Friday, December 31, 2010

Extraordinary Petition

With a new year ahead, LakeCountyEye operatives are advised to pause and take some time to reflect on what may be learned from the past 12 months -- in particular what can be learned from their opponent's 2011 nominating petitions. The upcoming municipal election is just around the corner. If the opposition hasn't been thrown off the ballot yet, then what are you waiting for?!

This year's collection of calligraphic cavils are fulsome enough to fill out a LakeCountyEye blog post:
  1. Greg Jacobs filed petitions with 130 signatures, to be on the ballot for Mundelein trustee. But one calculting objector pointed out that 130 is a few shy of the 148 minimum required. Jacobs may be down for the count. According to the Daily Herald ...
    Jacobs blamed "apathy in this town" for the lack of signatures.
    Jacobs to drop out of Mundelein race
    Nothing contagious, your LakeCountyEye hopes.

  2. A petition challenge filed against Schaumburg Library board candidate David Benson identifies 22 signatures of voters not in the district. Benson, counterpunching, told the Daily Herald that he was advised ...
    only to be sure his signatures were from Cook County residents. "I don't know that many people in Schaumburg Township," Benson said. "I did what I was told. I want to do the right thing, and as far as I know I did the right thing."
    Froehlich challenges petitions of three Schaumburg library candidates
    Your LakeCountyEye reminds operatives to never let an attack go by without a quick response.

  3. Deer Park trustee David Kizior is being challenged because his petitions were notarized not with a rubber ink-stamp, but instead with one of those embossing thingy seals. Kizior, hackles no doubt raised, told the Daily Herald:
    "I know the woman who authorized my papers, who said you can't get an imprint-making notary public seal unless you're a notary public," Kizior said.
    Challenger moves to kick senior trustee off Deer Park ballot
    Well, at least not without an eBay account. Your LakeCountyEye wonders how well those embossed petitions hold up after going through the copier?

  4. In West Chicago, Donna May wants to run for alderman as well as for library board. However one nitpicky objector noticed that her petitions show a 2010 election date. From a legal standpoint, the upcoming 2011 Election is scheduled to be held in 2011. Unintimidated, May was on-message when talking to the Daily Herald:
    "Ten years [James] Beifuss has been my alderman, and he's never graced my doorstep. Dude, what's going on? They don't want to talk with you."
    West Chicago woman seeking two elected posts
    Ordinarily operatives are not advised to refer to one's opponent as Dude -- but your LakeCountyEye makes an exception in this case, and will be casting a write-in for May.

  5. An objector to Dan Selep, candidate for East Dundee trustee, claimed that some of Selep's petition signatures were forged -- a time-honored tradition in Illinois. The evidently velvety Selep explained to the Daily Herald that ...
    when asked by more than one woman if she could sign for her husband, he said yes, unaware of the problem.
    East Dundee candidate's petitions challenged
    Dude, way to go!
And after scrutinizing your opponent's petitions, don't forget to send the paperwork through the shredder. They make terrific New Year's Eve confetti!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mark Kirk: How about "None of the Above"?

This just in. Senator "I'm so independent, I voted for Don't Ask Don't Tell" is a dead duck. It's time to welcome the new Senator from Illinois, Senator "Yes, Leader McConnell."

We've reproduced Sen. Kirk's Christmas Eve missive here, a "survey" asking which priority his constituents want him to focus on. It's a veritable Dear Santa of right wing wishes. What's your top priority?
  • Spending cuts?
  • Tax relief?
  • Secure borders?
  • Education reform?
  • Repeal of health care?
  • or one of seven more of the usual Republican suspects?

Conspicuously missing, though, is that favorite of independent voter: "none of the above."

And that's a problem because there isn't even a place to suggest that Kirk should be focussing on one thing and one thing only: jobs, jobs, jobs. His list doesn't even mention economic recovery or unemployment. Come to think of it, there is no mention of help for small businesses, either. All you Republican businesspeople who voted for Kirk, I guess you can comfort yourself with that boon for Obama, the line-item veto.

But at least we won't have to worry about Mark Kirk, the independent thinker, anymore. He has his marching orders.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Smacktalk the Hackmatack

Dashing through the snow
On a one-horse open sleigh,
O'er the fields we go,
Laughing all the way.
When the LakeCountyEye Carollers come singing those words, that means one thing and one thing only. It's time to gas up the snowmobile and blaze some new trails through the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge.

Not so fast, however, a 500 square mile Federal wildlife refuge in Northern Lake County is still but a gleam in Santa's eye. As reported on this blog ...
Attack on the Hackmatack
opposition to the refuge is organized and vocal, insisting that a Wildlife Refuge in Northeastern Illinois will amount to another costly and intrusive government boondoggle.

Hackneyed Libertarian slogans like these typically resonate only with the homeschooled ...
Home School
Most everyone else will recognize these concerns as pretense for those special-interests who would prefer to see any Lake County open-space developed into strip malls and bankrupt townhome metroplexes.

Tis the season, however, of peace on earth and goodwill toward all men. If your aim is to sway public interest against a wildlife refuge it may help to extend some convincing -- ie not transparent -- concerns. So in the spirit of bipartisanship, your LakeCountyEye has put together a holiday gift offering of 10 more plausible reasons for opposing Hackmatack:

Ten Believable Reasons for Opposing
the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge
  1. The squirrels will become eligible to apply for US citizenship.

  2. Hackmatack is too hard to pronounce; and Bigmacattack National Wildlife Refuge is a protected trademark.

  3. Donttouchmyjunk National Wildlife Refuge is also a protected trademark.

  4. Deer will eat all the medical marijuana.

  5. Thar be gold in them thar hills: Mining companies

  6. Thar be gravel in them thar holes: Stop the Quarry

  7. No Federal Restrictions on Red-Light Cameras.
    Duffy: Go easy on tickets for right turns on red

  8. The AFLAC duck wants 15% of the gross plus 30% of the concession business.

  9. Additional costs for Slow Wildlife Crossing signs will bankrupt the Route 53 extension.

  10. Deal breaker: Often is heard a discouraging word.

And be sure to keep an eye peeled for the LakeCountyEye Carollers, at a front-porch near you!
Deck us all with Boston Chollie,
Walla Walla, Wash., an' a Kalamazoo!
Nora's freezin' on the trolley,
Swaller dollar cauliflower alley-garoo!

Don't we know archaic barrel,
Lullaby Lilla boy, Louisville Lou?
Trolley Molly don't love Harold,
Boola boola Pensacoola hullabaloo
Deck us all with Boston Charlie

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Amtrak thru the Hackmatack

Local gun-toters who were looking forward to a train-ride thru the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge and shooting some wild game, Buffalo Bill style, are going to have to wait. A new Amtrak train line will not be stopping, as hoped, in McHenry County. The proposed Chicago-Rockford-Dubuque line will stop in the more temperate municipality of Elgin, instead.

The Northwest Herald not surprisingly is not pleased:
Before the election, Gov. Pat Quinn told us a new Amtrak route connecting Dubuque, Iowa, and Chicago would run through McHenry County, Belvidere, and Rockford on its way westward. The state had the money, Quinn said, and would pay the $62.3 million it would cost to run the line through Huntley and Marengo. Last week, the Illinois Department of Transportation, no doubt with Quinn's tacit approval, reversed course. Now the line will skirt McHenry County and Belvidere altogether, instead running through South Elgin and Genoa before curving north toward Rockford. Chalk up another loss for McHenry County, a place rarely visited by most of our statewide politicians.
State snubs county again
Sharp-eyed operatives will observe that the same Northwest Herald, only a week earlier, was not-pleased over plans to create a Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge. The details were reported on this blog by senior cyber-analyst, Mr Redtail ...
Attack on the Hackmatack
The Northwest Herald is quite happy to see money spent to build an Amtrak line in McHenry County. But dollars (and considerably less than 62.3 million of them) for a Wildlife Refuge is a government expense we can't afford. In other words: why isn't big government -- which has no business managing any property in McHenry County -- appropriating property in McHenry County for a railway corridor?

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter? Nope -- that would be the sound of your LakeCountyEye's head exploding.

Note to operatives at the Northwest Herald: those statewide politicians may all be snubbing McHenry County because they are tired of having to listen to the LOL Libertarianism.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Seasons Greetings

To all of our readers... 
Please know
as we wind down on 2010
let your celebrations be filled with an abundance of all things
wonderful and pleasing!
Our Best Wishes and Cheers to a Happy & Healthy

Monday, December 20, 2010

Attack on the Hackmatack

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is currently studying the feasibility of a huge National Wildlife Refuge in Lake County and neighboring areas. To be called Hackmatack, the refuge will extend from Ingleside to Crystal Lake & Harvard in McHenry County, and north into Wisconsin.

Why should we care? Open, public land is a precious natural resource was can bequeath to our children, but only if it is preserved before being developed. National Wildlife Refuge System was created 100 years ago by Teddy Roosevelt, to set aside public land to protect wild animals and plants. Anyone who enjoys hiking, birdwatching, hunting, fishing on public lands today can thank Roosevelt for his vision.

So why does the Northwest Herald oppose the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge?

At first glance the Northwest Herald would be commended for covering the efforts to establish the Hackmatack Refuge. However a close read of the most recent Herald story would suggest that they are covering the Hackmatack to kill it. That story was little more than a soapbox for spokespersons from the Heartland Institute and the Cato Institute, both well-funded libertarian think tanks that want to see all publicly held land in private hands.
Push for Hackmatack refuge prompts debate on land use
A Northwest Herald editorial last week spelled out their reasons for opposing the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge:

we don't need to be adding to the responsibilities of a federal agency that is not working on vital issues right now. We've got a massive federal deficit. Joblessness still near 10 percent. A war in Afghanistan. A significant deployment of troops in Iraq. Nuclear proliferation concerns in North Korea and Iran. New terrorism concerns cropping up regularly. Do we really need taxpayer-funded federal employees spending countless hours and resources studying whether we need a reserve to protect the northern harrier? And then the federal government buying up more land – it already owns about a third of all land in the U.S. – that it then has to spend even more money on to maintain? Our short answer is no.
Wrong time for fed study
Excuse me, but I do not recall the Northwest Herald ever saying their short answer to the Iraq War was no. A war which added a trillion dollars, and counting, to that massive federal deficit. But when it is a matter of a few dollars to fund a Fish & Wildlife Service study, the Herald thinks it is time to pull the plug. The Northwest Herald can say they are "not opposed to the idea of preserving open space and the life of plants and animals."

Northwest Herald, this observer finds that hard to believe.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gidget Goes to Washington

Freshly minted US Senator & minty fresh divorcee Mark Kirk may be signalling his eligibility:
For the record, your LakeCountyEye was under the impression that a maiden speech is something they would allow in a Parliament somewhere ... of some French country ... like Canada ... or Massachusetts.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Is there only One who is getting it right in Lake County?

This is a Press Release issued by Sam Yingling, Avon Township Supervisor on December 10th.

Other Say Tax Hikes, Avon Township Says Cut Fat

The Avon Township Board will be considering a reduction in the Township’s tax levy at this Monday night’s (December 13,2010) monthly board meeting. Being considered will be an overall Township tax levy reduction of approximately 7.2%.

“When seeking office, we made a commitment to the taxpayers to reduce the levy by 8.7% over the course of the 4 year term of office. In just these past two levy cycles we will achieve a total tax reduction of 7.9% and I am confident we will well exceed the 8.7% reduction we promised the taxpayers”, stated Supervisor Sam Yingling, “The culture of unnecessary taxation and bloated bureaucracy must come to an immediate end.”

The largest levy reduction will be from the Township’s Road and Bridge levy in the amount of 41%. Additional levy reductions being considered will be in the Town of Avon levy in the amount of 3.7% and the Permanent Hard Road levy in the amount of 1.7%. This is the most aggressive local attempt to cut costs, streamline budgets, and provide taxpayers with the greatest tax relief during these challenging economic times.

“The State keeps talking about tax increases and service reductions," Supervisor Yingling said, "But it's time to discuss how to make government more efficient, eliminate waste and duplication. We must recognize that Illinois has one of the highest numbers of taxing entities in the country. We must consolidate these taxing entities and reduce costs. We must look at overall Township reform."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Q Joe Walsh

The McHenryCountyBlog, a WikiLeaks mirror website, has released from their underground nuclear bunker, a new trove of secret documents. The latest revelation comes from the spam folder of an unnamed source inside the Joe Walsh campaign. An email purportedly from the Eighth District Democrats & Independents urges recipients to show their support for congressman-elect Walsh:
Our accidental Congressman, Joe Walsh, will be holding a series of "listening tour" town halls this month. I suggest we all go and give him an earful.
Democrats Urge Democrats to Attend "Accidental" Congressman Joe Walsh's Town Hall Meetings
There is nothing quite as snooze-worthy as one of these sparsely attended congressional townhalls. On a good evening expect to see someone whose Social Security checks are being sent to Yugoslavia and maybe someone else who needs their green card stamped. So your LakeCountyEye is not surprised that they are trying to gin up some last-minute turnout for the Eighth's newest congressman-elect:
Some questions you might want to ask (or any burning question you have):
  1. How will you bring jobs and businesses to the Eighth District?
  2. What is your plan for getting banks to lend to small businesses in the Eighth District?
  3. What do you think your win over Melissa Bean has given you a mandate to do in Congress?
  4. What do you mean by the revolution you talked about during the campaign and how do you plan to accomplish it in Washington?
  5. How will you vote when Congress is asked to raise the debt ceiling after you take office? (If they don't vote to do it, the government will shut down, as it did in 1994.)
  6. Will you vote to repeal Obamacare and why? (Yes, call it that to get an honest answer.)
  7. Do you think we should add $700 billion to the deficit over the next ten years just to give tax cuts to people making more than $250,000 per year? Since you are a deficit hawk, will you vote against such tax cuts even if Republican leadership asks you to vote for them?
Democrats Urge Democrats to Attend "Accidental" Congressman Joe Walsh's Town Hall Meetings
Q&A is one way to inject some zest into a meeting of this sort. But your LakeCountyEye does recall one congressman who, when asked how much a gallon of milk cost in the district, was forced to yield to a staffer. That congressman, needless to say, is now in retirement.

Operatives may be curious to attend one of these townhalls. However unless you are a glutton for punishment and enjoy hearing a congressman pontificate by the hour, your LakeCountyEye suggests attending forewarned and forearmed with some of your own questions to ask.

Ten Recommended Questions to Ask Congressman-Elect Joe Walsh

  1. Boxers or briefs?

  2. Who is buried in Roland Burris's tomb?

  3. What is the price of a Rolex in the Eighth Congressional District?

  4. Why are manhole covers round?

  5. As a licensed process server, the State of Illinois requires me to ask if you currently reside at 329 Locust Road in Winnetka?

  6. Can you play Life in the Fast Lane for my retirement party?

  7. I got here late, can we all say the Pledge of Allegiance again?

  8. Does ?

  9. Who let the dogs out?

  10. Erm, just what exactly do you do for a living?

Operatives are reminded that they must phrase their questions in the form of a question.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dr Smith Goes to Washington

Mark Kirk was finally sworn in to occupy Illinois's golden Senate seat. And, judging from the numbers on the Mark Kirk Internet countdown clocks, not a minute too soon. The minuses on these popular web countdown timers were growing so large, your LakeCountyEye was fearful of an immanent Internet meltdown -- one to rival the Y2K Internet meltdown of Y2K.

Thankful LakeCountyEye operatives able to survive saw Mark Kirk become our newest junior US Senator. The Sun-Times provides the details ...
For all his years in Congress, Kirk has mainly stayed on the House side of the Capitol. Almost giddy with excitement, Kirk talked to reporters about actually being on the Senate floor. "It's kind of a 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' feeling," Kirk said.
Kirk sworn in as state's new senator
For operatives who weren't operating back in the day, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a 1939 Jimmy Stewart movie about an idealistic outsider sent by the voters to Washington, who took on the entrenched interests there and stood his ground. Long story short, Mark Kirk is naturally feeling like a 21st Century Mr. Smith.

Some left-of-center operatives will however be thinking, now just hold on one goll darn minute here sir! Kirk, a calculating insider who never held a job outside of Washington, has stood for the entrenched interests there since Y2K. It strains credulity to fancy Mark Kirk as a Mr. Smith.

In his defense, your LakeCountyEye is remindful that at the moment in question Kirk was giddy with excitement.

So in the spirit of ecumenical bipartisanship, some of your LakeCountyEye's favorite movies have been tabulated; and operatives are invited to vote for the film that they think best captures Mark Kirk's ascension to the US Senate floor.

If it were made into a movie,
Mark Kirk's election to the Senate would be ...
Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo
Bonzo Goes to College
Gidget Goes Hawaiian
Mark of the Vampire
Dr No
Peewee's Big Adventure
O Lucky Man!
The Incredible Mr Limpet
Ensign Pulver
Rear Admiral
This Internet poll is conducted by Price Waterhouse, winners to be announced Mar 25, 2010 during the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony. Stuffing the ballot box is not to be tolerated.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Creepy Tribune Cartoonist:
I'm In Ur Internetz Stealin Ur Ideaz

It may be that he is out of ideas. Or tired of the fear-mongering. Or simply wishes to grow beyond his artistic limitations. What else explains the Chicago Tribune Creepy Cartoonist's out-of-character stab at political humor?

Chicago Tribune, 11/26/2010
Just between you and your LakeCountyEye, the joke was funnier when it was a lolcat ...

Cheezburger Network
Your LakeCountyEye, however, is still trying to figure out where Woody Allen fits in all this ...

Woody Allen

Creepy Cartoonist
Woody must be easy to draw or something?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Son of Countdown to Mark Kirk:
The Sequel

Details of Senator-Elect Mark Kirk's upcoming swearing-in ceremony were leaked here yesterday. And your LakeCountyEye took the opportunity to openly question the choice of venue -- Crystal Lake -- not to mention the scheduled time -- last Saturday, 5 days ago. Also the effects the cosmopolitan Mark Kirk would have on the gun-toting McHenry County rustics in attendance would be hard to gauge.

Well, message received loud and clear. Because no sooner were the aforementioned details posted ...
Son of Countdown to Mark Kirk
that your LakeCountyEye received notice from Kirk's operatives that there will be a make-up date for the swearing-in ceremony.

Your LakeCountyEye had observed that these ceremonies are typically held at venues like the US Capitol. And Kirk's swearing-in is now slated for the US Capitol. And your LakeCountyEye speculated that these ceremonies are typically officiated by some heavy-hitter like a US Vice President. And Kirk's swearing-in is now to be officiated by a sitting US Vice President, Joe Biden. And where your LakeCountyEye questioned the wisdom of scheduling the swearing-in 5 days in the past, Kirk's event may now be attended on Nov 29, a more reasonable 5 day in the future.

This fast turnaround by Kirk's handlers narrowly averted the sort of political misstep one only sees on Dancing with the Stars. All of which means one thing and one thing only. This blog is the must-see first-read in the boiler-room of every political operation on either side of the aisle and within spitting distance of a 4G-Network.

Anyways here are the details of the rescheduled swearing-in ceremony ...
Your LakeCountyEye will not bother posting another one of those tiresome Internet countdown clocks. As if anyone is about to risk their junk being touched just to fly to DC to watch Mark Kirk become Illinois' newest junior senator.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Son of Countdown to Mark Kirk

The soon-to-be ex-Senator-Elect Mark Kirk is being sworn-in and has invited your LakeCountyEye. Since these events by statute are open to the public, the invitation is reproduced here for operatives interested in attending:

Typically these ceremonial events are held at high-profile venues like the US Capitol; and officiated by a heavyweight, like a US Vice President or someone. Sharp-eyed operatives will observe however that Kirk's swearing-in will be held at the Crystal Lake City Hall, and officiated by Congressman-Elect Joe Walsh. A gutsy move, considering this should likely be well-attended by McHenry County Tea-Partiers and Minute-Men and other 2nd Amendment enthusiasts.

As a vital reminder, your LakeCountyEye is posting a brand-new special swearing-in countdown timer:
Countdown Clock to the Mark Kirk Swearing-In
Crystal Lake City Hall
Saturday, Nov 20 2010, 3 pm
The McHenryCountyBlog is invited to link to this post!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

(Septic) Tanks for the Memories

The big story of the week has to be that Bonnie Thomson Carter will not run for President of the Lake County Forest Preserve District Board. According to the Daily Herald ...
"There are other people who should have the opportunity like I have (had)," Carter said. She had no further comment.
Carter won't return as Lake Co. forest board president
Carter has been President and has presided over the FPD like a fiefdom since 2002. Why is she unexpectedly stepping down? Some think Carter's ineptly handled attempt in 2008 to unilaterally hand over the Lakewood Forest Preserve to the US Olympics Committee was her undoing. She made more enemies than friends as a result of that fiasco. (And probably contributed to Chicago's losing the 2016 Olympics bid.)

The NewsSun, in a seemingly unrelated story, gives a clue ...
A dispute that has simmered for years between a former County Board member and the Lake County Forest Preserve District over the location of a half-acre septic system has been resolved in a settlement. Allegations of political maneuvering still surround the case. The conflict involved the 1993 installation of a septic system — which serves former County Board member Randy Whitmore's service station at the northeast corner of Delany and York House roads in Waukegan — on Waukegan Savanna property.
Waukegan Savanna septic settlement OK’d
It may be her friends, and not her enemies, who are responsible for ending Carter's eight-year reign of error. That friend being Randy Whitmore, who sat on the Forest Preserve District Board during Carter's tenure as President.

Not mentioned in the NewsSun, Whitmore's service station also offers automatic car-wash services. Carter, who knew where the car-wash was discharging its runoff waste, must've also known that it is illegal to maintain a septic field for private/commercial use on Forest Preserve property. Also, this septic field is located within the Des Plaines River Watershed. One would have expected Carter to have intervened in some way, especially when Whitmore was a colleague sitting next to her on the Board from 2002 to 2008. It's not like Whitmore could have been ducking subpoenas, or even sharply-worded notes.

Carter announced her decision not to run for President following the Nov 16 Forest Preserve District Board of Commissioners meeting where the settlement with Whitmore was finalized. We surmise a deal had been brokered. Whitmore was retroactively assessed $1000 per year for use of FPD property. And Bonnie Thomson Carter agreed not to run for FPD President in 2010. In exchange, civil/criminal investigations would not be pursued.

The big winner in this deal is Whitmore, who gets 18 years of what amounts to nearly free commercial-waste disposal. The big losers are the environment and the Lake County taxpayer. And in Waukegan there is a septic field that's gotten stopped up. Could it be from Bonnie Thomson Carter's scalp?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Q the Eye/11.19.10

Dear LakeCountyEye,

I just got elected to the statehouse. Now what?

Mr Right Goes to Springfield
Dear Ich Bin Ein Springfielder,

Turn right when you see Interstate 72.

Ha ha, seriously, don't make the mistake made this week by one fresh-off-the-tea-trolly Rep. The Daily Herald has all the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction facts ...
Newly elected state Rep. Tom Morrison raised some eyebrows Tuesday during freshmen legislators' orientation in Springfield when presented with paperwork to join the General Assembly's lucrative pension system. That's because he opted out, a move officials can recall happening just once before. "Are you sure you want to do that?" one administrator asked him.
Newly elected Palatine Republican to forgo pension
Morrison says he is opting out of the pension system to lead by example. Hardnosed skeptics will speculate he is grandstanding. Or, rather than deduct from his paycheck a $7800 pension contribution, he may simply need the money; how true it is, the bill collector never sleeps.

But your LakeCountyEye knows better -- this is classic behavior symptomatic of innumeracy.

Innumeracy, a cognitive deficiency, strikes without warning afflicting billions. Particularly susceptible to this debilitating disorder are politicians and other public officials.

According to Wikipedia, innumeracy often manifests itself as ...
financial mismanagement and accumulation of consumer debt, specifically related to misunderstanding of compound interest
One example would be not quite comprehending how $7800 invested today can grow 10-fold or even 100-fold over time.

Other symptoms of innumeracy are enumerated by the Wiki:
  • Inaccurate reporting of news stories and insufficient skepticism in assessing these stories.
    For instance, that a $13 billion budget deficit can be eliminated simply by cutting some questionable expenditures that were cherry-picked to foment outage among gullible readers.

  • Belief in pseudoscience.
    Like creationism and denial of climate change.

  • Poor assessment of risk.
    For example, the use of industrial chemicals may bring short term benefits. An innumerate, however, might not understand that long term exposure to hazardous substances can result in environmental damage, and lead to cognitive and health problems. Like more innumeracy.

  • Limited job prospects.
    This goes a long way toward explaining why innumerates seem to be disproportionally attracted to electoral politics.
But fret not. Your LakeCountyEye is quite sure that when you get to Springfield there will be many nice people waiting to tell you what to do.

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 ...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tongue & Cheek

From the Tribune yesterday...
WASHINGTON — — Here for a crash course on serving in Congress, Joe Walsh stood before the Capitol on Monday and stuck out his tongue. Call it comedy — or a case of the nerves — but his targets, a lawyer representing Walsh and a news reporter, weren't in a position to complain. Chalk it up as an unscripted moment during a highly choreographed week.
Walsh, Bean both in D.C. with hopes for seat
Well, there is no point in continuing. Your LakeCountyEye calls it comedy. Note to Internet Powerhouse™, Andy Martin: the State of Illinois has a new #1 ambassador to cyber-satire. His name is Joe Walsh.

Walsh, who no doubt is used to getting some tongue on a first date, has reciprocated by giving some tongue on his first trip to the US Capitol. It used to be you could tell a politician was lying when you saw his lips moving. Nowadays, if you all you see moving are his lips, that's your signal to quit while you're ahead.

All kidding aside, your LakeCountyEye has been exclusively leaked Joe Walsh's new campaign logo:
Joe Walsh US Congress
Your LakeCountyEye would advise Team Walsh to keep an eye on the mail for a cease and desist letter from attorneys representing the Eagles:
Walsh v Walsh
Walsh found himself in some legal trouble last spring after posting on his website a video parody of (musician) Joe Walsh's Walk Away. Nonetheless, in the wake of his unexpected electoral success, Walsh is sorting through offers and may be contemplating a video cover of The Silver Tongued Devil and I. Keep an eye on the mail for a cease and desist letter from attorneys representing Kris Kristofferson.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Countdown to Mark Kirk
Day 2: Is the Seat Down?

Last week, the CapitolFaxBlog noted that the Interwebs are all in the hizzy ...
Another phony "controversy" has the Interwebtubes in a tizzy
There is a socialist-left running-dog conspiracy afoot -- it is rumored -- to delay and deny Senator-Elect Senator Mark Kirk his Senate seat in the US Senate. A rumor which of course every operative knows is bunkum. Nonetheless it seems as if your LakeCountyEye kicked over a hornet's nest full of bumblebees, by posting an item entitled ...
Countdown to Mark Kirk
Every hyper-partisan conservative attack monkey within spitting distance thought your LakeCountyEye was chronicling the rumored conspiracy.

Your LakeCountyEye would direct these hyper-partisan conservative attack monkeys to the socialist-left running-dogs at the IllinoisReason. This rumor ...
apparently stems from a faulty Associated Press article which not only got some basic facts wrong but also misquoted Sec. of State Jesse White's office. Far be it from these hyper-partisan conservative attack monkeys to go fetch the truth when a convenient mistake by a major news organization is so much juicier.
IL-Sen: When will Senator-elect Kirk put a stop to the right-wing malarkey about his swearing in?
Not surprisingly the McHenryCountyBlog wannabees at the NewsSun reported the AP rumor as fact:
Now we learn Republican Kirk won’t be seated at the start of the lame-duck congressional session, which begins Monday. Illinois election officials say Kirk won't officially be declared the Senate winner until Nov. 29.
Darts & Laurels
But as Rich Miller had already observed, a couple days earlier ...
the Senate is recessing its lame duck session during the entire week of the 23rd because of Thanksgiving. The Senate won't restart the session until November 29th.
Another phony "controversy" has the Interwebtubes in a tizzy
A friendly reminder to operatives & news outlets far and wide: if your LakeCountyEye is any indication, just because you see it on the Internet doesn't automatically make it true. Now let's everyone all get out the vote and make sure Alexi is the next Mayor of Chicago!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Countdown to Mark Kirk

Your LakeCountyEye'e e-mail inbox is the endpoint terminus, it seems, for every press release from the office of every Lake County elected official with a connection to the Internet. So it's your LakeCountyEye's job to read all these press releases. So you don't have to. Your LakeCountyEye is nothing if not civic minded.

Not coincidentally, your LakeCountyEye received a press release, this very Saturday morning, from Lake County's newest US Senator, Senator Mark Kirk. The Senator-Elect has scheduled a Town Hall Meeting in Arlington Heights. The details, as well as time & location, are reproduced below:
Operatives are urged to add the 10am, Saturday, November 13 Arlington Heights meeting to their day-planners immediately, and highlight it in bold. And make sure to schedule for yourself plenty of time -- this, without a doubt, is an event not to be missed.

An as a vital reminder, your LakeCountyEye is posting a countdown timer:
Countdown Clock to the Mark Kirk Town Hall Meeting
Arlington Heights Village Hall
Saturday, Nov 13 2010, 10 am
Hurry now, don't be late!

Friday, November 5, 2010

LiveBlogging the 2010 Election Night Eve

Before any given election, keep a lookout for operatives applying their trade well on through the wee hours of the night. Your LakeCountyEye is no exception, and this year did not fail to stow the laptop in with the Halloween candy, to liveblog this year's Midnight-to-6am pre-election preparations.

12:05 am / 11.02.10
Illinois Novembers are unpredictable, and the first order of business on the night before an election is to dress properly. A good disguise should both conceal your identity but not attract unnecessary attention. Luckily Halloween was Sunday and the Lady Gaga get-up is not due back at the costume shop for a few days.
Daily Herald

01:12 am / 11.02.10
On the road for about an hour now and the backseat is already crammed with stolen recycled yardsigns. Next stop Buffalo Grove. Lisa Stone for Mayor? What are they smoking -- landfill compost? Your LakeCountyEye should be given a citation for stealing recycling these non-starters.
Pioneer Press

02:29 am / 11.02.10
Sadly your LakeCountyEye is currently lost in what has to be Northern Wisconsin. The GPS goes on the fritz whenever near the magnetic North Pole. Which is why your LakeCountyEye never embarks upon a road-trip without the backup singers. Here, a Vandella asks a nice frontiersman for directions to civilization.

03:33 am / 11.02.10
Mecca and spiritual home to your LakeCountyEye, Chicago is a must stop prior to every election. (In Chicago the polling places have expanded hours to receive the graveyard shift.) Here your LakeCountyEye makes a quick pass through Ward 40, to pick up some absentee ballots in Precinct 45.
City of Chicago 40th Ward

04:01 am / 11.02.10
A bridge too far -- busted in Bridgeport! It is unknown when your LakeCountyEye will be able to make bail or retrieve the laptop from the County Sheriff Impound. Hopefully this will all transpire some time before the polls close on Tuesday to post the 2010 Election liveblog!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Crime Wave Election

LakeCountyEye Operatives on loan to the Joe Walsh campaign were advised to set up a command post in the abandoned parking-lots of Hainesville. Their 24/7 vigil paid off as they nabbed LakeCountyEye Operatives on loan to the Melissa Bean campaign in the act of loitering too close to their yardsigns.

The CapitolFaxBlog published the shocking evidence:
First of all, the Walsh video doesn't show the alleged operative actually touching the sign. At the very beginning she appears to be standing next to a Bean sign. And lastly, the Walsh sign appears to be posted in a public right of way, which is illegal. Is not stealing or even touching an illegally posted sign illegal? No. Watch it for yourself ...


Lamest. Allegation. Ever.
Fun election day stuff and more reader precinct reports
Not to be outdone, the vigilantes at the McHenryCountyBlog are demanding a pound of frontier justice:
A Police report was immediately filed with the Grayslake Police Department by the Walsh volunteers, and the three Melissa Bean campaign signs that were placed along Illinois Route 120 by the passenger in the automobile were retained as physical evidence by the Grayslake Police Department. The video is also being reviewed. Criminal charges are pending. So, this Walsh volunteer is a man after my own heart.
Walsh Volunteer Steve Tucker Catches Maryland Car Stealing His Signs
Your LakeCountyEye would certainly hope criminal charges are pending. Littering the public highways, even with political yardsigns, is indeed a crime. And it seems to your LakeCountyEye that the Joe Walsh campaign is the epicenter of a three-county coordinated criminal conspiracy to litter (with intent to gawk) these same highways.

Furthermore, to embolden a criminal litterer -- as the McHenryCountyBlog seems to be doing -- could be construed (especially by some ambitious assistant DA) as aiding and abetting. Which is also a crime. If charges have not been filed against the McHenryCountyBlog yet, operatives are urged to hasten over to Hainseville and do so immediately. What are you waiting for, the statute of limitations? Go on, git!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Previsional Ballots

There will be no need for Operatives to schlep themselves to the voting booth tomorrow. They can learn the names of tomorrow's winners and losers -- today -- and right here on this blog. Internal polls conducted in-house, and out-sourced to We Mask America, have surveyed with scientific rigor each and every registered voter in the county; and your LakeCountyEye can predict with mathematical precision the outcome of tomorrow's the November 2 election.

The margin of error on your LakeCountyEye polls have been certified to fall within a fault-tolerance margin trivial to the point of ridiculosity. All of which enables your LakeCountyEye to pledge a double-your-money-back guarantee on election predictions. You heard right. If any prediction posted here proves to be wrong on election day, your LakeCountyEye will double back the investment dollars lost on your campaign bet donation.

It is a proven record of over-confidence, hubris and chutzpah that enables your LakeCountyEye to pass the savings back to you!

State Representative: 52nd Dist
Mark H. Beaubien, Jr.Republican
No CandidateDemocratic

State Representative: 60th Dist
No CandidateRepublican
Rita MayfieldDemocratic

North Shore Sanitary District: Ward 4
James E. SwarthoutRepublican
No CandidateDemocratic

Lake County Treasurer
Robert SkidmoreRepublican
No CandidateDemocratic

Lake County Board Member: Dist 13
Susan Loving GravenhorstRepublican
No CandidateDemocratic

Lake County Board Member: Dist 21
Ann B. MaineRepublican
No CandidateDemocratic

Judge Appellate Court: 2nd Dist
Ann B. JorgensenRepublican
No CandidateDemocratic

Judge Appellate Court: 2nd Dist
Mary S. SchostokRepublican
No CandidateDemocratic

Accept no substitute, satisfaction guaranteed or double your money back. Your LakeCountyEye challenges operatives to find a comparable ROI from some Gallup poll!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Election 2.0

You read it here first how the Buffalo Grove poobahs are lining up to throw beleaguered village trustee Lisa Stone under the proverbial bus.
Mid-Term Ejections
The latest defenestrator is Lake County Commissioner David Stolman, who sent a why's-everyone-looking-at-me? letter to the papers:
During the April 2009 municipal election, I was appointed as honorary chairman of Lisa Stone's campaign for Buffalo Grove village trustee. There were many qualified candidates wanting to serve Buffalo Grove in the trustee capacity. (I endorsed Bev Sussman, Jeff Braiman, and Joanne Johnson as well.) Lisa won the election. This offered her a golden opportunity to become an effective trustee. At that time, I suggested that she put the issues of the hard fought campaign behind her and serve Buffalo Grove with integrity.
Stone blew it
Unlike Buffalo Grove's municipal board, Stolman still has a problem after Stone is gone. Stolman recruited Stone in 2009 and helped her get elected. He is now backpedalling furiously, hoping the voters will forget and/or forgive this sort of mind-boggling lapse in judgement.

Knowing that voters are vindictive and will carry a grudge, your LakeCountyEye thinks that David Stolman and Lisa Stone will forever joined at the hip in voters minds for years to come. To prove the point, your LakeCountyEye has commissioned a We Ask America poll. Operatives are asked to participate, no prior experience is necessary:

Poll Question:
David Stolman & Lisa Stone
are Most Like ...

Please Choose One:

Tweedledum & Tweedledee
Pickles & Relish
The Captain & Tennille
The Thrill of Victory & The Agony of Defeat
Dazed & Confused
Barnum & Bailey
The Alien & Sedition Act
Abbott & Costello
Stoli & Sprite
Dr Frankenstein & Dr Frankenstein's Monster

We Ask America wishes to remind Operatives that this is a scientific poll and bears no similarity to an Internet Top Ten List whatsoever. It is not necessary to submit your response. Move along please, and thank you for participating.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mid-Term Ejections

Buffalo Grove straddles both Lake and Cook counties, which may explain why voters there can't make up their minds about who should represent them at city hall. After voting Lisa Stone to a village trustee post in a 2009 landslide, they are now on the cusp of voting her out on a ballot recall.

Your LakeCountyEye will not be providing a backgrounder to this particular municipal brouhaha -- operatives unfamiliar are recommended to Google "LISA STONE" & "BUFFALO GROVE" & "DRAMA QUEEN".

Suffice to say with no friends left in high places, it looks like Stone is on her way to the record books this Tuesday. In fact it seems that high-profile politicians in low-key Buffalo Grove have been lining up to throw Stone under the bus. No one less than Buffalo Grove Mayor Elliott Hartstein placed an open letter in the papers urging voters to dump Stone like a sack of soggy tacos:
I personally would like to thank the individual community members who initiated and worked on the recall, and the over 2,000 citizens who signed the petitions to give the entire community the opportunity to cast their votes on this important referendum. Please vote "yes" for the recall of Lisa Stone and urge your friends and neighbors to join you. This is truly a serious matter that affects the well being of our community.
Guest Essay: Hartstein's open letter to citizens of Buffalo Grove
It's one thing to be thrown under the bus. When your sitting Mayor does it, you've just been thrown under the Dave Matthews Bus:
Dave Matthews Sued For Dumping On Chicago
Claim band bus discharged human waste into river, onto tourists
the smoking gun
The open letter closes with a disclaimer:
Elliott Hartstein is the Buffalo Grove village president. He stresses that these are his personal views as a citizen and are not official views of the village or in his capacity as an elected official.
According to the LakeCountyEye tally-sheet that goes down as one YES vote from Citizen Hartstein and one NO vote from Mayor Hartstein. The Lisa Stone recall is an even 50/50 split -- this one is too close to call!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Signs of the Apocalypse

October 31 fast approaches, and Lake County is terrified out of its collective wits by those legions of pintsized apparitions clamoring for attention. Uh huh, it's yardsign season. Every year prior to election day it seems that Lake County is inundated with more than its share of political yardsigns. Coincidence? Your LakeCountyEye thinks not.

Sticklers for detail will note it is not yardsign season. In fact, it is never yardsign season. It is yardsign stealing season.

With yardsigns sprouting like toadstools at all the major intersections and highways, visibility is expected to be reduced to zero. Your LakeCountyEye urges operatives pick up a few, while on the way home; or a few dozen. Plus, invest in an industrial office shredder and you too can have the best insulated attic on your block. Safety tip for the DIYer: always remove the metal legs first! Also don't throw those legs away. They cost campaigns a buck a pop, and are reusable.

When the weather turns cold the soil freezes, and getting those reusable metal legs into the frozen ground can be a challenge. Your LakeCountyEye recommends an 18V cordless drill, with a 3/16 inch tungsten bit. Charge up that badboy overnight and you will be illegally planting more signs than Burma-Shave did on a Third of July.

Eagle-eyed operatives know there are actually two kinds of political yardsigns. Those you see on the highways and public right-of-ways, and those you see in, well, people's yards. If a campaign has all of its yardsigns planted on public property that means they don't have much of a field operation going. As it goes in local politics, the side with the ground game usually wins.

Back in the day when your LakeCountyEye would tie an onion to the belt which was the style at the time, yardsigns were the size of a penny postcard. But politics is all about outdoing the opposition, and they've been getting bigger every election. Lake County yardsigns can now be plainly read on the Google maps, and it is projected that by the year 2012, they will be visible from outer space and perhaps even beyond.

One bright note, you will only have to put up with these annoyances until November 3. By your LakeCountyEye's reckoning, the last 2010 yardsign will blow down November 3, 2011. A final reminder to Ops: the only sign that ever won an election for a campaign was the dollar sign.

$igning off!

Creepy Tribune Cartoonist Fails to See the Humor

par·o·dy /pærədi/ [par-uh-dee]
noun: Any humorous, satirical, or burlesque imitation, as of a person, event, etc.

Daily Show host Jon Stewart is staging a political rally this weekend in Washington DC ...
Rally to Restore Sanity
The whole thing is an obvious goof to mock Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor Rally held in DC last August.

Beck promoted his rally as non-political event. Stewart, in deadpan Stewart fashion, follows suit and is promoting his rally as non-political.

But you have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool the Chicago Tribune's Creepy Cartoonist ...

Chicago Tribune, 10/28/2010
Erm, either the Creepy Cartoonist did not get the joke or he was asked to explain the joke to the Trib's readers. Halloween and the election are only 2 days apart this year. Your LakeCountyEye suspects that the Creepy Tribune Cartoonist's bandwidth is, for the time being, maxxed out.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Political Rig-ma-poll

Pollsters in general are versatile. Polls are conducted to obtain information. Sometimes polls are used to spread disinformation, as with push-polls. However when it was reported on this blog that polls can be used to generate campaign dollars ...
Q the Eye/10.25.10
the LakeCountyEyePhone was ringing off the hook with calls from operatives eager to learn how to become pollsters. (For a while there, your LakeCountyEye thought someone's robo-dialer had run amok.)

The sort of poll in question is a simple grift, and was used effectively to resuscitate moribund campaigns in the Congressional Eighth and Tenth. Just publish a fake poll showing your guy ahead, or even better, in a dead heat. And wait for those donations to come flooding in.

FiveThirtyEight Forecasts Illinois 10th District

FiveThirtyEight Forecasts Illinois 8th District
Easier said than done? Au contraire, it's a piece of cake, and eating it too. The quick'n'dirty how-to is to be found over at the IllinoisReason blog ...
IL-10: New info calls recent We Ask America outlier poll into question
If you're an operative who doesn't like to read blogs, and who blames you, here is the procedure: max out the Amex card for the $10-15,000 needed to commission your very own poll. End of story.

Your LakeCountyEye recommends:
We Ask America/Illinois Manufacturers' Association
Act now before it's too late. The right poll can pole-vault a campaign all the way to the bank!