More evidence momentum with Republicans, President Trump endorses Jim Oberweis for Congress
Today, President Trump tweeted the following about the 14th district of Illinois:
COMMENTARY: By the grace of God, the President and Jim Oberweis will make a terrific team in Washington next year to move our country forward from the radical Leftists like Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Lauren Underwood among others.
This deserves a song. “KEEP AMERICA GREAT!” by Toots Sweet (used with permission):
COVID-19 Resurgence Mitigations Hitting Nearby Counties on Friday
As you may have heard, heightened COVID-19 mitigations are taking effect in Southern Illinois’ Region 5 on Thursday, and in suburban Kane and DuPage Counties (Region 8) and Will and Kankakee Counties (Region 7) on Friday.
In each case, heightened mitigation strategies were triggered when the regions posted three consecutive days of COVID-19 positivity rates that were above 8%.
Our Region 9, which includes McHenry and Lake Counties, are seeing positivity rates climb as well, and if current trends for our region continue, we will be facing resurgence mitigations as soon as next week.
When you look at the chart above for Region 9, it is the far-right column that is causing concern.
Those positivity numbers are headed in the wrong direction. We need to do whatever we can to reverse that trend and prevent mitigations from coming to our area. Our businesses can’t handle another shut-down.
Rep. Reick Sends Letter to Governor; Urges “Reset” on COVID-19 Response It’s clear that Illinois’ COVID numbers are headed in the wrong direction, and it’s only a matter of time before the entire state is moved back to strict mitigations. We’re in the midst of the virus’ second wave, and this is the optimal time for the Governor to work with the Legislature on a new response to the virus.
This week I sent a letter to the Governor, urging him to call a special session and hit the reset button, so he can work collaboratively with the Legislature to determine a new and better path forward.
In the letter, I pointed out,
“All of the Executive Orders which you’ve issued in your effort to quell the spread of the virus have been made under the claim of authority granted under the Disaster Declaration you issued in March. This has led to questions, as well as litigation as to how far you can go in relying upon a single Declaration.”
I went on to urge the Governor to call a special session to allow the Legislature to debate and codify the rules that have been issued over the last seven months and provide for definitive sunset dates.
We are now seven months into this health pandemic and we are well beyond the point where legislators should have a voice on response decisions.
I hope the Governor is ready to enlist the help of the Legislature, so we can collaborate on a new and better response plan.
Expanded Early Voting Begins on October 19 Across Illinois
For the last 3 ½ weeks, early voting has been limited to county clerks’ offices, but this week additional early voting locations are opened throughout each county.For those living in the 63rd House District, there are several locations offering early voting between now and November 2. Times differ between locations, so please check dates and times for the location that is most convenient for you. Of course, you are always welcome to vote in person on Election Day, vote absentee, or vote using a vote by mail ballot. Information for all voting is available on county clerk web sites. For our area:McHenry County General Voting InformationMcHenry County Early Voting InformationLocations for McHenry County Ballot Drop Boxes
Public Input Sought for Long-Term Fox River Management
McHenry County, the City of McHenry, and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning are studying an 8-mile stretch of the Fox River that is located just east of the 63rd District. Public officials are seeking community input on a plan that would balance business, environmental protection and transportation in the area. The 8-mile stretch currently being studied stretches from North Chapel Hill Road in Johnsburg, and the area heading south to Burtons Bridge at IL Route 176. The area includes portions of McHenry, Johnsburg, Holiday Hills, Prairie Grove and unincorporated Burtons Bridge. Additional information is available here, and you can take the public input survey by clicking here
From the Lauren Underwood for Congress campaign press release dated 10/21/20:
CONGRESSWOMAN LAUREN UNDERWOOD PASSES A FOURTH PIECE OF LEGISLATION INTO LAW
Underwood’s Veterans’ Care Quality Transparency Act Passed the House and Senate with Unanimous Support
ST. CHARLES, IL — Legislation authored by Congresswoman Lauren Underwood to address the national veterans’ suicide crisis was signed into law by President Trump Tuesday.
The Veterans’ Care Quality Transparency Act (H.R. 2372) passed both houses of Congress with unanimous support. Underwood, a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, has focused on ensuring high-quality mental health and reproductive health care for veterans.
“We lose approximately twenty veterans to suicide every day in this country — that’s simply unacceptable.
“I believe we should honor our veterans by making certain they have the resources they need to live healthy, well lives when they return home. The Veterans’ Care Quality Transparency Act will ensure veterans receive high-quality mental health and suicide prevention services from both the VA and contracted health care providers.”
Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, 10/21/20
The legislation directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to assess the standards of mental health care and suicide prevention services from outside heath care providers that have entered into agreements with the VA. The legislation would ensure veterans receive high-quality mental health care services even when they go outside the VA for treatment.
Prior to the Veterans’ Care Quality Transparency Act, Underwood passed legislation into law to make lower cost generic insulin available sooner, to prevent children from dying in federal custody along the U.S. Mexico border, and to examine the United States’ reliance on a foreign-based medical supply chain.
COMMENTARY: Even when telling the full story of a complete victory, Congresswoman Underwood’s campaign cannot resist the temptation to embellish what happened, compared with what actually happened.
5/17/19: Reported (Amended) by the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
5/21/19: Passed/agreed to in House: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote.
9/24/20: Passed/agreed to in Senate: Passed Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent.
10/7/20: Presented to President.
10/20/20: Signed by President
To say Underwood’s legislation passed the House “with unanimous support” is an embellishment, as it passed by a voice vote as recorded in the record. Clearly, it passed the Senate last month “by Unanimous Consent”.
But to the biggest difference, my headline of this being Underwood’s first bill to actually be signed into law, is accurate. The other three bills had components which were added to bigger bills, as has been shown in this meme from a screenshot of the Underwood campaign’s first two TV commercials:
Unlike the actions of the “Lower Insulin Costs Now” Act (which is the subject of Underwood’s 3rd TV commercial), which was not signed into law but included in the massive Appropriations Bill H.R. 1865 signed into law last December, The Veterans’ Care Quality Transparency Act was actually signed into law directly by the President.
If Underwood wins a 2nd term, maybe her and her campaign team will learn how to tell the truth and be completely honest when communicating accomplishments.
The U.S. Attorney’s Fiscal Year Report continues here:
Enforcement Actions and Prosecution Activity
The U.S. Attorney’s Office works closely with U.S. law enforcement agencies, including ATF, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) to investigate and prosecute a variety of violent crimes. State and local partners in this effort include the Chicago Police Department (CPD), Illinois State Police (ISP), Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Rockford Police Department and other local departments throughout northern Illinois.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Gun Crimes Prosecution Team continues to enhance the prosecution of illegal firearm possession in certain police districts in Chicago.
Working collaboratively with federal and local law enforcement, the team focuses on charging Chicago’s most dangerous criminals quickly after arrest, endeavoring to disrupt the cycle of violence in the neighborhoods most in need.
“Our Gun Crimes Prosecution Team has had tremendous success investigating and prosecuting firearms cases from those Chicago neighborhoods suffering from the most violent crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch. “Our partnerships with CPD and other state and local law enforcement have never been better.”
Firearm and violent crime investigations in Chicago have also been bolstered by an important tool from ATF: the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN).
NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms.
NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles.
Federal, state and local law enforcement in Chicago have used NIBIN extensively to help solve violent crimes and prosecute trigger-pullers and other gun offenders.
Most visible sign to date the 14th is competitive and Lauren Underwood is in trouble and $560K to indirectly help fight back
Tuesday morning, the House Majority super PAC, the Democrat version of the Congressional Leadership Fund and funded by George Soros, announced it was spending an Independent Expenditure (IE) of $560,000 in opposition to Republican congressional candidate Jim Oberweis.
This is the super PAC’s first spending this year in the 14th district, and displays concerns over internal polling showing the race between Oberweis and freshman Congresswoman Lauren Underwood is close.
Per the statement this morning from House Majority super PAC:
“House Majority PAC is launching its first ad in Illinois’ 14th District, detailing all the important health care policies that Jim Oberweis has said he’s against.
“Illinois families elected Lauren Underwood because they wanted to expand access to affordable health care, and Jim Oberweis has made it clear he’d make it harder for families with preexisting conditions to get coverage and he would eliminate the All Kids health insurance program.”
House Majority PAC statement 10/20/20
The 30 second TV ad on broadcast TV is titled “Against”:
COMMENTARY: Most visible sign yet the 14th district is close. Make no mistake, Jim Oberweis can win this race.
Late last week, Geneva-based political consultant and fellow blogger Jeff N. Ward, accurately predicted Underwood’s messaging was astray, first without firmly and wholeheartedly condemning violence, including rioting and looting at the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board interview on September 3.
He also said the following about Underwood:
“Her categorically poor messaging is particularly distressing considering the Underwood ground game is one of the very best!
“Sadly, she’s bound and determined to prove that ‘there’s just one way to win an election, and a thousand ways to lose it.’
“It’s kinda like being the fastest sprinter on the planet who never made it to the Olympics because they harbored a strange propensity to run into the nearest wall.
“And I had high re-electoral hopes for her, too! Her initial TV commercial clearly indicated her team finally understood they had to appeal to receptive female Republican Illinois 14th Congressional District voters to win. How difficult could it be to out-message a badly damaged and perennially poor candidate like Jim Oberweis – especially when it comes to women!
“But because they lack that keen perception of the obvious, her campaign consented to a series of pro teacher union mailers that will most certainly cost her votes in that Republican district. To make matters worse, those mailers only went to teachers! Anyone with half a brain knows that no self-respecting (mostly female) educator would be caught dead voting for the likes of my good friend Jim!
“So, now the opposition can attack her for being bought and sold by the unions at time when Illinois’ deepening fiscal abyss is primarily the result of union pensions.”
Jeff N. Ward, 10/14/20, “Campaign Lesson #6: Messaging is Paramount”
But make no mistake. Underwood’s honesty, or lack of it, has caught up to her. Her half-hearted statements saying violence should not be used to resolve problems have mainstream voters in the 14th district seeing through her.
So in the last two weeks, and I just viewed the “Against” ad for the first time during the 5PM local news on WLS-TV along with Underwood’s “Darcy” positive ad, the stakes have gone up and Oberweis can win and flip the seat in two weeks.
UPDATE: Oberweis Campaign Responds to House Majority super PAC IE
“The big takeaway here is that Lauren Underwood is clearly in trouble.
“Her campaign has outraised and outspent the Jim Oberweis campaign by a wide margin but apparently it is not enough to close the deal with the voters she has represented for nearly two years.
“It is another example of how out of touch with this district she is.
“Voters do not want a Nancy Pelosi disciple. They want real independence and real leadership in Washington.
“There cannot be any doubt that Lauren Underwood is bought and paid for by Nancy Pelosi which is bad news for her because voters will not let Nancy Pelosi buy this district.”
Jim Oberweis Campaign Spox, 10/20/20 in response to House Majority super PAC Independent Expenditure
The McHenry County Board meeting Tuesday was pretty mild.
Chairman Jack Franks only assumed his “I’m in control” mode once.
For the second meeting in a row, it was with Carolyn Schofield, who was seeking a parliamentary ruling concerning Franks not following Board rules by having the chairman of the committee advancing a resolution move its adoption.
Franks did not allow the Parliamentarian to speak.
This followed unanimous support for naming the State’s Attorney the Board’s Parliamentarian.
The most interesting part was a report by County Clerk Joe Tirio.
He revealed that 41,032 votes had been cast through Tuesday night.
24,443 were by mail and 16,589 in person.
That compares with 46,689 for all of 2016.
Early voting has seen people social distancing and wearing masks.
Only two people have shown up without masks.
Tirio said his staff is working six and seven days a week and that he is scanning 10,000 votes a day, but not counting them until after 7 on election night.
He continued encouraging people to vote early.
The Clerk reported that his office had mailed out about 55,000 vote by mail applications in the “first salvo,” followed by 10-12,000 subsequently.
If one has received a ballot and want to vote in person, but can’t find the unvoted ballot to turn in at the polling place, one can still vote, but provisionally.
“The provisional ballot gets sort of a bad rap,” he said.
“As long as you don’t mail your vote by mail ballot in, it will be counted.”
Board member Joe Gottemoller pointed out that about 145,000 votes were cast four years ago, so about 28% have already voted.
Asked what results could be expected on election night, Tirio explained they might not be complete, but “I think we’ll have a pretty good idea.”
In other business, a member of Jack Franks law firm was approved as Chairman of the Historical Commission.
Franks relinquished the Chair to Mike Skala for the vote, which passed.
Mary McCann asked that information contained in the updated financial reporting system entered in the budget.
For example, the budget just shows expenditures through May, while the new system has numbers spent through September (ten months of the Fiscal Year).
She also argued that there should be n zero entries.
Doing both would “give a much improved picture of the financial situation.”
John Reinert objected to writing off county loans that were considered uncollectable.
He managed to get approval of a one month delay in the vote.
A systemic problem with viewing the Board meeting is that members, including Chairman Franks don’t get close enough to their microphones to be heard.
I had my volume all the way up and about three-quarters of those who spoke were inaudible.
The McHenry County Department of Health notified us on Monday, October 19 that Prairie Ridge High School is under evaluation due to the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
With the health and safety of our students and staff at the forefront of each decision we make, we have decided that while the health department evaluates our cases, out of an abundance of caution, we will close Prairie Ridge High School, including the STRIVE program, and switch to remote learning for the remainder of the week, beginning Tuesday, October 20.
All students and staff will be remote until the end of the week (October 23).
The daily schedule will continue with nine periods from 7:25 a.m. – 2:05 p.m. Students will be expected to log in to Canvas or Zoom for classes.
Nothing will change for students who are currently in the remote learning model.
Students do not need to quarantine unless they have been notified that they are a close contact.
After school activities scheduled for Monday, October 19 will continue as planned.
After school activities beginning Tuesday, October 20, will be cancelled for the remainder of the week.
We will continue to provide updates as we learn more information in collaboration with the McHenry County Department of Health.
Students in the STRIVE program will receive a separate communication.
Food distribution for all Prairie Ridge families will be available at the main entrance of Crystal Lake Central High School at 45 W. Franklin Avenue in Crystal Lake. Meals can be picked up Tuesday through Friday during school hours from a fridge located just outside the main entrance.
For additional tech support during this week, simply click the Tech Support icon in the lower system tray or bookmark chsd155.incidentiq.com and login using your District 155 Google account. There are also Tech Support links available from the district and school websites under STUDENTS, STAFF, and PARENTS at the top right corner.
Our operations staff is already hard at work deep cleaning and disinfecting the building for our safe return. We understand the importance of giving our students a safe environment to learn in-person and do not want to jeopardize that opportunity. During remote learning, we ask that if your student exhibits COVID-19 symptoms, please call the school’s health office.
It’s important for us to remain vigilant and work together to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community. We have been able to trace cases back to social gatherings amongst students, and we think it is important to emphasize how critical physical distancing, wearing masks, and washing our hands is in order to ensure this setback is temporary and we can resume in-person instruction as soon as it is safe to do so.
We appreciate your continued flexibility and patience as we navigate this pandemic together, and we will provide you updates with new information.
From Jeanne for Congress Campaign Press Release issued 10/20/20:
Here Comes Nancy Pelosi
Far from being critical, the Ives campaign encourages Sean Casten to continue to stay home and to keep talking to out-of-touch career politicians.
October 20, 2020 – Here comes Nancy Pelosi!
Sean Casten thinks the solution to any problem – including the waning enthusiasm for his lack-luster campaign – is: Washington Politicians who endlessly raise taxes and implement failed programs.
Rather than actually go out and meet voters and constituents, Sean Casten has been nowhere to be found in IL-06 for months. He even backed out of the last televised forum with Jeanne Ives (Tonight at 7pm on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight).
Now, he is tapping divisive coastal elites like Cory Booker, Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi to try to excite an independent suburban swing district outside Chicago. Good Plan. Far from being critical, the Ives campaign encourages Sean Casten to continue to stay home and to keep talking to out-of-touch career politicians.
When crisis hit, Jeanne Ives – by contrast – immediately reached out to local business owners, medical and mental health experts to find out what they were experiencing and how much they were equipped to deal with. She held monthly food drives across the district, and raised money to benefit a local non-profit that helps those in need with rent and mortgage assistance. She met with parents about the impact closing schools and shutting down sports and other activities was having on their children. Ives even proposed a tax credit to assist families with the financial burden online schooling has created.
“From the day we jumped into this race 18 months ago, I promised to build out the infrastructure to push back on Nancy Pelosi and Sean Casten.
“With the help and hard work of thousands, we did that. We have invested in data, built out a sophisticated field organization, and found innovative ways to get our message to you on a daily basis – even in the darkest days of the COVID shut down.
“Now, we’ve got Nancy Pelosi worried that she will lose one of her most loyal tax-and-spend lackeys: Sean Casten. But voters saw how the candidates in this race reacted when crisis hit. Casten looked to Pelosi for a DC handout. I reached out to you.
“In this district, you know your choice going into the voting booth: Sean Casten believes in government and politicians. I believe in you.”
Like the perfect storyboard coming to life, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to virtually campaign in 6th district
COMMENTARY: I could not have storyboarded this theme any better than what has been revealed for the last two weeks of the 6th congressional district campaign between freshman Democrat Sean Casten and Republican challenger Jeanne Ives!
Late last week, Casten turned into the Cowardly Lion by backing out at the last minute without explanation from a WTTW-TV candidates forum that was scheduled for tonight (10/20) at 7PM CDT. Ives will be appearing indvidually to talk about her campaign and answer questions during the 7PM hour on Chicago Tonight.
But last night, as the Team Casten tweet revealed, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA-12) herself, who many see as a “wicked witch of the west coast”, will virtually fly her broom to help Casten get-out-the-vote, with my immediate reaction in social media:
OK 6th district voters, particularly in Algonquin Township of McHenry County, should you get a call from the 80-year old (The movie The Wizard of Oz premiered within a year before Pelosi was born) Speaker of the House of the United States Thursday afternoon, we want to hear about it here at McHenry County Blog.
Given Pelosi’s position on Leftist legislation, like the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act to classify workers as employees to prove otherwise through the Depression-era ABC test while invalidating right-to-work laws in 27 states, this caricature was released last month:
And late last month, as Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia formally proposed rules defining an “independent contractor” for enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), one of Pelosi’s flying monkeys, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D, CT-03), introduced legislation with Senators Patty Murray (D, WA) and Sherrod Brown (D, OH) to amend the FLSA to require workers to be automatically classified as an employee and prove otherwise under the ABC test.
Should both the PRO Act and the FLSA amendment introduced last month, that will be no treat for anyone except big labor union bosses and their allies. A real-life trick that will last the entire year long.
Flying monkeys, the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz, this clip from the 1939 movie classic is appropriate. Oh, and Sean Casten’s Cowardly Lion gets a cameo appearance, too, doing what Casten does best when it comes to facing his opponent Jeanne Ives in debate — being himself.
In the past, Republicans in the largest townships in McHenry County have typically held primary elections to select their candidates for the April election.
The exception was McHenry Township last time around, which held a caucus after which the GOP-nominated candidates for Supervisor and Road Commissioner were defeated by Independents who were appointed while Republicans.
In order to invoke a primary election, major parties have to notify the County Clerk.
Grafton Township Republican Central Committee Chairman Orville Brettman did just that yesterday.
He didn’t do it on his own.
Members of the Central Committee voted for the action.
Attending the meeting were Carolyn Schofield, Cheryl Myer, Charles Hoffman, Fred Wickham, George Gow, Jeffrey Thorsen, Joe Camp, Shannon Teresi, and Orville H. Brettman.
All township offices are up for election next spring.
Since I put the hit pieces first on the last article, I’ll publish McLaughlin’s come back first, then, Suelzer’s new hit pieces. (I do not know in what order the mailings were delivered by either candidate.)
Now we, move to on to the mailings paid for by Mike Madigan’s Illinois Democratic Party.
There were three pounding McLaughlin for not paying his propety taxes on time.
Of course, such late payments could be the result of cash flow considerations.
Real estate taxes paid late have one percent per month interest tacked onto the original amount owed.
Again, I do not know the order of the hit pieces.
There were also two mailings saying McLaughlin doesn’t like women, both financed by Mike Madigan’s Illinois Democratic Party.
In addition, there was a letter mailed by Breaker Press from the Marci Suelzer Campaign Committee urging early voting.