Thursday, May 31, 2012

Franklin, My Dear, I Don't Give a Damn

At first blush it would appear that the UNIVAC computer software program that auto-generates the content for the McHenryCountyBlog may be stuck in an infinite loop. Or maybe the blog was hacked by a Spambot. In reality, somebody maybe just wants somebody to run for State Rep, and in the worse way:
Clock Is Running on Finding GOP Opponent for Jack Franks

19 Days Until Jack Franks Gets a Third Free Ride from McHenry County Republicans

18 Days Until McHenry County Republicans Give Democrat "Chainsaw Jack" Franks Ability to Campaign Statewide with Impunity

Wouldn't You Think Tom Cross Would Want an Opponent for "Chainsaw Jack" Franks? 17 Days to Get One

16 Days for McHenry County Republicans to Put Someone on the Ballot against State Rep. "Chainsaw Jack" Franks

15 Days from "Chainsaw Jack" Franks' Big Celebration Because the McHenry County GOP Didn't Put Up an Opponent, Even though Tonya Franklin Volunteered

13 Days Until "Chainsaw Jack" Franks Can Schedule a First Week of November Vacation

12 Days Before McHenry County Republicans Help "Chainsaw Jack" Franks Build a Better Fiefdom

10 Days Before the McHenry County GOP Hands "Chainsaw Jack" Franks an Opponentless Election

8 Days Until GOP Cedes "Chainsaw Jack" Franks an Eighth Term

Two Days Until County GOP Can Take Major Step to Put Opponent on the Ballot against "Chainsaw Jack" Franks
These are a sample of the dozens of blog posts deploring the fact that Jack Franks, bête noire to the McHenryCountyBlog, will be unopposed in the November election.

Unopposed, but not for a lack of willing candidates. According to the Northwest Herald ...
Tonya Franklin of Woodstock wants to be appointed to run for the 63rd House District in which Franks, D-Marengo, has run unopposed in two of the previous three elections. County GOP leadership turned her down as a political neophyte without a solid grasp of the issues in Springfield
GOP hopeful fighting own party to run
Why is McHenry County GOP Chairman State Rep Mike Tryon bucking his rank & file to give a free pass to State Rep Franks? It may be because of who Franklin knows. The Northwest Herald observed that ...
election activist Sharon Meroni and county political blogger Cal Skinner -- are helping Franklin force the issue through a special Saturday meeting of the county GOP Central Committee to override leadership and get the party’s blessing.
GOP hopeful fighting own party to run
Your LakeCountyEye draws a blank upon seeing the name Cal Skinner; but readers of this blog should immediately recognize the name Sharon Meroni:
Unidentified Flying Objections

Challenge Challenged?
This is the same Sharon Meroni who has made a cottage industry out of filing election challenges against local candidates -- in particular those candidates who have not produced their birth certificates and proofs of citizenship. Haha it's left as an exercise to operatives to guess why Tonya Franklin can't get anyone who matters to return her calls.

As to the tireless taxfighters at the McHenryCountyBlog, here is a free webwidget countdown clock to embed in your website:

Countdown Clock

Monday June 4, 2012, 5:00 PM

Day of Appointment
Day of Disappointment?

Note to operatives who will be attending the special Saturday caucus. Don't forget to bring your birth certificates.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Q the Eye/05.29.12

Dear LakeCountyEye,

Anyone caught reading this blog might get the impression that politicians are a high-rolling crew of boodlers, grifters and other sundry fast-buck artists. But I've been working in politics since college and I'm still living in a room above my parent's garage. Where's mine?

Down & Out in Barrington Hills
Dear Politically Astute Destitute,

Ὥρος HōrosJust run for office. After you win, the lobbyists and the well-heeled and all the other special interests will be lined up to invite you to dinner or golf or a vacation cruise -- where you can evaluate the many different ways they can legally throw money at you.

Haha, j/k. Everyone knows you can run for office. And that you can even get elected. But, haha, who are you kidding, you'll never get elected. (Unless it's to some library board out in a semi-literate home schooling community.)

But take heart, even though you will never win an election, you don't need to. To get rich in politics, all you need to do is run for election. Just take the example of one successful career politician, US Senator Mark Kirk. According to the Chicago Tribune ...
Federal law allows a candidate to pay a spouse, relative or friend for campaign work. In fact, Kirk routinely discloses that he pays his mother a salary and said he paid his stepmother for an auto during the Senate campaign.
Kirk's ex-wife files FEC complaint questioning campaign payments
So, make like Senator Kirk. Set up a campaign committee and run for office -- the higher the better. (Your LakeCountyEye recommends US Senator or Lieutenant Governor.) Then when all those 5 and 6 digit campaign donations start rolling in, use the money to hire and pay generous salaries to your spouses, relatives and friends. Kirk was paying a salary to both his ex-wife and his girlfriend. At the same time! Arnold Schwarzenegger ain't got nothing on Illinois's junior Senator!

Do what the real "career" politicians do and run an incompetent crony-campaign, with a top-heavy staff of relatives and friends. And repeat the process every two years. The real losers are the candidates who win -- and then have to serve in office, during that off-year. All the while you'll be at dinner or playing golf or on a cruise, discussing your next campaign strategy.

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 ...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Capitol Stupes?

Mr Potatoe HeadWith school out in Lake County, it's that time when educators assign final grades. In this case, the non-profit watchdog group Sunlight Foundation has assigned some grades to members of Congress:
Congress now speaks at almost a full grade level lower than it did just seven years ago, with the most conservative members of Congress speaking on average at the lowest grade level, according to a new Sunlight Foundation analysis of the Congressional Record using Capitol Words.
Is Congress getting dumber, or just more plainspoken?
(Because of poorly understood provisions in the redistricting laws, Lake County now has four sitting Congressmen.) The grades, based on their public statements, stack up like this ...
  • Joe Walsh

  • Robert Dold

  • Peter Roskam

  • Randy Hultgren
Members And Grade Level
The numbers represent the spoken grade level of each Congressman.

Arriving in at a solid 11th grade level, Randy Hultgren is the brainiac of the group. Joe Walsh nearly achieves a 9th grade level. Lucky for Walsh these are not actual school transcript numbers; otherwise he would be in summer school. (Your LakeCountyEye is not sure why the numbers are accurate to the ninth decimal, but that must no doubt be significant of something or whatever.)

A few blog posts were submitted, and Capitol Words assigned your LakeCountyEye a healthy 20.46577636 -- which is roughly equivalent to a PhD or two Masters degrees. Operatives are challenged to test their own verbal competence, if they dare!

The takehome of all this, of course, is that your particular Lake County representative in Congress may not be the quickest invertebrate on the House floor. For those not sure, your LakeCountyEye has compiled 10 indications that your Congressman spent more time than most dodging the truant officer.

Ten Signs a Lake County Congressman is Not Very Bright
  1. Cannot smile for the cameras and chew gum at the same time.
  2. Thinks tuition for the Electoral College has become much too expensive.
  3. Nickname given by the press corps: Lake Forest Gump
  4. Can't get any of the Congressional Records to play on his iTunes.
  5. Believes Roe Versus Wade is a decision Washington had to make before crossing the Delaware.
  6. Fascinated by shiny objects.
  7. Fond of saying that Socialism is a system of government where one man exploits another man. Whereas Free Market Capitalism is just the opposite.
  8. Almost as dumb as a McHenry County Congressman.
  9. Signed the Grover Norquist Pledge.
  10. He, or members of his staff, read the LakeCountyEye!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

All You Gotta Do is Act Naturally

The Lake County liberal blogosphere will dispel any doubts that global warming is man-made. That's because it is seething over a News-Sun story about Congressman Robert Dold:
Dold keeping close eye on environment
Dold, whose family owns Rose Pest Solutions, is portrayed in glowing terms by the News-Sun as a pro-environment candidate. This is anathema to the crybaby left, which regards Dold as an exterminator by profession who makes a comfortable living waging chemical warfare against the environment. These same bug-hugging lefties regard the rebranding of the 10th District Congressman as a page cynically stolen from the Karl Rove playbook.

Your LakeCountyEye, to the contrary, traffics in facts, not innuendo.  In this particular case the facts are all contained in their training manual which can be downloaded from the Rose Pest Solutions website:

Rose Pest SolutionsSM Quality Pro Training
It is obvious that Congressman Dold has not stolen a page from the Karl Rove playbook. Dold is stealing pages out of his own company training manual!

For instance, according to the News-Sun, Dold ...
was in the area for a ground-breaking ceremony for a Macy's store at Gurnee Mills, and he said that he really loves these types of events where he gets outdoors.
While, according to the the Rose manual, it is important not to leave a bad impression:
Customer Relations
Appropriate Behavior
  • Two-thirds of customers who quit doing business with a company do so because of an attitude of indifference from a company employee. The employee "just doesn't seem to care"
The News-Sun also notes that ...
Dold is one of the few United States representatives who is not afraid to say that the political parties need to work together to make progress on the myriad of problems facing the country.
And that is exactly what the doctor Rose manual orders:
Keep your conversations with customers professional
  • Do not complain about your work, your boss, or your personal life.
  • Do not criticize other people (co-workers, competitors, politicians, etc.)
  • Do not discuss politics, religion, sex, or other controversial subjects.
  • Do not discuss the pest problems of other customer's.
Finally, the News-Sun reports that ...
Dold agreed. "It is absolutely critical that we protect our environment and conserve it for generations to come," he said.
And the Rose manual couldn't agree more:
Ground water can become contaminated with pesticides and decontamination of this water can be difficult or impossible. Contamination can occur when:
  • Rain carries dissolved pesticide down through the soil (a process called leaching).
  • Pesticide is back-siphoned from pesticide tanks.
  • Termiticides enter wells during termite treatments
  • Pesticides, particularly concentrates, are not disposed of properly.
Get the straight dope here from your LakeCountyEye and don't end up like those whiny liberals with minds all addled from drinking the well water Koolaid!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Q the Eye/05.22.12

Dear LakeCountyEye,

I've been tarred with a reputation for crushing the opposition like a bug. While I admit I know how to win, I fear my negatives may cost me the next election. What do I need to do to win in November?

The Great Successor
Dear Kim Jong-un,

Ὥρος HōrosOperatives are always advised that if their candidate has a problem, then hang a lantern on it. (Or a bug zapper as the case may be.)

You could do worse than one enterprising Lake County Congressman. The Congressman, who will go unnamed, owns, along with his family, Rose Pest Solutions. Being in the business of eliminating other people's undesirable organisms may not be the optimal way to endear oneself with the voters. And this Congressman's re-election team worries about losing what are known as the suburban ICK-squared voters -- as in ...
ICK, ICK, I'm not voting for an exterminator!
Their clever solution is to rebrand their pesticide candidate into an environmental candidate. The opening salvo may have been this unsigned News-Sun story ...
Dold keeping close eye on environment
The story is a cornucopia of feelgood lines like ...
Dold agreed. "It is absolutely critical that we protect our environment and conserve it for generations to come," he said.
And ...
It gives me good vibes to hear about all the Lake Michigan shoreline conservation work that is being done.
Variously described as an "unretouched virgin press release" and a "fat journalistic wetkiss", the story has Lake County's liberal blogosphere crying foul. But your LakeCountyEye knows better & recognizes the story for what it is: An example of what needs to be done when you need to change those low negatives into some high positives.

A tip of the LakeCountyEye green eyeshade goes out to some anonymous (and nodoubt low-paid) PR guy for one Lake County Congressman.

If you are an elected official, or a previously elected official, or just a private citizen under indictment, send your political questions to Q the Eye c/o ...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Old Yeller

red light green lightDan Duffy, Lake County's inconsequential Senator in Springfield, has a new yellow jacket under bee in his bonnet. Recently seen on this blog driving through some red lights ...
Caught Red Handed
Duffy has spent a good part of his political career seeking to get his Bills -- those that would abolish Illinois's red light cameras -- out of committee. It seems that Duffy is now aiming his sights a bit lower, at the yellow light instead. According to the Daily Herald ...
A plan to extend yellow lights by one second at intersections with red-light cameras has been placed in political purgatory. The proposal, sponsored by state Sen. Dan Duffy, a Republican from Lake Barrington, and Rep. Ed Sullivan, a Republican from Mundelein, was approved by the Senate in March. But House Speaker Michael Madigan hasn't released it from the House's Rules Committee, so it won't be debated.
Duffy yellow light plan stalls
Your LakeCountyEye had a couple more Duffy jokes in the hopper, but frankly is dumbstruck by that Daily Herald headline ...
Duffy yellow light plan stalls
Is that the best the Daily Herald can do for a sitting State Senator? Are they outsourcing their headline writing chores to non-English-speaking minimum-wage contractors? In Wisconsin? Or something?

Erm, why not just let your LakeCountyEye donate these 10 crappy, but at least better, headlines into the Public Domain, no questions asked?

Ten Headlines to Use with a Story on Dan Duffy's Yellow Light Proposal
  1. Duffy Yellow-Light Plan Gets the Red Light
  2. Duffy Yellow-Light Plan Gets the Green Light ... NOT!
  3. Duffy Yellow-Light Plan Gets the Lake County Roundabout
  4. It's Lights Out for the Duffy Yellow-Light Plan
  5. No Light at End of Tunnel for Duffy Yellow-Light Plan
  6. Duffy Yellow-Light Plan Sent Down the Route 53 Extension
  7. Illinois House Blackballs Duffy Yellow-Light Plan
  8. There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Duffy's Dead Yellow-Light Plan
  9. If the Duffy Yellow-Light Plan was One of the Avengers it would be Yellow-Light-Plan-Man
  10. Duffy Yellow-Light Plan T-Boned at the Intersection of Screw You and The Horse You Rode In On

Look for your LakeCountyEye on a horse at a roundabout near you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Head Count

The Lake County Newspaper of RecordIn political circles it is well known that there are three kinds of vote counters. Those who can add 2 + 2 without a calculator and those who cannot. Lake County Clerk Willard Helander apparently belongs with that third group.

Haha, it turns out that the Lake County Clerk's office tabulated the wrong precincts for the North Shore Sanitary District 2012 Primary election. According to the News-Sun, the NSSD Ward 1 ...
primary result included ineligible votes from five Waukegan precincts — 344, 345, 347, 350 and 355. Those precincts were removed, through redistricting, from newly-drawn Ward 1 and added to Ward 2. In addition, ineligible voters also cast ballots in four split-precincts in Waukegan — 343, 346, 348 and 349.
Old map causes 'error' in NSSD vote totals
(Perhaps not coincidentally 344, 345, 347, 350, 355, 343, 346, 348 & 349 are this week's winning Mega Millions® numbers!)

While Helander readily admits the booboo, one candidate was not amused. Clyde McLemore, who lost in NSSD Ward 1 by only 82 votes told the News-Sun ...
"They can call it a mistake," McLemore said. "I call it fraud."
Old map causes 'error' in NSSD vote totals
For the record, this was not an instance of fraud -- voter fraud occurs when someone casts a ballot under false pretenses. Now if a pattern of negligence were established, this, legally speaking, could be defined as official malfeasance.

Unlike the Democrats, there was no more than one Republican candidate for any NSSD Ward. So no Republican candidate was harmed in the botched vote count. The question of whether or not Helander is to be reprimanded, is left to operatives as an exercise. You do the math.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Deconstructing the Rehabilitation Video

Mark Kirk, Illinois Senator from Lake County, had a stoke in January. His staff, this week, produced and distributed to the local & national MSM a video of his rehabilitation:

Senator Mark Kirk on his rehabilitation "walking program"
The video is mostly shots of the state-of-art rehabilitation technology at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where Kirk is being treated. The News-Sun observed the video ...
shows him walking determinedly, if not easily, with a walker and on a treadmill with the help of a harness and a physical therapist. Some shots show him using parallel bars to support himself with his right hand. Kirk says he hopes "to climb the 45 steps that my staff counted from the parking lot to the Senate front door to fight for the people of Illinois." Though doctors warned Kirk may suffer permanent facial paralysis, his facial expressions appeared little changed from before he suffered the stroke. "I'm currently enrolled in a walking study for stroke patients," he says in the video. "It's described as an intensive program. One of the more interesting set-ups they had was a set of wraps around my legs with silver balls to be all recorded so a stick figure could be generated on the computer."
In video, Sen. Mark Kirk says he's anxious to get back to work
The video focuses exclusively on the rehabilitation of Kirk's motor functions. Conspicuously absent is mention of any cognitive rehabilitation efforts. Your LakeCountyEye assumes the omission indicates that Kirk's regimen did not require cognitive rehabilitation, and he is soon to resume his duties representing Illinois in Washington DC.

The News-Sun reports ...
Reprising his campaign refrain, Kirk says, "I can't wait to go back to work to vote to tax less, borrow less, and spend less to fix our economy."
In video, Sen. Mark Kirk says he’s anxious to get back to work
The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago is funded in part by:
  • National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Science Foundation
  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
  • VA Office of Research & Development
    Research at RIC
These are all taxpayer-supported Federal agencies. Their generosity will enable Mark Kirk to return to the Senate and vote to tax less, borrow less, and spend less.

Cognitive ability is defined in part as the ability to reason with consistency. Your LakeCountyEye wishes the Senator a full and speedy recovery.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Q the Eye/05.06.12

Dear LakeCountyEye,

Why are there so many lawyers in Congress?

Clarence Darrow
Dear Clarence Darrow If That's Your Real Name,

Ὥρος HōrosThe short answer is lawyers are experts in the law -- they know how to lawyer themselves out of a potentially embarrassing situation before it reaches the public eye.

Non-lawyers do not possess this valuable life-skill. For example, Lake County has one Congressman who is not a lawyer but instead is a self-proclaimed venture capitalist. All that VC money apparently has not kept this Congressman out of family court over the past two years.

This also explains why you don't see many business owners in Congress. What does every business owner have too many of -- other than creditors? Laid-off, fired, and/or disgruntled employees. These are the sort of low-paid employees who do not have many outlets for redressing their grievances, beyond posting a rant on YouTube.

One hapless Lake County Congressman who is not a lawyer -- but does own a business -- has become the target of a disgruntled employee:

Congressman Robert J. Dold 10th District Illinois
Excellent video, by the way. A tip of the LakeCountyEye green eyeshade goes out to some anonymous (and nodoubt low-paid) operative in the DCCC.

He's like the North Koreans don't vote for this guy you've been warned.

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 ...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Inside the Presidential Debates with Newton Minow

The Stevenson Center will host a program on Inside the Presidential Debates with Newton Minow:

Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy
Inside the Presidential Debates with Newton Minow

Newton Minow was appointed by President John Kennedy as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in 1961. Minow famously dubbed television the "vast wasteland" and called for programming reforms to better serve the public interest. He is a former law partner of Adlai Stevenson II, chairman of PBS and co-chair of the presidential debates in 1976 and 1980. He is currently co-vice chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, which has organized the debates for the last two decades. Minow's book, written with longtime collaborator Craig LaMay, Inside the Presidential Debates: Their Improbable Past and Promising Future, is a fascinating look into the origins of presidential debates with suggestions for their improvement today.

  • Sunday
    May 13, 2012
    2 PM
  • The Stevenson Center on Democracy
    25200 N St Mary's Rd
    Mettawa (Libertyville), IL 60048
  • $15
  • Coffee and conversation following

Friday, May 4, 2012

Carried to an Extreme

Those are not toys.A blogger, who will remain unnamed, (but who likes to blog about Lake County politics), walked into a bar last night. The blogger saw a friend there. And the friend said "is that a conceal-carry ... or are you just happy to see me?"

True story? Not a chance, bloggers don't have any friends. But more to the point, that couldn't happen here because Illinois is the last state in the union to prohibit the concealed carry of firearms.

This may all change if the gun manufacturers get their way. They now have the nation in mass hysterics over their 2nd Amendment right to walk into a bar with a hidden gun. The gun manufacturers have been so successful at pitching concealed-carry to the American public that your LakeCountyEye has learned the NRA is now test marketing a new slogan:
You can have my gun when you find out where it is concealed on my cold dead body!
And as readers of this blog are nervously aware, one local blogger was not immune to the histrionics ...
Magnum Obtuse
But when it comes to wacky ideas your LakeCountyEye immediately thinks of Lake County's Sheriff, Mark Curran. So it should come as no surprise that the Sheriff is drinking the conceal-carry koolaid. According to the News-Sun ...
Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran stood in front of a crowd of more than 30 conceal carry gun supporters on Monday to say one thing. He's certain Illinois will not be the only state prohibiting a concealed weapon law for long.
Group advocates for conceal carry law
Your LakeCountyEye can't help but wonder if there were any metal detectors at the meeting? Haha j/k.

But suppose conceal-carry becomes the law of the land and anyone encountered in Illinois is possibly armed. Wouldn't that make every 911 call or any routine traffic stop made by a Sheriff's deputy a possible deadly encounter? Haha j/k.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Poll Position

The results of the Lake County Mega Million® ballot position drawing are in. As readers of this blog are randomly aware, being number one on a Lake County ballot virtually guarantees your candidate victory in November ...
Who's On First?
And to ensure themselves the top ballot position, both political parties had teams of hackers on hand to compromise the County Clerk's Diebold machines. Well one party may be advised in the future not to hire some abstinence-only Script Kiddies to do their skulduggery, because according to the Lake County Clerk, the Democrats ran the table:
The lottery held on Tuesday, May 1, 2012, determined that the Democratic party will appear first on the ballot for the November Election.
General Election Party Lottery
The irrefutable video evidence:

Lottery to determine party order for Nov. 2012 election
According to State of Illinois lottery rules, Democrats have 90 days to come forward and claim their elected positions.