Duffy Takes on Com Ed

Lots of Republicans are in the back pockets of our electric utilities, Com Ed and Ameren.

State Senator Dan Duffy is not one of them, as you can see from his press release below:

Duffy calls on Attorney General and ICC to investigate ComEd allegations

Springfield—Serious allegations have been made against Illinois’ largest energy utility company, Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), regarding its improper use of ratepayer funds. State Senator Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington) calls on Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) Chairman Brien Sheahan to take immediate action to protect ComEd ratepayers.

Dumb electric meter.

Dumb electric meter.

“As outlined in a Feb. 21st Chicago Tribune article, ComEd has allegedly been using ratepayer funds to make charitable contributions that appear to be intended to further its policy agenda to obtain rate increases,” said Sen. Duffy.

“Hardworking Illinois families have the right to know where their money is being used, which is why I am calling for further investigation of this alleged misuse of funds.”

While ComEd admits that it has made charitable contributions to about 600 community organizations ranging from the Chicago Urban League to the United Way, it has failed to disclose this information in customers’ monthly bills, said Sen. Duffy.

“Not only has ComEd failed to disclose their charitable donations to their customers, but also seems to shield the fact that many of these donations have indirectly been funneled to lawmakers to influence policies that benefit their bottom line,” Sen. Duffy said.

In his requests to the Attorney General and ICC, Sen. Duffy asked that “at a minimum, ComEd should be required to disclose these contributions to ratepayers…At best, ComEd shareholders, not ratepayers, should bear the burden of funding these contributions.”

Conservation District Slot Open

The McHenry County Board is seeking applications for a place on the McHenry County Conservation District Board:

MCCD logo 2014The McHenry County Board is accepting applications from persons interested in appointment to the McHenry County Conservation District Board of Trustees.

One vacant position is available.

Applicants will be applying for an appointment to a five-year term that will expire on June 30, 2020.

Application forms are available at the County Board Office, Room 209, McHenry County Government Center, 667 Ware Road, Woodstock, IL 60098(815-334-4221) or at the County’s website at http://www.co.mchenry.il.us/home/showdocument?id=12290.

Completed applications should be returned to the County Board office no later than 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, 2015.  If mailing your application, certified or registered mail is recommended.  Mailed applications should be sent to the following address:  McHenry County Board, 2200 North Seminary Avenue, Woodstock, IL 60098.

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Those who don’t want to Conservation District to raise taxes might consider applying for the spot.

The only restriction is that one cannot be a Precinct Committeeman.

Brokers Contacted for County Real Estate Business

Marc Munaretto

Marc Munaretto

The McHenry County Board’s Management Services Committee recommended that the real estate firm of Marc Munaretto, former County Board member, recently appointed Metra representative and former Algonquin Clerk be contracted to handle property transactions (with the exception of right-of-way purchases).

Fourteen firms were approached by the County’s Purchasing Department. Their identity can be seen below:

The companies McHenry County's Purchasing Department notified of a business opportunity.

The companies McHenry County’s Purchasing Department notified of a business opportunity.

The ad seeking respondents run July 8, 2014.

The ad seeking respondents run July 8, 2014.

In addition a $60 legal ad was run in the classified section of the Northwest Herald on July 8th.

The County also reached out to the local association of Realtors, now called the Heartland Realtor Association.

Munaretto’s firm, however, was the only one to reply to the RFP last summer.

What did the County want?

A firm to “assist in the lease, relocation or reduce cost associated with its current location…”

Submittals were due last July 22nd.

Now, six months later, the selection has been to the County Board on a 6-1 vote for its consideration.

Here’s how applications were to be evaluated:

The Evaluation Committee may conduct discussions with one or more Professionals with whom the County has a previous satisfactory relationship and who submit acceptable or potentially acceptable Qualifications.

Such Professionals shall be accorded fair and equal treatment with respect to any opportunity for discussion and revision of Qualifications.

During the course of such discussions, the Evaluation Committee shall not disclose any information derived from one submittal to any other Professional.

In the event that the County does not have a satisfactory relationship for services with one or more Professionals, the County shall evaluate the Professionals submitting Qualifications, taking into account qualifications, ability of professional personnel, past record and experience, performance data on file, willingness to meet time requirements, location, workload of the Professional, and such other qualification‐based factors as the County may determine in writing are applicable.

The County may conduct discussions with and require public presentations by Professionals deemed to be the most qualified regarding their qualifications, approach to the project, and ability to furnish the required services.

On the basis of the evaluations, discussions and presentations, the County shall, unless it has a satisfactory relationship for services with one or more Professionals, select no fewer than three Professionals which it determines to be the most qualified to provide services regarding the specific project.

The County shall then contact the Professional ranked most preferred and attempt to negotiate a contract at a fair and reasonable compensation, taking into account the estimated value, scope, complexity, and professional nature of the services to be rendered.

If fewer than three Professionals submit Qualifications and the County determines that one or both of those Professionals are so qualified, the County may proceed to negotiate a contract as set forth herein.

Searching for Potential State Rep. Barb Wheeler Replacements

The 64 state rep. district.  Click to enlarge.  Prepared by Elgin-based political consultant Drew Veeneman.

The 64 state rep. district. Click to enlarge. Prepared by Elgin-based political consultant Drew Veeneman.

Yesterday, I postulated that State Rep. Barbara Wheeler might want a better commute and a larger salary.

She is now State Representative, but I’ve been told by a couple of sources that she plans to run for McHenry County Recorder of Deeds, assuming that incumbent Phyllis Walters follows County Clerk Cathy Schultz and retires.

The job pays over $100,000 a year, so there will be competition, as I suggested yesterday.

So, who might run for the job?

Frankly, I don’t have a clue, so I am counting on readers to point toward potential candidates in the comment section.

But I can show you the vote totals for McHenry and Lake County.

In the last primary election, they look like this:

There were more primary votes in McHenry County  than in Lake County last year.

There were more primary votes in McHenry County than in Lake County last year.

There was quite an advantage in the number of votes cast by McHenry County citizens in last year’s primary.  That could have been because of the hot Sheriff’s primary.

The number of votes for Wheeler in McHenry County exceeded those in Lake County during last fall’s election, too, but not by anywhere near the proportion during the primary election.
Wheeler election resuts 11-14 McH v Lake

Conservative Community Organizer Tells of 750 Campus Penetration

21-year old Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, was the main speaker at Patriots United’s annual breakfast Saturday morning in Crystal Lake.

Goals of Turning Point USA.

Goals of Turning Point USA.

Kirk told of trying to interest local Northwest suburban Republicans as well as national Republicans in getting young people interested in conservative issues.

Mission of Turning Point USA.

Mission of Turning Point USA.

Having gotten figurative pats on the head, but no action, Kirk decided to do it himself.

Turning Point USA's short history.

Turning Point USA’s short history.

On the day that Wisconsin Republican Govenror Scott Walker won his recall election–June 5, 2012–Kirk filed incorporation papers for his 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.

Some of the materials of Turning Point.  Note one on the right has a Hunger Games look.

Some of the materials of Turning Point. Note one on the right has a Hunger Games look.

Last weekend he told those attending the meeting of how his group has grown to have impact on about 750 college campuses.

Turning Points advocates capitalism, not socialism.

Turning Points advocates capitalism, not socialism.

The crowd was impressed enough to pony up about $25,500 to finance someone to register young voters and create a presence at McHenry County College and local high schools, starting at Marian Central Catholic High School.  ($33,000 is needed to run the program for a year.)

Some of Turning Point USA's publications.

Some of Turning Point USA’s publications.

Kirk told how he had applied to West Point but been rejected because of what I would characterize as “affirmative action.”

College students agree with Turning Point USA that "Big Government Sucks."

College students agree with Turning Point USA that “Big Government Sucks.”

Charlie Kirk

Charlie Kirk

He went to local political events and discovered he was the youngest person in the room “by 60-70 years.”

Undoubtedly a bit of an exaggeration, but having gray hair is common for many Republican gatherings.

Bill Montgomery took Kirk under his wing and Turning Point USA was the result.

Kirk decided to postpone college for his patriotic mission.

Headquartered in a garage between two homes the address of Turning Point USA became 217 1/2 Illinois Street in Lemont, Illinois.

Kirk told the audience that his organization was needed as “a response to Moveon.org,” an organization that targets college kids.

He noted that while in Columbus, Ohio, during 2012, he learned there were 11 canvassing for Barack Obama, but no work was being done for Mitt Romney.

Now, he said, “we have people dropping out of college to work for us.”

The budget last year was a million and there are currently nineteen on the field staff.

Kirk savoys doing what others say can’t be done.

Although he says his group’s clipboard and tennis shoe face-to-face communication has made progress on 750 campuses, he points out, “That’s not a good thing.”

Face-to-face communicating by a Turning Point USA organizer.

Face-to-face communicating by a Turning Point USA organizer.


“They’re 885 left.”

The cover of Turning Point USA's booklet entitled, "How To Debate Your Teacher (And Win!)"

The cover of Turning Point USA’s booklet entitled, “How To Debate Your Teacher (And Win!)”

Kirk views the role of his organization as “indoctrination prevention.”

Not coincidentally, one of the publications is

“How to Debate Your Teacher (and WIN!), Empowering students to have the confidence to defend their beliefs in classrooms and universities.”

Folks said he couldn’t make his free enterprise message (epitomized by a nighttime satellite photo of North and South Korea).

Socialistic North Korea is dark, while South Korea has the lights burning.  From NewScientist.com.

Socialistic North Korea is dark, while South Korea has the lights burning. From NewScientist.com.

Mocking the Democrats claim that government creates jobs, Kirk pointed to technological innovation since 2000.

FaceBook, Google, Twitter, etc., were not created by government.

There is no problem getting students to agree with that.

Turning Point USA's pamphlet on Obamacare.

Turning Point USA’s pamphlet on Obamacare looks a bit like the “Hunger Games” book cover.

A recent poll of students showed that 71% don’t think government is efficient.

The roll-out of Obamacare probably helped create that perception.

Turning Point has a Hunger Games look-alike pamphlet entitled, “The Healthcare Games, When Government Runs Healthcare The Odds Are Never In Your Favor.”

Kirk has debated liberals on campuses.

He finds the pitch liberals make to young people relates to forgiving college loans.

The average student loan is $42,000, but 40% don’t graduate.

Kirk said, “Make college three years.  Make the fourth year optional.”

It’s obvious that those in the audience could shave their college costs by 25%, if the number of hours required for graduation were cut by a year.

“The first year is wasted,” Kirk contends.

Students “are forced to study what they don’t need.

“College should be about job training,” Kirk asserted.

Could the message be delivered on a historically black campus?

Young African-Americans at Texas Southern University.

Young African-Americans at Texas Southern University.

Adults didn’t think so.

Kirk then flashed on the screen a group of African-American students holding posters saying, “Big Government SUCKS.”

That was from Texas Southern University outside of Houston.

There’s also a Latino outreach effort.

Those who speak Spanish can be identified.

Those who speak Spanish can be identified.

This summer in Chicago a community organizing event will be held that mirrors Moveon.org’s annual session in San Francisco.  The requirements will be similar.  Attendees must be fluently bilingual in English and Spanish.  Turning Point’s will be one-fifth the size of the liberal’s event, though.

Muslims were attracted to Turning Point USA's message.

Muslims were attracted to Turning Point USA’s message.

This is as good a place to talk about money as any.

If Turning Point USA had a bigger budget, it obviously could make a bigger impact on the youth of America.  Checks, tax deductible, can be sent to

217 1/2 Illinois Street
Lemont, Illinois 60439

Another target is the ten most liberal colleges in the United States.

Turning Point Liberal Colleges targeted slide 16

This surely looks like the Oberlin College campus I attended from 1960-64. Peters Hall is on the right; the administration building in the middle.  Finney Chapel is hidden by trees on the left.

The organizer who has my alma mater, Oberlin College in Ohio (A.B., Economics, 1964) was in the room at d’Andrea’s.  I told him that when I was there, the biggest political organization on campus was the Young Republicans (the name has changed to College Republicans now).  On the 2,200-person campus we had over 200 members.  It wasn’t that the students weren’t mainly liberal.  They were then as now.  But the liberals had so many different organizations and couldn’t seem to agree with each other.

Kirk told of organizing his high school, Wheeling West.

Turning Point USA volunteers at Wheeling West High School, where 45% of the students are minorities.

Turning Point USA volunteers at Wheeling West High School, where 45% of the students are minorities.

Look at the number posing for this organization picture.

While the Bruce Rauner campaign got a lot of young people involved in the political process, as have presidential campaigns, between elections there is nothing to keep them interested.

Kirk contends Turning Point USA can fill that gap.

Walsh + Charlie Kirk auctioning painting PU 15

Joe Walsh auctions a picture of the Founding Fathers signing the Declaration of Independence while Charlie Kirk observes.

After Kirk’s talk former Congressman Joe Walsh, now talk show host on WIND Radio, was the point man for raising the approximately $30,000 to finance a Turning Point USA presence in McHenry County.

Walsh referred to Kirk’s group as

“The only reason we have a scintilla of hope.

“They need financial support to do what they need to do.

“I implore you to support this organization financially or we are sunk.”

Walsh Endorses MCC Candidates

This email was sent to McHenry County Republican Precinct Committeemen by former Congressman Joe Walsh:

Dear McHenry County Committeemen,

As Precinct Committeeman you have helped lead the fight in getting Reformers elected in McHenry County!

That was a beautiful thing.

We cannot simply congratulate ourselves, and say our work is done. We have some very important races on the ballot in this upcoming election and we need your help!

We know that 70% of our taxes go to the school system.

We need our army of Precinct Committeeman to continue our fight, to be dedicated to reform by getting people that believe in limited government and lower taxes to be elected, because that means more liberty for us! Some of these races are not contested.

Some are.

Strategically speaking, we need to fight and fight good and hard for the races that are contested.

The people in your precincts are counting on direction from you.

In non-partisan races, the candidates don’t have an (R) or a (D) after their name.

Don’t let this election go to chance!

One race in particular that is very important in keeping government limited and taxes down in the McHenry County College Trustee Race!

MCC Lit 15 namesIf all three of the candidates we’re endorsing at Walsh Freedom get elected you will see the tax levy stay flat and tuition stay the same.

If they don’t get in, the majority on the MCC Board of Trustees will be the spenders and the expansion program will be reintroduced causing Real Estate Taxes to be increased and Tuition Hikes to take place.

MCC Lit text 15

We endorse McHenry County College Candidates:

  • Ron Parrish
  • Mike Smith
  • Karen Tirio

To see more information go to: www.MCCin2015.com

At times being a Precinct Committeeman may seem like a thankless job.

I can’t say that’s the case for this election April 7th.

Your hard work will be rewarded by being able to keep more money in YOUR pockets if the right people get in.

Failure to get the message out will most definitely result in All Of Us  paying more!

Now Let’s go get ‘em elected!

Please Visit: www.WalshFreedom.com for the complete list of our endorsed candidates!

McConnauhay Reports on Springfield

Here’s what State Senator Karen McConnaughay is telling her constituents about Springfield:

I was back in Springfield last week for Gov. Bruce Rauner’s first Budget Address. Several weeks ago, in his State of the State, the Governor laid out a bold policy agenda, focusing on job creation, education, and revamping Illinois’ criminal justice system. In his Budget Address, he provided details on how his Administration plans to tackle these issues.

District 303 Superintendent Dr. Schlomann joined me in Springfield for the address. After, we had a chance to chat about the speech. See our reactions in the video below.

Your input continues to be vital to the work I do. Please contact me or my office with questions or concerns you may have, and make sure your voice is heard in Springfield! You can also visit my legislative website atsenatormcconnaughay.com.

Karen McConnaughay
State Senator for the 33rd District

Video: McConnaughay, Schlomann Discuss Budget Address

McConnaughay Reacts to Budget Address

State Sen. Karen McConnaughay offered the following reaction to Gov. Rauner’s Feb. 18 Budget Address.

“We have known for some time that the biggest issue of the spring session was going to be the budget. Today the work really begins,” said McConnaughay. “Governor Rauner has laid out a budget that increases funding to elementary and secondary education, as well as public safety, but still decreases overall spending from the 2015 fiscal year. The Governor has laid out a bold agenda, and has now given us the roadmap to accomplish it. In the coming months I look forward to working in a bipartisan way with my Senate colleagues and the Governor to pass a budget.”

Read more about the Governor’s Budget Address here…

New Spring Session Means New Legislation

In other action, Senate members worked to meet their Feb. 20 deadline for filing legislation.

One piece of legislation, Senate Bill 689 would clarify that a licensed nurse who provides hospice services or who provides home health services to a person may lawfully possess controlled substances prescribed for the patient.

Legislation also continues to move through Senate committees, with the following bills approved during the week

The 2016 Recorder of Deeds Race

Tina Hill

Tina Hill

John Hammerand

John Hammerand

Candidates are already lining up to win the Republican Party primary for Recorder of Deeds next spring.

After all, petition passing for next year’s primary election starts around the first of September.

Long-time incumbent Phyllis Walters is expected to retired.  She probably has made every improvement she can think of, including putting every record on digital media.

So who wants to a job that pays over $100,000 a year?

Barb Wheeler

Barb Wheeler

Nick Provenzano

Nick Provenzano

Probably a lot of people, but here are some names I have heard bandied about:

  • John Hammerand, current County Board member
  • Tina Hill, current County Board member and former Board Chairwoman
  • Nick Provenzano, current County Board member, who just came in second while seeking to become County Clerk
  • Barbara Wheeler, former County Board member and current State Representative

There is an attraction to the job for Wheeler that the others don’t have.

The commute to and from Springfield takes as long each week as commuting on the train from Crystal Lake to Chicago. That’s a large part of one’s life.

And for the approximately 25% of the year the legislature is in session, personal interaction with one’s children is limited to weekends.

For all four potential candidates, the salary of the Recorder of Deeds is higher than what they earn now and for all four, that higher salary would increase their Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund pensions a lot.

If Wheeler decides to run for Recorder, that could lead to a vacancy in the legislature.

The district is split pretty evenly between Lake and McHenry Counties.

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If you have heard other names, please mention them in a comment.

Member Comments that Led to Recommendation to Abolish Them

Andrew Gasser

Andrew Gasser

McHenry County Board member Andrew Gasser has posted the member comments from the last meeting.  The article containing that may be found here.

There addressed the topic of nepotism, which was introduced into the meeting by Joe Alger during the Public Comment period.

Listen to them and then figure out why the Management Services Committee majority want the ability of members to comment at the end of meetings abolished.

Or read about them here.

In the committee Monday, only Mike Walkup opposed the silencing of the minority. He, of course, is part of that minority.

Members on the committee besides Walkup are

  • Michele Aavang
  • Jim Heisler
  • Tina Hill
  • Bob Martens
  • Anna May Miller
  • Mike Skala

Rauner Appoints Two to U of I Board

A press release from Governor Bruce Rauner:

Governor Announces Appointments

Governor Bruce Rauner announced today he has nominated Ramon Cepeda and Jill Smart for openings on the University of Illinois’ Board of Trustees.

Name: Ramon Cepeda
Position: Board of Trustees – University of Illinois

Governor Bruce Rauner has selected Ramon Cepeda to the Board of Trustees at the University of Illinois. Cepeda is a graduate of UIC and is currently a senior vice president at Northern Trust.

Cepeda has worked at Northern Trust since 2007. Currently, he oversees the commercial real estate group, which he created in 2010. He also works as the managing director of the wealth management division.

Prior to his work at Northern Trust, Cepeda worked for LaSalle Bank (now Bank of America) as the first vice president in the commercial real estate group. He was responsible for construction and acquisition loans throughout the Midwest. Cepeda also worked for Second Federal Savings and Loan and Source One Mortgage.

Cepeda graduated from the University of Illinois in 1990 with a degree in criminal justice. He was also selected as a Leadership Greater Chicago fellow in 2011.

Name: Jill Smart
Position: Board of Trustees – University of Illinois

Governor Bruce Rauner has selected Jill Smart to serve on the University of Illinois’ Board of Trustees. She is a graduate of U of I and worked as an adjunct professor, and she was a guest lecturer at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Smart also has nearly 35 years of experience in human resources.

Smart worked for Accenture for most of her professional career. She retired from the company in 2014 as Chief Human Resources Officer. She was responsible for the full employee lifecycle at the global company. She was also a member of Accenture’s Global Management Committee.

Currently, Smart is the president of the National Academy of Human Resources (NAHR), a non-profit organization that recognizes individuals and institutions for their work in human resources.

Smart holds an M.B.A from the University of Chicago. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.