Quick Hits – July 20, 2018

Once again, I was going to take today off, but, once again, duty calls. I guess we’ll stick with five days a week as long as the book publishing process is going well and the muse continues to be benevolent.


An IYC correction

Because their names sound similar, my Illinois Youth Center – St. Charles sources incorrectly reported that the inmate who attacked the guard during the April riot and the inmate who instigated the most recent attack were one and the same.

That is not the case. It was two different “residents” of that fun facility.

But all that means is there are two individuals who should be prosecuted for aggravated battery and not just one. But we know that won’t happen anytime soon because Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon is far too busy prosecuting the McDonald/Van Dyke case in Cook County to serve the voters who actually elected him.

Sadly, it will take a death at the IYC before someone finally does something about it.


Karen McConnaughay is everything that’s wrong with Illinois politics

Partly because a reader politely asked for a history lesson, and partly because the Daily Herald is disseminating their typically absurd propaganda again, as she strolls off into the political sunset, let’s examine the real legacy of 33rd District State Senator and former Kane County Chairman Karen McConnaughay.

You see, the DH typically doesn’t do glowing 600-word pieces on retiring Collar County politicians, but they made an exception in Ms. McConnaughay’s case, because she regularly bats her eyelashes at and says nice things to those editors and reporters.

But the truth is – and that reporter knows the truth – Karen McConnaughay was one of the most infamous absentee board members in Kane County history. Committee chairman had to force her ass out of bed to get a quorum on many occasions.

McConnaughay 3

The only reason McConnaughay got into politics was she joined (and later took full credit for) STOP (Stop Taking Our Property), a group that shuddered at the notion of the bicycling rabble riding through their Fox Riverfront backyards.

Public service has never been her first concern.

Sensing her malleability, disgraced Speaker Denny Hastert and Kendall County political hack Dallas Ingemunson tabbed her to be their Kane County Board chair lackey. And she faithfully served them for two long terms.

Serving those who elected her has never been her strong point.

Though she’s incredibly talented, her vast insecurities (most elected officials are incredibly insecure) rendered her an imperious, utterly ineffective, and quite vindictive Chairman. She was so paranoid of her own staff that she installed a security system covering Building A hallways that fed directly into her office.

She spent taxpayer money faster than a drunken Kardashians on Fifth Avenue, she never met a tax or fee hike she didn’t like, and, as former Beacon-News reporter Dan Campana demonstrated, she took pay-to-play to an entirely new level.

Cook County ain’t got nuthin’ on her.

When Campana and I started taking her on in the Beacon, McConnaughay responded by going after anyone she believed was behind the bad press. She went after board dissenters with all guns blazing, too. This infuriated the countywide electeds to the point where they hatched a plan to get rid of her.

So, emissaries Treasurer Dave Rickert and County Clerk Jack Cunningham approached then State Senator Chris Lauzen to run against her. They promised political and financial support as well as the prospect of him actually being able to accomplish something. Lauzen was always a Springfield outsider.

When Lauzen accepted their offer, realizing she could not beat him, McConnaughay turned and ran. Though some serious folks consistently deny this, I’ve heard the 33rd State Senate District was constructed just for her.

And she’s hated that job every step of the way because she can’t stand being a lowly downstate minion. She was on the fast track for greater things – Bruce Rauner became quite enamored of her – but when a couple of jealous peers disclosed her close Kane County union connections, McConnaughay’s star suddenly dimmed.

Bruce doesn’t like unions.

Despite her incredible luck, she’s managed to accomplish absolutely nothing during her Springfield tenure. Even old friends like Mike Kenyon and Ellen Nottke have turned on her because she dismissed them the second they became politically irrelevant.

My favorite McConnaughay State Senate story is, upon meeting with a constituent who’d asked for help with an Elgin project, she wasn’t shy about explaining that her assistance required a sizeable campaign contribution. Unscrupulous Kane County Board member Mike Kenyon was at that meeting, and even he couldn’t believe her brazenness.

McConnaughay’s new “job” with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America is just another Ron Gidwitz crony hire, the kind that Ms. McConnaughay has taken advantage of, and offered, throughout her charmed political life. If you’re interested, I’m taking bets on how many days she actually shows up at the “office.”

Put more simply, when she walks away September 3rd, Karen McConnaughay will not be missed.

Had the Daily Herald been covering Chris Lauzen’s retirement, they would’ve gone to great lengths to list every single quibble and controversy they’ve already attached to his name. But because McConnaghay was smart enough to avoid offending their eminently delicate sensibilities, the DH is more than happy to whitewash her corrupt legacy.

Not on my watch!

Quick Hits – The IYC inmates are still running the show

Let’s issue a few caveats before we get into the heart of this piece:

1. I want to apologize to all of the former and current employees who’ve been brave enough to reach out regarding the disaster known as the St. Charles Illinois Youth Center. My plan was to get back to each and every one of you, but the sheer volume of your responses to that original column has made that impossible. Rest assured, I will not let this story go anytime soon.

2. I want to thank Shaw Media for picking up on this one because it clearly requires as many journalistic eyes as possible. I’ve also provided them with the specifics of the incident we’re about to discuss here.

3. Despite submitting dozens of documents, incident reports, and handing over my sources (with their express written consent), I cannot fathom why the Daily Herald refuses to cover the chaos at the IYC. They’ve certainly been more than eager to write about:

  • A $149 Kane County Board reimbursement check
  • The KC Coroner’s office ad nauseum
  • Pointless and unfunny columns on grammar
  • And every accident and police report between Antioch and Alsip

But when a story requires a real effort, they run from it faster than Donald Trump from a Helsinki press conference. The problem is, it’s impossible to embarrass a group of people who have absolutely no shame. Why anyone still gets that paper is beyond me.

Maybe they’ll do the right thing and dig into this latest attack on an IYC guard.


A midnight shift guard was recently passing out blankets around 10 p.m. when the “residents” of one of the “cottages” attacked and injured him to the point where he had to spend the night at Delnor Hospital.

Once incapacitated, the inmates stole his keys and freed their compatriots who now had the run of the facility. Apparently, their plan was to kill a rival inmate in a nearby cottage, but the IYC managed to get them under control before they could pull it off.

Trust me! That was sheer luck.

And who was the inmate that orchestrated this attack? That’s right! It was the same thug who attacked a guard with a mop handle during that April riot necessitating 17 cranial staples.

Injured Guard

Despite sending two guards to the hospital in less than four months, this inmate has faced no consequences of any kind, and IYC administrators refuse to investigate this newest assault because that would mean broadcasting the kind of bad news that might get the whole shebang shut down.

And the inmates know this.

Meanwhile, Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon, who assured Chairman Chris Lauzen and Shaw Media that his office prosecutes IYC offenders “all the time,” refuses to lift a finger, virtually guaranteeing another guard’s hospital stay or worse.

McMahon, who can see the Illinois Youth Center from his office, hasn’t prosecuted a soul for the April riot, either. But he will press bogus charges against journalists who uncover a massive sexual harassment scandal in his own office.

The situation is going to get much worse before it gets better, too. As you might imagine, the IYC guard turnover rate is staggering with 30 of them quitting between November and December alone. With word of the violence getting out and Illinois unemployment at a record low, the IYC is having a very difficult time hiring new guards.

When they do manage to find someone willing to work in that morass, they can’t always hire them because so many guards are out on workman’s compensation from injuries, new hires would put them well over budget.

This is your Illinois Juvenile Justice System at work Illinois taxpayers! There’s no justice, there’s no rehabilitation, there’s no accountability, and all we’re doing is creating a culture of hyperviolent children who will eventually be unleashed upon the rest of us.

And speaking of the rest of us, we’re so busy being outraged and offended by inconsequential drivel that we’re ignoring a situation that actually requires our focused anger. Isn’t there a Christian stipulation about the least of our brothers, too?

So, once again! I’m calling on Governor Bruce Rauner to hold those IYC administrators accountable and/or shut the Illinois Youth Center down before someone gets killed.

Quick Hits – Reports of Rauner’s impending victory have been greatly exaggerated!

Despite his campaign manager’s overly enthusiastic proclamations to Crain’s political columnist Greg Hinz, I have a better chance of running away with Lucy Liu (Call me Lucy!) than Bruce Rauner has of running away with our November election.

Because even if those utterly ineffective Porcelain Prince attack ads were actually catching on, as those eminently quixotic Rauner folks insisted, our clueless Governor would still be doomed to defeat. And I can sum up the inexorable causality for this self-evident truth in two simple words, “Sam” and “McCann.”

Rauner McCann

As soon as our downstate State Senator turned in those 60,000 plus signatures, Governor Rauner should’ve read his concession speech right then and there. I know he’s got more money than God, but why waste all that now pointless campaign cash?

You see, in a marvelous example of the efficacy of Newton’s third law, the equal and opposite reaction to Rauner’s attempt to unseat McCann, is McCann’s mic drop move of entering the gubernatorial race as a third party candidate.

And given Illinois Republicans’ capacity to vote for idealist folks who can’t possibly win, even if McCann gets only 5 percent of the GOP vote, it’s curtains for our soon-to-be one term governor.

So, when Capitol Fax’s Rich Miller thought he had a real story when he reported that Speaker Michael Madigan’s team procured a significant amount of those 60,000 plus signatures, my immediate response was, “Tell me something I don’t bleepin’ already know.”

Because while the rest of y’all post memes, practice your outrage face in the bathroom mirror, and annoy the crap out of those of us who actually have a clue, Michael Madigan simply gets the job done.

Before you hit the send button, I’m not a fan of Madigan the State Rep, but one must pay the appropriate respect his political ground game.

Of course Madigan got signatures for McCann! Democratic gubernatorial nominee J. B. Pritzker is his man and he knows a conservative Independent spoiler virtually locks up his election. It’s a magnificent, and far too rare, case of walking the shortest distance between two political  points.

Even if the Supreme Court finally deems those stiltedly districted maps undemocratic, Madigan’s ground game would still regularly rack up Republican concession speeches.

I’ve said it many time before! If the Illinois GOP really wants to compete, they have to at least equal and probably surpass the Speaker’s capacity to get the right vote out. Simply stomping your foot and regularly shrieking about the state of the State ain’t gonna do it. But I can’t find a Republican who’s finally figured that out.

The irony is, when the Illinois GOP finally elected a candidate with the kind of cash to give the Madigan team a run for their electoral money, the Governor used it to go after Republican dissenters instead. It’s what a Shakespearean tragic comedy would look like if he ever wrote one.

This is exactly why the too-common practice of legislative leaders running candidates against legislators who don’t amuse them is such a bad idea. It never instills fear and almost always provokes the kind of response that comes around to bite you in the butt.

C’mon! McCann knows he can’t win, but he’s certainly going to make a point!

Though I’m frequently dismayed by the Kane County Board’s petty bovine manure, the majority of Chairman Chris Lauzen’s issues with that body stem from him running candidates against dissident board members.

Former Chairman Karen McConnaughay did it too (badly), until her opponents got someone bigger and badder to run against her. And before you say a word, a State Senate seat is no consolation prize.

The bottom line is, you don’t see Mike Madigan on Facebook. Aside from the former budget battle, you don’t see him directly attacking Republicans in public, either. And you certainly don’t hear him bitch and whine about his political lot in life.

In fact, he rarely makes any kind of statement at all.

No! The Speaker simply, and quite often correctly, determines the best way to achieve a political goal and then follows a statistically sound step-by-step plan like an overly focused bulldog. You want Rauner gone? Then Sam McCann is your man! It’s really that simple.

And the one thing you can count on about Illinois Republicans is that they will never learn!

Quick Hits – Prohibition never works!

When it comes to the providence of cat herding, with the current Kane County Board clearly at the bottom of the scale, the Elgin City Council generally avoids succumbing to pointless platitude politics. They’re not perfect, but the state of the City of Elgin tends to reflect the often-positive efforts of that governing body.

So, I’m more than disappointed in the Elgin City Council’s sudden nomadic approach to increasing the minimum smoking age from 18 to 21.

Smoking Ban

My first concern is this irrelevant initiative was partially prompted by a nine-year-old resident’s missive to Mayor Dave Kaptain in which she asked him to help people stop smoking. Not only does this reek of the worst kind of nanny state-ism, but when did we start turning to pre-adolescents for city policy? (Though, to tell you the truth, I’d rather listen to a nine-year-old than have to endure Councilman Terry Gavin.)

Aren’t the adults bad enough?

Then there’s this! Those fine Illinois legislators already bumped the smoking age to 21 effective January 1st. So, why is the Elgin City Council suddenly governing in circles? It’s a done deal, so why bother? Has Elgin already resolved every other issue?

But my biggest complaint with this ban BS is, when has prohibition ever worked in any corner of this vast and diverse country at any time in our history? We’ve certainly done a bang-up job with the war on drugs, haven’t we?

To wit, the aforementioned Councilman Gavin said, “This will add to educational efforts already out there about not smoking and could provide another barrier to addiction.”


All prohibition does is make a product more appealing to the group that’s prohibited from partaking. Doomed to repeat history one more time, Gavin completely ignores our thriving heroin and crystal meth epidemics.

Their illegality has absolutely no effect on consumption.

Tobacco 21, another do-gooder group determined to make any problem worse, claimed “there is data that shows” Evanston’s and Chicago’s teen smoking bans have resulted in a 35 percent decrease in teen smoking rates. To which I reply, “baloney!” (I woulda used the word “bullshit” but some of y’all would’ve objected.)

First, whenever you hear the phrase “there is data that shows” the information involved will invariably fall under the Twain-esque “lies, damn lies, and statistics” postulate. There is data showing that I have a full head of hair, but not even I’m buying it.

In addition, teen smoking rates have plummeted from 23 percent in 2005 to a scant 7.6 percent in 2017 (CDC). So, not only are the fine folks at Tobacco 21 seeking credit for an across-the-board downturn, but this is just another insipid case of a liberal solution desperately in search of a problem.

Mark my words, the second you issue a teen smoking ban, that suddenly enticing forbidden fruit will send adolescent smoking rates soaring. You know you can get cigarettes online, right? And even though it’s illegal to have out-of-state wine imported to an Illinois address, I’ve never had a problem with it.

The Chicago Tribune did a magnificent Sunday piece on how and why Cystal Meth use is skyrocketing. And the reason for that spike is, we got so good at keeping Sudafed out of chemists’ hands, production shifted to Mexico where their far more potent version is seven times cheaper than the U.S. variety.

As a result, a once working-class only drug has made inroads across all U. S. demographics. Leave it to white people to make a problem exponentially worse.

The lesson here is, prohibition never works. The only way you can ever put a dent in the supply is by reducing demand. And that’s exactly what we’ve done with teen smoking which is down a whopping 66.6 percent since 2005.

Clearly, those educational efforts are working. So, why is Elgin screwing around with a sound solution? Sometimes my liberal compatriots really do suck.

Elgin! Please put the teen cigarette ban down and walk away. This is a complete waste of the City Council’s time. Now, if you want to consider a total teenager ban, that’s something I could get behind. It would solve the smoking non-problem, too!


Quick Hits – Voter data is public information you bleeps!

I made the mistake of going on Facebook again (I never learn, do I?), and sure enough, the outrage du jour was over the Russian “hack” that got into a purported half-a-million Illinois State Board of Elections voter records.

So, my suddenly surly liberal brethren, who insist upon taking keening to heretofore unseen heights, tore Trump another new one for buddying up to a country that could possibly be this magnificently malicious. “Those scoundrels stole our data!,” they self-righteously shrieked.

Sigh! So much for the truth, right?

First, it wasn’t nearly the 500,000 records the federal indictment and talking heads trumpeted – the actual number was closer to 76,000. My sources at the ISBE told me the Mueller indictment tabulated the number of times those records were viewed, not the number of records viewed.

voter hack

In the words of that great philosopher Emily Litella, “Oh! That’s very different, never mind!”

And second – and this is the crucial concept my liberal compatriots – VOTER DATA IS ALREADY FLIPPIN’ PUBLIC INFORMATION. Sorry for shouting, but sometimes it’s difficult to get through to progressives who seem to be suffering from a malaise that slowly saps your IQ.

For a mere 500 bucks, anyone who’s created any kind of political committee can get the complete history of every single Illinois voter. And forming a political committee requires just two pages of paperwork. When I say complete history, I mean:

  • Your birthdate
  • Your mailing and voting address
  • Whether you voted in an election or not
  • How you voted (early, absentee, etc…)
  • What primary ballot you pulled (Republican or Democrat)
  • And much more

That information goes all the way back to the 90s, too. I currently have the voter data for virtually all of northern Illinois. Meanwhile, the Democrat’s Votebuilder database, based on that ISBE data, is so comprehensive, it stops just short of predicting the number of times voters have sex every week.

Does the ISBE need to be a little more careful? Yes! The Russians also accessed driver’s license and those final four social security numbers, but that’s not what they were after. They were trying to hack the software that tallies election night vote totals, but they completely failed in that regard.

Could those DL numbers have made it onto the Dark Web? Sure! But, as I can personally attest, after the Equifax breach, they’re already on the Dark Web anyway. Had the guy who sought credit in my name that fun Bronx spring weekend politely asked, I would’ve gladly handed him my identity.

That would’ve been a far greater consequence than any jail term.

When was the last time anybody did anything with your driver’s license number? Big freaking deal! “But Jeff! Once they got in the system, the Russians could’ve erased all Illinois voter information!

In the words of that great philosopher Dick Cheney, “So what?”

The Illinois State Board of Elections database is an aggregation of the data from all 108 Illinois election authorities, so in essence, that database is rebuilt every week.

Can you imagine the nightmare if those fine ISBE folks had to make every change, deletion and edit by hand? Put more simply, had the Russians wiped it clean, it would have been resurrected the very next day.

But none of this reality stopped the eminently arrogant Illinois Senator Dick During from issuing a stilted statement that included this paragraph:

“Today’s indictment stated that the individuals ‘hacked the website of a state board of elections… and stole information related to approximately 500,000 voters, including names, addresses, partial social security numbers, dates of birth, and driver’s license numbers.’  If this is in reference to the Illinois State Board of Elections, we must get to the bottom of it immediately.”

Trust me, like any other elected official, he knows that, for a few bucks, anyone can get the name, address, and date of birth of any Illinois voter.

So, my liberal friends! You can stand down from Defcon 4 and wait for the next shiny outrage object that comes into your field of vision because this ain’t a story. The Russians want to manipulate elections, not steal voter data, and those safeguards worked!

Quick Hits – Denise Crosby and Joe McMahon – a love story!

I was gonna take today off, but I couldn’t pass this one up!

As part of our digital Chicago Tribune subscription, I generally peruse the Beacon-News – for all of the six seconds that effort takes – but I always skip Denise Crosby’s column because, though she’s certainly a reasonable writer, it’s never worth reading.

Despite being paid far more than the reporters who do the real work, if a column requires anything beyond a phone call or if it interferes with her afternoon nap, she won’t do it.

But this morning’s headline, “McMahon taking on Van Dyke trial challenge,” caught my eye because Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan has slapped a gag order on anyone even tangentially involved with that impending trial.

And Judge Gaughan has made it abundantly clear he means business!

For background purposes, Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon was appointed to prosecute Andy Van Dyke, the former Chicago Police officer who shot Laquan McDonald 16 times.

“So, how could Crosby possibly write an article in which the principal subject was barred from making any commentary,” I thought, “Perhaps she had an anonymous source.” And then I made the mistake of actually reading the piece.

Crosby - McMahon

Believe it or not, Crosby had the cojones to write it in a “this is what McMahon must be thinking about the trial” format such that she comes across as a sixteen-year-old girl who has a massive crush on her English teacher. I can only imagine her laying on her bed writing, “I wonder what he’s doing right now?” as she clasps the open diary to her heart.

Put more simply, it’s beyond bad journalism.

To be fair, Crosby did reach out to former Kane County State’s Attorney Gary Johnson, one of few local attorneys with merit, but he could only offer pointless platitudes because even accidentally aggravating McMahon or making it appear like he knows things he shouldn’t wouldn’t bode well for his law practice.

And because she didn’t have a source, Crosby virtually got it all wrong. So, in an effort to set the record straight, let’s make those necessary corrections now. After all, I am nothing if not magnanimous when it comes to my fellow journalists! Crosby said:

1. McMahon took the case because no one else wanted it

That’s patently false! Joe McMahon asked for the special prosecutor position because he thought the Van Dyke case would launch him into the legal stratosphere.

2. McMahon is “chomping at the bit” to get going

Wrong again! Failing to heed the plethora of legal folks who warned him that this case was a no-win proposition, McMahon quietly sought to absolve himself of it to no avail.

3. “McMahon likely saw it as his duty to agree to handle the case”

Nope! See number one.

4. McMahon “mulled over” the pros and cons before taking the case

No! he did not! All he considered was the level of media attention he’d receive for prosecuting Van Dyke, never considering the potential fallout for a nanosecond.

If he wins, his relationship with law enforcement officers everywhere will never be the same. And if he loses, all those frothing-at-the-mouth Chicago activists will demand his severed head on a silver platter. To put it in perspective, this one is exponentially worse than your wife asking you if those pants make her butt look big.

Not to mention the effect it’s had on his office:

  • McMahon was already an absentee boss and now he’s never there.
  • Things have gotten so bad under Joe Lulves, Jody Gleason and Joe Cullen that a newly former employee told me, “That office sucks the soul right out of you.”
  • In an effort to ferret out my source(s), a prosecutor verbally accosted a number of her peers which is always great for office morale!
  • As a result of that low morale, KCSAO staff turnover is so bad that local attorneys can’t keep track of who the prosecutors are anymore.
  • Without adequate supervision, his underlings are far more interested in racking up convictions than serving justice.
  • Because McMahon wasn’t paying attention, the KCSAO lost a $100,000 grant that forced them to disband their Victim’s Rights Unit.
  • At a time when McMahon’s been begging the County Board for more attorneys, at least 20 Kane County prosecutors are working on the Van Dyke case.

So, Ms. Crosby can polish this turd all she wants, but it won’t change the fact that she’s a lazy journalist and Joe McMahon made a major mistake which revealed he has no intention of serving the people who put him in office.

But while there’s no hope for our State’s Attorney, considering today’s column, perhaps Ms. Crosby has finally found her true calling. She could resort to writing cheesy romance novels.

Quick Hits – July 12, 2018

There hasn’t been muck “quick” about Quick Hits lately so let’s get back to covering more than one story a day. I also want to warn you that doing this every day – including some weekends – is not likely to continue. All I can say is, writing has never come easier than it has this summer, but the muse can be fickle.


A bit too snarky?

After digesting yesterday’s column, some of my favorite friends remarked that it was a bit snarky even for me. Upon further review, there might be something to their contention, but that doesn’t mean I have any regrets.

It was one of my more popular pieces, too!

First, it frequently takes a sledgehammer to get through to some of our overly entitled and self-important politicians. It would be safe to say they rarely respond to subtlety. And the fact they’re so fragile they can’t begin to take what they regularly dish out certainly isn’t my problem.

Kane County Seal

Second, one of my major political pet peeves is a gross disrespect for the office, the process, and the voters to whom they owe those seats. I don’t care how much you despise another elected official, the office itself demands respect. And why is it always that the board members first to hurl those salacious stones are the same ones who shriek and howl at the mildest of criticisms?

Does Kane County Chairman Chris Lauzen bring some of this disrespect on himself? My regular readers know I’ve made my position abundantly clear. But most of our errant board members partook of the very same behavior under the previous chairman – right Mike Kenyon and Mark Davoust?

And now they’re the first ones to bitch when they’re the ones on the outside.

To watch board member Barabara Hernandez act like an ADHD six-year-old in front of a packed gallery is utterly unacceptable, especially when she hasn’t done a damn thing but sit there and take up space. She may have been one of the worst, but she wasn’t nearly the only one acting like a spoiled brat, either.

It’s called demonstrating a little class. If nothing else, it’s a matter of respecting the people who put you in that seat. It’s a matter of showing that, on occasion, you actually can rise above a middle school mentality. And if you can’t manage that simple task, then it’s time to step down in favor of someone who can.

I’ll be at the next full board meeting, too.


Why didn’t he know?

A reader provided a private missive questioning how Kane County State’s Attorney, Joe McMahon, didn’t know that Chairman Lauzen couldn’t break that board tie on the $149 business expense reimbursement vote.


That’s a very good question. After all, he was sitting right next to him.

Had McMahon appropriately chimed in right then and there, we could’ve avoided 90 percent of this abject bullshit over a beyond paltry $149 check. I’m convinced that someday, Joe will finally get something right!


The FRCFPD just won’t die!

Apparently, having lost 237 tax raising referendum attempts is not nearly daunting those intrepid Fox River Countryside Fire Protection District folks in the least. Nope! They’re going to give it that 238th shot.

I’ll spare you all the gory details, but apparently due to a March 20 ballot mistake by the County Clerk’s Office, instead of enduring the required two-year after a failure wait, the tax hike question will go right back on the November ballot.


Though 16th Circuit Judge David Akemann got this one right – I wouldn’t bet against him on election law – this temporary respite is just as pointless as half our county board members are. It’s already failed three times, and once the generally oblivious taxpayers see it a second time in a short eight months, it will turn out to be just as futile as the Bears getting back to the playoffs.

Then this boondoggle of a fire protection district will finally be disbanded by the state.


It’s not a hate crime, so don’t try to make it one!

First, let me clearly stipulate that there are a lot of stupid white people out there, and alcohol certainly doesn’t make their IQ’s any higher. But if we arrested all of them for felony stupidity, there’d only be about ten of us on the outside.

So, when various Puerto Rican organizations started demanding Timothy Trybus’ head on a silver platter, it’s nothing more than a clear case of trying to kill a fly with a 105 millimeter Howitzer.

For those who’ve been too busy watching the White Sox lose, a drunk 62-year-old Trybus verbally accosted Mia Irizarry for wearing a Puerto Rican flag shirt at a Caldwell Woods forest preserve party, resulting in his eventual arrest.

It didn’t help that a Forest Preserve police officer simply stood by and watched the verbal barrage, either.


Trybus was finally charged with assault and disorderly conduct, but now some overly outraged activists are demanding he be hit with a felony hate crime. C’mon! This one turned out exactly as it should’ve turned out, so why pile on?

Even the Forest Preserve police officer resigned as a result of his inaction.

Meanwhile, what everyone but the Tribune is missing in that now viral video is Irizarry’s amazing calm and grace in the face of what had to be a frightening situation. She didn’t let this buffoon get to her, she didn’t amp up the situation, and she calmly (and repeatedly) asked the officer for his help.

But a hate crime? There has to be some premeditation for that kind of thing, and this jerk had no clue that Puerto Rico was part of the United States. And the fact that his abject boorishness has been witnessed by millions of people is a far worse fate than any criminal punishment.

So, rather than focus on Trybus and his particular brand of stupidity, instead, let’s consider Ms. Irizarry’s capacity to deal with a very difficult situation with grace and poise.

Some Kane County Board members could learn quite a bit from her.