November 30, 2006

Springfield's View of Taxpayers

ATT58437111

We should send the "No's" and the 'Present" a nice Christmas Card..er let's be politically polite and send a 'Holiday' card. Let's not forget G-Rod, and Madigan. How can someone in East Moline, Shirland, or Alton possibly know anything about the overtax burden Chicagoans already bear? Does the rest of the State of Illinois have TIF's and SSA's draining the bank? Is this retaliation big time? I can just imagine what Royko would have written - 'hayseeds' surface.

Thanks dudes and dudettes!

November 29, 2006

Burned Again!

November 29, 2006
BY DAVE MCKINNEY Sun-Times Springfield Bureau Chief

Here it is, served up two days in a row…pay more and more and more. Yesterday it was the property tax rip off, today it’s the ComEd rip off. One can’t help but wonder how the constituents of the ‘NO's’ and the ‘Present's’ feel about their public ‘servants’ with this latest contribution to constituents increase in bills.

If you haven’t done so already, you might head to a hardware store and spend the money for CFL’s

One consolation after you pay the cashier is that you will reduce your electric bill and you won’t have to climb that rickety ladder for a long time to replace the bulbs.

Plus, you might want to check out when the No and Present public servants with your best interest not in mind come up for re-election. Or else vote for them and let us all pay the price. These energy efficient bulbs are supposed to be available for free at Com Ed...I notice a neighboring CHAMBER of COMMERCE alerted neighbors of City sponsored events to pick them up also. I may have missed it, did anyone get any notification from any Ward 49 entity?

November 28, 2006

Tax 'Em and Take 'Em

Above link: By Abdon M. Pallasch – Chicago Sun-Times

We have to raise property taxes to support our public servants who rack up the bills. In the case of Stroger Hospital, don't collect millions in unpaid bills by just not sending them. Increased property taxes force us to contribute to this too!
And, of course, the latest scoop Eric Zorn – Tribune – on Bobbie Steele!

"But a Civic Federation study released Monday finds that rather than facing a property tax hike, owners of commercial, industrial and apartment property will see their tax bills go down whether or not the cap is renewed. That's because home values are rising so much faster than other properties.

"The average Chicago apartment owner's tax bill will drop $1,051 a year with the cap; $1,643 without it, the study says. Commercial property owners will see theirs drop $216 with the cap; $488 without."

Interesting isn't it? Again, I pose this problem for responses: If a property goes into bankruptcy and is sold for say $125k by the bank to be rid of it, then how does that valuation effect the properties on either side, if at all? If a million was mortgaged into said bankrupt property and it's sold for much less than was borrowed (plus interest) then is the buyer paying 'adjusted' taxes on the lower selling price than his neighbors on either side?

At any rate, we will probably see many homeowners trying to sell in a dead market. Maybe the politicians can set up a food relief fund for them. It'll be like the heart string story of senior citizens trying to decide what to spend their limited income on - their medicines or their food.

So Mike Madigan, what's in it for you? And Roddy, if you're in favor of the 7% cap, where's your veto pen?

November 27, 2006

Aldermanic Candidates - Everywhere

November 27, 2006
BY SCOTT FORNEK Political Reporter


"Still farther north, Ald. Joe Moore is drawing a crowd of Rogers Park activists in the 49th Ward. Challengers include former newspaper editor Chris Adams, 49; Don Gordon, 57, a technology project manager, and Jim Ginderske, 40, an electrician.

Adams faults Moore for pushing the big-box ordinance and the city ban on foie gras.

"I think [the big-box ordinance] is anti-jobs and anti-Chicago," Adams said. "And foie gras? I agree completely with the mayor. I think it's just silly legislation."

Moore, 48, argues that both ordinances were important to the ward.


"Look, I've worked very hard not only on the two issues we talked about, but a whole range of issues -- zoning, public housing, public safety in the community and economic development," Moore said.
But he admits he is concerned about the Chamber of Commerce backing one of his rivals.

"I'm going to have to take that very seriously," Moore said."

***************************************************************

Let's hope all incumbents take voters very seriously. Vi Daley was there when Eisendrath was Alderman, so it's possible she's become a 'rubber stamp'. Only after cinderblocks took over parts of her ward did she cry foul and try to stop them. She did vote 'present' at the Stroger Fest at the Hotel Allegro last summer.

Burt Naturus and his sidekick Bernie Stone - the vice mayor, have had a good long run. Odd the article didn't mention Bernie...but reports have it that there was some strange politickin' in Stone’s Ward 50 on election day too.
November 15, 2006By LORRAINE SWANSON Staff Writer Pioneer Press

In Ward 49, Moore's imported campaign help for Stroger had petition clipboards too. But this year, the first time in who knows how many years, they couldn't takeover certain polling places for their illegal campaigning.

Back to Ward 49 - absorb these words and what thoughts come to your mind?

"...zoning, public housing, public safety in the community and economic development," Moore said.

After the City allowed JJ Fish to re-open, there was NO foie gras on the menu before or after, but chicken bones were abundant on Howard Street. As for the Big Box - any number of known merchandisers could have been courted to come to this ward. Instead, the alderman felt the need to pursue dollar stores and shoe stores. At one point, he stated this area was not ready for a bookstore such as Borders, or a Whole Foods, you get the drift? The lower portion of the Gateway Mall is a storage facility so that's a real boon to this area's economy. As for public safety - he does have a form letter for mugging victims. It took a petition to get a blue light on Howard, it took angry neighbors years to do something about the Broadmoor. The same amount of anger and time is applicable to the Gale Park Field House. But I'm curious to know more about public safety. If safety = CAPS then it isn't always working across the ward.

Zoning for improvement or zoning for ?
Public safety?
Economic development?

November 25, 2006

Levity

24 and 25 are my favorites! Enjoy the weekend weather.

November 24, 2006

Is This A Loophole?

A neighbor sent this Wednesday 11.22.06:

"This is the rear of Bud Ogle's two buildings (Co-Ops?) on the 7700 block of N. Hermitage, awaiting pick-up by the CITY crews today."

A little research from the numbers on the trash carts indicates that Good News Partners is listed as owner of 7727 and 7729 N Hermitage.

PICT1122

Many neighbors get upset when they see sights like this. Neighbors, as property owners, pay the city for trash removal while certain large buildings are not following the ‘multi-unit’ code rule of providing and paying for their own dumpster. The ordinances in the links below are from the Streets and Sanitation department on the City website. You can decide if this owner should be using the City scavengers or should be providing a dumpster for such large amounts of trash. It’s also an old City service to provide free trash pick up for tax exempt properties, and the taxpayers foot the bill. These properties aren't listed as exempt, but follow the bread crumbs to the Good News Partners affiliation that is decades old.

As the cost of living rises, everyone is tossed into the ‘victim’ category, not just renters. There’s no way a landlord can keep rents affordable and still pay for the increases unless he’s a very generous multi-millionaire.

Here’s the Sanitation Ordinance

Here’s the definition of Residential Garbage for a single family dwelling or multi-unit building of 4 units or less.

And this should apply to the above mentioned properties since they are Multi-Unit Buildings with more than 4 units. Or it should read that way. Note it mentions 5 stories...there are plenty or 3-4 storey buildings with 6-8 units. Is this lack of definitive verbiage on the multi-unit link on what constitutes a 'multi-unit' building creating a loophole? It is noted in the Sanitation Ordinance as such: Owners of apartment buildings must provide sufficient garbage containers for all tenants and arrange for private or licensed scavenger pick-up service.

This morning the bins appeared this way
100_1533

With the initials GNP clearly painted on some of them. 100_1531

So what happened to the rest? They’re neatly stashed in the back yard.
100_1532

Note: There are some bins in the first photo with even numbers. The other side of Hermitage is Triangle Park - no even-numbered buildings exist on Hermitage.

November 23, 2006

The Machine Unveiled - Again

Were this some Grade B movie there could be a logical explanation - bad writers, bad director, bad actors, lack of money. This is the Cook County Board President, hand picked by the Machine and allegedly voted upon by the masses.

Yesterday Obama finally spoke up about keeping campaign promises. It's a pity he backed Toddy in the first place, pity he has to be a Machine Man to keep the money and the support. Yesterday's Sun-Times article was much shorter than today's. Now there's another unveiling of the Machine's work and the apparent blindness of Toddy. It's always amazing how those on the top of the food chain can manipulate, convolute, fib, and have the capability to squeeze through loop holes - just like rodents.

Either Toddy needs to read more, or get his eyes checked. Are we to believe no one in his 'campaign' told him about the investigation on Nichols?

What's Toddy going to do when it's time to deal with several million dollars worth of issues? Ask the Machine and do as told? Just like the Grade B movie comparison - bad directors and bad actors the only difference being they're scripting the continuation of the Stroger Regime with taxpayers money.

November 22, 2006

The End of Camelot

Bizarre Sighting at Dominick's

A strange phenomenon was witnessed at Dominick's over the weekend. It wasn't quite a talking pumpkin or a dancing turkey, but darn close. A woman was in the checkout line behind a man. Yeah, yeah, happens daily right? Well, this man was purchasing $900 plus worth of Dominick's gift certificates. This man just happens to be employed by the alderman just before Thanksgiving - and on an election year. And was he ever embarassed when he discovered who she was!

Two days later, according to news reports, the alderman and his on-again, off-again friends at the Soup Kitchen just coincidentally happened to be holding a press conference about poor people and handing out food. The reverend at the political church allegedly stated there were poor people here who had never been downtown to see Millennium Park because they couldn't afford bus tickets. I see many of my non-rich neighbors boarding trains and buses all the time. I know many low income people who have not one, but two vehicles. How? I don't know, it's their business - that is until their plight is used as a tool to extract money for any entity. To be blatantly honest, all income levels know how to play the system! Not everyone dares to gamble with the system but all we need to do is read the headlines any given day right? We've just witnessed this 'progressivism' with Toddy and his federally scrutinized friend Gerald

What is really missing in this neighborhood is a sense of pride. "Poor" people can have pride and a sense of conscience. I'm sure there are many that would say 'no thank you' to some gift certificate offering because they know it's not a GIFT but a subtle invitation (or should I say order?) to join the re-elect me movement. Many are also aware of the stark reality that once the election is over, if the incumbent wins, it's back to the same old, same old. But then there are others who have no sense of pride and who feel that conscience is something for really religious people. So they take the turkey and run! Feed the family, convince them to re-elect the gift-giver because there's 'more to come'. Reach out to your friends, recruit the masses of the poor and down-trodden. The Machine will give you bus fare and sub sandwiches and the good part is, you don't even have to live here.

The desire to want change will not come in the form of politically funded plastic cards. If anyone wants to help the poor in the holiday season during an election year, then by all means do so. You may purchase a gift certificate at Dominick's and donate it to the Howard Area Community Center for a family in need, just as you did in September for the victims of the Marshfield fire.

For the purpose of election campaigns, since this is supposed to be a democratic process, then do your politickin' with the brains not the emotional strings.

November 21, 2006

Toddy's First Fib?

It shouldn't come as any surprise to read that Toddy is lifting longtime family 'friend' Nichols from suspension to help him! Nichols had a nice long taxpayers paid time-out but now Toddy and the machine are bringing him back. Toddy obviously can't figure all this out on his own.

"I'm going to bring Gerald on to help me figure out who's who and what's what," said Stroger, who takes office next week. "He obviously knows everybody in the county, I don't care what people say. Tell me somebody who doesn't know who Gerald Nichols is."

Well, Toddy, Bobbie Steel still can't figure out what Nichols did to earn $114k, but didn't outright fire him. In spite of campaign promises, a federal investigation, this is the best we can get huh? Toddy and Gerald.

So no one else knows the ropes but Gerald? It's apparent Toddy doesn't know a rope from a fence post.

Many thanks to the other Dem Commissioners who backed Toddy. That includes Mike Quigley and our Larry Sufferdin.

There's still one more election, one more chance to clean a dirty house, unless the Machine buys everyone off.

Gee, how much is the offer?

November 20, 2006

"Get Him OT"

BY STEVE PATTERSON AND ABDON M. PALLASCH Staff Reporters Chicago Sun Times

The holiday season is here and the mess thickens - and I'm not referring to gravy, dressing, or pudding. Todays article reveals a little list "allegedly" kept by Commish Moreno and his former assistant. But it boils down to her word against his. That may be, but what about the list? It exists if it's being investigated. It's in the computer system somewhere, probably invented by an 'angry' ex assistant right?

Meanwhile, when asked about the $114,000 his friend Gerald Nichols is still receiving while not working, Toddy remarked that he'd fire him 'after Christmas'. Suddenly the holidy spirit is the latest excuse. Nichols was exposed how long ago? A few taxpayers have bills to pay Toddy, including holiday gifts.

Here are some of the gifts handed out at the taxpayers expense:
"An April 2003 memo from Moreno to Nichols says, "Richard [Piwowarski] is the son of one of my best friends. I have also asked President Stroger to help him. Please do everything you can so that Richard will get this job."

The clout list notes Nichols assured Moreno the job "won't be posted" for outside applicants to fill, as required.

Two months later, Piwowarski was hired as a $60,000-a-year county motor vehicle driver.

Moreno confirms he's the son of a friend, but says the memo was fake.

Piwowarski, who was earlier laid off by the Forest Preserve District, says he took tests against other candidates, interviewed and doesn't know if Moreno's letter played a role in his landing the job.

Many others on the list wouldn't return phone calls, including Gary Fogarty, a $77,000-a-year county employee who the records note is Moreno's closest friend and who he confirms is his son's godfather."

And Toddy says:

"Incoming County Board President Todd Stroger says that in all his years in the state Legislature and City Cil, he's never seen a "clout list," and he won't allow them to exist in his administration.

"The only lists that will exist will be those with people who are qualified and willing to work hard," he says."

We have a lot to be thankful for this week don't we?

November 18, 2006

The Corruption Allowance

One measure of a candidate is their contribution to the public dialog. Mayoral candidate Bill "Dock" Walls made a major contribution recently by naming the concept of the "corruption allowance." He didn't invent it, but he named it.

Although we never knew what to call it, the "corruption allowance" pops up frequently in discussions of politics and in particular on blogs. Someone posts outraged about something and someone else replies "so?" or "all politicians do it" or "come on, this is Chicago." Different citizens have different "corruption allowances." So it's a useful concept to have name for.

Walls Offers Sweeping Proposal to End Chicago Corruption
Bill "Dock" Walls

Historically, Chicagoans have re-elected crooked city officials, like Paddy Bauler who, while Alderman for nearly thirty-six years, managed a graft and corruption machine. Alderman Bauler was famous for boasting, Chicago ain't ready for reform. For decades, Boss Daley's Patronage Machine, characterized by open and notorious vote fraud, proved Alderman Bauler was correct.

Apparently, Chicagoans have a high tolerance for politically rooted corruption. The same Chicagoans, who advocate for the prosecution and long-term incarceration of petty thieves, support crooked politicians. Clearly, Chicagoans have afforded politicians a Corruption Allowance. ...

Traditionally, Chicago politicians are given a Corruption Allowance. A Corruption Allowance is a limited allotment of get out of trouble cards which excuse politicians who fail to meet the public's reasonable expectations of honesty and integrity.

Some Things Change - Some Don't

Field House Taking Shape
100_1516

View from Marshfield East
100_1519

Where’s the Janitor JJ? 7700-02 Marshfield foyer 11.04.06
100_1479

November 16, 2006

So What's Up With The Housing Bubble?

A friend and I were discussing a neighborhood foreclosure. A little later we'd bounded into another thought process about multiple re-financings driving the end price higher and the bank selling for much less. That led into the question:

If X properties in a boundary are in foreclosure, and are to be sold at a bank auction, then what will the seller really inherit? Will the seller's property be appraised at a higher or lower level? If it comes in on the low end, can the seller beg and plead for property tax adjustments? In the long term, just what effect, if any, does it have on the property values in that boundary?

Just thought I'd ask...

November 15, 2006

Another Argument Against Raising Property Taxes

Rather than transferring the debt to us with higher property taxes, why don't they collect the outstanding bills? Too much like work? No one ever forgets to send me a bill for any services - doctor, vet, and the tax man. Did someone drop stupid pills in their water coolers? We don't need a counter-argument (whining) that they would need additional staff to accomplish the task.

Then we have the additional tax burden of TIFs to bear. Will the Feds please examine the water coolers?
*************************************************

The Chicago Tribune – Editorial - Published November 14, 2006

"- Decades of patronage and administrative bloat have mired the county's Bureau of Health Services in a legacy of busted budgets and efficiency-averse management. The bureau is so dead-in-the-head that it hasn't bothered to bill government programs and private insurers for untold millions in expenditures that should have been reimbursed. Consider this howler from the report: "In budget year 2005, the Bureau of Health Services reported a revenue shortfall of over $60 million as a result of unbilled revenues." And what lesson did the derelict health bureaucrats learn from that self-inflicted wound? "By May 2006, they had reported a revenue shortfall greater than that for the entire preceding fiscal year, again resulting largely from unbilled revenues." (Emphasis ours.) The county has lopped off a couple of heads, but lots of other moribund managers still get paychecks. Why?"

Anon Commentary on NOH

The comments below landed in 24/7's mailbox. Obviously the writer has observed many of the problematic behaviors North of Howard. One sure thing, the property taxes NOH will increase and our hard fighting politicos will take their fare share. Meanwhile, the neighborhood can pretend they're just watching a bad movie from their windows.

**********************************************
Is it me, or is the neighborhood getting worse? The corner of Jonquil Terrace and Ashland is now manned 24 hours a day with young men on all four corners, just hanging out, shooting dice, disrespecting young woman and anyone else that dares walk past them.

Now that the grocery has re-opened in the Broadmoor, the young men are hanging out on the Bosworth Street side of the building waiting for customers to sell to.

On my walk from the Howard el stop this afternoon, I ran across two men in wheelchairs in a vacant doorway, drinking from a wine bottle asking for money.

Sunday night at 10:00 PM, a young lady was selling her wares on Howard Street at Greenview Avenue. Two potential customers stopped and yelled at her from their cars, asking the price. She got into the second car and drove away. She was back on the same corner Monday morning at 6:00 AM as I walked my dog.

I called the police Sunday night around 9:45 PM for a fight in the middle of Jonquil Terrace that involved about 7 or 8 young men. When a neighbor opened her window and yelled to them she had called the police, they had a pleasant expletive for her and dared her to come down to the street and they'd take care of her also. The police arrived about 15 minutes later, but I never saw them get out of the van.

Is there any enforcement of a curfew for these children? What about enforcing the no loitering laws that are on the books?

What's up with the boarded up cleaners on Howard at Bosworth? How long are we going to have to look at that eyesore?

Blog Note:
There are 24/7 armed guards in the Broadmoor who are supposed to keep the premises free of loiterers and other activities. The grocery store mentioned was closed for 2-3 weeks for certain repairs the Broadmoor owner(s) in the past had neglected.

November 14, 2006

Mayor's Denial

Mayor denies being behind business slate

By Gary Washburn
Tribune staff reporter
Published November 14,2006

And off to work we go knowing we're in such good hands.

Separation of Church, State and Military

According to the article, the Wiccan religion is acknowledged until the soldier dies for the US in a war. Here we are, allegedly fighting what's considered an 'illegal war' for human rights. We're in battle in an area plagued with religious wars for centuries, but discrediting our own soldiers religious choice at death.

The true religious ignorance of this country is pathetic.

November 12, 2006

WILL LASALLE STREET BECOME THE NEXT AND BIGGEST TIF DISTRICT OF ALL??








URGENT ACTION ALERT!








Call your alderman, and demand that he/she vote "NO" Tuesday, November 14th, when the City Council Finance Committee is scheduled to consider the proposed mega TIF District! Then, demand they vote "NO" again on Wed. November 15th at the full City Council meeting if this outrageous proposal makes it out of committee!

--Property in the proposed LaSalle TIF District has been growing steadily in worth for years!

--As of 2004, this area had an EAV (equalized assessed valuation) of OVER $4 BILLION !

--If other local taxing bodies lose out, Cook County services and our public schools will suffer! And your property taxes will have to go up to help make up the difference!

For more information and to help organize for Tuesday's Finance Committee meeting, please contact John Paul Jones at the Neighborhood Capital Budget Group, jjonescapital@yahoo.com; or 312-939-7198, Ext. 3868

Jacqueline C. Leavy
Executive Director
Neighborhood Capital Budget Group
332 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60604
312-939-7198, Ext. 3872

Thanks to Ben Joravsky at the Chicago Reader for covering this story:

Financial Aid for the Financial District?
Never mind whether the LaSalle Central TIF district is a good idea—we couldn’t afford it even if it were.
By Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader, July 21, 2006

THESE ARE HARD TIMES for local government and the taxpayers who fund it. The city’s schools are so broke they’re firing special ed teachers, the county is about to borrow $200 million just to cover its basic bills, and soaring property taxes are forcing longtime residents and merchants out of their homes and businesses. So what’s Mayor Daley planning to do about it? He wants to funnel at least $550 million in desperately needed property taxes into a new downtown TIF.

More...

November 10, 2006

What A Miserable Night

What a miserable night. The red line had switching problems and we sat between Loyola and Morse for over 20 minutes. We finally crawled into Howard and were met with the usual wet weather scenario as we descended the stairs.

100_1513

The Howard platform is dangerous. The wise ones in the planning department shortened the south end of the platform and moved their cozy hut about 10 feet from the escalator exit. Rather than moving to the north end of the platform which at least has a ‘roof’ over it, people huddle at the top of the escalator. It’s dangerous when it’s dry due to the overcrowding herd but horrendous when it’s wet. But back at ground level, on any rainy day before or after work, this is what we get. Standing water and buckets to catch the drips!
100_1514 100_1515

Some of the buses are now re-routed to pick up riders on Ashland across from Round The Clock. There is no shelter there and no doubt the cheapskates won’t erect one either. Tonight was a little unnerving. As I crossed Ashland, I noticed a woman on her knees in gravel parking area next to the sidewalk and two boys standing beside her. I went to see if she was alright. In broken English and through her tears, the senior citizen told us that the huge umbrella caught in the wind and she lost her cane and her balance. The young men helped her get up. She thanked them through her tears as they left. She had been waiting for the 201 bus when the wind gust grabbed the umbrella. She was drenched and the palm of her hand was scratched from falling on the gravel. A female 205 bus driver lowered the steps and we got the senior inside to wait for the 201 and the drivers replacement. I hope the scratches on her hand aren’t too serious. Her knees didn’t appear to be scratched. Kudos to the young men who came to the aid of a senior.

Shame on the CTA and the politicos who obviously didn't make any plans for safety and convenience and have created potential dangers to the public with their short sightedness. Construction is necessary, potential danger to the public is unacceptable. Rather than having proper shelters and/or easy access to the trains and buses, unfortunate incidents like this happen. Shame Shame Shame. It could have been their mother or aunt.

Kiss Kiss

Well, folks, here's what your Toddy vote is bringing your way!

More County $lackers

"Stroger is expected to consider some of the report's recommendations." Consider? Forgive me, I forgot, Toddy's a quiet, thinker, not an action kinda guy. Those who believed the machine and voted for him need to start reading the news. Stop standing at the window waiting for the 'promise'.

More Patronage


Here's what your Toddy vote is taking and obviously will continue taking from your bank account...

“Robinson, who is close to longtime county patronage chief Gerald Nichols, is a campaign contributor to the ward organization run by former Board President John Stroger and his son, incoming Board President Todd Stroger”

November 9, 2006

Interactive CAPS Meeting

I confess, I didn’t post a reminder that CAPS Beat 2422 meeting was tonight. So let’s have an Internet meeting. Over the summer our regular Beat Sergeant was replaced and now his replacement has been transferred so we have another replacement to meet. So I have no crime numbers to easily type into the template.

There was discussion about certain problem areas and buildings North of Howard. For those of you who don’t want to be ‘identified’ but want to comment, just send your input via the white envelope. My answering machine recorded one watcher describing officers breaking up a fight down the street. Did anyone else see or hear it?

There will be a real Beat meeting the second Thursday in December. There will not be any caroling around the neighborhood, freezing tonsils and toes.

November 8, 2006

Observations On The Voting Process

Yesterday’s election was indeed a learning experience. It wasn’t learning about politics per se, but the abysmal lack of education and information for voters and some judges. As with any cross section of humans, we had knowledgeable, helpful judges and we had others that appeared to be on a power trip by having the title ‘judge’ for the day. Having heard from neighbors who voted at Gale School, having overheard judges conversations, having observed the process for 12 hours, I decided to share some of those observations.

When a voter enters the Gale auditorium the tables are in a U shape, or one table on the east wall, one on the south and one on the west. The voters and the judges were confused and frustrated because no one knew which table to head for. Granted, if one was involved or there long enough, the 8 1/2 x 11 paper with Pct 30 hand printed on it finally made sense. The hand printed precinct numbers were taped to the edge of the table. So if several people were standing in front of the table, the sign was obstructed from view.

Next time, why not borrow a music stand and have directions on it? Have three, but have some directions for people as soon as they enter the door. The sign could state: You must have your photo ID and Voter Card. To find your polling table, please locate your precinct number on the card (sample card with highlight on precinct). If you are in Precinct 30, approach the center table in front of the stage. If you are in Precinct 34 approach the table to your left etc.

As it was, people entered and tended to walk to the table on their right. There was map of the precincts which was not displayed that would have been helpful to voters and judges. Put the map on a foam board up front on a music stand inside the door. Better yet, have two maps so there will be less congestion in one place.

People need to be educated on the registration process. If you move from one apartment or street to another, you have to register at the NEW address. One couple came in to vote and after standing in line wasting precious time, the woman stated that she was from Evanston! I gave her the number for Election Central so she could hopefully find her polling place outside the City of Chicago. Another young man stated he was registered at his old address which was 5600 North...but he’d moved and hadn’t received his new card. That story echoed several times in the course of the day. I’m sure some people were genuine with their ‘missing cards’ but my skeptical mind does grab onto things.

Get Registered To Vote and Get Educated
Or Use This One


Another woman had voted and put her ballot into the scanner at my precinct table. I don’t know how the conversation began between the woman and the judge, but she was registered in a different precinct and had scanned her ballot into the wrong precinct machine. She explained that ‘the judge handed her a ballot and she voted’. Period. She had not stood in line, signed her name, and then received the ballot. According to the woman, she entered at the other end of the table bypassing the sign-in process. So one judge from the table that had given her the ballot claimed ‘it isn’t our problem, it’s their problem’ meaning the precinct table judges where she’d incorrectly scanned her ballot. What happened? The ‘it’s not our problem’ judges gave the woman another ballot and she voted twice! How many times has this happened?

A voter told me today that two judges were discussing my concern over the missing ‘no politickin’ cones for two elections in a row! One said ‘I don’t know why she’s making such a fuss, it’s not like she’s getting paid to do this or nothin’. So after the inspector came and couldn’t find any cones, after all three precincts claimed they didn’t have any cones in their kits, two cones magically appeared when someone drove all the way to the top of Chicago with two cones. Judges, you don’t need to concern yourselves that the ‘kids will steal the cones’ it’s not coming out of your $150 check. You need to concern yourselves that your job for the day to earn that $150 is to ensure a clean and fair election. Making sure those cones were in front of the school marking 100 feet from the entrance is part of your job. You’re correct in stating that I’m not getting paid or nothin’ but the reward was seeing for myself just how screwed up it did NOT have to be. It was the knowledge that these little games have been going on for years and a lot of people knew but said nothing – until now.

All it took was a little watching, a little questioning, and the email and phone started communicating what others had been observing and shoving under the rug. I suggest, again, that we have a voter education drive that coincides with the registration process. I further suggest and insist that proper signage and directions be visible in the February 2007 election.

November 7, 2006

NOH Voting

The first thing this watcher noticed, just like the March election, NO CONES in front of the old Gale School marking ‘no politickin zone’.
100_1494
Someone kindy left the Democratic ‘vote card’ inside the old school and they’re in the trash. This is a no no.
100_1496

At least the cones were delivered to the new school and have been moved further from the doors since this photo was taken.

100_1493

The ‘Dem Team’ must have gotten orders to stay away from polling place doors. This gentleman on the corner of Jonquil/Marshfield got insulted when I stood and looked into his ‘private property’ marked Pct 34, Pct 6 and A. So terribly sorry!

100_1497

And at long last, my nemesis showed up on the opposite corner – staying well outside the markers at the new school.
100_1498
Keep it that way Craig Berryhill. I’m not the only one watching this election.

Mr. Joe and Mr. David came to the old school about 9:30am and to my knowledge, just said ‘hello’ to people, same for the new school. Of course, Mr. Joe stopped to talk to Mr. Craig Berryhill.

Calls were made to election central about judges pre-initialing several ballots even though there was no rush, the fact that this is the second election this year with no cones outside the old Gale School, and the fact that Northpoint tenants who have moved from the precinct are still trying to vote, and that there is NOT an election administrator. An inspector stopped by, called for cones around 10:23am and said they’d be delivered within the hour. He isn’t sure if administrators are paid for elections or not. Any readers know? He stated there are several precincts with 'missing administrators' and he phoned that in as well. I mentioned the same neighborhood dealer was a judge and he laughingly said ‘I thought I recognized him from somewhere’. At the mention of Berryhill, he said he has run him out of there several times and was sorely tempted to arrest him. Pity he didn’t.

Find Your Candidates and Voter Rights

Just a recap of circuit court judges recommended by the Chicago Bar Association and polling place information. Please note YOU have the RIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY to report any illegal campaigning INSIDE a polling place. Heaven knows it's happened here because 'anything goes NOH'. Campaign literature may NOT be distributed within the markers set outside the polling place. If your polling place does not have markers, phone the number below and report it. You should also report it to the election judges. If you see anyone walking and talking people right up to the door, make the report. If you see any of the campaigners wearing buttons, pins, or carrying literature that is visible into a polling place, make the report.

Qualified and Not Qualified Judges for Circuit Court

Circuit Court Choices – Chicago Tribune

Info from the Sun Times


How to File a Complaint with the Board of Election Commissioners
All persons including voters, pollwatchers and judges of election, have the right to file a complaint with the Board of Election Commissioners.

A complaint may be filed over the telephone, in writing or in person. On election day, all complaints will be directed to the Board's Election Central, 312-269-7870. At other times, the Board's Investigation Department will receive all complaints at any time when the Board's office is open to the public. The person filing a complaint has the right to discuss the complaint with the Legal and/or the Investigation Departments of the Board and to receive a written response regarding the outcome of the complaint (if a mailing address is provided at the time the complaint is filed).

November 6, 2006

Rich Whitney Must Be a Threat to Judy

Judy, Judy, Judy, some have had enough of BOTH YOU AND RODDY.

100_1492

I made the time to find out about Whitney for myself Sunday afternoon at the Gordon HQ on Morse. He addressed the socialist issue dug up by Judy. In the 1990’s he tired of the ‘revolution’ rhetoric and quit his task of writing for their newsletter and removed his party ties. We know all about that from one of our community organizers don’t we? Get the people angry, take it to the streets, bla bla bla.

In the mid 1990’s he became an environmental activist involved in a superfund site in southern Illinois. PCB contamination was not resolved sensibly by either the mainstream Democrats or Republicans by merely burning the contaminants and re-releasing them into the atmosphere. He joined the Green Party seeking some common sense answers to environmental and social problems.

The GP does not accept corporate contributions as they maintain that the government is US - not US and THEM. Corporations buy and sell government and the states compete by ‘offering perks’ to businesses like an auction but if all 50 states join it creates a race to the bottom. We know this as we are witnesses to the expensive attack ads every election aren’t we? ‘Our leaders are not up to speed with the people and think we (voters) are stupid’.

Whitney was impressive in his simple down to earth discussion on real solutions to problems. He also has a sense of humor. When discussing our TIF’s and other taxes that force taxpayers to fund education through property taxes, Whitney said these layers of taxes to resolve the problem are ‘like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic’. Whitney believes education should be an investment, not considered an additional expense. He used the GI Bill of the post World War II era as an example of a booming economy that created the middle class as we used to know it. Whitney stated HB750 is a ‘good start’ to this investment in education and has worked with Harry Osterman on this project. Additional reference on HB750

Another concern of Whitney's is meeting the challenges of the changing environment. New homes should be energy efficient, properly insulated, not the poor quality too often offered up in the market. His concern on mass transit centers to discourage driving is also on his list.

So Judy and Rod what Whitney did in college is not the real issue. The real issue is neither of you have offered us anything new. You chopped jobs/departments here and there Rod and created an overload on certain staff. And what about your dubious connections? Judy, you 'worked' for a real criminal, defended him, and want us to trust you? Yes, there is another option - Rich Whitney.

Lakefront Protection Referendum

On Tuesday, November 7th, the voters in all 42 precincts of Rogers Park's 49th ward can send a message to city hall and our current alderman in support of our lakefront.

Our Lakefront Protection Referendum is on the ballot that will give you an opportunity to vote YES to prohibit extension of Lake Shore Drive or establishment of marinas, harbors, housing or major landfill along our incredibly beautiful shoreline. Unlike any other lakefront neighborhood in the city of Chicago, Rogers Park is blessed with a mile and a half of tranquil and accessible beachfront, unencumbered by a highway separating us from our beaches and parks.

I fully support preserving this unique lakefront of ours so that we can enhance these beaches and piers and create programs and activities that add value to the only neighborhood beachfront in Chicago. I'm proud that my campaign staff and volunteers joined with me and other local residents to collect signatures to get this referendum on the ballot. Join with us on Tuesday to vote YES on the referendum so that our generation and generations to come will be able to enjoy and treasure what we have. By Don Gordon, 49th Ward Candidate for Alderman

The non-binding Lakefront Protection Referendum is at the end of the ballot and asks: “Should the city of Chicago, State of Illinois, and Federal Government prohibit any lakefront development from Hollywood Avenue to Evanston which includes extension of Lake Shore Drive or establishment of any other roadways, marinas harbors, housing, major landfill, or commercial development?”

BlogMistress Note:
If other candidates have any items/events worthy of blogging, please send in the envelope. The above notice was received via email.

November 5, 2006

HowardWatchers Photo Caption Contest









Did you every in your life see a group so obviously enthusiastic about being photographed with Urkel?

What were they thinking?

Levar: I wonder if a man can hide in his own chins? I'll try...

Laurino: Hmm, this is going to hurt me, but how much? Let's see, December, January, February, three months for the voters to forget about this ...

Reboyras: Danny Davis, forgive me. I need to call him right after this & explain.

Stone: Oh God of My Fathers, You are the One True God, I humbly bow my head before You and beg Your forgivness. This job has led me to do some despicable things in my 3 decades, but this is the lowest...

Daley: Daddy, if you are looking down (or up) at me, you know I didn't make this deal to give them their branch of government if they let us keep ours, I'm just following through ...

Fagus peals off 1 of his 113

Passing the Hat at Work

David Fagus, Rogers Park's own poster boy for political hacks, pealed off one his 113 thousands of taxpayer dollars to help preserve his political appointment in County government.

Fagus, David
7356 N. Greenview Ave.
Chicago, IL 60626-1924

$1,000.00
10/16/2006 to Friends of Todd H Stroger for President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners

Fagus, David
Chief Operating Officer
Cermak Health Services of Cook County
hired 5/10/88
salary $113,703

Don't Forget 1PM Today

Come meet Rich Whitney, Green Party candidate for governor at Don Gordon’s aldermanic campaign headquarters, 1600 W. Morse Ave., today, November 5 at 1:00pm.

Whitney will be here to meet Rogers Park residents and discuss issues that concern you. Rich Whitney, 51, is an attorney and partner in the Carbondale law firm of Speir and Whitney. Born in Connecticut, he received his Bachelor's Degree in telecommunications at Michigan State University in 1977. He has long been politically active in support of the labor, environmental, civil rights, women's and antiwar movements.

November 4, 2006

Desperate Scare Tactic

Had the democratic machine not deliberately concealed John Strogers condition and prognosis, we all know that Toddy would not be on the ballot. Todd Stroger was not the choice of Democratic voters. Too much is at stake in this political race to perpetuate the lies and the greed of Cook County bureaucrats at the taxpayers continued expense.

Deceptive backroom deals by the machine allowed Toddy to be hand picked by a committee of fifty who ignored the voters and manipulated the law. The machine underestimated voter intelligence and subsequent voter outrage at their conniving tactics and this is their pathetic last resort.

PeraicaCoatHanger

Is this is what the mysterious, undisclosed half million dollar loan to Toddy is being spent on? This smut scare tactic landed in a neighbors mailbox. She found it insulting, not only as a woman with a right to choose, but also as a voter with a right to choose. Women have, by law, the right to have an abortion and to vote intelligently in any election. Those pompous fools who chose Toddy have now chosen to insult every woman voter in Cook County with this single scare tactic. They also insulted every male and female voter with their conniving candidate replacement process that masqueraded their true intentions.

By Law, abortion is still legal. Changing such a law is not at the mercy of a ‘stroke of a pen’ by a county president, democrat or republican. If Roe v Wade were to be overturned in Washington or the Supreme Court - only then would it be a law to be enforced. As it stands now, whoever wins as county president has to uphold the current law. Had Toddy been allowed to appear on WTTW 11 with his opponent he might have learned this from Peraica! Had he appeared, he may have been coerced into discussing the real issues of Cook County. The risk of revealing how little he knows could not be taken - and that is the machine's greatest fear.

So this non-issue is all the desperate dems have to offer the voters via the backroom boys? Toddy cannot or does not want to fathom the depth of his dad’s bloated, corrupted legacy that the committee is desperately trying to conceal in order to maintain the status quo.

How many single mothers with children could have been helped with the amount of money spent on this trash?

Remember the insult when you vote Tuesday, November 7, 2006.

November 2, 2006

Alderman Todd H. Stroger - The First 100 Days

The First 100 Days

What's so special about The First 100 Days in office of a newly-elected official? Jim Lehrer's NewsHour assembled a panel of presidential historians to answer that question, and to look at the Current Occupant's 1st 100. The panelist credited our obsession with the 1st 100 days to the FDR administration. For contrast, here's the White House's photo essay on the Current Occupant's 1st 100.

Todd H. "Urkel" Stroger is a man who would be President -
President of the Cook County Board. Incredibly, he mentions his legislative record in his ads. To gain some insight into what the first 100 days of Todd Stroger's next appointed position might hold for us, let us together examine the 1st 100 days of Todd Stroger's current appointment: Alderman from the 8th Ward to the Chicago City Council. We will draw upon the official record of the City Council, the Journal of Proceedings.

Voting Record vs. Legislative Record

We distinguish between
voting record and legislative record. As you know, our City Council is the legislative branch of our City government and an Alderman's most solemn duty is his vote in the City Council. Of the 3 million people who live in Chicago, only 50 have the honor and privilege to vote to create new laws of the City of Chicago. Alas, although many hundreds of issues were taken up, our City Council had no so-called "divided roll call votes" during Todd Stroger's first 100 days. That is, EVERY City council vote on EVERY issue was unanimous, and Todd Stroger was going along to get along. Thus, Alderman Todd Stroger's voting record during his 1st 100 days was completely and utterly undistinguished. When you stand for everything, you stand for nothing.

Therefore, we instead focus on Alderman Stroger's
legislative record. Although (little known fact) ANYONE may introduce legislation for consideration by the Chicago City Council, our Alderman are uniquely positioned to introduce legislation for the betterment of the lives of all Chicagoans. At each Council meeting, the chair calls on the Aldermen for new ideas and new legislative initiatives.

Alderman Stroger was appointed to the City Council by Mayor Daley at the behest of then Cook County Board President John Stroger, Daley's staunchest African-American ally and Todd's daddy. A downtown job opened up with the untimely cancer death of Alderman Lorraine Dixon, another Stroger protege and Daley appointee. Young Todd came to the City Council with a resume including 9 years occupying a seat in the Illinois House (which his official bio incorrectly states as 10 years). With his previous experience as a legislator, what did Alderman Stroger accomplish in his 1st 100 days? Given a crack at it, what will be the veteren legslator's take on on our voluminous Municipal Code? Which sections will he tackle first, housing, ethics, economic development? Together, let us examine the
New Business introduced to the Chicago City Council by the new Alderman Todd H. Stroger.

Alderman Todd H. Stroger's First Day on the Job

The City Council's
Committee on Committees, Rules and Ethics (yes, that's right, we have a Committee on Committees) met on August 31, 2001 and approved Mayor Daley's appointment of John Stroger's kid to Club 50.

Five days later, the full City Council met, and immediately after the Pledge of Allegiance and a brief prayer, the full City Council (unanimously, of course) approved Todd's application for membership. Todd joined Club 50 without a primary fight, without a general election, without raising or spending a single campaign dollar, and with just 41 votes in favor, none opposed.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Charles E. Freeman administered the oath of office, and young Todd took his seat at his desk, right there in the front row, directly under Daley's imposing podium, right between his patron Bill Beavers (7th) and Tony Beale (9th). By swearing him in 1st thing, Todd wasted no time adding his vote to the day's mind-bogglingly long string of unanimous votes. But he had no new business on his first day on the job. He was probably busy enough finding his office and the supply cabinet and such.

Alderman Todd H. Stroger's First Full Meeting

The young Alderman Stroger had no new business at his second City Council meeting, either. But, to be fair, no Alderman did. Todd Stroger's second City Council meeting, September 20, 2001, was called to pass resolutions honoring the 9/11 victims and first responders. The Pledge was recited, gospel music was sung, and, while most Aldermen took an opportunity to speech-ify, the freshman Aldermen Stroger had nothing to say.

Alderman Todd H. Stroger's Legislative Blitzkrieg

After a relatively slow start at his first two City Council meetings, the young Alderman Todd quickly recovered with a comparative blitzkrieg of legislative initiatives at (what we will generously consider) his first "real" meeting, that of October 3, 2001. Stroger established no less than 10 handicapped parking spaces (while repealing 3 others). He initiated no less than 2 "No U Turn" signs, and another 2 "Two-way Stop" signs. Further, he initiated claims against the City for
London Towne Houses Cooperative, Inc., a regular contributor to the 8th Ward Regular Democratic Organization, and the 7901-7911 South Ellis Condominium Association.

At this meeting, for the first time, Stroger's style as legislator began to reveal itself: we see his strong commitment to the differently-abled, his dogged persistence in getting the traffic signs in his ward just right, and his generousity in sharing the City's wealth with his constituents. He would return to these touch-stone themes often throughout his City Council career.

Alderman Todd H. Stroger: Policy Wonk

Lest you get the impression that Todd's aldermanic career is ALL signs and claims, we need look no further than his FOURTH City Council meeting, that of October 31, 2001. Yes, at his fourth City Council meeting, he introduced his now characteristic smattering of loading zones, handicapped parking, and stop signs, fee waivers for South Shore Hospital, and initiating a claim against the City for the Tara Grove Condominium Association, but, for the first time, the young Alderman joined his colleagues in expressing themselves on the substantial issues of the day.

The freshman Alderman Stroger joined veteren Aldermen Hairston, Preckwinkle, Lyle, Beavers, Beale, Thomas & Thomas, Coleman, Burnett and Ed Smith in support of the late governor and now convicted felon George Ryan's feeble attempt to avoid incarceration through a bold stand against the death penalty. This although the City of Chicago did not have the death penalty on our books, and the City had not put a man to death since anyone could remember.
Stroger demonstrated his willingness to reach across party lines and support a meaningless resolution that had no impact on anything. The resolution never made it out of committee.

Again ripped from the headlines, hard on the heals of the anthrax phobia sweeping the country, Stroger joined Aldermen Ed Smith, Preckwinkle, Hairston, DeVille, Chandler and Burnett, in an urgent call for committee hearings on the dangers of biochemical substances. The hearings never took place.

But imagine the young Alderman's thrill, to have his name included in such esteemed company, on bills of such currency! Yes, life was good.

A Minor Set-Back for Legislative Juggernaut Stroger

The next City Council meeting, November 7, 2001, was something of a depletion of momentum for the legislative juggernaut known as Todd H. Stroger. But, to be fair, it was an unproductive meeting for all 50 aldermen. This meeting was called
for the Aldermen to listen to Mayor Daley's annual budget address, at which Daley hands down from his podium to the Aldermen the City's budget for the next year. The Aldermen's role was to sit on their hands unless a pause indicates a need for applause. While I'm old enough to remember when our Alderman actually participated in the preparation of our City budget, many people reading this are not.

The Return to Form

We will be generous and start Todd's 100 day clock at the 10/3/01 meeting, rather than at his swearing in, and so consider the next three meetings (11/28/01, 12/5/01, and 12/12/01) in our assessment. Over these three meetings, Stroger quickly returned to form. In particular, he hit establishing the handicapped parking zones hard in the 12/5 meeting, initiating 14 new
handicapped parking zones in one meeting alone! At the 11/28 meeting, he initiated 4 more, while repealing 3 others.

Stroger tweaked the "No Parking" hours at 8650 to 8658 and 8659 S Ingleside Ave, changing them from 6-9 AM to 7-8:30 AM for regular campaign contributor Seaway National Bank. Here, Stroger's attention to detail recalled his earlier legislative triumph in the Illinois House, in which he tweaked the fine for fly dumping from
$500 to $1,500.

Not one to forget from whence he came, no matter how far life takes him, Stroger honored his roots, granting free water and sewer services to three Catholic parishes in his ward: Our Lady of Peace, Saint Ailbe, and his own parish, Saint Felicitas. Granting free water and waiving sewer fees is a traditional perk for Chicago aldermen.

Summary

In his first 100 days as Alderman Todd H. Stroger:
  • established 31 handicapped parking spots, while repealing 6
  • installed 6 stop signs and 2 "No U Turn" signs
  • initiated 6 financial claims against the City
  • gave away free City water to 3 organizations in his ward
  • signed on to 2 meaningless resolutions that went no where
What say we anoint this guy head of a $3 billion a year enterprise?

Definitions

A relative in Nevada forwarded this. Unfortunately, many of these definitions seem to apply to the Democrats, especially in Chicago. It's politics, it's money.
*******************************************

The Republican Dictionary
(with latest definitions)
Alternative energy sources n. New locations to drill for gas and oil.

Bankruptcy n. A punishable crime when committed by poor people but
not corporations.

Cheney, Dick n. The greater of two evils.

Climate change n. The day when the blue states are swallowed by the oceans.

Compassionate conservatism n. Poignant concern for the very wealthy.

Creationism n. Pseudoscience that claims George W. Bush's resemblance
to a chimpanzee is totally coincidental.

DeLay, Tom. 1. v. Past tense of De Lie; 2.n. Patronage saint.

Democracy n. So extensively exported that the domestic supply is depleted.

Fox News n. [Probably an Anglicism of the French; Faux News] Fiction.

Free markets n. Halliburton no-bid contracts at taxpayer expense.

Girly men n. Males who do not grope women inappropriately.

Growth n. 1. The justification for tax cuts for the rich. 2. What
happens to the national debt when Republicans cut taxes on the rich.

Habeas corpus n. [Lat.] Archaic Legal term no longer in use (See Patriot Act).

Healthy forest n. No tree left behind.

Honesty n. Lies told in simple declarative sentences--e.g., "Things
are going well in Iraq."

House of Representatives n. Exclusive club; entry fee $1 million to $5 million.

Laziness n. Term used to describe any period of time when the poor are
not working.

Leisure time n. Term used to describe any period of ti me when the
wealthy are not working.

9/11 n. Tragedy used to justify any administrative policy.

No Child Left Behind n. Government policy that insures success for
all through guaranteed jobs in the military.

Ownership society n. A civilization in which 1 percent of the
population controls 90 percent of the wealth.

Patriot Act n. The pre-emptive strike on American freedoms to prevent
the terrorists from destroying them first.

Senate n. Exclusive club; entry fee $10 million to $30 million.

Simplify v. To cut the taxes of Republican donors.

Stay the course interj. Slang. Saying and doing the same stupid thing
over and over, regardless of the result.


Voter fraud n. Term used to descri be a significant minority turnout.

Wal-Mart n. Model for the future nation-state.

Water n. Arsenic storage device.

November 1, 2006

Meet The Green Party Gubernatorial Candidate

Meet Rich Whitney, the Green Party candidate for Illinois Governor!

When: Sunday November 5 at 1:00 pm
Where: Citizens to Elect Don Gordon Campaign Office
1600 W. Morse, Chicago, IL 60626

for information call: 773-262-9473

ABC/Daily Herald/Tribune Polls

"But you can bet on this with 100 percent certainty: If enough citizens whimper that they're too busy, too fed-up or too lazy to vote Tuesday, Stroger wins--and Chicago's Democratic ward bosses cackle. Low turnout is their friend."

Chicago Tribune, November 1, 2006


And we know the statistics on Ward 49's low voter turnout.

Chicago Tribune

ABC 7

Daily Herald