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 ...

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