Marengo Slaughter House Opponent Approaches Board of Health

From the July 27, 2020, minutes up for approval at the September 28th Board of Health meeting:

Rehana Mohammed Smith, who is working with Free from Harm and Slaughter Free Chicago spoke to board members about the proposed slaughter house coming to Marengo.

She stated the owner of the proposed business currently operates a slaughter house in Chicago, with a long track record of complaints and violations.

Ms. Smith stated that COVID-19 and other viruses can be transmitted from animals. Ms. Smith questioned the purpose of bringing in a business that will pollute the air, contaminate our water and soil, as well as lower property values.

Ms. Heather Friedu also spoke about Community Farms, LLC, which is the slaughter house proposed to open in Marengo.

Ms. Friedu said she is not certain how far along the business is in the approval process, but she wants the public to be aware that this slaughter house may be approved for opening and would like to see the community voice their opinions on this matter.

She voiced her concerns about health and environmental issues,
hazardous working conditions and the spread of disease.

Ms. [Cindy] Gaffney told board members that due to previous complaints made by an ex-employee,

Animal Services and Assistance Programs Inc. requested a hearing in order to be judged by the State.

The judge stated there were no violations of the Animal Welfare Act and no fines were issued.

IL-14: Race is Clearly Close and Footprints in Social Media Prove it

Lauren Underwood’s most Leftist supporters are worried as Jim Oberweis momentum grows

Jim Oberweis

In the hour plus prior to the first Presidential debate, the antics on Twitter has been growing significantly since late last week in the 14th congressional district.

Why? Because the effective TV commercial of Jim Oberweis has been a significant topic of conversation, and the Underwood campaign’s most Leftist supporters, the Indivisible chapters that are phone banking for Underwood, have started to troll me.

Since Underwood launched her fall campaign with the first virtual debate through the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce on September 1, McHenry County Blog has been publishing the truth, and applying discernment to Underwood’s claims, particularly Underwood has had 3 bills signed into law by President Trump.

Today, after seeing Underwood’s new commercial making the same claim, the John Lopez book of storytelling was opened, and time to apply the truth the McHenry County Blog has been publishing for some time about Underwood.

And after the Underwood/Indivisible trolls got me put in 12 hours of Twitter timeout yesterday through being locked out on a flimsy trumped-up rules violation, it was no more Mr. Nice Guy from John Lopez.

Call this meme discernment to tell the truth, titled “Lauren Underwood and the 3 Bills” using a familiar frame in Underwood’s first two TV commercials, and applying the truth.

Much of the information was published on the McHenry County Blog article of September 3, immediately after the Chicago Sun-Times editorial endorsement interview, but including the September 1 debate.

So what’s this about being put into Twitter timeout? At 11:50 AM CT on Monday, an email was received from Twitter:

So what was the specific rule violation again?

“You may not post content providing false information about voting or registering to vote.”

OK, not remembering posting any false information about voting or registering to vote, I submitted an online appeal shortly after Noon on Monday.

Here’s the response and the tweet in appeal:

So, a tweet that had nothing to do with voter registration or registering to vote is why my Twitter account was locked?

It was only a tweet reply about the Supreme Court vacancy after Senator Lisa Murkowski (R, AK) pointing out Murkowski was reelected to her 2nd elected term in 2010 as a write-in candidate after being successfully primaried.

And pointing out Murkowski did not say what she would do after Election day on November 3 concerning a possible post-Election Day Supreme Court confirmation vote.

So the first appeal was cancelled, and a 2nd appeal filed pointing out the inaccuracy of the decision, and asking to lift the lockout immediately.

Around 8PM CT, I cancelled the 2nd appeal, seeing Twitter was going to make me serve-out the entire lockout of 12 hours. As soon as I was allowed to login to my Twitter, before the lockout was lifted, I was forced to delete the Murkowski tweet reply.

So why am I suspecting Indivisible is behind this little dirty trick?

This is the last tweet I sent, shining the light of truth to an Indivisible phone banker for Underwood prior to 11AM CT on Monday:

My Twitter following is a very modest 970 followers, but quite a few of them retweet and/or like my tweets, but late last week, these two tweets had some significant number of interactions, first on late Thursday’s filing of the new bill in Washington to expand the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act to the Federal Labor Standards Act:

And this one from Sunday, after another Indivisible phone banker bragged about doing Sunday phone banking for Underwood:

Interactions, either in retweets and/or likes, of over 100 is nearing Catalina Lauf-level, and she has over 74,000 followers.

Oh well, it’s all part of campaigning in the fall of 2020, but once my Twitter ban was lifted, and after the meme was made, here is where it was debuted, responding to the Indivisible type who tried to use their attitude and Twitter to temporarily silence me for 12 hours:

May tonight’s Presidential debate be more entertaining.

ComEd Exec’s Plea Agreement – The First Domino To Fall

Below are the guts of the plea agreement of former ComEd executive Fidel Marquez in the developing scandal involving Illinois’ top Democrat, Mike Madigan:

The charges are “conspiracy to commit bribery” to which Marque pleads guilty.

Beginning no later than in or around early 2012, and continuing through in or around 2019, in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, and elsewhere, defendant FIDEL MARQUEZ, conspired with Chief Executive Officer 1 (“CEO-1”), Lobbyist 1, Consultant 1, Individual 1, and others, to:

(a) corruptly solicit and demand, and to accept and agree to accept from another person things of value, namely, jobs, contracts, and monetary payments associated with those jobs and contracts, for the benefit of Public Official A and his associates, intending that Public Official A, an agent of the State of Illinois, be influenced and rewarded in connection with the business, transactions, and series of transactions involving things of value of $5,000 or more of the State of Illinois, namely, legislation affecting ComEd and its business, in violation of [Federal law]; and

(b) corruptly give, offer, and agree to give things of value, namely, jobs, contracts, and monetary payments associated with those jobs and contracts, for the benefit of Public Official A and his associates, with intent to influence and reward Public Official A, as an agent of the State of Illinois, in connection with any business, transaction, and series of transactions involving things of value of $5,000 or more of the State of Illinois, namely, legislation affecting ComEd and its business, in violation of [Federal law].


Between the 1980s and 2019, MARQUEZ was employed in various positions with ComEd, a utility that provided electricity to industrial, commercial and residential customers in northern Illinois, including about 70% of the population of the State of Illinois.

Meanwhile in Springfield, a committee was investigating Mike Madigan’s role in the ComEd scandal.

ComEd was a majority owned subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, a publicly traded for-profit corporation.

The State of Illinois regulated ComEd’s business activity, including the rates that ComEd charged its customers for electricity, as well as the rate of return ComEd realized from its business operations.

Legislation that passed through the Illinois General Assembly and became law had the potential to impact ComEd’s business activity.

In early 2012, MARQUEZ became ComEd’s Senior Vice-President of
Governmental and External Affairs. In that position, MARQUEZ oversaw ComEd’s lobbying activity before the Illinois General Assembly (in both the House of Representatives and Senate), the Illinois Governor’s Office, and various Illinois administrative agencies. ComEd’s lobbying team consisted of both full-time ComEd employees (“internal lobbyists”) and third-party individuals and firms under contract to perform lobbying services for ComEd (“external lobbyists”).

At times, ComEd also contracted with individuals and companies for the provision of political consulting services for ComEd. Under ComEd’s internal corporate structure, such political consultants, like the internal and external lobbyists, were supposed to be under MARQUEZ’s authority.

At the time MARQUEZ assumed his governmental affairs position, CEO-1 was the chief executive officer of ComEd. CEO-1 remained the chief executive officer of ComEd until on or about June 1, 2018, at which time CEO-1 became a senior executive at Exelon Utilities, which was the Exelon subsidiary with oversight of all of Exelon’s utilities, including ComEd.

CEO-1 remained a senior executive at Exelon Utilities until in or around October 2019.

Lobbyist 1 became ComEd’s Executive Vice-President of Legislative Affairs from in or around 2009, although he served in a similar role prior to that date and continued in that job until Lobbyist 1’s retirement in or around early 2012.

In that position, Lobbyist 1 was responsible for ComEd’s lobbying activity before the Illinois General Assembly, the Illinois Governor’s Office, and various Illinois administrative agencies.

Soon after Lobbyist 1’s retirement from ComEd, ComEd contracted
Lobbyist 1 (through a company controlled by Lobbyist 1) to serve as an external lobbyist for ComEd. Lobbyist 1 remained a contract lobbyist for ComEd until some point in 2019.

Consultant 1 was the owner of Company 1, which performed consulting
services for ComEd until in or around 2019.

At the time MARQUEZ assumed the position of Senior Vice-President of
Governmental and External Affairs, and continuing throughout the remainder of MARQUEZ’s employment with ComEd, Public Official A was the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives.

As Speaker, Public Official A had the ability, using procedural mechanisms in the House of Representatives, to prevent legislation that
Public Official A opposed from moving forward.

Conversely, Public Official A could also serve as a very powerful and persuasive force to move legislation forward.

At the time MARQUEZ assumed his governmental affairs position, Individual 1 was serving as an external lobbyist for ComEd.

Individual 1 was a former member of the Illinois House of Representatives and a licensed Illinois attorney who, along
with Individual 1’s spouse, operated an entity (“Individual 1’s Firm”) that provided lobbying services.

Based upon his discussions with Individual 1 and others, MARQUEZ knew that Individual 1 had a close personal relationship with Public
Official A and, among other things, sometimes communicated on behalf of Public Official A.

After Individual 1 retired from lobbying at or near the end of 2016, ComEd contracted Individual 1 to provide political consulting services to ComEd.

Hiring of Public Official A’s Associates as Vendor “Subcontractors” Who Performed Little or No Work for ComEd

MARQUEZ agreed with others, including but not limited to CEO-1, Lobbyist 1, Consultant 1, and Individual 1, to arrange for various associates of Public Official A, including Public Official A’s political allies and individuals who performed political work for Public Official A, to obtain jobs, vendor subcontracts, and monetary payments associated with those jobs and subcontracts from ComEd, even in instances where certain political allies and workers performed little or no work that they were purportedly hired to perform for ComEd.

These acts were taken for the purpose of influencing and rewarding Public Official A in connection with his official duties as Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, and to assist ComEd with respect
to legislation affecting ComEd and its business that had a value of over $150,000,000.

One of the ways ComEd bestowed benefits upon Public Official A’s associates was by directing payments to them through third-party intermediaries. In certain instances, Public Official A’s associates were characterized as “subcontractors” for the third-party intermediaries, but, in fact, the associates of Public Official A often did little or no work for ComEd or the third-party intermediaries in return for the payments they were receiving from ComEd.

The ComEd payments intended for Public Official A’s associates were added to any existing amount due to the third-party intermediary in return for its otherwise contracted services.

The fact that third-party intermediaries were being used as conduits for payments to Public Official A’s associates, for the purpose of influencing and rewarding Public Official A, was not accurately presented or disclosed in the contracts and other internal company documents utilized to arrange for and authorize these payments.

One instance of such an arrangement was the provision of payments to political associates of Public Official A through Consultant 1’s company, Company 1.

The use of Company 1 as a third-party intermediary for ComEd payments to Public Official A’s associates began prior to the time that MARQUEZ assumed his role as ComEd’s Senior Vice-President of Governmental and External Affairs, and it continued into in or around 2019.

In or around 2013, MARQUEZ learned from Individual 1 that associates of Public Official A were receiving payments through Company 1.

In particular, at that time, Individual 1’s Firm was serving as a third-party intermediary to funnel ComEd payments to an associate of Public Official A.

Individual 1 requested of ComEd that the payments to that associate of Public Official A be shifted from Individual 1’s Firm to Company 1; in other words, Individual 1 asked that the associate of Public Official A be switched from being a “subcontractor” of Individual 1’s Firm to being a
“subcontractor” of Company 1.

In conversation, Individual 1 told MARQUEZ that two other associates of Public Official A were already receiving payments from ComEd
through Company 1.

Individual 1 did not describe any work that the Public Official A
associates were doing; rather, Individual 1 described their importance in terms of how close they were to Public Official A.

MARQUEZ agreed to facilitate the shift and took steps to effect Individual 1’s request and shift the associate of Public Official A from Individual 1’s Firm to Company 1.

Later, in or around 2016, MARQUEZ facilitated the movement of the
“subcontract” for the same associate of Public Official A who had been paid through Individual 1’s Firm and later Company 1, from Company 1 to another third-party intermediary.

In or around Spring 2018, CEO-1 told MARQUEZ that Individual 1 contacted CEO-1 and asked that another associate of Public Official A be hired by ComEd, meaning that the associate would begin to receive a stream of monthly payments from ComEd, in the same manner by which other associates of Public Official A were receiving payments from Company 1. CEO-1, Consultant 1, and MARQUEZ agreed to facilitate the payments by agreeing to amend Company 1’s contract to include
money intended as payment to the associate of Public Official A.

As with the ComEd payments being made to other associates of Public Official A through third-party intermediaries, as MARQUEZ understood, these payments were made to influence and reward Public Official A concerning legislation affecting ComEd.

On or about July 30, 2018, MARQUEZ caused a payment of $37,500 to be sent to Company 1, a substantial portion of which was intended for associates of Public Official A.

In each calendar year from 2011 through 2019, the State of Illinois annually received in excess of $10,000 in federal benefits.

Maximum Statutory Penalties

A maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment. This offense also
carries a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain [exceeded $150,000,000] or gross loss resulting from that offense, whichever is greater.

Anticipated Advisory Sentencing Guidelines Range

…anticipated advisory sentencing guidelines range of 324 to 405 months’


Defendant agrees he will fully and truthfully cooperate in any matter in
which he is called upon to cooperate by a representative of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois. This cooperation shall include providing complete and truthful information in any investigation and pre-trial preparation and complete and truthful testimony in any criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding. Defendant agrees to the postponement of his sentencing until after the conclusion of his cooperation.

First ComEd Crook Pleads Guilty in Madigan Scandal

From The Center Square:

Former executive enters guilty plea in ComEd bribery scandal designed to influence Madigan

(The Center Square) – A former ComEd official entered a guilty plea Tuesday, marking the first conviction in a long-running bribery and patronage scandal designed to curry favor with House Speaker Michael Madigan.

From Crain’s Chicago Business.

The guilty plea came less than an hour before the start of a second House Special Investigating Committee into the scandal. 

Former ComEd executive Fidel Marquez was charged with bribery earlier this month in federal court.

Prosecutors claimed that for nearly a decade Marquez conspired “with others known and unknown” to solicit and demand things of value like jobs, contracts and money for the benefit of “Public Official A.”

Prosecutors didn’t name “Public Official A,” but identified the official as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

State Rep. Madigan, D-Chicago, has served as Speaker of the House for all but two years since 1983.

Mike Madigan and Jack Franks. Franks voted for Madigan nine times.

Marquez was the vice president of governmental and external affairs for ComEd from 2012 to September 2019.

The Chicago Tribune reported Marquez pleaded guilty to the charge on Tuesday.

If Marquez cooperates, prosecutors will seek probation.

That would be a major break in the penalties that could have added up to 34 years in prison and a $300 million fine, the Tribune reported.

Madigan has not been charged.

He has said he has not done anything wrong.

The speaker is the subject of a House Special Investigating Committee that meets in Springfield Tuesday afternoon to hear testimony from a ComEd executive.

The committee could advance charges to a disciplinary committee, which could then advance a motion to the full House to punish the speaker. 

IL-14: Lauren Underwood Launches New TV Commercial and Endorsements

Lauren Underwood
Jack Franks

Farm Team PAC has one glaring omission in its support of local candidatesJack Franks

Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, responding to her first candidates forum defeat over the weekend and to Republican challenger Jim Oberweis’ powerful TV commercial, has launched her 2nd TV commercial for the fall, called “Strong Advocate”.

The video for the new ad is not on YouTube, but can be viewed here. POLITICO broke the story of the new ad this morning, and included the link.

The ad is a positive ad, highlighting Underwood’s healthcare credentials amid COVID-19, and features former President Barack Obama. It also features this frame, again:

At Saturday’s forum, Oberweis openly challenged Underwood being truthful, and her continued use of the lie about “3 PIECES OF LEGISLATION SIGNED INTO LAW BY PRESIDENT TRUMP” some observers believe is Underwood’s play at Trump supporters in IL-14 to split their ticket.

Whole truth, as Daily Herald editorial endorsement of Underwood published:

“A few of her ideas — notably controls on insulin prices — have found their way into legislation President Donald Trump has signed.”

Daily Herald editorial endorsement of Underwood, 9/12/20


Given what the Daily Herald said, the claim in the TV ad looks a little different, doesn’t it?

But before you comment on the new ad, Underwood announced last week her Farm Team PAC had finished its endorsements of state and local candidates for fall.

Lauren Underwood

Jack Franks Omitted from Lauren Underwood Endorsements

From Lauren Underwood’s Farm Team PAC press release 9/23/20:


With early voting set to begin, Underwood has endorsed nearly 50 state and local candidates.

ST. CHARLES, IL — Congresswoman Lauren Underwood today announced her support for 18 additional candidates under her political action committee (PAC), the Farm Team PAC. One day prior to the beginning of early voting, Underwood has now thrown her support behind 45 candidates for state and local office in northern Illinois.

“From Wauconda to Warrenville, from Plainfield to Plano, we have extraordinary candidates running for state and local office across our communities. Today, I am so proud to endorse a group of 18 brilliant women.

“Though women represent more than 50 percent of our population, we represent only 25 percent of Congress and 29 percent of our nation’s state legislatures.

“Adding new and diverse voices to state and local offices will allow us to make progress on behalf of all northern Illinoisans. With the final day to vote just six weeks away, I hope voters will get to know the candidates I want on my team.”

Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, 9/23/20 press release


Underwood today announced her support for the following candidates:

  • Meg Loughran Cappel, Illinois State Senate District 49
  • Janet Yang Rohr, Illinois State House District 41
  • Kate Monteleone, Illinois State House District 50
  • Leslie Armstrong McLeod, Illinois State House District 64
  • Candice Adams, DuPage County Circuit Clerk
  • Margaret Peggy O’Connell, DuPage County Circuit Court Judge
  • Jill Otte, DuPage County Circuit Court Judge
  • Corinne Pierog, Kane County Board Chair
  • Jamie Mosser, Kane County State’s Attorney
  • Theresa Barreiro, Kane County Circuit Clerk
  • Mary Kay Crantz, Kane County Board District 10
  • Ruth Kuzmanic, Kane County Board District 12
  • Mary Murray, Kendall County Board District 2
  • Marnie Michelle Slavin, Lake County 3rd Subcircuit Court Judge
  • Jessica Phillips, McHenry County Board District 2
  • Elizabeth Vonau, McHenry County Circuit Court Judge
  • Kim Klein, McHenry County 4th Subcircuit Court Judge
  • Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Will County CEO


Jack Franks not only one giving “signs”

COMMENTARY: After rechecking Underwood’s Farm Team PAC’s previously announced endorsements, and with the most recent additions, it is confirmed: McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks (D, Marengo) was not included as part of Underwood’s farm team.

While the final candidates announced to have Underwood’s endorsement are all women, the Farm Team PAC has endorsed multiple men over the summer.

In the two other counties within IL-14 with at-large elections for their respective county board leaders this year, Underwood did endorse the Democrat nominees in both Kane and Will counties.

But not with McHenry County, the largest county of Underwood’s congressional district.

Amid the sexual misconduct allegations of Franks, Underwood has sent a message, short of demanding Franks’ resignation when the latest scandal was made public earlier this year:

She will not sully her name with the incumbent McHenry County Board chairman.

Another observation of two women also omitted from Underwood’s endorsement is in Kane County, where only 3 of the 5 Democratic women running for countywide office were endorsed.

Omitted were Democrat Penny Wegman, a first term Kane County Board member who’s challenging 2-term Kane County Auditor Terry Hunt’s reelection. Wegman is the daughter of 5-term Republican Kane County Recorder Sandy Wegman.

Underwood did not endorse the Democrat running against Recorder Wegman, who’s seeking a 6th term.

Yes, that is correct, mother is Republican and daughter Democrat running on the same ballot countywide.

Underwood is staying out of the Wegman family name game, attempting to insure the younger Wegman succeeds the elder Wegman, who’s in her mid-70s with the younger winning election countywide this year.

IL-6: Tribune Endorses Ives for Congress

From the Chicago Tribune endorsement of Republican Jeanne Ives for Congress:

We start with a competitive race in the west and northwest suburbs between first-term Democratic congressman Sean Casten and Republican challenger Jeanne Ives, who came close to defeating Gov. Bruce Rauner in the 2018 gubernatorial primary. What we see in the Casten-Ives contest is what we long to see elsewhere in the Chicago area: A strong matchup. Competitive elections force candidates to be more accountable and transparent, and provide voters with the choices they deserve…

6th Congressional District

Chicago? It’s “de facto bankrupt,” says Republican congressional candidate Jeanne Ives of Wheaton.

The future of Illinois’ massive pension debt?

“I’m happy to let free-market economics play out and bondholders beware.

“What we did with Puerto Rico is we basically set up a superstructure and a way for them to come to terms and figure out a haircut,” she says.

Her bottom line: “People in Illinois can’t afford the taxes.”

Ives is a fiscal and social conservative, and a policy wonk, who effectively speaks the hard truths about government spending.

As a member of the Illinois House, she fought unbalanced budgets and unaccountable spending, and wasn’t afraid to take on corruption or one-party rule.

Ives is seeking to oust freshman Democratic Rep. Sean Casten of Downers Grove, who took the seat in 2018 from Republican Peter Roskam.

Casten says 6th District voters are pragmatic — pro-science and pro-markets — and in step with him.

Casten’s top priority is solving global warming, though he doesn’t support the progressive Green New Deal.

He wants to expand Obamacare but does not support a single, government provider of health care.

Also running is Libertarian Bill Redpath of West Dundee.

In this race, we side with Ives because of her sharp focus on government spending and her frank talk.

You might not like to hear from the disciplinarian in the room.

But Washington could use more hard truth-tellers. Ives is endorsed.

Why Not an Underground RR Map for Illinois?

Last Sunday, the Chicago Tribune ran an article about the Underground Railroad that ran to the Rio Grande River. (Can’t find the link.)

Illinois had routes of the Underground Railroad running north, some through McHenry County.

I wonder why the State of Illinois has not prepared a map of the routes as an enticement for tourism.

Concurrent Regulatory Authority of Nursing Homes by County Health Department Might Have Limited Coronavirus Deaths

A couple of months ago I suggested to the McHenry County Board of Health that it should request authority from the Illinois General Assembly to regulate nursing homes.

At that time 81% of Covid-19 deaths in McHenry County had occurred in long-term care facilities (now it’s 78%), while the figure was 55% statewide.

The Illinois Department of Public Health obviously failed big time in protecting these vulnerable residents.

When it comes to the state providing services to McHenry County, we often come off on the short end of the stick.

Although we are the sixth largest county, for instance, there was no State Police presence in the 1990’s until I brought up the subject in an Appropriations Committee meeting.

Another example: during the 1970’s the McHenry County Probation Office ran a quite successful foster care program. One Hebron couple was even featured on a national television program for the huge number of children they had fostered.

Along came a recession during Governor Jim Thompson’s administration and DCFS Director Greg Coler decided to eliminate funding for McHenry County.

I think most would agree that did not improve foster care.

So, I’m not surprised that nursing home inspections in McHenry County were lax.

The real question is what can be done to prevent similar future problems.

Here is discussion I found in the July minutes of the Board of Health:

“Dr. [William] Stinson remarked that he was not surprised that long term care facilities made up 81% of deaths from COVID19 in McHenry County in comparison to 55% statewide as was stated in Cal Skinner’s letter.

“Mr. [Kyle] Marcussen said he was surprised that the deaths were so high in long term care facilities in the county and was impressed that Valley Hi had no deaths at their facility.

“Ms. McCann said Valley Hi had a COVID-19 plan right away.

“Some of the possible reasons for the higher numbers were briefly discussed.”

In August the discussion continued.

Dr. Stinson read a communication from Cal Skinner to board members regarding the regulation of long term care facilities.

Mr. Skinner would like the board to ask the General Assembly for concurrent regulatory power over the county’s long term care facilities

Mr. Skinner believes that if the McHenry County Department of Health and the leadership of Valley Hi were more involved, 90 lives of long term care facility residents would not have been lost.

Mr. Skinner also included a copy of a press release sent out by Governor Pritzker’s office regarding review of IDPH delays of complaint investigations at long term care facilities.

Ms. Karras said the Department’s role with long term care facilities are to be consultants.

We have no regulatory authority and IDPH states the Department should be consulted for infectious disease control.

Ms. Karras stated we have had a good relationship with Valley Hi.

A few years ago, Ms. Karras arranged through a grant to get some Valley Hi employees trained in infection control during a scabies outbreak.
They now have 3 employees trained and there are facilities that don’t have any trained personnel.

IDPH requires facilities to have designated personnel trained in infection control.

The failure was that IDPH did not make sure the state’s requirements were in place at the facilities and if they were aware of the lack of preparedness, didn’t help them to get prepared.

Ms. Karras also noted when the COVID-19 outbreak began, the facilities that were unprepared were the ones that had the highest amounts of deaths.

It was recommended that the Department speak with other counties and state representatives to hear their views of this suggestion.

Money Keeps Pouring into Suzanne Ness’ Campaign Fund – Almost $300,000 More

When we last looking at the extent of Democratic Party State Rep. candidate Suzanne Ness, Governor JB Pritzker had just ponied up a modest $2,500.

That was on top of the $542,000 reported to have been given through September 13th. It was mainly from Mike Madigan-controlled or influenced PACs.

Suzanne Ness TV ad’s final frame.

Here is what has come in since then–$293,466:

  • $57,380 – Chicagoland Operators Joint Labor Management PAC
  • $19,928.59 – Democratic Party of Illinois for a mailing
  • $21,858.18 – Democratic Party of Illinois for another mailing
  • $57,380 – Friends of Michelle Mussman (Schaumburg)
  • $57,380 – Laborers’ Political League Education Fund
  • $7,500 – Smart [Sheet Metal Workers] Local 265 PAC Fund
  • $36,590.30 – Democratic Majority for “persuasion calls”
  • $1,533.40 – Personal PAC for mailing
  • $1,533.40 – Planned Parenthood Illinois Action PAC for mailing
  • $1,533.40 – Planned Parenthood Illinois Action PAC for mailing
  • $1,500 – UFCW [United Food and Commercial Workers] Local 881 Political Action Committee
  • $1,060 – B & D Hotel Corporation, Chicago
  • $1,000 – Clayton Residential Home, Inc., Chicago
  • $5,800 – Fred Eychaner, Chicago’
  • $10,000 – SEIU [Service Employees International Union] Illinois Council PAC Fund
  • $1,500 – SUAAction [State Universities Annuitants Association]

Republican incumbent Allen Skillicorn has reported no receipts since a July 15th loan from himself to his campaign fund.

IL-14: Jim Oberweis Bests Lauren Underwood at Candidates Forum

Jim Oberweis
Lauren Underwood

League of Women Voters event shows Underwood can be bested in debates

Saturday afternoon, Chicagoland chapters of the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Illinois hosted a candidates forum between Congresswoman Lauren Underwood and Republican challenger Jim Oberweis.

The head to head virtual forum is little over an hour, and the video was released late Monday afternoon. The video is here:

First Impressions: Saturday’s candidates forum between the two candidates for the 14th district produced a surprise. Watching the ZOOM forum live, this forum win goes to Oberweis.

Using baseball metaphors (as a shout out to both the Cubs and White Sox making the postseason), while Oberweis did not knock anything out of the park during the forum, he definitely hit a few ground rule doubles and extra base hits, manufacturing runs.

And this was the worst ZOOM performance for Underwood. Throughout the forum, she appeared nervous, touching her hair and face, something she has not shown in other ZOOM debates or editorial endorsement board interviews. Whether she was rattled by the resonating and effective campaign commercial of Oberweis or recent polling showing Oberweis’ campaign’s effectiveness making the race close, she was not herself and did not bring her “A” game Saturday.

Grading the two candidates, while not a decisive win, it was a win for the Republican:

  • Oberweis: B+
  • Underwood: B- –

While Underwood scored some points, particularly on Veterans legislation, she told multiple untruths, and attempted some new attacks which did not stick, for example:

  • Inference to the discredited “1619 project”, and “400 years of racism”
  • Embellishing “bipartisan” more than usual, including attempting to connect the House passage of her H.R. 3525 “U.S. Border Patrol Medical Screening Standards Act” legislation, and saying it passed, and it was signed into law (instead, only the Electronic Health Records funding being included in Defense/Homeland Security Appropriations Bill) by President Trump
  • On Elections, Underwood hit a foul ball loosely accusing Oberweis of FEC complaints
  • Said the Equality Act (H.R. 5) which includes having boys participating in girls sports represents the values of northern Illinois

And Underwood still fails to condemn the violence, which corresponds to the commercials Oberweis ran for a week and complemented by the Louisville riots news stories. Additionally, and oddly, Underwood omitted in her opening or closing statements, about the three editorial board endorsements from Shaw Media, the Daily Herald or Chicago Sun-Times.

She didn’t mention the appointment to chair a subcommittee on the House Homeland Security Committee which went public the day before and was still news. Not a word about recent campaign or congressional achievements.

Oberweis hit a couple of foul balls, too:

  • Accused Underwood of supporting Medicare-for-All
  • Missed hitting a potential homerun when Underwood talked about the merits of the H.R. 1 “For the People” Act, failing to call out the truth of “public financing of political campaigns”
  • Again, said Underwood’s leftist voting record prompted him to run for Congress

Combination of Underwood having her worst candidates forum and Oberweis his best combined to make it a win, though not decisive victory for the Republican.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

65th House District: Shaw Media Endorses Incumbent Dan Ugaste

Dan Ugaste

“Ugaste hasn’t been afraid to go outside of party lines, splitting with Republicans on…”

This morning, Shaw Media Local News Network published its editorial board endorsement of incumbent State Representative Dan Ugaste (R, St. Charles).

The endorsement will appear in print editions of the Shaw Media owned Northwest Herald and Kane County Chronicle newspapers:

“Dan Ugaste, R-St.Charles, is looking to win his second term as the state representative from District 65 against Democratic opponent Martha Paschke, D-Geneva.

“Ugaste is a conservative who continues to fight to lower our property taxes and has fought against a graduated income tax.

“‘I have submitted multiple bills proposing tax relief, government consolidation and cost-saving measures to no avail,’ he wrote in an election questionnaire. ‘I have also worked with other legislators on ethics reform. I intend to keep trying to fix our problems.’

“Paschke, meanwhile, has been involved in the community but has not previously held a political office.

“The district includes portions of Huntley, Hampshire, Pingree Grove, Elgin, South Elgin, St. Charles, Geneva and Batavia.

“Ugaste hasn’t been afraid to go outside of party lines, splitting with Republicans on bail reform, coal ash pollution and school funding bills.

“When fellow Republican Jim Oberweis’ campaign finance action were called into question this spring, Ugaste was one of six Republican state representatives to call him out on the matter.

“We endorse Dan Ugaste.”


The link to the editorial is here.

66th House District: Northwest Herald Endorses Suzanne Ness

Suzanne Ness

“It’s time for a change from Skillicorn, who we endorsed in 2016 but did not endorse in his primary this year…”

Over the weekend, the Northwest Herald owned by Shaw Media, published its editorial endorsement of Democrat Suzanne Ness:

“Elections often are a referendum on the incumbent.

“In Illinois’ District 66 race between incumbent Allen Skillicorn, R-East Dundee, and Suzanne Ness, D-Crystal Lake, that is absolutely true.

“Skillicorn has not been a good representative of the area, from advocating for herd immunity of COVID-19 to his ethical issue related to recording votes on 23 bills when he wasn’t present during a June 1 legislative session. Instead, Skillicorn was in Harvard marching at the Milk Days parade while exploring a run in the 14th Congressional District.

“It’s time for a change from Skillicorn, who we endorsed in 2016 but did not endorse in his primary this year against Carolyn Schofield.

“While some parts of Skillicorn’s agenda make sense, including tackling the corruption of Michael Madigan and the state’s pension woes, he has been incredibly ineffective on getting anything done on those measures.

“It’s time for new leadership in District 66, which runs from Crystal Lake and Lakewood in the north through Lake in the Hills, Huntley and Algonquin into Kane County, where it also includes Gilberts, Sleepy Hollow and West Dundee.

“We endorse Suzanne Ness.”


Link to the editorial here.


McHenry County Blog clarifications: State Representative Allen Skillicorn lives in Sleepy Hollow, as Skillicorn and his wife sold their home in East Dundee in late May. Their Kane County voter registration still shows the Sleepy Hollow address.

The “June 1” reference in the editorial is June 1, 2019.