Quick Hits – January 29, 2016

Rich Miller?

If, for some strange reason, you still need proof that Governor Rauner is utterly incapable of governing, look no further than his decision to respond to Capitol Fax publisher Rich Miller.

Rich Miller???? Rich Miller!!!!


He’s not drunk, he’s just drinking!

Why would anyone on God’s green earth want to justify that man’s  miserable existence by responding to an alcohol swilling, foul mouthed, can’t string two sentences together, short, hasn’t had an original insight in years, lout?

(Never mind that I’m an alcohol swilling, foul mouthed, tall, hasn’t had an original insight in years, lout, because we’re not talking about me. Oh! And I can string two sentences together.)

Bruce! Please take a page from the original Mayor Daley’s playbook. Whenever anyone asked him about Mike Royko’s latest column, Hizzonner would don a quizzical look and respond with a curt, “Mike who?” And Royko really respected him for that.

And BTW, Mr. Miller is no Mike Royko.

Giving Miller this kind of easy content only provides him an opportunity to do even less work than he already does. And when you consider that 95 percent of Capitol Fax content is co-opted newspaper articles, that’s really saying something.


He won’t spend a day in jail

I truly wish no further pain on the Hastert family because they’re not responsible for the former Speaker’s criminal acts.

CT  ct-met-hastert-horizontal-1114 redBut that doesn’t mean the fact that Denny Hastert won’t spend a scant day in jail doesn’t irk me to no end. Since this isn’t a Keith Farnham situation in which the former State Rep was actually convicted of possessing child porn, Hastert’s doctors will do whatever it takes to keep him at home.

And Denny still has enough clout to pull it off too.  Was he really that sick? Probably not!




If you mention her name too many times …

Just like Betelgeuse, if you mention State Senator Karen McConnaughay’s name too many times, the stories start coming out of the woodwork. And this one won’t surprise anyone who truly knows Her Highness well.

mcconnaughayIt would seem that the former Chairman’s imperious bearing has made it virtually impossible to hang on to staff, both here and in Springfield. To wit, if her subjects don’t offer 100 percent fealty and obeisance, much like Wonderland’s Queen of Hearts, she shrieks “off with their heads.” Or in this particular case she likes to shout, “You work for me!!!”

And all it takes are the slightest of offenses like talking to another legislator, failing to dote on her every word, and actually having an outside life to make you disappear! What’s next Karen? No more bathroom breaks?

All I can say is, the kind of karma that will inevitably descend upon that woman will have to be epic.


The Aurora mayoral race is shaping up

I really like Aurora Alderman Richard Irvin because he’s a good guy who’s served his city well. But the only way he’s gonna win a City of Lights mayoral race is if he changes his last name to Gonzalez or he murders his opponents.

IrvinBefore you press the hate mail send button, please remember that I don’t make the rules, I just report ‘em.

So with Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham threatening to jump into that race at every turn, State Rep Chapa LaVia may as well start working on her acceptance speech. An Hispanic woman against a black man and an old Republican white guy who couldn’t even win his own reelection?

The fat lady’s already sung on that one folks.




Kudos to Hanover Park

HPDIn an effort to prove that parking fines aren’t always about revenue, the City of Hanover Park and the HPD let folks to pay those $30 fines with ten food items throughout he Holiday season.

As a result, 127 people donated nearly a half-ton of food products. Way to go Hanover Park!







Quick Hits

Quick Hits will be back on Monday!

This is the January 28th edition of Left, Right and You!


First we want to thank Daily Herald reporter Jim Fuller for calling in and offering a different perspective on one of their candidate profile questions. Unlike his bosses, Jim understands that, if you regularly dole out criticism, then you should be able to take a little bit too!

The other lessons we learned today folks are:

  • Don’t mix chloroform with bleach
  • Watch what you’re saying when you talk about mating coyotes
  • The Elburn Village Board is facing a massive lawsuit
  • And Governor Rauner blinked which won’t work out well for him.

Monday! We’ll hopefully have either Treasurer Michael Frerichs or 22nd District State Senate Candidate Cristina Castro. Until then…


Get ready for Left, Right and you!

Oh! Do we have topics today folks:

  • South Elgin is at it again
  • The DH misses an interesting coyote double entendre
  • The Elburn Village Board makes headlines
  • Governor Rauner blinks first and now he’s toast!

As if that weren’t enough, Daily Herald reporter Jim Fuller calls in to defend his newspaper’s choice of a self-serving Kane County Connects candidate profile question. (Though we certainly give Jim credit for coming on, it’s actually his bosses’ job to defend their paper, but they’re too chicken bleep to come on the show.)


Feel free to call in with your on-topic thoughts at 847-931-1410.

And you know you only get this kind of local coverage on Left, Right and You, Mondays at 9 a.m. and Thursdays at 3 p.m. with the Smiling Conservative, Larry Jones, and me, the Curmudgeonly Liberal, on WRMN AM1410. Be there or be square!


Quick Hits – January 28, 2016

Can you say disingenuous? I knew you could!

One of the profile questions the DH posed to the two KC County Chairman candidates is this:

Do you support continued funding and the idea for Kane County Connects? If so, where should that funding come from?

OMFG, really? So now the DH doesn’t even bother to pretend to be unbiased anymore? That makes Editors Jim Slusher and John Lampinen far worse than any politician I’ve ever interviewed (and that includes Karen McConnaughay) because they purport to be journalists who couldn’t possibly be driven by their own self-interest.
daily herald
C’mon! The only reason they asked that question is Kane County Connects, a program that adds up to .04 percent of the total County budget, successfully competes with their publication. Not that that’s a difficult proposition – I beat the DH all the time.

Isn’t this kind of pettiness the same as the Donald Trump – Megyn Kelly silliness? Poor Daily Herald! They can’t compete with one guy!

To those avid Kane County Connects detractors, might I ask why I haven’t heard a single word about the:

•    Library district newsletter
•    School district newsletter
•    Township newsletter
•    Forest preserve newsletter
•    Fire protection district newsletter
•    Municipal newsletter
•    Water reclamation district newsletter

You all receive? Those paid-for-by-tax-dollars publications cost way more than Kane County Connects because they require printing and postage.

Despite all of that evidence, based on their unbridled hatred for Chairman Lauzen and Ken Shepro’s “correct” answer to that one question, I’ll bet you five figures the DH endorses Shepro because he said exactly what they wanted to hear. Never mind that the County just reported a $5.1 million surplus in great part because elected officials and department heads all worked together to come under budget.

This is exactly why you need to cancel your subscription to the Daily Herald (if you still have one).


Should they call it Helburn?

Larry and I look forward to small local boards suddenly making headlines because it always means that something juicy is going on. The recent Elburn Village Board antics certainly haven’t disappointed!


David Gualdoni

If you haven’t already delved into the the ongoing Board – Village Manager kerfuffle, please avail yourself of that Sixth Sense newspaper or the Elburn Herald. Meanwhile, I’ve done some digging and here’s the scoop in a storyboard form:

•    Prior to his retirement, Police Chief Steve Smith did not get along with Village Manager Willrett or Mayor Anderson. Without casting aspersions, let’s just say that, in politics, familiarity frequently breeds contempt.

•    Right after he retired, Smith perpetuated the feud by telling board members Willrett had to go.

•    Trustee David Gualdoni, a man with massive mayoral aspirations, eagerly took the bait and successfully led the charge to have Willrett removed.

•    All this happened despite the board praising Willrett for “doing a good job” while claiming they want to move in a “different direction.”

•    So Willrett did the right thing and resigned, but the Board that wants to move on, twice rejected that resignation, forcing the unwanted Willrett to continue toiling for the City.

•    The reason mayoral hopeful Gualdoni chained Willrett to her desk is he wants to be regarded as the guardian of all things fiscal. Why, he even said something along the lines of, “If we’re still paying the village manager, then she can get her butt in to work.”

•    The problem with that thought is, our intrepid Trustee already OK’d the now retired Smith’s golden parachute to the tune of getting paid until April 30th. And Village Attorney Bob Britz knows this a problem, but the Board ain’t listening.

If there’s one thing Larry and I have been predicting with uncanny accuracy, it’s lawsuits. And if the Elburn Villages Board continues to force Willrett to work after allowing Smith to leave, that discrimination suit will be a slam dunk.

Again! This is why Larry and I love small village boards. They always give us something to talk about!


Too little too late

Ain’t it funny how Governor Rauner took a more conciliatory stance in his State of the State Address right after TheFirstWard.net reported that even GOP Springfield legislators were giving up on him!

RaunerThough I certainly laud the Governor’s more reasonable tone, it’s too little too late. You see, he made the mistake of immediately going for broke and then he made the bigger mistake of being the first one to blink. Now the unforgiving Darth Madigan is gonna make mincemeat out of him.

But even before the Guv made those mistakes, he embarked upon a delusion particular to almost all Illinois conservatives. Per the late Judge Donald Anderson, they “consistently breathe their own air,” to the point where they fervently believe there’s a silent rightwing majority that will rally to their side the second after they strike that first fiscal blow.

And it never happens because conservatives are never silent and this kind of magical thinking convinced Rauner he could cut:

•    Autism funding
•    State Universities will soon close their doors
•    Social service agencies to the point where their closing programs and group homes
•    Child care
•    Programs for folks with disabilities
•    Programs that support seniors staying in their homes

But not only did Illinoisians fail to jump on his turnaround bandwagon, they got pissed because those cuts affect the least of our brothers and sisters which, in turn, affects a lot of regular people. And regular people are the only ones who ever decide elections and the General Assembly knows this.

Add Bruce’s utter inability to spin a message and, with two scant years left in office, Darth Madigan is going to make his life miserable. He might throw the Guv a few bones, but just like Squeezy the Python, he’ll blunt Rauner’s efforts at every turn so Lisa can stroll into that mansion in 2018.

Ah well! At least Rauner won’t be going to the pen which really does say something for the State of Illinois.


Quick HitsIf you have a story you think worthy of Quick Hits, you know where to find me!

The unpublished Daily Herald candidate profiles!

In a continuing effort to prove that truth is stranger that fiction, I just beat the Daily Herald to their own material! And by “material” I mean their as yet unpublished Kane County primary candidate profiles. I thought it was a lot of fun to regularly beat them to news stories, but this is bleepin’ hilarious!

And I owe it all to a good political friend who went through a DH website back door to find one of those unpublished profiles. Then he discovered that if you added or subtract 1 to the URL address, the next profile popped up.

So without further ado, here they are!

Chairman Chris Lauzen – Straightforward, to the point, readable and focuses on achievements.

Chairman candidate Ken Shepro – Bitter, delusional, readable, and focuses on the other guy.

Auditor Terry Hunt – A little long at times, but readable, to the point, and based on his accomplishments.

Auditor candidate Craig Lee – Meandering, unreadable and proof he didn’t write that letter to the Elburn Herald editor. Craig! Have someone proofread it next time.

Coroner Rob Russell – Whiny, pedantic, and insists that he’s the consummate victim. When you have no accomplishments, fall back on being a good Christian.

Coroner candidate Bob Tiballi – Bob! Stop running an I’m not the other guy campaign and use your credentials instead.

County Board candidate Jim MacRunnells – Nothing new. He’s still an insane, inept bully who shouldn’t be serving on an elementary school student council. The Donald Trump of Kane County.

County Board candidate Drew Frasz – Intelligent, well written, and insightful, but it could have used a little pop! You shouldda called me Drew!

County Board candidate Willie Clements – Insightful, well written, brief, and to the point. Good job Willie!

County Board candidate Randy Hopp – Considering he’s completely nuts (see his Gail Borden Library Board service) he actually did a pretty good job. Jim MaCrunnells could take sanity lessons from him.

County Board Member Susan Starrett – You just get the feeling that her heart’s not in it. When you consider opponent Doug Sullivan’s vast ego, we need Susan to be reelected.

County Board candidate Penny Wegman – She did a surprisingly decent job, but when you consider her father Larry’s role in the Anna Moeller petition challenge, she can’t win a cookie!

County Board candidate Tom Armstrong – He also did a reasonable job and should start working on his acceptance speech.

County Board candidate Jarret Sanchez – Considering he’s a Longmeadow Loon, he didn’t do a bad job, but Jarret! It’s called a “comb.”

(We could not find County Board Member Joe Haimann’s or County Board candidate Doug Sullivan’s profiles.)


Quick Hits – January 27, 2016

On the futility of political feuds

Everyone knows there’s no lost love between Kane County Chairman Chris Lauzen and his 25th District Illinois State Senate successor Jim Oberweis. That said, the fact that two high profile elected officials don’t get along is as utterly unremarkable as the sun rising in the east. It’s inevitable, it happens every day, and you couldn’t prevent it if you tried.

I know you areBut what I do find remarkable is the amount of time and energy politicians are willing to devote to what amounts to be an exercise in futility. Sure! On occasion, someone gets thrown out of office never to be heard from again, but more often than not, like a bad Bond villain, they simply come back to torment their foe once more.

So was I surprised when I discovered that Sen. Oberweis was hosting a fundraiser for Lauzen primary opponent Ken Shepro which included an email invitation slamming the current Chairman? A little!

Because what’s the point?

Despite his persistent delusions of grandeur, the only way Ken Shepro could win that race is if a neutron bomb hit Kane County leaving him the sole survivor. The only reason Ken was elected St. Charles 7th precinct committeeman is because nobody else wants the job.

Let’s really go out on a limb and say Shepro is a viable candidate. He would still go down in electoral flames because Chris Lauzen has grown into the chairman role to the point where the county is humming along as smoothly as I’ve ever seen. And a consistently flat tax levy is unbeatable.

So whatever Jim does on Shepro’s behalf will be for naught.

By the same token, should Chairman Lauzen retaliate by running someone against Senator Oberweis, it will be an equally pointless endeavor. Jim told me he’s running one more time and, given how he’s grown into that job, no one can beat him either.

So why does something The Bard said suddenly come to mind? Please substitute the word “politics” for “life.”

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.


On strange political bedfellows

Though political feuds are a complete waste of time and energy, that doesn’t mean they can’t be amusing. Case in point! The “Host Committee” list for the impending Shepro fundraiser makes me laugh every time I read it. It’s just the “I hate Chris Lauzen” fan club du jour.

It doesn’t have nearly as many members as they’d like to think, but they certainly are a dedicated bunch.

strange bedfellowsOf course, there’s the usual suspects like Ray and Maggie Auger who will deliver all of two votes. Former Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady is good for one. Stan Hickrod still can’t decide what party he belongs to, and Connie Van Keudell can’t spell her own name.

Ah! But the amusing part is, the politicos on that list who, four short years ago, wouldn’t have spit on Ken Shepro if he was on fire!

There’s Campton Hills PC Dick Johansen whom you’ve never heard of, former County Board member Tom VaCleave who’s about four Coors short of a twelve-pack, and former County Board member Melisa Taylor who continues to be her own worst enemy.

What confounds me about the latter group is how they justify their eminently fluid loyalties while still being able to stare at themselves in the bathroom mirror. (It’s actually one of their favorite pastimes.)

Thankfully, a political friend solved this allegiance paradox when he explained, “Some folks always have to be on the outside. It’s the only thing that gives their sad lives meaning.”

And there you have it!


I love double standards

If an errant politician had the chutzpah to do what the Daily Herald just did, that paper would be on ‘em like a Trump supporter on a Muslim.

epic failFirst, let’s review the DH’s role in the Gliniewicz “murder” investigation:

  • They failed to look into any other possibility
  • They failed to FOIA the Fox Lake Explorer    Club records
  • They failed to FOIA Officer Gliniewicz’s fascinating personnel records
  • They failed to talk to the County Coroner who knew it was a suicide
  • They failed to develop a single source on a story that went national
  • To get an interview with the Task Force, they rolled over faster that a red light camera company

And after all that, they’re still bragging about one of their reporters being featured in a CNN documentary on the subject. Ain’t that a lot like touting the fact that you’re Jeb Bush’s campaign manager?

Quick Hits – January 26, 2016

Some statewide officials do a great job!

And one of them is Treasurer Michael Frerichs. At 10 o’clock this morning he’ll hold a press conference in Suite 1212 of the Merchandise Mart covering the new Illinois Growth and Innovation Fund.

frerichsThe Fund will be investing $200 million in emerging Illinois tech companies over the next three years creating 3,600 jobs. Better yet, that cash comes from existing investments utterly mitigating the need for the Governor and General Assembly to get their budgetary act together.

But wait, there’s more! Not only will that cool $220 mil support tech startups, but it will likely attract another $400 million in private investment. Who knows! If the treasurer has his way, Illinois might become the center of Midwest Tech innovation.

Kudos to Mr. Frerichs for pulling this off despite the downstate deadlock. I wouldn’t be surprised if he supplants our Governor in two short years (and I hope he does!).



And speaking of Springfield…

Word in those hallowed halls is that the Rauner bloom is long off the rose for all but his most ardent admirers.

Rauner3You see, the uber wealthy Rauner  doesn’t give a rat’s patootie about the rising budget standoff fallout, but GOP legislators in tough districts do! And they’re worried their reelection chances are fading faster than Paris Hilton’s career.

They’re also painfully aware of the Governor’s abject failure to master the art of the appropriately spun message as demonstrated by two popular former Republican Governors declaring the cure is worse than the disease…

And some Republicans aren’t all that enamored of potential term limits either

So the bulk of legislators on both sides have already given up on the guv. They won’t say it out loud, but actions – or lack of them – speak for louder than words. Ain’t nobody rushing to Rauner’s side for a photo op these days.

They’ll simply sit back, muddle through this silly status quo, and wait two years til the unable to govern governor is sent packing.

This is what happens when you elect a businessman to office – they can’t handle the politics.


With friends like this…

If you listen carefully, the whispers on those shadowy St. Charles streets are particularly interesting these days. It would seem that, when Kane County Chairman candidate Ken Shepro approached his former sugar momma for an endorsement, State Senator Karen McConnaughay summarily rebuffed him. She even claimed that Ken’s political maneuverings weren’t in the best interest of the party.

McConnaughay3 I can’t believe those words came out her mouth without provoking multiple lightning strikes, but the State Senator does have a knack for survival. Of course, what that statement really meant was; “Ken! Our former dalliance meant nothing to me and, with the 33rd all sewn up, I really don’t need you now. Since there’s no political benefit to endorsing you, I won’t be wasting my breath.”

And I actually feel sorry for Ken. He may be completely delusional, but he isn’t stupid, and Ms. McConnaughay clearly wouldn’t have made it through two chairman terms without his advice.

Ah well! This scenario clearly proves that the only folks you can count on in politics are your enemies!


The Kane County Chronicle stars in a remake of the Sixth Sense

Holy crap! Have you picked up a copy of the Chronicle lately? Some Sunday Tribune ads are twice as thick! Why, that paper is so thin an anorexic Eaglebrook teenager would be jealous.

thin chronicleAs a part of my nefarious plan to convince people I’m not the cad I truly am, I tend to look after my elderly neighbors. And part of that effort is bringing the Chronicle up the 100 yard driveway to one of their back doors.

Upon handing him his paper last week, the gentleman aptly noted, “There isn’t enough here to wipe your ass.”

So, much like Dr. Malcolm Crowe in The Sixth Sense, the Chronicle has already flat-lined, but they’re the only ones who haven’t quite caught on yet.

There certainly is an element of schadenfreude here, but it’s still sad to see a once proud paper flailing in their final death throes. As soon as the Shaws get tired of subsidizing it, the Chronicle will simply fade away and no one will even notice.


Speaking of inconsequential newspapers…

(Though I do like the folks who work there) The Elburn Herald ran yet another letter-to-the-editor, holding out the white Don King – Ken Shepro – as the Chairman messiah Kane County hasn’t really been longing for. This one was penned by former almost Congressional wannabee Mark Vargas.

If your first thought is, “Who the hell is Mark Vargas?” then join the club. I had to resort to my Republican friends to finally figure it out. And here it is, Mark:

•    Lives in Washington D.C.
•    Isn’t registered to vote in Kane County
•    Hasn’t attend a KC Board meeting in years
•    Has never been elected to public office
•    Dropped out of on the only race he’s run
•    Got a patronage job with the Department of Defense

And while I will certainly laud anyone – especially an Hispanic anyone – who dares to run for public office, I think this photograph says it all.

Vargas Hastert copy
Sometimes a picture really is worth 1,000 words.


I love double entendres!

Did anyone else catch the unintended double entendre in a recent Daily Herald piece? Their editors certainly didn’t!

Mating CoyotesLet me just say that, if you’re gonna cover coyote mating season, you probably want to avoid  opening the article with “The coyotes are coming! The coyotes are coming!”

Just a thought.

Quick Hits – January 25, 2016

The Kane County Chairman’s race – Part I

I really have to give GOP primary candidate Ken Shepro credit for not only recovering from what most folks thought was a coronary death sentence, but for running the kind of countywide campaign that gives bloggers goosebumps!


Ken! Your capacity to reject any reality and substitute your own is utterly unsurpassed. This Chairman and Board gave department heads 2.5 percent raises to match what the union folk got, not the 27 percent your robocall suggested. (And we all know it was your robocall.)

Perhaps you’re confusing this particular form of mendacity with the 35 to 50 percent raises former Chairman Karen McConnaughay doled out to department heads under your tenure as her legal adviser. Not only were you her attorney, but you were the County Board’s attorney and you also toiled on behalf of developers looking for a favorable response from the Chairman and the Board.

No conflict there, right?   I’m glad we finally got this one straightened out.


Does the Elburn Herald matter? Nah!

Apparently, Ken Shepro, auditor candidate Craig Lee, and incumbent coroner Rob Russell believe that running as an electoral trio will carry the day. Call me crazy, but I think their collective efforts run a little more along the lines of Moe, Larry, and Curly. stooges

To wit, while Ken and his minions send out all sorts of dire missives to local newspapers, only the Elburn Herald actually prints them. And I’ve gotta give the EH credit for this tactic because, much like that Twain-esque white washed fence, they’re suddenly getting all sorts of free content.

And as long as you’re getting free stuff, who cares about the truth?

But alas, the EH’s readers won’t make a lick of difference in the impending primary despite our intrepid trio’s persistent delusions of grandeur.


The Kane County Chairman’s race – Part II

Speaking of the Elburn Herald, If anybody really thinks that Kane County auditor candidate Craig Lee wrote that over-the-top letter-to-the-editor depicting auditor incumbent Terry Hunt as the closest thing to the Anti-Christ, I have a bridge over the Fox River I’m willing to part with dirt cheap.

Lee2That author was none other than our busy friend Ken Shepro who clearly played Mr. Lee for the kind of political patsy we haven’t seen since the likes of Bob Kovanic. Craig! Much like that proverbial player at the poker table, if you don’t know who the political patsy is, it’s you!





Prayers and thoughts

One of my favorite reporters (and that’s a very short list), Susan Sarkauskas, is going under the knife this week to have a torn meniscus repaired. While this kind of thing has become de rigueur, it wouldn’t hurt to send some healing energy her way. All such efforts will be greatly appreciated.


The Kane County Chairman’s race – Part III

When I read that KC Chairman candidate Ken Shepro took incumbent Chairman Chris Lauzen to task for his failure to respond reasonably to reasonable criticism, I immediately called our cantankerous County Chairman candidate.

My goal was to get him on Left, Right and You.

crocsWe actually had a pleasant conversation until he hung up on me – twice! And I’m such a sweetheart too!

But before he disconnected us, Ken said that no one listens to the show, that he’d take a lie detector test to prove he doesn’t listen, and then he quoted something I said on the show.

First, I would pay good money to see Ken Shepro hooked up to a polygraph machine because one of ‘em ain’t coming out of that confrontation alive. And second, you probably shouldn’t offer contrary evidence seconds after making a stern statement.

So sadly, the readers and listeners who’ve been pushing for an on-air Lauzen – Shepro debate will have to settle for being sorely disappointed. What I can say with certainly is that Mr. Shepro’s refusal to face Larry and me is the clearest case of the pot calling the kettle black I can remember.

Keep rockin’ those Crocs dude!


More to come!

This is the January 25, 2016 edition of Left, Right and You


And we want to thank former LR&Y co-host and 66th District State Rep candidate Allen Skillicorn for coming on the show and answering our questions. I gotta tell ya, I think he’s got a real shot.

Of course, the Smiling Conservative and I will continue to issue the call for more candidates to come forward and tell us exactly what they’re thinking.

Allen and Jeff

Larry will be back on Thursday when we’ll have a lot to talk about. Until then…