Another Dem Legislator in the Fed’s Crosshairs?

Top of the front page of today’s Chicago Tribune is an article concerning State Senator Elgie Sims’ involvement with an Arizona company that sees body cameras.

Sims was the main sponsor of the so-called “Criminal Reform Bill” passed just before 5 AM right at the end of the outgoing sesssion in 2021.

The article points to other Democratice Party legislators who have run afoul of Federal law, but does not mention they are Democrats:

In 1993 Lakewood Golf Club Borrowing Raised Taxes

We already know that a previous Lakewood Village Board made a bsd judgment in issuing Alternative Revenue Bonds to finance the purchase of a golf course now called “RedTail.”

A Northwest Herald article from February 16, 1993, adds some details.

At the time, there was only $100,000 in the golf club’s coffers.

“We might have to look at selling that course,” said Trustee Harold McKenney.

The article concluded with “Trustees hope to attrack more players next session vy tripling the size of their clubhouse trailer.

“They won’t agree to build a permanent clubhouse until the course is solvent or enough park impact fees are collected from developers.”

There ere 18,000 rounds in the first season of play, about which Trustee Jack Frothingham said, “That’s a lot of round for new course.”

Moving on Out

From The Center Square:

New report shows Illinois is ranked third for outbound migration

(The Center Square) – Data from a moving website shows the outmigration from Illinois has continued this year.  

This moving van headed west from Crystal Lake.

According to the moving website moveBuddhadata for state-to-state moves shows that for every 42 moves into Illinois there are 100 moving out, the third highest outbound interest in the country this year, behind New York and California.

The website gathers data of not only where people are moving, but the reasons behind the move. 

“It looks like the property taxes are a huge factor for people wanting to move, because Illinois has the second highest property taxes behind New Jersey,” said marketing specialist Mercedes Martinez.

Illinois also has the 10th largest tax burden nationally, with the combined impact of personal income tax, property, sales and business taxes comparatively high. 

The report notes that when Illinoisans leave the state, they take high incomes with them. The IRS estimates more than $16 million in tax dollars left Illinois from 2019 to 2020 as residents moved away. 

The top states where Illinoisans have been moving to include Florida, Texas and California. The top three cities for those exiting the state in 2022 are Ocala, Florida; Seattle, Washington; and Austin, Texas.

The biggest losing large city is Rockford which has lost over 5% of its population, while the small community of Nevada, Illinois has lost an incredible 84% of its residents. 

According to moveBuddha, the top most internet searched route this year has been Downers Grove to Ocala, Florida.

“Population decreasing has been going on for a couple years now, and it’s not getting any better unfortunately for Illinois,” said Martinez.  

Tadelman Speaking to Libertarians in Ringwood Monday Night

From Jim Young, President of the McHenry County Libertairians:

“We will again gather at the Rusty Nail in Ringwood on Monday, Aug. 8 at 6:30 for conversation, dinner, and drinks. 

“At 7:30 we will have our business meeting and at 8:00 we have as speaker, Robb Tadelman who is the Republican candidate for county sheriff and is the current under-sheriff.”

Find out if you are eligible for individual income tax or property tax rebates

From State Rep. Tom Bennett:

You may be eligible for a one-time individual income and property tax rebate available to taxpayers who meet certain requirements. Rebates are expected to be issued beginning the week of September 12. To find out if you are eligible, visit: https://www2.illinois.gov/rev/programs/Rebates/Pages/Default.aspx

$2.9 Million Targeted for McHenry County Head Strart

Durbin, Duckworth Announce $4.9 Million For Head Start Programs In Illinois

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced a total of $4,957,465 in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grants to support Head Start services for children under the age of five in receiving wrap-around support in early learning and development.

The two recipients of these grants are

  • Community Action Agency for McHenry County, Inc., receiving $2,919,470, and
  • Proviso Leyden Council for Community Actions, Inc., receiving $2,037,995.

Illinois Pension Attrocities

Reprinted from Illinois Policy with its permission:

10 ILLINOIS PENSION ABUSES SHOW WHY TAXPAYERS DESERVE REFORM

by Justin Carlson 

Ten abuses of Illinois’ pensions systems go a long way to explaining how the state wound up in a $313-billion pension hole.

Roughly 1 in 10 Illinois adults is a member of an Illinois pension system. Their retirements are hurt by legal, but corrupt, rules and practices created by recently indicted former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and other Illinois politicians.

Here are 10 examples of pension “rights” gone wrong.

No. 1: Madigan’s rules benefit Madigan’s pension

Madigan’s fingerprints on the pension crisis extend back even before he became an elected member of the Illinois General Assembly. As a delegate to the 1970 state constitutional convention, Madigan voted in favor of the pension clause. That clause was the basis for the Illinois Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling that meant no significant pension reform could take place – including those affecting only future benefit growth, such as altering cost-of-living adjustments – without a constitutional amendment.

Madigan directly benefited from some of the loopholes and rules he created. Perhaps the most egregious was a pension sweetener made available only to lawmakers that allowed him to “bank” 3% cost-of-living adjustments for 25 years. The special perk got him an extra $66,000 added to his pension after the first year of retirement, allowing his monthly payout to jump from $7,100 to $12,600. If Madigan collects his pension for 17 years, he will receive nearly $3 million in return for his $350,000 in contributions. That pension sweetener was eventually eliminated for lawmakers elected after 2002.

Because of the pension clause, no changes to Madigan’s benefits can occur absent a constitutional amendment.

No. 2: Gov. Edgar benefits from broken system he championed

Former Gov. Jim Edgar has also benefitted greatly from the pension system he helped create. Edgar championed “pension reform” that enabled the Edgar Ramp, which put the state on a 50-year repayment trajectory and deferred costs into the future. The policy has been a major reason why the state’s $15 billion pension deficit has exploded to over $313 billion, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Edgar and numerous lawmakers have become pension millionaires from the system they created at the expense of taxpayers.

The Edgar Ramp failed because of fundamental flaws in its design. The repayment schedule backloaded higher payments, keeping payments low during the first 15 years to ensure the budget for Edgar and his successor would not be restricted by high pension payments. The 50-year repayment cycle was much too long and did not result in the state discovering newfound money to make the higher payments as the cycle progressed. Its goal was to put just 90% of what would be needed into the pension systems, meaning even if the state kept up with the payment schedule it would still knowingly short its pension obligations by 10%.

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And no mention is made of the two pension systems Edgar belongs to.

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No. 3: Chicago Mayor Daley maneuvers money to increase pension payout

Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley took full advantage of the pension system to give himself a huge benefit boost and save himself hundreds of thousands in contributions. Daley rejoined his legislative pension plan for a single month in 1991 before returning to the Chicago Municipal Pension Fund, which made him eligible to receive 85% of his mayoral salary as a pension benefit. At the time, he was just 49 years old and had he retired at 55, his one-month maneuver would have pushed his pension payout from just over $20,000 to nearly $98,000.

Daley went on to be reelected five more times and when he ultimately retired, he did so with a pension worth about $50,000 more than it otherwise would have been, with an initial annual benefit of more than $183,000. Around the time he greased the skids for himself, Daley also manipulated the pension system to hand huge benefit boosts to Chicago aldermen. Chicago’s eight pension funds now have more debt than 45 states.

No. 4: Union lobbyist gets full teacher pension for working a single day

David Piccioli was a union lobbyist for the Illinois Federation of Teachers who exploited a loophole signed by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich to receive a full pension from the Teachers’ Retirement System. He worked a single day as a substitute teacher. Piccioli paid $198,000 into the pension system to cover contributions for his 10 years of working as lobbyist, but he stands to become another pension millionaire set to receive over $3 million over 20 years.

Piccioli also earns a pension from the State Employees Retirement System that was worth $33,780 in 2019. He received that pension for 10 years of service as a legislative aid.

In 2012, lawmakers closed the Piccioli loophole. Initially, courts stripped Piccioli of the portion of his pension that was for his time working as a lobbyist and returned his $198,000 contribution with interest. Piccioli sued to more than double his pension by including credit for his years of lobbying. The Illinois Supreme Court sided with him in 2019, citing the Illinois Constitution’s pension clause that prevents earned and unearned benefits from being “diminished or impaired.” The ruling highlights the need for a constitutional amendment to enable even the most commonsense pension reforms.

No. 5: Dennis Gannon’s public pension based on pay as a union official, not as a city worker 

Former labor leader and Streets and Sanitation Department employee Dennis Gannon retired in 2004 at age 50 while being credited for 33 years of service with the city of Chicago. Except he didn’t spend 33 years working for the city. He spent more than one-third of that time working for private labor unions. Gannon is projected to collect around $5 million in total pension payments during his lifetime. As of 2020, Gannon was receiving a monthly payment of $18,255, nearly $220,000 annually.

No. 6: Superintendent Troy Paraday spent his time crafting a self-enrichment scheme

Another egregious example of pension abuse comes from former Calumet City School District 155 Superintendent Troy Paraday. Paraday was the highest-paid school district administrator in the state with a salary over $430,000. He was fired after an investigation into numerous allegations of misconduct, including deceiving the school board on financial matters relating to his compensation, claiming the board gave him a 6% raise when it had not and accumulating compensatory time which his contract did not allow for.

The school board alleged Paraday allowed himself to accumulate unlimited compensatory time for work beyond an eight-hour day, logging phony time for duties considered part of his job such as conducting interviews, attending board meetings, conferences, graduations and collective bargaining negotiations. This led him to seek a payout of more than $1.75 million for 885 sick, vacation and personal days he “saved” while working for the district. His scheme helped inflate his pension payment, which currently stands at $25,265 per month, to over $300,000 annually.

No. 7: Reginald L. Weaver based his pension off his pay as a union official, not a teacher

Former teacher Reginald L. Weaver receives a nearly $290,000 pension despite last earning a salary of $60,000 as an actual teacher. Pension rules passed by the General Assembly in 1991 with no public debate or cost analysis allowed him to base his public pension off his six-figure salary as a union official, which has cost Illinois taxpayers millions since his retirement. That loophole has since been closed but highlights the general atmosphere of abuse surrounding the pension system. For the right people at the right time, the pension game can be rigged to an individual or select group’s extreme financial benefit.

No. 8: Lawrence Wyllie indicted on fraud, embezzlement in 2017 but still receiving pension

Former Lincoln-Way District 210 Superintendent Lawrence A. Wyllie was indicted in 2017 on fraud and embezzlement charges stemming from his administrative role with the school. His case continues to drag on. When he retired in 2013, his annual pension cost taxpayers just over $122,000. As of 2021, it now costs over $360,000 at over $30,000 per month. He has been paid over $2.75 million in total benefits so far. Wyllie’s trial has been delayed numerous times and shows no signs of resolution, which means he will continue to receive his full pension payments at taxpayers’ expense.

No. 9: Edward Acevedo helped delete five words as lawmaker to get a second pension

Edward Acevedo is a retired state lawmaker and Chicago police officer currently receiving two government pensions. He’s getting over $58,000 a year from the General Assembly Retirement System as well as over $4,500 from the Chicago police pension plan thanks to a law he changed to benefit himself. During his time as a state legislator, Acevedo helped to remove the words “prior to Jan. 9, 1997,” from state pension law that allowed Chicago cops serving in the legislature to get credit toward their police pensions for days spent as legislators in Springfield. Since Acevedo was hired after that date, removing those five words allowed him to count the 655 days he spent on leave from the police force to serve as a legislator to get over the 10-year threshold for pension benefits through the Chicago police pension system.

Acevedo is currently under federal scrutiny because two of his sons have been charged with tax cheating on federal returns concerning income from lobbying they did for Commonwealth Edison, the utility company embroiled in the Madigan scandal.

No. 10: Eddie Johnson endangers public, betrays their trust and keeps his pension

Former Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is receiving his $15,800 police pension despite being fired in December 2019 for misconduct. Officers found Johnson slumped over the wheel of his car after consuming a significant amount of alcohol with a female member of his security detail. He had been stopped on the street with his vehicle running for two hours before someone called 911 and officers discovered him. The responding officers deferred to Johnson on what to do about the situation after realizing who he was. They followed him when he told them he was fine. Dashcam video showed Johnson went through a stop sign and turned into the wrong lane with the officers following him. Despite benefitting from his position of authority in the incident, engaging in misconduct and endangering the public, Johnson continues to receive his taxpayer-funded pension and was due a cost-of-living adjustment of more than $5,600 in 2021.

How to end these abuses

All 10 of these pension abuses and schemes have been enabled by a corrupt, broken system that is dragging down the state’s finances. Government insiders have gotten rich while taxpayers have been crushed by higher taxes and reduced services. The state’s credit rating has suffered, making it more expensive for Illinois to do business. The state’s economy has suffered because of outmigrationunaffordable housing and property taxes, and diminished job growth.

Fixing these abuses will take a constitutional amendment to allow for real reform that will put the state on a sustainable path forward. It’s time for lawmakers to let the people vote on pension reform.

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Of course, I also have a generous legislative pension for which I again thank Illinois readers.

Skillicorn Comeback Effort in Arizona Bearing Fruit

With an estimated 90% of the vote counted in Maricopa County, Arizona, former Illinos State Representative Allen Skillicorn is running third among the four candidates seeking one of three Fountain Hills city council seats.

Skllicorn narrowly lost his run for re-election in 2020 by only 2,268 votes (52%-48%) even though he put forth virtually no effort. He had already made his decision to leave Illinois.

With pretty much a flip of the bird to Illinois, he took this morning going away photo with the State Capitol in the background on his way out.

Former State Rep. Allen Skillicorn on the way to Arizona, where he joins former State Rep. Barbara Wheeler.

In Fountain Hills, he leads by 19 votes.

My Leftwing Oberlin College Ought to Be Ashamed of Itself

Reprinted from Legal Insurrection with permission:

Oberlin College Still Refusing to Pay Verdict to Gibson’s Bakery

“For delaying making the payment, Oberlin [in Ohio] has added on $4 million in interest to the original judgment of $32 million, raising the cost to $36 million.”

Posted by Mike LaChance

Gibson’s Bakery less than a block from Oberlin College classrooms.

How is Oberlin getting away with this? When does Gibson’s Bakery get what is owed to them?

Ellie Gardey writes at the American Spectator:

Oberlin College, Facing $36 Million Penalty for Defamatory Woke Activism, Dives Deeper Into Wokism

The historically liberal Oberlin College, located in Oberlin, Ohio, is still refusing to pay up for defaming Gibson’s Bakery as racist in 2016.

The college, which is financially underwater, has now asked the Ohio Supreme Court to halt the multi-million dollar judgment while it appeals the decision for the second time.

Earlier this year, the Ninth Ohio District Court of Appeals upheld a jury’s finding that Oberlin committed libel, slander, and interference with business relationships against Gibson’s after it encouraged student protests over a bakery employee’s pursuit of a black student who had shoplifted.

For delaying making the payment, Oberlin has added on $4 million in interest to the original judgment of $32 million, raising the cost to $36 million.

Handing over the $36 million will have enormous ramifications for the financially struggling institution, which had a deficit of $44.7 million in 2020 and whose monetary woes stem back years.

The college also had a deficit in 2017, which forced it to institute a rescue plan.

The president of Oberlin, Carmen Twillie Ambar, has been defiant in the face of the judgment and has continued to deny any fault on the part of Oberlin.

Unwilling to accept the jury’s decision, Ambar said in 2019, “This is not the final outcome. This is, in fact, just one step along the way of what may turn out to be a lengthy and complex legal process.”

She added, “None of this will sway us from our core values.”

Last week, Gibson’s begged the trial court for speedy relief, saying that it will go out of business in a matter of months unless there is a substantial change in circumstances.

“The Gibsons are in need of speedy justice and an end to Oberlin’s delay tactics,” it said.

[Two generations of the family have died since the Circuit Court decision.]

“Oberlin and its bonding company are now trying to outlast the Gibson’s, fulfilling their threat to delay justice as long as possible.”

The case emerged from a November 2016 incident in which a black Oberlin student attempted to shoplift two bottles of wine from the bakery.

When the store clerk attempted to take his picture to show to police, the student slapped the clerk in the face.

The clerk pursued the student and tackled him. Two of the student’s friends, who were also black students at Oberlin, responded by assaulting the clerk with the help of the shoplifter.

Police arrived when the three students were kicking the clerk, who was lying helpless on the ground. The students all pleaded guilty.

Oberlin students erupted in protests over the incident, alleging that the Gibson clerk had racially profiled the shoplifter.

The jury found that the former dean of students, Meredith Raimondo, attended the protests and handed out a flyer that said, “This is a RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION.”

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When I attended Oberlin (1960-64, the Dean of Students Dean Holderman, was the advisor of the Young Republicans. The YRs were the largest political group on campus, primarily because the liberals were split into so many factions, e.g., Student Peace Union, NAACP, Young Democrats, Progressive Student League, etc.

Breast Feeding Encouragement

From the McHenry County Health Department:

Communities encouraged to support breastfeeding children, families

McHENRY COUNTY —   August is National Breastfeeding Month, and the McHenry County Department of Health wants to encourage communities to provide support to nursing children and their families.

A nursing parent’s early experience with breastfeeding can affect whether and how long they continue to breastfeed. Encouragement at every level can help reduce barriers. The community can participate in reducing these barriers in a number of ways, including normalizing breastfeeding through discussions about its natural benefits and by ensuring their businesses have policies in place for breastfeeding parents returning to work.  More information about these topics is available at bit.ly/MCDHNBM.

Supporting breastfeeding also ensures current and future generations receive the benefits they need that can only be passed from mother to baby through breastfeeding.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and supports continued breastfeeding, with the addition of appropriate solid foods at 6 months of age, for 2 years and beyond. Proper nutrition for infants is critical for their growth and development, and it is important for communities to work together to provide consistent support for breastfeeding mothers in McHenry County.

Breastfeeding benefits the baby and nursing parent as it reduces the risk of disease for child and mother. For children, breastfeeding decreases the rates of lower respiratory tract infections, ear infections, severe diarrhea, obesity and more.  It can also reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome by up to 64% and overall infant death risks by as much as 40%, according to healthychildren.org.  As for the nursing parent, breastfeeding provides protection against diabetes, high blood pressure and cancers of the breast and ovaries.

“We are inviting people to be champions in support of breastfeeding families,” said MCDH’S Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Coordinator Nancy Chrest. “We’re also inviting nursing parents – past, present and future – to join the discussion on social media to share their breastfeeding journey so we as a community can have a larger discussion about how to support nursing families.”

MCDH’s WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program continues to provide assistance to nursing families through one-on-one breastfeeding support, education and encouragement to pregnant and breastfeeding participants. WIC provides nutrition education, breastfeeding support and free healthy foods to eligible families. More information about both programs is available at bit.ly/MCDHWIC.  

CL Tobocca Police Find One Illegal Seller

From the Crystal Lake Police:

Crystal Lake Police Conduct a Tobacco Countermeasure Enforcement Check at Local Retail Establishment

Crystal Lake, IL – The Crystal Lake Police Department completed a compliance check at a local businesses licensed to sell tobacco products in Crystal Lake.

This compliance check was in response to specific complaints by concerned citizens about the business.

Under the guidance and supervision of Crystal Lake police officers, persons under the age of 21 entered and attempted to purchase tobacco products.

As a result, the business employee of the establishment did not appropriately check the purchaser’s identification, thus recognizing them as being underage, and completed the sale.

The following businesses unlawfully sold tobacco to a minor:

  • BP Gas – 281 W. Virginia Street
The gas station is at the corner of Route 14 and Coventry Lane.

Crystal Lake officers cited the clerk/employee who completed the sale to a minor.

Adjudication Hearings for those cited are scheduled for 8:30am on September 9th, 2022, at the Crystal Lake Municipal Center, 100 West Woodstock Street.

The Crystal Lake Police Department conducts these Tobacco Countermeasure Enforcement checks randomly throughout the year and we will continue to do so in the future.