Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sore Losers

Caption Contest! Lake County Board Chair Aaron Lawlor is girding his loins in an effort to legally terminate the still in-utero Lake County Election Commission. As readers of this blog are briefly aware ...
Does Money Really Buy Elections?
Lake County had been on a fast-track to get its own independent Election Commission. But now, according to the Daily Herald ...
Calling the measure illegal and unconstitutional, Lake County officials are seeking an injunction to stop a new state law that strips away the county clerk's election oversight. Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Waukegan to halt the change, which Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law as part of a wide-reaching piece of election-related legislation. The law orders Lake County's chief judge to create a five-member commission that will manage future elections, starting with the spring primary.
Lake County seeking injunction to stop election law changes
Operatives are clamoring to know what to expect -- as if your LakeCountyEye is supposed to be Kreskin or somebody.  Luckily one expert who is disposed to sort it all out has stepped forward, Dr. I.M. Bhatschidtkhrazzi, Professor of Free Legal Advice at the College of Lake County.

Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi told your LakeCountyEye today, "Cover up all the shrubs, this has all the markings of an epic pissing match over whose hands pull the levers of power on Lake County."

Your LakeCountyEye concurred: voting is the foundation of democracy and this latest kerfuffle is not likely bode well with Lake County's voters.

But Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi was having none of that. "The voters? Haw haw, the voters don't even know when elections are held, let alone who is in charge of running those elections. The voters aren't going to notice anything before they see their tax bill."

Your LakeCountyEye then wanted to know how much a new election commission will cost.

Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi replied, "The County Chairman is quoting a figure of $600,000 -- but that money won't increase your tax bill because it will be coming out of the County Clerk's existing budget.  What they aren't telling anyone is that $600,000 will be chicken-food compared to legal expenses incurred from their lawsuit. The Lake County State's Attorney filed the suit on constitutional grounds.  One constitutional suit that went against the State of Illinois in 2005 cost taxpayers more than a million dollars."

Your LakeCountyEye concurred: a million dollars was by no means chicken-food.

"Or chimp change, for that matter.", Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi, continued. "And that's just the cost of a trial in some local Circuit Court. Add in the cost of appeals, all the way up to the Illinois Supreme Court, and then the US Supreme Court, and then the World Court at the Hague, and before you know it, Lake County will find itself in Bankruptcy Court!"

Before parting, your LakeCountyEye needed to know the most likely outcome of the lawsuit.

"Tell your operatives", said Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi, "that the smart money is betting on the Lake County State's Attorney to win this one. But subsequent DNA evidence will turn up and the suit will be thrown out on appeal."

Monday, July 29, 2013

Does Money Really Buy Elections?

Your LakeCountyEye is advising operatives to be extra vigilant, Lake County is in a local political uproar. According to the Daily Herald ...
Gov. Pat Quinn is planning to sign legislation Saturday that would take elections duties away from the Lake County Clerk, a new law that has created a local political uproar.
Quinn to OK controversial Lake County voting plan
And as readers of this blog are presciently aware ...
Split the Vote
The Governor has signed the election bill into law -- which goes a long way toward explaining the local political uproar currently rocking Lake County.

People will get into local political uproars over a lot of things but it usually ends up being over money:
Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor said the new law could cost the county more than $700,000 in new staff costs, in addition to upfront expenses for printing and other office needs.
Quinn to OK controversial Lake County voting plan
Your LakeCountyEye doesn't know how Aaron Lawlor arrived at a figure of $700,000. Perhaps Lawlor keeps a finger on the pulse of politics downstate, where an election commission costs Peoria taxpayers about the same amount:
The election commission's 2011 budget is $624,318 and the county's is $373,363. A majority of those expenses are in personnel costs and election judges.
Is this the city election commission's last hurrah?
In any event, your LakeCountyEye doesn't see the Lake County taxpayer footing the bill, because that $700K should be taken out of the County Clerk's budget. Because the County Clerk won't be handling the elections in Lake County any more. And won't need the extra money. Unless they need the money for raises and other incentives. In which case the taxpayer will be footing the bill.

Your LakeCountyEye has been reminded that nearly every sentence spoken by Aaron Lawlor contains three things: a noun, a verb and the Route 53 Extension. To put things in some perspective, that $700,000 might be enough money to pay for one or two Toll Plaza signs:
Your LakeCountyEye will keep you posted as further developments warrant.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Split the Vote

A Bill of Divorcement Apparently acting on a tip that the US Justice Department ...
is expected to use Sections 2 and 3 of the Voting Rights Act to prevent states from implementing certain laws, including requirements to present particular types of identification to vote.
Justice Department to challenge states’ voting laws
The Illinois Legislature passed a voting rights bill that was hastily signed into law this weekend. One part of the new voting bill, according to the Chicago Tribune, will ...
strip election duties from the Lake County Clerk's office, instead transferring those powers to a five-member board appointed by a judge.
Quinn signs bill allowing online voter registration in Illinois
The bill is being hailed by voting rights advocates. One anonymous source, on condition of anonymity, told your LakeCountyEye "Illinois was in danger of running afoul of provisions of the Voting Rights Act, and was on the Justice Department's radar.  No one wants to see Federal Marshals conducting elections in Illinois.  This bill will ensure clean and fair elections in Lake County for years to come!"

Not everyone is quite so pleased. State Senator Dan Duffy told the Tribune ...
"It's typical Chicago politics, coming in and overriding the voice and concerns of the people of Lake County."
Quinn signs bill allowing online voter registration in Illinois
Your LakeCountyEye decided to find out what elections would be like in Lake County, if they were now going to be governed by the rules of typical Chicago politics:

The Voters' Bill of Rights
Chicago Board of Election Commissioners
Your LakeCountyEye has to admit, a new voting-day regimen like this will take some getting used to. If this is what Lake County voters should expect, then small wonder some would be upset over a change in rules like these.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Chinese Junket

don't touch my junk Operatives are urged to sharpen their pencils for another LakeCountyEye political pop quiz:

What is the name of the former New York Congressman who resigned because of a sexting scandal, and who is now running for Mayor of New York City, and who is now embroiled in another sexting scandal, and who is now being investigated by the US House of Representatives Ethics Committee?

If you answered Anthony Weiner, good guess but you are incorrect. The correct answer is Lake County Congressman Peter Roskam.

Sharpeyed operatives will notice that this was a trick question: your LakeCountyEye lied about the parts where Peter Roskam is a former New York Congressman, or a candidate for Mayor of New York City, or is in the middle of a sexting scandal -- none of which is true. Your LakeCountyEye, however, did not lie about the part where Peter Roskam is being investigated by the US House Ethics Committee -- which they are.  According to the Chicago Sun-Times ...
The House Ethics Committee announced Friday it was probing Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) without detailing what was at issue.
House ethics panel probing Rep. Peter Roskam over Taiwan trip
The Chicago Tribune had some details ...
A trip to Taiwan that Rep. Peter Roskam took with his wife in 2011 has been referred to the House ethics committee at the urging of an outside panel that found he may have violated House rules and federal law in accepting the $25,000-plus excursion, according to ethics officials and the congressman's office.
Rep. Roskam faces ethics probe
Taiwan is not the first junket that Roskam has taken as a Congressman:
Roskam travels abroad regularly. A Tribune review of congressional travel during the years 2009 and 2010 found he had made four trips abroad during that time to five countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Israel and South Korea.
Rep. Roskam faces ethics probe
Roskam also should not be confused with former Congressman Phil Crane. Crane did represent that part of Lake County now represented by Peter Roskam. But Phil Crane, who back in the day had a reputation for spending more time overseas than in Washington -- and was known as the Junket King -- lost his seat in 2004.

Totally different.

Friday, July 26, 2013


The password is always SWORDFISH If the natural sciences had a #1 fanboy, that would be your LakeCountyEye -- who loves all the cable science shows, like MythBusters. So naturally this Chicago Tribune story caught your LakeCountyEye's eye:
A monster magnet is making its way from the East Coast to Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, where scientists say it will be used to study subatomic particles. The Muon g-2 ring is scheduled to arrive in Batavia on Friday after more than a month on the road, traveling from its former home at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island.
Mega-magnet draws close to Fermilab
In related news, huge traffic jams are crippling McHenry County, where it is being reported that some mysterious force is pulling the nails out of all of the horseshoes and covered wagons.

Haha, your LakeCountyEye loves to kid.

McHenry County is a lot like Lake County, except their Community College is not called the College of Lake County -- theirs is called the McHenry County College instead. Another difference is that Lake County tends not to regard higher education with suspicion and mistrust.

So it should come as no surprise that McHenry County residents cannot figure out how to open documents obtained from McHenry County College. And are whining about it.  According to the technophobes at the McHenryCountyBlog, there are too many security restrictions on the PDF documents downloaded from the McHenry County College website:
Document Viewing Restrictions: McHenry County vs. McHenry County College
Now your LakeCountyEye may just be a simple country boy from the suburbs simple country blogger, but even a script kiddie can be a password cracker these days:
How I became a password cracker
Note to ops (in McHenry County): there are lots of opensource PDF crackers out there ...
A PDF password remover (also called a PDF password cracker, password reset, or password recovery tool, depending on its ability) is a program that can be used to either find, remove, or bypass the security on a PDF file that prevents you from opening, printing, or changing the PDF file.
7 Free PDF Password Remover Tools
And some of those password crackers even look legitimate, and may not be trojans that can infect a blog with Viagra ads:
Spam Roast
Just sayin!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fair Game

The MOST TRUSTED face in RVing The Sun, like a heat lamp gone ape, beat down upon the streets and fields of Lake County all week. And whenever it's hot enough to fry on the sidewalk a deep-fried Cheeto, expect to see your LakeCountyEye cozy with the ice-chest, in the beer tent, at the Lake County Fair.

Luckily for all parties involved, the Lake County Fair is scheduled for this week:
Wednesday 7/24: 10am - 10pm
Thursday 7/25: 10am - 10pm
Friday 7/26: 10am - 11pm
Saturday 7/27: 10am - 11pm
Sunday 7/28: 10am - 9pm

Lake County Fair
For those ops who think there is nothing nearly as boring as reading a blog about Lake County politics, just try hanging out at a County Fair some afternoon.  Luckily there is an exciting scavenger hunt coming-up at this County Fair ...
The Lake County Fair is giving residents the opportunity to submit ideas of items to be sealed into a time capsule and buried in the Lake County Fairgrounds. The time capsule will be dug up in 15 years on the fair's 100th anniversary.
LC Fair looking for items to bury in time capsule
The organizers told the Lake County Journal they are are on the lookout for some creative submissions ...
"We're really hoping for out-of-the-box ideas"
LC Fair looking for items to bury in time capsule
Well, if that isn't a segue for another moth-eaten LakeCountyEye Top Ten List, then what is? Your LakeCountyEye has already scrounged together 10 objet d'arts to donate to the Lake County Fair:
Ten Out-of-the-Box Items
Seen in the Lake County Fair Time Capsule
  1. AR-15 Assault Rifle
  2. Hubcap Found in the Breakdown Lane of the Route 53 Extension
  3. The Fake Stevenson Letter
  4. Girls Gone Wild on Blarney Island
    Now on HD VHS!
  5. Lake County Election Commission Absentee Ballot
  6. Cacklefruit
    (Courtesy the Mundelein Free-Range Chickens)
  7. The Island Lake Village Robo-Dialer
  8. A Pair of Waukegan Casino Loaded Dice
  9. Mark Curran for Attorney General Yardsign
  10. Another Moth-Eaten LakeCountyEye Internet Top 10 List
Look for your LakeCountyEye eyeing that corndog near you.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

For Better or For Worse
Til Death Do Us Part

... and Cremation ServiceOne doesn't have to be a chatroom marriage counselor to see that Lake County is suffering through some marital difficulties. In one corner sits Congressman Randy Hultgren, who has co-sponsored a Constitutional Amendment that will Federally prohibit gay marriage. And in the other corner sits State Representative Ed Sullivan, who supports legislation that will legalize gay marriage in Illinois.

If you see political infighting happening within your Party, your LakeCountyEye advises never ever delay. Act immediately and pass that buck as quickly as possible over to someone that everyone can blame later -- ideally a pricey political consultant -- for instance, Dr. I.M. Bhatschidtkhrazzi, Professor of Party Led Mediation at the College of Lake County.

Your LakeCountyEye caught up with Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi at a nearby house of worship, where he immediately broke into a jeremiad: "The Democrats think gay marriage is this fantastic wedge issue that is going to divide the Republican Party. Well, I'll tell you what the people of Lake County really care about, and that is their guns. And Randy Hultgren and Ed Sullivan are both on the same page when it comes to firearms."

Your LakeCountyEye must've been caught in a blank stare, because Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi continued without missing a beat: "Have you noticed that Ed Sullivan has been in all the papers lately, talking about concealed carry and assault weapons? Soon everyone in Illinois will be walking around with a concealed weapon or assault rifle, and a direct beneficiary of this state-wide change-in-culture will be Randy Hultgren.

"Randy Hultgren?", asked your LakeCountyEye. "How so?"

Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi, seeming to have anticipated the question, scarcely paused: "The mortality rate among gun owners, from an accidental or self-inflicted gun-shot wound, is off the charts when compared to the general population. You don't need to be Warren Buffet to see the direct beneficiary of concealed carry and assault weapons in Illinois will be the funeral business. If I were an undertaker somewhere in Illinois, I'd be looking forward to boom times ahead."

Your LakeCountyEye, no Warren Buffet, did not know that. As always, your LakeCountyEye asked Dr. Bhatschidtkhrazzi if he had any parting advice for the ops.

He replied in a deadpan tone, "Tell all your operatives that before they apply for their concealed carry permit, to pre-order in advance for themselves a casket and gravesite. They'll save a barrel of cash."

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Wedding Party?

Caption Contest! Now that the US Constitution has been amended to mandate concealed carry for all able-bodied US citizens over the age of 12, Randy Hultgren -- nodoubt feeling emboldened -- has co-sponsored a "Marriage Protection Amendment".

Operatives who do not recognize the name Randy Hultgren are by no means in a minority. Hultgren, a Republican Congressman, has been described to your LakeCountyEye as a clone of ex-Representative "Joe Walsh, but with all the bad-boy charm surgically removed."

Hultgren certainly shares Walsh's conservative bona fides, as his Amendment to the US Constitution would outlaw gay marriage:
Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.
H.J.RES.51 -- Marriage Protection Amendment (Introduced in House - IH)
Something else your LakeCountyEye did not know, is that Hultgren represents significant portions of Lake County. In fact, if you look at a map of Hultgren's district, it divides Lake County with a pincer movement that locks-in between Wauconda and Mundelein, at the heart of Ed Sullivan's Representative District 51.

Ed Sullivan, as readers of this blog should be automatically aware, is a Republican State Representative who champions legislation that would enact marriage equality in Illinois:
Silky Sullivan
After it passes through Congress, Hultgren's anti-gay marriage Amendment will be sent to the States for ratification. In Illinois's case, the Amendment will go to Springfield where Ed Sullivan will have an opportunity to vote for or against it.

Sullivan, a member of House GOP leadership, would be obligated to support any US Constitutional Amendment sponsored by a Republican Congressmen -- particularly one that represents Sullivan's district. At the same time however, Sullivan may be called to vote in favor of an Illinois gay marriage bill brought to the floor in Springfield. While this sort of situation would have have the nerviest pol feeling like the groom who got cold feet when walking down the aisle -- it is by no means unmanageable.

When the newspapers ask why you voted for a Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage, tell them that traditional marriage is the bedrock of every faith and society will perish without it.

And when the newspapers ask why you voted to legalize gay marriage in Illinois, tell them that State's Rights are absolute and this is none of the Federal Government's damn business.

Smooth as silk.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition

very few foxes, for that matterThere is only one thing Lake County likes better than carrying a hidden firearm. Or going to church. And that would be going to church, while carrying a hidden firearm.

Well, Lake County must be thinking it has died from an accidental gunshot wound and gone to heaven.  That's because now that Illinois is the 50th state to ratify concealed carry, Lake County can now worship not only at the church or synagogue of their choice but with their caliber of choice.  As one suburban Chicago Senator Tweeted (and far better than your LakeCountyEye could) ...
You may not know ... but now in IL people can carry loaded concealed handguns in churches. "Peace be with you" is now "Piece be with you?"
Well the joke's on you, because that same State Senator is now threatening to chip away at Lake County's God-given 2nd Amendment Right to pack heat while being preached hellfire. According to the Daily Herald:
Even before Illinois' concealed carry law has been fully implemented, state Sen. Dan Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat, said he'll be trying to ban loaded guns from churches, temples, mosques and other places of worship. Legislation approved by lawmakers last week restricts carrying a concealed weapon in parks, schools, casinos and amusement parks, among other places, but churches aren't exempt.
Kotowski wants to ban guns in places of worship
Luckily Lake County has its own point man on concealed carry, State Rep Ed Sullivan -- who was quick on the draw to talk to the Daily Herald ...
State Rep. Ed Sullivan, a Mundelein Republican and concealed carry supporter, said it was predictable that opponents would start working to "chip away" at the new law. Sullivan said churches weren't a part of the negotiations that led to the existing exemptions. He argued the new law should stay in place for a while before lawmakers start trying to change it again.
Kotowski wants to ban guns in places of worship
If your LakeCountyEye had 21 guns, your LakeCountyEye would propose a 21 gun salute. Be that as it may, if anyone asks "who has your back?", tell then Rep Ed Sullivan.

For the record, Ed Sullivan is also an open supporter of gay marriage in Illinois. Sullivan, no doubt, would want to extend any marriage equality legislation to include shotgun weddings.

Haha, your LakeCountyEye loves that joke.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A General Occasion

If the shoe fits, wear it.That giant sucking sound you heard were the Republican candidates for Illinois Attorney General all heading for the nearest exit. Lisa Madigan announced today that she will seek re-election as Attorney General. According to the Daily Herald ...
Attorney General Lisa Madigan says she'll seek another term instead of running for Illinois governor next year. In a Monday statement, the Chicago Democrat says she's been considering the decision for months but that she enjoys her current job.
Lisa Madigan won’t run for governor
Lisa Madigan last appeared in this blog when Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran announced he would not run for Sheriff but would run for Attorney General instead -- and then changed his mind, yet again, announcing he would not run for Attorney General, after all:
As it seemed then -- back in the day -- GOP Party bosses did not want to see Curran's name on the ballot for Attorney General, if it was an open seat and winnable by a strong candidate.  Your LakeCountyEye took this as an unambiguous signal that Lisa Madigan would run for Governor.

Haha -- hindsight is 20/20.

Your LakeCountyEye takes these new developments as an unambiguous signal that Mark Curran will change his mind yet again and announce that he will run for Attorney General, after all.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Pay to Display

Live-blogging from the waiting room of the Lake County General Hospital, your LakeCountyEye is recuperating from injuries sustained on the shooting range 4th of July. There is not much in the way of reading material here, save some old editions of the Daily Herald. For operatives not acquainted with Lake County's Newspaper of Record, its masthead is reproduced below:

Daily Herald
One Daily Herald news item caught your LakeCountyEye's attention:
If you'd like to brush up on your technology skills, how about signing up for a free class on navigating the Internet? The Daily Herald is partnering with the Microsoft store at Woodfield Mall to offer seven-day subscribers instruction on Skype, Facebook, Outlook and other topics.
Don't get left behind
Every Monday for the remainder of the summer, the Daily Herald is offering some free Internet workshops. The course schedule is reproduced here:

Untangle the Web
  • All About Apps
  • Outlook Email
  • Saving and sharing files and photos
  • Facebook
  • Online security, privacy and safety
  • Skyping made simple
Your LakeCountyEye is always eager to brush up on the technology skills, particularly when it comes to navigating the Internet. The Daily Herald workshops, however, do not seem to include a course on how to beat an Internet paywall.

Maybe that one is sold-out already.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

For I was Sick and You Did Not Vista Me

boom goes the dynamiteYour LakeCountyEye is under the weather.  As readers of this blog are uneasily aware ...
Boom Goes the Dynamite
while fireworks are -- technically speaking -- illegal in Illinois, legal technicalities have never gotten between your LakeCountyEye and a good ol' fashioned 4th of July.  Note, however, to operatives: third degree burns, internal injuries and multiple fractures will get between your LakeCountyEye and a good ol' fashioned 4th of July. So don't be like your LakeCountyEye and sustain your Fourth of July injuries while on Blarney Island or some other place that is not immediately accessible to a convenient treatment center.

The region of Lake County around Lindenhurst would be an example of an area where a convenient treatment center seems to be needed.  And while one major health-care provider wants to build a hospital there, their proposal was recently axed.  According to Crain's Chicago Business ...
A state board has dealt a final blow to Vista Health System's latest plan to build a new hospital in north suburban Lindenhurst. The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board voted 5-2 against the $131 million project
State board quashes Vista Lindenhurst plan
Why was this Lindenhurst hospital killed? Was it because it would be built too-close-for-comfort to a rival health-care provider? According to the Daily Herald:
Opponents included Advocate Health Care, which argued a new Lindenhurst hospital was unnecessary. "We commend the board for sticking up for Lake County patients and recognizing that a new, for-profit hospital would do more harm than good," Dr. Bruce Hyman, medical staff president at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, said in a statement.
Good Shepherd expansion OK'd
But Lindenhurst proposal nixed again
The informed sources explained to your LakeCountyEye that, while "you can never be too rich or too thin, you can be served by too many hospitals!"

Note to ops: If anyone knows of a health-care provider that is equipped to treat uninsured bloggers, please contact this blog immediately. Until then, look for your LakeCountyEye, on the puny list.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Boom Goes the Dynamite

As sure as your LakeCountyEye is a two-finger typist, fireworks are illegal in Lake County. In fact they are verboten in the entire State, as Illinoisans have to cross porous borders to remote locales -- like Hammond, Indiana -- if they want to celebrate the Fourth of July the way the Founders intended.

Independence Day is your LakeCountyEye's favorite federal holiday.  Everyone gets to wave a flag and declare love-of-country and proclaim their patriotism, just like the real politicians do. And, of course, it is a once-in-a-year opportunity to risk life or limb for the sake of 5 or 10 minutes of pyrotechnic tomfoolery.

With the Fourth of July nigh, your LakeCountyEye has surveyed the theater of operations and compiled a list of the best fireworks available on Lake County's black-powder market. They can be counted on the fingers of at least two hands:
Lake County's Ten Most Awesomest 2013 Fourth of July Fireworks
1. The Route 53 Explosion
2. The Rockets Red Light Camera Glare
3. The Zion Nuclear Bomb
4. The Traditional Marriage Underminer
Available in Rep District 51
5. The Route 83 M-80
6. Six Conflagrations Over Great America
7. The Navy Seal of Disapproval
Available in Waukegan
8. Bangs Lake
9. Lake County Emergency Management Agency Dirty Bomb
10. The AR-15 Assault Rifle
Not Available in Highland Park, Deerfield, North Chicago
Look for your LakeCountyEye, throwing bombs.