Quick Hits – March 14, 2017

Mayor Burns is at it again!

After the press had a field day with his absurd abuse of the City’s email system during his disastrous 2012 County chair campaign, you’d think Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns would’ve learned something.

GenevaBut no, he hasn’t! Because last week, one of my spies noted an official City SUV unloading yard signs at the Mayor’s Kaneville Road residence during work hours.

Look! The fact that city employees are helping Kevin out doesn’t really bother me. C’mon! We’re talking about a tried and true Chicago area tradition here. Considering how well he treats them at contract negotiation time, I’m sure that ain’t nearly the only staffer mobilizing on his behalf – during work hours.

That said, I am kind of insulted that, after that 2012 debacle, the Mayor would be this bleepin’ blatant about it! Did they really have to use a vehicle with the City logo brightly emblazoned on it? I can’t wait to hear his latest excuse.

But wait! There’s more!

Referencing old supporter lists, Burns and his “campaign team” are planting scads of signs on front lawns of folks who haven’t actually requested one. That gives a whole new meaning to the term “unwanted advances.”

And these Geneva denizens are afraid to remove that political litter because they fear the Mayor’s potential victorious wrath – especially the homeowners who own local businesses.

Who said intimidation won’t get you far in politics?

Given Burns’ propensity to misbehave, I’m sure I’ll have more more on this before April 4th!


 

Will you marry me Ms. Mendoza?

In yet another case of the gander getting the goose, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza just gave Governor Rauner what for by stalling one of his pet projects.

MendozaAsking why consulting firms should be paid before senior centers, hospice care, and universities, Mendoza suspended $27 million in payments on the Governor’s $250 million state computer modernization initiative.

Normally I don’t go for this kind of government tit-for-tat tactics,  but because Bruce is so blind to his own faults and failures, I’m really getting a kick out of our Comptroller these days!

So! Since my longsuffering wife wants to get rid of me anyway, the proposal stands Susana.


 

Hug a public defender!

To continue with one of my more recent First Ward themes, it is officially Public Defense Week all across this great nation of ours. But rather than reiterate my vast love and admiration for the folks who put the word “justice” in justice system, I’ll simply refer back to an earlier piece.

Meanwhile, I’m issuing an official Ward & Jones proclamation making it mandatory to hug at least one public defender before midnight on Saturday.

In fact, there’s one who might get slightly more than a hug from me.

Whoa! Wait a minute? How do you know it’s not a guy you sexist bastards!

The 3/13/17 edition of Ward & Jones

…is right here!

 

And I want to thank the Smiling Conservative for his great compliment on my written thoughts (previous post) on why the press shouldn’t cover tragedies like the one in St. Charles.

We talked about that and much more today! But why listen to me when you can listen to the show?

Again, State Reps Anna Moeller and Steve Andersson will be on Ward & Jones on Friday. Meanwhile Larry and I will get back to the local news and breaking stories at 3 p.m. on Wednesday on AM1410.

Until then…

 

batman-stuck-in-the-middle

 

Some things shouldn’t be covered

I can’t tell you how much Larry and I want to avoid covering the St. Charles father who killed his two daughters, wounded his wife, and then turned the gun on himself. But it clearly can’t be done.

daily heraldThough I want to make it perfectly clear that I’m covering the coverage and not the event itself.  To wit, my favorite reporter, the Daily Herald’s Sue Sarkauskus, asked me to explain why this tragedy isn’t news. Here’s my response:

1. This event is so far out on the bell curve that the massive amount of press it’s receiving makes it seem far more commonplace. The real news is that 3 million Chicago area fathers and 3 million Chicago area mothers did not murder their children and commit suicide last week

2. No! It doesn’t raise awareness for domestic abuse either. The police were called for a verbal altercation between this father and his former wife a month ago which hardly amounts to this kind of violent end.

3. Unless there are unlikely revelations, this tragedy could neither have been predicted nor prevented. People prone to murderous rampages rarely share their inner turmoil. So what purpose does it serve to interview the family or have a neighbor inevitably say, “He was a really nice guy – he must’ve just snapped.”

4. This over-the-top news coverage only encourages the next self-absorbed sociopath to go out in a similar blaze of glory. “I’ll finally get my name in the paper! There will be justice.” Please note that sports broadcasts no longer show idiots who run out onto the field and these self-promoting stunts have dropped dramatically.

Could this tragedy be the result of a mental illness? Of course it could. But when you consider the shooter’s clear intent to hurt his ex-wife as much as possible, I don’t think that’s the case.

I can’t remember whether it was Soren Kierkegaard in ‘Fear and Trembling’ or William Styron in ‘Sophie’s Choice.” But one of them defined evil, not as what we normally think it is, but as the reader erasing the words from the page in an effort to dismiss the author.

And that’s all this is – one man’s attempt to erase God and this existence through an ultimately heinous and cowardly act. It does not deserve to be covered.

Ward & Jones on AM1410 Monday at 3!

At which time the the ever-so-tanned Mr. Jones and I will cover:

  • Pope Frank considers ordaining married men
  • Oops! Governor Rauner did it again, he played with state employee health funds
  • The Elgin City Council leases the Fox River Day school to the charter group for $1 a year!
  • Larry and Jeff called it! 601 apartments at the old St. Charles Mall site. But where are the usual protest suspects?
  • Why does Elgin keep getting bitten on the butt for bending over backwards to make restaurants work?

And your on-topic inquires are always welcome at 847-931-1410.

Where’s the only place you get this kind of in-depth local, northern Illinois, and Springfield news analysis? That’s right! Ward & Jones, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, at3 p.m. on WRMN AM1410. Let’s continue the conversation.

Jeff and Larry 3

March 10, 2017 Quick Hits

A little more irony to make your day!

As most of you know, I broke a pretty big story involving Chairman Chris Lauzen, former Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner, and candidate Rick Guzman in yesterday’s Quick Hits. Apparently, karma really does have a sense of humor!

So there I was, having a good time at a friend’s fundraiser in Batavia last night when who do you think strolls into that party room? That’s right! Rick Guzman. We briefly exchange quizzical “what the heck are you doing here” glances and then we kind of laughed.

It turns out that Rick was really there to address the Kane County Progressive Democrats who were meeting downstairs.

I’m gonna say it again, I like Rick and I have no problem with his politics because he is exactly who he says he is. But the irony of that chance meeting certainly wasn’t lost on me.

Just two days earlier, Chairman Chris Lauzen, the self-proclaimed scion of local conservatism, endorsed a candidate who was seeking the endorsement of one of the most the most liberal groups in Kane County.

Meanwhile, Lauzen confidant and conservative Christian campaign manager Jon Zahm has been lavishing praise on Guzman, despite the fact that Rick shares my pro-choice point of view.

It makes you wonder how Chris and Jon can spout that BS with a straight face!


 

Another endorsement!

Taylor EganConsidering our absurdly high Geneva taxes and the ongoing failings of the current school board, I fervently wish we had a few more D304 candidates to choose from on April 4th. But fear not dear reader! There is  one non-incumbent!

So I’m gonna take a page from Elgin City Councilman John Prigge’s “you don’t have to vote for all four” playbook and simply cast a single vote for her.

The candidate’s name is Taylor Egan and, through a number of conversations with the Mill Creek mother of two, I’ve discovered that she:

  • Is incredibly intelligent
  • Sees the forest AND the trees
  • Has no ego
  • Learns very quickly
  • Understands the issues facing D304
  • Understands you can’t tax senior citizen out of their homes

Best of all, Taylor can write which is the surest sign of a superior human being.

You all know how most candidates make me want to bang my head on the wall until I pass out. But I am looking forward to voting for Taylor and I truly hope my fellow Genevans follow suit.


 

Anna and Steve are back on the show!

Larry Jones and I are thrilled to announce that, Friday March 17 on AM1410 at 3 p.m., 43rd District State Rep Anna Moeller and 65th District State Rep Steve Anderson will join us in that Ward & Jones studio to discuss the faltering grand budget bargain.

You’ll also be pleased to know that we have forgiven those two scurrilous individuals for having the temerity to cheat on us with WGN. Though it gratifying to know that a major radio station has to steal our programming!

Quick Hit – Strange bedfellows indeed!

Some tales of Kane County political intrigue are so silly that, even after reasonable sources come forward, I say to myself, “Nah! This one doesn’t pass the laugh test. But then there are sources who never get it wrong!

So when I saw the new Aurora odd couple, Chairman Lauzen and former Mayor Tom Weisner, standing directly behind candidate Rick Guzman at the Hampton Inn yesterday, I realized I’ve got to stop overestimating some people and start believing others.

To wit, here’s what I’ve known for more than a month.

Lauzen Weisner

Despite his Daily Herald protestations, Kane County Chairman Chris Lauzen has, indeed, been searching for a second gig for months. And that quest started with the CFO position in the East Aurora School District. But it didn’t work out because those savvy folks understand that the Chairman doesn’t take orders from anyone.

Rebuffed, Chris aimed for that vacant City of Aurora CFO position, reaching out to former Mayor Tom Weisner in that very regard.

How do I know this? When the polls made it clear that Guzman was sliding into that coveted second primary place, Lauzen confidant Jon Zahm suddenly started declaring his unyielding support for Guzman.

While I don’t have a problem with anyone backing the candidate of their choice, I do have a problem with an avowed Christian Conservative suddenly supporting a candidate that makes this liberal look like a flaming Tea Partier.

Don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends are liberals and I like Rick! In fact, I’m one of two people who predicted he’d make it through that primary herd. But I never thought I’d hear the names Zahm and Guzman in the same book, much less the same sentence. I’d love to hear Jon’s explanation for this fascinating partnership.

Though It probably has something to do with getting paid.

Of course, Chairman Lauzen, who also claims to be somewhat conservative, had no problem publicly endorsing Guzman – after the deal on the CFO position was closed.

As you might expect, Lauzen is in the process of setting Zahm loose on Richard Irvin. Those inevitable “Kane County Conservative Coalition” mailers will not only attack Richard for being a defense attorney, but “someone” started a rumor that Irvin pursues the wives and girlfriends of clients who go to jail.

Nice, right!

But wait, there’s more! Should this scheme come to fruition, Lauzen has no intention of relinquishing the Chairmanship. Here’s why!

C’mon! There’s no lost love between Chris Lauzen and Tom Weisner. And Lauzen has never liked Guzman’s politics. But in yet another excellent example of the Chairman’s infinite animosity, those considerations have been utterly overridden by his real targets – the State’s Attorney and the County Board.

You see, Chris hasn’t forgotten Joe McMahon’s slap on the wrist over those three errant contracts, and he hasn’t forgiven the County Board for failing to give him executive powers in the wake of that kerfuffle either. Then there’s the question of the countywide elected raises that never were.

Thus, Lauzen’s real motivation is, once Chris becomes CFO, he will delight in informing the SAO and county board that, since their despicable slights made the chairmanship a default part-time position, he will be more than happy to take both full-time salaries.

You didn’t think this had anything do with Rick Guzman did you? It’s all about revenge.

A backroom deal? That doesn’t bother me in the least. It happens every day. But what does bother me is that:

  1. Chris Lauzen is so petty and vindictive that he thought this was a good idea.
  2. Jon Zahm consistently refers to himself a Christian conservative when he’s not.
  3. Rick Guzman failed to understand how problematic hiring Lauzen would be – especially if he hangs on to both jobs (You didn’t know that, did you Rick!)
  4. That Lauzen, Weisner, and Guzman didn’t think this story would come out.

Not only did I have high hopes for Chris Lauzen as chairman, but I advised him throughout his first campaign. He didn’t blow up did he? But to see him become so consumed with anger that he’d throw a great thing away in an indefensible fit of pique, really disappoints me.

Almost as much as Rick Guzman just did.