Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Republicans on the Mount

A Fresh Face in the 8th Congressional District

Your LakeCountyEye received a nice note from the Joe Walsh for Congress Campaign Manager. According to the e-mail ...
Joe Walsh has been looking at the race for months and after a lot of careful consideration is announcing the establishment of an exploratory committee.
Your LakeCountyEye welcomes Mr Walsh and if he decides to run for Congress in the 8th District, wishes him the best of luck.

Walsh has a website that can be visited at ...
Joe's campaign theme may be: Testing the Waters

Your LakeCountyEye has spotted no less than six swimmers currently in the shallows known as the Illinois 8th Congressional District. Nominating petitions are due no later than Nov 2.

A final postscript, Joe Walsh isn't the only Joe Walsh on the political scene. Eagle guitarist, Joe Walsh, ran for US President in 1980. Walsh did not win.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Kirk Appointed by Governor to Fill Vacant Senate Seat

Ha Ha. The vacant Senate seat was Ted Kennedy's. The Governor is Deval Patrick of Massachusetts. And the Kirk is Paul G. Kirk Jr.

With this sudden proliferation of Senatorial-Kirks your LakeCountyEye has a found it necessary to rely on a cheat-sheet. The crib sheet has been reproduced here for your benefit.

Kirk Tracker™ -- Your handy clip & save quick reference guide!

Paul G. Kirk Jr.
Massachusetts Senator

Mark Kirk
Illinois 10th District Congressman
Illinois US Senate Candidate

James T. Kirk
Starfleet Captain

Kirk Kerkorian

Kirk Gibson
Detroit Tigers (1979–1987)
Los Angeles Dodgers (1988–1990)
Kansas City Royals (1991)
Pittsburgh Pirates (1992)
Detroit Tigers (1993–1995)

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Noobs, Part Twoob

Your LakeCountyEye could not help but notice the spate of new arrivals to the Lake County political landscape, and has compiled a (by no means exhaustive) list of political newbies likely to appear on the ballot next February:

• Jonathan Farnick (D) / US Congress 8
• Paul Mitchell (R) / State Rep 62
• Carol Sente (D) / State Rep 59
• Aaron Lawler (R) / State Rep 59 County Board 18
• Collin O'Rourke (G) (D) / County Board 8
• The half dozen upper middle class & middle aged white guys no one's ever heard of (R) / US Congress 10

To this list must be added some honorable mentions who, while technically are not political newbies, your LakeCountyEye would be in remiss to overlook:

• Maria Rodriguez (R) / US Congress 8
• Lisa Stone (D) (R) (?) / [insert your favorite elected office here]

With this many years of political inexperience all crowded into one ballot, the number of campaign trainwrecks may set a new high-water mark. Your LakeCountyEye speculates that after all the dust settles the phrase silly season may need to be redefined after 2010. While this is the obvious boon to any humble political satirist, there's no telling what the rest of the State will be saying about us following the November election. It's hard enough to get any political respect as it is -- way up here in Lake County where one border abuts up against Wisconsin and even worse another abuts McHenry County.

For that reason your LakeCountyEye is prepared to disseminate, gratis, many decades-worth of finely honed political wisdom. Campaign mistakes are as easy as being knocked off the ballot by a hanging chad. To all you Obama wannabees, forewarned is forearmed. As a public service to political newcomers (and oldtimers as well) here are 10 LakeCountyEye campaign DOs and DON'Ts:

1) Do not ask Princess Nudelman to sign your nominating petition.
2) Candidates are permitted to shake hands and kiss babies. Not the other way around.
3) GOTV may be your margin of victory. Tell your voters all voting booths have video poker.
4) Save all that unused parade candy for Halloween!
5) The Bachelor Party is not a registered political party in Illinois.
6) It is impossible to poll voters too often.
7) Go Green: Recycle those stolen yardsigns.
8) Never really, literally or actually throw anyone under the bus.
9) I'll be stuffing the ballot box tonight is not a punchline to an off-color joke.
10) Do not take your campaign advice from an Internet blog.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Political Nooboisie

Your LakeCountyEye takes pride in being able to spot the political trends. The latest seems to be the spate of new arrivals upon the Lake County political landscape. The 2010 election is still more than a year off. And although in the realm of all things political, a year is equivalent to an eternity -- there is less than six weeks remaining before nominating petitions are to be filed. And in the realm of all things political, six weeks are about the time it takes to drive to Waukegan (or Springfield if you're running for State Rep/Senate). Which is not a lot of time at all.

As the shape of the Lake County 2010 ballot slowly comes into focus, it's dawned on both sides that they are slating a roster of sadsack also-rans who couldn't clock a shoebox of fake Rolexes. Naturally with so little time left, party poobahs are scrambling to find reliable talent to fill the holes in their ballots. In some cases of Darwinian electoral unfitness, they are recruiting outright replacement candidates. All of which explains goes a long way toward explaining the aforementioned spate of fresh political faces as of late.

The freshest is probably Carol Sente (D), who will finish Kathy Ryg's term in Rep District 59. Who is Sente? Good question. Good enough to best Buffalo Grove Mayor Elliott Hartstein who also wanted the job. One could argue that Hartstein brings political gravitas to the table. But the thinking downstate may've been that gravitas is a synonym for inertial mass. In other words, a fresh political face arrives with no baggage and unlikely to rock the boat.

This lesson was not lost on County Board Chair Suzi Schmidt when she ran aground trying to replace Bob Sabonjian. It was the youthful Collin O'Rourke (G) (D) that eventually bailed her out. This worked so well another tabula rasa, Aaron Lawler (R), was chosen to replace Pam Newton. In fact Lawler's slate is so blank that Springfield quickly recruited him to run for Ryg's old Rep seat. Which would have kicked the legs out of any Republican hope to retain control of the County Board in 2010. Suffice it to say Lawler opted to run for re-election to County Board 18.

Mark Kirk, nobody's noob, is running for US Senate. And a half dozen upper middle class middle aged white guys no one's ever heard of (R) -- and your LakeCountyEye won't bother enumerating -- want to be the next District 10 Congressman. Which explains why Beth Coulson was persuaded to give up her Rep District 17 seat for a chance to replace Kirk. In the parallel universe of the 8th Congressional District, Long Grove Mayor Maria Rodriguez (R), will run against Melissa Bean. Your LakeCountyEye will not hazard to guess how many upper middle class white guys Rodriguez was recruited to displace.

Some freelance newbies include Paul Mitchell (R), for State Rep 62 and Jonathan Farnick (D), for US Congress 8. The thinking must be: if not now, when? It worked for Obama.

Last but not least is newly minted Buffalo Grove Trustee Lisa Stone (R) (D) (?) who has already mastered the art of working both sides of the aisle. Stone was not only approached by the Democrats but also the Republicans -- to run for Congress 10 and Congress 8 and State Rep 59 and Buffalo Grove Miss Congeniality. None of these deals worked out, apparently. Which probably explains why Elliott Hartstein is gathering his petition signatures for State Rep 59.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Safety Blitz

Frequent commenter State Representative Ed Sullivan Jr & State Senator Dan Duffy are throwing a family health and safety fair.
Saturday, Sept. 19
9am to Noon

Highland Middle School
310 W. Rockland Road
According to the Daily Herald ...
Participants can learn about bicycle safety, child safety seat checks, flu prevention, college savings programs and more.
The flu season is starting and the media has everyone worried that swine-flu-shots may not be available. Rep Sullivan's wife is a nurse practitioner, so it won't hurt to ask. Rep Sullivan gained some notoriety a few years back as the candidate who campaigned on his bicycle. He should be knowledgeable on bike safety. Sen Duffy will also be there. Finally, Illinois State Representatives and Senators grant free college scholarships to their constituents, don't forget to ask about the program.

Some noteworthy September 19 events ...
  • Adam "Batman" West was born in 1928
  • Nikita Khruschev in 1959 was not allowed in Disneyland
  • Sept 19 is Rosh Hashanah

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mark Kirk in the BullsEye

Lake County favorite son and US Senate Candidate Mark Kirk picked up some more earned media but probably not the sort he was looking for. Last week Illinois Immigrant Action unveiled some attack ads -- which are reproduced here -- against Kirk. The ads are in Spanish and intended for newspaper and radio. They take issue with Kirk's stance on immigration, which according to their author, advocates "sending condoms to Mexico as a fix to the immigration system."

Being a firm believer that there cannot be too many condoms ever -- regardless of race, creed, color, or national origin -- the ad, for your LakeCountyEye at least, falls on deaf ears. Still, the ad is just clever enough to remind Kirk's FoxNews-echoing base that he is soft on immigration and a proponent of family planning. At the same time it suggests to the reasonable & undecided voters who will be his margin of victory or defeat in Nov 2010 (and who don't know Kirk from Andy McKenna), that Kirk might be a loose cannon. This is not something that ought to unduly concern team-Kirk, though. The ads are targeted at Spanish speakers, who probably won't be voting for Kirk anyways in either the primary or the general election.

Now, an attack ad that isn't seen by anyone except the target's opponents is the political equivalent of a tree falling in a forest that no one hears. It doesn't exist. This slippery distinction must have been lost on team-Kirk, because Kirk lawyers jumped the gun and discharged a threatening letter to Univision Radio to pull the ads. (The CapitolFaxBlog has a copy.) Given that no one, including the MSM, was paying much attention to the ads, an action like this all but ensures they are now.

The letter points a finger at the ad's wording: the ad says that Kirk advocates the use of condoms as a solution to illegal immigration, but in fact Kirk never used the specific term. However Kirk's legal guns may be ignorant of a Reuters story about a 2007 Foreign Aid Bill:
Kirk, who attended college in Mexico and holds a master's degree from the London School of Economics, may have offered an idea that might appeal to some fiscal conservatives. Shipping condoms to the poor in Mexico could be cheaper than the multibillion-dollar fence being constructed along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Lawmaker urges condoms for border control
The bill, HR 2764, which Kirk laudably voted for, removes the Bush era barrier on contraceptives and condoms with regard to foreign aid.

Technically speaking, Kirk may never have uttered the word condom. Politically speaking, perception is everything. Your LakeCountyEye thinks the meme may be out of the toothpaste tube.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Eye Spy Melissa Bean's Health Care Townhall

Red Tail has been a bit busy this week getting ready for Labor Day festivities, but we wanted to report on the Melissa Bean's Chamber of Commerce Townhall in Kildeer, which we attended.

It was preceded by a lot of media attention. Michelle Malkin's blog noted the event. (Malkin predictably focused on the Lake Zurich Chamber's standard $25 door fee.) About 50 pro and anti health care reform activists were on hand. If you were delayed in the resulting traffic jam -- US 12 & Quentin Rd -- thank Michelle Malkin. Her e-mail address is writemalkin@gmail.com.

The Daily Herald was on hand, providing excellent coverage. And a bonus video of the event.

The event began at 7:30am. Unsurprisingly absent at that early hour were the bussed in agitators seen at other recent local health care forums. LakeCountyEye can report the turnout was comparatively meager.

While the crowd outside may have been lacking in numbers they made up for it with enthusiasm and commitment. Here is the audio of an exchange between two activists at the protest, on opposite sides of the debate, one of whom has lost his health insurance coverage due to a pre-existing condition:
Inside, Lake Zurich Chamber members politely listened to Congresswoman Bean speak on many issues before Congress, including ten minutes on health care reform. While she refused to call health insurance a "right," she seemed surprisingly open to what Congress might come up with (out of the five or so bills now circulating) in terms of making it available to all -- whether you lose your job or not.

In fact, it is hard for us to understand here at Lake County Eye how people can yell about keeping government out of health insurance when most of them are only a "you're fired" away from not being covered at all. In fact, who among us knows when we might come down with a serious disease that our insurance company will then, uncerimoniously, decide was a pre-existing condition. Then, goodbye, house. Goodbye, credit rating. Hello, bankruptcy.

Congresswoman Bean promises to read in full any bill on health insurance accessibility that comes before her, which is what she has done with most bills, she says. Personally, Lake County Eye wishes she would have had a town hall, too, simply for the potential high comedy factor. This thing in Lake Zurich was way too polite for the Eye's taste in slap-stick.


Yesterday a story called
The Closest thing to a Townhall Meeting in the 8th...
was posted on the LakeCountyEye. The post reproduced the fulltext of a Daily Herald story. LakeCountyEye is aware that this infringes the Daily Herald's copyright. The spot will be reposted in the near future and LakeCountyEye regrets the mistake.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Q the Eye/09.03.09

Dear LakeCountyEye,

Just yesterday us real estate developers were king of the hill. Nowadays I'm lucky if I can get my bookie to return my calls. I can't get loans to build classy high-end condos. When I do, the condos don't sell. I got a wife, kids and girlfriend to support. And don't be telling me to get a job!

What a Revolting Development
Dear Rev,

Being allergic to gainful employment in the likewise, your LakeCountyEye wouldn't dream of it. Everyone knows a horror story about some real estate developer getting, heh heh, hammered in the collapse. But don't call that Chapter 11 attorney or that claims adjuster just yet. Hope is on the horizon, if nestled on that horizon is the Village of Wheeling. Lately the Village of Wheeling has been a virtual b-school case study of the symbiotic relationship between the real estate developer and elected village officials.

One Wheeling hotel developer in particular has to be admired for creativity. After running out of money halfway through a hotel project, the developer found a partner to bail him out. The hotel is up and running now, but the village is demanding to see promised improvements to the property. Unfortunately the developer is still broke. And the partner is balking. What to do? Why not slap a special room tax on the hotel? The tax money (an estimated million per year) goes directly into the developer's pocket, who uses the funds to buy out the partner. And hopefully by then the improvements all take care of themselves.

You're probably saying to yourself, LakeCountyEye you're pulling my leg, no Village is gullible enough to ever consider a proposal like that. Well, read about it here in the Daily Herald.


Wheeling may also want to have its village well tested -- another local developer there is currently under water. How far under? Three million under, on a partially completed condo project. The Village is eager to help, but three million is a lot of money to pull out of a hat even for a freewheelin' burg like Wheeling. Luckily, the Wheeling Park District has plenty of cash on hand. And this developer has plenty of property. So if the developer just happens to swap some of his unused property for some of the Park District's unused money, then problem solved.

Now you're probably saying to yourself, LakeCountyEye you're drooling on my shoes and calling it rain -- no Village is brazen enough to even attempt to finesse a proposal like that. Agreed, but it does help if the developer's wife happens to sit on the Park Board. And if the company realtor happens to sit on the planning commission. Read about it here in the Daily Herald.

P.S. and to make sure they know you can't wait forever for your money, get one of your people to write a snarky letter to the Daily Herald.


Your LakeCountyEye has heard legends about how in the days of yore, when giants roamed the earth, Wheeling was a giant piggy bank for anyone who wanted to live large at the public trough. And one day the townsfolk finally got fed up, wielded a giant broom, and swept their town clean. Well, lucky for you, that is only a legend. Take it from your LakeCountyEye, pack the bags and the wives and hop the next train to Wheeling.

If you are an elected official, or a previously elected official, or just a private citizen under indictment, send your political questions to Q the Eye c/o ... LakeCountyEye@gMail.com