It’s almost Left, Right and You time!

Since, I’m sure you can hardly wait, here’s a taste of today’s show!

Tim Elenz

Tim Elenz

  • Is Dan Rutherford done or as Jeff recently wrote, does the fact that Dan could do so much better than Ed Michaloswki automatically exonerate him?
  • It’s been a bad week for bitcoins.
  • By resorting to issuing executive orders, is Barack Obama the reincarnation of Joe Stalin (Hint: Jeff doesn’t think so!)

Special guest Tim Elenz will join me in the studio on WRMN AM1410 from 3 to 4 p.m. today. We really wanna hear from conservatives today so please call in at 847-931-1410.

Don’t miss this one!

In Defense of Dan Rutherford

Can someone please tell me why every middle-aged straight guy thinks they’re every gay guy’s dream? Anyone?

The reason I bring this up now is because I firmly believe that most male homophobia is rooted in an irrational fear of being “recruited” and/or propositioned if they dare to get too close to one of ’em.

Well I’ve got news for you guys, considering the general state of the 40 to 50-something straight male population, rest assured, you have nothing to worry about. The odds of any self-respecting gay male coming on to you are about the same as getting that steamy Scarlett Johansson text message you’ve been expecting.

It just ain’t gonna happen!

Should you choose to doubt my shrewd assessment, please visit any gay bar on any Friday or Saturday night. I guarantee you’ll still be sitting by yourself at 4 a.m.

But back to the issue at hand. michalowski

When the then “unknown” accuser charged Illinois GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Rutherford with  some untoward behavior, even I had my doubts. But then I saw the former Treasurer staffer’s photograph and immediately knew the allegations were false because, holy crap, Dan Rutherford can do a hell of a lot better than this!

Not that I’m any prize, but being generous, Edmund Michalowski is the kind of non-descript, balding, slightly overweight, sagging, pasty white guy that would fit right into a suburban TGI Fridays’ weekend crowd. He’s hardly the stuff of Whitman-esque love poetry

And if that isn’t good enough for you, our plaintiff had a number of strikes against him even before we gazed upon his gleaming visage.

He can’t seem to get by on six-figure salary, he’s had more government jobs than Rahm Emanuel, he recently declared bankruptcy, he’s getting a divorce, he tried extortion before going public during a tight gubernatorial race, and his very own travel vouchers undercut his story (these details are all over the web if you’re interested).

And just how does this nondescript guy land yet another plum job with the Cook County Recorder of Deeds in the middle of this vast political bleepstorm? Mayor Emanuel might be able to answer that question!

Please, please, please don’t try to tell me that uber-arrogant bleep Bruce Rauner had nothing to do with this because he had everything to do with this.

C’mon! Rauner, who’s certainly no idiot, craftily concocted this ploy to place Rutherford squarely into the worst of all catch-22s. It doesn’t matter if Dan denies or ignores these allegations, the sexuality question remains.

Now, greater political minds than mine have pondered how to (or not to) respond to this kind of scurrilous attack, but my theory has always been to own it and thus, deprive your opponent of their momentum and turn it right back around on them.

Who gives a flying bleep if Rutherford is gay? It’s 2014 and he’s the only candidate who can put Pat Quinn out of our collective misery. If he isn’t gay, the fact that he hasn’t married at 57 only proves he’s far smarter than the rest of us doomed heterosexual males who, if we had it to do all over again…

Please also note that I’ve previously spoken with the Treasurer at length, and Michalowski’s claim that Rutherford responded to a rebuffed overture with, “You just said no the Treasurer,” is something he wouldn’t say on his worst day. Apparently Ed has watched one too many episodes of The Real Housewives of  Orange County.

Then there’s the fact that sexual harassment is always a pattern of behavior and no else one has come forward with anything remotely like this in Rutherford’s lengthy and generally clean political career.

So while I would encourage Mr. Michalowski to continue indulging in the belief that he’s every gay man’s fantasy because the heterosexual thing clearly isn’t workin’ out for him, perhaps we’d all be better off if he kept it to himself.

The bottom line is this. Anyone who falls for this BS and votes for Rauner will get exactly what they deserve – Pat Quinn!

The City of Geneva Came Through (because they had to!)

When we last left off, not only was Geneva’s reigning queen, Mary McKittrick, threatening to lop Alderman Dean Kilburg’s head clean off for having the temerity to request workman’s comp numbers, but princess Stephanie Dawkins offered a fascinating take on our FOIA statute.

But why listen to my blather when the COW meeting minutes compiled by the City say it all; Ald. 

Assistant City Manager Stephanie Dawkins

Assistant City Manager Stephanie Dawkins

Kilburg asked if this information could be obtained via FOIA. Dawkins stated that state law does not require the city to ‘create’ a new report for the purpose of FOIA so she was not confident that it would qualify.

Just to prove a point, yours truly FOIA’d the very information Kilburg requested. More on that later because Assistant City Manager Dawkins’ legal jewel wasn’t nearly the only disinformation disseminated at that meeting.

Why, by the time it was adjourned, one might say the manure was knee deep. Since the City seems incapable of behaving, let’s set the statutory situation straight once and for all right here.

1. The FOIA laws are clear

Aside from being a real pain in the ass, I rarely apply the term “expert” to my name, but in this case, I’ll make an exception. I may not have gotten much out of toiling eight years for newspapers, but I know the FOIA statute backwards, forwards and sideways.

Law enforcement requests are different, but in general, when it comes to municipal data, you have to hand it over. Of course, you can’t FOIA city employees’ home addresses, violate HIPA laws, or make an overly burdensome request, but everything else is fair game.

These laws were written with transparency in mind and the Attorney General and most judges take a dim view of government entities that balk at a reasonable request.

2. Aldermen are ENTITLED to city data

Aldermen, village trustees, county board members, township trustees etc.., are statutorily entitled to any information regarding the body on which they serve. (With the same exceptions as the FOIA statute.)

This, of course, makes our whole argument moot because the appropriate city manager response to Kilburg’s request would’ve been, “How soon do you need the data?” Instead, the assistant city manager downright lied and queen Mary  demanded to know the reason for the request.

To reiterate, my response would’ve been, “None of your damn business!”

And Mayor Burns’ contention that the City Council had come to an unspoken accord on these kind of aldermanic inquiries is pure unadulterated BS. At least three alderman weren’t even around for this supposed consensus and it’s generally wielded as a weapon to keep the aldermen in check and in the dark.

The bottom line here is, though the City of Geneva is self insured, I’m sure the insurance company that monitors that process could provide the information with a minimal effort.

3. Aldermen do more than “set policy.”

The other assertion queen Mary regularly bandied about that meeting was that all aldermen do is set policy. Then it’s up to City staff to carry it out.

Not even close!

When it comes to any of the previously mentioned government bodies, all of the power lies with those boards. City Manager McKittrick serves only at the behest of the City Council. The mayor governs with “the advice and consent” of the council.

So while it would be a bit unruly to have the aldermen involved in absolutely every aspect of the City, in the end, nothing happens without them. Yes! They do set policy, but they should also regularly review that policy, and enforce it’s appropriate and ongoing implementation.

But Queen Mary clearly thinks she can cow (pun intended) that group into believing she’s the boss while the truth is, the aldermen should be watching her and Mayor Burns like a collective group of hawks – because it’s their job.

And since we’re on the subject of policy setting, I wonder if the city council knows that Ms. McKittrick regularly lobbies state officials regarding a certain aspect of FOIA law she finds distasteful? Though it’s an interesting proposition (we’ll discuss that later), the question is, just who set that policy?

In the end, municipal attorney Chuck Radovich likely set Queen Mary and princess Stephanie straight and the City of Geneva appropriately answered my FOIA. I, in turn, forwarded the information along to Alderman Kilburg.

Though I once had high hopes for our Third Ward councilman, Kilburg doesn’t choose his battles wisely, he doesn’t garner the support necessary to win those skirmishes, and he doesn’t finish what he starts. If you add that up it comes out to not being very effective.

Perhaps his tenure on the Geneva school board should’ve been fair warning. Who’d have thunk anyone could make me long for Ray Pawlak? (I kid the former alderman!)

Lastly, with Rick Nagel gone, my Patch posts will likely diminish. It’s just not the same without him. Since local newspapers are understaffed, I will endeavor to “patch” those holes by regularly covering City of Geneva, D304 School Board and the Library Board proceedings on my blog www.thefirstward.net. I look forward to seeing you there.

You can handle the truth!

And here it is:

Deena Sherman

Deena Sherman

Thanks to Beacon-News columnist Deena Sherman for calling in and discussing how conservatives’ reaction to a silly Coca-cola commercial is not helping their cause.

Dave and I also discussed the Bruce Rauner/Dan Rutherford fracas and then we covered the farcical nature of the local NATO 3 trial which wrapped up today.

Enjoy the show!

 

Gentlemen (and women), start your radios…

…because it’s almost time for another earthshaking episode of Left, Right and You!  On today’s show:

  • Did Bruce Rauner go too far or has Dan Rutherford been damaged beyond repair?

    Dan Rutherford

    Dan Rutherford

  • Did conservatives just prove my point by going bonkers over a silly Coca-Cola ad?
  • The Nato 3 farce…I mean…trial is wrapping up. These defendants couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag much less blow it up!
  • And one of my favorite columnists, Deena Sherman of the Beacon News, may just call in!

And you too can call in at 847-931-1410.

So please join us from 3 to 4 on WRMN AM1410. You won’t be sorry!

I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke!

Oh Lord! It is utterly incomprehensible that conservatives would ever have the nerve to wonder why they can’t beat the black guy – or win any election that really matters. I suppose no one ever accused the Tea Party of being the brightest bulbs in the pack.

The truth is, it took the magnitude of a nine out of nine 2012 presidential battleground states loss to get the GOP to be able to spell the word “introspective,” much less practice it. But then, after just two short months of reflection, they returned to their wanton political ways.

Former Left, Right and You co-host Tim Elenz and I were discussing this very topic on last week’s radio show as I was predicting the Democrats would retain the Senate, Tim asked if, in light of Mike Huckabee’s failed gynecological verbal gymnastics, could conservatives manage to keep their mouths shut long enough to actually win in November.

Of course, my simple answer was “no!” and I just love it when folks who find me a bit subversive go out of their way to prove me right. Because the general right-wing reaction to a silly Super Bowl commercial is just another nail in the rapidly closing conservative coffin.coke

Apparently a number of multicultural individuals singing “American the Beautiful” in their native tongue was far too much for perpetually persecuted and frightened white folks to bear.

The conservative blogosphere immediately went nuts, tea partiers everywhere swore off Coca-Cola products, Rush Limbaugh had a severe seizure, and a Breitbart.com commentator, whom I won’t deign to mention, lamented that multiculturalism was being “rammed down our throats.”

All I have to say is, it’s a fucking commercial! You know, those things where cats talk, babies trade stocks, husbands never have a clue, and women are supposed to have a “happy” period – always. If you don’t bleepin’ like it, then bleepin’ turn it off!

Even I think the basic tenets of classic conservatism are sound. Fiscal sanity, personal responsibility, less government, and more freedom are all great notions, but as long as our “conservative core” immediately go into conniptions at the merest “slight,” it only reinforces the notion that you’re a bunch of intolerant redneck lunatics who have no sense of perspective or humor.

When only 27 percent of the country describes themselves as Republican, and the rest of it’s not lookin’ quite like that tea party face in the mirror, do you really think this kind of over-the-top reaction to a TV commercial is going to help your cause?

And please don’t tell me the folks at Coke didn’t know this would happen because they were counting on it. Unlike the GOP, they’ve done their surveys and marketing research and they know exactly where this country is headed. Not only did they solicit a boatload of free publicity, but sales lost to conservatives will be more than made up for by folks with at least half a bleepin’ brain.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking tea partiers to reconsider those aforementioned basic values, but I am asking them to consider that fear, anger, bigotry, hatred and exclusion have nothing to do with them.

But since I’m sure that will even happen, I’m going to encourage conservatives to keep up the good work and descend into an abject outrage every time their delicate sensibilities are threatened or they accidentally come across a brown person. I can’t tell you how entertaining it is to watch this fascinating case of a collective slow suicide.