Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fame Duck Congressman

Your LakeCountyEye noted that short-timer 10th District Congressman Mark Kirk cashed out last week on his allotted 15 minutes of fame ...
Mark Mirk Finally Gets 15 Minutes of Fame
... courtesy the Wonkette political blog. Well, something's in the air -- either the smell of the greasepaint or the roar of the crowd -- because Kirk is back for more. This time courtesy Rachel Maddow ...

Of course the difference between some Internet political blog and cable news is the difference between dog years and human years. Which according to your LakeCountyEye's math, nets Kirk an additional 105 minutes of fame (15 x 7).

Your LakeCountyEye hasn't actually watched the video and doesn't know what Maddow is saying about Kirk. Although your LakeCountyEye wagers Maddow would be talking smack, and Kirk can look forward to more given that he is a US Senate candidate. Which is different than running for the House. Totally.

Anyhow your LakeCountyEye has no pony in this race but wanted to get the video posted before Ellen of the Tenth.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

It's Simply Simon

Your LakeCountyEye had been predicting it for weeks. Today the Illinois Democrats chose Sheila Simon to be their replacement Lieutenant Governor. While the local rumor mill had been in overdrive, churning up news that State Senator Susan Garrett would be selected, your LakeCountyEye knew better. All your LakeCountyEye can say about the ménage is Pat Quinn wasn't eager to have anyone on the top of the Democratic slate that doesn't shout Penney's off-the-rack. Among other accomplishments, Simon is a musician in a bluegrass band, where her experience playing second-fiddle no-doubt turned out to be a marketable skill. Combined with Simon's JD, the two skills resulted in an Oregon Law Review article ...
Greatest Hits: Domestic Violence in American Country Music
By law, Simon is now required to enter the witness protection program where she will be kept in hiding with Jason Plummer. For those LakeCountyEye Ops who do not know who Jason Plummer is, well there ya go. Overall, Democrats were pleased with the outcome. Michael Bond submitted a State Senate resolution honoring Simone Simon for accepting the nomination.

Friday, March 26, 2010

We Have a Quinner

Your LakeCountyEye has verified the winning entry on the Sheila Simon Lieutenant Governor Sweepstakes Video. The contest, posted here yesterday ...
Simon Says
challenged eagle-eyed LakeCountyEye Ops to guess the number of coffee mugs in Sheila Simon's Lieutenant Governor promotional video.

The winning entrant is a Mr P.Q. from Oak Park. P.Q. correctly guessed the number of coffee mugs in the video. For Ops keeping score, the correct number of mugs is five. Or is it six? Four maybe? Well let's put it at five, plus or minus a few. To be honest, your LakeCountyEye has been unable to sit through the entire video.

As the winning entrant, P.Q. will be awarded first runner-up to the Democratic Lieutenant Governor nomination. P.Q. has, however, informed the judges that he may have to decline the award. The Lieutenant Governor first runner-up's duties are believed to Constitutionally conflict with P.Q.'s day job. Your LakeCountyEye has learned that the judges are working on an Illinois Constitutional Amendment.

See the Tribune for details ...
Quinn backing Sheila Simon for lieutenant governor

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Simon Says

Last week your LakeCountyEye fearlessly predicted the winner of the Democrat's Lieutenant-Governor-eepstakes ...
Southern Strategy
Since then, 17 semi-finalists have been invited to the final-four playoff tournament to be held in Springfield this Saturday, by the Democratic Central Committee ...
Prospective Democratic Lieutenant Governor Nominees
The nominee list is top-heavy with Chicago-area finalists, and include the names of one or two Lake Countiers. One finalist, Shelia Simon, is from downstate Carbondale. Simon, who teaches law at SUI, is the daughter of former Senator Paul Simon. More importantly Simon sent your LakeCountyEye a campaign video, which is more than any of the other finalists did -- who only bother to call your LakeCountyEye once a year to pick up their birthday checks, the ungrateful freeloaders.

Anyhow, for your enjoyment, the Shelia Simon campaign video, presented without commercial interruption ...

LakeCountyEye Lieutenant Governor Challenge!

Can you count the number of coffee mugs
in the Sheila Simon video?
0 Cups
1 Cup
2 Cups
3 Cups
4 Cups
5 Cups
6 Cups
7 Cups
8 Cups
9 Cups
10 Cups
11 Cups
12 Cups
13 Cups
14 Cups
15 Cups
16 Cups
17 Cups
Hint: you have to watch the entire video.

Send your entry to the Democratic Party of Illinois. The first person to correctly guess the number of coffee mugs in the Shelia Simon video will be awarded first-runner-up in the Lieutenant Governor sweepstakes. If for any reason the reigning Lieutenant Governor is unable to perform his or her duties you will be asked to wear the Lieutenant Governor crown. Hurry, don't delay!

Mark Kirk Finally Gets 15 Minutes of Fame

It required an assist from Roger Ebert, but Tea Party Republican candidate for US Senate Mark Kirk got his fifteen minutes of fame. The soon to be former 10th District Congressman was featured yesterday on the Wonkette website. For LakecountyEye Ops who are not familiar with the Internet site, Wonkette is a website specializing in political satire. For Ops who are not familiar with political satire, they are frequent readers of the LakeCountyEye website.

Wonkette was mercifully brief:

Roger Ebert, the Internet’s most prolific writer (and also a famous film critic), typed this succinct & damning Twitter reply to Mark Kirk’s brave election-winning plan to bring back insurance bans on Americans with "pre-existing conditions." [Ebert via Daily Kos]
Republicans Will Win America’s Hearts By Taking Their Health Insurance Away
SharpEyed Operatives may notice that the Wonkette piece is not much more than a link to a well-thought-out Daily Kos post. Plus a snarky comment. Your LakeCountyEye roundly disapproves of this all too common sort of lazy & disingenuous blogging.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows

The socialized healthcare bandwagon sweeping the nation has finally become a reality, and not a minute too soon. Especially now that your LakeCountyEye has been out of commission with an attack of the vapors precipitated by all the recent hoopla. While recuperating, your LakeCountyEye has been indulging in a favorite free-time activity: analyzing recent weather statistics. Ever since Jane Byrne rode into town on a snowstorm in 1979, your LakeCountyEye has been a keen student of local weather conditions.

LakeCountyEye Ops may recall how unseasonably warm it was last week. That is, until Saturday when the temperature dropped back down to normal for a Lake County Spring, plus the couple inches of snow that dropped along with it. But if you thought summer had arrived early you weren't imagining things. Numbers never lie. Your LakeCountyEye crunched the data with some help from a nonlinear stochastic climate model and arrived at an exhaustive climatological analysis of last week's unusually warm weather:

Average High
Mar 165844+14Wow a warm day.
Mar 176144+17Wow a warm day.
Mar 186245+17Wow a warm day.
Mar 196545+20Wow a warm day.
Mar 203946-7Well, back to normal.

Of course, no scientific experiment is considered valid unless its results are compared against a control group. In this case, the control group would be what other Lake County bloggers are saying about the weather. Unfortunately, Ellen of the 10th seems more concerned about the HuffPo rankings than about the weather. And while spring weather may turn a young man's fancy to thoughts of love, TeamAmerica's valentines are all for Mark Kirk. Out of desperation your LakeCountyEye has enlisted for its control, the nearby McHenry County Blog. Overall, as a control group, McHenry County (not being in Lake County) leaves much to be desired. But at least Cal Skinner says some things about the weather in the blog.

Well, not every day, but once in a while. There is no mention of the warm weather in the McHenry County Blog on March 16. No mention on March 17. No mention on March 18. And no mention on March 19. But hang on, Skinner did notice that March 20 turned chilly with snow:

An Al Gore Spring Equinox
The circled links are to other McHenry County Blog posts that are unabashedly skeptical of global warming.

Is Cal Skinner relying on a climatological model at variance with your LakeCountyEye's? Your LakeCountyEye looks at four unseasonably warm days followed by a snowstorm and sees pretty much normal March weather. While the McHenry County Blog interprets a snowfall on the first day of spring as more evidence that global warming is nothing but a myth. All of which demonstrates the value of pursuing scientific research with rigor and without preconceived notions. This significant difference in opinion between your LakeCountyEye and the McHenry County Blog conclusively demonstrates that there is simply no consensus among experts about the reality of global warming!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Miracle Cure

Huzzah, universal healthcare is now a reality! Your LakeCountyEye will not have to sell a kidney after all to cover some pesky medical expenses. (Experts say that this is a trick that can't be counted on to work more than twice.) Soon your LakeCountyEye can start seeing a real MD. And totally free of charge.

Checking the Congressional record, there were few surprises in yesterday's Health Care Reform vote. No one seriously thought Obama-Mama Melissa Bean would oppose her poker buddy, Rahm. Voting in the Noes column was shapeshifting Mark Kirk, who has metamorphosed from a North Shore liberal to a downstate teabagger.

The bill, HR 3590, is bigger than Social Security plus Medicare plus the Repeal of Prohibition. Combined and times one hundred. Of course no one, including any of our reps, can say for certian what exactly is in the bill. Exclusive video of demonstrators at Melissa Bean's office last week has the 411 on the 911:

Did you spot your LakeCountyEye? Look for the Testey's Tea furry.

So before hailing an EMS vehicle for an all-expense-paid ride to the ER, your LakeCountyEye decided to look up just what is covered by the Healthcare Bill. You may be as surprised as your LakeCountyEye. Here are the ten most significant provisions in the Healthcare Bill, HR 3590. How these will affect you is anyone's guess.

The 10 Most Important Features of the Healthcare Bill
1) Rockin' pneumonia: Covered
    Boogie Woogie flu: Not Covered

2) Medicare can now bargain with pharmaceutical makers for cheaper placebos.

3) Dr Kevorkian to be named Death-Panel Czar.

4) Owners can now keep pets on their policies until they are 26. (Dog years: 182)

5) Ambulance Chasing to be named newest Olympic Trial Sport.

6) Torte Reform provision eliminates the prescription drug doughnut-hole.

7) So-called Cadillac Tax also to be levied on owners of unsafe Toyotas.

8) Vaccine now available for blue-flu.

9) Entire package to be paid for by reinstating the death tax.

10) Health insurance companies now required to actually pay some claims.

Does anyone have the phone number to Michael Jackson's doctor?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Southern Strategy

March is the most important month of the year for your LakeCountyEye. Besides the customary St Patrick's Day and Eyeds-of-March celebrations, mid-March is that time on the calendar when the march hares run mad. In other words March Madness has arrived once again. Every year at this time LakeCountyEye bracketologists are to be found handicapping the field for the most important non-professional sporting competition of the year: when the Democratic Party certifies their annual Lieutenant Governor candidate.

Unlike years past, 2010 is shaping up to be excitement packed into a jello-shot, as no one knows who the lucky candidate will be. The Daily Herald captured the Lieutenant Governor electricity thusly ...
More than 200 people have applied for the job. The pool of hopefuls is mostly a list of unknowns, but the list is sprinkled with suburbanites, including state Sen. Terry Link of Waukegan, who originally sought the nod in the February primary, and former deputy treasurer Raja Krishnamoorthi from Hoffman Estates, who lost a bid for state comptroller.
Madigan: The party, not Quinn, will make lt. gov. decision
Those named are only two of our local favorite sons & daughters in the running. The Herald failed to mention, for instance, Princess Nudelman -- who your LakeCountyEye judges to be the current local front-runner for the coveted office. (Full disclosure, Ms Nudelman has contracted for your LakeCountyEye's 24/7 influence-pedaling services. Contact a LakeCountyEye sales rep for a rate card. Mention this post for a 10% discount.)

Now, your LakeCountyEye recognizes no peer when it comes to standing up for our Lake County favorite sons & daughters. However your LakeCountyEye has also seen the numbers. When there is a choice to be made between championing the local talent and between taking home a nice piece of the point-spread action, well, you do the math. Sadly your LakeCountyEye can report not seeing any Links or Krishnamoorthis or Nudelmans pencilled in any of the final brackets. The reason why is spelled out on the LakeCountyEye 2010 Election SpreadSheet ...

 Illinois 2010 Election :: Democratic Executive Office Slate 
OfficeCandidateRegional Base
GovernorPat QuinnChicago Area
Secretary of StateJesse WhiteChicago Area
Attorney GeneralLisa MadiganChicago Area
TreasurerRobin KellyChicago Area
ComptrollerDavid MillerChicago Area
Lieutenant GovernorTBDTBD
Clip & Save!

Your LakeCountyEye doesn't 100% exactly know what will be written in those TBD boxes. But your LakeCountyEye does know it will not be: Chicago Area

With the Republican ticket top-heavy in downstate candidates, smart money says the Democrats are going to bus up their Lieutenant Governor candidate from somewhere south of I-80. The Dems are pretty close to achieving gender-parity on the ticket. So your LakeCountyEye speculates they will focus on someone young and energetic. With a college education. They will look for someone who can appeal to the ethnic voters. And most importantly someone with state-wide name-recognition. Your LakeCountyEye is not in a position as of yet to reveal the name of the mystery nominee. Your LakeCountyEye has taken a blood-oath to maintain extreme-blogger-secrecy. So while your LakeCountyEye marks down on a few remaining wagers, LakeCountyEye Ops are asked to keep an eye peeled for further developments.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Creepy Tribune Cartoonist Rips Off LakeCountyEye

Last Sunday, March 14, your LakeCountyEye posted a clever piece, one that faux-conflated the NCAA March Madness Playoffs with the Illinois Democrat's Lieutenant Governor vacancy. The gag revolved around mistaking NCAA bracketology hoopla for how the Democrats will eventually select their Lieutenant Governor candidate.
March Madness
Well, yesterday, March 17, the Chicago Tribune posted this political cartoon:

Chicago Tribune, 03/18/2010
When your LakeCountyEye rips off a Tribune idea, your LakeCountyEye at least goes to the trouble of trying to think up a joke to go with it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Caught Red Handed

Lake County's lead-foot State Senator, Dan Duffy, got his 15 seconds of fame this week. And not once but twice, yielding a total of 30 seconds. And in the way that no elected official ever wants to get their 15 seconds, courtesy of the YouTubes. Duffy was caught double-timing it through some intersections by his bête noire -- the municipal red light camera. In Illinois a right turn is permitted at a red light. However only after a full stop. The devil is in the details!

Duffy's is the second car through the intersection ...


Another smooth Barrington Stop observed at the same intersection a couple days later ...

A note to LakeCountyEye Ops: consider a Toyota Prius for these occasions. When nabbed blowing a red-light, your LakeCountyEye always pleads that the Toyota's gas pedal was stuck. Plus the Prius is economical, reduces your carbon footprint, and is one sweet ride. A win-win for everyone. For those LakeCountyEye Ops who happen to also be a local state senator, the Toyota Lexus may be substituted for a Prius.

If Duffy is in the habit of texting his email while behind the wheel, he may not have seen the red-lights. That may also account for this email Your LakeCountyEye received from Senator Duffy a while back ...

Have you had enough of Red Light Cameras?
If you want them removed, I need your help!

My bill, SB2466 calls for the repeal of all red light cameras in Illinois. The bill does NOT repeal cameras at construction sites or railroad crossings. To view complete details of this and other bills, please always refer to www.ilga.gov. This is the same web site the legislators use to research bills and all information is available to the public.

SB2466 has been filed and is currently sitting in “assignments”. Once it assigned it will be moved to a committee. It must pass out of committee to go to the senate floor for a vote. It will not pass without your HELP! The bill will have to pass both the House and Senate to become law. We need to build as much support as possible for SB2466. If you support this bill, please send an email to every legislator in the General Assembly (please see email list below for every legislators email address). Legislators read their emails and gauge the priority they put on bills based on the number of emails and calls they receive. The more emails, the more support for SB2466 there will be.

Here is a sample email you can use. Please feel free to “cut and paste” this sample email and send…or write whatever you would like. The emails should not be too long. Main point to highlight is that you SUPPORT SB2466 and will hold all legislators accountable who do not support the bill. Always list “SUPPORT SB2466 – Repeal Red Light Cameras” in the subject heading of your email. Cut and paste all email addresses and re-send to all legislators at LEAST once a week.

Please forward this email to family, friends and associates who will help us in our effort!

Sample email:
I strongly support Senator Duffy’s bill, SB2466 – Repeal of all Red Light Cameras. Ohio and Minnesota have already repealed these cameras and Illinois must do the same. These cameras have proven to be all about REVENUE and not about safety. Since the cameras have been installed, studies have shown that accidents have actually INCREASED in the intersections where cameras are located.

Over 90% of tickets issued by these cameras are from turning Right on Red. If that is a problem in certain intersections, shouldn't towns first install “No Turn On Red” signs at troubled intersections?

Corruption is a serious problem in Illinois and these cameras are making a bad situation worse. Elected officials (legislators, mayors, village administrators) are making deals with camera companies without consulting their constituents. Politicians are receiving large campaign contributions, towns / villages are receiving piles of cash from these cameras AND camera companies are receiving 30-50% of every ticket issued! That is a clear "conflict of interest". Camera companies are making millions of dollars a month from hard working Illinois citizens.

We all are Innocent Until Proven Guilty. However these automatic tickets make us Guilty Until We Prove We Are Innocent. For a $100 ticket citizens must pay over a thousand dollars to hire a lawyer, take time off work and go fight a camera. There is also NO uniformity in the law as to how these tickets are issued. Every town sets their own criteria regarding “how” and “when” red light tickets are issued. That “inconsistency” from town to town is a violation of Illinois state law.

Please join me in SUPPORTING SB2466. I will be watching to see how you vote.

Thank You,


Dan Duffy
State Senator
26th District
Support SB 2466 - Repeal Red Light Cameras

Duffy, that day, apparently was in a mood to take no prisoners. His request to ...
please send an email to every legislator in the General Assembly
was augmented by the email addresses of all 118 House members and 59 Senators attached to the message. And with easy to follow instructions ...
Cut and paste all email addresses and re-send to all legislators at LEAST once a week
Needless to say all 177 legislator's email addresses wound up being reproduced at various libertarian and anti-red-light-camera websites. Like, for instance, this one ...
The smallest minority
This, by the way, is how professional spammers build up their email databases. Spammers don't copy-and-paste email addresses by hand, but they use computer programs to harvest email addresses from websites. Any website with a posted email address is fair game.

Your LakeCountyEye surmises that the Senate Transportation Committee -- which holds hearings on SB 2466 this week -- must've quickly found out who was watching to see how they voted. (Or whom amongst them could benefit from some low-cost over-the-counter Viagra.) Because they returned the favor by FOIAing Duffy's red-light-camera arrest record. Which by now is all over the Interwebs, courtesy of the YouTubes.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

March Madness

With the Illinois jobless rate mired at a seismic 219%, the Democratic Party's job posting for a Lieutenant Governor candidate couldn't have come at a better time. More than a quarter million applicants -- roughly the turnout at an average Scott Lee Cohen job fair -- have applied for the coveted position. The starting salary of the Illinois Lieutenant Governor is somewhere north of $115,000. The primary responsibilities of the office are to make like a stooge and recede. A complete list of nominees is at the Illinois Democrats website:
Democratic Lieutenant Governor Nomination
Warning: if you are like your LakeCountyEye and partake of a free dial-up Internet service, the page may take a seismic 219 hours to load.

The Democrats will choose a lucky winner in Springfield on March 27. But applicants are advised not to buy their Greyhound tickets just yet. The Daily Herald reports that ...
the present plan is to convene four meetings throughout the state on March 20 to allow the prospective nominees to present their credentials for the job.
Democrats to pick Quinn's running mate March 27
Applicants will participate in a single-elimination tournament. Those lucky or well-connected enough to make it to one of the four March 20 quarter-final rounds will have a chance participate in the March 27 Springfield Final Four playoffs. Bracketologists have informed your LakeCountyEye that chances of making it to the Final Four are roughly 60,000 to 1. Those LakeCountyEye operatives hoping to be Illinois's next Bob Kustra are advised to arrive early with their credentials!

All applicants will be expected to observe NCAA Tournament Rules:
  1. To be a fair stand-up boxing match in a 24-foot ring, or as near that size as practicable.
  2. No wrestling or hugging allowed.
  3. The rounds to be of three minutes duration, and one minute's time between rounds.
  4. If either man falls through weakness or otherwise, he must get up unassisted, 10 seconds to be allowed him to do so, the other man meanwhile to return to his corner, and when the fallen man is on his legs the round is to be resumed and continued until the three minutes have expired. If one man fails to come to the scratch in the 10 seconds allowed, it shall be in the power of the referee to give his award in favour of the other man.
  5. A man hanging on the ropes in a helpless state, with his toes off the ground, shall be considered down.
  6. No seconds or any other person to be allowed in the ring during the rounds.
  7. Should the contest be stopped by any unavoidable interference, the referee to name the time and place as soon as possible for finishing the contest; so that the match must be won and lost, unless the backers of both men agree to draw the stakes.
  8. The gloves to be fair-sized boxing gloves of the best quality and new.
  9. Should a glove burst, or come off, it must be replaced to the referee's satisfaction.
  10. A man on one knee is considered down and if struck is entitled to the stakes.
  11. That no shoes or boots with spikes or sprigs be allowed.
  12. The contest in all other respects to be governed by revised London Prize Ring Rules.
The Judge's decision is final.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Off Message

Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran spoke recently at a meeting of the Republican Assembly of Lake County (RALC). Typically at these rank-and-file political events the guest tosses out some red meat to the party faithful for everyone's mutual enjoyment. Curran, breaking with tradition, spoke in favor of citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Uh huh. At a RALC meeting. Amnesty for illegal aliens.

For those just tuning in, RALC is the local political organization that features items like this in their quarterly newsletter:

The Platform, Jun-Aug 2008
Republican Assembly of Lake County
Your LakeCountyEye has to admire anyone with the whatchamacallits to talk up amnesty in front a roomful of those guys. It's either that or someone who has drifted that far off script may just be taking their instructions from:
  1. His Manchurian Controller
  2. Outer Space
  3. God
Reading between the lines of the Daily Herald, it may be option (c):
Curran in the past has said he was opposed to any effort to allow the estimated 15 million to 20 million people who entered the country illegally to become citizens said his change of mind on the issue was driven mainly by his Catholic faith. He said his review of the position of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on immigration reform convinced him that he had to soften his own view to reflect the teachings of his church. "When faith conflicts with politics, faith wins every time with me," Curran said.
Lake County sheriff goes against the grain
Your LakeCountyEye doesn't doubt the Sheriff's faith in a higher authority. Nonetheless, at sober moments it's hard to disregard what John F Kennedy said in 1960:
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute--where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishoners for whom to vote--where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference--and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him. I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish--where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source--where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials--and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.
Address of Senator John F. Kennedy to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association
Your LakeCountyEye knew Jack Kennedy. Your LakeCountyEye worked with Jack Kennedy. Sheriff Curran is no Jack Kennedy.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Promises, Promises

The folks in the picture below are members of the Avon Forward slate who successfully took over the reins of the Avon Township government, in part, on a promise to return a scheduled pay raise.

New Avon Township officials return pay raises

If you don't recognize him, the gent in the back (on the right) is Sam Yingling. Yingling is Avon Township Supervisor and was the subject of a video posted here last month:
Lake County Eye Sees a Unicorn: A Township Lowers Taxes!
The rest of the people posing are other Avon Township elected officials. The check represents the amount the Avon Forward slate is returning to the Township. If you can't read the pic, the amount is $3399, which is the accumulated total of their payraises. The memo on the check says Promises Made, Promises Kept.

However some are grumbling that promises were either not made and/or kept. One person conspicuously absent from the photo is Avon Township Assessor, Bryce Carus. Carus, a member of the Avon Forward slate, has not, and has not indicated he will, return his pay raise. The Daily Herald took notice:
At an Aug. 10 meeting, five of the newcomers - all but Carus - posed with an oversized check payable to "the people of Avon Township" for $3,999, representing the collective return of the raises. Yingling explained to the audience Carus was not yet in office and intended to return a scheduled 15 percent raise on the assessor's $65,000 salary that became effective when he started Jan. 1. The raise amounted to $9,750. But Carus stressed in interviews this week he never said he planned to return this year's raise and that Yingling knew where he stood on the issue.
Avon Township assessor criticized for hiring son, keeping raise
Carus also, after taking over the Avon assessor's office, fired some people while hiring his community-college-attending son. Which, if you think about it, is more disturbing than reneging on a promise to return some salary money to the Township.

Carus won his Assessor's race easily in 2009 by running against a discredited opponent. Will history be repeating itself in Avon Township in 2013? One thing to bear in mind: in Illinois it is generally pretty easy to qualify for elected office. However the requirements for Township Assessor are anything but easy. To qualify to be a Township Assessor in Illinois, various certifications and/or course credits are expected of you. For all practical purposes, hardly anyone qualifies.

If you're looking forward to 2013 in Avon Township -- with eyes on the Assessor's office -- you better get to work now! It's not as hard as it looks for people who could qualify to be Assessors. After all, they like fine print and numbers. Come on, who'll step up for that good-paying job? Don't live in Avon Township? The job pays a lot more in some townships in Lake County!


All candidates for township or multi-township assessor must file a certificate of qualifications with or prior to their filing of nomination papers pursuant to the provisions of Section 2-45 of the Property Tax code [35 ILCS 200/2-45]. Candidates for township assessor or multi-township assessor cannot be appointed, file nomination papers, or participate as a candidate in a caucus, primary, or general election unless a copy of the certificate of his/her qualifications is filed with the township clerk, board of election commissioners, or the election authority as required by the Election Code [10 ILCS 5/1-1 (et seq)]. Any candidate can qualify by meeting a higher qualification or designation than the minimum requirement for the office for which he/she is a candidate. Candidates who are filing nomination papers in the year 2008 for the 2009 election, participating in a 2009 caucus or participation as a write-in candidate must meet one of the following minimum education requirements. The educational qualification for township or multi-township assessors is generally based upon the equalized assessed value (EAV) of the assessment jurisdiction.

In an introductory assessment jurisdiction with $10 million or less in non-farm EAV and less than $1 million in commercial and industrial EAV a candidate must possess one of the following qualifications:
1. Passed the Township Assessor-Introductory Course offered by the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR).

2. Passed the Basic Course offered by the Illinois Property Assessment Institute prior to January 1, 1997.

3. Possess a designation approved for larger assessment jurisdictions.
In an intermediate assessment jurisdiction with more than $10 million in non-farm EAV and less than $25 million in non-farm EAV and less than $1 million in commercial and industrial EAV, the qualifications will be based upon whether the candidate was previously elected in any such jurisdiction.
1. If the candidate has not been previously elected to office in an assessment jurisdiction that in 1994 had more than $10 million and less than $25 million in non-farm EAV and less than $1 million in commercial and industrial EAV in Section 2-45 (d) of the Property Tax Code [35 ILCS 200/2-45 (d)] the candidate must meet one of the requirements for an introductory assessment jurisdiction.

2. If the candidate was previously elected to office in an assessment jurisdiction that in 1994 had more than $10 million and less than $25 million in non-farm EAV and less than $1million in commercial and industrial EAV in Section 2-45 (b) of the property tax Code [35 ILCS 200/2-45 (b)] the candidate must meet one of the designation requirements for a larger assessment jurisdiction.
In a larger assessment jurisdiction with more than $25 million in non-farm EAV or more than $1 million in commercial and industrial EAV a candidate must possess one of the following designations in Section 2-45 (c) of the Property Tax Code [35 ILCS 200/2-45(c)]:
1. A Certified Illinois Assessment Officer (CIAO) or the Certified Illinois Assessment Officer-Associate (CIAO-A) from the Illinois Property Assessment Institute.

2. A Certified Assessment Evaluator (CAE) or Residential Evaluation Specialist (RES) designation from the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO).

3. A Residential Member (RM), Member Appraisal Institute (MAI), Senior Real Estate Analyst (SREA), Senior Real Property Appraiser (SRPA), or Senior Residential appraiser (SRA) designation from the Appraisal Institute.

4. A Member (IFA), Senior Member (IFAS), or Appraiser-Counselor (IFAC) from the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers.

5. A Member (ASA) designation from the American Society of Appraisers.
Candidates who are planning to use either the Introductory Course in Assessment Practices or the Certified Illinois Assessing Officer designation will need to contact the Illinois Department of Revenue at (217) 782-6958 for a Certificate of Qualifications. Candidates who are planning to use one of the other approved designations in Section 2-45 will need to request a letter of qualification from those organizations. The letter of qualification from other organizations should specify the type of designation, membership status, and the time period for which the candidate qualifies.

Anyone with questions regarding the educational requirements for township or multitownship assessor may call the Illinois Department of Revenue at (217) 524-5263.

State of Illinois Candidate's Guide

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Haunted House

Once upon a time when the month of March arrived your LakeCountyEye would be girding the loins for an upcoming Illinois primary election. But with the 2010 primary now a distant and forgotten memory, all March means nowadays is the snow is finally melting at the LakeCountyEye compound. And the LakeCountyEye auxiliary vehicles in cinder-block-storage are all visible from the highway again. Could it be that time of the year again already for the extreme spring cleanup?

There is another home in the LakeCountyEye hood that has been the subject of untoward gossip. After being caught red-handed missing some house payments, Joe Walsh, the Tea Party Republican candidate for the Eighth Congressional District issued an angry press release:
I knew getting into this race that the local media would do Melissa Bean’s dirty work for her. And the Daily Herald has now lived down to my expectations.
Statement by Joe Walsh Regarding Personal Financial History
In Response to today’s Daily Herald article
The Herald apparently not amused, responded with an editorial of their own:
If Congressional candidate Joe Walsh was so hard up for money that he couldn't fulfill his obligation on a $300,000 mortgage, why was he able to afford to rent an $860,000 colonial in Winnetka with an in-ground pool?
Joe Walsh and the debt he didn't pay
(Never pick a fight with anyone who buys ink by the barrel.)

The Herald sent a photog over to Walsh's home to investigate ...
They must've unearthed some new skeletons rattling around in there. Your LakeCountyEye thought the house looked eerily familiar ...
Your LakeCountyEye has got to go. The two guys from American Pickers just drove by. Real slow like.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

No Contest

With the November election coming up next November, your LakeCountyEye is a firm believer that it is never too early to handicap the candidates. It's probably a tad premature to publish any point spreads this early in the game -- even for those who have distilled the craft down to a science. Of course, the secret to good handicapping is all in the numbers -- knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the field. To this end, your LakeCountyEye is keeping book on every relevant Lake County election contest. In the Eighth Congressional District the contest has firmed up as one between incumbent Melissa Bean and challenger Joe Walsh:

CandidateMelissa BeanJoe Walsh

Campaign Portrait w/Am. Flag

PartyDemocraticTea Party Republican

10th Congressional District
10th Congressional District

Campaign Logo


Takes Marching Orders from ...
Nancy Pelosi

Glenn Beck

BankersIn the Pocket ofIn the Foreclosure of
Daily Herald

Comical Character with Similar Name
Mr Bean

Joe Walsh

T.J. Maxx
$20,000 Suit Filed by ex-Campaign Manager for Unpaid Wages
Daily Herald

Miscellaneous$50,000 Federal Grant for School Bus Safety in GurneeThrown Under the Campaign Bus by NRCC
Daily Herald

Whoa. Bean v Walsh won't even be close -- this one is ready to be called. Except the authorities have prevailed upon your LakeCountyEye to hold off on predictions until after the election. Apparently your LakeCountyEye's Feb 2 pre-election prognostications were good enough that very few primary voters actually bothered to show up at the polls.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Budget Busters

With the State of Illinois $13 Trillion in debt, economists estimate it would take 300 years of indentured servitude per each Illinois taxpayer, before the Budget saw any black ink again. It's perhaps factoids like these, in conjunction with an inconvenient election in November, that has caught the attention of our top-of-the-ticket candidates. Not surprisingly candidates do what candidates do best when confronted with a crisis and no cheap & easy way out. They promise to convene a panel of blue-ribbon experts. Or solicit ideas from the voters.

This seems to be the year of the B-plan, because Gov Pat Quinn has a website for soliciting citizen proposals on fixing the budget. For those LakeCountyEye Ops who think they're so smart, the webpage is at ...
Suggest a Solution
Thankfully not a lot of time or thought was spent building the website because it is easy to navigate. There is a place for your comment. And some categories to choose from ...
  • General
  • Questions
  • Spending Cuts
  • Borrowing
  • Federal Assistance
  • Revenue Enhancements
And the important Submit button. When you're done, there is a page to check your work ...
Public Comments
Uh huh, as soon as your proposal goes into the input page, it is posted on the output page. Sort of like live blogging on Springfield's dime! Many of the real comments posted there are funnier than the fake comments posted below. Which is why your LakeCountyEye has gone to the trouble of compiling the 10 best budget proposals posted on budget.illinois.gov -- so you don't have to!

The Illinois Interactive Budget Website's Ten Best Public Proposals
  1. Outsource the Illinois State government to China.

  2. Replace all I-PASS transponders with video poker.

  3. Every Friday night: all-you-can-eat Asian carp fish fry!

  4. Free CTA taxi rides to Florida for Illinois pension holders.

  5. a) Find out where all the jobs are leaving Illinois.
    b) Install a red light camera there.

  6. Why waste agriculture subsidies on corn ethanol when the big demand is for medical marijuana?

  7. Sue Joe Walsh for something.

  8. Instead of low-yield Treasury Bonds, invest the teacher's retirement fund in high-yield Mega-Millions tickets. The more you play the more chances you have to win!

  9. Scott Lee Cohen will give you a loan or buy anything of value! When you need cash remember Royal Pawn Shop.

  10. Lease naming rights of Route 53 Extension to Pfizer: Viagra Extension

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