IL-14: From a Supporter of James Marter

From Paul Hurst of Hawthorn Woods:

Radical New Approach for GOP in IL14      

I have a radical idea for Republicans in Congressional District 14.

Instead of endorsing whoever can “loan their campaign” the most money, let’s pick the candidate with the best ideas, who fits the country’s needs and best represents the district.

Then, let’s work hard at supporting, educating, messaging and persuading.

It will surely grow the party better than our current “merge and purge” approach, merging our principles with leftist Democrats and purging ourselves of victory. 

Thinking on this new approach, one candidate stands out: James Marter.

Rather than cartoonish attack ads and endless “fundraising deadline” emails, Marter’s emails educate and facilitate good decision making. (Sign up for them at: www.Marter4Congress.US)

One provided links showing the Democrats intend to impeach Trump AGAIN.

Another provided Conservative Review Scorecards showing Congresswomen Underwood’s “F” grade and her lower score than fellow “F” graded Democrats, Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Ilhan Omar and AOC. (Now that’s radical!)

After visiting Marter’s website, it’s clear he’s more of a Jim Jordan type, whose CR Scorecard has an “A.”

Perhaps most useful, were the full content, candidate forum links that apparently only Marter wants you to see.

After watching his commanding performances, I have two takeaways:

First, Congress is not an entry level position. You should understand that nuclear energy and nuclear weapons are different, know what the ERA Amendment is and remember that Congress is a federal, not a state office. Promising “a better answer tomorrow” is not compelling.

Second, red flag (law) waving, gas tax doubling, never-Trumping Republicans will not improve our nation! (Did I mention the unborn?) If the record doesn’t match the rhetoric, buyer beware.

Conclusion: Marter is the best choice for IL14, a district President Trump won. He’s Pro-Life, Pro-Second Amendment and will support, not hinder the President’s agenda, which we are all benefiting from. He has promised to “relentlessly reduce the size and scope of government” and I believ

GOP Senate Candidate Creates High School Gun Controversy

From Illinois Review, published with permission:

US SENATE GOP CANDIDATE REPORTED FOR CLAIMING TO CARRY FIREARM INTO HINSDALE HIGH SCHOOL

HINSDALE – When Illinois Republican US Senate candidate Peggy Hubbard attended a candidate forum at a west suburban high school earlier this month, she carried a firearm and ammo when she entered the building – at least that what she publicly stated shortly soon after. 

Peggy Hubbard

Now the Belleville IL resident is backing off that claim, saying she made those comments trying to get a reaction from supporters.

Now she says she actually left her firearm in a lockbox in her car, but did carry two clips inside the Hinsdale Central High School – what could be a federal offense.

From a story the Daily Herald posted Thursday afternoon:

“I walked in with a concealed carry and I had a gun and three clips and nobody checked,” [Hubbard] told the audience at a forum Tuesday in Washington, Illinois.

In a social media post, she wrote she “walked in with a my weapon and 2 clips!”

But in a phone interview Thursday with the Daily Herald, Hubbard said that while she carried two ammunition magazines in her purse at the Hinsdale Central forum, she left her weapon in a lockbox in her car.

“I know what I said, and I was trying to get a rise out of people and I misspoke,” Hubbard said. “And I apologize for that, but I did have two clips on me.”

Why would Hubbard do that, the suburban paper asked … 

Hubbard said she originally claimed she had a gun because “I wanted people to know … these kids are not safe in these schools, especially the well-to-do schools in affluent areas. They have a false sense of security.”

The matter was turned over to the Hinsdale police.

The police chief released the following statement, defending the school’s security system and assuring parents the school is not a “soft target,” as Hubbard insinuated with her comments.  

“We are unable to corroborate the veracity of statements made through social media as to the type of identification she presented or whether she was in fact in possession of a concealed carry weapon. We have since learned that she has since backed away from her earlier claim.

“I have a very high level of confidence in the security protocols at Hinsdale Central High School. There is a Hinsdale police officer assigned to the school and the district utilizes the industry’s best practices.”

The Daily Herald has posted online a discussion between the five Republicans vying to challenge Democrat US Senator Dick Durbin in November  HERE. 

95-Year Old Man Found Dead

From the McHenry County Sheriff’s and Coroner’s Offices:

Missing 95-Year Old McHenry Man Located Dead

On February 22, 2020 at approximately 2:10 p.m. the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the McHenry County Emergency Management Agency Search and Rescue located a deceased elderly male in the area of 2400 S. River road in unincorporated McHenry.

The McHenry County Coroner’s Office has confirmed the deceased is missing 95 year old, Stanley E. Szczesny of unincorporated McHenry who was last seen on February 21st .

Thank you to the following agencies for your assistance in search and rescue efforts: the search and rescue teams from the McHenry County Emergency Management Agency, Kane County, Will County, Kendall County, Hanover Township, Palatine and KIWIS K9 search team.

The Sheriff’s Office thanks the community for their assistance as well.

The McHenry County Coroner’s Office has assumed jurisdiction over the decedent and additional forensic testing may follow. There is no foul play suspected.

Democrats’ State Gun Shop Licensing Law Appears to Have Driven Half Out of Business

From The Center Square:

Video surveillance, storage requirements among top concerns of gun store owners as rules are set for new state gun dealer law

Illinois gun dealers told Illinois State Police officials about their concerns with the rules for the Firearm License Certification Act.

During public comments on Thursday in Springfield, about a dozen members of the public spoke about how the rules would affect them.

Two people sought to beef up the rules, by increasing the video surveillance backup requirement from 90 days to 1 year.

Gun store owners and advocates expressed their concerns.

Todd Vandermyde with Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois said one gun store he knows has 125 cameras.

“What your requirements have been talking about are asking him to upload 125 high-definition Netflix movies simultaneously,” Vandermyde said. “And now if you want to take that we’re being asked that that should go to a year?

This Springfield store owner told me he would have to stop selling guns.

“You’ve already run 50 percent of the gun dealers out of business in this state. You’re going to drastically remove the few that are left now.”

Last summer, it was revealed by cross-referencing federal gun dealer licensees in Illinois with state data that half of the state’s federally licensed gun dealers effectively went out of business because they didn’t apply for the state certification required by the new law.

Gun store owners said they couldn’t comply with the law without knowing what the regulations would cost.

Dan Eldridge, the owner of Maxon Shooter’s Supplies and Indoor Range, told regulators Thursday the requirement in the law for keeping firearms in a secured area inside the store was not clear.

“That requirement for safe storage needs to include a secured room,” Eldridge said. “It’s impractical for many of our members to move thousands of firearms nightly into a safe.”

Vandermyde held up a picture of a gun store owner standing next to 4 million rounds of ammunition. He asked how they are supposed to lock that up to comply with the “safe storage” requirement.

“This is where the people who are doing some of the regulating obviously don’t understand what takes place in the industry,” Vandermyde said.

Justin Lipes, owner of the Tac Shack in Peoria and Monmouth, said he had paid state police thousands of dollars to apply for the state certification and has heard nothing back. He said that money was on top of other investments he had made in the business.

“I’ve invested almost $2 million in this state to do business for the state to turn around and try and slap me in the face and try to put me out of business,” Lipes said.

Other gun store owners said the rules are overly burdensome and would drive up costs, threatening their businesses, especially smaller businesses in more rural areas. They also said they needed the rules modified to be less burdensome or they’ll file additional lawsuits.

The Illinois State Rifle Association last summer sued the Illinois State Police because of the delay in crafting and approving the rules.

Emergency rules for the state law have been approved and ISP officials said they’ll take the comments under consideration for final rule consideration by the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules.

Daily Herald Endorses Carolyn Schofield, Suzanne Ness

Below is the editorial endorsement of Carolyn Schofield in her race to replace State Rep. Allen Skillicorn on the fall Republican ballot and that of Suzanne Ness against Jim Malone for the Democratic ballot slot:

Endorsements: Schofield for GOP, Ness for Democrats in House District 66

Republican voters in state House District 66 will see a rematch of two veteran politicians in the March 17 primary, while Democratic voters will choose between a pair of candidates with less than two years experience in their current local government posts.

The GOP race features incumbent Allen Skillicorn, an entrepreneur from East Dundee, and McHenry County Board member Carolyn Schofield, a substitute teacher from Crystal Lake. Skillicorn defeated Schofield in the 2018 primary.

On the Democrats’ side, Carpentersville Trustee Jim Malone, a union sheet metal worker who was appointed a year ago to fill a village board vacancy, takes on McHenry County Board member Suzanne Ness of Crystal Lake, who owns a corporate training and coaching firm. Ness, who was elected to her District 2 seat in 2018, has received financial support from party leaders.

Skillicorn and Schofield hold similar views on several issues, including the need for pension relief and opposing the graduated income tax. They cite property taxes as the biggest problem facing residents.

The difference is one of style. Skillicorn has a reputation for being combative dating to his days as an East Dundee trustee. He has filed legislative bills to balance the state budget and provide pension relief that have failed to gain traction. While that’s not surprising given Springfield’s political climate, it may also reflect a lack of compromise and coalition building.

Schofield’s resume shows she’s served on numerous local and regional government bodies, including many in leadership positions, and she pledges to work to find consensus in solving regional and state problems. That’s a more conducive approach to making progress. She is endorsed.

 While Ness and Malone both have thin government resumes, Ness has a slight experience edge. She also has more community involvement, with work in local chambers of commerce and starting a nonprofit that leads coaching groups for teens.

She offers more detailed ideas regarding a couple of complex issues. To address growing problems in pensions programs, she supports program consolidations and limiting pensions to one per person; to stem the out-migration of residents, she suggests investing in education and using tuition breaks based on GPA to incentivize graduating high school students to attend college in Illinois.

Malone says Illinois must generate more income to honor pension obligations. Much of Illinois’ budget woes stem from its public pension funding crisis, so simply throwing more money at the same outdated model is not the answer. We do like his suggestion to encourage teens to attend trade schools.

Ness is endorsed.

House District 66 covers northern Kane and southern McHenry counties, including parts of Algonquin, Crystal Lake, East Dundee, West Dundee, Elgin, Gilberts, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Lakewood and Sleepy Hollow.

Wilcox Reports

From State Senator Craig Wilcox:

Senate Week in Review: Feb. 17 – 21, 2020

Springfield, IL. — In an address before the General Assembly on Feb. 19, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker unveiled a proposal that seeks $1.6 billion in new spending and makes some funding for priorities like

  • education,
  • health care and
  • public safety,  

contingent on the approval of his tax increase. 

Meanwhile, as the spring legislative session gets underway in earnest, a number of new pieces of legislation were filed including a bill that would change a process that too often leaves citizens waiting for medical treatment due to insurance coverage requirements.

Other legislation recently filed includes a proposal to exempt overtime wages from the income tax and a bill that would recognize recipients of the Air Force Combat Action Medal.

Locally, my Senate District office is getting a lot of calls these days from concerned parents about legislation dealing with HPF vaccinations.

Governor proposes $1.6 billion in new spending in budget address

Gov. J.B. Pritzker unveiled his budget proposal in an address before the General Assembly on Feb. 19, seeking $1.6 billion in new spending which relies on getting the Governor’s income tax increase approved. [Emphasis added.]

It seems the Governor is doing everything possible, even arguable breaking ethics rules, to get a tax increase.

Lawmakers expressed concerns that that in order to fund $1.4 billion for priorities like

  • schools,
  • health care and
  • public safety

the Governor’s tax increase must be approved.

Under the state’s revamped school funding formula from 2017, the state is statutorily required to increase school funding by $350 million a year.

Under Pritzker’s proposal, only $200 million is guaranteed, leaving $150 million in school funding in jeopardy.

Senate Republican lawmakers contend what Illinoisans need is more fiscal leadership and responsibility.

They point to last year’s budget process as a road map that proves working collaboratively can produce a budget that meets the needs of Illinois citizens, and funds priorities without a tax increase.

New reforms would reduce medical care delays

New legislation has been filed changing a healthcare process currently leaving many Illinois residents waiting for medical treatment because of insurance coverage requirements.

Illinois patients often have medical care delayed or denied because of their health plans’ use of a process called “prior authorization.” 

Senate Bill 3822, known as the Prior Authorization Reform Act, is a bipartisan solution supporters say will bring much-needed transparency and streamlining to prior authorization requirements.

Health insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers use prior authorization to cut costs, requiring health professionals to do extra paperwork before their recommended patient care is approved.

Even when authorization is granted, too often insurance companies later deny payment for medical care they approved.

Prior authorization requirements are often not based on clinically valid criteria, and are administered by individuals who lack relevant qualifications. The Prior Authorization Reform Act would rectify that situation, making sure prior authorization requirements are based on medical evidence and administered by qualified individuals.

Senate Bill 3822 awaits assignment to a legislative committee where it will receive a public hearing.

Overtime wages not taxable under new bill

Illinois residents who work overtime would find some tax relief under recently filed legislation that would exempt overtime wages from the state income tax.

Senate Bill 3695 would create a deduction on any overtime wages earned in Illinois. Wages earned in excess of a taxpayer’s regular monthly or weekly salary would be exempt from the state income tax.

The state income tax on overtime wages would still be withheld from an individual’s paycheck; however, when that person goes to file their taxes for that year, they would receive a deduction equal to the amount of taxes paid on overtime wages.

Air Force Combat veterans would be honored under new bill

Recipients of the Air Force Combat Action Medal could be recognized on Illinois license plates under newly filed legislation.

Senate Bill 2518 creates the Air Force Combat Action Medal license plate and allows the Illinois Secretary of State to issue them to eligible drivers. The new plate would join numerous others created to recognize military service and awards, including the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Navy Service Cross. The existing Combat Action Badge plate is offered for Army recipients of that medal, which is very similar to the Air Force’s Combat Action Medal.

HPV vaccination

I am receiving a number of calls and emails regarding new state legislation to mandate the HPV vaccine for children as early as sixth grade. I oppose the measure that would set up the state as somehow knowing, better than parents, what’s in the best interest of their children.

The proposal mandating the vaccination is House Bill 4870. You can track the bill’s progress using this link:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=4870&GAID=15&DocTypeID=HB&LegId=124934&SessionID=108&GA=101

I also want to let you know about another piece of legislation related to HB 4870.

Senate Bill 3668 would end the religious exemption from current law requiring medical examinations and immunizations. I also oppose this legislation because it is a violation of the First Amendment right to Freedom of Religion. You can track SB3668 using this link:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=3668&GAID=15&DocTypeID=SB&LegId=125621&SessionID=108&GA=101

I also oppose this legislation because it is a violation of the First Amendment right to Freedom of Religion.

Keep In Touch/Stay Informed

There are several ways to keep in touch with me. You can call my district or Capitol offices: 815/455-6330 or 217/782-8000 and you can email me from my legislative website at www.senatorwilcox.com. Click on the Contact tab at the top of the homepage.

Senior Missing from Griswold Lake Area

From the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department:

Sheriff’s Office Seeks Assistance in Locating Missing 95 year old Man from McHenry area

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the communities help in locating a missing “at risk” 95 year old man from the unincorporated McHenry area.

Stanley Szczesny

Missing is Stanley E. Szczesny, 95 years old, male, white, 5’5”, 125 lbs. Stanley was last seen in the 2500 block of Scheid Lane, unincorporated McHenry area, on February 21, 2020 at 3:30 a.m.

It is believed that Stanley left on foot and it is unknown where he may have been headed.

The only clothing description available is he was last seen wearing blue jeans, at 3:30 a.m. on February 21st when a neighbor checked on him.

At 8 p.m. when the neighbor went to check on him again, he was no longer at home.

Stanley speaks English and Polish.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office has issued a Silver Alert for Stanley. Anyone with information or who may have seen Stanley, is encouraged to call 911 or the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office at 815-338-2144.

McHenry Man Arrested After Barricading Himself in Apartment Bathroom – Update

From the Crystal Lake Police Department:

Barricaded Subject Taken into Custody

Crystal Lake, IL – On Friday, February 21, 2020, at approximately 4:29 PM, Crystal Lake Police responded to the 500 block of Darlington Lane for a report of a burglary in progress.

Officers arrived on scene and met with a male subject in the residence who immediately barricaded himself inside the bathroom of the home, threatening officers with a knife.

Officers set up a perimeter on the residence and continued to talk with the armed subject in an attempt to de-escalate the situation.

Additional police units were called to the scene to assist with the incident.

After several hours of negotiations, the male subject surrendered to police without incident.

Matthew Reder

As a result, Matthew R Reder (24) of McHenry was taken into custody on two active arrest warrants, one from McHenry County and another from DuPage County.

This is an ongoing investigation and additional charges are expected. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

This was an isolated incident believed to be related to a domestic situation.

Matthew Reder (24) was charged with:      

  • Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault (two counts), class X Felony
  • Production of child pornography (two counts), class X Felony
  • Possession of child pornography (two counts), class X Felony
  • Possession of controlled substance, class 4 Felony
  • Aggravated assault, class A Misdemeanor 
  • Obstructing a peace officer, class A Misdemeanor 
  • Criminal trespass to residence, class A Misdemeanor C
  • Criminal damage to property, a class A Misdemeanor 

Reder was transported to McHenry County Jail to await a bond hearing. 

There is no danger to the public and there were no injuries to anyone as a result of this incident.

Assisting police agencies included Officers from Cary Police, Algonquin Police, Lake in the Hills Police, Oakwood Hills Police and SWAT Officers from Northern Illinois Police Alarm Service.

Wheeler Asks for Board Review of Administrator’s & Lobbyist’s Contracts, Instead of Automatic Extensions

Chuck Wheeler continued with the following in his member comment at the McHenry County Board meeting this past week:

On another matter, I further want to request the following.

Our County Administrator [Peter Austin] has a contact with the County that has an automatic rollover provision in it which automatically renews without the advice and consent of the entire County Board.

To me this lacks transparency and should be debated and negotiated by the board.

I, now, am requesting that administration provide the entire board with the entire contract prior to the next board meeting, prior to any adjustments or added contingencies.

This would include but not limited to all aspects such as the auto allowance for discussion in the next COW [Committee of the Whole[ meeting.

I would also like the Chairman of HR [Human Resources] to place Mr. Austin’s contract as a topic on the agenda for discussion Committee meeting well before the May renewal point as well.

Another one of our famous continual rolls over contract is the one for the Chairman Franks lobbyist.

Please provide the Contract for our lobbyist which we did not approve for continuance in every board member’s email.

In the appearance at our COW meeting it was determined that so far, we have spent at least $90,000 in consulting fees with and I quote, “zero return on our investment!”

But a promise that soon we will see results!

16 months is a long time with zero return on investment.

All matters of concern to this board should be open and transparent to the board and the public if possible.

A clear start and end date should also be stated in the contract.

I request a motion to reconsider this contract.

I am still waiting for it.

= = = = =

More tomorrow.

McHenry Police Report, Recruiting Applicants

From the McHenry Police Department:

Thursday 02/13/2020 thru Wednesday 02/19/2020

During this time period the McHenry Police Department:

  • Handled 481 calls for service
  • Investigated 22 Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Conducted 159 Traffic Stops
  • Conducted over 140 Business Checks and Foot Patrols
  • Handled calls for service involving Domestic Disputes
  • Handled calls for service involving crisis intervention
  • Arrested 10 individuals on State criminal charges

Personnel:

The following personnel have recently completed the respective years of service with the McHenry Police Department:

  • Administrative Community Service Officer Stephanie Erb – 9 Years

The McHenry Police Department is currently accepting applications for the creation of an eligibility list for the position of Police Officer.  An advertisement for the position is posted on the website www.theblueline.com.  A link to the application is posted under the Human Resources section of the City of McHenry website, www.cityofmchenry.org.  Applications will be accepted through 5:00PM on March 2nd, 2020.

Public Relations:

Officer Polidori and Officer Pena attended a Career Fair hosted by Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois.  The officers presented prospective employees information about the McHenry Police Department and the career opportunities we offer.

Training:

I.T. Manger Greve, along with Deputy City Clerk Monte Johnson, attended the Laserfiche Empower training conference.  They participated in training programs that will allow the City of McHenry to digitize its documents in order to manage and process information in an efficient and streamlined manner. 

Man Missing from Niles Driving 2014 Gray Honda – Update: Found in Indiana

A man is missing from Niles and his family is seeking help in finding him.

SILVER ALERT!  MISSING ENDANGERED!

If anyone see’s this man, his name is Patrick and he is missing. 

Patrick was last seen at the Costco in Niles (7220 N. Melvina Ave.) about 5 o’clock.

Patrick suffers from dementia and may not know his whereabouts if confronted. 

He was last seen driving a 2014 Gray Honda CRV with Illinois License Plate # 2104969. 

If you see him or the vehicle please call 911.

IL-14: Lauren Underwood on Healthcare for Moms and Babies

Lauren Underwood

Portend of things to come and possibly something to help Republican primary voters decide their choice for Congress — seeing what the Republican nominee will face in the fall

Congresswoman Lauren Underwood had a video released on her behalf by a group that on the surface looks like a respectable local news group called Courier Newsroom:

So who is Courier Newsroom?

Readers of McHenry County Blog has seen this group referenced in the past, back on November 30 in this article, among others.

That was when this early November article on Underwood was cited:

Courier Newsroom has published other pro-Underwood articles in the past, but at the time, the Newsroom was just seen as one of many online publications.

Then about two weeks ago on the opinion page of The Washington Post, the truth about Courier Newsroom was revealed by the Washington correspondent for NewsGuard.

From the piece in the Post:

“A news organization investing in local journalism seems like a welcome development, right?

“Maybe not.

“In reality, Courier Newsroom is a clandestine political operation, publishing, among other things, positive stories about moderate Democrats who face difficult reelections in November.

“Courier’s main backer is Acronym, a liberal dark-money group that has invested heavily in Democratic digital advertising and campaign technology — including Shadow Inc., the tech company behind the app that was supposed to report the results of Monday’s Iowa caucuses. Its failed app aside, Acronym has already laid the groundwork to have an outsize impact on the 2020 elections.

“Through a $25 million investment in Courier and affiliated sites in six battleground states, Acronym aims to reshape the digital media ecosystem by taking advantage of Americans’ trust in local journalism.

“Unlike some sources of partisan disinformation, Courier stories are generally fact-based. Courier discloses its connection to Acronym but provides no information about the group or its donors, who remain anonymous due to Acronym’s nonprofit status. Because it obscures its funders and agenda, Courier’s “news” operation leads to the same result as conspiracy theories or outright lies:

“Readers are deceived.”

“A website wanted to restore trust in the media. It’s actually a political operation.”
By Gabby Deutsch, NewsGuard, published in The Washington Post 2/6/20
.

This does really have to cause readers to shake their heads.

And is one of many reasons why the work Cal Skinner does here on McHenry County Blog really needs to be appreciated, given without Cal’s leadership, local sites like Courier Newsroom will pop up and take the blog’s place.

When the opinion piece was published in The Washington Post two weeks ago, Congresswoman Underwood was highlighted, per this excerpt:

“This faux news site [Courier Newsroom] has a strategic niche: pumping up moderate Democrats elected to Congress in 2018 in Republican-leaning districts.

“NewsGuard — a nonpartisan organization where I work that reviews the credibility of hundreds of news sites — found more than 30 stories published in the site’s brief existence that covered these Democrats in a positive light. We could identify no similar articles published about congressional Republicans.

“High-profile liberal Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) are rarely covered by Courier and the site has devoted practically no attention to the Democratic presidential contest.

“You will find very little on divisive topics like race, abortion and immigration.

“Courier instead focuses on issues championed by moderate Democrats in swing districts: assisting farmers, lowering drug prices and supporting veterans. ‘Rep. Lauren Underwood defying legislative expectations for a freshman,’ reads a typical headline, which accompanied a story touting the accomplishments of the Illinois congresswoman on issues including suicide prevention.

“Underwood tweeted the story, garnering a combined 2,000 likes and retweets.”

“A website wanted to restore trust in the media. It’s actually a political operation.”
By Gabby Deutsch, NewsGuard, published in The Washington Post 2/6/20
.

Freedom is worth fighting for, and may all voters be armed with this discernment concerning liberal dark money groups and know who is behind Courier Newsroom.

External links to The Washington Post:

Former State Senate Contender Indicted – Updated

In the Republican Primary Election that appointed Senator Dan McConchie won, one opponent was Casey Urlacher.

Now, news comes from the Chicago Tribune that Urlacker has been indicted:

Urlacher is currently the Mayor of Lake County’s Mettawa.

Justin Hines, 40, of Algonquin was also indicted, as was Todd Blanken, 43, of Cary

Urlacher, Hines and other “agents” enlisted new gamblers, collected cash and paid out winnings.

They “were paid a commission based on a percentage of the gamblers’ losses,” according to the Tribune.

Below are the Primary Election Results:

Urlacher won McHenry County. [And he advertised on McHenry County = Blog, while the other candidates did not.]

Urlacher’s names come up in the indictment as follows:

“On or about December 16, 2018, CASEY URLACHER asked VINCENT DELGIUDICE to create an online log-in and password for a new gambler on VINCENT DELGIUDICE’s gambling website.

“On or about December 16, 2018, VINCENT DELGIUDICE called Company A and asked for a log-in and password for a new gambler for CASEY URLACHER with a $500 maximum bet, a maximum wager for the week of $3,000 and a $1,000 settle up figure…

“On or about December 21, 2018, in Oak Brook, Illinois, CASEY URLACHER gave VASILIOS PRASSAS an envelope containing gambling debts owed to VINCENT DELGIUDICE.

“On or about December 21, 2018, in Oak Brook, Illinois, VASILIOS PRASSAS gave an envelope containing gambling debts owed by CASEY URLACHER to VINCENT DELGIUDICE, stating, ‘This is Casey’s.’

“On or about December 26, 2018, CASEY URLACHER spoke by phone with VINCENT DELGIUDICE and asked VINCENT DELGIUDICE to shut down Gambler C’s account until Gambler C paid a gambling debt. ..

“On or about December 26, 2018, after Gambler C wired CASEY URLACHER $3,000, CASEY URLACHER texted DELGIUDICE and directed VINCENT DELGIUDICE to turn Gambler C’s account back on…

“On or about February 1, 2019, CASEY URLACHER met VINCENT DELGIUDICE in Lemont, Illinois, and paid him money owed for gambling losses.”

= = = = =

Here is the press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

Ten Defendants Charged with Illegally Conducting Multi-Million Dollar Sports Gambling Business

CHICAGO — Ten defendants have been charged in federal court with conspiring to illegally conduct a multi-million dollar sports gambling business in the Chicago area.

VINCENT DELGIUDICE, also known as “Uncle Mick,” directed an operation that accepted wagers from as many as 1,000 gamblers on the outcome of professional and amateur sporting events, according to a nine-count indictment returned Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. 

Delgiudice paid a service fee to a foreign sportsbook for use of its platform, and recruited gamblers to place wagers on a website,  www.unclemicksports.com, according to the charges.  Delgiudice sometimes communicated with representatives of the sportsbook via an anonymous, end-to-end encrypted messaging application to ensure their communications remained secret, the indictment states.

The indictment alleges that Delgiudice also recruited several individuals to work on behalf of his gambling operation. 

These agents enlisted new gamblers and worked with Delgiudice to collect or pay out cash depending on the outcome of wagers, the indictment states. 

Delgiudice paid the agents a commission based on a percentage of losses incurred by the gamblers they recruited, the charges allege.

A law enforcement search of Delgiudice’s residence in Orland Park seized more than $1.06 million in cash; silver bars and jewelry valued at $347,895; and gold coins valued at $92,623.  The indictment seeks forfeiture of these items, as well as Delgiudice’s residence.  It also seeks a personal money judgment against Delgiudice of $8 million.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI; and Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent-in-Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ankur Srivastava, Terry Kinney, and Abigail Peluso. 

The FBI’s Integrity in Sport and Gaming Initiative (ISG) is designed to tackle illegal sports gambling and combat threats of influence from criminal enterprises.

The indictment charges Delgiudice, 54, with one count of conspiracy to conduct an illegal gambling business, one count of conducting an illegal gambling business, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and six counts of money laundering. 

The indictment charges eight alleged agents of Delgiudice’s operation with one count of participating in the gambling conspiracy and one count of conducting an illegal gambling business: MATTHEW KNIGHT, also known as “Sweaters” and “McDougal,” 46, of Mokena; JUSTIN HINES, 40, of Algonquin; KEITH D. BENSON, 49, of Lemont; TODD BLANKEN, 43, of Cary; NICHOLAS STELLA, 42, of Chicago; MATTHEW NAMOFF, 23, of Midlothian; CASEY URLACHER, 40, of Libertyville; and VASILIOS PRASSAS, 37, of Chicago. 

The tenth defendant, EUGENE DELGIUDICE, also known as “Gino,” 84, of Orland Park, allegedly assisted in the collection or paying out of cash to gamblers recruited by Vincent Delgiudice. 

Eugene Delgiudice is charged with one count of participating in the gambling conspiracy and one count of conducting an illegal gambling business. 

Arraignments in federal court in Chicago have not yet been scheduled.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  Each money laundering count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, while the other counts in the indictment are each punishable by up to five years.  If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. 

Meanwhile

House Republicans report,

Sports wagering now imminent in Illinois. Springfield crossed the final hurdle this week to legally open “sports betting windows” at Illinois casinos. These betting windows will operate in a manner similar to betting windows at racetracks and Las Vegas casinos. Bettors will be required to physically go to the casino to place their bets on major sporting events for which odds will be posted. The Illinois Gaming Board believes these windows will open in time for the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament in March.

Pottersville, here we come.

Pottersville

And yesterday, check out the hosts to this fundraiser:

Hosts are Casey Urlacher, Steve Simonian, Fred Foreman Check August and Steve Powell.

IL-14: Jim Oberweis Launches Negative TV Commercial Against Sue Rezin

Jim Oberweis
Sue Rezin

Clearly in response to Rezin being endorsed by the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald and her surging poll numbers, Oberweis goes negative

As 14th congressional district Republican Jim Oberweis is on the receiving end of a negative mailer from Ted Gradel, Oberweis is much more concerned with a surging Sue Rezin, who was endorsed by both the Chicago Tribune and Daily Herald, including in Sunday print editions.

As was written previously, Oberweis will be tracking polling every week, and in the wake of the two newspaper endorsements and Rezin’s first TV commercial ad buy, both digital and TV, this ad betrays a little fear in the Oberweis camp.

As stated earlier, Oberweis is playing defense from the Gradel mailer, but is playing effective offense with a TV commercial ad buy.

While as of mid Friday afternoon, Rezin has not launched a new TV commercial, her campaign did update the ending of her first commercial with the two newspaper endorsements highlighted:

Three and a half weeks left before primary day, and the best is yet to come.

NWH Asks Skillicorn about Ghost Votes

The day that State Rep. Allen Skillicorn attended the Milk Day Parade in Harvard, someone punched his button when the approximately noon roll call was taken.

Apparently there were votes taken to which all who were found in attendance were recorded as a “Yes” vote. These would be non-controversial measures, such as, congratulatory resolutions.

Last week, the Northwest Herald asked Skillicorn about the impossibility of being at two places at the same time.

He said that he had asked to be taken off the roll calls on which he had been recorded as voting, but for which was not in the chamber.

During the later years when I was in Springfield, if one was recording voting a way that one did not to vote, all one could do was stand up and make a statement to the effect, “Let the record reflect that I was recorded voting (yes or no) when I should have voted the opposite.”

It is common practice that staff members and seatmates vote members’ switches when they are not on the floor.

This is a practice that no visitor can understand or condone, but the fact of the matter is that being a legislator involves more than sitting in one’s seat all the time. (Think of being in a backroom bill drafting session.)

“We pay our legislators to vote their own switches,” is a comment that I have heard.

Skillicorn did tell the NWH, “The fact is, the afternoon when we debated real bills, I was there, and spoke on these bills and really went after that tax hike.”

Indeed, Skillicorn’s opponent Carolyn Schofield has filed a complaint with the Legislative Ethics Commission complaining about the situation.

She based her complaint on the House Journal, which shows that between 12:01 and 3:11 PM, there are many voice votes, but there are also 23 regular votes requiring someone to punch a button.

= = = = =

Cal Skinner’s Ghost Vote

When I had ambitions to be U.S. Senator, I scheduled a flight out of O’Hare to Washington that forced me to leave before the House session was over.

It was the day that the legislator voted to raise salaries by 40%–from $20,000 to $28,000.

This was during the rampant inflation of the late 1970’s.

As a full-time legislator, this was my total source of income and inflation had taken a big bite out of its purchasing power.

I voted for the pay raise, got in the car with my wife and drove to the airport.

A deal had been cut between Governor Jim Thompson and the legislative leaders for Thompson to immediately veto the bill and, then, the House and the Senate would override his veto.

Thompson wasn’t even in town, so his auto-pen provided the veto signature.

One can lock one’s voting switch by removing a key.

I had not done so and someone voted me for the override.

IL-14: Jerry Evans Personal Letter Mailer Hits the Street

Jerry Evans (r)

Evans’ handwritten letter including his top 5 priorities hits the street to stand out among all the glossy mailers this weekend

The campaign of 14th congressional district Republican candidate Jerry Evans issued a personal handwritten letter mailer across the 14th district, which has begun hitting households today.

The mailer content is below: