Quick Hits – August 28, 2017

It’s called “leadership,” Governor!

Before he made it big, Boz Scaggs would fire his entire band on a yearly basis, because they had to be the reason for his lack of mainstream success. Not only does this mentality belie the kind of immaturity that means you never have to take responsibility for yourself, but if you do make it to the bigtime, does that mean you owe it all to your band?

I’d be willing to bet that Mr. Scaggs never make that leap of logic.

So, after he went all-or-nothing on the pointless budget battle and lost, Governor Rauner fired his entire senior staff. You know, the ones he never listened to in the first place because he knows everything about everything, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t their fault!

I’m not sure I followed that sentence, and I wrote it.


Not one to learn from experience or his mistakes, Rauner immediately replaced those canned folks with a slew of alt-right ideologues straight outta the Illinois Policy Institute. What could possibly go wrong with that?

I’ll tell you what went wrong with that!

In a press release response that anyone but the Governor could’ve easily predicted, those IPI fanatics cited the Governer’s “whiteness’ as the reason for his lack of condemnation of a racially charged political cartoon.

This, of course, did not reflect well on the Governor, so he fired them, too!

That ain’t governing folks! And anyone who thinks it is, is just as immature, egotistical and petty as Bruce Rauner insists on painting himself on a regular basis.

Look! I understand that, whether we’re talking mayor, county chairman, or governor, it’s a very difficult proposition. You don’t get a vote, at least 50 percent of the aldermen, board members or generally assembly are fucking nuts, and you get blamed for pretty much everything that happens.

But Bruce! Not only did you choose to “interview” for the position, you spent untold millions of your own dollars to get there. So to say I have no sympathy for you whatsoever is the most massive of understatements.

You chose to be a leader, so lead!


Kojzarek gets it right?

Ever since the upside down tattoo incident (don’t ask), I’ve been biding my time, waiting for the perfect opportunity to bring the wrath of God down on Kane County Board member Kurt Kojzarek.

If anyone deserves it, he does!

For example, if Kurt ever decides to run for pope, I’d bring up the whole stripper thing (Go ahead and ask!). But not only has Kurt failed to provide me with that kind of opportunity, he did a really good thing recently that I just can’t let go.

Kurt Kojzarek

Kane County Board Member Kurt Kojzarek and not a stripper

My least favorite county board member put forward the notion that, with Elgin’s Grand Victoria gambling boat hemorrhaging profits from the proliferation of video gaming machines to the point where their charitable grant to the county is at an all-time low, the municipalities who approved video gaming should receive no further riverboat grants.

To be clear, this proposed ban DOES NOT include social service agencies. Kurt simply, and correctly, concluded that municipalities who allowed video gaming can now use their own cash to cover those former riverboat bases.

For example, the City of St. Charles recently received $71,000 in riverboat cash for creek improvement. But if Kurt’s measure passes, since that city allows video gaming, they would no longer be eligible for it.

This isn’t a punitive thing, it’s simply a matter of accepting the consequences for your choices. If you reduce the total amount of grant money by competing directly with the boat to benefit your municipality, then you shouldn’t receive anything more from the boat.

All that said, I can’t tell you how much it pains to have to admit that Kojzarek was finally right about something. I suppose I should be grateful it doesn’t happen very often.


Wishing Michael Butirro the best

Larry Jones and I played host to a number of memorable radio show guests over the years, but one that sticks out in my mind is Elgin’s Chooch’s Pizzeria co-owner Michael Butirro. Mike approached us to discuss his quest to bring legalized sports betting to Elgin.

And while I don’t remember much of that conversation, I do remember Mike’s kindness, his unrelenting support for the city he loves and a personality that drew you in like a magnet. Michael Butirro is the kind of guy I’d love to be, but before y’all get your hopes up, I ain’t never gonna be.


You see, for every ten Mike Butirros, there’s gotta be at least one Jeff Ward. I think it’s in an equation found somewhere in Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.

Sadly, after his brother suffered a stroke in November, Mike shut down Chooch’s at the end of business last Saturday evening. As he put it, “It’s time to sell and take care of the family.”

Mike! Though this isn’t setting the bar nearly high enough, you’re a better man than I’ll ever be. Larry and I wish you nothing but the best as you move on to these newer challenges. Your family’s gain is Elgin’s loss.


A unanimous Daily Herald verdict

Y’all are really starting to scare me!

As one of my great former managing editors used to say, “Jeff! You can’t get 10 people to agree the sky is blue,” yet the responses to my column castigating the Daily Herald for covering Elgin City Councilman, John Steffen’s daughter’s Washington D.C. protest arrest have been utterly unanimous.

And it’s a truly terrifying prospect to consider!

You all think that attacking me, calling me names and generally applying your rabble tendencies will eventually get my goat, but nothing could be further from the truth. I actually love that shit! But if you start being civil and generally agreeing with me, I may have to reevaluate my entire approach to life.

In any event, it was gratifying to see so many of you understand that what the DH did to Councilman Steffen was pure unadulterated bullshit. Not that they’ll learn anything from it.





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