Is it just me or are some of you thinking this too?

First let me say that my heart (and some of my cash) goes out to the folks on the east coast. Those pictures of  shoreline devastation are brutal. My fondest wish is that my beloved New Yorkers and all the rest get back on their feet as soon as possible.

But now I’ve lived long enough to see Camille, David, Hugo, Andrew, Katrina, Ike, Irene, Allison, Frances and I could go on. And the coastal devastation is always the same. Why do we keep building right up to the water’s edge knowing what a folly it really is?

I’m not saying a buffer would mitigate all the damage because it wouldn’t, but not only do we build right up to the edge, but as NASA warned New York and the Army Corp of Engineers warned New Orleans, we don’t employ the appropriate protective countermeasures either.

God bless all those folks who lost their homes, but maybe we should reconsider our shoreline strategies.

My two-part Patch column on the possibility of a Geneva teachers strike

Though some things are better left unsaid, the D304 teachers contract negotiations here in Geneva have gotten so rancorous, I finally felt the need to wade in. I know it may be hard to believe, but I firmly believe, if you can’t move a situation forward, then simply stand on the sidelines.

Mondays column emphasized that this is a “negotiation” with all the chess moves and give and take that process requires. Just because a union gives a notice to strike, it doesn’t mean it’s gonna happen.

Today’s part two covers the strategic mistakes to which both the union and the board have fallen prey. Although the union’s strategy is so far off this time that it’s almost unfathomable.

The good news is, with these columns complete, now I can let it go and go back to my perch in the bleachers.

We don’t need no stinking resolutions!

All you Elginians oughtta thank your lucky stars you have a mayor who so carefully guards his sanity.  Some of us in neighboring locales aren’t quite as fortunate.

Elgin Mayor Dave Kaptain

When a well meaning group approached Mayor Kaptain and the city council regarding their rendering a resolution condemning all that scurrilous PAC money, he basically said “no.” And that’s a good thing because once you start issuing resolutions and proclamations, it’s really hard to stop.

Suddenly you’re so busy pandering that nothing gets done.

You can read my more  in-depth thoughts on this subject in Monday’s Courier-News. Enjoy!

Rob Russell is getting nervous – part II

As I obsessively review my blog posts for errors, is it me, or does the fact that KC Coroner Candidate Rob Russell referred to his Hispanic opponent as a “janitor” make anyone else nervous? 

I see two problems with that assertion. One is pretty obvious and the other is that janitors are some of the hardest working people I know (I was one in my youth).

So one has to wonder if Russell managed to alienate two groups with the same statement. I suppose we’ll find out next week.

The Madison, IL County Coroner speaks!

Though Mr. Nonn’s statement came in as a comment, I thought it worthy of a more prominent posting:

“I really had every intention in not commenting on this coroner race and just follow it from afar as an interested party by reading newspaper accounts on how the election was progressing. What I have been reading lately changed my mind and I feel the need to vent.

Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn

When candidates turn to mud-slinging and name-calling their opponent, instead of touting their own credentials,even if they have to embellish them, then I wonder if they really have the ability to execute the duties of the office they seek.

Playing yard sign stealing games and intimidating people who have your opponents sign in their yards shows a lack of respect for the election process and the right of the people to feel free to express their support of the candidate of their choice without fear of reprisal.

If Mr. Martinez opponent is that insensitive to what he and his business does for families who have suffered a loss of a family member and wants to define him as a “janitor”, then he has no true understanding of the complexities of this job and where being sensitive to the needs of a family is just as important as the investigation.

As Coroner of Madison County,IL., our philosophy in dealing with families is and always will be, “they don’t care how much you know..until they know how much you care.”

I have known Mr. Martinez for many years and I know he has the character and integrity for the job and exhibits those unique qualities that will make him an excellent coroner.

To be fair, I don’t know Mr. Russell and maybe he has those same characteristics, I can only form an opinion based on what I have read in newspaper accounts and by how he runs his campaign.”

Rob Russell is getting nervous!

To be fair, KC GOP coroner candidate Russell is, at least publicly, encouraging his supporters to remove placed-without-permission Martinez signs the semi-legal way. He’s “suggesting” his crew first ask the property owner to “consider” removing the opposition sign. 

But per the new state law, even that’s illegal. Though I think it’s rather bizarre, if a property owner finds an unwanted political sign on their premises, they’re supposed to call the offending campaign and have them come out and remove it. Those yard signs have become almost as sacred as the Shroud of Turin.

Of course, what Russell really means is, “just go ahead and remove the signs,” just like staunch supporter Francisco Carrera was caught in the act doing. So let me remind Geneva Highway Township Commissioner Mark Wissing, who’s always prone to bouts of insomnia around election time, that if he gets pinched purloining Martinez signs, I will run against him – and win.

In yet another Facebook post (apparently he’s almost as prolific as yours truly) Russell declares, “Cop or janitor – that is your choice for coroner.” So much for class.

But since I have no class, I might put it a different way. Death scene specialist or a corrections officer with five separate reprimands who’s claim to head up 60 plus homicide investigations doesn’t hold up and who’s studied under one of the most corrupt sheriffs in Illinois (John Zaruba).

That certainly puts it in a different perspective doesn’t it? I happen to agree with Mr. Russel when he says “Integrity is something that cannot be bought.” 

My esteemed Kane County compatriots! This is our chance to dispense with one of the last vestiges of the McConnaughay/Shepro regime. A Martinez victory means the Dallas Ingemnuson/Denny Hastert cabal no longer have their teeth in any Kane County elected official.

(You’re right! We’ll still have Jim Oberweis, but he’s basically harmless.)

So for all those obvious reasons and the fact that he’s the better candidate, vote Martinez for coroner!

A partial election prediction and a trend!

As you already know, the two local races that interest me most are in the 11th and 8th U.S. Congressional Districts. Personally, I’d love to see Joe Walsh and Bill Foster sent home and it’s looking pretty good on both counts. Let’s see if you can follow the logic! 

In the 11th there were 10,132 early (not absentee) ballots cast as of last Thursday (10/25). Here’s how they break down:

40% (3,802) have pulled a Democratic primary ballot for the last 10 years.

42% (3,918) have pulled a Republican primary ballot for the last 10 years.

18% (1,686) have only voted in the general election during that same period.

This looks really good for Judy Biggert because – stay with me – what kind of 11th District voters only vote in the general election? Republicans! It’s exactly like it is in Chicago. There’s no point in casting a GOP primary vote in such a heavily Democratic district. 

It’s still a bit too close to call, but I like the numbers.

On to the 8th where, as of last Thursday, 13,935 people have voted early. And that one breaks down like this:

42% (5,525) 10 year primary Democrats

37% (4,793) 10 year primary Republicans

21% (2,711) 10 year general election only voters.

And who are the general election only voters in the Schaumburg based heavily Republican 8th District? That’s right – Democrats. So the only Joe Walsh we’re about to have to contend with is the one that plays guitar for the Eagles. Our Joe may as well submit that Fox News employment application right now.

That’s why that SuperPAC abandoned him – they saw the handwriting on the wall.

But the interesting thing is, the prior Thursday (10/18), by our logic, Walsh and Duckworth were less than 1 percent apart. And then Joe just had to go ahead and offer his professional medical opinion on women dying during childbirth.

Wouldn’t you think, since most male Republicans are married (multiple times), they would have already figured out that nothing good can ever come of completely bleeping off women? Either they never learn or their wives are complete wimps.

Next Thursday (or the day after), I’ll be able to tell you who will win these two races with virtual certainty.

The autumn of living dangerously

I think it would be safe to say the Aurora East School District 131 has endured a fall season that is the stuff of Poe-esque nightmares. They’ve certainly taken their lumps lately.

There was the forced retirement of their Finance Director, insurance payment issues and a transgender policy that was repealed even faster than it was implemented.

Annette Johnson

But even though I was loaded for bear, after speaking at length with school board president Annette Johnson, I think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and, thankfully, it isn’t another a freight train. As I posit in yesterday’s Beacon-News column, despite the immediate evidence, sometimes you have to give folks that long term shot.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built – nor was it destroyed – in a day. Enjoy the column!

Sunday evening editorial – women and the GOP

Considering the bizarre things that have come tumbling out of pasty white male Republicans this election cycle, I’m shocked the GOP can claim as much as one female member. And the really sad thing is, the things they’re saying simply don’t need to be said.

Let’s review:

1. Missouri Senate candidate Todd Aiken said that, if it’s a case of “legitimate rape,” the woman’s reproductive system will shut down so she can’t get pregnant. To add the icing to the proverbial cake, Aiken accused opponent Claire McCaskill of not being very “ladylike.”

2. Then we have our own Joe “no abortion exception” Walsh, who told WGN radio that medical science had advanced so far, that an abortion to save the life of the mother was nothing more than a silly excuse. Tell that to the 1,000 U.S. women who die from childbirth complications every year.

3. Iowa Rep Steve King said he’d never heard of a girl getting pregnant from statutory rape.

4. Pennsylvania Senate candidate Tom Smith equated rape with out-of-wedlock pregnancies.

5. Wisconsin State Rep Roger Rivard told the press “some girls, they rape so easy.”

6. Which finally brings us to Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock who just said, if a woman gets pregnant from rape, it’s all part of God’s plan. Perhaps if God planned better He could have prevented the rape.

And then Republicans have the nerve to wonder why they regularly get beaten by tax and spend Democrats.

In Kane County we have some amazing Republican women. Deb Seyller, Melisa Taylor, Judy Biggert, Kay Hatcher and up and comers like Jackie Stammen (who I’d have work on my campaign any day), and Lindsey Timm of the Young Republicans to name a few.

They’re the ones who should be in charge!

So here’s my suggestion to all you GOP women out there! Stage a revolt and wrest control of your party from the idiotic old white men who have dominated it for far too long. Because as these tired old white guys continue to try and co-opt social issues that have absolutely nothing to do with being a Republican, they will keep the party on the fringes.

Real Republicans – who are supposed to believe in less government – don’t get involved in people’s bedrooms. And if the men aren’t smart enough to figure that out, then it’s time to kick ’em to the curb.

Ya gotta watch this video!

Now, you know I love music and I love musicians that can make fun of themselves even more. So I’ve been laughing my butt off ever since my wife turned me on to 50 Ways to Say Goodbye by Train.

It’s kind of a 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover redux in that, for guys who can’t admit their girlfriend left them, it describes the various ways in which she might have died instead. The lyrics are amazing and my favorite line is, “got run over by a crappy purple Scion.”

And the video is hilarious. Please note the part where the girlfriend dies after falling head first into some cement and another woman steals her shoes. Anyway, enjoy!