Saturday, December 22, 2012

Senator Mark Kirk Visits Office in Gearing Up for Return to Work (UPDATED)

Here's a nice Christmas present (and a belated Hanukkah present) for fans of Senator Mark Kirk - the AP reports that he visited his U.S Senate office briefly as part of his preparation for his return to work at the Senate, about a year after suffering a major stroke.  Great news, and we are really looking forward to Mark getting back in the ring.

UPDATE 12/31/12:  Things still seem to be on schedule for Senator Kirk's return to DC, according to the Sun Times.  And guess who will be there at the Senate to greet him on his return.  None other than "Uncle" Joe Biden.  Of course, as President of the Senate, Biden gets to swear and re-swear the Senate members, so it's not like Biden is making a special trip.  But it's almost enough to make you want to stay away...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Is the Lake County News-Sun on the Chopping Block?

Word from the Sun Times is that it may be closing all of its suburban offices; whether that means not ending the various suburban publications (or some of them?) and trying to carry on their local coverages from downtown Chicago (ugh), or just abandoning them altogether is a little less clear.

I would miss the News-Sun if it closed; back in the heyday of Waukegan, it was quite a paper, and even now, it's nice to have additional local coverage beyond what the Daily Herald can provide, especially the goings-on in the northeast part of the county, including the center of county government in Waukegan.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Comic Book Drive for Children of Newtown, Connecticut

Everyone I know seems to be walking around in just a little bit of a fog lately, in the wake of the horrendous tragedy of the Sandy Hook School shooting, trying to make sense of the senseless.  While it's challenging to think of anything to say or do that would have any helpful effect in response to such an incredibly sad and tragic event, one person I know is trying hard to help, namely Russell Lissau of the Daily Herald.  In his off hours, Russell is a devoted comic book writer/illustrator (I know, I have been to one of his seminars) and he began with an idea to donate some of his Strawberry Shortcake comic books to the children of the area.  That idea was picked up by a group known as Reading with Pictures, which is organizing a nationwide comic book drive.  Here is the link to Reading with Pictures and a description of how you can help:

We at Reading With Pictures reacted to the tragic news coming from Newtown, CT with the same sense of loss and sadness that everyone else felt. As a nonprofit organization with a special tie to education and schools, to see the bond of safety and trust punctured was absolutely heartbreaking.

The outpouring of support all across the nation has been inspirational and we want to help in our own small way. An important time of happiness between families is reading together and we want to put together a collection of kid friendly comic books to send to the families in Newtown, CT.

We’ll be working with connections we have in that community to coordinate the best possible direction for this donation but we wanted to ask for your own help in this comic book drive.

If you have any children’s comic books to donate or want to assist in this, please email

We will accept donations through the end of 2012. Please keep the following in mind:

1. We want children’s comic books only. Nothing scary, violent, suggestive in anyway. We will be scanning all donations to ensure the content is appropriate.

2. If possible, try to donate a few sets so we can spread them out among families

3. Your donations are tax deductible and we will provide all donors with a tax receipt

4. Reading With Pictures will attempt to document as much as possible the donation’s progress up until we send it but after that, we will want to respect the Newtown, CT community’s privacy

From all of us at Reading With Pictures, thank you so much for not only your compassion and caring but also believing in the power of comic books in creating community.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran Wants to Be Illinois Attorney General

Rumors on this have been circulating for months, and Sheriff Mark Curran himself was talking it up over the past weekend, but now I guess it's official -- he wants to challenge incumbent Democrat Lisa Madigan to be Illinois' next attorney general.  Well, it might be more accurate to say that Curran wants to be AG and would probably just as soon LMadigan runs for guv or gets herself put on the Illinois Supreme Court.  Last I checked in, she had millions in her political campaign war chest compared to less than $100K for Curran according to the Daily Herald article. 

I'm a big Curran fan, but I find myself wishing he was planning to run for Lake County Sheriff again.  There's plenty to do right here....

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lake County Republican Federation Taps Erin Westphal as New Executive Director

Libertyville, IL - The Lake County Republican Federation announced today that Erin Westphal will join the organization as its new executive director in 2013. 

No stranger to the Lake County Republican Party, Westphal, of Grayslake, comes to the Federation from U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh’s district congressional office, where she currently works as a congressional constituent representative. She has also served as a Lake County GOP precinct committeeman and as president of the Lake County Young Republicans in recent years. Prior to entering the political field, Westphal spent over ten years in the pharmaceuticals industry. She is a graduate of Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.

"We are extremely pleased that Erin has agreed to serve as our Executive Director," said Lake County Republican Federation President Larry Falbe, who headed the six-member search committee. "Our Board is confident that Erin will be able to carry on the Executive Director's role and responsibilities that Chelsea Stanley has so ably performed for the past several years. Erin's enthusiasm, experience and leadership ability will serve her well in meeting and overcoming the challenges that the Federation, and Lake County Republicans as a whole, will face in this next election cycle. The Federation stands with our partner, the Lake County Republican Central Committee, in supporting and promoting Republican ideals and candidates, and Erin will play a key role in meeting our joint goals.”

Westphal takes the reigns from Chelsea Stanley, who has served in the position for just over three years. Stanley is stepping down to stay at home with her first child due early next year. “It has been an absolute privilege to serve the Lake County GOP in this capacity,” said Stanley who hopes to remain active in politics. “I am thrilled to pass the torch into such capable hands."

Lake County Republican Central Committee Chairman Robert Cook, who served on the search committee, said, “Although I will miss Chelsea, I look forward to working as closely with Erin, and I’m sure she’ll do a great job. My hope is to build upon the strong relationship between the Federation and the Central Committee that we have established over the past few years. ”

Westphal will finish her term with Congressman Walsh and will begin working at the Federation in January. “I am grateful to be finishing up my term with Congressman Walsh’s office, “ Westphal said. “I wish Chelsea all the best with her new baby and look forward to serving the Lake County Republican Federation.”

The Lake County Republican Federation has served the Republican Party in Lake County for over 50 years. To learn more about how you can contribute with your time, talent or treasure, visit

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Senator Mark Kirk to Return to U.S. Senate

I'd heard this was the tenative plan some time ago, but it's nice to see it more or less confirmed in the press -- Senator Mark Kirk plans to be back on the job in the U.S. Senate after the first of the year.

Great news for all of Illinois -- Mark has been gone far too long, and we need him back.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Aaron Lawlor Elected Chairman of Lake County Board

Aaron Lawlor was elected Chairman of the Lake County Board this morning in a special meeting.  I wasn't able to make it in person, but I watched the news feed on the Lake County website.  Russell Lissau of the Daily Herald covers it here.

I wish Aaron the very best with the challenges ahead -- not only does Lawlor need to manage the business of the county and keep its triple AAA bond rating, we need to defend against losing jobs from competition across the border in Wisconsin, when our own state increasingly seems hostile to business.

On the political side, Aaron is going to have to defend Republican dominance of the Board, as the GOP majority has been slipping over the past decade.  2014 will once again be a tough year for the GOP, so the campaign starts today, folks.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Cure for What Ails the Illinois Republican Party: Guest Editorial

Recently, some of those of us in Illinois have been looking somewhat wistfully across the border to Wisconsin to see how Governor Scott Walker (who was the keynote speaker at the Lake County Republican Federation Spring dinner this past May) is taking his state in a new direction, from both the policy and the political perspectives.  A recent acquaintance of mine, Andrew Welhouse, who moved to Chicago after eight years in the Wisconsin Legislature, including stints with the Assembly Speaker, Senate Majority Leader, and as communication director for the Republican Party of Wisconsin, offered some thoughts and perspective on what the Illinois Republicans need to do to get back on track:

By Andrew Welhouse:

Election Day gives us one of two outcomes: confetti for the winners and questions for the losers.

Republicans in Illinois have seen plenty of both in recent years. But for the good of our country, there’s so much more at stake behind “who won” and “who lost.”

Republicans have pushed for years to call attention to the very real problems threatening our country and future generations. In Washington: massive debt, runaway government and a shaky recovery. In Illinois: a pension crisis and the single worst budget of any state.

And in the fallout of the 2012 elections, we’re left on the “questions” side of the equation.

For example, how did such major Republican issues get pushed to the back burner? How did a $16 trillion debt, a disastrous budget, and a broken status quo somehow become less important than Big Bird and tax returns? How did two wrongheaded comments about abortion by senate candidates mean more than four years of failed leadership by the president?

And all the while, the problems get worse. The deficit keeps growing, the government keeps getting bigger and we lie awake at night worrying about the country our kids will inherit. We said this election is the most important of our lifetimes... 2012 might be nothing compared to what the next generations will face.

We have practical questions too, like what’s next for Joe Walsh? For those of you who don’t know Congressman Walsh, his congressional seat was redistricted out from under him, specifically to elect the challenger who beat him on Tuesday, Tammy Duckworth.

Joe Walsh, as you might know, is one of those rare legislators who votes his conscience and actually put his money where his mouth is. On his own, he turned down his congressional pension and health care benefits, something unheard-of in this day and age. He held more Town Hall meetings than any other member of Congress, and he spoke his mind, even when he knew people didn’t agree with him.

His defeat might have a lesson in it: sometimes it’s more important to speak your mind and be true to what you believe, even if it means losing an election.

There are plenty of lessons to take away from Election Day. First, no matter what the outcome, it’s clear that there’s an appetite in this country for economic freedom. Mitt Romney never would have gotten as close as he did if it weren’t for deep, resonant concerns about the state of our economy.

Second, redistricting played a role. We saw it in Illinois and across the country.
Third, we’re still a center-right country. Even with a second-term President Obama and a Democrat Senate, Republicans still elected 30 governors, the highest total for either party in a decade. The Middle Class doesn’t act as a voting bloc - it’s made up of families like yours and mine, concerned about the next generation.

Fourth, the Republican party has challenges and opportunities in front of it. On the one hand, Obama’s second term finally forces him to close the book on blaming President Bush for every ill, and guilting the rest of the party by association. Paul Ryan’s spot on the ticket reinforced the party’s break with its big-government past, as does its deep bench of young talent like Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Nikki Haley and Ted Cruz, among others. Compare that to the Democrats’ bench: Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden?

But Fifth, Republicans have reason to worry about their long-term prospects. Nearly every demographic the Democrats carried strongly in in the last two presidential years are growing: Hispanic voters, women voters, urban voters and young voters. The Republican bloc of southern, white, married evangelicals is not a growing base.

But there will always be new rounds of confetti and questions. In two years, Republicans will have another midterm election to fight, on a Senate map of incumbents elected on the 2008 Democrat wave. We’ve got strong, principled candidates who are motivated and eager to out-work the opposition: if someone like Joe Walsh can perform that well in a district specifically drawn to elect his opponent... imagine what he could do statewide?

And perhaps most importantly, we know in our hearts that this country is worth saving. We’re facing big problems: in the short term with the Fiscal Cliff, and in the long term with Big Government and a culture that values entertainment above problem solving.

But America still works best when we focus on our freedoms and opportunities, and the Republican Party still has plenty of both.

If we’re willing to take a hard look at ourselves, and remember that our fight is still worth fighting, our day for confetti will come again soon enough.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Mixed Election Bag for Lake County - And a New Era for the 10th Congressional District

I have to admit, I was feeling pretty good last night while making the rounds of the election night parties, that is, until the Early Vote totals got dumped in at the end on the Lake County Clerk's website.  I guess I won't complain anymore that Willard has taken all the suspense out of election night since she gets the vote totals in so soon.  I guess since there is now so much early voting, nothing is for sure until we see the whole enchilada.

In any event, it wasn't all bad -- the Lake County Board is solidly Republican, although David Barkhausen's loss was a little unexpected.  Also, Joe Neal's loss to Melinda Bush was a tough one.  Add in Friedman losing to Morrison, Mathias losing to Sente, and Cole losing to Yingling, it all contributes to what is now a veto-proof majority for the Dems in both the state House and Senate.  Well, Illinois, if you liked the direction the state was headed before, you're going to LOVE it now.  Thanks, folks.

On the bright side, Mike Nerheim won State's Attorney, and Keith Brin won Circuit Court Clerk; Mary Ellen Vanderventer's win over Bob Bednar was no surprise, but I really thought that Steve Newton was going to prevail over Dem Thomas Rudd for Coroner.

Don Castella got crushed by Terry Link, but I really respect Don for giving it a go and hanging in there.  I've been resigned to the fact that we're not going to defeat Link in that district ever since Keith Gray failed to pull it off in the face of Link's massive petition scandal a few years back.

My friend Dan Shanes won for Circuit Judge, as did Tom Schippers.  Pat Fix won over Lou Berrones in a squeaker.

And, of course, the biggest tragedy (besides the Presidential race, of course), is that Congressman Bob Dold was narrowly defeated by lackluster candidate Brad Schneider.  That guy better have a bang-up freshman year or he's going to get crushed in the next primary by any other Dem with a pulse.

This will be the first time since this Tenth District Blog's inception that we do not have a Republican leading the 10th District.  But, hey, Ellen persevered for years as an opposition watchdog, so that's the role I guess we will have to assume here.

Of course, now that the election has been over for all of 12 or 14 hours, it's now time to look ahead to 2014, and see how the Illinois Governor and Durbin senate seat races are going to evolve.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Voting Open in Lake County Amid a Sea of GOP Signs - And a Sighting of the Dold Bus!

I voted this morning at Lamb's Farm in Libertyville, and while I knew that the enthusiasm of Lake County Republicans was up, and the Dems seemed a bit down, I was not prepared to see a veritable sea of GOP election signs, but not ONE Dem sign.  Wow.

And to top it all off, on the way home, I drove by the DOLD BUS and the NERHEIM FIRETRUCK!  I waved and honked my horn, and was rewarded with a horn blast from the bus and the truck, which was packed with supporters.

I think it's going to be a good day.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Senator Mark Kirk Does First Post-Stroke Interview with Mary Ann Ahern (UPDATE with Kirk Skyscaper climb)

I got a tip from long-time TA fan and zealous Mark Kirk supporter "B&B Mom" that Mary Ann Ahern has an exclusive interview that will air this evening.  I will post the exact time when I get it.  Meanwhile, check out the NBC-5 blog post here.

Kirk watchers will note that he has done several endorsement videos for Congresscritters Bob Dold and Judy Biggert, so it seems like Kirk is gearing up to come roaring back to the U.S. Senate, which will be a welcome development.  We need Mark Kirk back on the job now more than ever.

UPDATED:  Kirk climbs multiple stories at skyscaper climbing event. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chicago Tribune Gets Lake County Judge Endorsement Right, Second Time Around

The Chicago Tribune is generally pretty accurate and reliable, at least in my experience, but in yesterday's endorsements for collar county judges, they messed up big time and transposed the names of the candidates for the "A" vacancy in the 3rd judicial subcircuit in Lake County, thereby making it appear on the surface that Buffalo Grove Mayor Jeffrey Brainman, an attorney with no judicial experience, was endorsed over incumbent Judge Daniel B. Shanes.  Oops.

The Tribune quickly corrected the online version and I believe a correction ran on the editorial page this morning, as well as the usual errors and omissions section, so not much harm done.  However, it probably embarrassed Mr. Braiman a bit, considering that it simply highlighted the fact that he failed to earn the Trib's endorsement.  The corrected endorsement now reads:

3rd Subcircuit A vacancy: Daniel Shanes, who has been a judge for five years and is highly recommended by the Lake County Bar Association, is the choice over attorney Jeffrey Braiman, the village president of Buffalo Grove.

Since the Daily Herald apparently has no plans to endorse in the judicial races (why, I don't know), the Trib endorsement is the only game in town.  Look for a mailing from Judge Shanes touting the endorsement coming soon, no doubt.

The Trib also endorsed the two other Republican incumbent judges for the remaining seats:

2nd Subcircuit A vacancy: Judge Luis Berrones, of Gurnee, who was appointed to the bench in 2007 and gets very high marks for integrity, impartiality and legal ability, is endorsed over attorney Patricia Fix, also of Gurnee. Fix has an excellent record of advocacy for victims, but she did not score well enough on a poll of attorneys to be recommended by the Illinois State Bar Association.

3rd Subcircuit B vacancy: Voters have two very strong choices here: Judge Nancy Waites and Judge Thomas Schippers, both of Mundelein. Both have experience as prosecutors and on the bench. We give the edge to Schippers, who gets higher marks from attorneys for legal ability and temperament.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Julie Morrison - Another High-Spending Democrat We Don't Need in Springfield

Dr. Arie Friedman is locked in a tough race against Deerfield Township Supervisor Julie Morrison, to succeed retiring State Senator Susan Garrett.  But, wouldn't you like to know something about Morrison's fiscal track record at Deerfield Township before you might consider sending her to Springfield?  Dr. Friedman thinks you should:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lake County Republican Candidates Win Tribune Endorsements

In a stunning repeat of last week's Lake County election endorsements by the Daily Herald, the Chicago Tribune has matched the DH endorsement-for-endorsement, giving the nod to Republicans Mike Nerheim for State's Attorney, Keith Brin for Circuit Court Clerk, and Steve Newton for Coroner.

The Tribune also went with Democrat Mary Ellen Vanderventer for Recorder of Deeds, as had the DH, but the Trib gives a thumbs-up to Republican Bob Bednar's idea to merge the office with that of County Clerk.

Early voting has already started, so put down that sub sandwich and go vote!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lake County Republican Federation Rolls Out New Website

The Lake County Republican Federation is rolling out its new website, featuring great links, a more modern interface, news updates and much more!  Check it out...

Also, we have Romney signs at the office, 320 Peterson Rd. in Libertyville, but they are going fast, so get your today.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

County-Wide Republican Candidates Snag 3 of 4 Endorsements from the Daily Herald

Waking up to the Daily Herald endorsements this morning for the county-wide races, the re-energized Lake County Republicans did pretty well.  We got three out of four, as follows:

Mike Nerheim over Chris Kennedy for State's Attorney

Keith Brin over Rupam Dave for Lake County Circuit Court Clerk

Steve Newton over Tom Rudd for Coroner

The only Republican not to receive the DH endorsement was Bob Bednar, who is up against long-time Record of Deeds Mary Ellen Vanderventer.

A few observations.  First, I will admit that I am quite relieved about Nerheim's endorsement over Kennedy.  There's certainly no doubt in my mind that Nerheim is the better man for the job, but I was quite concerned that given the criticism of retiring State's Attorney Michael Waller on handling DNA evidence and the like, the press was going to tar Republicans in general, and Nerheim in particular, with what the press saw as the failings of the Waller administration, even though both Nerheim and Kennedy are former prosecutors who worked for Waller, and both candidates have been gone from Waller's office for some time.

I had little doubt about the Brin endorsement; I'm still scratching my head that the unimpressive Rupam Dave was the best candidate Terry Link could scrape up.

Steve Newton's earning the endorsement over Dr. Tom Rudd is a bit of a coup; I think the DH looked at Newton's prior experience in the office and they also mentioned 'temperment': which you can basically read to mean that they thought Rudd was a jerk.

Finally, it's probably no surprise about Bednar losing the endorsement to Mary Ellen Vanderventer.   Of all the Dems in office, she's probably the most competent, and Bednar's signature issue of consolidating the office of Recorder of Deeds with the County Clerk's office did not appear to resonate with the DH editors; at least, not as a campaign issue that should be decided by choosing between elected officials.  But, given the strength of the GOP ticket overall, I would not say that a surprise victory is out of the question for Bednar.

Let's see what our friends at the Chicago Tribune now have to say....

Monday, October 15, 2012

Economics v. Social Issues: Chicago Tribune and Daily Herald Split Endorsements in Three Key Lake County Races

While we can debate the importance and relevance of newspaper endorsements in an age when anyone with a computer has the ability to make their voice heard across the Internet (often in a manner as effective or more than traditional print media, a la Matt Drudge), we still pay some measure of attention to the print media endorsements, at least on a local level.  That's why we were interested to see that in three key races for Lake County, the Tribune and the Daily Herald wound up on the exact opposite sides of their endorsements for State Senate.

In the 29th District (an open seat to replace retiring State Senator Susan Garrett), the Tribune picked Dr. Arie Friedman over Julie Morrison, who was endorsed by the Herald.  The Herald noted Friedman's "effort this year to move himself more toward the center" --  read:  Friedman is too conservative for us, even though he's pro-choice, a doctor and a veteran).  In the 30th, the Tribune smacked down incumbent Democrat Terry Link in favor of Republican Don Castella.  The Herald had little good to say about Link, but felt Castella was too scary on social issues (read: Castella is opposed to gay marriage) to win their endorsement, and so went with Link anyway.  And in the 31st Senate race, another open seat, the Tribune picked Republican Joe Neal over Melinda Bush, who was endorsed by the Herald.

So, what can we read into all of this?  Perhaps nothing more than the Herald is trying for a political balance in its endorsements... after all, it did endorse Sid Mathias over Carol Sente.  But I think on the whole, the Herald is weighting candidates who tend to have more liberal views on 'social issues' more favorably than the Tribune, which is concentrating on economics.  Given the state of the State of Illinois, we might suggest that issues like pension reform ought to be taking a higher priority.

The DH also has a reputation for wanting to be on the winning side of the elections whenever it makes its endorsements... witness how it came out on the Link-Castella race, which notably did not deter the Trib from going with Castella.  That probably bodes well for Mathias, who is in the race of his life against another incumbent, but who I think is going to win out in the end.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

ABC 7 Hosts 10th Congressional District Sparring Session Between Congressman Bob Dold and Challenger Brad Schneider

ABC 7 hosted Congressman Bob Dold and his challenger, Democrat Brad Schneider, for a half-hour sit-down discussion this past Saturday, which aired Sunday morning.  ABC 7 has the video available, and the Daily Herald covers it here; the Tribune story is here.

Here are the video clips courtesy of Channel 7 (in two parts):

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Two for Two: Congressman Bob Dold Earns Endorsement of the Daily Herald

Given Democrat Brad Schneider's lackluster (to put it charitably) performance before the Daily Herald editorial board a few weeks ago, I had little doubt that Bob Dold would win over the editors at the Daily Herald (much as he did the Chicago Tribune editors), but the DH really goes off on the Schneider campaign's misrepresentations of the Dold record, and team Schneider's sad attempt to pejoratively paint Dold with the 'tea party' brush:

"While Schneider seems personable and, on the surface, well intended, his campaign’s willingness to blatantly misrepresent Dold’s positions and candidacy is troubling to say the least. It suggests that if elected, he would fall into the same reflexive partisanship that stops Washington from addressing real problems. Schneider should demand better of his campaign. And certainly, the voters should in the 10th District, which takes in much of eastern Lake County and the top tier of townships in eastern Cook County."

Wow.  As the DH concludes, "Dold is the clear choice."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Congressman Bob Dold Nabs Chicago Tribune Endorsement

In a big boost for the campaign of incumbent Congressman Bob Dold in the newly-redrawn 10th Congressional District, the Chicago Tribune has come out with a strong endorsement of Bob Dold's independence -- a key issue, it seems, for proud ticket-splitters and independent voters in the 10th.

The Tribune stated, "Dold's record shows that he can think for himself and bridge political divides, two qualities that are in short supply in Congress. He has earned a second term, and he is endorsed." 

Conversely, the Trib laughed off suggestions from Dold's opponent, Brad Schneider, that Dold was a tea party advocate and too extreme for the 10th District.

Schneider has also been reeling under jabs from the Dold campaign that he has exaggerated his 'business experience,' and in fact, has derived little or no income from it, which has been picked up by the Daily Herald and the Tribune.

The Dems may have been ready to measure the curtains for Schneider's DC office, but it would appear that such a move might be premature.

I'm waiting eagerly for the Daily Herald endorsements to come out, but based on Schneider's performance in the DH interview session, I would not hold my breath if I were Schneider.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Is the Democratic Lake County Circuit Court Clerk Candidate's Triple DUI Arrest Record a Legitimate Campaign Issue? (UPDATED: Rep. Rita Mayfield Won't Answer Arrest Question)

When should a political candidate's prior arrest record become an issue to be considered in the course of a campaign for public office?

That question is something the Daily Herald recently decided to confront, and their request to candidates to reveal any arrests is already bearing some interesting fruit.

While an arrest record might be seem to be per se relevant to a political candidate's credibility, I think the DH wrestled with that issue a bit, since an arrest just by itself obviously doesn't necessarily lead to a conviction. But sometimes it does, or it may lead to some admission of guilt, and the DH editorial board seemed to feel pretty strongly that such a record, if it exists for a candidate, is something the voters ought to know about.

Case in point: Rupam Davé, the Democratic candidate for Lake County Circuit Court Clerk (an office currently held by long-time Circuit Court Clerk Sally Coffelt) was revealed by the Daily Herald to have not just one or two, but THREE arrests for DUI.  Davé offered a couple explanations for this, citing family issues and hardships, and asserted that if elected to office, she would make a point of trying to help others benefit by her mistakes.  While that all sounds like the politically-wise position to take, she went a bit too far, it seems, and also asserted that the only three times she ever drank alcohol in the past 20 years just happened to be the same three times she got busted for DUI.


That story really strains the bounds of credibility.  If I were Davé, I would think about trying to walk that one back, as no one with any brains is going to believe it.

Leaving aside her weak explanations for why she got arrested three times for DUI, another extremely serious issue is that one occurred while she was driving on a suspended license.

Just to ease your concerns, the Republican candidate, current Chief Deputy Circuit Court Clerk Keith Brin, told the DH he's never been arrested.

Other Lake County blogs and political blogs like Illinois Review are picking up on this story.  As most of you probably know, Davé was appointed to fill the Democratic nominee slot vacated by Cythia Pruim Haran, who left the race citing personal/family reasons.   I'm not sure if it's too late for Lake County Dem Chairman Terry Link to axe Davé and try to get yet another fill-in candidate, but if that's not an option, I think Link can kiss goodbye this chance to snap up a county-wide office.  However, Link told the DH, hey it's over, it's been a few years, move on, there's nothing to see here.  So maybe he really doesn't see an issue here.  I guess overall, that would not surprise me.

UPDATED 9/11/12 10:00 am:  What's the only thing worse than answering the "arrest question" with an affirmative response?  Perhaps refusing to answer it altogether.  This morning, the Daily Herald follows up its 'Quest for Arrests' with an article revealing that Democratic State Representative Rita Mayfield from the 60th Legislative District  won't answer the DH's question of whether she was ever arrested.  Her opponent, Jackie Burleson of Waukegan, told the DH he'd never been arrested.

Mayfield told the Herald, “I have an issue with the question itself.  I don’t feel that question is fair to the people of my district.”

Sorry, it's not fair to the PEOPLE of your district?  How is that not fair to let them know of anything in your past such as an arrest record?

Watching these politicians (all of whom are Democrats, so far, by the way) bob and weave over this question is really starting to be amusing.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Can Bill Clinton Make the Economic Case for Obama When Obama's Own Yardstick Indicates Failure? (UPDATED)

Tonight at the Democratic National Convention, former President Bill Clinton is expected to try to make the economic case that we need to give President Obama four more years for his economic plan to work.  Leaving aside the fact that beyond a "soak the rich" mentality (which simple math shows will hardly put a dent in the national debt, now over $16 TRILLION), I'm not really sure what Obama's plan is.

The mantra we've been hearing at the DNC is that it took more than four years to get into this mess, Obama needs more time to get us out.  One of the more obvious problems I see is that the situation is getting worse, not better, by many yardsticks, the national debt and unemployment being a few.  But let's harken back to the standards Obama set for himself at the start:

“I will be held accountable,” Obama said. “I’ve got four years and … A year from now, I think people are going to see that we’re starting to make some progress, but there’s still going to be some pain out there … If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”

That was then, this is now.

Clint Eastwood's speech at the RNC was wandering at best, but he had one point dead on:  If the guy you hired to do the job isn't doing it, you get someone else.

I'm sure I'm not the only person to wonder how many people will remember Obama's position on his own prospects for a second term some years ago.

I also wonder, though, if the Democrats choice of Bill Clinton to try to remind people of the 'good old days' under Democratic leadership may badly backfire, given the economic juxtaposition between the Clinton and Obama years.  It would be one thing if Obama was not running as a sitting president with almost four years under his belt.

UPDATED 9/6/12 7:00 am:  Well, former President Clinton went on for almost 50 minutes last night.  I presume they gave him 20 or 30.  But with Bill, it's always about him.  Clinton piled on Romney last night and made a lot of claims, both about his days as president, and what's happened under the current president.  How much of that was true?  Well, in some respects, not a whole lot.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Expected Dem Slogan for the DNC: "Here, Gimme That!"

Watching the RNC with my 11-year-old, who is quite interested.  He asked to watch the DNC next week, too, which I'm fine with.  He has seen all of the "We Built It" posters and signs, and he asked what the Dems' slogan would be.  I suggested "Here, Gimme That!"  I might be wrong, but at least it would be truthful on their part.

Senator Rob Portman asks 'Who would you rather invest with'?

Watching the RNC.  Senator Rob Portman of Ohio asks (paraphrasing), who would you rather invest your life savings with?  The guy who was extremely successful in business and made a boatload of money; or the guy who has never worked in the private sector, never started or owned a business, and believes that government is responsible for job growth.  Should it be any different for the nation's economy???

 'Nuf 'Sed.

MSM Bias Revealed Once Again; Yahoo! Fires Reporter for Romney Slur

The problem is that only when MSM bias is revealed to such a irrefutable degree is anything done about it.  Compared to the number of people in the media that we suspect make similar off-mike comments and hold similar views, few are caught like this guy was.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Rainy Day Can't Keep the Republican Faithful Away at the RALC Picnic

While the skies looked threatening, and off-and-on rain ruled most of the afternoon, the Republican Assembly of Lake County still had a great turnout for its annual summer picnic.  I give most of the credit to Doreen True, wife of RALC founder Ray True, for organizing a great event, though in truth many folks always pitch in to make it a great event.  While a few heavy GOP hitters were down in Tampa (so much for going to Florida to escape the rain in Chicago) such as State Senator Dan Duffy, and State Representatives Sid Mathias and Ed Sullivan, many other elected officials and candidates, and many enthusiastic grass-roots Republicans braved the rain to savor brats and political discussion.

A few notables such as Keith Brin, Candidate for Circuit Court Clerk, escaped my trusty Blackberry's picture function, but here's the pix I was able to snag::

Above is Recorder of Deeds Candidate Bob Bednar.  His goal is to be a fiscal watchdog and wants to explore increasing the efficiency (and perhaps even the necessity) for the Office of Recorder of Deeds.

Lake County Chairman Bob Cook, now in his second term, fires up the crowd. 

As usual, there was plenty of good food to go around. 

Judge Daniel Shanes got a big hand; Dan is running for Circuit Judge in the 3rd Judicial Subcircuit (some or all of Mundelein, Vernon Hills, Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire, and a few other areas).
David McSweeny is running for State Rep in the 52nd Legislative District (Mark Beaubein's old district). 

Don Castella is taking on Terry Link in the 30th Senate District. 

Michael Carbone is running for County Board, 16th District. 

Here's Judge Dan Shanes and County Board Chairman David Stolman of Buffalo Grove enjoying the picnic. 

Steve Newton is the most qualified candidate for Lake County Coroner, according the highly-respected former coroner Barbara Richardson, who spoke enthusiastically about Steve.

Tom Weber is running for County Board, District 3.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Big Team America Welcome to the 10th District Common Sense Blog!

Hi everyone!  Sorry it's been a long while since my last post.  The summer and my job have swept me away from regular posts.  The pick of Paul Ryan for VP means that the November election season is really about to get going now, though, so maybe I will get back to blogging more regularly.

For now, though, I want to encourage everyone to check out the brand new 10th District "Common Sense in Illinois' 10th" blog that has been started by my good friend and regular Team America commentor Lou Atsaves.  I have no doubt that it's going to be a great addition to free speech and intelligence political discourse here in the 10th!

Welcome to Common Sense!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Illinois Democrat Candidate Brad Schneider Supports Raising Taxes by $2.5 Billion in Illinois’ 10th District

From the Illinois Republican Party....

Illinois Democrat Candidate Brad Schneider Supports Raising Taxes by $2.5 Billion in Illinois’ 10th District

CHICAGO – Democrat Brad Schneider running in Illinois’ 10th Congressional District, supports raising taxes $2.5 billion in his district alone with the elimination of the 2001 & 2003 and payroll tax cuts at the end of this year.

This week, the Heritage Foundation released statistics on the additional burden the expiration of the current tax cuts would have on Illinois.  According to the group’s calculations, beginning Jan. 1, 2013 the 10th District’s taxes would more than double for families, totaling more than $7,605 per return.

Illinois Democrats have a strong history of creating hostile tax environments for businesses and workers, the latest being a 67 percent increase in the personal income tax rate and a 46 percent increase in taxes on businesses.  These increased taxes have encouraged other states including Wisconsin, Indiana and New Jersey to recruit businesses and employees out of the state in high numbers.  

“Now is not the time to be adding to the financial saddle already weighing down local families and businesses,” said Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady.  “Brad Schneider foolishly believes triggering the largest tax increase in history is a good idea for not only the residents of the 10th District, but for all Americans.  We don’t need Springfield policies in Washington, and that’s what Brad is purposing we do.”

“The fact is uncertainty due to this added taxation has inhibited businesses from hiring, which has restricted families for being able to plan for their futures effectively, and flawed policy stances held by candidates like Brad Schneider are exactly why we need fiscally responsible leaders in office,” added Brady.

Where Schneider Stands on Taxation:

•         Schneider believes in ending the 2001 & 2003 tax cuts.  (source:

•         Schneider believes in the philosophy of wealth redistribution and his answer to improving the tax code is to create a “progressive tax” system rather than broad-based personal and corporate tax reforms that reduce the burdens on the few and ensure all Americans have a stake in the country.  (source: Glencoe News)


Monday, June 18, 2012

Arie Friedman’s Opponent Julie Morrison Questions The Relevance of His Military Service

I got an advanced copy of this press release that is going out tomorrow from the Arie Friedman for State Senate campaign:

Friedman’s opponent questions the relevance of his military service

June 19, 2012

Highland Park – In an article published Monday morning by the Deerfield Patch, State Senate Candidate Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) claimed that Dr. Arie Friedman (R-Highland Park) “has never been responsible to citizens and taxpayers.”

“By questioning the relevance of my experience Mrs. Morrison displays an unfortunate naiveté about the nature of military service,” said Friedman. “Only a full-time career politician would believe that a retired Desert Storm Naval Aviator has never held a position of public trust and accountability.”

During his active duty Naval Aviation career, Dr. Friedman logged thousands of hours and hundreds of shipboard landings as a helicopter pilot and deployed twice including once to Operation Desert Storm.

Morrison went on to tout her experience as a career politician. “I know what it’s like to be accountable to taxpayers and my opponent does not. I know how to balance a budget.”

Dr. Friedman stated in response, “I think Mrs. Morrison has an odd way of demonstrating her belief that she is accountable to the voters. Over a period of several months, Mrs. Morrison has refused to take a position on whether she would have supported last year’s record-setting Illinois state income tax increases.”

“A few months ago we released a video of my opponent repeatedly refusing to take a position on the tax increase,” said Friedman. “How can you be accountable to taxpayers if you refuse to tell them where you stand on the issues?”

According to her own 2011 - 2012 budget, Mrs. Morrison’s West Deerfield Township spent $1.6 million dollars despite only receiving $1 million in revenue. As a result of this, the township’s reserves were drastically depleted. Friedman commented, “If I ran my medical practice that way, my doors would be closed within a month. Illinois can’t afford any more of this Rod Blagojevich style math.”

The video “Julie on Taxes” can be found at this link.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lauren Turelli Drops Out of Race to Succeed Karen May in 58th Legislative District

I heard about this over the weekend, but I've been waiting to post something until Lauren was ready to deal with the press.  Unfortunately, Lauren Turelli has decided to drop out of the race to succeed retiring State Representative Karen May.  Her opponent, Democrat Scott Drury, a former assistant U.S. Attorney (and who abandoned the crowded Lake County State's Attorney Dem primary to jump in this race), would have had a tough time with Turelli, but now he's looking a lot better.

No word yet on who the GOP might name to take Turelli's place.  Since the 58th District straddles the Lake-Cook county line, both Lake County GOP Chairman Bob Cook, and several Cook County Township chairmen will have a say in naming Turelli's replacement.  Aside from Keith Gray, who stepped aside from the race when Turelli announced, and of course, Dr. Mark Neerhof, who lost a fairly close primary race to Turelli, I can't immediately think of any likely candidates.

Here's the release, which will be sent out later today to the media outlets:

Turelli Ends State Representative Campaign

LAKE FOREST – Lauren Turelli, the Republican nominee for the office of State Representative for the 58th District, today announced that she was ending her campaign.

“It is with much regret that I end my campaign for State Representative. It was a difficult decision to throw my hat in the ring three years ago and even more difficult to leave it behind,”said Turelli. “For nearly three years, I have met with voters throughout the 58th district and created a platform to reform our pension system, to reduce our state budget, to improve public education and to create a business friendly environment in our state. I hope that the Republican Party chooses a like-minded person to replace me for the November election.” 

“It is clear that Illinois is in a very precarious financial situation, brought upon by years of abuse and inaction. We require new faces in Springfield without ties to the entrenched interests that control state government in order to repair the damage that has been done,” said Turelli. “While I believe that I have the right vision to reform state government, my personal circumstances have changed since the March primary. I would not be able to devote 100% of my time and energy to this race, which the Republican Party and my supporters expect and deserve. I will not put a Republican victory in jeopardy due to my personal situation and the resulting time constraints.” 

The Illinois Election Code requires the political party nominating a candidate for state office to convene a legislative committee to choose the replacement for a candidate who withdraws from a general election contest prior to election day. For the 58th District, that would include the Chairmen of the Cook County Township Republican Organizations within the district and the Lake County Republican Party Chairman.

Turelli committed to assisting the candidate chosen by the Republican Party as much as possible. “From experience, I know what is necessary to run a campaign in this district. I am confident our Republican leaders will choose a qualified individual whom we can all support. I am extremely grateful to all of those who have voted for me and supported me in the past, those who have welcomed me into their homes and businesses, and the wonderful members of our community who have volunteered on my behalf to create a better Illinois.”

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wisconsin Voters Line Up in Walker Recall Election (UPDATED: Race Called for Walker)

UPDATE 6/5/12 9:25 pm CDT:  The networks are now calling the race in favor of Governor Scott Walker.  There appear to be a lot of votes left to count, but what the heck.  Congrats, guv!

It's hard to ignore the significance of the recall election going on today in Wisconsin, as big labor's efforts to oust Governor Scott Walker in retaliation for his hard-hitting labor reforms are coming to a head.  The national media is presenting this as a pre-referendum on the November presidential election, and on some levels they may be right.  Obama himself has stayed noticeably distant from the battle (even while fundraising in Chicago and in Minnesota), which seems like a good indication to me that he's very concerned that Walker will not be recalled, and a too-close association with this losing effort could prove to be mud that won't wash off as we hurtle towards the November presidential election.

Local TA operatives report long lines over the border at polling places:

A long line itself is, of course, no indication of how the vote is going to go, but most late polls still had Walker ahead of his opponent, the Milwaukee Mayor, and on my weekend camping trip up to Wilmot, WI, your Team America noted about a 10:1 ratio of pro- versus anti- Walker signs along the road.

TA's prediction:  Walker lives to fight on, and becomes a national GOP hero.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Heckuva Way To Come Back From a Three Day Weekend

Well, some days it doesn't pay to go out to get the morning papers, or even turn on the computer.

This morning, we were treated to an above-the-fold story in the Chicago Tribune (with a full-page jump) on Senator Mark Kirk and an FEC complaint filed by his ex-wife, Kimberly Vertolli, regarding payments made by the Kirk Campaign to Dodie McCracken, who used to be (but isn't anymore) Kirk's girlfriend. (and, I swear, if someone says "Release the McCracken!" in comments, I will ban them for life.  I've read that about 20 times today on other blogs.  You're not the first person to think of it).

The other great news today was that an internal poll released by Democratic nominee for the 10th congressional District Brad Schneider showed him tied with Congressman Bob Dold.  The implication of the poll (according to the pollster) is that without even getting warmed-up, Schneider is already in a dead heat with the incumbent in the new more-Dem-friendly 10th District.  There's still a lot of time left, and Dold hasn't even begun to dip into his considerable campaign war chest, but you can bet that Team Schneider will be touting this poll for weeks to come, and leveraging it to bring in the big donors and the DCCC.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Keeping the "Memorial" In Memorial Day

Lately on Facebook, I have seen a lot of photos with a funny tagline to the effect of, "It's Not National Barbecue Day."   For some reason I didn't want to repost one of those photos this morning, but the point is well taken.  What are you doing today to remember our men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country, besides firing up the grill later?  Not being a military family, we've never been all that intent on making a huge deal out of Memorial Day ourselves, but we're trying to be a little more diligent, especially now that the kids are a bit older.  This year, the kids are marching in the local parade with the scouts, and I'm going to give blood over in Lake Bluff.

Getting a little pinprick isn't anything to compare with the blood of our soldiers that has been spilled in defense of our country, but it's my small way of trying to honor those who have fallen.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this solemn day, and we'll be back to our regular political programming tomorrow.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cynthia Pruim Haran to Exit Lake County Circuit Court Clerk Race (UPDATED x2)

NEW UPDATE 5/26/12:  The Dems have announced their replacement for Cynthia Haran - Lake County Attorney Rupam Davé.  According to Davé's Facebook page, she was born August of 1962, which would make her 49.  Read about it here.

Original post:

Team America is hearing this afternoon that Democrat Cynthia Pruim Haran, who is running for Circuit Court Clerk against Republican (and current Chief Deputy clerk under Sally Coffelt) Keith Brin, is dropping out of the race, for reasons unknown. She has this up on her personal Facebook page, apparently.

 Here is what she posted. It doesn't really explain why she's withdrawing, however:

After much thought, discussion and prayer I have decided to withdraw from the race for Clerk of the Circuit Court. 

By no means was this an easy decision. But, in my heart I know it is the right decision for my family.

My husband, Michael, and I have one main goal in life- to raise 3 happy, healthy children in a difficult world. We believe the best way to do this is to step away from the very public demands of a countywide campaign. To the family, friends and voters who supported us along the way- I thank you from the very bottom of my heart

We are lucky to have met so many wonderful people! Senator Link and my fellow democrats, I thank you for your support during the campaign and this difficult decision process. To my fellow candidates, on both sides of the aisle, I wish you all the best over these next few months! Many of you are dear friends and colleagues and you have my utmost respect and support!

To the voters --know that you hold the power to change Lake County-and beyond-in the palm of your hands! Execise that power--and VOTE! Thank you all for your support and understanding.

 We'll update you more as details filter in...

UPDATE 4:00 pm:  The DH has its story up here.  And, here is Republican nominee Keith Brin's full reaction statement:

HIGHLAND PARK, IL – Keith Brin, Republican nominee for Lake County Circuit Court Clerk, released the following statement in regards to Cynthia Pruim Haran’s withdrawal today from the race.

“I respect Cynthia’s carefully-considered decision and wish her and her family all the best as she focuses on the most important thing in each of our lives: our families. Running for office is a difficult thing, especially in a large county, and this is a reminder of the strain it puts on our loved ones. I am so thankful to my wife, Courtney, and our three children for the support and patience they have shown throughout the campaign.

We have run a strong campaign to date and will continue to focus on our efforts to modernize the office and further improve efficiency and access in order to reduce costs and improve customer service. I look forward to contrasting my ability to continue the Lake County tradition of fiscal discipline and transparency against that of whomever the Democrats slate to oppose me in the General Election.”

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Senator Mark Kirk Releases Recovery Video (Updated))

Hey, how cool is this? Senator Mark Kirk has released the first public video of his recovery since his stroke. It's amazing to see how hard he is working in his rehab to get back in the saddle. Go Mark!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

What to Do About Dee Beaubien?

As TA readers know, we were one of the first sources to report that Dee Beaubien, widow of former State Representative Mark Beaubien, was considering a run as an independent in the 52nd State Legislative District. This all developed in the wake of conservative David McSweeney's emphatic primary victory over Kent Gaffney, who was appointed to serve out the remainder of Mark Beaubien's term after his untimely death last summer.

Dee Beaubien's decision to run has placed many local Republicans, both within and without the 52nd District, in a bit of a quandary. Dee and her husband had lots of friends and supporters, some of whom are now being torn between their instincts to support the official GOP nominee, and their personal feelings towards Dee. For the conservative members of the district, it's a no-brainer: McSweeney was always their guy. But for folks who supported Gaffney and/or are Beaubien fans, it places them in an uncomfortable position, perhaps.

Significantly, House Minority Leader Tom Cross and other establishment Republicans such as Ed Sullivan, Jr., have already pledged their support to McSweeney (despite their support of Gaffney in the primary). It remains to be seen where other prominent Republicans line up, but I will say that the field of GOP supporters who showed up to Dee Beaubien's campaign announcement was remarkably thin.

One thing that Beaubien will probably not lack is funding, as she is the chosen candidate of Personal PAC.

Personal PAC is also the sworn enemy (and vice versa) of State Senator Dan Duffy, whose Senate District encompasses the 52nd Legislative District.

All I can say at this time is, stay tuned for further developments....

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Governor Scott Walker Gets Rave Reviews At Lake County Republican Federation 50th Anniversary Spring Gala

No, Governor Scott Walker is not trying to measure the size of the Illinois budget deficit in this picture, but he drew, indirectly, a stark contrast between where Illinois is headed, and where he has tried to lead Wisconsin, last night as the keynote speaker at the Lake County Republican Federation Spring Gala.

Governor Walker spoke to the sold-out crowd of more than 600 Lake County Republicans in what was the most well-attended and enthusiastic gathering in recent memory. The protesters outside the Marriott Lincolnshire only added to the spice of the occasion, according to everyone inside the event that I spoke to.

As most of you know, as the Dinner Chairman, I had the responsibility for choosing the more mundane items like the appetizers and dinner selections, but also the security measures, and I am proud to report that we held the Hessians at the gate and no breach of the perimeter occurred. ;-)

Governor Walker was clearly the highlight of the evening, as he spoke of how, under his administration, private sector jobs have been created, property taxes have been reduced, and the reforms to union control have resulted in a better way of life for the people of his state.

But, not to be overshadowed, the Federation was also celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the organization, which is an amazing accomplishment -- one that I am proud to have been a small part of. The evening featured a commemorative video, focusing on the history of the Federation, and its co-founder, Ambassador Bob Stuart, who was present and is also celebrating a remarkable 96th birthday this week. We also had a very amusing "congratulatory" video of many prominent Lake County Republicans to wind up the evening. Long-time volunteer and true Republican worker-bee Ray Card stole the entire video with his concluding "blooper" segment. If I can post that sometime soon, I will.

All in all, a really great evening, and one that signifies that no one holds a candle to the strength of the Republican Party in Lake County!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bob Cook Wins Re-Election As Lake County GOP Chairman (UPDATED)

My early report from the Lake County Republican Convention (which just wrapped up a little bit ago) is that current Chairman Bob Cook has won re-election over his opponent, Moraine Township GOP Chairman Lou Atsaves, by an unofficial vote total of 24,619 to 6,733. I understand that officially, though, Lou threw his votes over to Bob for a unanimous decision.

I think the Lake County Republicans were very fortunate to have two great candidates to chose from, and as far as I have heard, the contest was very honorable and professional, so I have no doubt that the Lake County GOP is going to emerge from the election stronger than ever, and ready to take on the Dems.

In other news... The Daily Herald reports that Congressman Bob Dold had a great fundraising quarter, taking in almost $600,000 (of which almost $400,000 was just in March), which brings him up to about $1.6 million in the bank -- a seven-fold cash advantage over Dem nominee Brad Schneider, who had to compete in an expensive Dem primary.

UPDATED 4/19/12 11:00 am: The Daily Herald reports here. On the Dem side, Chairman Terry Link retains his position, big shock. Once again, the Lake County Dems get the leadership they deserve.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Would-Be Judge Jeffrey Braiman Stuggles to Control Village Board Meetings in Buffalo Grove

As we mentioned yesterday, Buffalo Grove Mayor and judicial candidate Jeffrey Braiman seems to be having a bit of a struggle lately controlling the flow of his Village Board meetings with respect to handling public comments. Mayor Braiman has now announced some new measures designed to ensure that no one "hijacks" the meeting, as occurred recently when former trustee Lisa Stone got hold of the microphone. One might wonder how successfully a Judge Braiman would handle court decorum....

Monday, April 16, 2012

We're Back In Action; Judge Dan Shanes Addresses Chamber; Lake County GOP Welcomes Gov. Scott Walker

Hi everyone - my apologies for being "off the grid" as of late, but I just finished a major round of briefing for a case, and now I am able to get back to politics a bit better.

First up in today's news is my friend Judge Daniel Shanes, who addressed the Buffalo Grove Chamber of Commerce recently at a luncheon to talk about the Lake County Judicial System. This was not a political speech, but Team America hears that Shanes' opponent, Buffalo Grove Mayor Jeffrey Braiman, objected to Shanes speaking, but to no avail. Looks like Braiman has his hands full trying to manage former trustee Lisa Stone at the most recent Village Board meeting, so maybe Mayor Braiman ought to concentrate on serving his constituency, rather than being Terry's Link's surrogate in a judicial sub-circuit race.

Meanwhile, the Lake County Republican Federation will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary this week with its annual Spring Gala at the Marriott Lincolnshire. The dinner will feature keynote speaker Governor Scott Walker, who has quite a following among Illinois Republicans. Ticket sales will only be open through Tuesday at the latest, and we already have more than 600 confirmed attendees, so this will be quite an event.

What else is going on out there?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Breaking news... Dee Beaubien to Run in 52nd District as Independent Against David McSweeny (UPDATED)

I will bet that few folks saw this coming -- fresh off a fairly impressive win against incumbent State Representative Kent Gaffney (who, as you all know, was appointed to fill in after the untimely death of well-respected State Rep. Mark Beaubien last year), David McSweeney now has a new problem -- Team America has confirmed from multiple sources that Mark Beaubien's widow, Dee Beaubien, will mount an independent campaign against McSweeney.

While Dee Beaubien's intent to run is more or less official (TA hears that Ms. Beaubien has been making calls to people in McHenry County), what's not yet official is that Terry Cosgrove and his Personal PAC is behind the move. We will see if this gets confirmed.

I called State Rep. Ed Sullivan, Jr. to see where HRO will be on this, since HRO was squarely behind Gaffney (a former HRO staffer) in the primary campaign. Sullivan is now HRO Chairman. Sullivan told me in no uncertain terms that HRO is 100% behind McSweeney, and that HRO and House GOP Leader Tom Cross will be supporting McSweeney all the way.

If its true that Personal PAC is behind the Beaubein candidacy, I would expect no less, given the enmity between Cosgrove's group and HRO (just look at some of the mailers Personal PAC has sent out against GOP candidates like State Senator Dan Duffy in the past to see why).

This has yet to hit the press, but it will any minute.... Stay tuned for more...

Adding... I wasn't aware of this before, but apparently Dee Beaubien is (was?) on Personal PAC's Board of Directors. This is becoming a bit more clear, now, perhaps... Of course, Mark Beaubien himself took plenty of contributions from Personal PAC over the years.

UPDATED 4/6/12 5:35am: The Daily Herald got hold of Dee Beaubien after we broke this news last night, and she was quite cagey with Mike Riopell, telling him that she was merely "considering" a run. I guess we'll see. Cal Skinner also put up a post last night, with a helpful map if the 52nd District, in case you don't know what the new boundaries are.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

So Much for Sheyman; It'll Be Schneider vs. Dold in IL-10

Fresh-faced (but possibly too fresh-faced) Ilya Sheyman failed to pull it out over Brad Schneider, in a war to win the hearts and minds of "progressives" in IL-10, with Sheyman conceding to Schneider a short while ago. Watch Schneider lose that claim to be "progressive" in about a milisecond now that he's won the primary, and watch him embrace his "centrist" donations to politicians of both sides, which he spent months trying to explain away. Ah, well, such is politics. Most Dems will likely forgive Schneider, except of course our friend Ellen.

Clearly Schneider presents a tougher threat to Congressman Bob Dold than Sheyman, but from what I hear from my Dem friends, Schneider is a lousy communicator, so he's got some real work to do.

In any event, a few of my favorites won around Lake County - Keith Brin won for Circuit Court Clerk in a tight race against Jerry Dietz, among other interesting races.

One of the more interesting stats, apart from the generally low voter turnout, is that in Lake County at least, there were a TON more people taking GOP ballots than Dem ballots. Yes, obviously the Republicans had a presidential primary on the line that had been getting a lot of press specifically here in Illinois in the days before the election, but the Dems had a hot race in Il-10, too. So, that may bode well for the GOP's chances in Lake County in general this fall, but it's a political eternity until November, so all we can do for now is to stay tuned in...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Countdown to Illinois Primary with Predictions

Hi everyone - sorry I have been off the grid for the past week - a little thing called work interfered with blogging, but I'm sure we have all been keeping up with the happenings in the Tenth District. So far, though, the not-news appears to be that top Democratic primary opponents Ilya Sheyman and Brad Schneider are taking a lot of pokes at each other. Ho, hum. John Tree's supporters would have us believe that the Democratic voters in IL-10 are so appalled at actual politics that they will turn to him as the only real alternative.

My prediction: ain't gonna happen.

Tree's supporters, such as Ellen of the Tenth, would have us believe that Tree walks on water, and she highly criticizes the other candidates for many reasons, including putting up political signs on public parkways (which she calls "illegal and meaningless"), but I will tell you that I saw plenty of Tree signs up and down Milwaukee Avenue in Vernon Hills on my way back from Pilates early this morning, so don't believe that Tree is some kind of spanky new clean politician. Even Terry "signatures from dead people" Link is crying crocodile tears over the so-called negative campaigning, which is just too funny in itself.

I also have to say I was amused when I got a "breaking news alert" from The Patch over the weekend that retiring State Rep Karen May was supporting Brad Schneider because she didn't like Ilya Sheyman's tactics of pointing out all of Schneider's Republican contributions. Boo hoo. Like anyone care what lame duck Karen May thinks. If you want to complain about tactics, I still think Schneider way crossed the line in putting a picture of the President on one of his walk pieces, which a lot of people seem to agree with.

In any event, here's my prediction for the 10th:

Ilya Sheyman: 36%
Brad Schneider: 34%
John Tree: 21%
Vivek Bavda: 8%
Other: 1%

In other races:

Lake County States's Attorney: Too close to call. Mike Neirheim has won the sign war handily, and Louise Hayes surprisingly went pretty negative on both Bryan Winter and Neirheim. If Hayes hurt Neirheim by going negative but also hurt herself at the same time, maybe Winter pulls it out. This will be a squeeker.

Lake County Coroner: Dr. Howard Cooper went super-negative on Steve Newton for being fired by disgraced Democratic former coroner Dr. Richard Keller. Doubt that this was effective, but we'll see. TA looks for a Newton win.

Lake County Circuit Court Clerk: Despite a good base in central Lake County for Jerry Deitz, current Chief Deputy Keith Brin wins big over Deitz, shored up by Collin Corbett's able campaign team.

Lake County Recorder of Deeds: This is a bit of a sleeper race in an office that doesn't get much attention. Marty Blumenthal got the newspaper endorsements, but Bob Bednar has a bit more grass roots support, I think, so look for a Bednar win here.

Feel free to add your own predictions in comments.

And, yes, I know Mitt Romney was in town last night, but I could not make it. We had him at the Lake County Republican Federation Fall Dinner in 2010, so I already got my picture with him anyway. ;-) I believe Romney will win Illinois by about 10 points over Rick Santorum.

Adding... I get a personal shout-out from Ellen this morning, in a snarky way, as she relishes the notion of me or any other moderate Republican trying to make the case for Santorum as a great President. I have to say that Santorum scares me a bit, but I'd still take him over Obama-disaster.

Adding more... Over at Talking Points Memo, Ellen is taking a beating in the comments section, with people accusing her of being a Schneider shill. This is almost too funny. So far, she hasn't invited anyone to look at Team America to prove that she's a dyed-in-the-wool liberal and not a blue dog Schneider defender, but if she did, it might set all the moonbats over at TPM right.