Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pot Luck Run Amuck

With the holiday season in official full-bore gear, your LakeCountyEye decided to pull out all the stops this year and throw a pot-luck feast. The LakeCountyEye compound was given its spring cleaning and local movers & shakers from far and wide were invited to bring their favorite holiday dish. Your LakeCountyEye's guests brought a wide assortment of potent beverage & tasty fare. A good time was had by all -- fisticuffs were largely contained to the LakeCountyEye cigar cellar.

Of course not everyone attended. Some of you had prior commitments, others could not decipher the map to the LakeCountyEye compound →
while the rest let's face it did not make it to the final list. (You know who you are.) For all the no-shows wondering what you missed, our LakeCountyEye social secretary was kind enough to reveal the seating programme.

It is reproduced for your culinary enjoyment:
This Way to

the Egress

GuestTitle / DescriptionDish
Jack FranksState Representative
Proponent of frontier justice
Impeach Cobbler
Maria RodriguezCandidate for 8th Congressional District
Long Grove Mayor
Wax Bean
Elliott HartsteinBuffalo Grove Mayor
Candidate for State Representative
Stone Ground Grits
Willard HelanderLake County Clerk
Goldfish watchdog
ACORN Squash
Richard Mayers
Dan Kairis
Candidate for 10th Congressional District
Candidate for 14th Congressional District
Tossed Greens
Suzi SchmidtCandidate for Illinois Senate
Overpaid Lake County Board Chair
Celery, Cut
Dan VenturiLake County Republican Chairman
Suzi Schmidt's social secretary
Scapegoat Cheese
Terry LinkCandidate for Lieutenant Governor
Illinois Senator
Lake County Democratic Chairman
Second Banana Loaf
TeamAmerica10thTeam America World PoliceTurkey B/log
Bill ScheurerPerennial Third Party Candidate
Anti-war activist
Whirled Peas
Libby CollinsShock JockOverheated Tripe
Mark KirkCandidate for US Senate
For Cap & Trade before he was against it
Fudge Waffles
Mark CurranLake County Sheriff
For the Democrats before he was against them
Flaky Turnovers
Your LakeCountyEyeAnother pajama-clad bloggerHot Air Baloney

There are plenty of leftovers, drop by the LakeCountyEye compound any time!
See the map above for directions.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Talking Turkey

The Thanksgiving holiday is approaching while the bird is topic #1 around the LakeCountyEye dinner table. No not that bird. 2009 Mount Prospect Mayoral hopeful and current 10th Congressional District candidate Patricia Bird, who is thick in the hustings.

According to the Daily Herald, Bird on three separate occasions officially dropped out of the 10th District race. Only to reverse each decision soon afterwards. A source in the Bird campaign has told your LakeCountyEye this is part of a long-range campaign strategy. Your LakeCountyEye has obtained some internal Bird campaign plans, which have been faithfully reproduced ...

Plan APlan B

These are currently being analyzed by the eraserheads down in the LakeCountyEye Cryptography Dept. If someone has any insight into the significance of these glyphs please contact ...
A fabulous award awaits.

Apparently someone does know what these mean because Lake County Republican boss, Dan Venturi, wasted no time in throwing Pat Bird under the campaign bus:
"She should drop out," said Dan Venturi, leader of the Lake County Republican Party. "I think she wants to run and not be bothered (with campaigning), which is offensive."
Bird still in race for Kirk's Congressional seat, but will she stay?
Bird is generally perceived as a threat to frontrunner Elizabeth Coulson. Not that Bird has any chance of outpolling Coulson in the voting booth. But the nightmare scenario foresees Bird siphoning away enough votes from the same-gendered Coulson to give a surprise primary victory to one of her other 5, less estrogenized, challengers. Thus Illinois Republican Party generalissimos are taking measures to ensure a 10th District nomination is not (tea)bagged by a fringe candidate. The Daily Herald reported Coulson was the only 10th District candidate on an invitation list to meet with GOP Chairman Michael Steele today.
Coulson was one of about a dozen Republicans who met with Steele while he was in the area for private fundraisers. The meeting was organized by Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady, who invited GOP leaders from the state House and Senate. Coulson was invited by House Republican Leader Tom Cross of Oswego, who has endorsed her 10th District primary bid.
Coulson gets invite to RNC meeting
No one's looking for a repeat of the NY/23 SNAFU in IL/10!

Now, your LakeCountyEye has little desire to ruffle any feathers in the upcoming 10th Congressional turkey-shoot. But if you just happen to be advising Beth Coulson, you could do worse than send someone over in advance, next time, to make sure that Michael Steele isn't wearing a wire ...

Michael SteelePlan A?

Word up!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Remember the Gitmo

President Barack Obama is making good on his campaign promise to shut down the Guantanamo prison. Still unanswered is the fate of the prisoners there. Perhaps as part of a deal to send some pork dollars back to Obama's home state, the feds have been eyeing the Correctional Center in Thomson Illinois as a new home for the prisoners.

The political fallout thus far has been mostly partisan. Some state and local pols, including Tom Cross, Mark Kirk, Don Manzullo and others are drawing a line in the sand. Your LakeCountyEye suspects they hope to make Gitmo into their Alamo.

Of course there are pros and cons to any issue, not just those as controversial as Guantanamo prisoners being shuttled to the Thomson Correctional Center. Your LakeCountyEye has contacted and interviewed dozens of state and local leaders on both sides of the question. In this post your LakeContyEye will examine some of the objections. Herewith are the ten most frequently mentioned reasons why relocating the Gitmo prisoners to Illinois is a bad idea:

1) No empty prison cells left for Illinois Governors.

2) We don't need government meddling in our prison system.

3) These are really really mean people.

4) Oldskool: Lake Michigan • Newskool: Lake Gitmo

5) Frequent electric-chair traffic likely to bring down Cordova nuclear power plant.

6) Throw a bunch of dark skinned young males into jail because they don't behave like you or me? Whoa slow down that's way too radical!

7) The Northern Illinois Water Board will have to change its name.

8) Not enough 7-Eleven stores nearby to support an adequate prison work-release program.

9) Only Nazis/Socialists send their enemies to concentration camps.

10) The James R Thompson Center already houses its share of government freeloaders.
In case anyone asks, your LakeCountyEye will be hiding under the bed.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Call In To Question

It's a truism in politics anywhere: they don't get you for the crime, they get you for the cover-up. The latest salvo of denials and rationalizations surrounding Lake County Board Chair Suzi Schmidt's fundraiser is making a crater deep enough that your LakeCountyEye wonders if anyone will be climbing out.

To recap, Lake County Board Chair Suzi Schmidt held a fundraiser on Thursday. A press release had 847-838-6200 as the RSVP number & County Board Member Linda Pedersen as the person to contact. As a matter of fact, 847-838-6200 is the official number to JoAnn Osmond's legislative office and Pedersen is Osmond's legislative aide.

This was followed by a not unexpected volley of accusations & efforts at damage control. The phone number and Pedersen's name were scrubbed off a calendar of events at the Lake County Republican Federation. Then an ethics complaint was filed against Pedersen by Lake County Democratic Party factotum, Nancy Shepherdson.

On Wednesday, Osmond told the NewsSun that her ...
office is located in a building that she owns. Osmond said she also owns the phones and doesn't accept any state money for the running of her office.
By Friday, Osmond was telling the Daily Herald that ...
Lake County Republican Party Chairman Dan Venturi included the number in an e-mail blast about the event. "He should have used the campaign phone number but in any case, the state does not pay for my office phone. I do"
Pedersen was echoing these remarks ...
"I am not running Suzi Schmidt's fundraiser," Pedersen said Thursday. "And the phone number was never intended to be used for people to RSVP."
It goes without saying that the first rule of damage control is get your story straight. You're less likely to be believed if everyone is saying something different. However, your LakeCountyEye perceives two distinct story-lines being pitched to the public:
  1. Using 847-838-6200 on the RSVP was an isolated mistake.
  2. And besides, public funds were not spent on Schmidt's fundraiser.
Now, while surfing The Google for this story, your LakeCountyEye noticed that the Lake County Republican Central Committee hosts a Golf Outing/fundraiser every year. In 2005 the contact person appears to have been been JoAnn Osmond's legislative aide, Linda Pedersen ... at 847-838-6200.

Republican Assembly of Lake County, Apr-Jun 2005, p.16

Your LakeCountyEye also noticed that Lake County Clerk Willard Helander holds regular fundraisers as well. The apparent contact for Helander's funder in 2005 would have been JoAnn Osmond ... at, you guessed it, 847-838-6200.

Republican Assembly of Lake County, Jan-Mar 2005, p.12

The second rule of damage control is when deciding on a story, stick with the one that best matches up with the facts. Pictures are worth 10,000 words. Your LakeCountyEye recommends sticking with story-line #2:
No harm no foul -- public funds were not spent to promote Suzi Schmidt's fundraiser.
This one is more Google-resistant than story-line #1.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Judgement Calls?

Your LakeCountyEye broke the story here on Tuesday ...
Telephone Swag
with a follow-up on Wednesday ...
Coverup Uncovered
It can be reported today that your LakeCountyEye's perseverance has not been wasted. The telephone game being played by Suzi Schmidt & JoAnn Osmond & Linda Peterson is a comedy gift that just keeps on giving.

For those just dialing in, Lake County Board Chair Suzi Schmidt held a fundraiser yesterday. The press release for the event listed 847-838-6200 as the RSVP number and County Board Member Linda Pedersen as the contact person. It turns out that 847-838-6200 is the official number to JoAnn Osmond's legislative office. And Pedersen is Osmond's legislative aide.

The Daily Herald has the latest 411 ...
Ethics complaint filed against Lake County's Linda Pedersen
Hopefully the busdriver isn't texting or driving while distracted by a cellphone because there are some passengers to be found under the bus ...
Pedersen said she isn't the organizer of the event and said the phone number was published by mistake. "I am not running Suzi Schmidt's fundraiser," Pedersen said Thursday. "And the phone number was never intended to be used for people to RSVP."
Osmond said Lake County Republican Party Chairman Dan Venturi included the number in an e-mail blast about the event. "He should have used the campaign phone number but in any case, the state does not pay for my office phone. I do," she said Thursday.
The next thing your LakeCountyEye expects to hear is that Active Killdisk was used by mistake to send out Schmidt's fundraiser press release.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Coverup Uncovered

It seems like it was just yesterday that your LakeCountyEye broke the story in this blog ...
Telephone Swag
about Lake County Board Chair Suzi Schmidt's Nov 12 fundraiser. About how the RSVP number to Schmidt's funder -- 847-838-6200 -- is the contact number to State Rep JoAnn Osmond's legislative office. And about how the RSVP contact person at Osmond's office is County Board Member Linda Pedersen ...
Lake County Board Members (District 1)
For those just tuning in, Linda Pedersen is also JoAnn Osmond's legislative aide (a State employee) ...
Linda's Bio
It goes without saying Pederson sits on the same County Board Chaired by Suzi Schmidt. (Your LakeCountyEye takes a perverse fascination in these internecine political liaisons.)

Being no run-of-the-mill pajama-clad Internet blogger, your LakeCountyEye took pains to provide plenty of documented evidence of these assertions. Including a link and a screen-cap of the funder's details posted at the Lake County Republican Federation's website.

Well, within a few hours after the LakeCountyEye story got posted some Winston Smith at the Lake County Republican Federation scrubbed their website. See for yourself ...
Before LakeCountyEye Bare-Knuckle ExposéAfter LakeCountyEye Bare-Knuckle Exposé
See the cleansed Lake County Republican Federation webpage

The images may be hard to read -- click them for full resolution -- but the one on the right has been divested of the phrase ...
Please RSVP to Linda Pedersen at 847-838-6200
Osmond denied any wrong-doing today, explaining to the NewsSun that she pays for the phone out of her own pocket ...
County Board chair accused of ethics violation
Osmond doesn't say however whether or not she pays out-of-pocket Pedersen's legislative salary as well. Nor does she explain then if she is guilty of no wrong-doing, howcome the Lake County Republican Federation's website was scrubbed last night?

All of which tells your LakeCountyEye one thing and one thing only: Your LakeCountyEye has the juice to send ripples of shock throughout Lake County political circles. Bwaa Ha Ha Ha!

But your LakeCountyEye digresses, the point of this post is not to flaunt one's considerable, nay monumental, clout. Rather the point is to announce a watch. You see, news of Schmidt's funder is still posted on other Internet sites, unexpurgated.

... like at the NewsSun

... and at the Illinois Republican Party

Your LakeCountyEye will be watching for if and when that phrase ...
Please RSVP to Linda Pedersen at 847-838-6200
disappears from these other websites as well. Readers are invited to send their wagers to the LakeCountyEye Office Pool C/O Be sure to include the URL of the webpage and the date/time you think either (A) the incriminating evidence will disappear from the page or (B) the webpage will be taken down entirely.

Fair warning, the Grand Prize goes to JoAnn Osmond if it is her legislative phone number that winds up being changed.

Illinois General Assembly

Finally, what if it is the ILGA website where the relevant ethics statues are posted that gets taken down or is scrubbed clean?

State Officials and Employees Ethics Act

In that unlikely event, your LakeCountyEye will be cashing in the LakeCountyEye chips, departing the county, and spending some down time in an undisclosed lamasery.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Telephone Swag

For those of you who like to keep track of the fundraising activities of our local officeholders -- licit and/or illicit -- file this story under Dialing for Dollars.

Everyone knows Lake County Board Chair Suzi Schmidt is running for IL Senate 31, so your LakeCountyEye was not surprised to receive an invitation to a Nov 12 fundraiser.


The IL GOP picked up the event on their website.

Illinois Republican Party

Not to be outdone, Republican Federation put the event on their website.

Lake County Republican Federation

Being in an uncharacteristic generous mood, your LakeCountyEye decided to dial Schmidt's fundraiser RSVP number and got ... JoAnn Osmond's Legislative Office. (Apparently they make these cell phones for 12-year-old teenagers, because those itty-bitty little keys make it way too easy to misdial.) Anyways, your LakeCountyEye tried again and got ... JoAnn Osmond's Legislative Office. Again.

This being a muckraking investigative blog, and being a student of The Google, your LakeCountyEye has verified that 847-838-6200 is indeed the posted number for JoAnn Osmond's Legislative Office.

Illinois General Assembly
Try the number yourself if you're skeptical.

Your LakeCountyEye is no simple country lawyer but nonetheless is pretty sure something like that is not legal. Well, that is if 5 ILCS 430/5‑35 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes is to be believed ...

State Officials and Employees Ethics Act
Your LakeCountyEye seems to recall that it was State employees doing political fundraising while on the taxpayer's dime that got George Ryan tossed into the federal lockup. Just sayin!

Anyways if you're a constituent of JoAnn Osmond's but all you are hearing from her is a busy signal, your LakeCountyEye suggests to keep trying. The magic crystal ball predicts that the lines will open up sometime after Nov 12.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Q the Eye/11.09.09

Dear LakeCountyEye,

How do you get someone to notice you? I'm a good looking young guy, popular and sought-after. Divorce papers all signed & sealed. The most successful politician in the Illinois GOP should have the pick of anyone he wants. But for all she cares I might as well be some octogenarian who couldn't beat a domestic terrorist from Kenya to be President of the United States.
If you want to make me cry that won't be so hard to do.
And if you should say goodbye I'll go on loving you.
Each night I ask the stars up above,
Why must I be a Congressman in love?
How can life be so cruel? Help me before it's too late!

A Palin Imitation Of What I Used To Be

Dear Sarah Incognita,

Ah there is nothing sadder than unrequited love. Well, it is sadder if the soul being dusted happens to be their party's marquee candidate. But you've come to the right place. Your LakeCountyEye takes the loathing out of lothario when it comes to the ways of l'amour and has the bounced support payment checks to prove it.

Navigating the path to your true-love's heart can be as winding and fraught with pitfalls as doing the daily 294 commute. Your LakeCountyEye has been told you're not the only swain pining for this special lady's affections and if you pass someone on your way, stalled flat-footed on the off-ramp, his story is worth pondering. This ham-fisted politician thought all he needed to do was fire off a memo to Republican matchmaker/fixer-upper Fred Malek with hopes of arranging a tryst ...
Governor Palin is scheduled to appear on Oprah November 16th in Chicago. The Chicago media will focus on one key issue: does Gov. Palin oppose Congressman Mark Kirk’s bid to take the Obama Senate seat for the Republicans? We would hope Gov. Palin could say something quick and decisive
Chicago Tribune
Now what was this pol expecting, a romantic rendezvous in Oprah's green room? Quick, decisive and wrong!

OK, so much for the foreplay, time to get busy. Sure the Internet has plenty of advice on how to make it to first-base -- wikiHow -- but, well how shall your LakeCountyEye put this tactfully? Surely everyone recalls the Mamas and the Papas who sang ...
Words of love, so soft and tender
Won't win a girl's heart anymore.
If you love her then you must send her
Somewhere where she's never been before.
And everyone, even back then in the 60s, snickered when they heard that line you must send her because they knew it was code for something.

Well, in 2009, it is code for you must send her 25 large. That's right, $25,000. More precisely $25,000 is your opening bid for that candlelit night of sweet rapture. On eBay. Uh huh, your inamorata is selling her services her affections access on eBay. Read all about it at HuffPo if you don't believe your LakeCountyEye.

Who ever said pay-to-play was dead in Illinois politics? And why are you wasting time reading this, son? The sooner you get your campaign contributors to pony up the $25,000 the sooner she will be whispering something quick and decisive in your ear.

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, November 5, 2009

Representative Sample

The results are in from the latest LakeCountyEye poll. The blue-ribbon scientific poll, taken here last week ...
This Way to the Congress
indicates that readers are either down-for-the-count with H1N1 or in a Halloween induced sugar-shock-coma. (Which, come to think of it, pretty much amounts to the same thing.) Zero percent of zero respondents correctly answered any of the poll questions. The take-home being, 10th District candidates might as well be in the witness protection program, because no one could identify any of them. Tsk!

Looking forward, your LakeCountyEye is to be found buried under an avalanche of requests from 8th and 10th District Congressional candidates who were not properly mentioned in previous posts. So with the filing period for the 2010 primary now over, among those scrutinizing the nominating petitions with their electron microscopes is your LakeCountyEye. Your LakeCountyEye has IDed an avalanche of candidates vying for their chance to represent the 8th and 10th districts in Washington.

These include Republicans and Democrats and Greens -- oh my! -- and are tabulated here for your reference. Well, just the Republican candidates. Your LakeCountyEye is still waiting to hear from those boring Democrats & Greens regarding their shout-out in the blog.

Anyways, your LakeCountyEye downloaded a cool new widget, and here's your chance to test your political acumen. All the 8th & 10th district GOP candidates are listed below. It's your job to match names and faces and parties and districts. There are 2,097,152 different combinations but only one is correct. Be the first one to correctly guess all 13 candidates! Winners will have their contact information forwarded to the fundraising committee of the candidate of their choice. Hurry before the your candidate is tossed off the ballot!
Contest not open to LakeCountyEye employees or family members.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Deck the Pols

With the last of the LakeCountyEye holiday candy distributed (from each according to their ability to each according to their need), this year's Halloween is officially over. The queue of trick-or-treaters was so long, people thought flu shots were being dispensed. Your LakeCountyEye was armed with the Polaroid and a new roll of film -- and bagged plenty of JPEGs to commemorate the occasion. The pix have been reviewed and vetted by the LakeCountyEye panel of impartial judges. With no further ado, the 2009 Halloween costume winners are ...

Honorable Mention goes to
US Senator Dick Durbin
No More Mr Niceguy ...
Dr Smith

Honorable Mention goes to
State Representative Sandy Cole
Who's Afraid of ...
Virginia Woolf

Honorable Mention goes to
Lake County Board Commissioner Angelo Kyle
Most Creative Idea ...
(this unaltered image of Kyle
is best viewed on the NewsSun)
Full Moon

2009 Halloween Blue Ribbon goes to
Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran
For an
Arresting Impersonation of ...