Saturday, March 31, 2018

Rhymes with Baloney

Note to Ops: Do you believe everything you see on the Internet? Peter Roskam thinks you can.

Last December, alarmed homeowners waited in freezing-cold lines to pay their property taxes ahead of a deadline set by Peter Roskam's tax bill. If that was you, you may get that deduction after all. That is, provided you can believe Lake County vestigial Congressman Peter Roskam:
Illinois homeowners who prepaid this year's property taxes at the end of 2017 can deduct that payment from their itemized income tax returns. That's according to a letter from the U.S. Treasury Department to Rep. Peter Roskam, a Wheaton Republican, who was seeking clarification of an IRS advisory warning taxpayers prepayments might not be deductible.
It's official: If you prepaid your property taxes, you can deduct them from your taxes
Your LakeCountyEye obtained a copy of that Treasury Department letter. And if you are thinking about spending that tax deduction, and if your name is Kowalski, then not so fast there, Kowalski:
Dear Representative Roskam:

Thank you for your letter regarding the December advisory relating to property taxes (IR-2017-210). As your letter notes, IR-2017-210 addresses payments made by taxpayers in 2017 for 2018 property taxes. As a general matter, taxpayers are permitted to deduct 2017 property taxes that were both paid and imposed in 2017.

Drew Maloney
Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs
Who is Drew Maloney? Your LakeCountyEye looked him up ...
The next time private equity giant Blackstone Group wants a special legislative loophole, they can call on their old friend Drew Maloney, who now works as a liaison between the Treasury Department and Congress. Before becoming the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Legislative Affairs, Maloney spent more than a decade as a lobbyist for companies that could be impacted by the financial, trade, and tax policy issues that the Treasury works on. From 2005 to 2012, Maloney was CEO of Oglivy Government Relations, one of the highest-grossing and most powerful lobbying shops in Washington. His clients at Oglivy included major financial firms like Blackstone Group, CIT Group, and Visa. Since 2012, Maloney has served as the top lobbyist for Hess Corporation, a multinational oil and gas company that has lobbied the Treasury Department on foreign policy issues involving Libya and Russia sanctions.
Meet the lobbyists Trump has appointed to run the government
Can you trust the words of any oil and gas lobbyist working for the Trump administration? Peter Roskam thinks you can. In the words of Drew Maloney: "As a general matter, absolutely!"

Thursday, March 29, 2018


Pepe Le Who?
Note to Ops: Red light cameras are among the least of your worries when you have to be on the lookout for landmines.

Haha, law enforcement in Lake County is invested big in armored vehicles:
Sixteen law enforcement agencies in Illinois asked the federal government for a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle -- the armored vehicles that protect soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan from improvised explosive device blasts. Seven others requested different kinds of armored vehicles, some that weigh 6 tons and stand 10 feet high.
Should cops worry about roadside bombs? Towns get military surplus
One modest bedroom community, Round Lake Park, spent nearly 2/3 million dollars for a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle:
Police AgencyItem NameQuantityUnit Cost

List of military equipment to Illinois police agencies
Transport vehicles such as these are designed to withstand the percussive forces of an IED. It is unknown however how well they fare against a stink bomb. This month Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko encountered an enemy from an unexpected quarter:
For the past two weeks, he and his officers have had to contend with a band of particularly foul foes: skunks that have made a home under their police station. Filenko calls it a "Skunkapalooza." "You walk in the station and ... well, you know what that smells like, especially in a contained area," he said.
Skunks fought the Round Lake Park law, and no one won
This story has a happy ending. The Round Lake Park Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle was never deployed:
Finally, on Wednesday, an officer bravely went under the station and found the source of the stink -- a dead skunk, which was promptly removed.
Skunks fought the Round Lake Park law, and no one won
One observer (from a safe distance) observed: "Save some of those defense-budget dollars for a hazmat outfit or two."

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Down But Not Out

four scores and seven years ago
Can you help Nick Provenzano? No fault of his own, Provenzano lost his job last week:
A staff member in U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren's district office has been fired after a police report surfaced saying the aide was found shirtless inside a car with a teenage boy last October. Dominic "Nick" Provenzano, who's long been active in the Republican Party in McHenry County and served on the County Board, was terminated Monday as deputy district director, a Hultgren spokesman confirmed.
Congressional aide fired after teen says they had sexual encounter in car after meeting on Grindr
Provenzano has been a mainstay with the McHenry County GOP for at least 10 years. This former congressional aide has no doubt a political CV as long as your arm. Your LakeCountyEye cannot provide a resume. But interested parties should see the McHenryCountyBlog, where there are no fewer than 254 posts tagged Nick Provenzano:
Nick Provenzano Archives - McHenry County Blog
To put that another way, the McHenryCountyBlog has zero posts tagged Consensual Sex:
Sorry, no such page.
Note to Ops: Don't be coy.  Let's see some of that McHenryCountyBlog sort of love!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Open Position

Randy Hultgren, Lake County's boreal Congressman, severed his right-hand man:
Nick Provenzano, a former McHenry County Board member and an employee of U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, was fired Monday after he was caught by police in a sexual encounter with a 17-year-old boy, according to reports.
Reports: Hultgren fires aide Provenzano after sexual encounter with teen boy
This comes on the heels of the March 20 election this week -- which, like every Primary election, produced many more losers than winners.

Note to Ops: If you are looking for a job, and if you are good with your right hand, this is an outstanding opportunity. Do not hesitate to send a resume to Congressman Hultgren:

Jobs | Congressman Randy Hultgren
It is not known if a glossy photo is required.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Pro Associations

When they go low we go high.
Note to Ops: When you think of odd jobs do you think of Nick Provenzano? A go-to guy within the McHenry County GOP, a Party buttress, even, Provenzano (some may recall) chaired Joe Walsh's campaign in 2010:
Walsh's campaign manager since April, Nick Provenzano is a former McHenry County Board member who served as secretary of the McHenry County Republican Party and has worked on more than 25 campaigns, including former 8th District Congressional Republican candidate David McSweeney's.
The resurrection of Joe Walsh's campaign
Most recently, Provenzano served as succedaneum for Congressman Randy Hultgren.  Until now, that is:
On Oct. 21, a pair of McHenry police officers rolled down a dead-end McHenry street and found an SUV with its headlights turned off, according to a police report. Inside, they found a shirtless man and a 17-year-old boy. The man in the driver's seat was Provenzano, according to the report. They had met on Grindr, a popular gay dating app, the 17-year-old told police.
Day after firing, Nick Provenzano elected precinct committeeman in Nunda Township
This week, Randy Hultgren sacked Nick Provenzano. One observer was fit to be tied, saying the discharge was premature: "This amounts to naked hypocrisy, to can someone for observing a core principle of the Republican Party -- trickle down economics!"

Monday, March 19, 2018

Fakenews Is As Fakenews Does

The LakeCountyGazette may be Lake County's #1 source of fake news.  But it is seeing some stubborn competition from the McHenryCountyBlog.

This is an actual unretouched screenlift from the McHenryCountyBlog:
Today we look at a District 2 County Board candidate promotion sign. It promotes both candidates running against Carolyn Schofield and Josh Howell.

Note that the Mike Madigan-contorlled Illinois Democratic Party paid for the signs.

Signs of a Fall District 2 County Board Campaign
A superficial glance at the yardsign photo reveals that these are not McHenry County Board candidates -- moreover the sign was not paid for by the Mike Madigan-contorlled Illinois Democratic Party:
Point of fact, these are candidates for the Illinois Democratic State Central Committee.  More specifically, they are candidates for the 14th Democratic State Central Committee District -- which covers much of Northern Lake County. The 2nd McHenry County Board District, on the other hand, is almost certainly somewhere in McHenry County.

There are no two ways about it: the Illinois Democratic State Central Committee District 14 and the McHenry County Board District 2 are totally different districts. Totally.

Except, of course, in the fake news.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Route 66 was Already Taken?

You've tried the rest, now tri the best.
Note to Ops: If the media reports things you don't like, simply rebrand the media as the fake news. So it makes sense that if you have an expensive highway project that nobody likes, simply rebrand the highway project:
A study to determine the feasibility of extending Route 53 into Lake County has been rebranded to reflect a broader range of possibilities to ease traffic congestion. Instead of focusing solely on Route 53 and associated work to improve Route 120 in central Lake County, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority says the Tri-County Access Project will consider a range of alternatives to move traffic in Lake, McHenry and northern Cook counties.
Route 53 extension study rebranded as a 'Tri-County' project: Lake, McHenry, Cook
Now, the Illinois Toll Authority is spending $25 million to keep the Route 53 Extension alive. Apparently however little if none of that money went into rebranding the toxic highway project:
Tri-County Access Project
What's a Tri-County? Your guess is as good as your LakeCountyEye's.

To be sure, any decision to rebrand needs to be executed properly. Every dollar spent is twice as many saved. That's because when it comes to branding a venture, a million things can go wrong. Ten, in the case of the Route 53 Extension:
Ten Rejected Brands for
the Route 53 Extension
  1. Tollway to Heaven

  2. Route 53 Distention

  3. Tri-Ckle-Down Access Project

  4. Trump Tow & Wrecking

  5. The Amstutz

  6. Recreational Pothole Dispensary

  7. The Tollroad Paved with Gold

  8. New Coke

  9. The Route 53 Blockchain Extension

  10. Wide Enough to Drive a Truck Through!
Look for your LakeCountyEye somewhere in the Tri-County area near you.

Monday, March 12, 2018

You Can't Spell Lawlor Without AWOL

Your LakeCountyEye has a winner. Operatives were asked to find Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor in a video of the January 16, 2018 Board meeting.

For the record, Lawlor was absent at roll call, and the the meeting was called to order by the Vice-Chair, some 20 minutes late:

Lake County Illinois Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
So your LakeCountyEye was frankly surprised that anyone was able to find Chairman Aaron Lawlor at this particular meeting. Lawlor, in fact, appears about half-way through! Just follow the timeline:

One County Board Commissioner is startled by someone ...

January 16, 2018 Lake County Board 01-16-2018 - Lake County, IL
Agenda Item 26: 17-1378 Resolution

Now let's play musical chairs ...

January 16, 2018 Lake County Board 01-16-2018 - Lake County, IL
Agenda Item 26: 17-1378 Resolution

The Vice-Chair bids a hasty retreat ...

January 16, 2018 Lake County Board 01-16-2018 - Lake County, IL
Agenda Item 26: 17-1378 Resolution

And voila, here's Lawlor ...

January 16, 2018 Lake County Board 01-16-2018 - Lake County, IL
Agenda Item 26: 17-1378 Resolution

The Chicago Tribune has your Top 10 excuses for being late for work!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Where's Lawlor?

Tonight's round of Where's Lawlor™ was filmed in Waukegan at the January 16, 2018 meeting of the Lake County Board.

Operatives should be familiar with the rules. You are challenged to find Lake County Board Chairman, Aaron Lawlor:

January 16, 2018 Lake County Board 01-16-2018 - Lake County, IL
Here are this week's clues:
County Clerk: Frank?
Frank: Here

County Clerk: Hart?
Hart: Here

County Clerk: Hewitt?
Hewitt: Here

County Clerk: Lawlor?
Lake County Illinois Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Contestants are asked to send their answers to this blog c/o Missing Persons Dept.

Note to Ops: Did your LakeCountyEye mention that Aaron Lawlor is the current Chairman of the Lake County Board?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies

The Lake County Sheriff Department is seeking certification from a national industry accreditation body, the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies. The accreditation process requires feedback from the public and employees at the Sheriff Department:
The sheriff's office noted that, as a part of the assessment, employees of the office and the public are invited to offer comments on March 12 at 5 p.m at the Libertyville Civic Center at 135 West Church St. in Libetyville. If you can't make the March 12 meeting, you can call the assessment team at 847-377-4167 on Monday, March 12 between 1 and 3 p.m.
Lake County Sheriff To Be Assessed: You Can Help
Public comments on the sheriff's office's compliance with CALEA standards will be accepted. Share your thoughts.
While this is likely a pro forma exercise, this is still an opportunity to have your voice heard in light of the recent conduct of the Lake County Sheriff Department.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

You're Doing It Wrong

This week's yardsign malfunction was spotted near Mundelein:
There is an old saying in Lake County: Never bother trying to bribe a yardsign with a pint of whiskey. Yardsigns don't vote.

Is this what a yardsign is supposed to look like when seen through beer goggles? Your LakeCountyEye certainly could not read it. Like the guy planted at the end of the bar, this yardsign isn't making a whole lot of sense.

You have to zoom in on it:
Note to Ops: Getting someone to vote for your candidate is hard.  Getting him to write-in your candidate's name on a ballot is an order of magnitude harder:
Which means the voter has to correctly spell your candidate's name. Don't make a demanding task worse than need be. For example, filing your write-in candidate to the ballot under his full name:
Just Sayin!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Opioid Epidemic and Steps to Stop It

Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy
Three Lake County Officials – State's Attorney Michael Nerheim, Board of Health Executive Director Mark Pfister and Sheriff Mark Curran – will present a panel discussion on various aspects of the opioid crises and offer measures to stop it.
  • Sunday
    March 11, 2018
    2:00 pm
  • The Stevenson Center on Democracy
    25200 N St Mary's Rd
    Mettawa (Libertyville), IL 60048
  • $15
    (Students Free)