This the April 28, 2016 edition of Left Right and You!

 

I firmly believe the Smiling Conservative and I covered the tragic Denny Hastert case more thoroughly than any other news outlet. That’s why smart folks always turn to Left, Right and You.

We also want to thank Ancel Glink partner Keri-Lyn Krafthefer for coming on the show to talk about a once-in-a-lifetime DuPage County recount win. You already know that Larry and I love to say, “If you need help, think Ancel Glink!”

Monday, we’ll get Kurt Kojzarek on the show to talk about all sorts of national and local news – and there’s plenty of it! Until then…

 

Krafthefer

 

 

Left, Right and You at 3 on AM1410

Today the Smiling Conservative and I are going to cover:

  • The Dennis Hastert sentencing
  • A DuPage recount that worked!
  • The DuPage Election Commission might be doomed
  • Why November will bring even longer election lines (or the end of elections!)

And the only place you get this kind of in-depth local news analysis is Left, Right and You, Mondays at 9 a.m. and Thursdays at 3 p.m. with Larry Jones and me, the Curmudgeonly Liberal, on WRMN AM1410.

 

Larry n Jeff

 

Quick Hits – April 28, 2016

Denny Hastert gets 15 months

Larry and I had come to the conclusion that, though the technical issue was lying to the FBI – not child sex abuse – Judge Thomas Durkin would sentence former Speaker Dennis Hastert to some sort of prison term. But neither one of us thought it would be nearly triple the federal recommendation.

Given that these kinds of federal felonies mandate the offender serve 85 percent of their sentence, Hastert will be incarcerated for a little over a year which, considering his poor health, could turn out to be a death sentence.

Is it justice? Probably not. But I’m sure Judge Durkin didn’t want to face the slings and arrows of outrageous public opinion had he handed down probation.

Is it karma? Absolutely! Correctly referring to Hastert as a “serial child molester,” the judge also insisted upon sex offender evaluation and a two-year supervised release. And he could do just that because the abuse was a mitigating factor in the sentencing process.

In the end, I suppose what gets me is how many folks and entities were willing to buy into the Hastert myth because it furthered their own interests.

Accusing elected officials of being gay is a tried and true tradition, but it was different with Denny Hastert. The tales were much more specific and they were much more relentless. Not as much about abuse, but being bisexual. Even if you didn’t buy into that, his finances and real estate dealings have been suspect for a very long time.

But that didn’t stop Wheaton College from taking Hastert’s money and calling it the Dennis Hastert Center for Economics, Government, and Public Policy. They’re not nearly the only ones who bought into the legend either.

Since I couldn’t say it better than the Judge, let’s let his words stand:

“The defendant is a serial child molester. Some actions can obliterate a lifetime of good works. Nothing is more stunning than having ‘serial child molester’ and ‘speaker of the House’ in the same sentence.”

Hastert 2

Will they recant?

Yesterday, a good political friend mused that, with Hastert finally admitting he actually did abuse a series of teenage boys, will the friends and family who wrote letters supporting a lighter sentence rethink it?

One would hope Former Illinois Attorney General Ty Fahner, former CIA Director Porter Goss, Tom Delay, members of the wrestling community, and so many others – 41 in all – have to reconsider their kind words.

The fascinating thing is, Dallas Ingemunson, Jan Carlson, and Pate Phillip, the local politicians who brought us Dennis Hastert, have been strangely silent.

It kinda makes you wonder what they knew.

Scott Cross?

This is the best reason those letter writers should reconsider. Don’t get me wrong, no form of sexual abuse is “better” or “worse” than other. It’s just that Scott Cross coming forward to describe what happened to him at Hastert’s hand makes it all very real

It becomes much more difficult to dismiss the abuse as some sort of conspiracy theory when one of the victims is the brother of former Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross.

Tom Cross, of course, came to the Illinois political forefront, in great part, because of Dennis Hastert’s vast influence. Some folks had noted that, despite being asked, the elder Cross did not pen a letter supporting his mentor and now we know why.

Scott Cross did not tell his family until the news of Hastert’s arrest. In his words:

“As a 17-year-old boy I was devastated. I tried to figure out why Coach Hastert had singled me out. I felt terribly alone. Today I understand I did nothing to bring this on, but at age 17, I could not understand what happened or why.”

In 2013, Tom Cross was instrumental in eliminating the Illinois child sexual abuse statute of limitation. Sadly, the Constitution does not allow for it to be retroactive.

Left, Right and You at 9 on AM1410

Today the Smiling Conservative and I will be discussing:

  • Cody Holt will be on the show
  • The Hawks, Cubs (and maybe the Sox)
  • One less brick in the Springfield wall
  • What? A recount in DuPage County worked and what it means for future elections
  • You gotta give Jim Oberweis credit – again!
  • Dennis Hastert is sentenced on Wednesday
  • U-46 School Board member Jeanette Ward takes on textbooks

And where’s the only place you can get this kind of in-depth local news coverage? That’s right! It’s 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. Don’t miss it!

Jeff and Larry2

 

Not so Quick Hits – April 22, 2016

The Daily Herald gets it wrong again!

Remember the Seinfeld episode in which George does the polar opposite to his every instinct and winds up having his best day ever? Perhaps the Daily Herald should  consider the same possibility.

Because, once again, in one of the most inane, sad, and lazy editorials I’ve ever read, not only did their Editorial Board fail to lift a flippin’ finger, but they got absolutely nothing right.

To fill in those background blanks, we recently discussed the curious case of Democratic DuPage Recorder write-in candidate Moon Kahn, who  appeared to fall 145 votes short of the 844 required to move on to the November ballot.

Moon Kahn

Moon Khan

When Moon insisted DuPage Election Commission irregularities were to blame and he’d actually received 4,000 votes, I took exception noting that digital voting machines are an all-or-nothing proposition and no DuPage Democrat has or ever will get 4,000 write-in votes.

The possibility I didn’t consider is miscounted paper ballots because so few of them are cast these days. But in this increasingly bizarre tale, an Ancel Glink law firm instigated court ordered recount quickly found those extra 145 votes. Thus, Kahn is, indeed, looking forward to the General Election.

Now back to the Daily Herald. They reamed the DEC for their nefarious malfeasance, lamented the recount required a court order, and said they really need to train their election judges better.

So let’s examine those absurd contentions, one by one:

1. “It shouldn’t have taken this long, nor should Kahn have need to file a lawsuit to get this done.”

(Yikes! Even their writing is horrific!) It took that long and required a lawsuit because that’s exactly what the statute mandates. DEC Director Bob Saar tried to tell the Daily Herald that his hands were tied, but they wouldn’t listen.

Had he unilaterally cut the seals on those voting machines and ballot envelopes, he’d already be headed to Stateville.

With Khan’s errant 18 percent margin of “defeat,” the only means of a inciting a County financed recount is via court order. And the amount of time it took to get one had nothing to do with the DEC. As soon as Kahn hired Ancel Glink, and as soon as Ancel Glink went to court, Kahn got his recount.

It is incredibly difficult to understand how the Daily Herald Editorial Board doesn’t understand something this simple, but they clearly don’t. The bottom line is, if you want to change the process, then change the law.

2. “The DEC needs to investigate its processes and training of judges…”

Though that kind of effort would benefit any local election authority, once again, the Daily Herald completely misses the underlying issue. According to Keri-Lyn Kraftheffer, the Ancel Glink attorney who won this case:

Krafthefer

Keri-Lyn Krafthefer

“It looks like the amendments to the Election Code increasing the burdens on election judges on Election Day pushed them over the edge. There were over 6,200 voters that registered in polling places on Election Day, so judges had to process those registrations in addition to their usual functions. Many experienced judges have resigned, polling places had more precincts in them, and some judges were no shows. We need a legislative fix. Candidates should not have to be required to file an election contest lawsuit to have their votes counted initially.

Illinois State Board of Elections General Council Ken Menzel added this:

“DuPage is one of the best. There has always been some level of problem of this kind all over the state, and we appear to be at the point where the precinct workers are just too overburdened to handle all of their tasks”

Ah! So it would seem those unfunded State mandates are our local undoing yet again!

Did the DH Editorial Board get off their ample butts and call Kraftheffer or Menzel themselves? Nope! Did DH reporter Robert Sanchez make any effort to talk with either one of ’em? Nope!

Does the Daily Herald have any credibility whatsoever? Nope!

There are just two possible conclusions here:

1. Some overworked and completely stressed out DuPage election judges made a mistake. The only way to correct that mistake was by court order. Candidate Khan hired Kraftheffer, who got the order, which led to the recount, which put him back on the ballot.

That’s exactly the way the system is supposed work.

If, like me, you fervently believe that’s not a very good process, then start lobbying Springfield to change it. But don’t blame the DEC for following the law.

2. Not only is Same Day Voter Registration the real culprit, but if we don’t dispense with it soon, we won’t have any Election Judges at all.

Why would any self-respecting retired election judge toil from 7 a.m. to as late as 11 p.m. while facing the slings and arrows of outrageous slow voter line fortune only to have the Daily Herald say “they suck!”

And then to get paid all of 150 bucks for that kind of misery? I wouldn’t do it for five times that amount!

What that DH editorial should have written is that we either need to either eliminate same day registration or the State should provide the funds for local elections authorities to make it work.

I’d typically end a piece like this by saying the Daily Herald could certainly do better, but clearly, they can’t.

(For purpose of full disclosure, the Ancel Glink law firm is a sponsor of the Left, Right and You radio show. That said, if you do need help with a problem like Mr. Khan’s, you’d be foolish not to hire them.)