Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Blink of the Eye: 05.10.06

Operatives are invited to the Shedd Aquarium. Your LakeCountyEye has a new summer job and will be wrestling the alligators. Shows are at 10, 2 and 4pm thru Labor Day, students and seniors be sure to ask for your $3 discount off the admission price!

Some LakeCountyEye FAQs:
Q: Is alligator wrestling dangerous?
A: Unquestionably.

Q: Why don't you quit?
A: What, and leave show business?!
Needless to say, with the additional workload this blog will necessarily & unfortunately suffer as a consequence. Until your LakeCountyEye is divested by the Shedd (or digested as the case may be) please enjoy this encore presentation of a 2006 post:

Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Mehlman's Gayonnaise

RNC big-gun Ken Mehlman has blown into Lake County to plug the Illinois gay marriage ban. Backers of the anti-gay ballot initiative are saying they have enough signatures to see the referendum on the November ballot. The referendum is widely expected to buck up Republican election turnout. Illinois's newest political blog, TheCapitolFaxBlog, has the details:
Will the gay marriage amendment impact November?
Mehlman will be on the stump for Republican Congressional candidates -- most recently he was seen standing behind his man in the Eighth District, David McSweeney ...

Mehlman on McSweeney
With an election referendum in place designed to give the voters a chance to bash teh gays in the ballot box, McSweeney is hoped to beat back an incumbent Melissa Bean, where the two are widely believed to be locked in a tight contest.

Campaign sources tell your LakeCountyEye, however, to expect instead a blowout. With the uber-right-wing McSweeney getting a leg-up up from the RNC's uber-heterosexual Mehlman, this one won't even be close. Bean marches in lockstep with the failed European-style socialist policies of House Speaker Tom Foley, and your LakeCountyEye predicts an easy win for McSweeney. If Phil Crane wasn't still alive, he would not be turning in his grave come November.

Where a gay marriage ban will make a difference is in other congressional races, like in the 10th and the 18th Districts. Having an RNC-sponsored anti-gay referendum on the November ballot gives the whip hand to vulnerable Republican candidates like Mark Kirk and Aaron Schock who are currently jammed up against impregnable Democratic opponents.

Posted by Barney Baxter at 12:19 AM 121 comments

Labels: McSweeney, Bean

Operatives are advised to lace up their crocs and hurry down to the Shedd before it's too late!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Foist Off the Record

Somebody call ComEd. Lake County is shocked -- shocked! -- over Daily Herald revelations that local campaigns are dispatching sockpuppets to stuff Internet news sites with political propaganda. It seems that every local blog and online news outlet of any consequence is now the target of a campaign operative hoping to bomb a free online comment section with some earned media. The complete play-by-play and color commentary was provided early this week on this blog ...
Faux Comment
The proliferation of campaign sockpuppets, trolls, drivebys, chatboxes, spammers, avatars, bots, fanboys, flamers, shills and lolcats has suddenly turned the fuddy-duddy world of Internet political news and reasoned opinion into a sausage-factory of prefabricated sound-bytes manufactured for political gain.

It used to be: don't believe everything you read. Now it is: don't believe who said it. That online comment section may seem to represent the voice of the people. However what appears to be the vox populi may in reality be the vox politico.

The Daily Herald warned: be discerning. Your LakeCountyEye has discerned the online monikers of some of the more egregious offenders. Be forewarned, when you see one of these names you may have encountered a campaign operative hoping to manipulate your opinion against your will.

Ten Obviously Fake Names Seen at Online News Sites and Blogs
  1. Ben Dover
  2. AquaBuddha
  3. Flibber T Gibbet
  4. Admiral Kibbitz
  5. Princess Nudelman
  6. Puddin'n'Tain
  7. Hipcheck16
  8. Tiny Elvis
  9. We Buy Gold!
  10. Louis G Atsaves

For the record your LakeCountyEye has no additional comment at this time.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Faux Comment

If the comment section of a local Internet news item is the cookie jar, then the Robert Dold campaign just got caught with its hand in the cookie jar. Dold communications director, Kelly Klopp, recently dispatched an e-mail to her people, soliciting spontaneous online comments to a Daily Herald story about the 10th Congressional candidate. This is typical of the desperate maneuvers seen at campaigns during the final weeks before an election. What is atypical is the eponymous Klopp CCed the Daily Herald.

Lawl ...
Klopp acknowledged she sent the e-mail and defended the practice. "Volunteers write letters to the editors for us, put up yard signs, hand out literature - we're always encouraging supporters and volunteers to join the public debate," she said. Such volunteers also are asked to post comments on blogs and Facebook pages, Klopp said.
10th Congressional candidate urging supporters to post comments online
The Herald, it would seem, got the last laugh, soliciting some spontaneous snark from the Dan Seals campaign:
The Seals team doesn't employ such a tactic, spokeswoman Aviva Gibbs said. Seals' supporters are active enough on the Internet without prompting from the campaign, she said. "We don't encourage supporters to stack the deck (in comment sections) because we don't have to," Gibbs said. "They do it on their own."
10th Congressional candidate urging supporters to post comments online
But the Herald, doubtless recognizing they held the journalistic equivalent of a cash-cow, milked the opportunity for some ginned up editorial outrage:
Unfortunately, this type of thing is so commonplace that when someone like Klopp is caught at it, she isn't even properly embarrassed. The message for all of us, as voters and in a more general sense as consumers of information, is both sad and simple: Be discerning.
A pervasive politics of small deceits
Discerning words, true enough. But your LakeCountyEye would hasten to add that neither voters nor consumers of information of any sort are likely to be consuming online comment information. Sadly & simply, no one that matters reads online comment sections.

If Ms Klopp is blase about getting caught stuffing the cookie jar, it's because the only people who pay any bother to online comments are other campaign operatives. Savvy LakeCountyEye operatives know this, and it is demonstrated by the lack of comments on this blog. It is a waste of ink to post a comment on a political blog with expectations of helping a candidate.

The world of online commentary is a hermetically sealed universe where a coterie of commenters post under multiple aliases. Anyone reading a comment is invariably another commenter, possibly even the same commenter posting under a different alias.

Elections are won by reaching the disengaged and uninformed voting majority, and operatives are not going to reach these voters via Internet earned media. The Catch-22 of online electioneering is that those voters who consume their information from online sources -- blogs, news commentary, listservs, etc -- are not going to be swayed by online electioneering. Anyone who is swayable is the sort of voter whose utilization of the Internet does not go much beyond dialing into an AOL e-mail account -- assuming they can access the Internet at all.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hung Over

Judging by the national hissy fit over a recent jury verdict, your LakeCountyEye would've thought OJ Simpson had been acquitted of murder, or something. But no, it was only Rod Blagojevich; who walked.

Operatives will not have been surprised, the verdict was predicted nearly 2 months back, on this blog ...
An Eye to the Future
... where it was foretold with Nostradamian clarity that Blagojevich would not be convicted.

Hawk-eyed operatives who like to quibble over legal technicalities will point out that Blago in fact did not walk. He was convicted of one charge -- lying to the FBI. And there was a hung-jury on each of the other 578 Federal counts. And while soccer matches can end in a draw, our bookies Americans like contests that produce a winner and a loser. So with a justice system modelled after NFL rules, it's reasonable to expect the Blagojevich trial to go into sudden death overtime.

These are understandable quibbles. However Blagojevich no doubt will appeal the perjury conviction; since this particular charge is a case of he-said-he-said, your LakeCountyEye reasonably expects to see an acquittal when brought before a jurist who understands the law.

Regarding a retrial on the other 857 counts, there is a significant difference between Blagojevich and OJ. Unless aggravated mopery with intent to gawk has suddenly become a Federal crime, Blagojevich didn't break any laws. According to a News-Sun rehash ...
This is a governor who hid in a bathroom to avoid talking business with his budget director. This is a governor who had to be hunted down at a bowling alley to sign important legislation. This is a governor who tried to squeeze a cushy job out of the White House as a swap for appointing a friend of President Obama's to the vacant U.S. Senate seat. This is an elected official who left the state miserably adrift at a time of financial crisis.
Retrial? Yes
Point well taken, Blago is an incompetent & self-serving asshat. But, to cite another legal technicality, being an incompetent & self-serving asshat is not a punishable offense. If it was, then George W Bush would be doing life+50 right now. So far the Feds have proven that Blago comported himself while in office like -- oh let's say -- any big-city mayor does. Headline seeking federal prosecutors may crave a scalp as famous as Blago's, but you still can't grow hair on an eight-ball.

Your LakeCountyEye foresees Blagojevich walking once again.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Creepy Tribune Cartoonist Creeps Out
Even the McHenryCountyBlog

The McHenryCountyBlog should not be faulted for lagging a few news cycles behind Internet opinion-leaders like your LakeCountyEye. And should be commended for being -- an albeit belated -- aficionado of the Chicago Tribune Creepy Cartoonist:

Chicago Tribune, 08/17/2010
This creepily comic drawing seems to have captured the McHenryCountyBlog's imagination -- and who wouldn't be captivated if suddenly confronted, eye-to-eye, with a man and his Kojak? According to the McHenryCountyBlog this little fellow is ...
a ferocious hooded criminal aiming a gun right at the reader. The bad guy is wearing a "Quinn '10" button. A tattoo on his bulging shoulder says, "I ♥ 2 MAIM." He is saying, "I was released early ... and I approve this message!"
Inmate "Revolving Door" Issue Makes Chicago Tribune Editorial Cartoon
Your LakeCountyEye fears an attack of the vapors!

It goes without saying they can't put down their guns in McHenry County. Travellers to the County are advised that the natives there all possess concealed-carry permits, and are likely to be armed to the teeth. Census data does confirm that a significant group of McHenry County residents do not own a single gun. However, that is because most people in this group own multiple guns.

Operatives, therefore would be well-advised to note the subtle details in the drawing, those underscored by the McHenryCountyBlog:
  • Caucasian Features
  • Redneck Vest
  • Overweight
  • Erehwon Ski Mask
  • Wanksta Tattoo
  • Open, Friendly Body Language
  • Vote For Quinn
Obviously this is a crude caricature of your average McHenry County native -- perhaps even of the McHenryCountyBlog himself! Or at the very least, a relative. Or neighbor. Or friend.

Admittedly & at first blush, no one who fits this description is likely to be caught sporting a Vote for Quinn button. But it should be noted that most McHenry County natives are home-schooled. For those unfamiliar with the distinction, the difference between public schooling and home schooling is the difference between reading comprehension and target practice. Nuff said!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Big Leak

Shocking revelations unearthed last week on this blog ...
Collision Course
have sent tremors the size of grapefruit-sized hailstones throughout Lake County. Proposed County projects to both extend Route 53 and to construct a Lake Michigan waterpipe will, if enacted, lead to an engineering disaster to rival the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

Top-Secret cartographic evidence obtained from the WikiLeaks ...
... shows what Lake County officials have known for some time -- that the two projects are on an unavoidable collision course.
Route 53 and the Lake Michigan water pipe will not only collide, but the trainwreck is projected to occur within city limits of sleepy bedroom community Hawthorn Woods.

(Your LakeCountyEye has learned that a surf-and-turf war is already being waged by backers of the two projects. Rival construction crews have been billeted in what is to be a race to break ground within Hawthorn Woods. The construction project that is first to reach Hawthorn Woods will be the project that claims the right-of-way.)

Their image consultants have advised County officials to not comment on the leaked documents; in fact not to mention the word leak at all. These same officials, not surprisingly, are downplaying the embarrassing revelations.

Seepage, for instance, is projected to send thousands of gallons of Lake Michigan water into the Hawthorn Woods Aquatic Center. Which ironically is expected to keep the cash-strapped municipal water park out of dry-dock. County officials are touting benefits like these -- to offset criticism of a seemingly ill-advised scheme to pass a limited access highway through a freshwater aqueduct. Or vice-versa. Depending on who gets there first.

Ten More Anticipated Benefits from
Intersecting Route 53 with a Lake Michigan Water Pipe
  1. Road salt is a natural water softener.

  2. Holes to be punched in the water pipe; underneath will pass the Route 53 No-Touch Car-Wash.

  3. Route 53 to be renamed the Irrigation Superhighway.

  4. Nearby homes will be close to transportation. With a Lake Michigan view.

  5. Route 53 red light cameras to be under the jurisdiction of Maritime Law.

  6. Expect comical newspaper headlines when Asian cars collide with Asian carp.

  7. Build a Lake Michigan boat slip and that Tollway Oasis pays for itself.

  8. After accidents, clean-up crews can stage impromptu Fox Lake Water Fights.

  9. Lake County sales on Aqua-Cars expected to go through the roof.

  10. Illinois Tollway pirates will be required to staff Route 53 toll booths with actual pirates. Arrr!

It's turned out to be a nice day. Operatives cruising Route 53 are advised to keep an eye peeled for the LakeCountyEye Low-Speed Vehicle.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Strange Bedfellows

A hawkeyed operative auditing the McHenryCountyBlog sent us this snapshot of Mark Beaubien, proudly sporting stickers for Bill Brady and Jason Plummer:

Republicans Hold Play Day Fundraiser
Brady and Plummer, of course, are noted opponents of choice for women under any circumstances. For those who do not know, Beaubien is the State Rep from the 52nd District, and has been one of the strongest pro-choice legislators. Beaubien is one of Personal PAC's "2008 Pro-Choice Election Winners":

Pro-Choice Election Winners
One candidate not there and not likely to be on Personal PAC's 2010 list either, is gubernatorial candidate, Bill Brady:

Stop Bill Brady
It doesn't look like Mark Beaubien is terribly interested in stopping Bill Brady. Has Beaubien been drinking too much TEA?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Collision Course

It's no secret that Lake County harbors a thirst for Lake Michigan water ...
Water Pipe Dreams
The Northern Lake County Lake Michigan Water Planning Group is charged with getting the water. Bureaucratic wheels don't spin free, however, and the Water Planning Group wants its 10 community members to pitch in $50,000 each, in earnest money. Those $50K checks, however, must all be lost in the mail -- it's beginning to look like the whole water project is about to go up in smoke. Why else would the Lake County Board be trying to light a fire now under the Water Planning Group? The Daily Herald reported some of the details:
"We have some very good mayors who understand the issues. It behooves them to put some shoe leather into this," Suzi Schmidt said. Some committee members were irked with recent comments made by Antioch officials, who last week delayed a vote on the $50,000 contribution. Village trustees cited a lack of information and leadership at the county level as to how that money would be spent. "I don't think they understand this (Lake Michigan water) is a one-shot choice," said county board member Diana O'Kelly, who chairs the public works committee.
Lake County water quest needs local push
The County Board, no doubt, looks at Lake Michigan and sees a reservoir of construction contracts. An iceberg of pork waiting to be shaved off a polar ice shelf.

But water isn't the only place where the money is, it also takes dollars to build roads. The Lake County Board is also contriving to light a Route-53 fire under the goldbricks on the Illinois Tollway. According to the Pioneer Local ...
Lake County Board Chairman Suzi Schmidt, R-3rd, of Lake Villa, who spoke at the tollway meeting, said she is glad the Route 53 is finally getting serious consideration again by the tollway board after the project has been seemingly dormant for several years. "I'm pleased they are looking at and it's finally getting some attention," she said. "I don't know what the outcome is going to be. I'm hoping it moves forward and something gets done."
Route 53 extension back on radar
Your LakeCountyEye, in principle, brooks no objection toward the County Board doling out the pork to their contributors contractors -- provided the pork is other-people's-money. However as the result of an exclusive LakeCountyEye investigation, this blog can report that the County Board has overreached -- gone a Route-53 bridge-too-far, so to speak.

Has anyone considered the impact that two simultaneous gargantuan construction projects -- like a Route 53 and a Lake Michigan water pipe -- will have on the County? Your LakeCountyEye has, with some disturbing findings:

Proposed Route 53Proposed Water Pipe
Route 53 Referendum QuestionNorthern Lake County
Lake Michigan Water Planning Project

Above are maps of the proposed routes that Route 53 and the Lake Michigan water pipe will take. An overlay of the two maps is reproduced below. The heavy black line represents the proposed water pipe. The heavy red line is Route 53.

And the evidence from the zoom below is unmistakable.

Route 53 and the Lake Michigan water pipe are on a collision course! Their trajectories necessitate that the two projects will accordion somewhere in Hawthorn Woods.

Needless to say this is not the end of the story. Some would surmise this is only the beginning ...

Thursday, August 5, 2010


The last time anything about Lake County politics appeared in one of the MSM blogs, was when the Wonkette asked: Is GOP Senate Candidate Mark Kirk a Secret Gay Homosexual? Your LakeCountyEye was on that one like a week-old Lake County Fair corndog on a stick ...
A Bad Week Already for Mark Kirk
... correcting the Wonkette's deliberate distortions of the truth.

Well the Wonkette is at it again, they never learn ...

Mysterious 'Kraken' Ruining Mark Kirk’s Senate Campaign

Your LakeCountyEye can set the record straight and report that Kraken in fact is a mythical sea monster of the Norway and Iceland coasts.

And Kraken in no way is poised to ruin Mark Kirk's Senate campaign.

Kraken in fact bears a resemblance to the the name of Kirk campaign mainstay Dodie McCracken, which the Wonkette doubtless deliberately distorted for comical effect.

The Wonkette was able to pull off the chicane because most Operatives -- even LakeCountyEye Operatives -- would not be expected to be familiar with name Dodie McCracken. McCracken attracted national attention when mentioned in a Chicago Magazine story about Kirk's Ex ...
Mark Kirk’s Ex-wife: 'Svengali Figure' Influencing Candidate
Operatives with an inclination to consult the story will learn that McCrackin in fact is a high-concept, low-humor Halloween costume ...

McCrackin the Plumber
... that for some inexplicable reason is a big hit at Team-Kirk offices every Halloween.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Scheurer Thing

Your LakeCountyEye received under the transom this morning, an unmarked envelope from the WikiLeaks ...

Top 10 Reasons Why Joe Walsh Is Living In A Horse Trailer
10. It's the only way he could afford to live in the district.
9. Someone told him it came with free ice cream.
8. He couldn't afford a car.
7. It's big enough to hold all his supporters.
6. Cars are unconstitutional. The founding fathers didn't drive cars!
5. He gets all his best ideas from a talking horse.
4. To demonstrate the GOP housing plan. It even has windows!
3. Someone promised him a free pony ride.
2. The bank foreclosed on his campaign office.
1. That darn bookmobile was all filled up with books!
Eagle-eyed ops may observe that this intermittently-hilarious Internet Top 10 List is a bald-headed hommage to your LakeCountyEye's hilarious Internet Top 10 Lists. Also, the numbers inexplicably are backward; for best results read while standing on your head.

Just some free advice, it often pays to set up your gag in advance before delivering your punch line(s). For those who don't know Joe Walsh, he is the front-man to 60s nostalgia guitar-band, The Eagles. The band might be seeing hard times if Walsh is living in his horse's trailer. Nostalgia must not be what it used to be!

Your LakeCountyEye will never divulge the identity of a source. Feel free to visit FreeTheDemocrats to see why.

That's about all there is to this one, folks.

Sharp-eyed operatives may be thinking: well ok, if someone rips-off the LakeCountyEye, that may be fair game for a satirical post. But this was just a cheap excuse to do another lame Top 10. And without actually doing any of the work.

Bears repeating: that's all there is to this one, folks.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Son of Barnival!

This is your last day to attend the Lake County Fair. By all accounts the Fair - iteration #2 at the new location -- was a qualified success. At least this year the LakeCountyEye Low-Speed-Vehicle was not marooned in the mud, requiring some help of blue-ribbon winning livestock to be made roadworthy again. No image available, however the PlainfieldSun has the background story ...
Man claims dealer made cart illegal on streets
As reported here, your LakeCountyEye was invited to live-blog the Fair ...
However, as things turned out, your LakeCountyEye will not be live-blogging the Fair, either on this blog or any other.

Your LakeCountyEye was on-hand at the Fairgrounds to live-blog 560 WIND-AM's meet-the-candidate stump-fest, scheduled at 5 am last Friday. Full disclosure: at that time of the night you are more apt to find your LakeCountyEye preparing to hit the hay, than setting up computer equipment. Long story short, at 5am don't be surprised to find your LakeCountyEye attempting to plug a USB cable into an available Firewire port. With an expected result of total-lights-out.

Power was fully restored within the hour, but not before the WIND candidate show was cancelled. The whole sad story is recounted by the News-Sun ...
'Barney' comes alive at candidates show
The day was saved with an impromptu performance of your LakeCountyEye's hilarious imitation of a bumbling Lake County Sheriff's deputy. As of yet, however, your LakeCountyEye has not been invited to cover Lake County Fair 2011.