How to lose an election and take your friends with you in 10 easy steps – Part 1

Though the Shakespearean tragedy we’re about to discuss is somewhat Geneva-centric, the moral of the story applies to any political endeavor anywhere. So if you want to go down in electoral flames while taking your political allies with you, here’s exactly how to do it:


1. Hire a really bad campaign manager because he tells you exactly what you want to hear.

Considering the Geneva disasters over which he’s presided, I cannot fathom how self-proclaimed “kingmaker” Joe Stanton gets anyone to listen to him, much less pay him to run a campaign. The best evidence of this swath of destruction propensity is that Stanton turned a sure mayoral victory into an abject rout.

Though let me make it clear that Tom Simonian’s certainly no prize. When provided the paperwork that proved Stanton’s utter fabrication in regards to what the Burns campaign spent to beat Bob McQuillian in 2013, Alderman Simonian simply ignored it.

I suppose if you’re going to lie, lie big!



Tom Simonian


2. Put $75,000 in your campaign fund in September

I tried to warn Simonian’s confidants that, were I the opposition, I’d frame the story as another Donald Trump trying to buy another election. And the Burns camp did exactly that.

Apparently, Stanton’s theory was this kind of campaign kickoff cash would send Mayor Burns scurrying from the race like Bill O’Reilly from Fox News. The one thing you can say about Joe is he never gets tired of being wrong!


3. Attack city employees, Del Nor hospital, and the library right out of the gate

We all know Mayor Burns let’s city employees get away with murder, but there’s a right and wrong way to make that point. Saying “The inmates are running the asylum” is the wrong way, because it makes those folks rally their family, friends and neighbors to vote against you.

Something along the lines of, “We have great city employees, but there are times they need more guidance from the mayor,” would’ve been much better.

When you consider that Del Nor makes an average 200 percent yearly profit, they should pay their fair share in taxes and fees. But you have to frame that message correctly so you don’t come off as a scorch and burn kind of candidate.

That never plays well in Geneva.

Not one to stop while he isn’t ahead, Simonian insisted upon wading into the library referendum fray in a way that made folks very nervous. What’s the point of that, when the voters had the final say?


4. Put 4 by 8 yard signs on front lawns

Again, a number of people reached out to Simonian’s campaign to warn them that no one wants to see a billboard on their neighbors’ front lawn. The curt response was that voters were asking for larger signs.

Yes! And my son wanted to drive the Honda when he was 10, but we wouldn’t let him do that either! Every last one of those subdivision behemoths cost Simonian far more votes than they got him.


5. File an ethics complaint that makes you look small and petty.

No one within the sound of my voice believes the yard sign caught under the city vehicle unknown cell phone number returning it directly to the Mayor’s house story. A Heartland Elementary third-grader could come up with a better lie than that.

And yes! The City’s Ethics Commission is a joke. (Shame on you Tim Moran!)

But when one of the biggest knocks against you is you file too many lawsuits, you probably shouldn’t file a lawsuit. Not only does it makes you look like you’re trying to kill a fly with sledgehammer, but it cedes the messaging high ground to your opponent.

More to come!

Give it up white people!

Why do y’all insist upon aggravating me on my runs? Is it too much to ask for four short miles without having to see some sort of stupidity? Isn’t dealing with 263 off-leash dogs in that short span bad enough?

Apparently not, because today I encountered two Genevans doing their best to be gangster on my morning run.

Look! When rappers turned their baseball caps around and wore large clocks around their necks, I thought it was kinda cool. Why, it even made me want to fight the power!

To revolutionize make a change nothin’s strange
People, people we are the same
No we’re not the same
Cause we don’t know the game
What we need is awareness, we can’t get careless

But even though I appreciate the dulcet tones of Chuck D., I never considered trying to be just like him, if for no other reasons than:

  1. I can’t sing.
  2. Other than the Geneva Police, I really haven’t been all that oppressed.
  3. You may have noticed I’m not black.

In fact, if I get any whiter, the glare would cause multi-car collisions while running along Randall Road.


Just say no!

So I’ll just leave the whole rap thing to the experts like Kanye and Drake. The truth is, I’m happy in my Levi’s, large-tall Port t-shirts and running hats with the bill in front. It’s the simple things in life, right?

It’s just that, when I saw my two middle-aged neighbors with baseball caps askew, I wanted to tackle their sorry white butts, hold them down, and staple the hat to their heads in the position God intended.

Of course, the problem with that course of action is, most Genevans don’t take that kind of constructive criticism as it’s intended. Instead, I’ll simply say that wearing a bill-in-back cap does not make white people look gangster, it makes them look stupid.

Not to worry my fine Tri-Cities compatriots! I’m nothing if not magnanimous. Here’s a simple checklist to determine if you’ll ever be gangster:

  1. Do you live in Geneva, Illinois?

If you answered “yes” to that question, then the answer is no!

Short of becoming a serial killer, something I don’t often recommend, you’ll never be Ice T, so stop trying! Turn the bleepin’ baseball cap around before I do if for you!

Black folks! You gotta start coming up with shit Caucasians can’t appropriate. C’mon! When Nelly’s hawking Honey Nut Cheerios with a leather clad, medallion wearing, rapping cartoon bee, you know it’s almost over.

It won’t be easy! We’ve already stolen blues, rock ‘n roll, high fives, fist bumps, rap music, twerking, corn rows, your right to vote, medical breakthroughs, Oprah, Michael Jackson and, of course, you!

Someone should tell Ben Carson what an immigrant really is.

You still have the whole getting stopped by the police on a regular basis thing because white people aren’t quite ready for that. Apparently being a counterfeit gangster only goes so far. Meanwhile, I’ll do my best to end the Caucasians co-opting black culture scourge if I have to do it one bleepin’ Genevan at a time.

I’m gonna have that peaceful run yet!

You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!

First, I want to express my immense gratitude to all the people who reached out to Larry and me in the past week. It’s heartening to know that Ward & Jones had a place in so many of your hearts. I certainly put mine into it.

Larry and I continue to talk, and he mentioned the possibility of a scaled down version of the show with other co-hosts. If that’s the case, he has my full support.

Meanwhile, there may be other possibilities with WRMN, but considering how good that station was to me, I felt even the mildest “it’s gotta be this way not that” declaration would’ve amounted to extortion.

And I refuse to do that. Moving on was the right decision.

Through navigating this particular dark night of the soul, I’ve discovered that, like the refrain from ‘Tubthumbing’ by Chumbawumba, “I get knocked down, but I get up again, cause you’re never gonna keep me down.”

So while I’ll focus on finishing ‘So You Want to Win a Local Election,’ running campaigns and my communications consulting business, I will also continue to post my thoughts here. Despite Larry’s and my best efforts, the playing field is not nearly level enough.

I may also unleash the philosophical side my closest friends see a little bit more. Kurt Kojzarek said something about choosing to be victim that completely changed my definition of that word.

It will be more than the written word too! With most of the audio equipment already acquired, podcasts are inevitable and some of them will certainly feature co-hosts.

So (time permitting) I’ll be back tomorrow. We’ll start by covering the Geneva city council races and move on to Chairman Lauzen’s attempt to co-opt the Aurora mayoral race for his own benefit.

The privilege of exacting your own karma doesn’t come along very often!


But most of all, having been the victim of a Class-X Felony, I will spare nothing in taking on the utterly  dysfunctional Kane County “justice” system. It needs to be completely broken down and rebuilt. That means:

1. Exposing a State’s Attorney’s office in which an absentee boss with higher aspirations let it get completely out of control. I’ve already started that process with the series of columns on the ill-gotten public defender emails in the Rak case.

2. Directly taking on the judges who believe the black dress gives them right to ignore the law, press personal vendettas and basically bully and disrespect anyone and everyone in their path. There’s three I have in mind.

3. Writing and working to change the law so prosecutors don’t treat crime victims exponentially worse than they do the defendants. Illinois desperately needs a victims’ rights bill with some teeth.

Who said being fearless wasn’t a fascinating proposition?

All good things…

You pay a price for telling the truth and, as of late, that price has gotten pretty steep, financially and mentally. I’m not complaining about it – I knew exactly what I was getting myself into – it’s that I’ve reevaluated my priorities. And after 11 years of trying to bring balance to the force, I’m worn out, stressed, and very unhappy.

Put more simply, I’m no longer willing to accept the consequences for speaking my mind.

Thank you

Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of Left, Right and You and Ward & Jones. I started out as a sometime sub and, through a lot of effort, turned it into a regular three day a week show. We got some great sponsors too. But the truth is, Larry and I still have to pay for airtime and I’m not willing to do that anymore.

I’m 58 years old and it’s time to stop chasing impossible dreams. Newspapers and the Huffington Post taught readers the written word comes for free so no one’s gonna hire me as a columnist. If some major radio station was going to sweep me off my feet, it would’ve happened sometime in the last 6 years.

I was thrilled when the show expanded, but putting out three quality products a week is a very time consuming proposition.

Put more simply, for my own mental health, I need to devote my full attention to those endeavors that provide a financial return.

In no way am I blaming or criticizing WRMN, they have been very, very good to me on every bleepin’ level. In fact, their kindness propelled me to do the show much longer than I probably should have. I knew it was a brokered show going in, and I knew that wasn’t going to change.

Put more simply, I have decided it’s time to move on to other things.

I want to thank WRMN and, especially Leah Unser. I want to thank my co-hosts Larry Jones, Allen Skillicorn, Tim Elenz, and Paul Edwards for some really fun shows. I want to thank our sponsors, Ancel Glink, American Eagle Bank, Driver Tom, and Bravo Magazine for having faith in us.

But most of all, I want to thank you, the listeners. Without you, none of this would’ve been possible. When I said, “Thank you for listening,” I really meant it.

The 4/4/17 edition of Ward & Jones

…is right here:


Larry and I want to thank new Elgin City Councilman Corey Dixon for calling in and talking with us. He will be a great addition to that governing body!

Meanwhile, the Smiling Conservative and I covered all of the election results and provide the kind of analysis that you only get from Ward & Jones.

Friday! Larry and I will get back to the news. I bet you can’t wait! Until then…

Kurt meme

Ward & Jones at 3 p.m. on AM1410

After last night’s election coverage extravaganza, the Smiling Conservative and I will be back this afternoon to review all of the results. That includes, but is not nearly limited to:

  • How could Elgin City Councilman John Prigge lose?
  • Elgin Township will be Democratic for the first time in over 100 years!
  • How to lose an election and destroy your friends like Tom Simonian did in Geneva
  • Richard Irvin will be the first black mayor of Aurora!
  • U-46 voters repudiate an alt-right agenda

But best of all, new Elgin City Councilman Corey Dixon will call us early in the show!

And you can call in too at 847-931-1410 or text the show 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.


Jeff and Lary Bravo




It’s the election night Ward & Jones!

Though the results are in, you might still want to listen to the magic that is Ward & Jones:


Of course Larry and I want to thank Kurt and Brittany Kojzarek for performing their usual election night magic. The Aurora and DuPage Election Commissions may have slowed us down, but we still got you most of the results.

Today at 3, the Smiling Conservative and I will recap and analyze all of the elections. Until then…