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.

Quick Hits – On the herding of cats

So, today’s horoscope told me to “avoid snarky commentary!” First, how did they know? Second, I’m not sure I’m capable of that. And third, what fun would it be if I did? With that in mind let’s proceed!

Since I was certain there were going to be fireworks, I managed to slough off this home-office coil long enough to deposit my posterior in one of those Building A main auditorium press table chairs.

Building A

You see, this was the first full County Board meeting following the previous proceeding in which Kane County Chairman Chris Lauzen broke a board deadlock by voting to reimburse himself for $149 in expenses.

As I remarked about that kerfuffle back then, “Be still my beating heart!”

With far too much time on his or her hands, one of our finer county commissioners petitioned State’s Attorney Joe McMahon to share his legal theory on whether a chairman, or a board member, could vote for a reimbursement on their own behalf.

To make a long story short, they can’t. So, it was the impending reimbursement re-vote that caught my attention.

But instead of going there, the Chairman presided over a short program which commenced with what this board had accomplished so far. And that’s not a bad thing because, in their relentless pursuit of pointless political battles, government bodies frequently need to be reminded of their purpose.

I won’t bore you with all the details, but those kudos included:

  • A six-year flat tax levy
  • The Longmeadow Parkway Bridge
  • 65 percent debt reduction
  • A new court case management system
  • A self-sustaining Settler’s Hill cross country track
  • Absorbing the Aurora Election Commission

and more. When you consider the previous administration’s utter lack of progress, there’s something to be said for moving forward.

But then the Chairman veered into an area that, were I his political advisor, I would’ve cautioned against. Don’t get me wrong! Jeff Ward the incorrigible journalist and happy curmudgeon loved it, but that doesn’t make it politically expedient. To summarize, Chairman Lauzen:

  • Referred to the 10 anti-reimbursement board members as “petty and obstreperous.” It may be true, but a chairman probably shouldn’t say that in public.
  • Accused the Gang of Ten of “destructive nitpicking” that stands in the way of progress. Again, it’s true, but shouldn’t be said out loud.
  • Asked them to examine what they’ve accomplished for $25 grand a year and a Cadillac benefits package.

The he ripped up that $149 check.

As my regular readers know, I rarely focus on the speaker at these meetings, because it’s far more fascinating to watch the minions’ responses. And this one was no different. When you consider a packed house including a slew of 20-year county employees being recognized for their service, all of the sniggering, laughing and joking did not reflect very well on certain board members.

So, completely ignoring that horoscope and considering the Chairman’s what-have-you-accomplished-lately question, let’s reflect on those 10 board members’ “achievements” in no particular order:

1. Mike Kenyon

While Mike was a reasonable Forest Preserve Chairman, I can’t think of a single thing he’s done to benefit his constituents. He’ll also be the first one to tell you that the Chairman is an a*****e, but Mike is so much worse. Though he’s always been cordial to my face, at least 30 people have relayed his true thoughts on my existence. Who knew I was so heinous? The only way Mike Kenyon would ever be happy with any chairman is if they regularly kissed his ample ass.

2. Mark Davoust

If anyone can name just one small accomplishment in 3.5 terms, besides marrying into money and driving his in-law’s business into the ground, I’ll provide them with a C-note. I suppose you could count spending $116,000 to lose to the likes of County Clerk Jack Cunningham, but that’s certainly nothing to write home about. (I’ve heard Melanie keeps his balls in a jar locked up in a kitchen cabinet, too.)

3. Barbara Hernandez

Aside from not working much for State Rep Linda Chapa LaVia. I haven’t as much as heard her voice at a county board meeting. I’m beginning to think she might be mute. Of course, if you count accruing 25 grand with benefits, taking up space, rolling her eyes while snickering at the Chairman, and regularly batting her eyelashes at male board members, then perhaps she does have some merit.

4. Theresa Barreiro

I absolutely love Theresa as a person, and she really is a hoot! But as a board member, she’s an unmitigated disaster. To put that in perspective, Theresa makes me long for the days of Cathy Hurlbut and Bill Wyatt.

5. Maggie Auger

Maggie wasn’t there yesterday, which was a vast improvement over the times she actually does show up. She’s managed to accomplish even less than Mark Davoust.

6. Susan Starrett

I used to like Susan and once thought there was great promise there. But when she does manage to appear, she’s downright mean, nasty and utterly self-absorbed. Just like a third-grader during a difficult math test, everyone in the gallery could hear her running commentary on the Chairman’s presentation. Now that’s maturity! Susan, you really need to resign.

7. Penny Wegman

First, she’s not a Democrat. And second, though I love her mother and County Recorder Sandy, Penny certainly hasn’t inherited her mother’s political acumen. But she is exceptional at taking up space while she waits to inherit her mother’s office. Her main accomplishment is finally showing up to a board meeting not dressed like she’s homeless.

8. Myrna Molina

I love Myrna! She’s incredibly intelligent and very witty, but I can’t figure out why she wants to be a board member. Her attendance record sucks, she doesn’t do a damn thing for her constituents, and she’s turned out to be a political opportunist. If she applied just half of her vast talent towards making things happen, she’d be a force to reckoned with.

9. Monica Silva

Having proposed to her in print, I’m not nearly ready to dismiss her outright. But she single-handedly did more to damage the probation officers’ strike negotiations than any other board member. And Monica! You have to stop spilling the contents of every executive session to anyone who’ll listen.

10. Jarret Sanchez

I like Jarrett, too, and he’s still learning. But I have two suggestions for him! First, don’t vote against someone else’s reimbursement when you just voted for your own $222.77 car rental remuneration. And second, please be savvier about keeping your political powder dry. Voting against Lauzen’s $149 was pointless, and the Chairman has a very long memory.


So much for horoscopes, right?

Meanwhile, a plurality of our Gang of Ten had the temerity to tell the Daily Herald’s worst reporter that they should get credit for voting for the very items the Chairman cited at the beginning of his program. So, they actually managed to show up and say “aye?” Like I said before, be still my beating heart!

In the end, were I in the Chairman’s shoes, I would’ve stood up, ripped up the check, and sat back down. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t make a valid point.

Quick Hits – And the truth comes out!

“I’ll take ‘Strange Quotes’ for $1,000, Alex!”

“And the answer is, “What is something you’d least expect Jeff Ward to say?”

“What is, I want to thank Shaw Media for having the courage to tell the truth!”

Because that’s exactly what they did in a July 8 piece covering my attorneys’ motion to dismiss the bogus and outright malicious domestic violence charges the Geneva Police filed in their ongoing effort to silence and marginalize me.

You can read that Chronicle column right here!


A number of readers previously asked why I didn’t post my wife’s statement taken at the scene of my son’s accident, and I privately explained to them:

  • Some would say I wrote it myself
  • Others would say it was coerced
  • Even more would simply dismiss it
  • The truth will eventually come out anyway

But Shaw Media – an independent news source – accurately stipulated that:

  • My wife didn’t press charges, the Geneva Police signed the complaint.
  • My wife’s statement was taken voluntarily at the scene of the accident while I was otherwise detained.
  • My wife clearly stated that, “He has been harassed by the Geneva police for over a decade,” without any input from me.

The Chronicle went on to quote my wife directly:

“This frustration with the police’s treatment of him resulted in him moving me aside when I talked to him. At no time was I threatened or in danger. His attention was on the officer. There was absolutely no violence involved in the act. There is no way his actions can be construed as violent, threatening, abusive or any kind of battery. This is yet another attempt by the Geneva police to harass him.”

When you consider this reporting turn of events, please also consider that Shaw Media and I haven’t always been on the best of terms. You might even say I’ve been somewhat critical of that group.

The reporter also noted that:

“Geneva police had denied a Freedom of Information Act request from the Kane County Chronicle seeking a copy of Ward’s wife’s voluntary statement. The exemption cited in the denial was that it would violate the right to a fair trial.”

Of course the Geneva Police refused to provide my wife’s statement to the Chronicle. But if you believe it was a “fair trial” issue, I have a Route 38 Fox River bridge I’d be willing to part with cheap. The last thing the GPD wants is for me to get a fair trial. They wouldn’t release that statement because it didn’t fit their narrative.

Thankfully, Shaw Media headed over to the Circuit Clerk’s office where that statement is part of the court record.

And this decade of harassment comes at the behest of Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns who, along with one of his daughters, regularly uses the GPD as their own personal enforcers. The GPD command staff is more than happy to go along with it, too.

Burns 2

Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns

You see, one of the more fascinating results of my most recent arrest is the number of Genevans who’ve come forward with remarkably similar stories. Though I won’t be providing specific details because the folks involved still fear the Mayor, I will be covering how the Burns family regularly uses the Geneva Police to extract their political pound of flesh.

We’ll also cover how the GPD let the Mayor slide on at least four DUIs, and how they arrested the five-foot-six, 130-pound daughter of six-foot-four, 270-pound, D304 Superintendent Kent Mutchler for domestic violence – against him. That will include the audio of the 911 call, which is heart rending.

The Geneva Police call it “creative charges!”

But before we go, I want to, once again, thank Shaw Media for doing the right thing by telling my story as it actually happened. Perhaps there is some life left in local newspapers after all!

Quick Hits – If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!

I know some of ya’ll don’t like it when I swear in print, and you’re probably right but, holy fuck! I really am a man without a country. I certainly can’t count myself among today’s insanely hypocritical conservatives and my liberal brothers and sisters have proven to be equally as nutty, prone to hypocrisy, and inclined to bursts of self-righteous faux outrage.

And to think I defended progressives against those scurrilous “the left is just a bad” accusations. All I can say is, thank you for going out of your way to prove me wrong!

What’s caused my latest socially liberal crisis of conscience, you ask? It’s the number of progressive friends I hold in the highest esteem who actually believe Chicago Father Michael Pfleger’s Dan Ryan Expressway blocking march was anything but a publicity stunt.


For those who’ve been paying too much attention to the World Cup, Pfleger is the longstanding pastor of the predominantly African-American St. Sabina parish on Chicago’s far south side. During his too-long tenure Pfleger has shrieked and howled about liquor stores, tobacco billboards, stores that sell drug paraphernalia, Jerry Springer, gun stores, and rappers.

In other words, he attacks the symptoms while purposely ignoring the disease, and Saturday’s Dan Ryan protest was no different.

Pfleger will tell you blocking the expressway was intended to bring attention to gun violence, crime, unemployment, and poverty, but the truth is – as is always the case – it was all about him. The man never tires of seeing his face on TV or his name in print.

C’mon! The Chicago media trumpets the number of weekly inner-city shootings on a regular basis, spike Lee made a movie about it, and candidates consistently campaign on solving the problem.

So, please tell me how shutting down a busy expressway is going to help this sad situation? Does anyone really believe those motorists are going to get out of their cars, hold their hand to their chins and muse, “You know what! I should be more conscious about Chicago gun violence. Thank you Father Pfleger?”

All he was hurt the cause, he certainly did nothing to help it.

After lengthy negotiations with the City and State in which he promised to leave one at least one lane open, our self-serving priest went ahead and shut the whole thing down anyway. I though there was a Commandment that contains a prohibition against lying!

Look! The bible makes it clear that we are responsible for the least of our brothers and sisters. But until those brothers and sisters take responsibility for what they can control, nothing will change in the Gresham neighborhood. It certainly hasn’t changed in the 37 long years Pfleger’s been pastor, because he doesn’t want it to change.

The title of this piece is the Buddha’s admonishment against false prophets. He warned his followers to kill them from their consciousness, lest they lose their way. And Pfleger is as artificial as it gets.

He doesn’t want to empower his parish as Martin Luther King empowered the Civil Rights movement. Pfleger wants his flock to remain codependent because his social status and political power completely rely on their continued suffering. Were they to be empowered, he’d be just another run-of-the-mill anonymous Catholic priest. So he makes sure the finger gets pointed at anyone or anything, but the root causes of Chicago gun violence.

And his cohort, Jesse Jackson, is no better.

The Catholic Church may not get much right, but their practice of moving priests to a different parish every 6 to 12 years is dead on. Those Cardinals and Bishops don’t want it to become all about the Father and not about the faith.

Thirty-seven years at the same church is unheard of, but Pfleger knows he’d become a political nobody if moved, so he throws a hissy fit and leverages his cult following to prevent the Diocese from making that happen.

You see, if Pfleger really wanted to help his flock, he’d march through Gresham at midnight, instead of blocking the Dan Ryan. He’d organize neighborhood watch groups, and, within the bounds of reason, he’d stand up to the drug dealers and gang bangers. A march on an expressway? Only a Facebook meme could possibly accomplish any less.

The bottom line is, Father Pleger is worse than the liquor stores, tobacco sellers, gun shops, and everything else he rails against combined. To prey on people’s suffering under the guise of the Catholic collar is truly an egregious offense. I know I’ve previously stated otherwise, but he almost makes me believe evil really does exist.

Quick Hits – Exactly as it should be!

Despite the prodigious cat-herding nature of the process, on occasion, city councils actually manage to get it right! Of course, it could be nothing more than the statistical reality that, given enough rolls, the dice will finally align correctly, but I’m good either way.

So, regardless of the reason, Elgin was dead on when they promoted Commanders Ana Lalley and Al Young to Chief and Deputy Chief. C’mon! Wouldn’t it be reasonably safe to say that Elgin has developed more national police chiefs than any other municipality, so why would anyone want to look anywhere else?


Ana Lalley

And when you think about it, the cool thing is Kane County’s two largest cities now boast female police chiefs. And an Elgin female chief and black deputy chief? If that ain’t diversity, then I’m even whiter than I thought.

When Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman told me she was headed to an Illinois female police chiefs convention, I asked her what she and the other chief were gonna do. Now they have a quorum!

Al Young

Al Young

But, as is almost always the case, this wasn’t nearly good enough for African-American city councilpersons Tish Powell and Corey Dixon. Taking a cue from the EPD’s Puerto Rican initiative to hire more Hispanic officers, they insisted the City “cast a wide net” in search of that perfect new head honcho.

Translated, they wanted a black chief and they’d settle for nothing less.

You see, both of our illustrious councilmen, to varying degrees, take their marching orders from former U-46 school board member and Donald Trump wannabee, Traci Ellis. It’s absolutely no surprise for Powell whose tragic flaw is always gravitating towards the strongest local political personality, but Dixon’s sudden lack of independence is troubling.

“But Jeff! When you compared Ellis to Trump, you’re, once again, pulling hyperbole out of your vast journalistic arsenal, right?” Au contraire, dear reader! This time, I’m as serious as a colonoscopy gone wrong. To wit:

  • They were born into family situations the rest of us rabble can only dream about.
  • If it weren’t for those families they’d probably be homeless.
  • They write books that go to great lengths to explain just how great they really are.
  • They regularly overestimate their intelligence.
  • They make absurd proclamations to rile their base (Ellis recently compared the American flag to toilet paper).
  • Trump uses immigration and Ellis uses the Cynthia DeClements shooting to whip the faithful into a frenzy.
  • Lies always come easier than the truth.
  • Everything is always about them.
  • They are two of the most racist individuals on the planet.

Sadly, Powell is beyond hope. To watch her fritter away all that incredibly rare bi-partisan and multi-racial goodwill she painstaking built up on the likes of a political demagogue is a truly terrifying thing. She could’ve been a U.S. Senator, but now her reelection is in doubt.


Tish Powell

I’m not willing to give up on Dixon quite yet. We’ll just call this the first strike in a one-and-one count and I’m not sure he can hit a curveball. I don’t think Mr. Dixon realizes that the voters won’t soon forget Ellis’ flag/toilet paper comment. How many one-term Elgin city councilmen have there been?

Put more simply, political associations matter.

Meanwhile, please allow me to congratulate Lalley and Young for these well-deserved promotions. They are stellar law enforcement officers who’ve ceaselessly worked to make Elgin a better place for all residents. When I think back to the EPD of the early 90’s, I want to hug and kiss them both on the lips.

Corey Dixon

My fervent wish is that we have the same kind of positive no-holds-barred relationship that former Chief Jeff Swoboda and I had.

But back to our aldermanic dynamic duo!

If Powell and Dixon are as serious about accurate representation as they claim, here’s how they can prove their sincerity. Considering Elgin is just 9 percent black, but 43 percent Hispanic, I want them to draw straws. I’ll be happy to moderate the procedure, too. And whoever gets the short end of the stick will immediately resign in favor of an Hispanic city councilman.

Now, that would be diversity!