Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Local Blogger Paul Mitchell Blows Whistle On Dem School Board Campaign Shenanigans in Grayslake D46 (UPDATED x2)

My pal and local blogger Paul Mitchell has done a yeoman's job of blowing the whistle on some very serious issues of apparent improper use of government resources for a local school board campaign, as well as outing what looks like at least discussions of the ramifications of skirting campaign finance laws. The Daily Herald has taken notice, and McHenry County's Cal Skinner has a great easy-to-digest overview of the incriminating e-mails.

Hats off to Paul for some great investigative work!!!!

Let's see what action the authorities take on all of this.

UPDATED 10:00 pm: Here's more e-mail analysis from Cal Skinner.

UPDATED x2 5/6/11 3:30 pm: The Lake County State's Attorney's Office is looking into the issue of the e-mails.

24 comments:

Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

Thanks for your kind words, TA, but it was a team effort; I'm just the guy doing the write-ups.

Anonymous said...

I thought these were non partisan races?

Anonymous said...

Somebody cheated! Great job Paul and Lenny!

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

It seems oddly inconsistent that Louis applauds Paul and Lenny for the use of an email account, claiming "Somebody cheated!", and yet decries anyone who complains that Randy Whitmore illegally entered upon and damaged Forest Preserve District property as "tinfoil hat conspiracy" theorists. Weird.

But I like that the Lake County GOP is all-in with the Tea Party now. It's good to see Louis and TA supporting secular, religious-based education proposals for our public schools. That will go over so well in the 10th. Keep it coming guys!

Anonymous said...

Anon, I'm sure you meant oddly consistent.

One involved litigation and settlement and financial and physical rectification which was fully disclosed at a County Board meeting in public.

The other involved campaign tactics using public computers, funds and facilities, and attempting to getting around reporting requirements for donations and expenses. Maybe they will come clean some day.

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Reminds me. Grayslake is in Lake County Eye's back yard. You know, the "non-partisan" blog that ignores Democrat misdeeds and only Democrat misdeeds? :-)

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Litigation? Really? Got a case number on that, Louis?

I guess you don't understand why Suzi and Bonnie insisted that all discussion as to the Whitmore land deal take place in executive session.

And, let's see some evidence that D46 school facilities were improperly used. It may be news, but you can program a phone to an email address. But, it's okay. Your myopic zealotry truly is consistent.

Anonymous said...

Anon, it was discussed in executive session because there was litigation. Need a case number? Go to the courthouse and look it up.

Funny. Governmental units go into executive session on a regular session to discuss pending litigation. Why are you singling out one unit and excluding all the others? And by the way, going into executive session to discuss pending litigation is LEGAL.

Nice try though. Sorry to ruin your logic with facts.

Louis G. Atsave

Anonymous said...

Is it just my browser or did the daily herald pull the article from their website?
As expected, this is completely ignored by the news sun.

Anonymous said...

Note that you'd have to go to the court house to look it up. In Richland County, that poor southeastern Illinois county, you could look it up online. This is what GOP control of our county gives us. The highest taxes and the most archaic court system. Thank you, Louis, for pointing that out. And no, it was not in litigation, by the way. Bonnie never filed a complaint with the States' Attorney until after it became an executive session item, which then held the members to confidentiality. And she did so only because someone finally told her that it looked bad that she hadn't zealously pursued the Forest Preserve District's interests. Are we forgetting that Whitmore was a GOP member of the county board during the time he was illegally on Forest Preserve District land. Carter covered herself with a complaint that, because the board was already in negotiations with Whitmore, needed to go no further. Feel free to white-wash it, Louis, but the fact remains that for a decade, a GOP county board member illegally took and abused county land, and walks away with a mere thousand dollars-a-year fine, which, based on 2010 billing, is only a small percentage of what Whitmore Towing makes from the county. Sweet deal!

Louis, you are a partisan rug-sweeper. Admit it. Embrace it.

Anonymous said...

Anon, you crack me up.

Bonnie filed a complaint to cover for herself or because she did the right thing? Whitmore paid to restore the land and paid an additional amount on top of that which was negotiated between the attorneys. Whitmore claimed he had permission from the Forest Preserve, something no one could really deny. Long time Democrat county board members fall silent when this subject comes up about permission to use the land.

All out there in the open for you to see, even if you can't comprehend it.

In the meantime, I recall Harry S. Truman's famous quotation: "The Buck Stops Here." Once upon a time Democrats took responsibility for their actions. The modern Democrat now always blames the Republicans, even when the Democrats control things and screw things up.

Federal budget under Pelosi? Oh yeah, the then democratic legislature and white house couldn't put one together, and our free spending federal government has gone over a year without one. Now Republicans are putting together budget proposals and the gang that couldn't organize a one car funeral is crying up a storm. Same deal in Springfield.

And who do the Democrats blame for their own shortcomings? The powerless Republicans! "Don't blame me officer for driving this car into a ditch. Blame the Republican sitting in the back seat!" Harry S. Truman would be ashamed. Karen May always "forgets" which voting button to push during every pay raise vote. She gets so easily confused! :-)

Remember my motto: Democrats cannot govern. Republicans can.

Remember that!

Now to your specific baseless allegations. I practice law in Cook, Lake, McHenry, Kane, Will and DuPage Counties. Of all the court clerk systems I deal with, Lake County is the most user friendly and is getting even more user friendlier. That's a fact!

Highest property taxes? Check out your school boards on your assessment. (No wonder some campaign using their own resources!) Highland Park High School District wanted $133 million in part to put artificial turf on their football field. The voters turned them down by a huge margin. Now their board just voted to install the $4.3 million artificial turf anyway! Tone deaf? Or were they dishonest when they claimed they were broke and unable to remodel and repair? I don't recall learning math and science while sitting on astro turf!

Then check out the state property tax multiplier which comes out of SPRINGFIELD which all taxing bodies are forced to use to raise our property taxes in spite of falling property values. Then check the property tax the Lake County Board assesses as against Cook County, Will, DuPage and others. Lake County government is lower than the surrounding counties.

Want to lower your property taxes? Eliminate townships and other needless government units and start consolidating services to save money.

Then go eat more crow. And in the future, vote Republican!

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Oh Boy, someone got under Louis' skin!

Lots of rhetoric, few hard facts.

Whitmore's $18000 fine, to be paid over 18 years! Fair to the Forest District? Think, Louis, you hack. What would you be saying if it were Terry Link's business? You actually believe your bloviating!

As a lawyer, you actually believe that Whitmore had 'verbal' authority? Isn't there such a thing as the statute of frauds? And when did the subject of permission come up in public debate? The whole purpose of keeping it within executive session was, according to Suzi Schmidt, "... to not embarrass current and former members." Whitmore's excuse was flimsy and you know it.

Blaming a republican for something caused by a Democrat? What planet are you referring to? Or are these just nice sounding phrases you like to kick out? Former School Board member Garcia is a Republican. And she was not given access to Votebuilder. Her campaign advisor has worked for Democrats. Bond's campaign advisor worked for Dan Rutherford. Does that make Bond a Republican? Nonsense, Louis, utter nonsense. You're heading into tin foil hat territory!

Also nonsense are the rest of your foklaes-ish ramblings. Take a breath, bro. You're foaming at the mouth. Haven't seen a budget proposal from the GOP in Springfield, have you? In fact, you haven't seen much.

And Louis, really, you know that the Lake County Clerk of the Courts has utterly dropped the ball in the modernization of that court system. "User friendly" is utterly subjective bull. Querry & Harrow disagree with you. Baker & McKenzie disagree with you. And they're the business and defense firms. The Illinois Trial Lawyers also disagree with you; Lake County is consistently rated poorly for its court services and you know it. Objectively, Lake County lags behind every other county in the State of Illinois. Monies were appropriated for the specific purpose of bringing records on-line and it was not done. You know this; quit quibling.

Eliminate township governments? Good idea. Too bad Suzi Schmidt, Sandy Cole, JoAnn Osmond and Dan Duffy were all against that. In fact, the only proposal to even begin examining township government right now came from Michal Bond. So, what was that about who can govern and who cannot? You're a partisan hack, so deep within your own haze and fog you cannot see the trees or the forest.

You're a hack, Louis. Embrace it and, well, perhaps you'll get better at it one day.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile..back to the topic of this blog post...
Great job by Paul Mitchell on uncovering this scandal.
Maybe the media will pick it up when charges are filed. But don't bet on it.
Still, this another example of citizen awareness, invovlement, vigilance and action having shone the light on abuse of power and position by two elected officials and two others who benefit from the taxpayers dollars.

Keep up the good work Paul.
Ever consider moving to Waukegan? We could use you over here.

Keith Turner
- Waukegan

Anonymous said...

Anon, Garcia is a Republican who tried to show that she voted straight Democratic to get Democratic support? She also hired a Democrat operative to run her campaign. Who is wearing the tin foil hat now?

Lawyers on both sides of the Whitmore case settled the matter to (nearly) everyone's satisfaction. No one specifically denied permission was granted, even those Democrats "in the know." Hmmm? Who is wearing the tin foil hat now?

I'll be thinking about you when I file documents in Will County this week, while wishing I could do it in Lake.

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

If Louis thinks he controverted the issue of "verbal" permission to Whitmore, he's not the lawyer he thinks he is. The County of Lake, and the Lake County Forest Preserve District does not ever grant access to their lands verbally.

Nor does Louis stand anywhere but in the weak section on Garcia's politics. So, is Rutherford a Democrat because his communications director worked for Bond or is Bond a Republican because Rutherford's communications director worked for him? Maybe, just maybe, it doesn't change the affiliation of the individual at all. Maybe they hire the best available to them. Maybe it says more about the campaign professional than the candidate themselves. And maybe Louis and his Tea Party/GOP yahoos are just grasping at straws.

But you sound more in control, Louis. I'm sure foreclosing on a Will County widow has brightened you up considerably!

Anonymous said...

And it's also good to see Keith Turner coming out as a Tea Party/Republican. You're right up their alley!

Anonymous said...

Anon, you might have had a point if Rutherford hired that person to run one of his campaigns, or as a political director. He didn't.

To the rest of your argument, you are merely repeating yourself and attempting to attack me personally to divert attention to your failing arguments. Ellen used to do that all the time before she finally banned me for life from her website. Attacking the messenger isn't very productive.

You don't win cases or arguments that way. And you don't score any particular points by hiding behind an "Anon" label.

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Louis, Louis, Louis. First you refer to attacking the messenger then fall back on the old,'anon' argument. I dare say you won't win going around in circles either. Aren't you supposed to be kicking some old woman out of her house today rather than posting here?

On a different note, that isn't the Keith Turner there who sent out a falsely labelled photograph to all of the Waukegan municipal employees using their Waukegan municipal e-mail addresses during the Sabonjian campaign, is it? You would know about improper use of municipal resources, wouldn't you, Keith? Glad to see you finally standing up and declaring yourself a tea party republican.

Team America said...

Dear Readers - computer problems seem to be preventing Keith Turner from posting his response directly this afternoon (A Dem conspiracy?) so he e-mailed me his comment, which I am posting below on his behalf:

Anonymous...
There's no law against a citizen sending emails to a municipal employees. You might want to try reading the law before you make uninformed allegations. But then, apparently that's what you do best.

I was not aware that posting on this blog makes one a member of either the Republican Party or the Tea Party. Does that apply to you too?
If you'd like to note a few things about me for future reference, please note that... I do not hide behind anonymity, deride people who have opposing views, call them names or attempt to distract from the subject at hand and I am not a follower of Saul Alinsky's.

If you want to stick a label on me, there are several that apply.... Keith Turner is a Patriotic and Pragmatic American. Keith Turner is not a liberal, not a socialist, not a progressive and not a communist.

If and when I decide to join the Republican Party or Tea Party or any other party, you can bet I won't make any secret of it.

Just like I don't make a secret of my identity when I post on blogs or send emails.
You know that whole thing about openness and transparency, accountability and such?
It starts with not being afraid to stand behind what you say and do.

That being said please stay on the topic of the blog/discussion.
Can you do that?
Can you actually post under your own and take ownership of your role in a discussion? Or should we give you a name? Maybe Pete or Dave?
Don't be ashamed of sharing your thoughts and views openly and under your own name.
It's not hard and you'll probably feel much better.

If you do have something more to say, stick to the subject amd put your name on it.

I always do.
Keith E. Turner
-Waukegan

Anonymous said...

hey keith how about you tell us about your buddy Jack Carr

Anonymous said...

Keith, the first impropriety is that you gained access to every municipal employee's email address. Sabonjian apologized for that twice. The second impropriety was that you sent a political email to municipal employees using their municipal email address. Again, against municipal ordinance in Waukegan and a violation of Illinois election law, and, again Sabonjian apologized for that as well. Third, you sent a photograph to all of those employees you took outside of Hyde's headquarters at 5:18pm, first saying that you took it during business hours, which was not true, and then labeling individuals as city employees, which they weren't and, worst of all, showing a volunteer's license plate. That mistake caused Sabonjian to call Dick Hyde personally and apologize. That photograph you doctored, mislabeled and disseminated to public employees was about as sleazy as you can get. Keith, I get that TA embraces you because you loathe Terry Link. But if you are a measure of where the Lake County GOP is headed, and make no mistake, you are now one of them, because, um, in case you didn't know, appearance is reality, then it is time for the Lake County Democrats to throw a party. First they embrace the Tea Party and now an individual that even members of Sabonjian's own campaign referred to as "our political terrorist," has joined the GOP. You and Louis will make wonderful pals.

And as to your utter nonsense, the scoundrel's last resort, this whole "anon" bull-hockey, it's up to the blogger, and this one allows it. And frankly, Keith, with you following it, I wouldn't want my name here anyway.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Pet...

The law prohibits public employees from sending political emails from their goevernment email accounts.
You know, exaclty what those Democrats in District 46 did.
I don't work for the city and never have.
The photos were taken in the mid afternoon and included the vehicles of City Workers from the Code Dept and a County Board member who was also employed by the City...when they were on the taxpayers dollar and should have been working, not campaigning for Mayor Hyde.
No expectation of privacy on a public street.

Maybe I should I post the pictures of the one and only Waukegan Township Highway Dept. employee using a Waukegan Township Highway Dept. truck to work out of the Waukegan Democratic Office and the North Ave. Tap?
If I do, it still won't be anonymous.
What would a FOIA for the Township Highway Dept. emails and internet usage reveal?
How about the mileage and fuel records?

Instead of making ridiculous and unfounded and irrelavant accusations and personal attacks against me about something that occured two years ago, how about a comment on the subject of this blog? It's about mususe of public resources by elected officials to campaign for reelection. Something I'm sure you are familiar with.

Anonymously spreading lies, half truths, mistatements and using misdirection are tactics that you have used for year. Along with
theft, money laundering, scamming an old lady out of her property to set up your HQ, etc.

The Democrats United for Fairness and the 10th Dems are in Waukegan for a reason. Tell us why that is and why they won't have anything to do with you.
Talk about a fractured organization!

You're the political terrorist and everybody knows it.

Meanwhile, back at District 46...seems like those ELECTED Democrats got caught by citizens using other Democratic standard practices of corruption and abuse of office.

Want to comment on that?

The least you cold do is blame it on me or President Bush.

Keith Turner
- Waukegan

Anonymous said...

Keith, your response speaks for itself. You're a legend unto yourself, and thus, in fitting company.

Anonymous said...

You guys need to ditch Turner ASAP if you want anyone to take you seriously.