Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Good Ol'Days | Local Political Rockstar Barack Obama Meets Local Illinois Fab 5 Legislator Peter Roskam Again; Illinois Primary Race for Governor; Fair Trade; Bipartisanship

Friday, January 29, 2010

Boom Boom | Did the Black Eyed Peas, Interscope Records and Universal Music Copy the Hit Song "Boom Boom Pow" from "Boom Dynamite," Manny Mohr and Phoenix Phenom?



As the Black Eyed Peas have soared in music popularity, including their hit song, Boom Boom Pow, some are saying it's because the song is actually based upon another song so a federal lawsuit against the Black Eyed Peas and their record labels has been filed.

Manny Mohr, from Aurora and Ebony Latrice Batts of Chicago, who goes by "Phoenix Phenom" have filed a federal lawsuit against various defendants, including the Black Eyed Peas, Interscope Records and Universal Music.

They say the song, released in January 2008, had been submitted to Interscope Records to attempt to get a Black Eyed Peas singer to join their performance.

Mohr and Batts are seeking financial compensation for past and future earnings as well as credit for the song.

We've included both songs within our post. Are there sufficient similarities between the two to confirm their claim? You decide...

Aurora Police Officers Briefing Time Prior to Shift Start Will Be Cut By 50% As Part of Labor Cost Savings in Deal Between City of Aurora and Police Union (APPO)

The union representing the rank-n-file Aurora Police officers, Association for Professional Police Officers (APPO) has reached a deal with the City of Aurora to certain labor concessions that are estimated to save approximately $833,000 in labor costs in 2010.

Specifically, the 20 minutes of "reporting time" and a clothing allowance will be cut by 50% in exchange for a guarantee of no layoffs.

Reporting time is an important time period prior to the start of a police officer's shift, where they are required to be present to be briefed and updated on various investigations, immediate concerns and intelligence on activities to be aware of as they proceed on their patrols.

The City of Aurora wants to reduce that period from 20 to 10 minutes.  Aurora Police brass had talked about changing from the current 3 standard shifts to more staggered shifts so officers are not put in the position where nobody is on patrol due to a briefing, but thus far, the police management has not proceeded.

As usual, Aurora Police spokesman Dan Ferrelli was not available for comment.

The clothing allowance is a cash amount given to each officer.  Previously, that amount was $2,000, but will be reduced to $1,000.

The current labor contract between the APPO and the City of Aurora expires in March.  Other unions that have yet to agree to concessions include unions for commanders, lieutenants and sergeants.

NOTE:  Certain old media reports have inaccurately reported and/or implied the Aurora Police union has agreed to give up half their "reporting time" pay, but will still be required to spend the same amount of time as before...just get paid for half.  This is neither accurate nor lawful under existing labor law.

Election 2010 | Final Candidate Forum for GOP Candidates for Next Governor of Illinois



WTTW - Chicago Tonight
Election 2010 Candidate Forum
Next Governor of Illinois (R)
Dan Proft, Jim Ryan
Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard
Adam Andrzejewski

NOTE:  Andy McKenna did not participate

Republican Nomination for US Senate Race for Illinois | Mark Kirk? Not So Fast, Says Patrick Hughes



WTTW - Chicago Tonight
Election 2010 Candidate Forum
U.S. Senate Race for Illinois (R)
Patrick Hughes

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Election 2010 | Alexi Giannoulias Job Performance Under Intense Review As Feds Pressure Family Bank Business; Refuses to Drop Out of US Senate Race

New Owners of Sun-Times Media Group Shakeup Suburban Fishwraps, Including Aurora Beacon-News; Firings, Terminations, Demotions, Resignations Included in Latest Implosion



The implosion of the Aurora Beacon-News (aka "the Fishwrap") took another twist this week as editorial czar Rick Nagel was terminated by the new owners of the Sun-Times Media Group that is trying to shake-up the suburban operations that have deteriorated over recent years.

Nagel, who was a designer before ascending to the role of managing editor, oversaw a complicated period for our friends at the fishwrap, but in his defense, he's had some extremely incompetent people under him, who were also working to overthrow him at the same time, including Mike Cetera and Dave Parro.

Parro, who used to fill the role currently occupied by Andre Salles, as the main beat reporter covering Aurora's City Hall, shifted away from writing and tried (and failed) at editor roles. Several blunders later and a failed attempt to be blog-like, he bailed on old media and was able to fool the folks at Aurora University that he was some expert at anything so they would hire him.

Another current reporter will also be bailing out of the old media implosion at the Beacon-News.  Reporter Dan Campana, who previously worked at the Kane County Chronicle, has resigned.  Not coincidentally, he has used the opportunity to write stories that take shots at various people, including what many are describing as a "cheap shot" article at Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay, even though he wouldn't mention her by name.

Meanwhile, as part of the shakeup by the new owners of the Sun-Times Media Group, Denise Crosby is also being demoted from editor to back to being a columnist.  As one of the few "writers" left, we hope this will give Ms. Crosby better opportunities to use her talent.

Highly-ranked sources confirm the changes at the Sun-Times include centralizing most of the editorial functions for their various suburban papers and eliminating layers of local staff.

Reporter Andre Salles and a few others will continue to report local news, but sources say Mike Cetera, the so-called managing editor, could be shifted.  Given Cetera's track record of incompetence, immaturity and unprofessional behavior, we say the smartest move by the Sun-Times for him would be the nearest trash bin.

Contrary to some opinion, OpenlineBlog has never considered the Beacon-News a competitor.  We are new media and don't do old media, but as their building, business and brand implode, we continue to offer them our good wishes and help wherever we can.

The death of old media is slightly exaggerated, but we hope that whatever ends up living will be better.

>Amazon Links:

State of the Union | Commentary By Barack Obama, President of the United States


Up Close with the Apple iPad





Kane County Health Department Identifies Hesed House in Aurora for Tuberculosis Cases

Hesed House, the homeless shelter, near Aurora's downtown that has been given approval to expand on riverfront property, is being reviewed by Kane Couny Health Department officials after two tuberculosis cases were linked to people residing there.

Paul Kuehnert, Executive Director of the Kane County Health Department, says they are trying to determine if the two cases are related, but they have been testing other residents, staff and volunteers.  Thus far, the rest of the residents have tested negative.

Tuberculosis attacks the lungs the lungs and is transmitted through air or contact, including coughing and sneezing.  Symptoms include prolonged coughing for up to three weeks, bloody sputum, night fever and/or weight loss.

Kane County residents can be tested at the health department's Aurora office by calling 1-866-233-9493 or visit their website to learn more.

Please Get to Know Bailout Boy Timothy Geithner

January 2010


January 2009


February 2009


March 2009


March 2009


May 2009


November 2009

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Investigation Uncovers Secret of How to Clean Massive $120 Million Aurora Police HQ (aka "The Palace")



So, Aurora, you just spent $120 million on a new police headquarters (aka "the Palace").  How do you plan to maintain it?

An OpenlineBlog.com investigation has discovered the mysterious secret to how the Aurora Police Headquarters will be cleaned by a firm that is being paid $117,000 per year to clean the massive structure on Indian Trail.

It's SHAMWOW!  No, we aren't kidding, one of the informercial classics.  Don't blame the cleaning firm.  It's the city's new so-called facilities manager, Mark Anderson, who somehow has found yet another job within the City of Aurora despite being widely regarded as one of the most incompetent employees in city history (nobody is as incompetent as so-called corporation counsel Alayne Weingartz, of course).

The contract and its requirements, which company officials acknowledge is going to be a challenge to meet and would barely cover labor costs (slightly above minimum wage) for a cleaning crew of 4 full-time and 2 part-time employees, does not include supplies and materials.  The firm is charging the city approximately $11 per hour and paying the employees about $9 per hour, not including insurance, workman's comp and other costs of doing business that may exceed what they charge.

Costs could easily skyrocket due to supplies like paper towels, but Mark Anderson's solution is the SHAMWOW!  No need to buy lots and lots of paper towels, floor mats or worry about dirt, debris, carpet stains and liquid mess from the public areas to the police jail when you can just use the SHAMWOW to clean it all!

But, does SHAMWOW really work? See the video test above by one of our interns.

Alderman Rick Lawrence says a facility of this size and cost must be maintained at high standards to protect the investment by taxpayers for decades to come, but isn't sure how the facility will be kept as good as new based upon the required duties of the contractor and limited staff to accomplish it.

The previous contractor at the "old" Aurora Police station on River was terminated due to poor performance. Aurora Police Department's brass involved in the facility management (Joe Groom and Rusty Sullivan) apparently failed to show up at Tuesday's Aurora City Council meeting to explain the background on the maintenance of the old and new facilities while Aurora Police spokesman Dan Ferrelli failed to respond to inquiries.

One of our viewers pointed out if this company can really accomplish high-quality maintenance for the police headquarters at a limited cost, the city should be putting them in charge of many other operations and facilities of the city to be more efficient and reduce cost (including labor).

Perhaps the contractor could even replace Mark Anderson and one of the other city employees who has been criticized for consistent incompetence and floating between different positions, Rosario DeLeon.  Their salaries alone are twice as expensive as the cost of maintaining the police palace.

Meanwhile, Alderman Stephanie Kifowit not only likes the risk of not keeping the facility in top condition, but wants the contractor to come to her 3rd Ward to clean up the many problems she has been unable to resolve for years.  At least she would finally be putting good use for ward funds instead of using it for parties, self-promotion and political campaigning.

Wow...

Election 2010 | Democrat Candidate Forum for US Senate Seat from Illinois; Hoffman Surges, Giannoulias Takes Money from State Lobbyists and Why Is Cheryle Jackson Still in the Race?



Election 2010 | U.S. Senate Race for Illinois (Demcorats)
- David Hoffman
- Alexi Giannoulias
- Cheryle Jackson

Toyota Halts Sales of Camry and Other Models in the United States

President Barack Obama | Public Speaking 101 and Job Creation

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Election 2010 | Dan Hynes Blasts Pat Quinn's Incompetence; Quinn Plays the Race Card



During the final joint appearance between the two Democrat candidates for Governor before the February 2nd primary election in Illinois, one thing is VERY clear. Both candidates believe the other is incompetent.

The bombshell ad from Dan Hynes quoting the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington seems to have caused serious damage to the Quinn campaign. Hynes has made the repeated case of Quinn's incompetence.

But, Quinn also points to the incompetence of Hynes, specifically in how the comptroller's office has overseen cemeteries in the wake of the Burr Oak controversy. Why does the comptroller's office oversee regulation of cemeteries in the first place? Good question for another time...

Quinn also is playing the race card, trying to rehash Chicago city council wars where racial divides were used to combat Harold Washington and trying to connect Dan Hynes with the political agendas of his father, Tom Hynes.

Meanwhile, Dawn Clark Netsch, former candidate for Governor, has endorsed Dan Hynes.

Polls indicate a close or dead-heat race...who's gonna win?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Schillerstrom Exits Race for Illinois Governor; Throws Support to Jim Ryan | Race Dead-Heat



DuPage County Chairman Bob Schillerstrom is exiting the race for Illinois Governor and endorsing former Attorney General Jim Ryan.

But, with less than two weeks before the February, there are multiple polls that point to a close election and lots of undecided voters still left.

Andy McKenna, Jim Ryan and Kirk Dillard seem to be battling for the establishment vote while Bill Brady, Dan Proft and Adam Andrzejewski are about 10 percentage points behind.

Even without another candidate leaving, it's likely the race will tighten even further as the election gets closer.

As Democrats Pat Quinn and Dan Hynes blast each other into pieces with a race that's getting closer, who is your preference for the next Governor of Illinois?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Election 2010 | Hynes Ad Shows Late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington Blasting Pat Quinn



According to the former press secretary to the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, the comments are not only accurate in the above ad by Dan Hynes showing Mayor Washington blasting Pat Quinn into a billion pieces, but reflect his true opinion of Quinn at that time.

Quinn's campaign says the ad isn't "fair" and further says he wasn't fired by Washington, but resigned (from all accounts, Quinn was fired).

Even if Quinn survives the primary for the Democratic nomination for Governor, it appears Harold Washington's words will be heard until November.

With thousands of voters in Chicago who still consider Harold Washington their political hero, how bad will this damage Quinn now and/or November?

***UPDATE 1/24/10


Supreme Court Rules 5-4 to Undo Limits on Corporate Donations | Commentary By Jimmy Kimmel



The United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on lifting limits on corporate donations to federal elections, which will also unleash labor unions from limits.

Does the Illinois Tollway Ever Cease to Exist or Will It Become Similar to Chicago Mayor Daley's Parking Meter Fiasco? Lessons from Texas...





Thursday, January 21, 2010

Will Democrats Jam Through Flawed Health Reform Bill or Can Scott Brown Force Do-Over? Why Does Obama Want to Delay Helping Uninsured Until 2014?



As Scott Brown's political earthquake continues to ripple through the United States, there is no doubt Democrats in Congress have a huge decision to make.  Ram through a health reform bill with several flaws, backroom deals, bribes or let newly elected Senator Scott Brown be the key vote that forces a do-over of the bill?

The "rush" for health reform and the alleged efforts to "save lives" to provide some basic health insurance for millions of Americans who have none has an ironic twist in the Obama and Democrats plan...no change until 2014.

If there is such an urgency to ram through health reform and the primary reason is to save lives for the uninsured, why wait on that part until 2014?  Are President Obama and Congressional Democrats willing to let people die between now and then?

And this viral video making its way around the internet...

Naperville Takes Small Step Toward Undoing Red-Light Cameras | Aurora's Red-Light Status Report?

Could this happen in Naperville and Aurora sooner or later?


It's just a small step to undo red-light cameras, but Naperville is at least taking a turn for the right direction.

The Naperville City Council voted to reduce late fees for red-light camera violations from $100 to $50.  Efforts by city council members, including Doug Krause and Dick Furstenau, were not successful to reduce that even further to $25.

"I'm for putting it at zero because I'm against the red-light cameras...you tell me it's about safety, I tell you it's about revenue," said Doug Krause, Councilman for Naperville.

Meanwhile, Aurora, which recently started implementing the controversial and potentially deadly red-light cameras, has not provided any status reports to the Aurora City Council and public.

Commander Joe Groom, who was pushing for the red-light cameras in Aurora, has been preoccupied with the opening of the new Aurora Police Headquarters (aka "The Palace") on Indian Trail.

However, sources at the Aurora Police Department say while it's unclear how much revenue is being generated compared to how much the cameras cost, there's no indication the cameras have made any positive impact on public safety.

Some have expressed concern that abrupt braking near intersections could result in more, not less accidents.

Aurora Police Department's public information officer, Dan Ferrelli, failed to respond for comment.

Some of the Naperville City Council members say they will continue to push for the eventual elimination of red-light cameras.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Political Earthquake Rocks the United States with Independent-Leaning Republican Victory of Kennedy's Senate Seat | Independent Voters Could Rock the Vote in November 2010











Election 2010 | Quinn and Hynes Slam Each Other in Debate to See Who Will Be the Biggest Loser in November



One thing is clear from the ABC7 Chicago Democrat's candidate debate between Pat Quinn and Dan Hynes.

If you believe each of them, the other one will be the biggest loser in November and does not deserve to be Governor.

A slugfest of attacks between the two doesn't change the fact they both want to raise taxes.

>Watch the ABC7 - Better Government Association debate

East Aurora District 131 School Board Vacancy | And the Nominees Are...

Here are the five applicants for the vacancy on the East Aurora District 131 School Board:

* Manuel Gonzales (Lafayette Street)

* Ray Hull (Joel Avenue)

* Timothy Krings, Jr. (Homer Avenue)

* Wenceslao "Bences" Maravilla (South Broadway)

* Juan Sifuentes (Preston Avenue)

Interviews are being conducted to fill the remaining term of Rayanne Carlson.  We encourage the school board to select a candidate who shares Ms. Carlson's efforts to boldly change the future of district.

Don't Blame Conan | Commentary By David Letterman



Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Drew Peterson Case Will Test Controversial and Potentially Unconstitutional Hearsay Law



Whatever you may think of former Bolingbrook police officer Drew Peterson, the allegations against him and the media attention to the stories surrounding him and his wives, the case about Drew Peterson could result in a constitutional question thanks to a knee-jerk reaction law that was passed by the Illinois General Assembly to allow "hearsay" statements, in this case to allow statements a deceased person allegedly made to others.

In law, the ability to cross-examine and confront a witness is a critical part of the defense of an individual, but one cannot do that with a deceased person.  The law was passed to target Drew Peterson and statements allegedly made by his former wife, Kathleen Savio, who he later was charged with her murder.

The Illinois General Assembly doesn't technically admit the law was passed to target Peterson just like it doesn't admit they technically didn't pass a law to move the Illinois primary election date earlier to benefit Barack Obama.

You may dislike Drew Peterson, but what if the law were used against you someday?  What if someone claimed a deceased person made statements about you that implicated you in a way that you have no way to cross-examine or confront?

Election 2010 | 14th Congressional District GOP Race...Undecided Until February 2nd?

As the February 2nd primary edges closer, the Republican race for 14th Congressional District between Ethan Hastert and Randy Hultgren could remain a mystery of who has the real advantage until election night.

For Ethan Hastert, being the son of Denny Hastert, former Speaker of the House and the holder of the congressional seat for so many years, gives him name strong name recognition in various areas, but some say that also has its drawbacks, too.

At the same time, Randy Hultgren, who is from Wheaton, has experience being a state rep and now state senator, so he also has strong name recognition in various areas, but being an elected official at a time when the public seems ready throw all the bums out may not be helpful.

So, what is likely to happen when the votes are counted?  Who is likely to emerge as the Republican candidate for the 14th Congressional District from Illinois and why?

Carlos Hernandez Gomez

 

Lots of well-deserved praise is flowing about political reporter Carlos Hernandez Gomez, who passed away at the age of 36 due to cancer.  For our Chicago area viewers, you've seen him on CLTV, Chicago Tonight, WGN, read his articles or heard him on the radio at WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio.

It's ironic to see politicians, including Chicago's King of Corruption, Mayor Richard Daley, saying good things about Carlos because the truth is that he was one of the few people they feared because he would ask the hard questions the political mafia of Chicago and Illinois don't want anyone to ask.

Like any profession or area of expertise, there are some good and not-so-good people.  In the world of old media, that is true as well.  Carlos asked hard questions to politicians, but he also asked the hard questions everywhere else to learn what was going on everywhere.

Carlos was a viewer of OpenlineBlog and communicated with us frequently to understand what was going on and why.  He was always trying to connect the dots and put the pieces of the political puzzle together.  He did it respectfully and aggressively.  Unlike some in old media, he treated new media with respect and would collaborate with us to find answers to complicated questions.

Next time you see anyone asking the hard questions, be thankful someone out there is doing so, but next time you see someone not doing that, ask them why...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

West Aurora Upsets East Aurora 72-66 in Illinois High School Basketball's Oldest Rivalry | Game Played at Northern Illinois University



At the "neutral" site at Northern Illinois University (NIU) for Illinois High School Basketball's oldest rivalry, the West Aurora Blackhwaks upset favored East Aurora Tomcats 72-66 on Saturday evening.

Despite dismissing its leading scorer from the team a day earlier for undisclosed reasons, West Aurora's victory puts them in the lead 127-86 in their basketball rivalry with the 213th game.

The crowd at the NIU Convocation Center in DeKalb was 4,272 for the high school basketball game.

630-256-5000 | New Aurora Police Department Phone Numbers for Non-Emergencies

With the move by the Aurora Police Department to their new $120 million facility (aka "The Palace") on Indian Trail, there will be new phone numbers for non-emergencies.  The "old" number of 630-859-1700 will continue until the new 911 center is operational at the new facility, but everyone in Aurora is encouraged to change their contact information to include the new phone numbers.  And, the numbers are:

AURORA POLICE DEPARTMENT
MAIN NON-EMERGENCY NUMBER
630-256-5000


Area 1 Patrol (west/downtown) 630-256-5100


Area 2 Patrol (near east side) 630-256-5200


Area 3 Patrol (far east side) 630-256-5300


Investigations 630-256-5500


Booking 630-256-5570


Records 630-256-5720


Traffic Division 630-256-5330


Special Ops (Gang/Vice) 630-256-5600


Evidence 630-256-5660


For emergencies, continue to use 9-1-1

Road to the SuperBowl | Conference Championship Matchups Set - Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints; Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets...Your Picks



Weekend Results:
Indianapolis 20, Baltimore 3
NY Jets 17, San Diego 14
Minnesota 34, Dallas 3
New Orleans 45, Arizona 14

The matchups for the NFC and AFC Championship Games are set with the winner going to the SuperBowl. Brett Farve taking the Minnesota Vikings to the SuperBowl? Can the New York Jets reclaim the magic? Will Peyton Manning take the Indianapolis Colts to the promised land?

Next Sunday, January 24:
AFC | New York Jets vs. Indianapolis Colts (CBS, 2:00pm CT)
NFC | Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints (FOX, 5:30pm CT)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Change We Can't Believe In | Candidate Barack Obama vs. President Barack Obama...What Happens When You Surround Yourself With Daley Cronies Who Are Experts in Corruption, Politics-As-Usual and the Chicago Way



Almost one year after becoming President of the United States of America, Barack Obama has definitely pushed CHANGE, but in some areas that completely contradict his promises.

What happened to the promises of transparency and changing the game of politics-as-usual?

You don't have to look far...his Chief of Staff (Rahm Emanuel), Political Advisor (David Axelrod), Senior Advisor (Valerie Jarrett) and even his wife (Michelle Obama) all have one extremely unfortunate thing in common.

They all worked for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, who has created power based upon corruption, politics-as-usual and the Chicago Way.

What happens to the historic opportunity for our local political rockstar depends on how quickly he recognizes the problems immediately surrounding him.  Dumping Rahm Emanel would be a significant step, but getting rid of Valerie Jarrett will be more complicated due to her relationship with his wife.

Axelrod was not the "genius" of the Presidential campaign, but at the rate things are going, he might want to start working on the 2012 campaign sooner than later.

And, finally, this may seem odd to hear, but the person we believe is Barack Obama's biggest obstacle in dumping the Chicago Way is his own wife, Michelle Obama, who has interlaced her adult life around it and worked directly for Daley's Chicago Way.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Old Copley Hospital Site in Aurora Hits Another Obstacle in Long-Running Saga

The old Copley Hospital site on Aurora's near east side in the 3rd Ward continues to face yet another obstacle in one of the long saga since Rush-Copley bolted for a new campus on Rt. 34 about 15 years ago.

The latest proposal for the site was by Mercy Housing Lakefront to create a mixed-use senior living center at the site.  They were seeking millions from HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) for several projects (including about $66 million for projects within Kane County, not just Aurora) and were denied.

They continue to have a contract to purchase the property and will seek alternate financing, including private investment, but it's not clear why they didn't seek private financing in the first place instead of federal grants.

A proposal to convert the facility into a surgical center was denied previously by the State of Illinois.

So, the obvious question remains...what is the solution for the Old Copley Hospital site?

Rush-Copley Receives Approval for Freestanding Emergency Facility in Yorkville



The review board for health facilities in Illinois has approved Rush-Copley Medical Center's request to develop a freestanding emergency facility in Yorkville at 1100 W. Veterans Parkway (Route 34).

Slightly smaller than first proposed, the facility would be 6,400 square feet at a cost of $6.3 million.  It would be staffed 24 hours.  Patients requiring hospitalization would likely be transferred to Rush-Copley in Aurora.

Haiti's Disaster | Text HAITI to 90999 for Instant $10 Donation to Red Cross




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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Urge the City of Aurora, Kane County and the State of Illinois to Unplug the Fiscally Irresponsible Funding Concept of Video Poker and Gambling | Commentary By Lady Gaga and Chris Daughtry



As the State of Illinois continues to sink into a fiscal catastrophe from wild spending, corruption, status-quo policies, political mafia and a string of foolish decisions that are causing more jobs to leave than arrive, the so-called leaders have just ONE solution.

Video poker and gambling.

It doesn't take an PhD in economics to figure out there are several flaws with the concept of funding capital and the state's finances with gambling.  You can just look at reality.  Lottery was supposed to solve all the education funding problems.  Cities, including Aurora and Elgin, even with a casino and gaming revenue, still have massive economic challenges.

There are only so many gambling dollars out there for people to spend, so further diluting where people spend their money doesn't create "new" money.  On the contrary, to regulate video gambling, it would require enormous resources and a challenge to enforce.  Some say it will be paid for by the revenue generated by the video gambling, but this revenue means it's not being spent elsewhere.

So, why are so-called leaders like temp Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago's Mayor of Corruption, Richard Daley, so in favor or video gambling?

Because they have NO OTHER WAY to generate revenue due to creating a failed economic model that cannot be sustained without more revenue.  It's just an indirect form of taxes instead of dealing with the real system change and reducing the cost of government.

For the City of Aurora, this is a much more critical issue.  Aurora is home to Hollywood Casino, which is already suffering steep declines in revenue due to the economy and shifts away from gambling into priorities such as food, shelter and clothing.

When people choose to gamble, they go to places like Hollywood Casino, but with video gambling, that spending will be spread elsewhere.  Given the fiscal situation, every dollar that further dwindles from gaming revenue must be compensated elsewhere with spending cuts.  How low will it go?

Kane County voted correctly to ban video gambling, but now wants to reconsider the proposal because of some false hope they will be able to exploit the fact almost every county in the Chicago metropolitan region has said no and all the capital funding will magically come to them.

That's a foolish bet, but it goes back to the fundamental problem...why would anyone plan their most important spending priorities on the basis of gambling revenue?

Would you do that for your household?  If not, then urge your city council member, county board member, state legislator, candidate for statewide office and everyone in between to UNPLUG video gambling as fiscal policy.

Otherwise, if we are going to embrace video gambling as fiscal policy, we might as well make Lady Gaga the Governor and let her roll the dice from now on.

Election 2010 Republican Candidate Debate for Governor of Illinois | Dan Proft, Jim Ryan, Adam Andrzejewski, Bill Brady, Andy McKenna, Bob Schillerstrom, Kirk Dillard



Election 2010 | Republican Candidates for Illinois Governor
Presented by ABC 7 Chicago and the Better Government Association

>Dan Proft
>Jim Ryan
>Adam Andrzejewski
>Bill Brady
>Andy McKenna
>Bob Schillerstrom
>Kirk Dillard

WATCH Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

Election 2010 | Will Mark Kirk Give Republicans the Best Shot at Winning Senate Seat from Illinois? Hoffman vs. Kirk Would Be Closest Matchup in November



Rep. Mark Kirk's biggest challenge right now heading into the primary may be the lukewarm support of conservative Republicans for the north shore congressman seeking the U.S. Senate seat from Illinois.

Kirk wants to use the deep corruption of Illinois as a campaign issue, but many say that is exactly why David Hoffman would be the most difficult matchup for Kirk in November.  As a former assistant U.S. Attorney and Inspector General, Mr. Hoffman has no corrupt baggage or ties to the political mafia that has run Illinois (in both parties).

Many Democrats fear Alexi Giannoulias would be an easy target for Kirk with the failure by Giannoulias on Bright Start, his ties to Rezko and limited experience.

Can Kirk win a general election without the base of Republican support?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fleecing of Aurora | City Council Members Attempt to Game the System and Ward Funds to Thwart Taxpayers, Alderman Rick Lawrence and Mayor Tom Weisner



The controversy of how ward funds have been wasted by Aurora City Council members took a twisted turn at Tuesday's City Council meeting, according to our viewers.

After taxpayer outrage and attention about how $20,000 in ward funds (taxpayer dollars) were going to be to given away for free coats for "families in need" in Ward 2 and Ward 7, the Aurora City Council was faced with its first test of 2010 to see how serious they are about stopping their addiction to spending and wasting taxdollars.

Instead, they chose to run and hide by sending the issue back to the Finance Committee, led by Chairman Bob O'Connor and chronic spender Alderman Leroy Keith, which approved the wasteful expenditures in the first place at the same time city employees have been given layoffs or salary freezes.

What happens to all those kids who are apparently freezing somewhere without a coat to wear until they get their ward-funded coat?  Why send it back to the Finance Committee instead of just voting yes or no?

It's a tactic designed to game the system, prevent debate, cheat and thwart the intent of Alderman Rick Lawrence and Mayor Tom Weisner's administration to put an end to the wild and reckless spending of ward funds.

2nd Ward Alderman Juany Garza had wanted a $10,000 approval each for herself and 7th Ward Alderman Scheketa Hart-Burns (who was not at Tuesday's meeting), but says she will now bypass city council approval dissecting the $20,000 into increments below $5,000 each because such lower expenditures would not require a vote by city council.

In other words, manipulate and game the system with the collusion of the the good ol'boys on Finance Committee...don't risk the expenses being debated, let alone rejected.

Cheat taxpayers.

So far, the Aurora City Council is proving they don't get the fiscal reality the rest of us must live with and are continuing to make the same mistakes that created the problem in the first place.

We urge Mayor Weisner to shut-off the entire ward drug fund and it's time for the wild spending city council members to get help with their addiction or get out.

Remember, it's your money.

Inside the Palace | Video Tour of New $120 Million Aurora Police Headquarters

Election 2010 Democrat Candidate Debate for United States Senate from Illinois | Hoffman, Giannoulias, Marshall, Jackson, Meister



Election 2010 Democrat Candidate Debate for U.S. Senate from Illinois
Presented by ABC7 Chicago and the Better Government Association
-David Hoffman
-Robert Marshall
-Alexi Giannoulias
-Cheryl Jackson
-Jacob Meister

Video Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

CBS Profiles Christmas Lights Micromanagement Ordinance in Aurora, City of Lights; Ald Juany Garza Defends Ordinance By Saying People of Aurora are Lazy; City Council Considers New Snow Ordinance

DO NOT ATTEMPT...OR ELSE!


SNOW JOB ALERT

On Tuesday, the Aurora City Council will consider yet another ordinance intended to micromanage the personal behavior and conduct of everyone with a proposal to fine anyone who dares to shovel or blow any snow into public streets.

Never mind this usually happens in situations where city trucks that go through a street force snow onto private driveways or when snow is moved off of public sidewalks.

It's the latest in a series of micromanagement ordinances by some on the Aurora City Council and the city's so-called corporation counsel, Alayne Weingartz.

AURORA - CITY OF LIGHTS OR GRINCHVILLE?

A controversial ordinance to micromanage when one can put up holiday or Christmas lights was featured on Monday night's 10pm newscast by CBS 2 Chicago's Mike Parker:

If you're one of those people who waits for the spring thaw to take down your outdoor Christmas lights and decorations, be glad you don't live in west suburban Aurora.


You could be ticketed and fined if you leave them up too long.


If you leave your lights up past February 24, and even if you don't turn them on, the fine is $50.


The clock is ticking for the lights in Aurora, the "City of Lights."  One alderman, Rick Lawrence, tried but failed to stop the ordinance when it was introduced in 2005.


"In government, a lot of people believe that the government's here to micromanage a lot of aspects of life," Lawrence said.

GARZA CALLS PEOPLE OF AURORA LAZY

The story explains the micromanagement ordinance is the brainchild of 2nd Ward Alderman Juany Garza who said the reason to knock out lights, reindeer and Santa Claus is because in Aurora "we have so many lazy people."

Other micromanaging ordinances enacted by the Aurora City Council that received widespread complaints from taxpayers include fines for elderly woman who are unable to remove their garbage cans before evening and daring to mow or blow freshly-cut grass onto public streets.

Several OpenlineBlog.com viewers have reported so-called corporation counsel Alayne Weingartz's Christmas lights routinely are left on her residence beyond the deadline.  Although we have confirmed Weingartz clearly has violated the law many times, no information is available if she has prosecuted herself.



NOTE:  Former Alderman Chris Beykirch also voted against the micromanagement ordinance regarding holiday lights

Blagojevich Says He's Blacker Than Barack Obama, Later Apologizes for Comments That Were Stupid, Stupid, Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, Daddy-Daughter Duo of Mike and Lisa Madigan Among Topics



Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he's "blacker" than President Barack Obama and later apologized for offending anyone by the comments he says were metaphors and "stupid."

The comments were made in a February story in Esquire magazine, which were part of criticism about not only Obama, but Illinois Speaker of the House (Czar) Mike Madigan and his power-backed daughter, Lisa Madigan, Illinois' so-called Attorney General.

"I'm blacker than Barack Obama.  I shine shoes.  I grew up in a five-room apartment.  My father had a little laundromat in the black community not far from where we lived.  I saw it all growing up."

"It is such a cynical business.  I am real.  This guy, President Obama, he was catapulted in on hope and change, what we hope the guy is" as Blago was critical of policies regarding financial bailouts.

The Apology:  "It's a stupid metaphor, and if I offended anyone, I apologize very much.  I said it out of frustration," said Blago.  "What I said was stupid, stupid, stupid."

"Ordinary people are not getting a fair shake and while I apologize for that stupid metaphor, the frustration that I expressed is very real.  And, again, I'm very sorry if I offended anybody."

Blago also made several statements, ranging from disclosing lifelong Chicago Mayor Daley crony and current Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod encouraged him after the Bush-Kerry matchup to run for President in 2008.

He also alluded to how lifelong Daley crony and current Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanel has allegedly made millions of out a deal with Exelon (ComEd).

Blago, who says he is driving his brother's 1988 Volvo and doing Elvis impersonations to make money, insists he has been falsely accused but the Illinois General Assembly ousted a duly elected Governor on the basis of accusations, but more for political reasons.

Election 2010 | Dems Quinn and Hynes Battle Over How Much to Increase Taxes, But GOP Candidates Pledge to Not Raise Taxes; Dan Proft Says Illinois Must LOWER Taxes



Ask yourself a simple question...do you state government spends too little and needs more of your money?

If so, you have a couple choices for Governor with Dan Hynes and Pat Quinn, both Democrats, who have differences on how much to increase taxes.

Most of the Republican candidates for Governor are pretty clear about not raising taxes, but Dan Proft is making a big push to LOWER the overall tax structure in Illinois to encourage business to come, not leave and to generate jobs and productivity.

Mark McGwire Admits He Used Steroids to Shatter Baseball Records; Will Sammy Sosa Be Next?

Solution to NBC's Self-Inflicted Primetime and Late-Night Confusion of Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and the Other Guys | Commentary By David Letterman



Of all the people to come up with a solution that will make everyone happy with NBC's mess and confusion surrounding the shows of Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien, it's David Letterman to the rescue.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Palace Opens | New $120 Million Aurora Police Headquarters State-of-the-Art and Massive Space...Impact on Crime?


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The new $120 million Aurora Police Headquarters (aka "The Palace") officially opens for business today on Indian Trail for all public law enforcement business, including the branch court, Kane County State's Attorney's Office and operations for the Aurora Police Department.

Pictured above is Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner greeting the public at the recent "open house" in December and below is one of multiple rows from the men's locker rooms at the new facility, which is considerably larger than the current police department's operations.

The 911 Emergency center will move later and remains in operation at the "former" facility on River Street.  The "old" police department will be demolished in 2010 and the land reverted to a park.

Everyone agrees the old police station was dysfunctional and obsolete in many ways, but the big question remains to what extent the new police station with its massive space, conference rooms, furnishings and technology will impact crime reduction in Aurora.

What levels should the community expect with crime reduction, resolution and prevention from the new facility and how soon?