Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Some of the Shine Coming Off Democrat John Tree's "Central Casting" Resume

Crain's blogger/columnist Greg Hinz was quite impressed with the resume of political newcomer, businessman and veteran John Tree, who has thrown his hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination for the 10th Congressional District here in northern Illinois; indeed, Hinz gushed that Tree's resume was "right out of Central Casting in the politically moderate, heavily Jewish 10th District."

At first glance, it seems like Hinz was spot-on; Tree is a fairly young, successful businessman (not unlike Congressman Bob Dold, in fact) and veteran, who also seems to be a good fit for the demographics of the newly-revamped 10th District. About the only downside is that he doesn't live there, but heck, that sure never discouraged Dan Seals.

Peel back the onion layers on Tree's resume, though, and some interesting things start to surface.

I found my first hint of tarnish on the shine while looking into Tree was when I was researching the value of his lovely home in Long Grove for the post I put up earlier this morning on whether his wealth was going to be a problem for him among progressive Democratic voters more inclined to vote with the so-called "99%", not the "1%", like Tree. I saw that Tree's home on the property tax bill is in the name of him and his (current) wife; Michelle, but that Michelle had a different last name (Healy).

More looking revealed that Michelle Tree is not John Tree's first wife, and that Tree was divorced sometime around or after August 2006 from his first wife, Lisa N. Tree. The court file in DuPage County is 2006 MR 001089, if anyone cares to look it up.

Also of potential interest is that Michelle Healy was John Tree's business partner before she became his wife, with whom Tree made his fortune in resurrecting an old health-drink brand, Metrecal, which they were promoting as far back as late 2004 and early 2005, according to the Crain's archives.

So what, you say? Plenty of people have unhappy marriages and get divorced, and some get remarried as a result (or because) of an office romance. Could be just what happened here.

But, the interesting thing is that on Tree's campaign website, poor Lisa Tree is nowhere to be mentioned. Rather, the website seems to strongly imply that all of his children are the result of his marriage with Michelle Healy:

John is married to Michelle Tree and they have had five children. Their oldest daughter Stephanie died tragically from an accidental drug overdose in 2011.

At the least, the oldest daughter certainly could not have been the product of the relatively fresh Tree-Healy marriage, contrary to the implication of the website. Why the misdirection?

One other thing of note is that the home John Tree apparently shared with his former wife Lisa in Elmhurst was the subject of a foreclosure sometime in 2006 or 2007 (you can also see that in the DuPage County court records, Case No. 2006 CH 001846). One might wonder why a rich guy like Tree had to lose a home to foreclosure (if that's in fact, what happened) only to wind up in a mansion later in Long Grove.

Curiouser and curiouser, to say the least.

You tell me if for some reason Mr. Tree wants to wash away his prior marital history to Lisa Tree. But as Dem operative David Axelrod knows well, a number of Chicago politicians have seen their political careers implode over what was revealed in their divorce files. It's too early to tell if this could be another one of those cases, but I guess we'll wait and see...


Anonymous said...

Tree is a big phoney. After he had his home foreclosed, he wants to run the government's finances!

Anonymous said...

Hmm... So John Tree doesn't live in the 10th, he doesn't respect women, and he has his home foreclosed upon because he can't manage his own family's budget.

So, we have a 20-some year old MoveOn.Org activist, a "businessman" who "works from home" and has no business success to speak of, and a guy whose home was foreclosed upon. Hah!

Stay classy with your candidates, Illinois Democrats. I look forward to sophomore Congressman Robert Dold.

Anonymous said...

TA, you've devoted quite a few posts on a candidate whose been in the race a week.

Running scared already?

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to TA and company's criticism of Rep. Walsh's finances.

Team America said...

Anon 9:17, in case you hadn't noticed, I wasted no time at all busting Ilya Sheyman's chops the moment he announced, as well as Schneider.

This is the 10th District Blog, after all, what else do you expect us to be talking about?

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to Tree on losing his daughter but anybody thinking its skeevy that he put her loss front and center of his campaign website?

Feels not right to use her passing for purpose of defeating fellow Democrats in a primary.

Team America said...

Anon 8:36- to give Tree the benefit of the doubt, I think he did the right thing to disclose the tragic death of his oldest daughter right up front in his campaign material; it's the kind of thing that if it came out later as a 'discovery' by political opponents, it would have looked like he was trying to hide something. I think already people will question why he's taking on such a huge task/responsibility such as running for Congress only a few months after such an event, but that's up to him and his family, I guess.

So, I can't really fault Tree for bringing it up sua sponte (lawyer talk for on your own volition). It doesn't look to me like he's trying to leverage it as a campaign issue.

Anonymous said...

you're back in form! Hoyer's endorsement of schneider-who won't win the primary, shows you that tree has nowhere to go to get support. Maybe his genius campaign team that made tammy duckworth a congresswoman and got melissa bean re-elected and helped alexi win his senate race last year will fix that.

sometimes with these first time candidates all you have to do is tape them once and they fall over. good work.


Team America said...

Well, Tree may not have Hoyer but he appears to have Lauren Beth Gash in his corner. That ought to send chills up the spine of any sane person.

Anonymous said...

Ilya is a year younger than her oldest child which probably makes her feel old and useless and she saw the schneider campaign plan run in 2000 by andy hochberg who had close ties to porter, more money, more connections and fell flat. There has to be something going on in the 10th dems for all these state legislators to quit rather than take the free shot to run for this seat. Maybe they didn't want to bang the kumbyah drumb with aaron hussein freeman.

your oppo research is impressive. Glad mrs. team let you out of political hibernation.


Anonymous said...

welcome back, Foklaes, it has been a long time, no hear from you. Much about the Tree campaign needs clarification. If you listen to his video and if you read his press release it would seem that it was written before the tragic death of his daughter. Do some checking and you'll see that I'm right on this. Could it be that Gash and the 10th Dems saw how truly anemic the Schneider quarterly report looked? Could it be that while Ilya has broad support, and I use the term advisedly, that support comes from MoveOn. Org folks nowhere in this area. Enter John Tree. Nobody can or should say how or why only a few months after suffering the worst kind of loss any parent can face, a guy jumps into a quagmire like this Democratic primary. And what has John Tree done that makes him qualified to run? Again, let's watch this one from the sidelines.

Team America said...

FOKLAES - thanks, but it was really just a few hours on the Internet following the breadcrumbs. What I'm really waiting to see is if the Sheyman or Schneider campaigns pick up the ball and run with it. It's really more their fight at this point than mine, or Dold's.

Anonymous said...

Anon @5:10 "And what has John Tree done that makes him qualified to run?"

That's a good question, maybe it has something to do with his military service (just like Mark Kirk likes to talk about) or his business experience (just like Bob Dold likes to talk about).

I mean how on Earth could a high ranking member of the military, and successful businessman possibly be qualified to be a Congressman?

Anonymous said...

Anon, the comment had nothing to do with qualifications but only with how could anyone be ready mentally to take on the rigors of a campaign after a few months of the worst kind of hell imaginable. Kirk had a Hill experience as COS for John Porter, something that has served him and our district quite well. Kirk also had experience with the World Bank, with a private legal firm and major House committee work when he ran in 2000. Dold is a well established businessman. No, he doesn't have Military experience but Dold DID work for Dan Qaulye so give him a bit of credit for that one. This is going to be an interesting Primary to watch.

Anonymous said...

Team, Lauren Beth Gash last won a campaign against an opponent when Ilya was in 4th grade. She couldn't get any of her colleagues from the state legislature to run for this seat. Not sure why we're concerned with her talk.

I'm not going to beat up dold on the credentials thing. In his campaign he never once said anything about national security experience working for quayle or mentioned the way dick green did the actual things he'd done to boost his company. He worked for quayle, he worked for a company his parents own, that's fine on its own it doesn't need a Seals like fabrication.


Anonymous said...

This post is classless and pathetic. TA has truly become a bottom feeder.

Rob_N said...

Thanks for the laugh, Larry.

Having your mom and dad hand you the company your grandfather bought does not a businessman make. Dold did lose money on the Wisconsin bug franchises he ran on his own, after all. This after his completely undistinguished career as Dan Quayle's potatoe-carving party planner.

And while you're looking up real estate records, Larry, care to explain why "finance services committee" member Dold lost so much money on his Chicago Roscoe Village home? You know, the one he bailed on right before he moved into his mom and dad's place.

Has Dold even moved out of his mom and dad's house yet now that he too is running from outside the 10th?

You might want to help Dold take that silver spoon out of his mouth while he yaps on about "jobs." It seems to be getting in the way of him actually doing anything constructive about actual jobs.

Again, thanks for highlighting the hypocritical GOP comedy tour.

Anonymous said...

Rob-N, have we checked to see if Sheyman is living in his parents house or what his job is? I haven't seen him state anywhere whether he is employed. I haven't heard of a spouse so unless he made 6 figures as a 24 year old community organizer/professional agitator you wonder how he can afford to have a house and pay his bills without a job for 9 months.


PS if you need a quayle internship hit to get you over the top in a district your party gerrymandered with the help of the dccc you guys have no shot at ever winning the seat.

Rob_N said...

Shore, Dold's own record has all the "hits" any Dem will need next year.

85% extremist is still extreme.

Rob_N said...

PS Shore, I only brought up Dold's resume planning events for Quayle (spelled-with-an-E) because your right-wing comrade "Anonymous November 18, 2011 12:24 PM" compared Dold's party-planning experience for Quayle's office to Col. Tree's Air Force experience.

Perhaps you disagree with your conservative friend who seems to think that helping Dan Quayle teach school children how to spell "potato-e" wrong is equivalent to teaching Israeli fighter pilots how to do equally difficult things like, you know, fly and (to quote one-time GOP front-runner Rick Perry) "umm, uhh, uhhhhhh" shoot down enemies.

Like I mentioned to Larry, thanks for the comedy guys.

Dold's record is already so glaringly pathetic you've taken to whining about a Colonel in the Air Force Reserves.

Then again, he never did claim to win major military honors that don't exist, falsely claim time as commander of the Pentagon "War Room", take tourist-like campaign pics in jets he never flew or get reprimanded by superior officers for campaigning while on Pentagon time ... unlike Dold's predecessor.

Congrats Shore. Your hilarity 'slays' me. ;)

Anonymous said...

Did you just claim that Tree has experience training Israeli fighter pilots how to fly?

Team America said...

Rob_N, something just told me that this post would bring you out of the woodwork. You and FOKLAES play nicely this cycle, please.

The Management.

Anonymous said...

Rob_N, still recycling the same old tripe that didn't get you where you needed to be last year. You made our vicotry more fun last year. Glad to see you are still playing checkers.

Anonymous said...

Be very careful, Rob N about even implying that Treee did what you say he did with the Israel Defense Forces. Unless you show PROOF, and I know that's impossible, your assertion is a bald face untruth. No American Military personnel do what you say, or what Tree says he did in Israel. That's simply NOT allowed under American law or Israeli law. Others might have missed you on the blog, but I sure as hell was glad to have your nasty attacks gone, I had hoped forever. Bob Dold will win again, bet on it, and your guys will still be fighting it out long after the election.

Rob_N said...

Yes, Larry. Been busy --

Thought I'd check in though seeing as how Col. Tree has you so worried.

I noticed your first post pop up a few days back. Didn't realize til I got here that you've been obsessing over him so much.

I've got better things to do than worry about Shore/FOKLAES/Whatever.

PS - You didn't answer why Dold took such a bath on his Roscoe home, or if he's still living in mommy and daddy's house.


Anonymous November 19, 2011 9:30 AM -- it was an allegory.

I don't know that Bob Dold helped Dan Quayle teach schoolchildren how to incorrectly spell potato-e either.

But comparing Rep. Dold's time as a Quayle party planner to Col. Tree's military career is ridiculous on its face.

To be honest, other than helping with some local candidates nights the past couple of weeks (more for citizens' benefit than for the candidates) I haven't given much thought to the 5 Dem candidates running in the 10th or the 2 Dem candidates that scared Joe Walsh out of the 8th.

I'm no longer in the 10th district now that the 2002 Republican gerrymander has expired (the 'Phil Crane Special').

Revealing though that your bud Larry is so worried about the newest candidate in the field. As I recall Larry wasn't that thrilled about Dold before the last GOP primary -- clearly for good reason.

Happy Thanksgiving gang!

Anonymous said...

Rob N,

Still looking for those phantom buses that never existed and were never in the parking lot of that North Shore Hotel? You zeroed out your credibility with me over that nonsense.

And it seems that you've only become worse since then. But then with the pathetic Democratic track records of running our Federal Government, State Governments and Cook and Chicago Governments, phantom sightings and general insults are all you are left with.

Louis G. Atsaves

Rob_N said...


Likewise. The Koch Brothers funded bus tour was called a bus tour. Deal with it.

PS - where are those jobs Dold promised?

Let's see. Someone had to make the ribbon he cut on that new Stimulus-funded train station.

Someone had to make the scissors...

Guess that's two jobs Dold supported.

Anonymous said...

"The Koch Brothers Bus Tour" that didn't have a single bus present on that fateful day?

That whopper you told back then was exposed as a massive whopper. Not a single bus in sight that fateful evening. Your response back then was to pretend that your whopper was not a whopper.

And you continue your pretenses today!

Still seeing those phantom buses even today Rob N?

Rob N. You are persistent in your myth creations. I'll give you that one.

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Rob_N, the jobs are stlled on Harry Reid's desk. We will fix that problem in 2012. I've bought a bottle of champagne that has your name on it. We'll toast your tears AGAIN very soon.

I hear comrad Jan has a GOP and Green Party challenge in the 9th. Sweet!

Anonymous said...

Louis calling someone a liar. Now that IS funny!

Rob_N said...

Anonymous November 20, 2011 11:29 AM -

You mean that list of 15 so-called "GOP jobs bills (that aren't really jobs bills)".

Yeah, Teapublican Leader Eric Cantor pushed that fallacy-based meme out over the summer and Dold dutifully promoted the propaganda across Twitter, in his taxpayer-funded 1-minute speeches, etc.!/RepDold/status/117007045319856128

Problem is calling things like killing Medicare and ending the Gulf oil drilling moratorium (even though the White House already ended it) "jobs bills" is laughable.

No wonder Cantor ran away like a coward from real Americans this fall. He's afraid too many people have caught on to his Potemkin job(less) plans.

....Just like the rest of the Teapublican platform that Dold has been dutifully supporting.

PS - The "GOP Jobs Plan" the Dold is promoting now (it's on his Facebook page and more) got rated by the CBO.

It creates fewer jobs, and takes longer to do it, than the Dems' Real Jobs Plan.


Dold's worst enemy is his failed voting record, and the session's not even half over.

Anonymous said...

Rob_N, you talk so arrogantly, though your bum must still be hurting from the spankings we keep giving you.

Rob_N said...

Louis, On a clear, sunny day I could say the sky is blue and you'd point at smoke from a factory and say I'm lying.

If that's what you need to do to get your jollies then whatever. Just keep your malarkey up there in Lake Forest.

Rob_N said...

Anonymous November 21, 2011 9:04 PM --

Facts are arrogant?

That's a new one.

Look up Cantor's list of "forgotten 15". I put the link in my post.

Most of them are moot and the others have nothing to do with jobs in the first place.

Maybe when the GOP says "forgotten 15" they mean they forgot to put the jobs plans in there.

The latest GOP Jobless Plan was rated by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office as being worse than the Dems' common sense plans (which are fully funded).

Is that how you think the Tea Party is spanking people, by putting forward empty rhetoric and hot air instead of worthwhile jobs plans?

No wonder you guys are hitting record-low disapproval ratings.

Anonymous said...

Not spanking people, just you, big boy. I do so enjoy reading your bitching and maoning. 2010 put a stop to your Dear Leader's agenda. 2012 we'll roll back your damage. Only then will the job creators emerge from their strike.

Rob_N said...


After Obama came in to start cleaning up Bush's mess America was gaining jobs up until the Tea Party took over the House.

We're back to losing jobs again and the GOP "jobless plan" is rated by the CBO as generating fewer jobs than the Dems plan.

Guess that's the difference.

The Dems want to hire people and the GOP wants to fire people.

Which one improves the unemployment rate?

Heck, the guy who will get the GOP nod, Romney, made his money gobbling up American companies then firing all the workers and shipping the jobs overseas.

You may not have noticed but it was the out-of-touch GOP platform of crushing the middle class that lost big time, 2-to-1 in most states, at the beginning of this month from Ohio to Maine.

Anonymous said...

"The Dems want to hire people and the GOP wants to fire people"

Probably just a weird coincidence, np but I've never been hired by a democrat. All the business owners for whom I've worked have been fiscally conservative Republicans. Weird.

Anonymous said...

Rob_N, you may not have noticed but despite your venom and lies, we spanked you good last year--and we're gonna have fun doing it again.

Gosh, one of these days, Larry, I'm gonna go back and make a Top 10 Rob_N bluster list...

Rob_N said...


If you've never been hired by a Dem it's prob. because you're a paid GOP operative.

And I don't know why you have this spanking fetish. The gov's mansion and state lege are all still held by Dems.

You go ahead and make your list and I'll get you a Corona for all Top 10.