Algonquin Trustees Set to Elect One of Their Own as Acting President

John C. Schmitt

Acting president will have advantage of incumbency should they choose to run for president in April

Tonight, the Algonquin village trustees will meet for the first time since the passing of Village President John C. Schmitt. The meeting begins at 7:30PM at the Ganek Municipal Complex and has limited seating due to COVID-19.

It can be viewed as a ZOOM webinar at Webinar ID: 997 1557 9739

President Schmitt, 72, passed away suddenly at Midwest Medical Center in Galena on July 25. The Jo Daviess County coroner has not released a cause of death, but it is not thought to be COVID-related.

After the opening of the meeting, the trustees will immediately go into executive session to determine which of their members will become acting village president, while maintaining their position as trustee (but not being paid a salary as president and trustee). The six trustees, in order of seniority are:

  • Jim Steigert, first elected in 1999, ran unsuccessfully against Acting Village President Schmitt in 2005, also ran for president in 1997. Only trustee who participated in the acting village president election in 2003
  • John Spella, first elected in 2003, and son of Schmitt’s predecessor Salvatore “Ted” Spella who passed away in office in 2002. Also ran unsuccessfully against Schmitt in 2005
  • Jerry Glogowski, first elected in 2005
  • Debby Sosine, first elected in 2007
  • Laura Brehmer and Janis Jasper, both elected in 2017 and ousting two trustees, one a 6-termer the other a 3-termer

It’s anybody’s guess who has the 4 votes to win election to acting president. Will the trustees go strictly by seniority? Will the trustees go with someone who wants to run, or has run in the past? Will trustees elect the first woman to be acting village president?

Those watching will find out tonight, and if the executive session goes longer than 10-15 minutes, much will be read into a divided six trustees.

Since under the statute, the acting village president will continue as a trustee, there will be no appointment to the vacant position on the village board, and the board will operate with six voting members through the end of April.

Another “Peaceful” Protester Arrested in Portland

Yesterday from Oregon’s U.S. Attorney:

Portland Man Charged with Assaulting Deputy U.S. Marshal with Explosive Device During Courthouse Protest

Isaiah Jason Maza, Jr.

PORTLAND, Ore.—U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced today that Isaiah Jason Maza, Jr., 18, of Portland, has been charged by criminal complaint with assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon and willfully damaging government property during protests at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse on July 22, 2020.

According to court documents, in the early morning hours of July 22, 2020, a group of individuals gathered in an exterior entryway of the Hatfield Federal Courthouse.

Several members of the group, including Maza, began removing plywood attached to the front of the building to protect its damaged glass façade.

After the group successfully removed the plywood sheeting, Maza made multiple attempts to kick in the window, struck it with a metal object, and repeatedly pounded on it with what appeared to be a hammer.

Shortly thereafter, a number of people successfully removed the entire wooden structure protecting the courthouse entryway and an unknown individual broke one of the windows.

After this breach, Maza walked toward the building carrying a cylindrical object.

Maza then appeared to light a fuse connected to the object and place it inside the broken window

A short time later, the object exploded in close proximity to law enforcement officers exiting the building through the broken window.

A deputy U.S. Marshal sustained injuries to both his legs as a result of the blast.

On July 31, 2020, deputy U.S. Marshals spotted Maza less than one block from the courthouse.

Maza ran from the deputy marshals who pursued him several blocks by foot before catching and arresting him.

Maza made his first appearance in federal court today before a U.S. Magistrate Judge and was ordered detained pending further court proceedings.

Assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Willfully damaging government property is punishable by 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

This case is being jointly investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

Criminal complaints are only accusations of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Comparing Mass Mailings from Jack Franks and Joe Tirio

Recently, I criticized McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks for having his name all over the Covid-91 mailing that should have come from the Department of Emergency Services or the Health Department.

Mailed to 134,000 or so mailboxes–everyone of each route.

Now comes mail to presumably every registered voter who has exercised his or her right to vote recently from County Clerk Joe Tirio.

First look at the envelope:

The envelop wasn’t really pink. It was white. My screen is wonkly.

Next look at the return envelop:

Tirio’s name does not appear on either.

The page of instructions does contain Tirio’s name…in the smallest type on the page:

Finally, here is the application that is to be returned, if one wants to vote by mail. It also includes Tirio’s name, again, in the smallest letters on the page.

McHenry County absentee ballot application.

Republican and Libertarian Candidates for U.S. Senator Support Keeping Corruption-Fighting U.S. Attorney, Democrats Durban, Duckworth Silent

Friday, the Chicago Tribune editorial focused on what happens to U.S. Attorney John Lausch after the next President is elected.

There is little question if Donald Trump is re-elected, but there is if Joe Biden takes office.

Biden was supported by all the Establishment Democrats but Jack Franks.

Republican candidate Mark Curran, former Lake County Sheriff, supports keeping Lausch:

Mark Curran

“I agree with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board on this! If elected as US Senator to represent this state of IL hardworking taxpayers, (who have seen their tax money used in the millions paying for political corruption,) I’m telling all of you this right now, you have my promise I would never blockade any efforts of our US Attorney of IL’s Northern District John Lausch as he probes corruption in this state.

“He is behind all the raids on corrupticrats in Springfield and Crook County.

“Sen. Dick Durbin has said NOTHING about his buddy ‘the man’ and the Democrat party leader Michael Madigan raided and implicated in federal investigations of racketeering.”

Libertarian Party candidate Danny Malouf release the following statement of support:

Danny Malouf

“As a third party candidate who recognizes that corruption is naturally rooted in big government systems, I fully support US Attorney John Lausch’s work in exposing political and criminal crimes, especially of career politicians who have taken advantage of their positions of power.

“The people want liberty and justice for all, and this includes the political elite class who tend to operate on a different set of rules and values.

“These authoritarian problems require libertarian solutions – meaning smaller government and less power and control for the ruling elite.”

As Usual, Springfield Democrats Drop the Ball on Real Estate Tax Relief

From State Senator Craig Wilcox:

Senate Republicans say little progress to show one year after
Property Tax Relief Task Force created

Springfield, IL. — This week marks one year since the legislation creating the Property Tax Relief Task Force was signed into law.

Unfortunately, instead of celebrating reforms to provide relief to Illinois’ over-burdened property tax payers, the Senate Republican members of the Task Force are issuing a call for a renewed focus on this urgent issue.

Senate Republican Task Force members included Senators Dale Righter (R-Mattoon), Jil Tracy (R-Quincy), Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods), Craig Wilcox (R-McHenry), and Don DeWitte (R-St. Charles).

Craig Wilcox

“While I certainly had concerns that this would be another case of ‘form a task force, hold a bunch of meetings, and develop recommendations that never come to fruition,’ I still went into this process with an open mind hoping for a robust dialogue on this issue that is so critical to so many in our state,” said Task Force member Senator Craig Wilcox.

“It is unfortunate that a year later, my fears have proved true and we’re still without any substantial property tax reform at a time when Illinois families need it more than ever.”

Specific responsibilities of the Task Force included:

  • Identifying the causes of increasingly burdensome property taxes across Illinois;
  • Reviewing successful public policy strategies that create short-term and long-term property tax relief for homeowners; and 
  • Making recommendations about what steps Illinois government needs to take to provide property tax relief.

The group was split into seven subcommittees, each tasked with examining a specific area of property tax reform.

These subcommittee topics included PTEL [what taxpayers call the “Tax Cap”] and local governments tax levy, TIF [Tax Increment Financing] districts, local pensions, school funding and school property taxes, social and economic disparities, assessments and exemptions and government consolidation.

“Nobody will argue that there is a simple solution to property tax reform,” said Senator Jil Tracy who served as a co-chair.

“It is, however, vital that we make a concerted effort to find real, bipartisan reforms that reduce the burden on property tax payers in Illinois.”

The Task Force, which included appointees selected by the Governor and legislative leaders, was to work with the Illinois Department of Revenue, the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, and the State Board of Education to take a deeper look at Illinois’ property tax system and develop recommendations for reform.

Don DeWitte

In total, the group was comprised of 56 State Representatives, 30 State Senators, and two members appointed by Governor J.B. Pritzker.

“At the end of the day, a Task Force that includes nearly half of the General Assembly and no stakeholders from the community is unlikely to produce the kind of results our state so desperately needs,” said Task Force member Senator Don DeWitte who served as a co-chair.

The Task Force was also required to provide an initial report outlining administrative, electoral and legislative changes to be submitted to the Governor’s office and the General Assembly within 90 days, and a final report by Dec. 31, 2019.

Unfortunately, neither of these reports were ever submitted.

Dan McConchie

“To have spent months attending meetings, only to have the Task Force devolve into partisan bickering was frustrating, to say the least,” noted Task Force member Senator Dale Righter.

Senate Republican members of the Task Force say it’s time to work together, in a truly bipartisan fashion to address issues like consolidating redundant layers of government; TIF district reform; reforming the assessment and appeals system to ensure it is fairly and accurately applied throughout the state; and reforming the appeals process to ensure connected politicians and lawyers don’t profit off the convoluted property tax system in Illinois.

“The people of Illinois need more than smoke and mirrors,” said Senator Dan McConchie.

“They need relief.”

19-Year Old Harvard Woman Takes on Police Officer

From the Harvard Police Department:

Aggravated Battery/Resisting

On 07-31-20 at 1318 hrs, Yulieana Ortiz (f/19 yoa) of 401 S. Eastman St
was arrested for Aggravated Battery and Resisting a Peace Officer after she
punched, struck and scratched an officer about the chest and hand and pushed and pulled away from an officer while being placed under arrest.

Ortiz was transported to the McHenry County Jail in lieu of bond.

Message of the Day – A Sign

Found at the corner Walkup and Woodstock Streets is this sign commemorating the life of former Mayor Aaron Shepley:

Remembering Mayor Aaron T. Shepley, 1963-2020.”

A story about Shepley’s public life is here.

= = = = =

Cause of death, according to the McHenry County Coroner:

-Cardiac arrhythmia

-Ischemic hear disease

Natural death.

Tribune Obtains 17-Second Woodstock Police Video of Woman Being Pulled Out of SUV During Arrest

Andrea Nielsen is the woman who is seen on a Woodstock Police video being pulled out of a SUV by a McHenry County Sheirff’s Deputy when she would not come out voluntarily.

Tribune headline.
Andrea Nielsen

The Tribune put it this way:

[the] deputy put a burglary suspect in an apparent chokehold during an arrest, according to video footage captured by a Woodstock police officer’s body camera.

Woodstock sent the video of the June 17 arrest to the sh

She and three others were arrested for stealing for charges involving burglary, theft, possession of a controlled substance, criminal damage to property

The unnamed Deputy has been put on paid administrative leave and the State Police are investigating the incident.

Now comes the Chicago Tribune with an article explaining what the 17-second video shows.

It does not show the video, however.

A Deep Dive into McHenry County Coronavirus Infections

Lee Neubecker of Enigma Forensics is a robust Covid-19 data source.

He makes available test results by zip code, which is posted below:

There are three zip codes in McHenry County which have no data: Alden, Ringwood and Union.

That presumably means that each has five or fewer cases, although the McHenry County Health Department reports that Union has six cases.

Northern Crystal Lake
Southern Crystal Lake
Fox River Grove
Spring Grove
Wonder Lake
Lake in the Hills

County Libertarians Pass Ballot Access Test Regarding Reduced Number of Required Signatures and On-line Signing

Kelly Liebmann and Jim Young were talking to people in the 2013 at the McHenry County Fair Libertarian Party booth.

There were basically five challenges to petitions to Libertarian candidates Kelley Liebmann’s candidacy for Coroner and Jim Young’s for Auditor:

1 – They didn’t have enough signatures.

2 – People who signed Republican and Democratic Primary Election Petitions were ineligible to sign a third party’s petition.

3 – Voters in the Republican or Democratic Party primaries were ineligible signers.

4 – Having voted in the Republican Primary Election, neither Liebmann nor Young were eligible to run as Libertarians.

5- In Liebmann’s case, signing a Republican petition invalidated her ability to run as a Libertarian.

Monday, the McHenry County Election Board decided that the number of signatures set by a Federal Judge in a suit brought by Libertarians were enough.

On Monday, August 10th, the other questions were be addressed.

The paid claim 628 valid signatures with 589 being required.

Second Version of Appointed Coroner’s Job Description

Since it had been enough time for a revision of the job description for an appointed Coroner, I filed a Freedom of Information request with the Human Relations Department.

That seemed to be the logical place to find it.

But, no, HR had nothing and referred me to Administration, that is, the place McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks exerts the most influence.

Today, I received the work product, which is below.

You can compare it with the first iteration here.

Missing is the salary.

IL-14: The Silence of the Underwood

From U.S. Republican congressional candidate Jim Oberweis:

Jim Oberweis: A growing number of female Democratic leaders call on Mike Madigan to resign as Rep. Underwood remains silent

Sugar Grove, IL – While a growing number of Democrats are calling for Speaker Michael Madigan’s resignation, Rep. Lauren Underwood continues to stay silent, which Jim Oberweis, candidate for Congress in the 14th District, says speaks volumes about Underwood.

Madigan is after all, the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois and plays a central role in the election of Democrats throughout the state.

Just recently State Senator Heather Steans (D-Edgewater) joined other Democrat women legislators in calling for Madigan’s resignation.

“Some will argue that the Speaker is innocent until charges are filed and he’s proven guilty.

“But those are not the standards that should apply to his leadership role,” Steans stated in media reports.

In addition to Sen. Steans, in recent days, the following Democratic leaders have called on Madigan to resign:

“Serving as Speaker is not a right; it’s a privilege. A leader’s actions must avoid even the perception of wrongdoing. Speaker Madigan repeatedly has violated that trust.”

  • Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago)
  • Rep. Stefanie Kifowit (D-Oswego)
  • Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago)
  • Rep. Terra Costa Howard (D-Glen Ellyn)
  • Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake)
  • Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Urbana)
  • Rep. Mary Edly-Allen (D-Libertyville)
  • Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston)
  • Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D-Glenview)
  • Rep. Lindsey LaPointe (D-Chicago)
  • Rep. Theresa Mah (D-Chicago)
  • Rep. Anna Moeller (D-Elgin)
  • Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago), and
  • Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago).
Loren Underwood

All the while, Underwood has remained conspicuously silent and has refused to distance herself from Madigan, as other women in her party have led the way against the Madigan culture of corruption.

Oberweis is questioning why Rep. Underwood is not joining her fellow Democrats in calling for Madigan’s resignation.

“There are a growing number of Democrat leaders in Illinois who have shown a willingness to put the good of the state above their political party by calling for Speaker Madigan to resign,” Oberweis said.

Jim Oberweis

“But Lauren Underwood continues to stay silent. Not only has she refused to call for Madigan’s resignation, but she also continues to align herself with organizations he controls to raise money for her campaign.”

The Lauren Underwood Victory Fund is a joint fundraising committee connected to the Democrat Party of Illinois, which is controlled by House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Oberweis is calling on Underwood to cut ties with the Speaker by ending her joint fundraising efforts with organizations he controls.

“The people of the 14th District deserve to know why Lauren Underwood continues to rely on a man who is under federal investigation to raise money for her campaign,” Oberweis said.

“Instead, all we get is silence.

“Enough is enough.

“It is time for Underwood to break her silence.”

Oberweis noted that Underwood’s silence should not come as a surprise given that she has not made any public statements on one of her former staffers, Hadiya Afzal, recently dropping out of her DuPage County Board race after tweeting a link to a video of police officers being attacked and remarking in the tweet she has “been watching this on repeat for 15 minutes and laughing every single time.”

“Hadiya Afzal worked for Lauren Underwood and up until this incident was a rising star in the Democrat Party,” Oberweis said.

“The Democrat Party in DuPage County very quickly deleted their endorsement of Afzal on their website, and Afzal herself dropped out of the race

“But as usual Underwood refused to comment.

“Even when other people in her own party are distancing themselves from Afzal’s outrageous comments, Underwood continues to be silent.”

Will the Center Hold?

Republished with permission of Jim Nowlan, former State Rep. from farther back than I, Governor Richard Ogilvie’s Lt. Gov. candidate in 1972, university professor, Illinois Department Director, etc.:

Will the center hold? It must

I am hearing a worried buzz about our republic not holding together, something I have never in my long life encountered before.

Some (many?) on the “left” worry about President Trump calling the election invalid and holding onto power

From the “right” comes concerns that those leading and supporting groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter hope to build their protests into insurrection.

Over a beer recently after tennis, I could not help but overhear most of a conversation in the booth next to ours.

An intense Trump supporter was loudly expressing such fears of insurrection from the far left.

As if to clinch it, he added: “Bill Gates and George Soros are trying to take over the world, you know.”

He was serious.

A lively, though civil, verbal brawl ensued in the booth.

“How can you believe that?” another asked.

After a while, the Trump loyalist sighed: “You know we should stop this kind of talk. I won’t convince you, and you won’t convince me.”

He added: “You and I just aren’t reading the same things.” And that might have been the best insight of the evening.

Another perspective came recently from an old friend, an Ivy League PhD in political science.

He called from his home in D.C., where he is a retired foundation president.

PhD friend expressed alarm about Trump sending federal officials into cities.

“It reminds me of Mussolini in Italy, who engineered a violent, fascist coup in that country and ruled for 20 years.”

All of this sounds far-fetched, to me anyway.

Maybe it’s because I think I’m from the generally less passionate center of the political spectrum, where all we want is order, harmony, and prosperity.

I read mainstream fare like the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, The Economist, and Scientific American.

Little call for insurrection on those pages.

The body politic was stretched and strained half a century ago, sparked by the Vietnam War and movements for civil and women’s rights.

Since then, social observers have frequently recalled the famous World War I era poem by Yeats, with lines that include:

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”

Here is my take as to why political passions may be reaching a fever pitch:

Trump appeals in part to older, white males who feel they are losing or have lost their footing on the side of the hill of life, which most of us try to ascend, in some fashion.

These white males, often inadequately educated for jobs in the information age, are scared by the rise of women, the aggressiveness of minorities, and the sense of being played for chumps by the well-educated elites of finance, technology and science.

These folks are generally not well-versed in the niceties of the democratic processes and the rule of law.

On the left, we have many people of color (plus urban, white liberal sympathizers) who feel the deck has forever been stacked against them.

They thought things were maybe getting better, as a result of policies initiated in the 1960s during the Great Society of LBJ.

But the recent, gruesome George Floyd neck-hold death, and similar homicides of Laquon McDonald in Chicago, those in Ferguson, Missouri, and others, have jolted them into thinking, alas, that nothing has really changed.

And they are royally pissed, to use an expression I hear in my rural confines.

A look at history shows that master propagandists Goebbels and Mussolini on the right and Robespierre and Lenin on the left all led passionate minorities to takeovers of democratic societies.

They were able to do so — and here we need better historians than am I — because indifferent, less passionate majorities, preoccupied with making livings and rearing families, failed to take heed and shout them down early.

The present is different from the past, I think, because of the apparent deep impact of the internet and social media.

Digital communications appear to seduce people into sites with like-minded folks, echo chambers that feed and intensify one another’s biases.

All political systems are flawed, because they cannot satisfy the demands of all in diverse societies. Yet the American constitutional republic that became a democracy has lasted longer, and successfully so, than that of any major nation.

The American Center must and can hold. It need be vigilant, ready to rise up as necessary to protect our institutions, democratic processes and the rule of law.

Mocking Madigan

Chicago Tribune editorial cartoonist Scott Santis has this blistering cartoon today:

I have written previously that Mike Madigan, like U.S. House Speaker Denny Hastert, will not have a statute of himself in the State Capitol.

Santis is right, however, that Madigan could hang his photo in the honored spot on the Democratic Party side of the aisle before he leaves office.

Otherwise, Madigan will have to settle for a photo above the House Gallery like all other living House Speakers.