The 3/31/17 edition of Ward & Jones

…is right here:


I want to thank Elgin City Council hopeful Corey Dixon for coming on the show and talking with me for an hour. Larry and I think he’s got a shot on April 4.

ECC trustee Jeff Meyer joins me on Monday when we’ll recap all of the local elections. Don’t forget the April 4 7 to 10 p.m. Ward & Jones election night extravaganza either!


Malik, Corey, Jeff



Ward & Dixon coming up at 3 on AM1410

As promised, today Elgin City Council candidate Corey Dixon and I sit down for an hour-long philosophical political talk. I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to it!

And there’s nothing to those rumors about me seeking revenge on Corey for his “wonderful” introduction of me at Ron Hain’s campaign kickoff event.

If you have a question for Corey during the show, please call the lovely Dave Weiser at 847-931-1410 and he will pose it to the candidate on the air! Or you can text us at 224-325-4458.

Where’s the only place you get this kind of in-depth local, northern Illinois, and Springfield news coverage? That’s right! Ward & Jones, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, at 3p.m. on WRMN AM1410. Be there or be square!

Dixon Family

The Dixon Family

Quick Hit – Aw Rick! Really?

In my impending ‘So You Want to Win a Local Election’ book, I insistently warn newcomers that “Politics ain’t a game for sissies.” Watching school board seat battles become so contentious they make the Palestinian-Israeli question look like a mere spat is always a fascinating proposition.

So though I’m clearly not naïve about it, I’m convinced politics doesn’t have to become a blood sport either.

My throngs of detractors will tell you I’m no saint. But whether it’s simply advising a candidate or managing a full-blown campaign, I will not go negative. In fact, the reason Chris Lauzen and I “broke up” is he insisted on inserting hatchet man Jon Zahm into the Martinez for Coroner campaign and I refused to let it happen.

Track records (or the lack of them) are fair game. But that race was going to be won or lost on Tao’s merit, not any perceived Rob Russell character flaw. When we choose not to see the good in the other side, we become the problem and not the solution.

Aurora mayoral contender Rick Guzman is a good guy. His performance at the Priscoe Center primary debate was so improved that I made a point of telling him – complete with F-bombs for emphasis. When people asked me about it, I said Rick won that debate.

The first time we sat down, I told Richard Irvin that personal attacks on Linda Chapa LaVia or Rick Guzman would be a huge mistake. Someone with his vast positives didn’t need to go there. True to his word, Richard has been all about bringing Aurora together.

Yes! There is that insipid Dan Proft PAC mailer attacking Guzman, but as Richard so eloquently put it, “The mailing is disparaging the very city I’m running to become mayor of. I have no interest in these supposed watchdog tax groups that are intruding in our election. They are not invited.”

It would seem that Mr. Proft never gets tired of losing elections.

But while the Irvin campaign makes a point of taking the high road, the Guzman effort has not measured up. And the evidence for that starts with a mailer that goes after Irvin for defending “domestic abusers.” You’ve heard it before! It’s that tired old ambushing defense attorneys for doing what they do strategy.

First, like all the rest of us, anyone charged with domestic violence is presumed innocent until the judge says otherwise. And no one better than former prosecutor Irvin understands that, with the full weight of the state against you, every defendant is entitled to a zealous defense.

Second, the theory behind our adversarial trial system is that pitting two equal attorneys against each other brings out the truth. I’m surprised and disappointed Mr. Guzman fails to grasp this basic constitutional principle.

But wait, there’s more!

There’s a new Aurora robocall from a “Richard Irving” – not Irvin – get it? Our Mr. Irving goes on to say that he appreciates Linda Chapa LaVia’s endorsement and he will endeavor to move her liberal agenda forward.

It’s not that I’m necessarily aggravated by this tactic, it’s that I’m insulted that Guzman thought the voters were that stupid.

Though Linda Chapa LaVia hasn’t endorsed either candidate, she did recently post, “I have the utmost respect for Richard Irvin and I believe in his vision to reduce crime and create a more prosperous Aurora for all.”

Call me crazy, but that appears to be a very gracious statement from a candidate who’s suffered a difficult loss. And if that’s a “liberal agenda,” then I’m all for it.

It took me all of two seconds to determine who’s behind these attacks too. They absolutely reek of Chris Lauzen and Jon Zahm. It’s the same thing they tried to do in the 2016 coroner’s race. Of course, we’ll never know for sure because Zahm always manages to get paid out of some sort of Lauzen campaign slush fund.

Hey Chris and Jon! Once again, would you please explain exactly why you’re the exemplary Christians you so consistently purport to be?

Look, I still believe Rick is a good guy and these kinds of bad decisions come from listening to the wrong people. But Rick! You and I both know the final campaign decisions are yours.

No job’s worth selling your soul over.

The 3/29/17 edition of Ward & Jones

… is right here:


I want to thank Kurt Kojzarek for filling in for Larry Jones and Kurt and I want to thank Elgin City Council candidate Brandon Yaniz for coming in to talk with us.

Friday! Jeff and Elgin City Council candidate Corey Dixon sit down and talk for an hour. Of course Local 582 union head Corey Johnson is also welcome to join the show two! One day I’ll get those two right.


Kurt, Brandon and Jeff


Quick Hit – Anna Ishmael for D131 School Board

I’ve been covering politics for so long that, 11 years into it, I rarely run into candidates that blow me away. It’s isn’t a matter of becoming jaded, because I still get excited about folks like Richard Irvin and Ron Hain. It’s something more along the lines of the expectations rise commensurately with the number of politicians you’ve met.

So when Don Ishmael said his wife Anna was running for D131 school board, and she was a much better politician than he was, my curt response was, “That’s not setting the bar too high, sir!”

And he agreed! For reference purposes, Don is a good friend, a Kane County Board member, and the Aurora Township Democratic Chairman,

But when I got sat down with Don and Anna at Ron Hain’s recent campaign kickoff event, I was completely blown away.

Anna grew up as the only daughter of seven children in a dirt poor East Aurora neighborhood. But rather than lament her lot in life, she decided, if she couldn’t complete with her peers in the money and social prestige categories, she’d do it with her brain.

And she excelled in every subject.

Anna Ishmael

When she got pregnant at 17, Anna thought her only option was to drop out of school until a teacher insisted she was going to graduate. So she did!

Fast forward to 2017 and Anna is a civilian fire inspector with the City of Aurora, she’s a certified EMT, she has an Associate’s Degree in psychology, and she’s almost completed her second Associate’s Degree in fire sciences.

She’s managed to accomplish all this while raising four children too!

Not one to rest on her laurels, Anna is running for East Aurora school board. Of course, that means this Genevan can’t vote for her, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have a stake in this race.

My wife is math interventionist at a D131’s middle school and she comes home with some of the saddest student stories I’ve ever heard. Most of those tales revolve around the fact that these young men and women don’t believe they have options. And if you feel like your destiny is already set, what’s the value of an education.

So the first thing I said to Anna is, “I gotta get into you into my wife’s classroom to talk to these students.” They need to hear from someone who made it despite the same difficult start. They need to hear about possibilities beyond their limited reality. They need to understand they have options.

And we need a D131 school board member who understands what it means to be in that “hopeless” position. By the way, Anna’s capacity to convey her story makes me look like an amateur.

Then there’s this. Much like my presence prepared my wife for middle schoolers, if Anna can survive 22 years of Don, then she’s certainly ready to serve on a school board.

So I’m asking all you East Siders to vote for Anna Ishmael on April 4. I haven’t been this excited about a candidate in years!


Ward & Jones at 3 on AM1410

Today, Kane County Board member and Ward & Jones Supersub Kurt Kojzarek and I will spend an hour with Elgin City Council Candidate Brandon Yaniz.

We’ll talk about his campaign, Elgin itself, and I’ll ask Kurt what’s going on at the County.

If you have a question for Kurt or Brandon you can either text the show at 224-325-4458 or call 847-931-1410 and Produce Dave will post your question on the air.

Where’s the only place you get this kind of in-depth local, northern Illinois, and Springfield news coverage? That’s right! Ward & Jones, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, at 3p.m. on WRMN AM1410. Be there or be square!


Brandon Yaniz

Brandon Yaniz


Ward & Jones at 3 on AM1410

Today, the Smiling Conservative and I will discuss:

  • A hit mailer against the Elgin Township Republicans
  • The Affordable Care Act survives!
  • Youth sports and concussions
  • Sears warns they won’t be around much longer
  • Does law enforcement have a right to scan your face?

That includes your on-topic calls too at 847-931-1410. Don’t forget! You can text the show at 224-325-4458 with any questions, comments, or anything you think we missed!

Where’s the only place you get this kind of in-depth local, northern Illinois, and Springfield news coverage? That’s right! Ward & Jones, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, at 3p.m. on WRMN AM1410. Don’t miss it!


Jeff and Lary Bravo


The 3/24/17 edition of Ward & Jones

… is right here:


Larry and I want to that Hanover Township Supervisor Brian McGuire for coming on the show and proving that some politicians actually do want to consolidate local government. We also discussed Elgin City Councilman John Prigge’s IRS problem and the sudden move to legalize marijuana in Illinois.

The Smiling Conservative and I will be back Monday when I’m sure we’ll have all sorts of local news to discuss. Until then…


Larry, Brian and Jeff



Ward & Jones is coming up at 3 on AM1410!

On today’s installment of Ward & Jones, Larry and I will discuss Hanover Township’s referendum with Supervisor Brian McGuire. What! A local government body is trying to reduce redundancy!

That just doesn’t happen in Illinois.

Then Larry and I will tackle Elgin City Councilman John Prigge’s tax lien and whether a Springfield bill to legalize pot is worthwhile.

And now you can text Ward & Jones at 224-325-4458. If you think we missed something or got too insider on a subject, simply text the show!

Where’s the only place you get this kind of in-depth local, northern Illinois, and Springfield news coverage? That’s right! Ward & Jones, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, at 3p.m. on WRMN AM1410. Let’s continue the conversation.


Jeff and Lary Bravo