rivalling the Gold Rush of 1848. And from all 3 sides of the aisle. It is not inconceivable that there will be more candidates grasping for Kirk's empty seat than there are registered voters to sign nominating petitions. Petition signatures are not a renewable resource, and your LakeCountyEye recommends an early start. 12 am, Aug 4 -- if not sooner.

Of course this all bodes well for Dan Seals. In a crowded field, the candidate with the best name recognition usually wins. Dan Seals has appeared on the ballot 4 times and is the current nom de guerre of 10th District name recognition. And since the 10th gave 60% of its votes to Obama, this is a pretty safe Democratic District and would be Seals's to lose. Of course, had Seals run at least one competent campaign he would be called Congressman Seals today. To Michael Bond and whichever sadsack Republican candidate winds up on the ballot, there is a glimmer of hope.

Kirk Out

To the relief of your LakeCountyEye this is likely the last Kirk story that will be posted here. Your LakeCountyEye fervently hopes to have sifted through our last Google image of Wm Shatner and looks forward to being back on the job making fun of elected grifters of the small-time sort.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mark Kirk to Announce for Senate

News Flash Exclusive:

10th Congressional District Congressman Mark Kirk plans to announce his US Senate candidacy tomorrow.
522 Melrose

Monday July 20
10:30 AM
The bloggers at Blue Lake Special have more details.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Q the Eye/07.18.09

Dear LakeCountyEye,

I'm the long time mayor of a small town. So small, my municipal paycheck barely covers my bar tab. Last year I got sacked from my day-job. My COBRA benefits just ran out, I have a 2 pack-a-day habit, and I don't have any health insurance. I'm dying for some advice!

Need Some Reinsurances
Dear Needsome,

Your LakeCountyEye admires your lifestyle. Among the industrialized nations, Americans have the poorest habits when it comes to living healthy, and as a result most of us tend to be walking-ambulance-rides waiting to happen. Combine that with statistics showing that Americans are among the worst insured and that translates into a sure prescription for a medical calamity.

Still, keep your chins up because Park City Mayor Steve Pannell found himself in a similar pickle but managed to score some free insurance anyways. Pannell simply added himself and his wife to his municipal employee's health plan. The News-Sun has the details:
He admitted to placing himself on the city's employee Blue Cross health insurance plan in 2007 when he became unemployed because of his deteriorating health. He said he was aware of the city's policy to provide health benefits only to those who were full-time employees.
Indeed as Mayor he wasn't eligible to be on the plan, which resulted in the misappropriation of some $19,000. But this shouldn't stop you from following Pannell's lead. After all it was more than two years before anyone in sleepy old Park City noticed the scam.

Now I'm sure you're thinking to yourself ... that's great advice, LakeCountyEye, but isn't that illegal? I understand you also get free medical attention in the County lockup, but that strikes me as an extreme solution to my problem.

Your LakeCountyEye agrees, but forgot to mention that you also need to get in tight with the local Republican Party establishment. Everyone in Lake County knows that Republican office-holders never get prosecuted for anything. And don't take it on your LakeCountyEye's sayso. According to the News-Sun:
an investigation by the Lake County State's Attorney's Office indicated the intent was not criminal.
In other words if you do get caught, all you say is oopsie I didn't really mean to do it!

Now I'm sure you're thinking to yourself ... isn't this the same Republican Party that fought tooth & nail for years against universal health coverage, and is the reason I'm uninsured today?

Again your LakeCountyEye agrees. They don't need no stinkin' socialized medicine because the Republican Party knows how to take care of their own. And if you listen to your LakeCountyEye they will take care of your family as well.

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 ...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Q the Eye/07.16.09

Dear LakeCountyEye,

I just got elected mayor for the first time and already the pesky voters are demanding things like televised village meetings. Do you have any idea how hard it is to stay awake all the way through one of those? Besides, the fewer people who see what goes on at these meetings, the better. Knowwhatimean? I need some media-savvy advice!

My Resolutions Will Not Be Televised
Dear NOTV,

Your LakeCountyEye knows exactly what you mean. You sweet talk some locals into voting for you and all of a sudden they think you owe them the world. Sheesh.

Anyways, take heart and follow the lead of the village government over in Libertyville, where they had the same problem. Their clever solution was to green-light a video surveillance system for their municipal parking garage. The News-Sun has the details:
Trustees voted on Tuesday night to use $50,000 to purchase a video monitoring system that will keep a watchful eye on the village's new Lake Street municipal parking garage that opens early this fall.
This was clever because it flat busted their A/V budget. According to another News-Sun story, a public request to televise Libertyville meetings got quickly deep-sixed because of budget concerns:
Mayor Terry Weppler said a study by the board's Special Projects Committee shows it is too costly to implement the service at this time, particularly when the village is operating on a tight fiscal budget. The concept of improving board communications was a main plank in Weppler's platform when he ran for mayor in April. Cost estimates for carrying out such an effort ran from $10,000 to as high as $100,000, dependent upon whether it would be a staffed for live broadcast or taped for viewing later over a public service channel.
Or as the old saying goes, if you want to shoot some movies you first have to pay the peeper.

One thing to avoid is the mistake they made in Libertyville. The $50,000 surveillance system was approved after they squashed that request for televised meetings. Which was just like an open invitation for residents to now ask embarrassing questions like ...
... where was this magic fifty grand hiding back when we asked you to televise the meetings?
No doubt Mayor Weppler Libertyville's Trustees now have a potential problem on their hands.

Your LakeCountyEye would advise a compromise in this situation. Just promise those pesky voters that you will aim a couple of those outdoor surveillance cameras at the village hall on the nights when you meet. It's not 100% the same thing as televising the meetings, but you at least get pictures of everyone who walks into the building to attend the meeting.

A win-win for everyone!

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 ...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

With Enemies Like These
Who Needs Friends?

Q: What do these 2 blogs share in common?
  1. Team America
  2. Ellen of the 10th
A: This video.

The video was produced by the DSCC -- the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee -- and if this is typical of their work, then don't be surprised if the Democrats not only lose their Senate super-majority, but become the minority party in 2010.

Even before 10th District Congressman Mark Kirk had decided to pretend he has made up his mind to run for the US Senate, this attack video had been making the rounds of the InterWebs. Which illustrates the topsy-turvy state of the Illinois US Senate race. If I were Mark Kirk and I saw this video I'd say, "thank you DSCC" -- and if you have any more like that, keep 'em coming!

Howcome? There are already four declared Republican Senate candidates. These include Eric Wallace, Robert Zadek and Internet Powerhouse® Andy Martin. Also, with Party Chair Andy McKenna and Lisa Madigan out of the game now, your LakeCountyEye wouldn't be surprised to see more chapeaux tossed into the ring.

The point being, if you've been thinking Kirk gets to cakewalk through the Primary, think again.

Those who will bother to go to the polls in dead-of-winter-February and request a Republican ballot are not a representative sample of average voters. They will be social (if not fiscal) conservatives, who take their marching orders from FoxNews, and aren't likely to vote for someone who, like Kirk, voted for a Cap & Trade Energy Bill.

With long odds like these, how does a gun-hating, abortion-loving, gay-loving social liberal like Mark Kirk manage a Primary win? He will need to follow Richard Nixon's dictum:
To win a primary, run to the right.
To win an election, run to the center.
Between now and Feb, expect to see Kirk flogging his right-wing street-cred in an attempt to win over those same ditto-headed-voters. And if you didn't think Cap'n'Trade Kirk had any right-wing street-cred, just watch that DSCC video one more time.

Even the baby-seal-hugging Tenth District Dems piled on, releasing a presser full of facts and figures proving that for the record, Mark Kirk's is ...
... mostly a right-wing Republican voting record that contrasts with Kirk’s mostly moderate rhetoric.
And I'm sure Kirk will be telling his Primary voters down in Peoria & Decatur & Belleville the exact same thing. While flashing for everyone that photo of him man-clutching Dubya.

This DSCC video is exactly the sort of commercial Kirk will need to use to get him over the hump on February 2.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Uncle Claudius Calls Uncle

In our last episode of Andy McKenna Plays Claudius to Mark Kirk's Hamlet, our heroes were locked eyeball to eyeball in a staring-match-to-the-death. Well today mean old Uncle Claudius blinked:
As Party Chairman my goal has been to build Party unity. Mark Kirk and I met last evening as part of an ongoing discussion about the U. S. Senate race. I reassured Mark that if he chooses to be a candidate, I will not oppose him.
Statement from ILGOP Chairman Andy McKenna

Presumably this leaves the US Senate field wide open for Congressman Mark Kirk to take a couple of victory laps and then jump in. Of course your LakeCountyEye has learned (the hard way) that predicting what Mark Kirk is going to do is a fool's errand. Kirk is certainly well positioned now to take his shot at US Senate. But for all your LakeCountyEye knows, Kirk is planning on retiring from politics to open that bed and breakfast in Minneapolis. Stay tuned!

Direct from the Magic Crystal Balls
Even Nate Silver can't resist getting in on the fun:
I'm not sure why Kirk, who also waited months until Lisa Madigan declined enter the race before declaring his interest, is such a delicate little flower, but running for statewide office in Illinois takes elbows and Blagojevich balls, and if he's not fully vested in the race, I wonder if he's going to be as strong a candidate as the Republicans are hoping.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Lake County Eye
Shamelessly Cribbed by Andy Martin

Your LakeCountyEye had an eerie sense of deja-vu when the inbox served up the latest press release from Republican Senate candidate and Internet Powerhouse® Andy Martin. Martin, a short-time Senate candidate and full-time Andy Martin promoter, is no stranger to this blog. Martin recently picked up the coveted LakeCountyEye endorsement for US Senate, largely on the strength of the fact that the Andy Martin jokes have a tendency to write themselves.

Many of you may have read the spot-on Abbot & Costello comment penned by fellow scribbler, DMAC57, and attached to this post from last Wednesday. Well at least one of you did -- Andy -- judging from the headline of Martin's press release:
Who's on first? Illinois' Mark Kirk, Andy McKenna do an Abbott & Costello routine.
Your LakeCountyEye recalls thinking, hello there's an odd coincidence, when taking a first look at the presser.

But wait, there's more. Your LakeCountyEye toiled feverishly far into the wee hours of the evening prior, searching for the perfect metaphor to sum up the Mark Kirk + Andy McKenna pas de deux (look it up) that has all eyes riveted on the Republican Senate contest. The result, a sudden burst of inspiration, was a simple comic strip, Alphonse & Gaston, a old favorite from your LakeCountyEye's youth. The metaphor quickly crystallized into the laser-guided critique of the Kirk/McKenna week-long tete-a-tete (even more Franglais) that was ultimately posted here late yesterday evening.

Well apparently the metaphor was so good, Andy Martin couldn't resist hijacking it for himself:
Andy Martin calls Kirk/McKenna comedy an "Alphonse & Gaston" routine; or is it Abbott and Costello?
Perhaps an inability to copy & paste an actual cartoon image of Alphonse & Gaston forced Martin to embed in his presser the same Wikipedia hyperlink used by your LakeCountyEye. It goes without saying few of the recipients on Martin's e-mail list would be expected to recognize an Alphonse & Gaston reference. Of course Abbott & Costello is a different story.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And your LakeCountyEye admits to being flattered. If you're reading this, Andy (don't pretend you aren't), your LakeCountyEye works cheap. PR, propaganda, jokes, you name it, and for all occasions. When you request our rate-card, mention your LakeCountyEye by name to qualify for the special discount!

Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me

Is 10th District Congressman Mark Kirk really still milking this Hamlet routine of his? Maybe yes. Maybe no. Your LakeCountyEye's magic crystal ball does know that mean old Uncle Claudius in this case happens to be Top Republican Party Boss, Andy McKenna. McKenna is also eyeing Obama's old Senate seat -- the same seat that has already been promised to Kirk. Naturally this doesn't sit well with Kirk. Probably because Kirk and McKenna side-by-side would be indistinguishable to the typical primary voter.
Mark KirkAndy McKenna
... or is it
Andy McKenna & Mark Kirk?
A Kirk/McKenna primary vote gets split down the middle, while the win goes to some far-right fringe candidate like Internet Powerhouse® Andy Martin. (Martin already is claiming credit for chasing Kirk out of the Senate competition.)

Kirk doesn't want a Senate primary because in all likelihood that gets him a Pace-pass to the nearest IDES office. But as things stand, McKenna isn't backing down either. The word on the street is Kirk, McKenna and other party poobahs plan to powwow some more this weekend.

At this point your LakeCountyEye signs off with some lame closer like stay tuned until Monday. But the magic crystal ball clearly indicates that Kirk & McKenna's Alphonse & Gaston routine is already in the cross-hairs of the MSM blogs and risks doing some permanent harm for everyone. Just sayin!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Breaking News:
Mark Kirk Mulls Options

The timeline.
July 10, 2009.
Since our last episode ... 10th District Congressman Mark Kirk has circled around the Illinois Senate race so many times this week that even his spin doctor isn't returning his calls!

1) Kirk Is In
2) Kirk Is Not In
3) Repeat

"Illinois Rep. Mark Kirk (R) will not run for the open seat of Sen. Roland Burris (D) in 2010, a stunning reversal from just 48 hours ago when Kirk signaled to National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) that he would make the race. Kirk's decision, a blow to Senate Republicans' chances in Illinois, came in the wake of Burris' formal retirement this afternoon."

"Update, 4:17 p.m.: Although Kirk has already told several national Republicans today that he will not run for the Senate, there is an ongoing effort now to convince him to re-think that decision, according to several sources close to the discussions."
Kirk Opts Out of Senate Race (Or Maybe He Doesn't)?

Your LakeCountyEye gives up.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mark Kirk to Mission Control:
Beam me out of the 10th

Lisa Madigan's unexpected announcement that she will seek re-election to Illinois Attorney General left a hole the size of the space-time continuum in the Illinois Senate and Gubernatorial races. And Mark Kirk wasted no time jumping in. The IL Senate half of the hole, at least.

Madigan's un-departure and Kirk's departure from their respective incumbent offices are the first salvo in a series of political dominoes that will continue to fall for weeks to come. As it is with political dominoes, one either gets to ride the wave or gets squashed by one of those giant falling dominoes.

Your LakeCountyEye has compiled a list of Winners and Losers:

Dominoes begin to fall - Kirk to run for Senate


Emily Litella
Lisa Madigan
... Separated at Birth?

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Primary Primer

Congressman Mark Kirk (District 10) has infuriated his Republican base by voting last Friday in favor of the Cap & Trade Bill. Kirk may now be vulnerable to a primary challenge from the Right.

Kirk has not faced a challenger in a Republican Primary since 2000. But Melissa Bean has had to face off against other Democrats in two of the last three primaries. Even when Phil Crane held that seat, he regularly had Primary challengers -- and from the Right!

So the possibility that Kirk will have a primary challenger is a real one, and in fact may be overdue. Particularly if you look at the voting demographics of the 10th Congressional District, and the dynamics of primary elections. The 10th is unquestionably one of the more liberal districts in the state. The district's Cook PVI is set at a substantial left-of-center D+6. This is a district that gave Obama 61% to McCain's 38%. Even subtracting out an Obama bounce, the 10th District preferred Kerry over Bush 52% to 47% in 2004, and Gore over Bush 51% to 47% in 2000.

You would think that would give the liberal leaning Kirk an advantage in a primary, but this is actually a disadvantage for a candidate who politically is to the left of his Republican base.

Mark Kirk is the Blanche Dubois of Illinois Republicans, he depends on the kindness of moderates and conservative Democrats to get re-elected every election. However he cannot rely on this voting block in a primary election.

Compared to general elections, primaries typically garner low voter turnout. Since Illinois primaries are designed to be partisan elections, what this means is that non-partisan voters -- so-called moderates -- tend to sit out Illinois primaries. As for those conservative Democrats, they are still Democrats and will be asking for a Democratic ballot to vote for the Democratic candidates they support.

Another factor contributing to low turnout will be that the primary has been moved up from March to February 2. Any voter disinclined to brave the March weather to vote, will be double disinclined to vote in early February.

The voting block that is Kirk's margin of victory cannot be expected to be voting for him in the Primary. Expect anyone who does show up at the polling place to be a party loyalist, a political true-believer. In other words, that same Republican base that Kirk just angered with his "Cap & Tax" vote.

This is looking more and more like a pick-up opportunity for a Republican who can tap into that anger and challenge Kirk for being too liberal. Your LakeCountyEye's magic crystal ball indicates a quick & dirty win for someone willing to sail in under the radar from the Right.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Q the Eye/07.02.09

Dear LakeCountyEye,

Hello it's me again. I took your advice about the proper procedure for transitioning my office over to that awful person who got more votes than me. Well now the State's Attorney's office is calling. The State's Attorney happens to be a dear friend and I don't want to be a nuisance, but he has this young shaver calling & asking embarrassing questions about some of those procedures I was advised to observe. What should I do?

Aint Misbehavin' in Avon
Dear Aint,

Your LakeCountyEye appreciates every loyal reader, and is pleased whenever good advice is recognized and carried out. If your LakeCountyEye recalls correctly, you were advised in a previous Q the Eye here to scrub that incriminating office of yours extra clean, and leave it in a condition where even a Las Vegas crime lab technician would be hard pressed to detect any evidence of your presence.

One enterprising ex-officeholder, according to a recent Daily Herald item, used Active Killdisk to wipe clean the office computers. Your LakeCountyEye recommended a Ford F150 4x4 for the job. While there is no substitute for what a 1/2 ton pickup can do to a hard drive, Killdisk meets DoD 5220.22-M Standards and is an acceptable substitute in an emergency.

But now you have someone from that State's Attorney's office sniffing around? Not to worry. While it's always a plus to have a SA or two in one's back pocket, there is no substitute for plausible deniability.

In your particular situation, what you need is a willing under-aged accomplice, and some feigned ignorance. Tell the nosy SA investigator that you don't know anything about computers and you asked your youthful charge to delete some unused e-mail addresses. If the young charge just happened to use Killdisk for the job, and happened to deep-fry the hard-drive instead -- then well, oopsie!

Enlist someone you can trust, a neighbor's kid, or a relative, or one of your children. Just make sure he or she is young enough to operate a computer but not old enough to be eligible to do hard time. No State's Attorney is going to throw the book at any pimply minor who knows just enough to get on the Internet and download some freeware that can turn a hard-drive into microwave ratatouille.

Problem solved & bon appetit!

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 ...