The 3/22/17 edition of Ward & Jones

… after some technical difficulties, is right here:


The Smiling Conservative and I discussed Pope Frank, anti-Semitic flyers at UIC, punishing heroin dealers for other folk’s overdoses, and, of course, the U-46 Dual Language program.

We want to thank Lisa Hopp for calling in and filling in those dual language blanks.

We’ll be back on Friday at 3. Until then…


Kurt meme



Quick Hit – The PD email scandal – part 3

If you haven’t caught up with this story, please refer back to here and here first.

When we last left off, we were awaiting the hearing that would determine whether the privileged public defender emails “accidentally” obtained by the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office would torpedo the Daniel Rak murder trial.

But Public Defender Kelli Childress’ motion to dismiss the charges got pushed back to April 4 after a Judge D. J. Tegeler trial went into overtime. Perhaps the 16th Circuit should adopt an NHL style shootout system.


But that temporary respite hasn’t stopped special prosecutor and Hinshaw and Culbertson attorney, Daniel Purdom, from tripling down on the kind of indefensible act that makes the President’s wiretapping claim seem plausible.

In a sweeping condemnation reminiscent of a Trump tweet, citing a Childress email that stated she didn’t believe the privileged emails were read, Purdom declared:

“If anyone has caused actual harm or prejudice to these proceedings, causing judicial resources to be wasted it’s Childress. It is clear that PD Childress only makes these allegations for purposes of gaining plea leverage.

These allegations are entirely unsupported and made in bad faith. Nonetheless, despite that this (eavesdropping) statute is unapplicable, ironically it made its way into a Daily Herald newspaper article. It is readily apparent that these allegations are present only for the purposes of making salacious, outrageous claims, and for no legitimate purpose.”

(By the way Dan, the word is “inapplicable.”)

Yikes! That makes Childress sound even worse than me and that’s not an easy thing to do. “Salacious?” I’d also suggest Purdom look up that word and consider whether he’d apply it to a male attorney’s motion.

I won’t bore you with the rest of the attack. Suffice it to say it’s the kind of thing you say when you don’t have anything substantive to say. But before we get into the heart of my rebuttal, let’s address the irony of Purdom’s “wasting resources” claim.

Maybe it’s just me, but isn’t State’s Attorney Joe McMahon’s decision to hire his old law firm to defend this motion a massive waste of resources too? Hinshaw and Culbertson don’t have a reputation for giving their clients a break.

Or better yet, perhaps if McMahon wasn’t so busy prosecuting high-profile Chicago cases on the Kane County taxpayer’s dime, he could’ve handled this one himself. But that wouldn’t help him land the federal prosecutor job he so covets, now would it.

But I digress!

I don’t believe Assistant State’s Attorney Deborah Lang read those emails either. BUT THAT’S NOT THE BLEEPING POINT. It utterly astounds me that the very folks charged with carrying the weight of the people believe the standards they’re sworn to uphold don’t apply to them.

At least Lang’s original memory lapse about “obtaining” the emails showed some sense of guilt. But not Assistant State’s Attorney Alex Bederka, the actual Rak prosecutor. He’s the one they had in mind when they wrote the joke:

“What’s the difference between Alex and God? God doesn’t think he’s Alex Bederka.”

Bederka would never let a DUI defendant get away with a motion claiming, “You have to let me go because there’s no harm done. I made it home without killing or maiming anyone.” But that’s exactly what he and the state’s attorney’s office are trying to do here.

We prosecute drunk drivers who don’t do damage so they won’t do damage the next time. It doesn’t matter whether those emails were read. Bad acts, intentional or not, cannot be rewarded. Our justice system has a vested interest in deterring this kind of blatant prosecutorial overreach.

Though he certainly hasn’t sought my opinion, Judge Tegeler should toss the Rak case faster than Kellyanne Conway from a Mensa meeting. Any other ruling would send a  message that prosecutors can get away with the kind of malfeasance that would put the rest of us regular folks in jail.

And I can’t wait for Purdom’s response to this piece.

All I can tell you is, after all of this, I’m thinking of running for state’s attorney. Clearly, a law degree only gets in the way.

Quick Hit – Re-elect Ron Singer!

When my family moved to Geneva in 1997, Fourth Ward Alderman Ron Singer was the very first Kane County politician I met. And that man worked relentlessly to resolve an issue we had with a recalcitrant strip mall owner.

Normally I don’t look back on such sticky situations with a sense of affection, but in this case, I do. You see, as Ron provided regular updates, we’d talk about many other things. My understanding of Geneva came directly from Ron Singer.

Fast forward twenty years, and I’m honored to be counted among Ron’s friends. Who else would immediately rescue a semi-frantic constituent who managed to lock himself out of his truck at the Judicial Center? It’s just one of the many services Alderman Singer provides.

All kidding aside, Ron Singer’s 16 years of service to the city he loves is one of the reasons Geneva is what it is. He’s never too busy to talk to a constituent, he’ll work on your concern until it’s reasonably resolved, and I’ve never heard him complain about the endless hours he puts into that “part-time” job.

Ron Singer

Ron & Marilyn Singer

If I have half his energy when I’m 84, I’ll consider myself blessed. (Actually, if I had half his endurance now, I’d be happy.)

Ron Singer brings a keen sense of where we’ve been and where we need to go to the Geneva City Council. He can get his hackles up, but I’ve never seen him put on a show or disrespect a fellow councilman just to make a point. He’s a passionate champion of Geneva’s senior citizens as well.

I could go on extolling his virtue, but let’s get right to what I admire most about Ron.

At a time when partisan politics make this a lost art, he still understands that, when a vote isn’t going your way, a tactical retreat might be the best part of your long-term strategy. Put more simply, Ron knows that prudently keeping your powder dry is how you get things done on the dais.

But most of all, since becoming a columnist in 2006, I have enjoyed every last one of our 15 minute debates. Trust me, I don’t say that about too many people. Most of you all are kind of annoying.

As you would expect, Ron and I have disagreed on a number of issues over the years and I haven’t always been able to persuade him to my point of view. But I look forward to those conversations because they’re always civil, they revolve around the facts, we truly listen to each other, and we never seem to lose sight of the current political realities.

I also applaud Alderman Singer for having the courage to recently and respectfully question the Mayor’s leadership. You know, if Ron Singer says something like that…

One of the perils of participating in this fascinating existence is we’re occasionally faced with difficult choices. But this ain’t one of them. Please join me in sending Ron Singer back to the Fourth Ward City Council seat he has so clearly earned.

Ward & Jones at 3 on AM1410!

The Smiling Conservative and I have a real treat for you today folks! Damon Fowler, the up and coming blues, swamp, country, soul artist who opened for George Thorogood at the Aracada Theater last night, will call into the show to talk for a bit.

Damon’s power trio blew my wife and I away last night. We’ll play a bit of his music too!

Then we’ll discuss things such as:

  • Is the U-46 Dual Language Program really a leftist plot?
  • Four Sugar Grove men are charged with the heroin overdose of a 21 year-old woman. This “logic” makes me very nervous.
  • Anti-Semitic flyers at UIC?
  • And your on-topic phone calls at 847-931-1410

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


Jeff and Lary Bravo


The 3/20/17 edition of Ward & Jones

… is right here:


Let’s all get together and do something about the mental health care issue once and for all. It was a main topic of today’s show as was the continuing coverage of the St. Charles. The Smiling Conservative and I also discussed the COD lawsuit and whether parentally accompanied 18 – 20 year-olds should be able to drink beer and wine in restaurants.

We also want to thank Leah Unser for not only filling in as producer, but adding some cogent points to the show. I also want to thank Larry and Leah for carrying me up those 22 steps even though Larry dropped me twice.

We will be back on Wednesday at 3 p.m. to tackle even more local news topics! Until then…

Jeff and Lary Bravo

Quick Hit – Vote Rich Marks!

Quick Hit – Vote Rich Marks!

As Ward & Jones co-host Larry Jones and I always say, you have to applaud anyone willing to throw their hat into that city council ring. No matter what Kane County municipality we’re talking about, that job truly is a public service.

Marks 2

Rich & Cheryl Marks with Scooter and Tucker

So when it comes to these endorsements, I like to be positive, and I’m going to do my best to do that here. But it’s a bit more difficult when you consider the crew Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns threw at Mary Seno, Ron Singer, and Rich Marks.

Burn’s theory is, if they’re too busy fending off opponents, those aldermen wouldn’t be able help challenger Tom Simonian. Who knew Simonian, in cahoots with self-proclaimed Geneva kingmaker, Joe Stanton, would concoct the kind of municipal campaign that give you night terrors?

My fear, is that horrific electoral effort could hurt the folks who clearly should retain their city council seats. In that vein that I’d like to point out the flaws in Second Ward aldermanic challenger Mike Clements campaign, as opposed to any flaws in his character.

1. Why are you running?

That’s the first question Larry and I ask every single candidate we interview. But when I posed that query to Clements on Facebook, he blocked me. Yes! I can be tough on candidates, but if you can’t deal with the softest of journalistic softball questions, how are you going to handle the inevitable gaggle of angry constituents?

2. “My age group is underrepresented”

Clements did answer the question down the road, but that’s not a good reason to run. The best answers include:

  • I want to give back to a city that’s given so much to me
  • I have a passion for public service
  • I’ve served on (name boards) and I want to apply that experience

“My age group is underrepresented on the city council” sounds more like an anti-discrimination claim than a reason to run for office.

Clements added there are no parents of kindergarteners on the council, but that’s not technically true. Aldermen Marks’, Jim Radecki’s, Ron Singer’s, and Craig Maladra’s children all went through Geneva schools.

And as any Geneva parent will attest, those kindergarten days seems like they were scant seconds ago. No parent forgets that or any other part of their children’s sojourn through a school system.

3. He’s never voted in a consolidated election

Mr. Clements is not nearly the only one who’s failed to cast a ballot in any local election, but there is an unmistakable irony in someone running for alderman when they’ve never voted for one.

4. How you get electoral experience?

When challenged regarding his lack of political experience, Clements asked the question, “How do you get that experience until you serve?”

That’s easy! You do what Rich Marks and County Board member Becky Gillam did. They  attended every single bleepin’ council/board meeting for two years before they ran. That “experience” allowed them to hit the ground running.

Clements attended a couple of Geneva city council meetings early on, but he’s been  missing from that chamber while important issues like the places for eating tax were discussed.

Michael Clements is not a bad guy and he may be reasonable candidate someday, but he’s not there yet.

Meanwhile, Rich Marks puts a ton of time and energy into that part-time gig, he fought the good tax fight back when the council was simply rubber stamping the mayor, and he’s one of the most responsive alderman in Geneva.

Ron Singer can count on my vote and I fervently hope my Second Ward compatriots will similarly vote for one of the best aldermen I’ve ever met, Rich Marks.

Ward & Jones Monday at 3 on AM1410

The Smiling Conservative and I have another action packed news installment coming up! We’ll be talking about things like:

  • Eliminating Meals on Wheels? I knew Republicans weren’t Christians!
  • The St. Charles tragedy coverage has wholly bypassed downright morbid.
  • Should 18 year-olds be allowed to drink wine and beer in restaurants with parents?
  • COD should settle the David Breuder lawsuit now!
  • Anti-Semetic flyers at UIC? Is this what we’ve become?
  • An homage to Chuck Berry
  • And your on-topic calls at 847-931-1410

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!

Jeff and Larry 3

The 3/17/17 edition of Ward & Jones

… is right here!


This is the real deal folks! This is what it’s all about. Having a Democratic and Republican state rep on the show to give us a hint of what’s really going in in Springfield. To that end, Larry and I truly appreciate Anna Moeller and Steve Andersson spending part of their Friday with us.

But why would you want to listen to me when you can listen to the show.

Larry and I will be back on Monday with all the local news you crave. Until then…

Jeff, Larry, Anna, Steve

Ward & Jones today at 3 on AM 1410

And the Smiling Conservative I have been promoting the crap out this one all week, because 43rd District State Rep Anna Moeller and 65th District State Rep Steve Andersson will be in-studio to discuss the grand budget bargain and more.

If you have a question for Anna or Steve, please call the show at 847-931-1410 and the lovely Dave Weiser will ask it on air.

Where’s the only place you get this kind of in-depth local, northern Illinois, and Springfield interviews? That’s right! Ward & Jones, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, at 3p.m. on WRMN AM1410. Prepare to be enlightened!



The 3/15/17 edition of Ward & Jones

…is right here!


Larry and I did cover State Senator Jim Oberweis’ recent poor choice of words, but then we spent the rest of the show on the proposed U-46 charter school. And we want to thank Melanie, charter group President Kerry Kelly, and involved U-46 parent Lisa Hopp for calling in and enlightening us in that regard.

I’m sure Ward & Jones will be talking about this prospect again!

We’ll have 43rd District State Rep Anna Moeller and 65th District State Rep Steve Andersson in studio to discuss the faltering Springfield grand budget bargain. Until then…

I’m not so sure we should use Kurt Kojzarek’s new meme, but since he went to all the work…

Kurt meme