Today is one of those mornings that seems all messed up temporally, i.e., we all know that it's Wednesday, but whether you had to work Monday or not, it seems like someone pushed the "restart" button on the week, and it's a Monday today whether we like it or not.
In any event, TA is working on a few things that are percolating, but not quite ready for dissemination. The 800 pound gorilla this week is, of course, the Iowa caucuses, which will likely overwhelm most of the other political news. Since this is a local blog, we're not going to try to cover that here, although we've already had some discussions about how the top of the ticket on both sides will affect local races, especially the 10th District.
Also, the General Assembly will reportedly be called back into session this week to deal with the mass transit debacle, but it appears that there will be yet another doomsday scenario, and the press will be all over it, and the Democratic-controlled state legislature (who can now move bills with only a simple majority) will cast blame on the poor minority Republicans, while the governor continues to govern by press release and go jogging. Rich Miller at Capitol Fax Blog already is poised to cover this story, and the Herald also has something on the outlook for the new year from the perspective of House minority leader Tom Cross.
Three more items of note. First, one of our readers asked me to post on the unbelievable story of a local Deerfield attorney, Jay Grodner, who was accused of keying the car of an Illinois marine, Sgt. Mike McNulty, who was headed back to Iraq the next day. Grodner's motivation was unclear, except that the vanity plates that were on McNulty's car that identified him as a marine, may have set him off. This story has gone mini-viral, and others are covering this more than adequately, but I wanted to note that our buddy El Rider over at Flying Debris has made a connection between Grodner and some current goings-on in Lake County, in that Grodner was apparently censured by the Illinois Supreme Court (which disciplines lawyers) of "roundtabling" some petitions that were intended to get a question on the ballot in 1984. You all know who is currently accused by some of pulling the same "roundtabling" stunt here in Lake County. Head over to Flying Debris for the whole story. See also the Illinois Review conservative blog for even more info.
Second, the intrepid researcher and activist who is primarily responsible for discovering many of the connections and inconsistencies in State Senator Terry Link's nominating petitions has outed herself and written in to the Waukegan News-Sun. Her name is Peggy Shorts, and she is well-known in Waukegan as an activist of unimpeachable character and reputation. Others, including this space, have picked up on her lead and continue to uncover more and more issues as Link's petitions are further examined (which appears to be leading to other Democratic candidates as well) and, of course, State's Attorney Michael Waller's investigation is probably the most important result of this story coming to light. Peggy's efforts in uncovering this fraud have been tireless and impressive, and our collective hats are off to her! The link to Peggy's letter is here, but you have to scroll down a page to the second letter (it's a bit confusing). If you missed the News-Sun's scathing editorial against Link, it's a must-read, see it here. Also, the above-mentioned Illinois Review blog has also picked up the Link story, thanks mainly to the efforts of Team America contributor (and Lake County Republican Vice-chairman) Lou Atsaves. Way to go Lou!
Finally, I spoke to Lake County Clerk Willard Helander late on Monday about the effect on the balloting in the 30th District if Terry Link is kicked off the ballot by the Cook County Circuit Court as a result of opponent Jerry Johnson's appeal. Willard said that her office would most likely reprint the ballots, despite the expense, as having Link appear on the ballot as the Democratic candidate, but having Link have to win the write-in vote against Johnson (if Link's votes would not be counted as a result of the court's decision) would be too confusing. Of course, the later the court's ruling comes (if it goes against Link), the more problems she will have with the balloting, including potentially trying to contact absentee and early voters (who voted for Link before the decision) to tell them their vote for Link won't count, and they would have to re-vote Link as a write-in. Ugh. Stay tuned for more...
UPDATED 01/03/08 7:00 a.m.: I told you all the McNulty thing has gone mini-viral. Even John Kass of the Chicago Tribune has taken notice.