Quick Hit’s – September 22, 2017

Seein’ as how I’ve been slouching a bit on the LSAT prep, I’m going to try to be a little more rapid fire today so I can get back to becoming an attorney.


You haven’t got mail!

As a result of the kind of temper tantrum that too many judges are prone too, in a patently illegal fit of pique, Kane County Chief Judge Susan Clancy Boles and Court Services Director Lisa Aust, blocked this journalist’s main email address.

Me! Jeff Ward! And I’m such a nice guy, too!

My last email correspondence with the Chief Judge was offering condolences for the untimely death of her brother and the only email I’ve ever sent to Ms. Aust was a FOIA request.


Kane County Chief Judge Susan Clancy Boles

So, you can imagine my surprise when, upon inquiring as to why Court Services/Judiciary had failed to come up with one scant cent of the $700K in cuts the County Board has requested, I saw this:

Delivery has failed to these recipients or groups:

Delivery not authorized, message refused

While I certainly respect the good judgment of anyone who would block the likes of me, unless previous emails have been abusive, those who suckle at the taxpayers’ teat cannot behave in this petty and contemptuous a manner.

So I simply sent the same missive via another email address and, after she responded to that one, I reminded Judge Boles that, like my wife, she can completely ignore me, but she can’t block me. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to take a chief judge to a DeKalb or DuPuage courtroom pro se. Let’s just call it a potential jump on my impending legal education.

This is just another symptom of how the 16th Circuit is utterly out of control and they firmly believe they’re beholden to no one, despite that fact their massive salaries come directly out of your and my pockets.

More on this story next week.


I’m not surprised!

Folks are “surprised” 24 year-old Geneva born athlete Ben Kanute just took second place in last week’s Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee? But I’m not!


I’ve followed this extraordinary young man’s career since he was a middle schooler and that finish doesn’t surprise me in the least. Mark my words, this is only the beginning for the young Mr. Kanute.


But, on the other hand…

As is almost always the case with Wheaton College, the current hazing fiasco is only getting worse.

The DH actually did a decent follow up piece told somewhat from the perspective of one of the charged players, Noah Spielman. Speilman is the son of former All-Pro defensive lineman and Fox Sports analyst Chris Spielman.


But as I read the story, it became abundantly clear that the younger Spielman is only concerned with how this mistake might affect him. In his attorney’s words, Speilman is “frustrated and disappointed” that it took so long to sort this out, and he thought the school’s “punishment” was more than good enough.

So let’s check those scales! The five offending football players had to write an eight-page anti-hazing paper and do 50 hours of community service. Meanwhile, the freshman victim had to undergo three separate shoulder surgeries and, after the fab five allegedly attempted to sexually assault him with an “object,” he transferred to another school.

Yep! That sounds fair!

At no point in the article does Spielman, or his attorney, show any remorse or voice any concern for the victim whatsoever. Because being a “good” Christian clearly doesn’t mean loving thy brother as…wait a minute!

You know what? I think I’d rather think about Ben Kanute!


It’s probation

Daniel Rak did, indeed, get four years of probation, and time served for his lone aggravated domestic battery conviction. It was exactly the right sentence.

Of course, the Daily Herald headline read, “Probation for Domestic Battery in Father’s Death” which is patently libelous because the jury cleared Rak of any and all responsibility for his father’s death.

To be clear, it’s the editors who coin those mastheads, not the reporters, and they really oughtta know better.

During the sentencing, Judge Tegeler lectured Rak on the dangers of the demon rum, an irony that lies somewhere along the lines of me castigating someone else for their alcohol intake.  Let’s hope Mr. Rak continues to get his life together and relegates this sad chapter to past history.


It still doesn’t matter!

So now Scott Drury is running for attorney general instead of governor? I suppose that would be a little bit less of a loss.

BTW, who the hell is Scott Drury?


Don’t fucking serve booze on planes!

A Chicago Tribune reporter crowed about a Hawaiian Airlines passenger being fined 100 grand for the kind of unruly in-flight behavior that made the pilot turn the plane around. Our writer theorized that this kind of fine would cause other airborne ne’er-do-wells to think twice about engaging in the same silliness.


The defendant admitted, in court, that he was so toasted that he had no recollection of the series of events, including the part where the other passengers had to restrain him. In the semi-paraphrased words of The Bard, “Ain’t that the rub?”

Drunk Passenger

While airlines consistently bitch about rogue passengers, the truth is, they have no compunction about overserving nervous folks while hurtling through the upper atmosphere at 600 mph in a small pressurized steel tube for long stretches at a time. What could possibly go wrong with that?

As irregularly as I fly, and considering the cost of in-flight alcohol, I’m always amazed at what some passengers manage to put down. And I’m even more amazed the flight attendants keep bringing ‘em another mini-bottle.

And if it ain’t the flight crew, it’s the airport bars who overserve those pre-boarders. What do they care? They don’t have to deal with them once they’re in the air.

If the airlines and the FAA were truly serious about this situation, they’d ban alcohol from all flights and hold those airport bars accountable every time a clearly inebriated passenger tries to get on a plane.

C’mon! We all know a $1 billion fine won’t deter a bleepin’ drunk from doing a goddam thing.


Have I said…

Ben Kanute is going to start winning major Ironman events? Just checking!

Quick Hits – September 20, 2017

A Christian School by any other name…

Is not a Christian school.

Though I haven’t made much headway, I’ve been doing my damndest to persuade those fine Wheaton College folks of this possibility for 11 long years. Don’t get me wrong – because I know y’all like to – I have no expectation of earthly religious perfection. I’m simply asking Christians to make a reasonable effort to live up to the ideal.

So, the problem isn’t the five Wheaton College football players who were just hit with a series of felony charges for their role in a hazing incident gone wrong, the problem is the college’s abject failure to deal with it until they had no choice but to deal with it.

Wheaton College

Briefly (the story is all over the Web), five football players “burst” into the freshman victim’s dorm room, “violently” pulled his arms behind him, duct taped his ankles and wrists and covered his head with a pillowcase. Then they attempted to sexually assault him with an object and left him partially clothed on a baseball field.

Before any of y’all start with the whole “Poor thing couldn’t handle a little hazing” shit, the victim suffered the kind of muscle tears that actually required shoulder surgery. I was a semi-pro pitcher and let me tell you, there is nothing worse than upper arm injuries. I’ve never recovered from all of them.

Again, the fact the hazing occurred doesn’t necessarily reflect poorly on Wheaton College. College students do have a propensity to make some fascinating mistakes. What casts a pall on that school is, despite a very specific anti-hazing policy and administrators’ clear knowledge of the event, these five players were on the field right up until they were charged.

To wit, the incident occurred in March of 2016 and the college did nothing about it until this week. What could’ve possibly taken a full year-and-a-half to make the right decision? Could it be that the Division III Wheaton College football team is ranked fourth in the nation and those five players were critical to that success?

I’m not saying Wheaton College is a bad school – it’s not. But I am saying it isn’t a Christian school – because it’s not.


Judge Dalton improves?

Though I’m skeptical to say the least, that’s what I’m hearing – from two attorneys and one litigant.

They said Dalton has “revamped” his seemingly random courtroom procedures, his infamous theatrics have somewhat subsided, he’s no long berating women at the same rate and he’s generally comporting himself in a more judicial manner.


If this is true, and it’s not just a temporary thing, this is what can happen when people have the courage to speak up. I simply put it out there. I simply reminded the Chief Judge that she had the power to put Dalton on an administrative assignment where he’d never hear another case.

It was the folks who sent the suggested emails detailing their horrific Dalton experiences to the Chief Judge that that made the difference. Perhaps some of you filed those recommended Judicial Inquiry Board complaints, too. But the bottom line is, you spoke up, and I’m sure the Chief Judge spoke to John Dalton.

I’m not saying I’m going to relent on my anti-retention campaign promise – the committee has been formed and attorneys are lining up to contribute. But if our errant judge is truly willing to reform, perhaps we can meet in the middle.

Meanwhile, despite explicit attorney advice against it, I will be paying a visit to Courtroom 101 to see for myself if the “rumors” are true. What’s the worst the Judge can do to me, right?


Fast Eddie hasn’t slowed down a bit

I know this one’s a bit out of our purview, but for all the folks who cut their teeth on Cook County politics, the name Ed Vrdolyak is legendary.

“Fast Eddie,” as he’s called, is the legendary former Chicago Alderman whom Mayor Jane Byrne tried to destroy before he became one of her closest political allies. Vrdolyak was also the architect of the mid ‘80s’ “Council Wars,” in which he and Ed Burke tried to stymie Mayor Harold Washington’s agenda at every turn.

Vrdolyak eventually ran for mayor and circuit clerk – gasp! – as a Republican, before he gave up the game and returned to private legal practice.

He earned the “Fast Eddie” sobriquet for his capacity to engineer backroom deals and charm the pants right off you. I met the man once, and I made sure I  had five fingers left after shaking hands with him.


Never one to sit on his Laurels, and addicted to the art of the deal, in 2009, in one of the most convoluted judicial proceedings in Illinois history, instead of the recommended 41 months, Fast Eddie got 5 years of probation for a bribery scheme that netted him a lucrative real estate deal.

Those prosecutors never knew what hit ‘em. They did appeal the sentence, and Vrdolyak eventually served ten months in prison.

So I suppose it should come as no surprise that, on Monday, federal prosecutors charged the 79 year-old former alderman with collecting $10 million in unauthorized fees from the state’s massive 90s tobacco lawsuit settlement.

Of course, in true Chicagah fashion, Vrdolyak’s attorney responded

“Because the defendant is Edward Vrdolyak, the government has infused the superseding indictment with irrelevant, unnecessary, inflammatory and prejudicial surplusage, included for no purpose other than to suggest all manner of alleged subterfuge and secrecy that besides being irrelevant is also downright false.”

“Surplusage?” What the fuck is “surplusage?” But that’s how you do it folks! I’ll bet he doesn’t serve a day. None of you “nefarious” Kane County politicians could carry Ed Vrdolyak’s jockstrap on your best day. Compared to him, State Senator Karen McConnaughay, with her pay-to-play proclivities, is a mere piker.

Somewhere, in that great newsroom in the sky, Mike Royko put the cigarette and scotch down long enough to shake his head, smirk and laugh his ass off. Ubi est Mea, right Mike! He’s gonna be Fast Eddie till the end!

Quick Hits – September 18, 2017

Really Republicans?

Though “tact” and “diplomacy” aren’t words typically associated with me, even I understand the need for certain cultural conventions. They do make this often difficult life a bit more bearable.

So, when that difficult-to-deal-with co-worker retires or finds a new job, you give him a going away party, a small gift and you muster up a few nice things to say about him, even if it’s something like, “At least you showered every day!”

Lisa Madigan

When someone dies, even if the term “son-of-a-bitch” doesn’t begin to do them justice and you’re doing cartwheels in your head, most of us can muster a sad look and say something nice about the decedent, even if it’s a tepid, “I always liked the way he breathed.”

But apparently that’s too much for the Illinois Republican Party, because when Attorney General Lisa Madigan just announced her retirement, this was the extent of their official statement:

“Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s decision to not seek re-election is a sign the Madigan family brand is toxic.”

When did every political development become an opportunity to stab the other side in their left kidney?

Meanwhile, if anyone thought Erika Harold was gonna beat Lisa Madigan, in the words of that great philosopher Steven Tyler, “Dream on.” Harold won’t even come within 10 points of any of the possible Democratic nominees, either.

And since when do the sins of the father ever fall upon the shoulders of the daughter? Despite her surname, Lisa Madigan has always enjoyed broad-based bi-partisan support and she’s served the public with honor and distinction for almost 16 years.

My mother, who defined the word “Republican,” loved Lisa Madigan.

So, what Republicans really oughtta be worried about is whatever office she might target next, because she’ll clearly clean their candidate’s clock.

How difficult would it have been to offer a short perfunctory statement simply citing her 16 years of public service? Even without her father’s clout, this smart and savvy woman could’ve made three times that AG salary in the private sector.

But no! The Illinois GOP – who can’t seem to get anyone elected – had to take a swipe at her on the way out because that’s exactly who today’s conservatives are. They’re mean, petty, and cowering behind a convoluted Christianity.

Put more simply, Republicans suck!


Genevans made me proud?

Along with “Illinois Republicans finally made a politically expedient move,” one of the last things I ever thought I’d say is, “My fellow Genevans did the right thing.” And it was the Christian thing to do, too!

Though that may have merely been a happy accident.

In response to all the basic Geneva bigotry in response to the impending low-income folks moving into the soon-to-be renovated Campana Building, a fair number of rainbow “GOT LOVE” signs are popping up throughout the city.

Got Love

Much to my surprise, I’ve even seen two in my generally insane and not terribly tolerant south Fisher Farms neighborhood.

Better yet, though it certainly was a minority, some Genevans told the Batavia Planning Commission they were in favor of the project, citing a desperate need for Tri-Cities housing that senior citizens and low-wage workers can actually afford.

I happen to agree with that sentiment.

So while it’s discouraging to hear all those “good” Geneva Christians refer to apartment dwellers as “those people,” “that element” and “trash,” the fact that some of my municipal compatriots understand and actually abide by that lofty Christian standard has gone a long way towards renewing my faith in humanity.

I’m sure they’ll do something to destroy it by next week, but for now, as my favorite TV judge likes to say, I’m simply going to bask in the glow!


Sometimes backyard bees choose you!

Considering their rarity, my family has been privileged to play host to a bumblebee hive this summer season. Since those theoretically unable to fly insects tend to seek out homes in the ground, this group has taken up residence under our concrete back stoop.

And the benefits have been amazing!

·         A bumper tomato crop

·         We haven’t seen a single wasp or yellow jacket all season – even by the pool

·         They’re eminently curious creatures who like to check you out

·         They’re a pleasant diversion while you’re grilling chicken

The disadvantages? I can’t think of a single one.


Sure! I’ve had three or four of ‘em inspect me at the same time, but they quickly determine I’m not a predator and simply go about their pollination business. Despite regularly standing on the stoop directly above them, I’ve never come close to being stung. They’ll buzz the dogs on occasion, but they generally leave them alone, too.

So, to all you Elgin nervous nellies who are unduly terrified at the prospect of residential beekeeping, I say you don’t know what you’re missing. No wasps or yellow jackets! The only bad thing about our backyard tenants is their hives last only two or three months.

They’re certainly a vast improvement over the majority of my human neighbors.


It’s time to change our attitude on mental health care

It’s something Larry Jones and I said for years on the radio show.

This morning, at around 7:30, a Geneva High School student climbed onto a cafeteria table, doused himself with gasoline from a water bottle and threatened to set himself on fire.

There are two versions of this story. Thanks to some quick thinking by nearby staff and students, the student was either subdued before he could immolate himself, or he was talked out of going through with it. He’s currently being cared for at Del Nor Hospital, the Geneva Fire Department hazmat team took care of the gasoline and, per the current policy, the school went on a soft lockdown until everything was well in hand.


I cannot confirm this, but a source told me this student may have become despondent over the death of his friend, a 2017 GHS graduate who perished in an automobile accident at 4 a.m., the morning after Friday’s homecoming game.

But here’s the thing. While Geneva High School is home to some of the best counselors I’ve ever encountered anywhere, there is a massive stigma attached to any male student who seeks out their services.

That has got to change and it starts with our attitude as parents. Please encourage your children to talk to you on a regular basis and let them know they can talk about anything without fear of ridicule or unduly harsh consequences.

No one should ever have get to this emotional point before they get help.

Meanwhile, let’s applaud all those alert GHS folks who prevented a real tragedy.


Quick Hits: Sunday 9-17-17 Supplemental

Since, I need a break from those LSAT prep questions, the Cubs seem to have things well in hand and the book is done, I thought I’d put a few things up here that generally wouldn’t make it into Quick Hits. I know what you’re thinkin’! “How could this Sunday possibly get any better? Just remember that Jeff Ward always makes your life better!


Another Dalton irony

Let me be perfectly clear that I love Elgin’s First Congregational Church’s effort to, in the face of the general American regression to being mean, distribute yard signs that extol the virtue of love over hate.

It almost makes me want to believe in a Christian God again!

FCC Sign

Were my residence anywhere near The City in The Suburbs, I would proudly display one of those placards. But the irony of Judge John Dalton leading the effort to distribute them is  so far beyond the pale that I’m starting to think about other quantum realities.

When I first saw him displaying that sign on Facebook, my first thought was, call me crazy, but perhaps Dalton could follow his own advice by applying that very same sentiment to the women he relentlessly and mercilessly bullies and berates in his courtroom.

Just a thought!


I’m on the highway to hell

Since, in the words of that great philosopher Bon Scott, “I’m (already) on the highway to hell,” I thought this meme was bleepin’ hilarious!


C’mon! God has got to have a sense of humor or we wouldn’t have the Bears, Donald Trump, the Kane County Board, pumpkin spice everything, and Caitlyn Jenner.


Motorcycles suck!

Nobody understands the plight of motorcyclists more than road bikers – especially when you consider the fact that motorcyclists also treat us like shit. So, I get all this “see motorcycles” stuff, but today was another prime example of how arrogant and insane bikers really are.

Motorcycles Suck

A female biker cut me off twice in the span of 15 seconds without signaling either time. It’s all on dashcam video, too! And then, just to fuck with me, she slowed down to 20 mph begging for a fight, which I would not provide.

Apparently, she thought she could somehow come out ahead in a confrontation with 3,600 pounds of rolling Ford Ranger steel. You want to be respected motorcyclists? A good first step would be to stop acting like such abject assholes.



Blog comments must be approved

In yet another case of the least common denominator bringing all of us down, going forward, your First Ward comments will require moderator approval before they’re posted. And if I don’t know who you are, they WILL NOT be posted.


The good news is, once one of your comments is approved, your subsequent thoughts will not require moderation.

Say what you will about me, and most of you do, I put my name on absolutely everything I say, regardless of any potential consequences. Meanwhile Harry Hitzeman, some  chickenshit folks at the KCSAO and the rest of you fragile snowflakes who feel the need to cower behind a veil of anonymity, will have to find another venue to spew your anonymous BS.

I’m sure that won’t be a problem.

Quick Hits – You can’t fix stupid!

As they rounded that last curve in the northern Illinois race to the bottom, I was having a hard time predicting if the Daily Herald or Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office would cross the finish line first.

It certainly has been neck-and-neck.

But just as I was getting ready to place a bet on the DH, with a burst of abject stupidity, obliviousness, or downright corruption – I’m not sure which, the KCSAO surged to a five length lead. And that ain’t an easy thing to do in the final stretch.

Please allow me to explain!

Despite consistent complaints of residents paying former Dundee Township Highway Commissioner Larry Braasch for driveway culvert repairs, with checks made out to him – not the township – and no one knows where the money went, the KCSAO announced they wouldn’t pursue charges against him.


Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon

I’d repeat that paragraph, but I’ll simply encourage you to read it again, instead.

When I relayed this story to a local attorney, he was so flabbergasted I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. Me! Jeff Ward! That conversation went something like this:

Attorney:   “But Braasch essentially confessed to taking personal checks!”

JW:            “I know.”

Attorney:  “There’s no record of the Township receiving any money for that work!”

JW:             “I know.”

Attorney:   “And the KCSAO didn’t even take it to the grand jury?”

JW:             “Nope!”

Attorney:  “And the McMahon and Braasch families go way back, right?”

JW:             “Yes, they do.”

Attorney:  “This is ridiculous. This is wrong. What the hell are they doing?”

JW:             “I’ve been asking that question for the better part of a year, sir!”

Attorney:  “Joe McMahon has got to go!

JW:             “Yes he does!”

And when I’m the calm one in that kind of conversation, it really says something.

There are three possible explanations for this utter abrogation of justice, and none of them are good:

1. McMahon continues to take his daily dose of Fukitol

That’s been my contention for the last eight months and it may well explain how this thing completely blew up in his face. County Board members are furious, Dundee Township officials are beside themselves and all the local lawyers are pissed.

We’ve already established that the absentee McMahon has let the inmates run the asylum for years, and he’s using his job – one to which he was appointed and not elected – to land a better gig.

Since he certainly hasn’t left his heart in Kane County, perhaps McMahon doesn’t give a bleep about any fallout from anything.

2. It’s corruption bordering on official misconduct

To understand this possibility, you have to understand that the McMahon and Braasch families go way back in the Dundee political hierarchy. Without going into all the gory details, Dan McMahon, Joe’s father, was Dundee Township Assessor while Larry was the Highway Commissioner.

They were both hotheads, they were both complete fuckups and they both shared a massive disdain for then Township Supervisor Sue Harney. Don’t get me wrong, I love Sue, but she does share my capacity to rub people the wrong way.

So, my first thought was, and I’m not sure it’s wrong, this blatant prosecutorial lapse was a way of paying off a family debt or helping out an old family friend. Because the failure to know a case fraught with this kind of political peril was sitting on a prosecutor’s desk would be the height of political naïveté, or the kind of arrogance described in point 1.

Perhaps McMahon correctly estimated the local newspapers would give him a pass. The DH’s Harry Hitzeman stops by his house every morning to kiss his ass before work. But what he didn’t consider is the vast number of Braasch detractors who would rain down on him like the wrath of God for failing to do the right thing.

C’mon! This is the case the generally chickenshit McMahon doesn’t let the judge sort out? Right!

3.  It’s rank obliviousness

And this is exactly what McMahon is saying.

A number of insiders told me the State’s Attorney is claiming he had no idea this was on the assistant prosecutor’s desk; he had no idea who that prosecutor was; and he had no idea she had dismissed the charges until he read it in the paper.

What???? Apparently, the buck doesn’t stop there. It would seem our comatose State’s Attorney doesn’t understand this scenario is so much worse than anything described in points one and two.

If Braasch’s charge skating could be attributed to arrogance or McMahon checking out, that can be fixed. All we have to do is put the heat on the State’s Attorney to do the right thing, and that’s happening as we speak.

Corruption can be corrected, too. All that typically takes is exposing it to the light of day. But rank incompetence? That’s something completely different. I’ve said it many times before, you can fix nefariousness, but you can’t fix stupid.

I realize no State’s Attorney can possibly be aware of every case that comes through their office, but to blissfully ignore those that can bite you in the butt like this one did? That belies the special kind of arrogance and entitlement mentality of someone who’s never had to win an election.


Meanwhile, the fact that I’m not (yet) an attorney doesn’t mean I couldn’t convince a jury – or a judge – of Braasch’s guilt beyond the slightest reasonable doubt. All I’d have to do is put those Dundee residents on the stand to testify they wrote personal checks to Braasch for work performed by the Township. That’s it!

It doesn’t matter if no one knows where the money went. Even the average not-smart-enough-to-get-out-of-jury-duty juror couldn’t possibly miss the obvious inference. It would be a slam dunk!

So, if I were the Chairman or any County Board member, I’d want the State’s Attorney to offer some sort of official explanation for this abject BS, and I’d want that explanation to be made publicly. Then I’d insist those charges be re-reviewed posthaste.

My attorney friend was right. Whether it’s point 1, 2, or 3, Joe McMahon has got to go!

Quick Hits – September 13, 2017

Another story about nothing

And this one surprises me because I worked with Dan Campana during my tenure at the Beacon-News and he’s one of the last truly talented reporters still in the suburban field. Dan currently freelances for the Beacon- and Courier-News.

So, when he wrote a piece about a recent motion for a new trial in the Daniel Rak case, I was more than confused. Every defense attorney on the planet automatically files that kind of motion in response to a client conviction of any kind. The failure to do so would amount to legal misrepresentation.


With as many trials as Dan’s covered, he’s got to know this.

Since Rak was acquitted of the murder charges, but convicted of the lesser aggravated domestic abuse charge, all Kane County Public Defender Kelli Childress did when filing that motion was to preserve any perceived pre-trial and trial error for a potential appeal. The failure to file it within 30 days after the verdict would automatically waive Rak’s right to any appeal.

What makes this story even worse is, Campana made it sound like Childress is hell bent on a new trial and determined to go after everyone involved for the slightest malfeasance, which clearly isn’t the case. Campana also failed to mention that, while Rak could be sentenced to the two to seven years he cited, he could also get probation.

And that’s what I’ve been saying all along. Given the amount of time he spent in jail and the egregious KCSAO first degree murder charge, Rak will get probation.

Since every defense attorney files these kinds of motions, it’s not news. When you consider how little news the Courier currently carries, I’m surprised it made it into the paper.

But I gotta tell ya, when someone of Campana’s caliber either means to do this or starts blowing it, the end of local journalism truly is at hand.


But we still have a post-Rak trial problem.

And this one is particularly perplexing because I consider Childress to be a very capable and astute attorney.

So, it surprised me when a number of local lawyers informed me that Daniel Rak is living on Childress’ boyfriend’s estate in Wayne. It’s in the court paperwork so she’s not trying to hide anything, but I thought she was smart enough to understand and avoid this kind of semi-serious ethical quandary.

Childress 3

Think about it! Will Childress and the Kane County PD’s office provide room and board for all indigent Kane County murder defendants going forward? It also calls into question whether Childress’ capacity to get this close to a client means losing sight of his best interest, something that’s already occurred on more than one occasion.

Hopefully, in the best interest of all parties involved, this problem will be corrected ASAP.


You mean Scott Drury is running for governor?

Who knew? And he just picked a running mate, too, whom I won’t bother to mention because it really doesn’t matter.

Oh! And by the way, who the hell is Scott Drury?


You mean Suzyn Price isn’t running for Roskam’s seat?

I didn’t even know she was running. Actually, with the number of Democratic candidates involved in that race, it might be easier to list the folks who aren’t running.

Oh! And by the way, who the hell is Suzyn Price? Though I’m guessing her parents were drunk when they spelled her first name.


If you insist on insulting me, please make an effort to be original!

I’m still getting negative comments on the Daily Herald’s Harry Hitzeman being a complete and unprofessional dick column, but what our epithet hurler doesn’t seem to understand is, as blog moderator, I get to see the IP address of any commenter.

So, even though our unhappy reader rotates through a series of email addresses, all the insults are coming from the same computer. Another dead giveaway is these love notes essentially say the same thing, “You suck. You can’t write. You started it.”


Given the quality of the writing and the lack of brain power involved in this sixth-grade effort, my best guess is our commenter is none other than Mr. Hitzeman himself. I suppose I could track the IP address down to a general location, but I have much better things to do, like floss.

The other possibility is the crackpot former columnist who single-handedly sent the Chronicle into the abyss, but I care even less about him – if that’s possible. Again, the sixth-grade writing style fits his profile, too.

The only reason I’m deleting those comments is they’re so bleepin’ boring. So, if you want me to keep an insult up, let’s go over what it’s going to take:

1. “You suck!” ain’t gonna cut it. I hear that one on a daily basis and it’s sorely lacking in style and substance

2. Unless you can come up with an interesting combination of cussing, that’s gotten kind of old, too. “Fuck you” or the mildly better “Fuck you asshole?” It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that zing.

3. Telling me I’m a terrible writer won’t do the trick. I may not be the bearer of many skills or talents, but writing and aggravating the shit out of people happen to be two of them. And no one can convince me otherwise.

4.  Cursing my lineage? I’ll probably join you, especially if I’ve had a couple shots of tequila first, so that’s not going to do it, either.

5. Longwinded treatises that go into great detail about what a scurrilous cad I am? Unless the first paragraph is really funny, I don’t bother reading them.

Even if you manage to fire off a good one, doing it the chickenshit anonymous way kind takes the wind out of the insult’s sails – especially if you’re the one calling me a coward. If you don’t use your real name the insult gets deleted.

When State Rep Anna Moeller recently referred to me as “rude and obnoxious,” I was impressed. Both are, indeed, part of my vast charm, the sentiment was short and sweet and I don’t hear that combination very often. Had it been in the form of a blog comment, it would’ve stayed up.

To be fair, I may have prefaced my attempt to collect on a dinner bet Ms. Moeller has owed me for the better part of a year by inquiring as to whether she’d finally grown up. Who could possibly take offense at that? I admit to a middle school mentality all the time, so it was clearly meant as a compliment.

What I’m saying is, if you’re going to insist on insulting me, and I do understand, make it something pithy. Give it some flair. Let me know you put some real thought and effort into it. Have the cohones to use your real name.

Who knows? If you make me laugh, the comment might stay up.


On Friday…

  • Joe McMahon’s letting former Dundee Township Highway Commissioner Larry Braasch off the hook may well be official misconduct.
  • Judge John Dalton suddenly starts being judicial?
  • What makes a good candidate?

Quick Hits – September 11, 2017

Alas poor Daniel, we hardly knew ye! Part one.

Just when our lackluster Illinois Democratic governor-lite candidate, Daniel Biss, was finally starting to gain traction with his “Take Illinois back from billionaires” message, he pulls the kind of abjectly stupid political bullshit that ended his campaign in a scant 24 hours.

And when you consider that Donald Trump didn’t go down for the whole “pussy grabbing” thing, what the Biss team did takes real talent!

Just one short week after bringing him on board, in the words of that great philosopher Snoop Doggy Dog, Biss dropped running mate Chicago Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa like it’s hot.


Somehow, that crack campaign team completely missed the fact that Ramirez-Rosa had previously been critical of Israel. And when I say “critical” I mean the Alderman simply said the U.S. should use its vast influence to force them to negotiate with the Palestinians in good faith – something I completely agree with.

Because when it comes to picking batshit crazy leaders, Israel is only second to the great U.S. of A.

Of course, those crazy-assed liberals, who like free speech until they don’t, had a hissy fit. So, when “I’ll do anything to win an election” Democratic Deerfield U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider pulled his endorsement, Biss immediately melted down into a pile of microwaved Jello, cutting Ramirez-Rosa loose.

That shows real commitment.

The irony is, a Schneider endorsement and three bucks couldn’t get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. But I’m sure the Schneider team reminded Biss that both my Evanston hometown and neighboring Skokie harbor the kind of large Jewish population that would not be amused by any anti-Israel sentiment on any level.

And if you can’t get something as simple as the Lieutenant Governor vetting process right, then why should anyone trust your capacity to govern?

Furthermore, why would anyone who, under the auspices of running as the “noble outsider” pick a Chicago Alderman as their Lieutenant Governor? As the great Mike Royko said to Lucile Orr, mother of then Alderman David Orr, when she criticized his assertion that all Chicago Aldermen were dishonest:

As much as I respect your maternal protectiveness, I have to raise this question: If you were a good mother, why did you permit your little boy to grow up to be a Chicago alderman?

Though it’s much easier to end a campaign than it is to win one, this is a textbook example of how to end your political career in the shortest amount of time and with the least amount of effort.

You’re done Dan! Stop taking peoples’ money.


Alas poor Daniel, we hardly knew ye! Part two.

When a friend’s son told me about this one, my immediate reaction was, “No way! No one could be this blitheringly oblivious. But once again, to quote the great P.T. Barnum or the slightly below average Jeff Ward (I’m not sure which), “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the average Illinois politician.”

To wit, if you go to the Biss for Governor Website, it has a “store.” And in that store, we mere mortals can enjoy the rare privilege of purchasing a yard sign for twenty-five bucks. Nowhere on the site can you simply ask for a yard sign.

Biss Sign

Personally, I think you’d be better off with the Biss sweatshirt for just a sawbuck, or perhaps a lapel pin for $15.

What our soon-to-be-retired State Senator doesn’t seem to understand is, while you can offer a premium for a certain sized donation, if someone simply asks for a yard sign, you really oughtta send your team out to put it up stat.

Call me crazy, but you’re not supposed to extort money from folks for doing you a favor. Please forgive my foul mouth but, who the fuck is advising this guy?

What do I tell my candidates? Do you want me to tell you what you want to hear, or do you want me to tell you the truth?

And the truth is, Dan, to quote that great philosopher Hawk Harrelson, “You gone!”


The real court officers of Kane County – addendum

I was going to include this point of reference in Friday’s column on Kane County Judicial Center affairs and how they warp the justice system, but a source asked me not to, so I didn’t. Ah! But then, as a result of that piece, a number of other folks came forward with the same scenario, freeing me from my obligation to the original source.

So, in an effort to prove I ain’t makin’ any of this shit up, in regards to a retired 16th Circuit judge, it would be easier to list the prosecutors and defense attorneys he didn’t sleep with, than to list the ones he did. And he was married most of the time.

Oh! And to all the girls he boinked before? These new sources noted that this judge regularly bragged about his conquests, by name, to any male who would listen. Perhaps there is some justice at Route 38 and Peck Road after all!

Y’all have 27 days to clean up your act!


A keen perception of the obvious

In her new tell-all book, not only does Hillary Clinton blame Bernie Sanders for her stunning presidential loss, but she says she’s “done with being a candidate.”


Really? I thought getting beaten by the Orangeman Group pretty much put any future possibility to bed? Talk about how to tarnish a once-decent legacy.

God! Liberals suck. But thankfully, conservatives still suck more!