Friday, September 30, 2011

The Spin Cycle

That giant unsucking sound you hear is everyone holding their breaths. Operatives are holding their breaths and waiting to see if this marks the end of Suzi Schmidt's 25 year political career in Lake County. As readers of this blog are breathlessly aware ...
Oh Schmidt Susanna
Schmidt is having a little problem over the release this week of some 911 calls. According to the News-Sun ...
GOP pressure at the Statehouse mounted Thursday on state Sen. Suzi Schmidt to either forego re-election next year or to resign after the release of politically toxic 9-1-1 recordings stemming from an ongoing domestic dispute with her husband.
Pressure mounts on Schmidt to resign
Schmidt issued a statement that was reproduced by the Daily Herald:
"Christmas, 2010 was the beginning of what has obviously become a very emotional period in my 31-year marriage. Information I discovered recently filled me with deep sadness. On the 911 call, I identified myself — but I never intended to inappropriately use my title. However, I apologize if any of my comments during this very emotional time seem inappropriate. I am taking the appropriate steps to deal with these issues. It is a very difficult, personal family matter that I would like to deal with privately. In the meantime, I remain committed to serving the citizens of my district."
Schmidt's statement
As mea culpas go this one is heavy on the meas while relatively light on the culpas. Soliciting sympathy from your constituents is at best a short-term solution to a problem, particularly when the damage is self-inflicted. Your LakeCountyEye hazards to guess that on a political-damage-scale this is toothpaste-out-of-the-tube damage. It is difficult to imagine how Schmidt recovers, but stranger things have happened. Time will tell.

Until then, your LakeCountyEye has found video of some cars in a roundabout. Enjoy.

How roundabouts work
What goes up must come down.
Spinning wheel, got to go round.
Talking about your troubles it's a crying sin.
Ride a painted pony, let the spinning wheel spin.

Spinning Wheel

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oh Schmidt Susanna

Whoomp!There is no truth to the rumor that operatives on Monday night visited the home of Suzi Schmidt and a hockey game broke out.

Ha ha that is probably the last joke told on this blog about the State Senator from Lake Villa -- this is one political career that is officially kapoot. As readers of this blog are gobsmackingly aware ...
A Schmidt Decision
Lake County deputies were summoned Monday night to another domestic incident between the State Senator and her spouse. For operatives curious to hear the 911 calls, it looks like the Daily Herald was able obtain the MP3 audio:

The yuck factor alone is sufficient to send the the audio on a state-wide viral-spiral. Your LakeCountyEye estimates that poobahs both in Lake County and Springfield will soon be scrambling to find a suitable candidate to succeed their inevitably lame-duck 31st District State Senator.

The heavy in this drama is the Lake County Sheriff's Department who blew the whistle again on Schmidt's shenanigans. Your LakeCountyEye is not sure why. Perhaps the girl cried clout too many times.

In related news, the Daily Herald reports that Thomas Gooch, the Cuba Township Highway Commissioner, is on trial for misdemeanor battery against a employee:
Cuba Twp. highway commissioner on trial for pulling hair
Your LakeCountyEye has some career advice for the free-swinging Lake County politicians who might find themselves in the unemployment line. The WWE is always looking for new talent. Mixed tag-team matches, your LakeCountyEye hears, are quite popular.

Ha ha, that was the last Suzi Schmidt joke, promise.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Schmidt Decision

Busted!Operatives may recall the blow-by-blow account, reported on this blog last August, of the pugilistic match-up between Suzanne Schmidt and Robert Schmidt:
The Megilla in Lake Villa
Students of the sweet science hoping for a rematch between the Lake County State Senator and her spouse were not disappointed this week. According to the News-Sun ...
A call of a domestic battery at the home of state Sen. Suzi Schmidt and her husband prompted a visit from Lake County Sheriff's Office deputies for the second time in about six weeks. As in the previous visit to the home at 38532 Ardmore Lane in Lake Villa Township, which occurred on Aug. 16, no charges were filed, a sheriff's spokesman said Tuesday. At approximately 6:30 p.m. Monday, deputies responded to the home for a report of a domestic battery. Deputies met with Robert Schmidt, 63, and the senator, 60, and conducted an investigation, but the Lake County State's Attorney's Office declined to file charges, according to sheriff's Lt. Wayne Hunter.
Second domestic call at Sen. Schmidt’s home
Fans unable to attend the match had the option to view the fight on closed-circuit TV:
High Definition
Police called to state senator's Lake Villa home for 2nd time
Ringside aficionados have closely followed Suzanne Schmidt's more than two-decade-long heavyweight career. They no doubt look forward to November 2012, when Schmidt will defend her title against an opponent yet to be determined. Rumors are circulating that Schmidt will also appear in a preliminary match, sometime in March 2012, necessitated by some recent poor showings in the ring.

Monday, September 26, 2011

McClatchey and Release

There's an old saying in Lake County: when seeking the political kingmaker nonpareil, look no farther than your LakeCountyEye. Case in point, readers of this blog may vaguely remember ...
A Fresh Face in the 8th Congressional District
when a little-known political aspirant with the unlikely name Joe Walsh first appeared on this blog. Back in the day a satirical blogger could count on a knee-jerk laugh just by confusing tea-party candidate Joe Walsh with guitar-strumming Eagle Joe Walsh. Not any more.

The latest little-known political aspirant to approach your LakeCountyEye is Frank McClatchy, a Democratic candidate for the 14th Congressional District. McClatchy noticed that this blog was not aware of any Democratic candidates running in the 14th ...
Send a Bill to Congress
He sent a note ...
Hi there, I was reading your blog today....
I announced on Sept 6th....
Please visit our website for more info.
and a press release to bring your LakeCountyEye up-to-speed:
McClatchey Release
Announcement Press Release 9/6/11
Your LakeCountyEye thanks Mr McClatchey for the heads-up and wishes him the best of luck as a Democratic candidate for the 14th Congressional District. Looking to the future, your LakeCountyEye hopes to be able to do for Frank McClatchey what this blog has done for Joe Walsh!

McClatchey's website can be visited at ...
McClatchey for Congress
For operatives with carpal-tunnel and unable to mouseclick from a long weekend of roundtabling, here is a screen cap of the website, from Internet Explorer 8 (build 86001):
Your LakeCountyEye has not had an opportunity to meet Mr McClatchey, but assumes that is the top of his head.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Send a Bill to Congress

The Infinite Regress?This weekend witnessed the autumnal equinox, and your LakeCountyEye was naturally engaged in that end-of-summer ritual that everyone pursues: round-tabling gathering signatures from phone books registered voters for nominating petitions. December 5 is the deadline for candidates to submit their petitions if they want to see their names on the March Primary ballot. And with signatures going for something north of a dollar each, this marks the busy season for operatives. Party-on dudes. Naturally your LakeCountyEye was to be found this weekend augmenting a blogger's brobdingnagian income by participating in this bi-yearly paper chase.

And a debt of gratitude is owed to the golden-age public sector pensioners at the McHenryCountyBlog for watching this blog while your LakeCountyEye was away. As readers of the McHenryCountyBlog are dimly aware ...
One of the writers of Lake County Eye apparently gets off on making derogatory comments about yours truly. When I wrote a story about Bill Scheurer's possible candidacy in the GOP primary in the 14th congressional district, an article appeared making fun of me and Scheurer.
Scheurer Challenges Lake County Eye to Put Up or Shut Up
The LakeCountyEye article indeed appeared to make fun of the thin-skin-libertarians at the McHenryCountyBlog as well as perennial candidate Bill Scheurer. Scheurer posted a response comment, indirectly confirming his intention to run in the 14th Congressional District Primary as a Republican:
The Third Man?
Scheurer, who has run for Congress in every election since 2004 with various parties and no success, could run as a Green Party candidate -- but that would require him to gather some 5,000 ballot signatures. The 600 hundred signatures required of a Republican candidate, no doubt, is much more appealing to Scheurer.

Anyhow, Scheurer's name could appear on the Republican ballot in the 14th along with declared candidates Randy Hultgren and Joe Walsh. In a three-way with Hultgren and Walsh, Scheurer would be lucky, on election day, to poll within the margin of error. Scheurer seems to relish the role of the spoiler but which candidate does he spoil: Walsh or Hultgren? The front-runner benefits in a crowded Primary, but it is difficult to pick a front-runner, here. Hultgren is the incumbent. But Walsh has the national soapbox.

Your LakeCountyEye is not aware of any Democratic candidates running in the 14th, which is surprising. Sure, the 14th was gerrymandered to be a Republican vote sink. But with the prospect of a Joe Walsh or even (with the help of divine intervention) a Bill Scheurer as the Republican nominee, the 14th would be a pick-up opportunity for any Democrat able to put together a professional campaign.

The big winners, naturally, are the ops gathering signatures at a buck a pop. Party-on dudes.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Nuclear Energy Video from the Stevenson Center

The Stevenson Center hosted a program on Nuclear Energy last weekend.

Nuclear Energy:
Risks, Benefits, and Alternatives

The speaker, Roger Frechette, mechanical engineer and LEED-accredited professional with 20 years experience, clearly explained modern energy options using the Chicago Loop as his example. Facts and statistics illuminated his talk. Frechette's company, PositiveEnergy Practice, works with municipalities, urban planners, and others to create sustainable master plans and decarbonization strategies, including those that harvest wind, solar and geothermal power.

For those this missed the presentation, video is available:

More can be seen at Adlai Stevenson Center Video Archive

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Third Man?

The perennial public sector pensioners at the McHenryCountyBlog are floating a rumor that perennial candidate Bill Scheurer wants to run as a Republican in the 14th Congressional District:
McHenry County Blog has learned that this year he is exploring a run in the Republican Party primary. In a comment to our story about Joe Walsh's decision to seek re-election in the new IL-14TH District, Scheurer had this to say: "I'm looking for people who could help kickstart a campaign to give GOP primary voters an alternative to the two 'Tea Party' candidates. Not that I have anything against tea or a good party — it's just that I'm more of a diet cola guy for my caffeine jolt." He is exploring whether GOP voters would consider his "Cola Party" campaign as a refreshing alternative.
Bill Scheurer Exploring Republican Run in New 14th District Congressional
The rumor strikes your LakeCountyEye as either disinformation, pure & simple -- or the by-product of senescence, fueled by wishful thinking. Either way, the rumor is so bizarre your LakeCountyEye would pay money just to see it happen.

If true, the obvious beneficiary of a crowded primary would be 14th District Congressman Randy Hultgren. Hultgren is being challenged in his Republican primary by 8th District Congressman Joe Walsh. While Hultgren is the 14th District incumbent, Walsh is the Tea-Party's candidate -- and that in itself gets Walsh spotted at least even odds. In a situation where an incumbent has a strong challenger, it benefits that incumbent to pack the ballot with stealth candidates to water down the opposition vote. In a three-way between Hultgren, Walsh & Scheurer -- Scheurer obviously is the low man on the totem pole, but don't bet on Walsh holding on to the top position.

Scheurer in the past has been the third-party spoiler candidate on a number of ballots, and your LakeCountyEye is not surprised to learn he is being courted by the Cola Party. But if your LakeCountyEye was advising Scheurer, your LakeCountyEye would advise Scheurer to run as a Democrat, and play it to win.

If Walsh beats Hultgren, mano-a-mano, and becomes the Republican nominee, then the 14th Congressional District becomes an immediate pickup opportunity for the Democrats. Walsh may have the Tea-Party to hold him up in the polls but, like Sarah Palin, Walsh's negatives are even higher. A rap sheet that includes dead-beat dad, foreclosures, a suspended drivers license, FEC & financial disclosure irregularities, and who knows what else, is not a road-map to re-election.

With opponents like Walsh who needs enemies? There's a better than even chance that the DCCC will be throwing gobs of money and support in the direction of some lucky 14th District Democratic nominee. No matter who it is.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

There Goes the Neighborhood

Operatives are asked to check their ticket stubs, the Mega-Million Little Lotto has spoken: your winning number is 14. Those operatives with winning ticket number 14 are advised to claim their prize.

Erm, wait a sec, that's your LakeCountyEye's number. Your LakeCountyEye has been predicting for months that Joe Walsh won't be the Congressman from the Eighth District for much longer. Instead Walsh will opt to run for re-election in the Red-Meat-Republican Fourteenth District instead. As readers of this blog have been made aware ad nauseam ...
I'm Just Mad About Fourteen.
Fourteen's Mad About Me.
your LakeCountyEye has predicted that not only will Walsh challenge the Fourteenth District Congressman Randy Hultgren, but Walsh will beat him in a fair primary fight.

Well team-Walsh, being notorious students of this blog, made it official. According to the Sun-Times ...
U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, R-McHenry, an outspoken favorite of the Tea Party, has announced he will run against Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Winfield, in the GOP primary for the 14th District.
U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh to run in 14th District; would face Hultgren in primary
Team-Hultgren was none too pleased. The Sun-Times again ...
Hultgren wasted little time in firing back, issuing this response about 1 hour and 20 minutes after Walsh's announcement: "I'm disappointed that the Congressman from the 8th District has decided to abandon his own district to run against me in a primary. By doing so, he’s playing into the hands of the Springfield Democrats and Nancy Pelosi, who have drawn the Congressional map for Illinois specifically to encourage just such a contest."
U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh to run in 14th District; would face Hultgren in primary
Ha ha, Congressman Hultgren, it sux to be you.

As an FYI for operatives, the new 14th Congressional District comprises distant and exotic lands like Minooka and Oswego and Crystal Lake. Now that Walsh has thrown his tri-corner into the 14th, does this mean that Lake County will no longer stand to benefit from Representative Walsh's crackerjack congressional liaison services? Nope, 14 was drawn to also include big chunks of Red-Meat-Republican northern Lake County.

Your LakeCountyEye foresees many many Joe Walsh blog posts coming up, in the future. Ha ha it sux not to be your LakeCountyEye.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Padlock Publications?

No sooner did the New York Times erect a paywall around its online content that Lake County's newspaper of record, the Daily Herald, has followed suit. The gray lady of Arlington Heights, in her own words:
The Daily Herald becomes the first newspaper in the Chicago area to begin charging for access to its digital content -- a necessity the company says is mandated by broad shifts in the traditional newspaper business model.
Subscriber Total Access begins
As operatives are well aware, while video killed the radio star, the Internet killed every other media outlet. Your LakeCountyEye, feeling a little like David.v.Goliath, can commiserate and wish the Herald the best of luck.

Few operatives, however, are happy over the Herald's decision -- the Herald perhaps in anticipation wrote an editorial to explain their action:

It's not altogether clear where the notion arose, but there seems to be a deeply held belief among some that "The Internet should be free."
The reality behind Subscriber Total Access
Ha ha, oops, it looks like operatives are going to have to subscribe first if they want to find out why they have to subscribe.

Just for the record, the deeply held belief meme is actually:
Information wants to be free
The MSM can be counted on to look out for the interests of, first and foremost, well, the MSM. So you have your LakeCountyEye's solemn pledge: operatives will never be sandbagged by a paywall erected around this blog. Your LakeCountyEye has been disinforming the public for free since 1993, and will continue to do so as long as there is an Internet.

Erm, since 2008.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Roundabout Runaround

Readers of this blog will recall when, back in July, Lake County was in the grips of roundabout fever:
Roundabout Trips
At the time, the county seemed all hell-bent on constructing roundabouts at intersections where most drivers typically expect to find traffic signals. As reported by the Daily Herald, two of the three county roundabouts are for Hunt Club Road:
New way of getting 'round
A straight line can be drawn from roundabout #1 at Hunt Club & Wadsworth Rd to roundabout #2 at Hunt Club & Millburn Rd; and from there to the equestrian tunnel, south of Millburn on Hunt Club.

Sharp-eyed operatives who like to connect the dots will recognize the same tunnel, reported on this blog, being dug by the village of Old Mill Creek:
Pipe Smoke
That equestrian tunnel is being built because of the roundabouts. Horse traffic is unable to cross these intersections, because vehicular traffic does not stop.

Your LakeCountyEye understands that Old Mill Creek (Pop 178) was, nonetheless, quite happy to see roundabouts built on the county highway that divides that village. Trucks and commercial vans, it is hoped, will stay away from Hunt Club in favor of the more heavy-traffic friendly Routes 41 & 45 to the east and the west. In fact, planners were certain enough that no truck would ever cross Hunt Club Road that the roundabout at Hunt Club and Millburn was built to accommodate vehicles no larger than automobiles. Apparently no one remembered that fire trucks and emergency vehicles are larger than automobiles. This explains the delay in the construction of the Hunt Club & Millburn roundabout. It is being rebuilt. It goes without saying that the county taxpayer is -- ha ha -- footing the bill.

For those stuck in construction traffic -- particularly at the intersection of Hunt Club & Millburn -- your LakeCountyEye has constructed a skill test for passing the time:

Which One Does Not Belong?
Circle the Intersection that is Different.

Hunt Club &
Route 173

Hunt Club &

Hunt Club &
Stearns School
Google Maps

Lucky winners will receive round-trip tickets to, you guessed it, Roundout.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Q the Eye/09.16.11

Dear LakeCountyEye,

So where is "Mettawa(Libertyville)"? Was there some odd municipal merger that I wasn't informed of?

Team America

Dear TA,

Hawk-eyed operatives will recognize that today's question is also a comment that was posted on a press release story appearing earlier this week on this blog:
Nuclear Energy:
Risks, Benefits, and Alternatives
The author of the question is one of your LakeCountyEye's most prolific commenters, Team America. Not totally coincidentally, TA was also a finalist in this blog's weekly trivia contest ...
The Thrilla in Lake Villa
For his winning entry ....
Sente vs Malnati
Team America is awarded a free upgrade from the comments section, with a walk-on guest appearance on Q the Eye. Way to go TA!

Anyhow, to answer TA's question, your LakeCountyEye does not know where "Mettawa(Libertyville)" is. TA is advised to ask Barry MacLean, the Village President of Mettawa (Libertyville):

Strong Mayors Make for Strong Codes and Safer Communities
Wherever it may be, safety is doubtless the #1 priority in Mettawa (Libertyville)!

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, September 14, 2011

Pipe Smoke

Your LakeCountyEye sends apologies to operatives inconvenienced by the blanket of smoke that covered the county yesterday. As readers of this blog are hazily aware ...
Q the Eye/08.27.11
beneath the LakeCountyEye compound are a honeycomb of tunnels dug for a variety of purposes. One purpose in particular is to provide a home (at a nominal fee) for excess waste from the Zion nuclear plant. Operatives who know anything about radioactivity know that nuclear waste has a tendency to spontaneously combust for no reason at all. This time, unfortunately, the escape hatches all had to be opened, which explains the blanket of smoke. And your LakeCountyEye's profuse apologies.

The conflagration minor contretemps had the unfortunate consequence of delaying the construction of the tunnel being built beneath Hunt Club Rd near Millburn -- aka the strangler -- Rd. The tunnel is listed on the books as a project of the Village of Old Mill Creek (Pop. 178); its stated purpose is to permit equestrian access from one side of Hunt Club Rd to, erm, another side of Hunt Club Rd.

Sharp-eyed operatives will observe that Hunt Club is a county road, and outside the jurisdiction of any municipal construction project. Your LakeCountyEye can assure that the whole project is above-board and legal -- the Lake County Board green-lighted the project with a variance and also threw in $40,000 of taxpayer funds to help defray costs:
Agreement Between the County of Lake and the Village of Old Mill Creek for the Construction and Maintenance of a Multi-Use Trail Underpass Along Hunt Club Road (County Highway 29), Approximately 200 Feet South of Mill Creek in Old Mill Creek, Illinois
More info is to be found at the County Board's website:
Hunt Club Road Improvement, Underpass: Village of Old Mill Creek Agreement
The delay in construction is significant because the project not only has closed down Hunt Club Road, but is delaying other nearby county road projects. The tunnel must be completed by September 26. Otherwise the Village of Old Mill Creek is to be fined $14,300 for each additional day.

Fortunately, the Village was able to explain about all of the trouble they are having digging their tunnel, and the nice people on the Lake County Board extended that deadline to October 10:
Amendment #1 to Agreement Between the County of Lake and the Village of Old Mill Creek for the Construction and Maintenance of a Multi-Use Trail Underpass Along Hunt Club Road (County Highway 29), Approximately 200 Feet South of Mill Creek in Old Mill Creek, Illinois
More amended info is to be found at the County Board's website:
Hunt Club Road Multi-Use Trail Underpass: Village of Old Mill Creek Agreement Amendment and Appropriation
Operatives are encouraged to drive over to the site of the construction project ...
There may be an opportunity waiting to grab a shovel and help the workers -- or at least school them on the proper way to dig a tunnel, on time and under budget!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nuclear Energy:
Risks, Benefits, and Alternatives

The Stevenson Center will host a program on Nuclear Energy this weekend:

Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy
Nuclear Energy: Risks, Benefits, and Alternatives

Robert Rosner, the former director of Argonne National Laboratory and Director of the Harris Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago will speak about the benefits of nuclear energy. David Kraft, Director of NEIS (Nuclear Energy Information Service) will speak to the problems of aging plants and the management of nuclear waste. Roger Frechette, founder and president of PositiveEnergy Practice will speak about the use of conservation, design, planning and imagination in solving energy needs.
  • Sunday
    September 18, 2011
    2 PM
  • The Stevenson Center on Democracy
    25200 N St Mary's Rd
    Mettawa (Libertyville), IL 60048
  • $15
  • Coffee and conversation following.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Eat Hearty

Your LakeCountyEye wishes Buffalo Grove's Sid Mathias a speedy recovery from heart surgery. According to the News-Sun, Mathias plans to challenge Carol Sente for State Representative District 59, in the 2012 election:
Mathias on mend after heart surgery
Judging from the News-Sun story, Mathias already has a fund-raiser scheduled this week at Lou Malnati's:
Your LakeCountyEye is not divulging any trade secrets to say that when it comes to pizza in Lake County, nothing approaches the deep-dish served up at a Lou Malnati restaurant:
Lou's is the home of the BEST Chicago-style deep dish pizza in the world! If you love a buttery, flaky crust, sweet and tangy tomatoes, gooey mozzarella cheese, perfectly seasoned sausage, and other fresh ingredients- you've come to the right place.
Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
In fact your LakeCountyEye is salivating right now just thinking about a thick gooey slice of that world-famous deep-dish ...
Reserve your LakeCountyEye a seat at that Lou Malnati fundraiser!

Ha ha, better also reserve some more beds, afterwards, at that Northwestern Hospital Cardio-Ward.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

No Bypassing Zone

You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of power and wealth but of clout; a journey into a prosperous land whose boundaries are that of Route 45 and Millburn Rd. That's the signpost up ahead — your next stop, the No Bypass Zone.
Submitted for your approval:
One Suzi Schmidt is stuck again in traffic on the way to work. But this Suzi Schmidt is no ordinary commuter because she is the Chair of her County Board. And she decides, once upon a time, that a bypass road needs to be built for frustrated commuters like her. Fast-forward to the present. Schmidt no longer holds down a job with her County Board. But her bypass road is on schedule to be built, on a course charted to cleave in two communities and schools and forest preserves. Can anyone stop the Millburn Bypass's path of destruction?
Ha ha. The village of Old Mill Creek, for one, has made it a priority. Old Mill Creek (Pop 178) has three special meetings ...
  1. Public Hearing
  2. Plan Commission
  3. Village Board
scheduled for Monday night. Your LakeCountyEye understands the village wants a vote on a zoning ordinance to keep the Millburn Bypass out of Old Mill Creek -- and is in a hurry to do so.

Operatives eager to witness the establishment of a no-bypass-zone around Old Mill Creek can attend these, it goes without saying, public meetings:
Village of Old Mill Creek
40870 Hunt Club Rd
Old Mill Creek

Monday, September 12
6 p.m.
Case in point: one small town at odds with their neighbor, thanks to one small-time politician who didn't want to wait 5 minutes at one small road intersection. All of which proves the old adage: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Beginning at the No Bypass Zone.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Appealing Your Assessment in Lake County

If you're like me, you paid your property taxes this week and your pocketbook is feeling a lot lighter. This is a good time to remind everyone about our friends at the Citizens Action Project. Here's what they have to say in their latest press release:
"As we do every year, Citizens Action Project releases a "do-it-yourself guide" to lowering property assessments in Lake County. This is based upon exhaustive discussions we have with township assessors, board of review, and the chief county assessor to gauge how best citizens can appeal. This year, we created a free multimedia presentation. It is available on facebook, or for those who are not on facebook, our blog. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have."
They have also a new video you can watch ...

Appealing Your Assessment
in Lake County 2011
Or visit their website ...
Citizens Action Project
I've met people who have appealed their property taxes and had their assessments lowered, many times. This really works!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Q the Eye/09.08.11

Dear LakeCountyEye,

It was a scant 12 months ago that saw candidate Joe Walsh begging Congresswoman Melissa Bean to debate him:

Dear Melissa Bean Debate me
Back then, tough talking Joe was ready to debate anywhere, anytime. But now I'm worried that Congressman Joe Walsh is becoming Melissa Bean in a dress. I'm ready to debate Walsh anytime, anywhere. Are you listening, Joe?

Rising to Debate

Dear That's Debatable,

Good luck with that one. One Eighth District candidate has already invited Walsh to debate ...
Krishnamoorthi Challenges Walsh To Debate On Jobs
but you're more likely to see Walsh accept an invitation by the President to attend a joint session of Congress.

The Eighth was gerrymandered to be unwinnable for a Republican and twice as unwinnable for a Republican named Walsh. You'll have a better chance getting him to debate in District 14, where he is likely to run. District 14 was gerrymandered to be a black-hole-sink for Republican-red votes, and whoever wins the Republican primary there is heavily favored to win in the November election as well.

And your LakeCountyEye does expect to see Walsh win the Primary there ...
I'm Just Mad About Fourteen.
Fourteen's Mad About Me.
He may not be the incumbent, but in a Congressional District cut to corral-in the tea-party, Walsh has the Republican tea-party backing him, no strings attached.

And your LakeCountyEye daresays Walsh has the Democratic Party, there, backing him as well. Who do you suppose the local Democratic honchos would prefer to see as the face of the opposition party: A Randy Hultgren? A Peter Roskam? A Robert Dold? A Don Manzullo? Or a Joe "Dead Beat Dad" Walsh?

Ha ha, this was not a trick question. And who knows, after Walsh wins his Primary in the 14th District, he may totally fly off the rails and hand over an upset win to some lucky token Democratic candidate. Your LakeCountyEye expects to see the Democrats in the 14th District hustling their people to the polls next March with orders to cast a ballot for Joe Walsh.

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, September 7, 2011

I'm Just Mad About Fourteen.
Fourteen's Mad About Me.

For correctly guessing where Eighth District Congressman Joe Walsh will run for re-election, one lucky contest winner is eligible for a free dinner at the Subway Sandwiches & Salads of Minooka (conveniently located off the Interstate). Congratulations, and be sure to send your attorneys to claim your prize!

Ha ha. As readers of this blog are blithely aware ...
Got Any Gum?
local news outlets have made up their minds that Joe Walsh will try to retain his congressional seat in District 14, and are all abuzz because of it. Walsh has neither confirmed or denied the rumor. However your LakeCountyEye has learned that his polling data indicates that semi-rural District 14 represents Walsh's best opportunity for safeguarding his high-salary Washington DC job.

As this authentic-looking pie chart indicates, Alexa ranks Congressman Walsh among the most popular targets sources of discussion covered by this blog ...
Big LakeCountyEye Traffic Generators
so naturally your LakeCountyEye wishes to see Walsh re-elected, in perpetuum if possible. This nonetheless does not skew your LakeCountyEye's eagle-eyed assessment that if he chooses to run in the District 14 Republican Primary, Walsh will win.

No doubt the incumbent there, Randy Hultgren, would be a formidable opponent. Hultgren can probably count on the support of the local GOP establishment. But the hearts of the GOP base -- the tea-party -- belong to Walsh. In a fair fight between a frustrated establishment vs a riled up base, your LakeCountyEye gives it to the guys who will be knocking on the doors.

Fourteen is a huge district so operatives are advised to start their walkin' & knockin' if they haven't already. The primary is scheduled for March 20, 2012. Your LakeCountyEye hopes to have Joe Walsh to kick around some time to come.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Got Any Gum?

Operatives playing the Joe-Walsh-Little-Lotto are advised to check their stubs. If you picked Congressional District 14, step up to the window and claim your prize.

One of the leading unanswered questions about the 2012 election is where Congressman Joe Walsh will run for re-election. Walsh may not have yet decided publicly where he is running -- but the area's two number-one news outlets have. Lake County's newspaper of record, the Daily Herald ...
Hultgren, Walsh lay groundwork for primary matchup
and the libertarian-public-sector-pensioners at the McHenryCountyBlog ...
Is Walsh's Primary Strategy Viable?
are both calling it for Congressional District 14. That giant sucking sound you hear is the wind being knocked out of the sails of 14th District Congressman Randy Hultgren's re-election campaign.

Walsh, atypically tight-lipped, says he is waiting for the courts to decide what the Congressional map will look like. And when it comes to waiting for the courts to decide, Walsh no doubt speaks from experience. But for your LakeCountyEye's money, they are waiting for the numbers his pollster needs to determine whether Walsh should run in District 14 or 10 or 8 or 6 or somewhere else.

The new Congressional District 14 cuts a shermanesque swath of land from north and western Lake County all the way down to Minooka, Kentucky Illinois. Operatives venturing that far south are advised to remember their passports.

Now your LakeCountyEye has, on occasion, blogged about the exploits of Screamin' Joe Walsh and even Welshin' Joe Walsh. But if the Congressman does decide to throw his hat into District 14, look for your LakeCountyEye chewing over the possibility of a Minooka Joe Walsh.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Route 53 Where Are You?

The news hit your LakeCountyEye like an incumbent office-holder driving with SR-22 insurance: Don't expect to be scoopin' the Route 53 extension any time during your lifetime. According to the Pioneer Press, Illinois State Toll Highway Authority has no money to spend on the project:
Lake County loses Route 53 extension bid
If Route 53 is now literally a highway to oblivion, what is your LakeCountyEye to do for hilarious material? (With the exception of Island Lake) the jokes don't write themselves in Lake County. Operatives will observe that the Route 53 Extension comprises a significant chunk of your LakeCountyEye's comedic output:
Without Route 53 to kick around any more, does that mean your LakeCountyEye will have to blog about politicians or something? This is enough to drive your LakeCountyEye to Nippersink.

But enough with the jokes, this is serious.

Note to operatives: get on the horn, toot-sweet, and call the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. Tell them to catch a clue and re-route the Route 53 extension through Old Mill Creek. Your LakeCountyEye guarantees the funding will show up -- from somewhere, like magic -- to send Route 53 somewhere else. Like through Long Grove or Lindenhurst something. Somewhere not in Old Mill Creek.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Grease the Wheels

Q: What is the difference between the Millburn Bypass and a coronary bypass?
A: You need to have a heart to complete a coronary bypass.

Ha ha j/k. Lake County is being driven to distraction over the Lake County Division of Transportation's decision to route the Millburn bypass through Lindenhurst's suburbs and not through Old Mill Creek's farm fields:
A Gift Horse
Your LakeCountyEye has now discovered that Tempel "Tim" Smith -- along with various companies filing from Box 399, Wadsworth -- have contributed some $25,000 to Lake County and other Illinois politicians. Suzi Schmidt -- the prime mover behind the Millburn Strangler -- benefited from $2200 of Smith's largess:
Contributions List
Smith, no doubt looking out for the interests of the residents of Old Mill Creek (Pop 178) where he is the mayor, illustrates the power of civic-minded benevolence. Operatives worried about a US Highway dividing their neighborhood could do worse than follow Smith's example:

Reception for State Senate Candidate Suzi Schmidt
For those operatives more worried about a US Highway dividing their family estate, cf. above.