The Doctor Is In: Dr. Ben Carson Running For President

Dr. Ben Carson

Dr. Ben Carson

Dr. Ben Carson in Detroit Monday announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Carly Fiorina Is Running For President

Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina

Businesswoman Carly Fiorina made it official early Monday that she is running for President in the growing Republican field.

New Princeton Mayor Cuts City Position

Princeton Mayor Joel Quiram, photo LaSalle NT

Princeton Mayor Joel Quiram, photo LaSalle NT

The new Mayor of Princeton, Joel Quiram, has only been in office days and he is already cutting down the size of the city’s staff.

A good move in these budget tight times.

The LaSalle News-Tribune has more:

Newly elected Princeton Mayor Joel Quiram has announced the elimination of the city’s tourism and economic development positions, a decision he says is both cost-saving and a streamlining measure for the city.

The dual positions, held by Joni Hunt, will be absorbed by the chamber of commerce and city manager Jeff Clawson, Quiram said.

“Both positions, what we’ve seen the last couple years are a duplication of services,” Quiram said. The city will save about $40,000 in salary as well as the additional contributions to benefits, according to Quiram.

Hells Angels Thug Trys To Kill Two Rockford Cops

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Austin Ferge

Two officers with the Rockford police department suffered minor injuries early Monday morning when they were intentionally rear-ended by 31 year old Hells Angles motorcycle gang member Austin Ferge.  Ferge would ram the police car three time in total before being arrested at the scene by Rockford police.  Both officers were treated and released.

Ferge faces aggravated battery to a police officer, criminal damage to property, driving under the influence of alcohol, and resisting arrest charges.

WREX has more:

Just after 2:15 a.m., two Rockford Police squad cars were investigating a crash in the 3900 block of Linden Road. Both cars had emergency lights flashing when a Chevrolet Silverado rear-ended one of the squad cars. Two officers happened to be inside when the Silverado hit it. the force of the collision shattered the back window and shoved the officers forward from their seats. The Silverado continued to accelerate after the collision.

The pickup then backed up, allowing the officers to leave the squad car, then rammed the squad car two more times.  The driver, 31-year-old Austin Ferge, finally stopped and he was taken into custody by officers.

This may be an act of revenge on the part of the Hells Angels against the Rockford PD since 7 of their members were arrested last year and are facing trial for armed robbery and kidnapping steaming from an incident in the summer of 2013.

Rauner-Smiddy Debate A No Go

Bruce Rauner

Bruce Rauner

Darn I was really looking forward to seeing Gov. Bruce Rauner debate Democrat state Rep. Mike Smiddy over the Governors Turn Around Agenda and unions, but alas Rauner said no.

QCOnline has more:

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s spokesperson said Friday there will be no debate between the governor and State Rep. Mike Smiddy, D-Hillsdale, on the governor’s agenda, saying  that Rep. Smiddy is on the “hunt for publicity and headlines.”

At a private meeting recently among Gov. Rauner and a small group of Democratic lawmakers, Rep. Smiddy and the governor got into a “spirited disagreement” about the governor’s policies that ended with the governor challenging Rep. Smiddy to a public debate, according to Rep. Smiddy and Springfield media reports.

Rep. Smiddy wrote a letter to the governor this week to accept the offer. But on Friday, Gov. Rauner’s press secretary, Catherine Kelly, said, “There will be no debate.”

Ms. Kelly added, “We appreciate Rep. Smiddy’s hunt for publicity and headlines. Hopefully, he will soon begin to show as much enthusiasm for saving taxpayer’s money and getting Illinois out of the worst fiscal crisis in the country.”

College of DuPage Trustee Frank Napolitano On Lessons To Be Learned From College’s Problems

Frank Napolitano, CoD trustee, town hall May 2, 2015

Frank Napolitano, CoD trustee, town hall May 2, 2015

At a town hall meeting in Naperville Saturday newly sworn in College of DuPage trustee Frank Napolitano talked about what lessons others can learn from the college’s many problems and scandals not limited to federal and state criminal investigations, one prosecution of a college employee for fraud, a three-quarters of a million dollar golden parachute for the college President, and an on campus high-end restaurant that loses $500,000 a year.

 

NIU Freddie Gray Protesters Say Chicago Or Dekalb Next Place For “Revolution”

NIU Freddie Gray protest, photo Northern Star

NIU Freddie Gray protest, photo Northern Star

On Tuesday African-American students at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb held a rally/protest over the death of Freddie Gray of Baltimore while in police custody.  Gray appears to have died from a partially severed spinal cord that may have occurred while Gray was in the back of a police van.

Gray’s death has sparked days of protest in Baltimore and elsewhere around the country that culminated in a complete riot Monday evening in Baltimore that saw 100 police officers injured by protesters throwing large bricks and pieces of concrete, a businessman doused with lighter fluid and nearly burnt alive, dozens of businesses and vehicles were destroyed by arsonist, and several other businesses were looted.

The campus student newspaper the Northern Star reports that NIU student Stephen Samuels organized Tuesday protest at the Martin Luther King Jr. commons area and said that the growing unrest in the African-American community especially in gang violence plagued Chicago is “bubbling” up and that the fight for “equality” could soon be taking place in Illinois.

Fellow NIU student Khiry Johnson is quoted as saying that the “revolution” taking place in Baltimore(and before that in Ferguson, MO and New York City) is right around the corner for Chicago and Dekalb.  Johnson said that NIU administrators should make minority students feel “loved” and that the University should “protect” them from the Dekalb city police department, unemployment, and housing or something. Johnson also said that he feared being killed by police more in Dekalb than he does in the nations crime capital of Chicago.

Student-at-large Khiry Johnson said he feels less safe in DeKalb than in Chicago, though, and he thinks “the revolution” for equality is “around the corner.” NIU must show students the university cares about them, Johnson said.

“… I think one of the best ways to revive that plant, the student body plant, is to let them know that, ‘We really love you. We’re going to protect you from outside forces’ — whether that be [the] DeKalb Police Department; unemployment, ’cause college unemployment is big and very unfortunate; as well as the housing situation. All of the lowest-costing dorms have been torn down or are overcrowded. What happens to less-fortunate students?” Johnson said.

“People are worried about Chicago, but I’m worried about becoming a hashtag here. … Being a hashtag in Chicago is a fear of mine, but being a hashtag in DeKalb is an even more real fear.”

Mr. Johnson is afraid over absolutely nothing.  The last officer involved shooting in Dekalb, involving both city and campus police, was the shooting death of a man in the act of stabbing both of his parents in January of 2014 at their home, that suspect died at the scene.

Last year during the hight of the protest around the grand jury decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO several NIU African-American students had to be restrained from attacking a driver after he bumped into a pregnant woman taking part in a demonstration that was blocking traffic on IL Route 38, The Lincoln Highway, in front of the Dekalb police department.

Protesters in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray have been using the “revolution” terminology because many of them want to see complete societal change, others simply want an excuse to go on rampages of violence, and still others want a “revolution” out of racism directed at whites.  They talk about social justice and inequality of the income kind, but what they really want is to undo the nation as a whole and start over using Karl Marx as the foundation of a perfect society.

Naturally all of this commotion is brought about time and again because a “white” police officer killed and “innocent, unarmed” young black male.  Heaven forbid young blacks get agitated by the weekly crime stats out of Chicago. A dozen, two dozen, three dozen shootings, 3-4-5 or more deaths, each and every weekend in Chicago 90-95 percent of which is young black gang members shooting and/or killing other young blacks.

What is happening daily on Chicago’s south and west sides is what should have young African-Americans at NIU up in arms not the less than 200 cases nationally annually of “white” police officers shooting an African-American. With Thursdays shooting death of 27 year-old Boshaun Jackson, Chicago has already seen 119 murders in the first four months of this year.  How about folks get angry and upset, and take to the streets over that instead of attacking cops nation wide.

 

Chicago Can’t Get Rid Of Obama, City To Be Home To Presidential Library

131114_Obama_2

President Barack Obama

As much as many of us in Illinois and Chicago would love to be rid once and for all of Barack and Michelle Obama that sadly won’t be happening because Chicago has been announced as the home of the Obama presidential library.

Groan.

Fox News has more:

President Barack Obama has chosen his hometown of Chicago to host his future presidential library, two individuals with knowledge of the decision said Thursday, placing the permanent monument to his legacy in the city that launched his improbable ascent to the White House.

Obama’s library will be built on Chicago’s South Side, where the University of Chicago has proposed two potential sites not far from the Obama family’s home. It was unclear which of the two sites had been selected, but officials were expected to make an announcement within weeks.

The decision brings to a close a hard-fought competition that kicked off in the earliest days of Obama’s second term. From an initial list of about a dozen proposals, the Barack Obama Foundation chose four universities to vie for the library. In recent months it became increasingly clear that the Obamas were leaning toward the University of Chicago, the elite private school where Obama taught law before becoming president.

The University of Chicago’s victory marks a harsh letdown for the other three schools on the short list: The University of Hawaii, New York’s Columbia University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, a public school that proposed building the library on Chicago’s West Side.

It’s Over: Zahm Case Concluded

Jon Zahm with former Sen. Jim DeMint

Jon Zahm with former Sen. Jim DeMint

After several months of facing the possibility of a $10,000 fine and up to 6 months in jail long-time Illinois Republican political activist and current Henry, Bureau, and Stark county regional school board member Jon Zahm can rest at ease as the preposterous criminal case being brought against him has come to a conclusion Thursday in a Mercer county court room.

Things began in January when Zahm assisted the McGuire family in challenging the ballot petitions of 2 Sherrard school board candidates before the Mercer County Board of Elections.  The board would rule in favor of one of the McGuire’s challenges and ruled against in the other.  Afterwards the Mercer County States Attorney who sits on the Board of Elections filed criminal charges against Zahm saying he had improperly presented himself as a lawyer and sought to have the court find in default judgement against Mr. Zahm and have him fined and possibly jailed for assisting in the petition challenge.

Last month a Mercer County Judge forced the States Attorney to recuse himself from the case due to a clear conflict of interest.

At Thursday’s hearing an assistant with the Mercer County State Attorneys office agreed to end the case against Zahm after Zahm’s attorney had offered for Zahm to make a $100 donation to the Equal Justice Foundation and agreed not to appear before the Mercer County Board of Elections as a consultant again.

It seems that the majority of this kerfuffle was due to the Mercer County Board of Elections not posting or publishing its rules prior to the January hearing, those rules apparently only allow attorneys to assist in petition challenges, something Zahm has done over 75 times across Illinois over the last 20 years.

Zahm said his next move will be to support a Republican challenger to Mercer County States Attorney Greg McHugh in the 2016 election.

I am going to take action where it counts. At the election time. I will work to elect a Republican as SA in 2016 in Mercer County. That is how I handled the Sherrard School situation. I worked to elect three new taxpayer friendly board members. I got one bad candidate thrown off the ballot and we beat another at the ballot box and another chose not to run again and face the voters.

This whole episode, including what started this the refusal of the Sherrard school district to welcome the McGuire families service dog for their little girl, has been a shame and a travesty.

This prosecution was baseless and rooted solely in politics(local more than partisan, though that probably had a bit to due with this) and should make every voter in Mercer county question the judgement and decision making of Mr. McHugh, not to mention the waste of taxpayer money going after Mr. Zahm on trumped-up charges.

Trump In Iowa: Sounds Like A Candidate, Hits On Everyone And Everything

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Businessman, TV star, and one man brand Donald Trump was in Davenport Thursday morning for a fundraising breakfast for the Scott county GOP and he sure sounds like a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

Trump took swipes at just about everyone and everything he could during he speech from potential rivals Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, to immigration, Iran, and the state of the American economy which Trump called sick, Trump even commented on the “thugs” in Baltimore.

Blasting politicians generally Trump said that he could as President get things done because he’s been a do’er and not just a talker who doesn’t accomplish anything.

“If I run, if I win, we will be strong again quickly because I’m not a politician,” he said.  “Politicians are all talk and no action.  They’re never going to get it done.”

The Quad City Times has more on Trumps thoughts on the economy and trade, namely his desire to see high tariffs and other taxes imposed on imported products:

“Right now, we are the big, fat dumb bully that gets beat up,” he said.

Trump said he would bring a tough-minded approach to dealing with other countries — and U.S. firms that want to move manufacturing overseas.

He pointed to Ford’s announcement that it would build a big new auto plant in Mexico and said he would head it off by promising to put a 35 percent tax on each car the automaker tried to send to the U.S.

Trump drew a large crowd for the party’s Lincoln Club fundraiser at the Radisson Quad-City Plaza Hotel, Davenport. And although he gave no new insight into whether he’ll run for president, he did not shrink from making a prediction about his prospects for the job.

“I don’t play games,” he said. “I would make this country great.”

Trump knocked potential Republican rival Jeb Bush for his support of amnesty and Common Core and thought Wisconsin’s economy might be a negative for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.  Trump also thought immigration and the Senates Gang of 8 amnesty could hurt Sen. Marco Rubio who announced he is running for President several weeks ago.

Trump said that he will make an official announcement about his candidacy in June or July.

Gov. Rauner and Rep. Smiddy To Debate Unions And Turn Around Agenda Possibly

Rep. Mike Smiddy

Rep. Mike Smiddy

It seems that a few weeks ago Gov. Bruce Rauner issued a debate challenge to Democrat state Rep. Mike Smiddy(Hillsdale) to a one-on-one debate about unions and the Governors Turn Around Agenda.

On Thursday Smiddy sent a letter to Gov. Rauner accepting the debate challenge QCOnline reports.

Smiddy has been a vocal opponent of Gov. Rauner’s budget plan and a strong critic of Rauner’s proposals to weaken the power unions hold over Illinois politics.

Among Rauner’s proposals have been to allow localities to establish right-to-work zones were forced unionization of a business would be stopped and a move to end “fair share” forced union due payments from state workers who opt out of joining a governmental employee union(like AFSCME).

The Governor has also been trying to find over a billion dollars to cut from the remainder of this years budget due to the legislature passing a budget that is going to spend more than Illinois will collect in tax revenue due to the expiration at the start of the year of former Gov. Pat Quinn’s “temporary” income tax hike.

Details on the debate are yet to be worked out.

QCOnline has more:

At a private meeting with a small group of state lawmakers recently, Rep. Smiddy said Gov. Rauner suggested that the pair get together for a one-on-one debate to air their differences in public. The challenge came after what Rep. Smiddy described as a “spirited disagreement about the issues facing Illinois.”

“I was kind of taken aback at the time,” Rep. Smiddy said, but on Thursday he sent a letter to Gov. Rauner to accept his offer of a debate.

Rep. Smiddy said he wants a “transparent” discussion on the governor’s spending plans for Illinois and on his “turnaround agenda,” which could significantly diminish the power of unions.

“Your so-called ‘Turn Around Illinois’ proposals are a blatant assault on organized labor, which you have openly disparaged,” Rep. Smiddy wrote in his letter to Gov. Rauner.

Rep. Smiddy is a union member and was elected to office with substantial support from organized labor.

“Many families in Illinois, including my own, are able to provide  for our children and achieve a middle class lifestyle because organized labor provides working people the opportunity to earn a decent living with adequate wages, benefits and protections,” Rep. Smiddy wrote to Gov. Rauner.

$26 Million In State Grant Money Restored

Bruce Rauner

Bruce Rauner

Thanks to some unexpected additional tax revenue Gov. Bruce Rauner today was able to restore $26 million in grant funding that had been suspended earlier this month due to the states dire fiscal situation.

The money had been awarded to over 20 social service organizations and charities that help everyone from the disabled and mentally handicapped to substance abuse quitting assistance.

How this state found or got extra tax revenue is beyond me.  Nationally the economy is stagnant, this state keeps losing population and thus taxpayers, so where did this money come from?

WREX has more:

A number of state and local organizations will now have funding restored after they were told earlier this month to stop spending grant money by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, according to state Rep. John Cabello.

13 News was the first to bring you the news that roughly $26 million was suspended between the Department of Human Services and the Department of Public Health for Fiscal Year 2015.

A total of 23 grand-funded organizations in Illinois were told to “immediately cease incurring additional obligations, costs or spending any further grant funds until further notice.”

According to Cabello, the state received more revenue dollars than expected, allowing funding to be restored. Cabello received this information today during a budget meeting with the governor’s staff.

Department Of Education Hits Illinois For Not Having Enough Statewide Testing

o-STANDARDIZED-TEST-facebookIf Common Core PARCC testing wasn’t enough standardized testing for Illinois K-12 students the US Department of Education and Secretary Arne Duncan have fired off a warning letter to the Illinois State Board of Education demanding that Illinois school children take even more test next school year.

In the letter the DOE says federal law requires Illinois and the other 49 states to administer statewide standardized science testing for select grades.

The Illinois BOE wanted to try a pilot program but the feds nixed it and now the ILBOE is working on getting a statewide science test ready for the next school year.

With all the mandatory standardized testing kids are being made to take now days and the prepping for the test when do the kids and teachers get around to actually learning things?

WREX has more.

3 Republicans, 2 Democrats File To Run In IL18 Special Election

Sen. Darin LaHood

Sen. Darin LaHood

Three Republicans and two Democrats have filed to run in the upcoming special election to fill the rest of the term in the 18th congressional district that was left vacant when Aaron Schock resigned amid scandal.

On the Republican side state Sen. Darin LaHood, son of the districts former congressman and Obama Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Breitbart editor Mike Flynn, and Donald Ray Rients of Benson,IL will face each other in the special election primary July 7th.

Democrats Adam Lopez of Springfield and Robert Mellon of Quincy will face off for the right to lose to the GOP winner given that the 18th is heavily Republican.

11160684_10152920459493843_8773458029903570602_nCount me in as a supporter of Mike Flynn.

Augustana Prof: Have Empathy For Baltimore Rioters; There’s An Explanation For Violence Income Inequality

Dr. Christopher Whitt

Dr. Christopher Whitt

Augustana College political science professor Dr. Christopher Whitt talked to KWQC TV Tuesday about the ongoing violence and riots that have gripped Whitt’s hometown of Baltimore, Maryland following the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody from an apparently severed(nearly) spine.

Whitt said that people should have empathy for the rioters and looters in Baltimore who have been throwing large bricks at police, cutting fire hoses, and burning cars and businesses.

“We definitely have to change our priorities in this country to care more about lives and to care about the futures of young people versus buildings that can be repaired and rebuilt,” said Whitt.  “I’m not saying there’s any excuse for violence but there’s definitely an explanation for violence and there definitely should be empathy for people over things.”

Baltimore riots, burning police van

Baltimore riots, burning police van

Whitt also said that while there is no excuse for the violence plaguing his hometown there is also an explanation for it namely income inequality and that we as a nation need to turn of focus away from buildings to the lives of young people, presumably minorities, because they feel they have been left behind.

There’s a lot of people there who are the have-nots who are lacking hope, who are lacking opportunity and they have not many ways to express themselves,” said Whitt.  “I definitely feel a high level of frustration that it takes violence and destruction for real discussions to happen about the plight of the people in those communities.  In no way am I condoning what they did, it’s about the root of the issue that so many people feel helpless, feel hopeless, they feel left behind and left out and that should really be the focus of the nation.”

In January of this year Dr. Whitt spoke at the  Quad Cities Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day celebration where he said that Black Lives Matter protesters were continuing the work of Dr. King and that die-ins and BLM marches that block traffic and/or bridges and interstates remind him of Selma.

11169880_748073878642247_119160964326147142_nFunny I don’t recall Dr. King ever throwing a brick at the face of a cop, or looting a store, or committing arson, or any of the other things that the Ferguson, Baltimore, New York City, Oakland, and Milwaukee protesters have done.

Baltimore PD pulling injured officer away from brick throwing rioters

Baltimore PD pulling injured officer away from brick throwing rioters

To Dr. Whitt’s earlier point, I’m sorry but I have zero empathy for the Baltimore thugs trying to turn that city into a third world war zone.  I do have empathy for the business owners who have had their lives work and livelihoods ruined by spoiled brats throwing an ultra violent temper tantrum. I have empathy for all the cops and law enforcement in Baltimore and all of Maryland who are having to risk their lives to deal with these miscreants. As a Cubs fan as a kid I can almost feel empathy for White Sox fans who won’t be able to be at Wednesday’s game with because of some babies in desperate need of a spanking.

New Redistricting Ballot Initiative Starting

2000px-Flag_of_Illinois.svgAfter a ballot measure seeking to amend the Illinois state Constitution to change the way legislative districts are drawn following each census failed in 2014 because of court ruling(s) another effort is being launched to put the question on the ballot in 2016.

WIFR has more:

A coalition of business, clergy and civic leaders is launching new efforts to change how Illinois draws political boundaries.

The group, Independent Maps, wants a 2016 ballot measure that’ll put mapmaking into the hands of an 11-member commission. They’ve started a petition drive and will need almost 300,000 signatures. They plan to raise more than $3 million.

Group officials say their efforts are nonpartisan. Board members include former Tribune Company CEO Dennis FitzSimons, former White House chief of staff Bill Daley and former Playboy CEO Christie Hefner.

Similar attempts to change redistricting have failed.

Gov. Rauner Threatens To Veto Bill Allowing Parents To Opt Out Of Common Core Testing

Bruce Rauner

Bruce Rauner

The evil scourge that is Common Core just won’t go away.

Sadly Gov. Bruce Rauner is threatening to veto a bill that would allow parents to opt their children out of Illinois’ Common Core aligned standardized test PARCC.

Bad move Governor.

Illinois Review has more:

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is threatening his first veto, and it would be to stop an effort allowing parents to opt their kids out of taking new federally-mandated tests that have stirred controversy around the nation.

Rauner said earlier this month that he is “a little worried” about the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing linked to the Common Core curriculum. When U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan threatened any state not participating in the testing with loss of federal dollars, his tune changed.

Now administration sources are saying Rauner is prepared to veto a measure that would not punish school districts if parents chose for their kids to skip the PARCC tests.

Democrat State Rep. Will Guzzardi’s HB 306 to allow parents to opt their children out of testing is co-sponsored by Democrat and Republican House members: Jaime M. Andrade, Jr. – Ron Sandack – Kenneth Dunkin – Mary E. FlowersAnn WilliamsKelly M. CassidyRobyn GabelLaura FineThomas MorrisonRobert F. MartwickJohn D’AmicoDwight KaySilvana TabaresLa Shawn K. FordGreg HarrisLou LangBarbara WheelerBrandon W. PhelpsMonique D. DavisSara FeigenholtzMike SmiddyEmanuel Chris Welch and Arthur Turner.However, State Rep. Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein) stalled the bill’s proceedings when he filed fiscal notes with several state agencies to determine how Guzzardi’s proposal could affect the various departments’ budgets.

The Illinois Board of Education reported Guzzardi’s bill could cost the state more than a billion dollars annually

2 Openings On Ottawa Elementary School Board

ottawaThere are two openings on the Ottawa Elementary school board.

1430 WCMY reports that one opening will be to fill the rest of a term for Kurt Stevenson, who won a full term in the April election, since no candidate ran to fill the rest of the term while Stevenson ran for a full term.

The other board opening is due to the retirement of Don Mammano.

 

Sen. Ted Cruz: Faith & Freedom Coalition Summit(Video)

Sen. Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz

Texas Senator and GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz at this weekends Faith and Freedom Coalition summit in Iowa.

Sen. Rand Paul: Faith & Freedom Coalition Summit(Video)

Senator Rand Paul

Senator Rand Paul

Kentucky Senator and GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul at this weekends Faith and Freedom Coalition summit in Iowa.