Kyle Rittenhouse Prosecution Moves Forward after Preliminary Hearing

Kyle Rittenhouse

Defense motions to dismiss charges denied and probable cause established to take case to trial

Kenosha – Thursday morning’s preliminary hearing for Kyle Rittenhouse went as expected, with 2 defense motions being overruled to dismiss two charges, and probable cause being established at the remote hearing held via ZOOM.

Kyle Rittenhouse and attorney Mark Richards

While not knowing the idiosyncrasies of Wisconsin law, today’s preliminary hearing appeared to be similar to how a Grand Jury would establish probable cause a defendant committed an alleged crime. The legal bar is set very low before a Grand Jury, and it was low today, too.

Knowing this likely outcome, today’s result was expected, including the denial for dismissal of two charges against Rittenhouse.

Prosecutors used the testimony of Detective Antaramian of the Kenosha Police Department to establish probable cause for the charges Rittenhouse faced.

Under cross examination, defense attorney Mark Richards shared 12 stills of video shot, which the detective said he reviewed and the detective confirmed the sequence of events for each shooting.

Clearly, this was the beginning of laying out the self-defense claim Rittenhouse’s legal team will use at trial.

An individual’ name brought to prominence today was Joshua J. Ziminski, whom police detectives, including Antaramian, identified as the first shooter and arrested and charged. Ziminski’s first court appearance is tomorrow in Kenosha County court.

Ziminski was charged on October 9 for two misdemeanors:

  • Disorderly conduct
  • Use of a dangerous weapon

It was Ziminski’s shot in the air that Rittenhouse heard while being pursued by Joseph Rosenbaum in the foot chase the night of August 25. Rittenhouse thought he was fired upon given the Ziminski shot, and turned around and slowed, allowing Rosenbaum to lunge at him to attack him, while hooded and masked, and Rittenhouse fired on Rosenbaum.

Multiple times, Richards brought up Ziminski’s presence and the first shot, and more of his involvement will likely be shared at trial.

The next court date for Rittenhouse to be formally arraigned and to give his pleas to the six charges is January 5 at 1PM CST.

Health Care for More Not Here Legally

Governor Jim Edgar started a program called :KidsKare” to make sure low-income kids could get health care through Public Aid.

When Ron Blagojevich became Governor, he reformatted the program, naming it “AllKids,” to include children in the country illegally.


Now, it appears the General Assembly has added low income seniors who are not in Illinois legally.

Sponsored by Mike Madigan’s floor leader Greg Harris comes this program:

Democrats Attempting to Take Over Dundee Township Board in Kane County

Partisan filings and contested races trigger two February 23 primaries, one for each party

In neighboring Kane County’s Dundee Township, which includes nearly 30% of the Village of Algonquin plus the unincorporated Algonquin Shores, both Democrats and Republicans filed for township offices.

Two contested races triggered a February 23 primary, one for each party.


  • Supervisor: Patricia “Trish” Glees (i)
  • Highway Commissioner (open):
    • Gerald Harvel
    • Chris Kempf
  • Assessor: Michael Bielak (i)
  • Trustees:
    • Richard Ahrens (i)
    • Ken Schaffer (i)
    • Pamela Carr Hagerman


  • Clerk (open): Paula Lauer
  • Trustees:
    • Jenny Lee Schiavone
    • Devin McCrate
    • Trisha Calabrese
    • June Keibler
    • Sue Harney (i-party switch)

The incumbent township clerk, highway commissioner and one trustee have chosen not to seek reelection.

The contested township highway commissioner Republican primary will be the only Republican contested race on the February 23 ballot. All other Republican races are uncontested.

With the Republicans filing only three trustee candidates, at least one Democrat, or an independent, will be elected trustee on April 6.

Three Democrat candidates have elective office experience in Dundee Township. Democrat clerk candidate Paula Lauer served as a township trustee from 2001 to 2009, elected as an independent in 2001, reelected as a Republican in 2005 and lost reelection as a Democrat in 2009.

Sue Harney was elected township supervisor as an independent in 2001, reelected as a Republican in 2005, 2009 and 2013, and elected as a Republican trustee in 2017.

Harney is seeking reelection as a township trustee as a Democrat for the first time in 2021.

Trustee candidate June Keibler served multiple terms on the Dundee Township Park District as an elected commissioner.

With the trustee candidates seeking election as Democrats, at least 3 Democrats winning election on April 6 will give the Democrats a majority of votes on the township board. Given two of the Democrat trustee candidates have been elected township wide multiple times, it’s a real possibility.

At least two Republican trustee candidates have won township wide, with Schaffer being elected to 5 terms since 2001.

Independent candidate filings for all township offices begins December 14 and lasts through December 21.

Campaign Finance Fraud

Found this in the Chicago Tribune yesterday:

Part of the article about Federal campaign finance fraud reads:

Think of what might be found in Illinois.

I have two examples, probably not of campaign finance, but more like attempted bribery:

  • The first comes from former Champaign County State Representative Charlie Clabaugh. First elected in 1938, he told me his wife accompanied him to Springfield. After a year of sitting around, she got bored. So, Clabaugh got his wife a job as a committee clerk. The committee was the one that handled business regulation. One day after the meeting, its chairman gave his wife a $50 bill. The chairman said something like “This is your share.” Clabaugh told his wife that they ought to return it, but because he “had to work with” the chairman, they couldn’t do that. Instead, they decided to put it in an envelop and put the envelop in their safety deposit box.
  • One day I was in the corridor behind the House Chambers and a guy approached me. He offered me $50 to vote for or against something. I laughed at him.

Seneca Township Keeps Salaries Constant

Below are the compensation figures for elected officials in Seneca Township (2018 population of 2,899):


  • Supervisor – $21,000
  • Road Commissioner – $60,000 + $8,500 for health insurance
  • Assessor – $26,500
  • Clerk – $8,400
  • Trustees – $125 per meeting


  • Supervisor – $21,000
  • Road Commissioner – $60,000 + $8,500 for health insurance
  • Assessor – $26,500
  • Clerk – $8,400
  • Trustees – $125 per meeting

Health Department Closes Offices for Records

From the McHenry County Health Departmen:

MCDH main office closed to public

WOODSTOCK —The McHenry County Department of Health will be temporarily suspending its in-person purchase of animal registration tags and birth and death records request services at the McHenry County Administration Building, 667 Ware Road, until Dec. 16.

Access to the MCDH Animal Control is currently limited and by appointment only. Animal registration tags can be purchased via mail or by calling (815) 459-6222.

Birth and death records from 2010 to the present may be requested in person at MCDH’s Crystal Lake location, 100 N. Virginia Street.

Vital records before 2010 are available through the McHenry County Clerk’s Office.

Residents seeking vital records from MCDH may also submit a request online. There is a small processing fee through GovPay when using a debit or credit card for online requests and photo identification must be uploaded when submitting a request form.

For additional information about animal registration tags and completing a record request online, please visit

*UPDATED*: Democrats Maintaining House Majority by 9 or 11 Seats

Sean Casten
Lauren Underwood

Sean Casten and Lauren Underwood returning to 2nd terms with 12-13 fewer of their Democrat colleagues who sought reelection

McHenry County Blog UPDATE 12/2: Article updated with following changes:

  • Republicans declared official or projected winner in 2 districts, bringing U.S. House for 117th Congress to 222 Democrats, 212 Republicans
  • NY-22 last undecided U.S. House race now has Republican challenger Claudia Tenney leading freshman Democrat Congressman Anthony Brindisi by 12 votes with judge to rule on Monday on over 2,000 challenged ballots, including 55 in-person early voting ballots that were “mislaid” by one of the county’s board of elections discovered on Monday.
NY-22: Congressman Anthony Brindisi (l) and former Congresswoman Claudia Tenney


As the Illinois State Board of Election prepares to certify election results on Friday, none of Illinois’ U.S. House seats appeared to have flipped, with only Congresswoman-elect Marie Newman (D, IL-03) being the only freshman member of the House in the Illinois delegation.

The big, high-dollar race in Illinois’ 13th district rematch from 2018 was won by incumbent Republican Congressman Rodney Davis by nearly 20,000 votes after an estimated $20 million spent by both candidates and super PACs.

Speaker Pelosi

As the Illinois delegation prepares for the swearing-in on January 3rd to inaugurate the 117th Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA-12) is ready to be elected to her 4th and final term as Speaker of the House. Two weeks ago, she strongly hinted to the press the 117th Congress would be her last term as Speaker.

Her House Democrat majority will be much smaller in the 117th Congress from the 36-seat majority she held at the beginning of the 116th:

  • Going into November election:
    • Democrats: 233 (Republicans flipped 2 seats with party switch and winning May special election)
    • Republicans: 201 (Republicans won the vacant NC-09 special election)
    • Libertarian: 1 (Republican-turned-independent-turned Libertarian Justin Amash)
    • (includes vacant seats held by party)
  • November election results through Tuesday, 12/1:

So the last House race currently has a Republican leading incumbent Democrat by 12 votes and 55 ballots reappearing nearly 1 month after election, 44 are countable, per the above article.

Such is 2020.

Thus far, Republicans have flipped 14 seats, including the open Libertarian seat held by Republican-turned-independent-turned-Libertarian 5-term Congressman Justin Amash (MI-03). Guess one could call this particular Republican-flip as an “unearned” flip.

Democrats have flipped 3 open seats: NC-02, NC-06 and GA-07

The two NC Democrat flips can be called “unearned” since a court-ordered redistricting mandated the 2020 districts be solidly Democrat, but they count as flips.

With the exception of the unearned open MI-03 flip by Congressman-elect Peter Meijer (R), the defeat of 12 Democrat incumbents came at the hands of Republican women and/or people of color.

Some of the Republican holds in competitive races were also impressive. Texas, for example, the Democrats had a “Turn Texas Blue” strategy and targeted 10 seats, 4 as high-dollar tier one races involving incumbent Republican Chip Roy (TX-21) plus 3 open Republican-held seats.

Roy comfortably won reelection and Congresspersons-elect Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls (TX-22), Tony Gonzales (TX-23) and Beth Van Duyne (TX-24) won election in high dollar races.

The Democrats did hold the two seats they flipped in Texas in 2018 (TX-07, TX-32).

No Republican incumbent House member of Congress lost their reelection bid. Seems fitting the final Republican incumbent who won reelection, even by fewer than 1,000 votes, is the man who started the Republicans House Red Wave by flipping a Democrat-held open seat in a CA-25 special election in May.

The latest grid from late Monday with Mike Garcia’s 333 vote lead prompted Democrat Christy Smith to concede defeat Monday night and the AP to call the race for Garcia as the projected winner on Tuesday:

Garcia will return to Washington winning reelection to a full term by holding his own in Los Angles County (49% to 51%) but winning Ventura County with over 54% of the vote.

And there is one Republican vs. Republican House runoff election on December 5th for the LA-05 Republican open seat.

And once the 117th Congress is sworn-in, the first special election will need to be called, as Congressman Cedric Richmond (D, LA-02) has announced he’ll be resigning to join the incoming Biden Administration as a senior advisor. The LA-02 is a safe Democrat seat, so no risk of it flipping.

As a follow-up to a McHenry County Blog article from late September, the issue with the MN-02 election being delayed was struck down by the courts and on appeal, and Democrat Angie Craig was reelected to a 2nd term on November 3rd.

Another example if one does not like a law, go to court to change it.

The Cook Political Report 2020 House races tracker for additional reference information, including the certification of elections across the country.

Ballot Order in Crystal Lake Races

Here’s what the ballot will look like in the City of Crystal Lake:

For Mayor:

1) Haig Haleblian (drawn by lottery)

2) Donald Kountz (drawn by lottery)

3) James A. Sisto (filed third)

For Councilmember:

1) Mandy Montford (drawn by lottery)

2) Cameron D. Hubbard (drawn by lottery)

3) Ian Philpot (drawn by lottery)

4) Robert Brechbiel (filed fourth)

= = = = =

Anyone wanting to share a candidacy announcement statement or subsequent press releases will see them printed here, That goes for McHenry County candidates.

Salaries of Riley Township Officials Show Raises Only for Highway Commissioner and Assessor

Riley Township is in the southwestern corner of McHenry County.

McHenry County map showing townships and municipalities.

It had a 2018 population of 2,855.

The salaries this term and next are below:


  • Supervisor – $21,000
  • Highway Commissioner – $43,200
  • Assessor – $22,500
  • Clerk – $8,400
  • Trustees – $900


  • Supervisor – $21,000
  • Highway Commissioner – $55,000
  • Assessor – $25,000
  • Clerk – $8,400
  • Trustees – $900

Illinois Roads Compared with Other State

From The Center Square:

New report ranks Illinois’ state-run roads among nation’s worst

(The Center Square) – A new report puts the cost and condition of Illinois’ state-run roads near the worst in the country.

The 25th Annual Highway Report, compiled by The Reason Foundation, looks at state highways in 13 different categories, including pavement condition, traffic congestion, structurally deficient bridges, traffic fatalities, and spending per mile.

2012 construction on Route 31 and Klasen Road.

The organization’s placed Illinois at 37th overall, behind all neighboring states, including second-ranked Missouri.

“It might be beneficial for Illinois DOT folks and Illinois leaders to speak with their counterparts in Missouri and see why they’re able to, for example, maintain a roadway at a cost as much lower as Illinois,” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation.

“Ask how they’re able to get such smooth pavement.”

Illinois ranks 32nd in structurally deficient bridges, 32nd in urban interstate pavement condition, and 42nd in capital and bridge costs per mile. Its worst category performance was traffic congestion, ranking 49th.

Feigenbaum said there’s not much room for new capacity to deal with that congestion in the Chicago area, but advises that leaders could become creative in their thinking.

“We’ve seen a lot of states going to pricing, where they’ll add new capacity and they will take a lane, or they’ll convert their high occupancy vehicle lane, to create a toll lane,” Feigenbaum said. “Pricing is good because it gives folks a guaranteed travel option if they need to get somewhere on time.”

Illinois’ annual battle with ice and snow appears to be no excuse for its performance.

This day, it took 30 minutes to get from Route 25 to Route 31 in Algonquin. The surface was bumpy ice.

“In terms of weather, it does not seem to be a factor because the No. 1 state this year is actually is North Dakota,” Feigenbaum said. “They have a very active freeze-frost cycle with a lot of cold weather and a lot of extremes.”

One bright spot is the relative safety found on roadways across Illinois. The state ranked 15th in overall fatality rate, 16th in rural fatality rate, and 22nd in urban fatality rate.

“We tend to see a higher fatality rates in states with higher speed limits because higher speeds can lead to accidents that have more fatalities,” Feigenbaum said. “Illinois does have some rural areas and the fact that the road fatality rate there is 16th is still pretty good. This is overall a positive story and something that the state should want to continue.”

Illinois’ state-controlled highway system is the 14th largest in the county. Feigenbaum said it wouldn’t take much effort to make a big difference for drivers.

Message of the Day – A Button

This was my favorite button from when President Gerald Ford ran for election against Jimmy Carter:

When House Speaker Lee Daniels allowed Republican members to meet Presidential candidate Ford in his office, I mentioned his button.

There was, not surprisingly, not an indication that he knew about the button.