Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Biking Your Way to Congress, One Rest Stop at a Time

Some of the area media seems determined to report on even the most trivial of the campaign activities of the Democratic challengers to Congressman Robert Dold in Illinois' 10th District, so it was no surprise to see an article on Wheeling attorney Robert McKinzie's recent bicycle trip around the 10th to promote his jobs agenda (open more bicycle shops?). He had about 10 supporters, according to the article, but no word on whether they formed a wedge and hurtled down the North Shore bike trails, creating an opening for their leader, a la the team bikers on the Tour de France.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Blago Guilty. So what (now)?....

As most anticipated, former Governor Rod Blagojevich is found guilty on 17 counts. A sad part of Illinois' history now has some closure, although it's not all over yet.

In any case, what impact, if any will this have on the next cycle's elections? Any?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Congressman Bob Dold Should Be So Lucky...

It's still very early in the 2012 election cycle (heck, we aren't even really sure what the 10th Congressional District may end up looking like), but we're watching the Democrat would-be challenger (Ilya Sheyman) to Congressman Bob Dold, who came out earliest and seems to be getting the most press, with interest. He's as far left as you can get without swinging back around to the fascist/anarchists of the far right. And given that he's all of 25 years old, one might expect some hesitation on the part of general election voters to support such a candidate.

Just recently, a friendly interview of Sheyman was posted on the Chicago Magazine website. Sheyman toned down his politics considerably from the impression he left in a similar manifesto left on the Daily Kos website. Maybe he's already learning a little bit to cloak his progressive agenda with at least a patina of centrism to have some hope of broader appeal to the notoriously independent-minded voters of the 10th District. But you can still tell he's a dyed-in-the-wool progressive, with a liberal agenda that even President Obama would find it hard to embrace.

On balance, though, if I were Bob Dold, I would be crossing my fingers that the Dem field holds no more terror for him than this guy.

Bonus laugh: If you read the Chicago Magazine piece, Mr. Sheyman seems to believe (or wants to) that the Democratic machine (DCCC and minions/allies) will stay neutral in the primary and simply let the candidates sort it out with the voters, avoiding any favoritism. Well, if in fact Sheyman is correct, I would advise Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to wake up and go recruit a reasonable candidate, or all the trouble the Dems went to redraw this district (including redistricting Bob Dold out of his own district) will be for naught, if this kid ends up actually winning the Dem primary.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lake County GOP Takes Libertyville Days Parade by Storm; Dems are AWOL Preparing to Sandbag Bob Dold at Town Hall Meeting (UPDATED with Dem Sighting!)

The Libertyville Days Parade is one of the area's largest summer parades, and the Lake County GOP and the Libertyville township GOP in particular, lead by immediate past Township Chairman John Emerson, always make it a point to have a strong showing in the parade, as well as hosting an information booth in the park.

This year saw a great GOP turnout, especially in a non-election year, with many new faces and candidates, such as Keith Brin for Circuit Court Clerk, Steve Newton for Coroner, and Judge Daniel B. Shanes running for Circuit Court Judge in the 3rd subcircuit. Other elected officials included Congressman Bob Dold, who led the Republican pack in the parade, and State Senator Dan Duffy. Local pols like County Board Member Carol Calabresa also attended.

Since I was marching and snapping photos, I can't say I saw the entire parade, but from what I did see, and many people that I asked, I did not see one Democrat organization or candidate marching. I would be happy to be corrected, but I just saw nothing from them at all, which is perhaps unsurprising in an off-election year when they don't need anything from the voters. Probably, the 10th District Dems and such groups were resting up to sandbag Bob Dold later in the day at a townhall meeting.

In any case, here are some of my pix:

The parade route was packed with onlookers ready to grab some free candy thrown by the marchers.

Judge Daniel Shanes had a great crowd of supporters come out to march and cheer. If this is reflective of the level of enthusiasm among GOP supporters in even the downballot races, we're going to do just fine in 2012.

Green Oaks Trustee Dan Sugrue supervised the Republican float candy operation along with County Board Member Carol Calabesa.

Immediate past Libertyville Township Chairman John Emerson works tirelessly every year to organize the GOP marchers and our float.

Here's Judge Shanes and his team marching.

And a close up of the Shanes Banner.

Steve Newton, who is running for Coroner, gets ready for the start of the parade.

Steve Newton shows off his banner.

Jeremy Gong and his family represent a great group of diverse younger individuals and families who we are proud to welcome to the Lake County GOP.

Getting the float ready.

I didn't go on the Ferris Wheel myself, but it made for a great photo.

Here's John Emerson again with Precinct Committeewoman Donna O'Leary.

Here's a nice pic of State Senator Dan Duffy, Chairman Emerson, and Circuit Clerk Candidate Keith Brin.

State Senator Dan Duffy works the crowd.

Congressman Bob Dold's team leads the GOP contingent.

Congessman Bob Dold works the crowd.

The Libertyville Parade is well known for its colorful and fun giant balloons.

Here's Circuit Court Clerk Candidate Keith Brin.

UPDATED: The sharp-eyed parade watchers over at LakeCountyEye saw my plea for evidence of Dems, any Dems, at the Libertyville Parade, and leapt into action, dredging up a photo montage on the Facebook page of Dem Congressional Candidate and left-wing/socialist candidate Ilya Sheyman, who we have profiled before. If you care to check out the Sheyman contingent at the parade, it looks like he garnered about 10 people to walk with him, so I don't think it's much shame that we missed his parade entry. If that's the only Dem out of all the area elected officials and candidates who bothered to show up, then shame on them.

Having said all of this, I'm pleased that Mr. Sheyman is getting out there and connecting with the voters. While I don't think much of his chances to win the Dem primary, I take a look at his background and his platform, and I think, well, one can always hope.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kudos to Lake County Board For Cutting Their Own Salaries

I'm sure it's not a reflection on the job they they think they are doing, so the Lake County Board members who recently voted to reduce their own salaries deserve a lot of credit. It should also be noted that some members, like Aaron Lawlor, already were refusing to take several past pay increases that were previously approved by the Board, but rejected on a individual basis by some like Lawlor.

More like this please.

Now on to reducing or eliminating redundant and inefficient township government.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Former Deputy Coroner Under Democrat Dr. Richard Keller Pleads Guilty to Criminal Sexual Assault

A man who former Lake County Coroner called an "exemplary employee" has pleaded guilty to criminal sexual assault and sentenced to seven years in prison.

A wonderful epitaph to add to the tenure of disgraced Democratic former coroner Dr. Richard Keller.

Kirk Making His Mark as Illinois' Junior Senator

In case you missed it, Rick Pearson of the Chicago Tribune has a great profile piece on how Mark Kirk is taking a leadership roles in politics and policy among Illinois Republicans, while at the same time is reaching across the aisle on bi-partisan issues:

Yet as Kirk plays up his Republicanism, he also has continued a streak of bipartisanship that developed during his tenure as a five-term North Shore congressman. Unlike the House, which is more tightly controlled by its leadership, the Senate provides a "freedom of action" in which much of the work is done through personal relationships, Kirk said.

"It provides that the senator who is mainstream and can work with Republicans and Democrats, who is well-grounded in facts, figures and preparation with the administration, can move the whole Senate toward what is in your state's interest," he said.

Well spoken, Senator Kirk.

Go read the whole thing.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Why Will President Obama Dictate Every Aspect of My Life But Not Call On Anthony Weiner to Resign???

So, let me get this straight:

President and Mrs. Obama, who seem to know everything about how others should live their lives, want to tell me:

What kind of car (small, electric) I should drive;

What kind of food I should eat (but chili dogs are apparently OK if you are the Prez);

How much money I should pay in tax to support government programs which primarily support those who pay no taxes;

That we should cut government spending (and then continues to spend);

That Republicans don't care about the 'little people', and then actually devalues our currency and hits the poor with a massive 'stealth tax', as well as hidden taxes of other kinds more likely to hit the poor;

That we should not support traditional marriage;

That we should not enforce our immigration laws;

That we should just get used to high gas prices;

That we should end our dependence on foreign oil, but won't allow us to drill at home;


He won't tell Anthony Weiner to resign, because, well, apparently that would be imposing his judgment on a fellow liberal, and gosh, we just can't make those kind of judgment calls.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kirk-Giannoulias Votes in the "New" 10th District Give Bob Dold Much Hope

This afternoon, I attended the second annual Dold fiesta hosted by Jeff and Kelly Brincat of Lake Forest, featuring 10th District Congressman Bob Dold, and special guests Senator Mark Kirk and Congressman Aaron Schock. Although the weather was cool, Republican enthusiasm was hot. The event was focused on family fun, with pony rides, a bounce house, games and all sorts of kid-friendly activities. The adults did OK too, with great food, adult beverages (!) and a wonderful mariachi band (the lead singer is pictured to the right of Dold, in case you were wondering if he was an overdressed security guy or something).

When it came time for the political speeches, host Jeff Brincat introduced Senator Mark Kirk, who lauded Bob Dold and offered a very interesting statistic for those who are concerned that the 'new' 10th District drawn by the Dems spells the end of Bob Dold's political career, which is that, in the "new" 10th District, if you look at the Kirk-Giannoulias results from 2010, Kirk won the "new" 10th by NINE points. That gives Dold a lot of hope that he's going to do very well indeed, even in a district that was drawn by the Dems to give them every advantage.

Congressman Aaron Schock followed Kirk and spoke of his work with Bob Dold, and how impressed he was. Dold then took the stage and discussed the issues of the day, including most importantly jobs, the economy, and the rising national debt. The debt is not just a Democratic problem or a Republican problem, he said, and needs a bipartisan solution that begins with reining in government spending above all else.

Below are a few pix from the event, including Schock and Kirk.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Steve Newton for Lake County Coroner Hosts Campaign Kick-Off Event in Antioch

Here at Team America, we've never been afraid to pick (and play) our favorites early, although the campaign season for 2012 has just barely gotten started, and there is an eternity until November of next year, politically speaking.

That being said, so far, the more we see of Coroner candidate Steve Newton, the more we like. And the Coroner's office sure needs a breath of fresh air (no pun intended) after the scandal-plagued administration of Dr. Richard Keller.

Newton's campaign is holding its first major kick-off event this Thursday, June 9, 2011, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., at Johnny’s Chophouse, 1500 Main St. (Route 83), in Antioch. The Honorary Chairman for this event is former Coroner Barbara Richardson. Suggested donation is $20.00 per person. Sponsorships are available. For more information or to RSVP, please e-mail

Sunday, June 5, 2011

State Rep. Mark Beaubien Collapses at HRO Day at the Races

I attended the HRO Day at the Races at Arlington Park Racetrack today and had a great time, but I left just after the third race of the afternoon. I saw State Rep. Mark Beaubien right away when I arrived, and he looked just fine. So, it was with a profound shock that while getting ready to post some of my photos a short while ago, I saw from my Facebook newsfeed an article stating that Beaubien had collapsed at the track and passed away this afternoon.

Beaubien was a very nice man, and worked hard to represent his district -- often taking a lot of grief from the conservatives in the county. Our prayers go out to Dee Beaubien and his family. He will be sorely missed.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran's Golf Outing a Big Success

Today, many intrepid golfers played hooky from their day jobs and attended Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran's annual golf outing. It was a well attended event, with a full course of golfers, a silent auction, a great dinner and even a helicopter that arrived to assist in the 'ball drop' 50/50 raffle.

Sheriff Curran thanked all in attendance and noted that, even though he is not up for election in 2012, the Lake County Dems have never forgiven him for switching parties, and try to impugn his character and policies at every opportunity. Big shock.

Anyway, check out my pix from the event:

A big crowd was in attendance for drinks and dinner.

Former Lake County Republican Chairman and Lake Villa Township Supervisor Dan Venturi (who also acted as emcee of the event) checks out the silent auction prizes.

The top silent auction prize was a signed Derrick Rose jersey.

Here are Sheriff Curran and Circuit Court Judge James Boras enjoying the event.

And, of course, I could not do a post without featuring a picture of Chief Deputy Circuit Court Clerk Keith Brin, who is running for the job of Circuit Court Clerk.

Lake County Board Releases New Proposed Map (UPDATED)

This year, concurrent with the new census results, the Lake County Board district map is being redrawn, just like all of the other government districts. The primary change is that the Board is proposing that the number of districts be reduced from 23 to 21.

The new proposed map can be viewed at the Lake County website, but getting to it is a bit of a pain.

First, click here, and then click at the upper right-hand corner to view the reapportionment committee hearing agenda (set for Tuesday, June 7th at 2:00 pm), and then open up the meeting agenda PDF. Then click on the embedded hyperlink to view the "Proposed Map" (page 2, section 7.1 of the agenda).

You can expect some gnashing of teeth by the Dems since the GOP essentially got to draw this map, but compared to the closed process the Dems used to draw the state and congressional district maps, they have essentially left themselves no room to complain about whatever the GOP did. It's a fair map, nevertheless.

UPDATED: Russell Lissau at the Daily Herald has a good article up with reaction from several county board members; four Democrats will find themselves doubled up into two districts.

More Dem Challengers Come Out of the Woodwork in IL-10; Wheeling Attorney Robert McKenzie is #3

As we predicted, the number of Democratic hopefuls wishing to unseat Congressman Bob Dold in the new, more Dem-friendly 10th District here in Illinois, is growing rapidly. The third challenger to emerge is Wheeling tax attorney Robert McKenzie. Read more about him here.

I would not be shocked if we see a Democratic primary like the GOP saw in 2000 with 10 or more candidates all rushing in to see if they can knock off Dold by taking advantage of the new map and Obama back at the top of the ticket.

However, I think that the wider the Dem primary field is, the more there is a chance for a very leftist, fringe candidate to grab the nomination, which would be a benefit for Dold in the general election.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Will Terry Link's Park City Casino Survive Governor Quinn's Veto Pen?

As we suggested here recently, Governor Quinn has not been a fan of the concept of increasing gambling in Illinois; his recent statements since the Illinois Senate voted to approve the current gamblig expansion bill have been somewhat cryptic. Although, he also called the bill "excessive", which suggests that he would have to swallow quite hard to accept the bill as-is. That then calls into question as to whether cutting down on the number of suburban casinos might be an acceptable compromise for him.

We still have no clear indication of where Quinn might go, but here is a good analysis of his various options, given the very broad power given to an Illinois Governor to basically legislate from the executive branch. As noted in the article, among Quinn's options are:

1) A total veto - rejecting the entire bill outright.

2) An amendatory veto - which allows the governor to suggest changes to the text of the bill.

3) A line item veto - which allows a governor to strike a specific appropriation in a spending bill.

4) A reduction veto - which allows a governor to reduce the amount appropriated in a spending bill.

An amendatory veto would allow Quinn to scale down aspects of the bill while preserving elements of the measure that he finds least objectionable - and most helpful from a revenue standpoint.

In the past, Quinn hasn't ruled out a Chicago casino, so perhaps an amendatory veto might preserve that component, while reducing the overall number of new casinos from five. Or maybe he'll curb the expansion of slot machines to Chicago airports. Or all of the above.

It will be very interesting to see if Link's beloved Park City casino ends up a victim of the sharp veto pen of Governor Quinn.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bob Dold Is "In" For 10th District Race

Bob Dold is definitely running in the 10th District, assuming that the proposed map remains more or less unchanged from the current proposal. I was getting a little concerned, as his decision hadn't received a lot of press, and as recently as yesterday I was speaking with some fairly connected folks who were unsure of what Bob was going to do. I spoke with the Congressman on the phone just a few minutes ago, though, and he confirmed that he's running in the 10th, regardless of the fact that his home was mapped out of the District by the Dems. I also found this article in which his District Director, Kelley Folino, confirmed that Dold in is. Kelley also confirmed that when Dold wins, he will move into the newly remapped district.

Well, at least he and Dan Seals have one thing in common now, i.e., they both live in the 9th District. ;-) But that's about where the comparison ends.

This is going to be a tough fight, but Dold can (and will) win.

DCCC Gunning for Illinois and IL-10

With the gerrymandered new Congressional map so heavily tilted in favor of the Democrats, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or DCCC, is salivating at the chance to retake some very serious ground, if not regain control, in the U.S. House of Representatives. And that path leads right through Illinois. Politico takes a look at the battleground in an article today.

What does this mean for Illinois? It means that this will be ground zero for an influx of campaign cash and support from the national Dems like we have never seen before.

You might think that the DCCC would be a little more cautious about throwing millions of dollars at IL-10 after wasting that much on three-time loser Dan Seals, but that was then (with a less favorable map) and this is now.

This is going to be a very long cycle for us Illinois Republicans...