Quick Hits – March 22, 2016

A Rose by any other name

Driving by Chuck Keysor’s crumbling house en route to WRMN last week, I briefly considered how welcoming Elgin had become without that self-proclaimed OCTAVE generalissimo making matters so much worse. Since Larry and I gave him enough Left, Right and You rope to hang himself last year, he really hasn’t had all that much to say.

But that sweet silence was summarily shattered by Keysor’s latest attack on Councilwoman Rose Martinez – a woman with whom he’s so clearly obsessed it’s become Elgin’s version of Fatal Attraction. I can just hear him howl, “You can’t ignore me, Rose!”

This time, Keysor FOIA’d her City emails and, after pouring over those missives for days, the best he could come up with is, on occasion, City Manager Sean Stegall edited her written thoughts into more concise statements that Rose read at City Council meetings.

Be still my beating heart!

Of course, Keysor’s kooky theory was Svengali Stegall was exerting all sorts of undue influence over our hapless councilwoman by twisting her words into his own. Yeah right! Apparently only Chuck can save a fragile female from herself.

Here’s the truth!

If I got paid for every bleeping time I edited or helped a politician hone a statement, speech or letter, from city councilman to Springfield assemblymen, I’d be a fricken’ millionaire. Though I’m often tempted to insert my own political philosophy, that would be pure folly because the author would immediately reject it.

So all I generally end up doing is cutting their stuff in half because they’re all so damn wordy.

Some folks are good at writing, some are good at speaking extemporaneously, while others are good at assimilating large amounts of information. Rose isn’t the most dynamic public speaker so the fact that she seeks help in that regard is not all unusual. In fact, it’s smart.

And in the end, those thoughts are hers and no one else’s.

Rose 2

I love it when people prove my point

Every time I note that Chuck Keysor and his fading Elgin OCTAVE group seem to have a consistent problem with minorities, he completely flips out. Then he immediately goes out of his way to prove my point.

And this time is certainly no different.

Rose isn’t up for reelection for three years, she beat her closest 2015 OCTAVE candidate by 12 points, and she’s served on the council without peer complaint, but that hasn’t stopped Keysor from shrieking “she’s not qualified to serve on the city council” just like a single-minded parrot.

Yet he never offers a shred of evidence to back up this oft echoed claim. C’mon Chuck, what proof do you have that Rose isn’t fit to serve other than your flapping gums?

So what’s different about Rose Martinez? What sets her apart from the rest of the Elgin City Council? Why would Chuck Keysor be so obsessed with this woman that he’d resort to FOIAing  her City emails?

Oh yeah!

Chuck Keysor’s not a bigot. He’s just another concerned citizen.

And Mike Danahey ain’t much better

For once I have to give the Daily Herald credit for, so far, staying away from a story that isn’t a story. But that certainly didn’t stop Courier-News reporter Mike Danahey from diving in to grab that low-hanging fruit.

Think about it! Elgin OCTAVE is basically one guy who, on Left, Right and You, said he wouldn’t rest or cooperate until he’d recreated the City of Elgin in his image. Go ahead! Ask Chuck how many folks are card carrying OCTAVE members and he’ll dance around the question faster than Donald Trump trying to tackle answer a policy issue.

Danahey tried to mitigate his complicity in this yellow journalistic endeavor by quoting an NIU professor who said it isn’t at all unusual for politicians to seek out editors. To quote him directly, “In my 27 or so years in my field I haven’t heard very often of a city manager trying to shape the words of a city council member to his ends. I have heard the opposite.”

So if this practice is not at all atypical, then why bother to write about it in the first place? That’s all you really need to know about Mike Danahey.

And the Tribune is even worse

First we have a former Courier-News reporter noting that Tribune editors would strip the word “conservative” from any description of U-46 Board Members Cody Holt, Jeanette Ward, and Phil Costello.

Then we have the Trib absurdly refusing to endorse any Democratic presidential candidate.

And now we have them giving the green light to an attack on the only Hispanic Elgin City Councilwoman simply because one activist loon is on a mission from God.

If you’re the one person in Elgin who still has a subscription to the Courier-News, would you kindly cancel it?

Irony Man

What Chuck Keysor utterly fails to grasp is, he’s just ensured a Martinez victory three years from now. And he’s done that by repeating her name at every turn. If you don’t believe me, then I have two words for you, “Randy Hopp.”

Randy is the clearest and most convincing argument for PT Barnum’s no bad publicity theorem.

Think about it! Despite being charged with beating his elderly parents. Despite being banned from the very library on whose board he served. Despite being banned from the Judson University library. He just won a county board primary against a much better candidate.

The reason he won that race is because, three long years down the road, voters forgot what he’d done, but they remembered his name.

Keep up the good work Chuck!

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