GOP Alleges Voting Problem In Rock Island County

imagesThe Rock Island Republican party is alleging that absentee ballots aren’t being handled properly.

This follows in the wake of the city of Rockford and Winnebago county getting their ballots printed wrong twice, and a voting machine glitch in Cook county that caused a voting machine to cast a person ballot for Democrat when they tried voting Republican. If you haven’t heard that person was a Republican candidate for state Representative and he was trying to vote for himself.

WQAD has more:

Bill Bloom, the Rock Island County Republican Party chairman, announced Wednesday October 22, 2014 that the party is seeking an injunction against County Clerk Karen Kinney and her office.

In an email to local media, Bloom claimed that the local Republicans “filed a complaint requesting an injunction… [after] poll watchers observed personnel at the County Clerk’s office opening absentee ballots.”

Kinney refuted those claims Thursday, October, 23, 2014.

Rock Island County States Attorney John McGehee said that Kinney was ‘preparing the votes to be tabulated,’ but she had not tabulated them yet.

Bloom claimed that the votes can’t legally be opened until Election Day.

 

Thief Steals $18K Of Soybeans From Jo Daviess County Farm

9347451Who in the hell steals $18,000 worth of soybeans?

Is there some black market for beans I don’t know about?

From KWQC:

Matt Schuster went to go check on his soybeans, he immediately saw someone else had been in his field with a combine. At first he thought they had gone through mistakenly, just one pass through with a combine.

Then, he drove further and saw 18 acres of his crops had been taken.

“Just flat out, organized crime,” he said.

Schuster said it’s too bad his stolen soybeans won’t have fingerprints on them.

“I’ve never heard of this, in all the years I’ve farmed,” said Schuster. “I’ve been farming for over 50 years and I have never once I have ever heard of anybody getting into the wrong field and taking beans from a farmer.”

He said he’s heard of cattle being stolen, even grain from bins. But nothing like this.

“They worked fast.. it only took them two hours to get this out,” said Schuster.

$18,000 worth of soybeans were taken from this field in East Dubuque, IL.

Mendota Business Owner Threatens To Sue If City Approves New Sand Facility

256px-Mendota,_IL_Sign_04A new sand transportation facility is looking to set up operations in Mendota creating 20+ new jobs.

However, the owner of a plastics manufacturer near the proposed site is threatening to sue the city if they allow the sand facility to go forward.

Currently LaSalle county and surrounding areas are experiencing a mini economic growth spurt due to increased demand for silica sand which is used for fracking of oil and natural gas.

Several new mines and road-rail-barge transfer terminals have either been built or have been proposed in Granville, LaSalle-Peru, Ottawa, Earlville, Utica, and Mendota.

The LaSalle News-Tribune has more:

Tim O’Regan, owner of Electrical Materials, said Tuesday was the first he had heard of the sand transfer facility just west of his business. His business produces extruded plastic materials for the utility industry and employs 30 people. EOG plans to hire about 10 people and an additional 10-12 truck drivers.

“My concern is this operation of sand will probably shut us down,” he said. “We suck in the air to pull the pellets through the machines. We’d be sucking sand in to the machines then and that would make the material breakable.”

If his business is forced to close, he said he would sue the city.

Others also asked the council to seriously consider the project before making a decision. Some people, including Dave Druen, weren’t convinced there would be no silica dust from the facility even with enclosed conveyors. Other residents noted the amount of sand left along rail lines where silica sand is loaded in Wedron and Troy Grove.

Health concerns, particularly with the plant’s proximity to the school were again expressed and others worried their property values would drop even further once the sand is transferred to rail cars.

O’Regan noted the location of the proposed sand transfer plant would have been directly in the path of the tornado that went through in June.

Vice President Biden To Campaign In Rockford, Davenport Monday

Vice President Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden

On Monday Vice President Joe Biden will be in Rockford and Davenport to campaign on behalf of Democrat candidates.

In Rockford he’ll stump for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, Sen. “Little” Dick Durbin, and congresswoman Cheri Bustos.

In Davenport, Iowa Senate candidate Bruce Braley is hoping he gets his name spelled and pronounced right.

Locations and times to be announced.

#Ferguson Solidarity Rally In Rockford

Ferguson rioting

Ferguson rioting

As I am writing a Ferguson, MO solidarity rally and march is wrapping up in downtown Rockford.

Event organizers  agitators plan on having people talk about police brutality and misconduct outside of the public safety building and then march to the near by federal courthhouse.

WREX has more:

The shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Mo., in August still draws raw emotions from people.

Tonight, a group will gather at the Winnebago County Jail and speak publicly about its perception of the racial climate with police here in Rockford.

The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and 13 News’ Sean Muserallo will be reporting there live.

Organizers of the event say people are meeting in communities nationwide. To those involved, it’s seen as a stand of solidarity with the protestors in Ferguson.

Ottawa Elementary Looking At Nearly $5 Million Bond Offer Next Fall

ottawaThe Ottawa elementary school district is looking at issuing nearly $5 million worth of bonds in the fall of 2015 to keep the districts budget somewhat balanced.

The bond issuing route the district is taking allows citizens to petition to have the bond issuance put up for a vote.

You can count me as someone who will work to have that vote take place.

The Ottawa Times has more:

As the Ottawa Elementary Schools District’s working cash fund begins to run dry, the district will need to borrow roughly $4.87 million in the next fiscal year.

June 2015 would be three years after the last bond was issued, which continues the district’s cycle of borrowing money for the working cash fund every three years. If approved by the board, the district would issue the bond in fall 2015.

 

The district’s working cash fund has about $3.8 million right now, but is expected to drop to $1.8 million at the end of the year. Money is typically transferred from the working cash fund to cover shortfalls in the education fund and operations and maintenance fund.

After Tuesday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Cleve Threadgill outlined several cost savings measures the district has taken over the last three years he estimated saved the district nearly $2 million.

 

More Than $10,000 Missing From Ogle County Sheriffs Tow Fund

Sheriff Michael Harn

Sheriff Michael Harn

A forensic audit of a tow fund operated by the Ogle county sheriff’s department has revealed that more than $10,000 is unaccounted for.

The fund which was started in 2011 was used by the sheriff’s department and Sheriff Michael Harn for meals, flowers, and the departments Facebook page, along with other items.

The forensic audit was started after questions about the tow funds use where brought to the attention of the Dixon Telegraph and the county board.

The Dixon Telegraph has more:

Based on records reviewed by the auditors, money deposited into the tow fund should have equalled $237,413.12, made up of $350 tow fees and other sources of revenue.

According to the results of the forensic audit, though, only $226,658.12 was deposited, leaving $10,754.67 unaccounted for.

“It should be noted that this figure was arrived at after piecing together bits of information from the Sheriff’s Office and tow companies and verifying data as best as possible given the sloppy record keeping performed by the Sheriff’s Office,” the report said.

The results of the forensic audit, which started in July, were presented to the Ogle County Board during a public meeting on Tuesday by Sikich, the Naperville-based company that did the review.

The first deposit into the tow fund was from the state’s Office of Emergency Management for about $12,000, said Sikich’s James Sullivan, who led the forensic audit.

He said there was no written documentation for how the money collected was to be used and spent and documented.

Sikich found that the record-keeping and procedures for the tow fund were not conducive to effective internal controls.

“The original problem and a problem throughout our review was that records were not maintained properly,” Sullivan said.

Gov. Christie And Bruce Rauner Campaign In Rockford

Gov. Chris Christie

Gov. Chris Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner held a rally for supporters earlier today off of Harrison ave. in Rockford.

Chuck Sweeny at the Register Star has more:

Bruce Rauner

Bruce Rauner

Christie roamed the stage and spoke with a cordless mic, rallying the crowd like an old time preacher:

“I was here last Friday, I’m here today, I’ll be back next week for one reason, Bruce Rauner is the best man to lead Illinois, and he’s going to be the next governor,” he shouted to cheers.

The campaign is in its final two weeks, Christie said, “and Illinois is right on the edge of change. But I’m here to warn you … All the pundits are going to tell you (that in the end) the Democrats are going to win. Well, they said the same thing in New Jersey in 2009 and 2013, and I proved them wrong both times.”

Christie then turned into a precinct captain: “There is not a harder working candidate in America than Bruce Rauner. What about you? Are you going to walk door to door? Are you willing to get on the phone and call your friends for Bruce Rauner … because the change in Illinois is going to stun you.”

Rauner said: “This is our year. We’re going to beat the Chicago machine that controls Springfield. We’re going to toss Pat Quinn out of office and restore pride and prosperity in the great state of Illinois.”

“This is home. Our home is worth fighting for. We have every reason to thrive, except we’ve got bad politicians and politics. That government in Springfield is not working for your benefit. I’m sick and tired, I’m not willing to take it anymore because I love Illinois.”

Read more: http://www.rrstar.com/article/20141021/News/141029783#ixzz3GpLqjNsz

Latest Election Problem In Rockford/Winnebago County Halts Early Voting For A Time

imagesAfter election officials misprinted more than 1500 ballots for the city of Rockford and Winnebago county when the ballots where printed without a Forest preserve district race on them.  Folks in Rockford and Winnebago county now have to clean up after the new ballots where printed wrong again, this time giving wrong instructions for the race.

That caused a halt to early voting in Rockford and Winnebago county.

Early voting has since resumed.

Republican Attorney General candidate Paul Schimpf is asking AG Lisa Madigan to investigate the voting problems in Rockford and voting machine problems in Cook county where a Republican state rep. candidate’s voting machine kept switching his votes to Democrat ones.

MyStateLine.com has more:

Early voting resumed at around 2pm according to Winnebago County officials, saying that voters are being given special instructions when they arrive regarding the ballot error for the Winnebago County Forest Preserve Board.

Mercer County Treasurer Gets 4 Years In Prison After Stealing From County And GOP

images

Mike Bertelsen

Mike Bertelsen the former Treasurer for Mercer county has been sentenced to serve 4 years in prison after he stole thousands of dollars from the county and from the county Republican Party.

KWQC has more:

(Bertelsen)was accused of stealing thousands from the county’s 911 fund and hundreds from the Mercer County Republican Party amounting to more than $13,000. A year after he was charged, he pleaded guilty to one count of first degree theft and one count of official misconduct back in July, 2014. Other charges against him were dropped at that time. His attorney said Bertelsen also paid the money back.

When asked why he took the money, Bertelsen said in July, “Well, I was in a situation where I had a lot of pressure on me and needed the money and took it.  I shouldn’t have done that.  I apologize. I admitted guilt to two counts, one of theft and one of official misconduct.  I do apologize for my actions.”

He was sentenced Oct. 20, 2014 to four years in prison on the theft charge and four years on the official misconduct charge with both terms to run concurrently. He will surrender himself to begin serving his sentence on Oct. 30.

Meridian School District Facing $500K Deficit, Seeking Voter Approval For Tax Hike

avatarLike a lot of other school districts in Northern Illinois the Meridian school district(Stillman Valley, Davis Junction, Monroe Center) is facing a budget deficit of half a million dollars.

To try and keep the district budget balanced district officials are trying to get people to support a tax increase.

MyStateLine.com has more:

With dwindling state funding and a debt growing by the day, the Meridian Schools Superintendent will reach out to voters to make ends meet.

Superintendent PJ Caposey announced a series of three town hall meetings to be held Monday and Tuesday to educate voters on a tax referendum on the November ballot.  The referendum, if passed, will raise property taxes.  A homeowner with a $100,000 home will pay approximately $191 more per year.

Tax-weary residents may scoff at the notion of more taxes.  But, Caposey says if the referendum fails, the district will have to make cuts.

“The impact of reductions are already being felt with increased class size, the elimination of the Family and Consumer Science program, and the fact that Meridian students are among the only in the area that do not have access to Junior High athletics and activities” says Caposey.

The first two town hall meetings take place tonight:
Davis Junction Fire Station – 5:30pm
Monroe Center Fire Station – 7:30pm

The third town hall meeting takes place at the Stillman Valley Fire Station on Tuesday at 6:30pm.

Sen. John McCain, Rep. Kinzinger, Sen. Syverson To Hold Veterans Town Hall In Rockford Friday

In addition to doing a fundraiser for congressman Adam Kinzinger, Arizona Senator John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, will be holding a veterans town hall meeting at Memorial Hall in Rockford at 2pm on Friday Oct, 24th.

Joining the congressman and Senator will be state Senator Dave Syverson.

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Mautino Wants To Be Speaker One Day

Rep. Frank Mautino(D-Spring Valley)

Rep. Frank Mautino(D-Spring Valley)

Democrat state Representative Frank Mautino of Spring Valley, Deputy majority leader and co-chair of the Legislative investigative committee looking into Gov. Pat Quinn’s troubled Neighborhood Recovery initiative, said during a debate Friday on 1430 WCMY that one day he’d like to be Speaker of the Illinois House.

There is no doubt that Speaker of the House and chairman of the Illinois Democrat Party Michael Madigan will be re-election in November and renomination to be Speaker, but Madigan has been in office for over 40 years and does one day want his daughter Attorney General Lisa Madigan to be Governor.

Mautino praised himself during the debate for helping to craft the last four state budgets.  Budgets for a state that has a $100 billion pension debt, billions of dollars in unpaid and late bills, underfunds state aid to local schools, a massive amount of fraud in the Medicaid program, and a series of credit rating downgrades that has the state of Illinois credit rating hovering near junk status.

If it wasn’t for California, Illinois would have the worst fiscal situation of any state in the nation.

Mautino has been in office since 1991 and is being opposed in the November election by Republican Jerry Long.

The Ottawa Times has more:

Asked if the controversial House Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Chicago, deserved re-election in his position, Long laughed and said, as a Republican, he would not have any control over that appointment but believes Madigan should lose that job.

“I disagree with everything he (Madigan) stands for,” said Long.

Mautino said he was confident that Madigan would be re-elected in his Chicago district and retained as House speaker.

However, Mautino said, “Someday I would like to be speaker of the House. As I learn more, I will work toward that goal. As it stands now, as Deputy Majority Leader, I am now one of the main voices of downstate Illinois in the House and I have and will always work within the leadership that we get heard.”

Dixon Superintendent Fan Of SB16 Education Funding; Sen. Bivins Opposes

Michael Juenger

Michael Juenger

You can count Dixon school superintendent Michael Juenger as a fan of SB 16, an education funding formula shuffle that would benefit some school districts like Dixon, but hurt many others.(He is also a fan of Common Core)

Illinois desperately needs to fix its education funding means.

Shuffling around money by taking away from one district and giving it to another isn’t an answer.

Property tax reform, more school choice, school vouchers, Wisconsin style collective bargining reform, those are the kinds of things this state needs when it comes to education funding, not the SB 16 gimmickry.

The Dixon Telegraph has more on Juenger and state Sen. Tim Bivins(R-Dixon) expressing his opposition to SB 16:

Dixon Schools Superintendent Michael Juenger wants to gather as much support for Senate Bill 16 as he can.

SB16 is intended to completely rework the way the state funds public education by shifting money away from suburban and urban school districts and toward more rural districts with lower assessed property values.

The Dixon School District stands to gain $299 per pupil in funding, meaning the district would get an additional $766,452, based on the way the bill is written.

“We are promoting the passage of Senate Bill 16 because it will be beneficial to the school district,” Juenger said. “Something has to be done, and this is one way to get the talks started.”

Despite that, State Sen. Tim Bivins, R-Dixon, voted against the bill.

“Senate Bill 16 is an elaborate reshuffling of state aid for our schools through an overly complicated formula,” Bivins said. “It pits schools against one another, taking money away from some school districts and sending it to others. Despite the fact that some of the local schools in northwestern Illinois would receive more money, I cannot support a measure that robs Peter to pay Paul.”

In the 45th Senate District, SB16 would cut state funding for 20 school districts and increase state funding for 22 other school districts.

“It’s just a redistribution of the money local school districts get,” Bivins said. “This is an attempt to address the funding issue, but it’s not ready for primetime yet, because it’s still a work in progress.”

The Sunday Shows For October 19th

Sen. Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz

It’s going to be all about Ebola on the Sunday shows tomorrow morning.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, of the National Institutes of Health, will be doing a Susan Rice, and appearing on all five shows trying to do his best do doubt to dig the Obama administration out of the mess it created in responding to the Ebola threat.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz will be on CNN to set things straight.

In election talk Fox News Sunday will have “wash” Reince “repeat” Priebus of the useless Republican National Committee debating the moronic DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

Here are the line-ups:

Meet The (Even More) Depressed: Dr. Anthony Fauci(NIH), Sen. Bob Casey(D-PA), Sen. Roy Blount(R-MO)

Last Week: Dr. Anthony Fauci(NIH), Cardinal Dolan

DeFace The Nation: Dr. Anthony Fauci(NIH), Rep. Marsha Blackburn(R-TN)

Fox News Sunday: Dr. Anthony Fauci(NIH), Rep. Tim Murphy(R-PA), Reince Priebus, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Shultz(D-FL)

State of the DisUnion-Sen. Ted Cruz(R-TX), Dr. Anthony Fauci(NIH),

Scott Walker vs Mary Burke: 2nd Wisconsin Governors Debate(Video)

On Friday Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker debated for the second time his Democrat opponent Mary Burke.

Rock Island Student Being Kept Home After Visit From Liberian Family Member

ebola4Because of the Obama administrations steadfast refusal to impose a travel ban on people from West African nation’s affected by an outbreak of Ebola a Rock Island high school student is being kept home from school for the next 21 days as health care professionals monitor the student for Ebola after they where visited by a family member from Liberia.

WQAD has more:

On Thursday, October 16, 2014 the Rock Island-Milan School District announced that a Rock Island High School student has recently had a family member arrive from Liberia. Taking abundant precaution, the Rock Island County Health Department will be monitoring the student at home for 21 days. The student will not be attending school for this period of time.

Also noted in the announcement was that the county health department said there appears to be no risk of Ebola to the community.

1,500 Wrong Early And Absentee Ballots In Rockford

Election officials in the city of Rockford have committed a major screw-up, over 1,500 early and absentee ballots have either been sent out or cast that leave off a race for the Winnebago County forest preserve.

WREX has more:

An election error in Winnebago County means 1,500 absentee and early election ballots already sent out are incomplete.

Missing on the ballot? The Winnebago County Forest Preserve Commissioner’s race.

A mistake that will cost the county $50,000.

In that race, three candidates are vying for one six-year position as commissioner.

The mistake came when Winnebago County sent the ballot to the Rockford Board of Elections without the information for that race.

The board is trying to fix the problem.

However, there may not be a solution for early walk-in voters who’ve already voted.

Those votes are already being counted.

For absentee voters, a substitute ballot will be sent to them to fill out and re-vote.

Schilling Calls For Ebola Travel Ban

Bobby Schilling

Bobby Schilling

Former Republican congressman Bobby Schilling, who is running to regain his seat from Democrat Cheri Bustos, is calling for a ban on travel from Ebola affected African nations.

Illinois Review has more:

Bobby Schilling (R-Colona) is calling for an immediate halt of commercial air traffic in and out of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, the three countries where the Ebola virus is out of control, and any new countries that experience an uncontrolled outbreak.

“I have been constantly amazed by the ineptitude of President Obama and international agencies who keep saying it would be counter-productive to halt flights in and out of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia because there would be no way to get world health experts and medical supplies into and out of those countries,” Schilling said.

“We must protect our population, first and foremost. The answer is to immediately halt commercial air traffic with hundreds of civilian passengers who could then spread the virus all over our country and the world,” Schilling continued. “Instead, we should be using U.S. government small planes for Center for Disease Control (CDC) personnel and technicians who can wear masks and hazmat suits on the way out. A small plane with a few experts and medical supplies is infinitely better able to have both the passengers and the plane itself controlled and quarantined upon arrival.”

“It absolutely defies common sense why this hasn’t been done already,” Schilling said.