Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Puri a player in riverwalk grudge match?

Uppance has come for John Taphorn, who backed out of a deal last summer to lease the city 265 feet of riverfront sidewalk at 120 W. State St. for Mayor Morrissey's riverwalk. The city would have paid $10 a year for the 20-year lease.

For 10 bucks a year, it's no wonder Taphorn wanted to graze in greener pastures.

A 2003 brief on Statelinebusiness.com identified Taphorn as president of Rock Valley Brick and Supply Co. I don't know if that info is still accurate, but my imagination suggests that maybe John was hoping for assurance of a contract for the riverwalk project. This, of course, is only speculation, but my gut is usually pretty close to the mark.

The $950,000 originally planned to develop that portion of the riverwalk went to other city projects, like elimination of the Main Street mall.

Larry hasn't forgotten and Taphorn was recently cited for not having permits for a significant "landscaping" project on the riverfront strip Morrissey hoped to lease. Work was brought to a halt until Taphorn plays by the rules.

I guess Larry only wants the area improved on his own terms. With Taphorn, not the city, taking on the beautification project, the area will remain private property.

Interestingly, Taphorn contributed $1,000 to Morrissey in 2004. Larry must be wondering what John's done for him lately.

By the way, Taphorn apparently only owns the building, not the land. According to county property records, a parcel at 120 W. State is owned by Winnebago Corners, LLC - You guessed it: Sunil Puri.

Threatened with a tantrum, council succombs to demand for raise in allowance

Trying to save face in front of an enraged citizenry, aldermen perpetrated the oldest confidence game in the book Monday night, with taxpayers as the mark (no pun intended).

Despite quick hands, the council gave the Metrocentre exactly what it requested.

Completely unreliable sources tell me Andres Sammul and Corey Pearson exchanged briefcases in an elevator after the meeting. The briefcase Pearson walked away with allegedly had $250,000 cash, while Sammul's case only had a crudely scribbled note on a strip club napkin that read, 'Thanks, Pops."

The council decided: "Aw, shucks. OK, we'll 'loan' you some more money for old times sake, but we can't keep doing this. I mean, what if my wife finds out?"

Well, the bitches (that is, we the taxpayers) did find out, but I'll bet a good number of folks around the horseshoe are glad to have kept it under wraps until after the elections.

There were whispers, just prior to the April 7 election, that the Metrocentre wouldn't last through June. Doug Block's camp was talking about it, but they never pushed it beyond the rumor stage.

Then again, it wasn't only Morrissey who'd stand to lose if Block brought it to the forefront. Plenty of Block's fellow Democrats share the blame with Larry, and that's my best guess as to why Block backed off.

So, what will we get to show for the latest $600,000 we'll never see again? Two new appointed committees adding more layers to the bureaucratic kangaroo court of city government. If all goes well, they may even get budgets of their own.

One committee will focus specifically on the Metrocentre, making sure the big orange problem child behaves while the city dangles the remaining $350,000 like a carrot on a stick.

The other committee will make sure the whip is cracked on the asses of the Coronado, On the Waterfront and others. Essentially, the city is pretending to be strict disciplinarians when it comes to taxpayer dollars, but their unwillingness once again to teach the Metrocentre Authority a hard lesson only proves they are pushovers.

Let 'em shut down for the rest of the year if they can't learn to run the place like a business. The only way to burn money that fast is on strippers and blow. The Metrocentre made lofty promises they did not deliver, and I've yet to hear any council member question the leadership over there.

I suspect that's because the MC board is led by the police chief's wife. Still, Pearson has always come across as a real punk and I suspect his salary far outweighs his actual contributions to the cause. I'll be curious to see what the new committee will have to say about the MC officers and command staff, if anything at all.

I finally got around to watching my tape from Thursday's county board meeting. When Karen Elyea announced it would be her last meeting, colleagues responded with a standing ovation.

After having conducted an unscientific, anonynous poll, Rockford Rhetoric learned most board members just seemed glad to see her go.

I'd wager Tuffy Quinonez is demanding the appointment as reparation after being scorned by Elyea in the Democratic primary for the 11th Ward city council seat, but my money's against him.

Jim Hughes has an especially heavy pimp-hand in the 11th Ward, and I suspect Tuffy is not on the Irishman's short list of flunkies to finish Elyea's term. I can't wait to see who he digs up.

Speaking of Hughes, a little bird told me an interesting story that this blog's Site Meter data appears to corroborate after I physically verified locations of several interesting publicly-funded IP addresses frequenting this site.

I'll save that for another day.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The big orange problem child

1. A hole in downtown Rockford into which money is poured

What's another $600,000 we'll never see again? That's how it's gonna go down and there's nothing you can do about it.

I returned home to Rockford this weekend from my jaunt in Puerto Rico and returned to work today, recharged and more Patriotic than ever.

Spade, I did get some longboarding (and plenty of sun) in by day. By night, well, that was time for serious debauchery with old friends aboard a yacht called Vajoliroja, which is bigger than my house.

It was hard to leave, especially since I hadn't even pissed off the San Juan authorities yet. But here I am, giving serious consideration to negotiating an early retirement package with my financially strapped public employer. I would think they'd be happy to get rid of me at nearly any cost, but we'll see how far I can push it.

In games of chance, either I'm lucky or my systems simply work. In any case, I think I could easily replace my income by instead spending 40 hours a week at the tracks and at card games.

Going back to work today was nearly enough to make me forget my toes had been wrestling with sand in a carefree paradise for the past week, which can sure make a guy resent working for a living.

The regular crowd was absent from the compound's usual city council drinking event. I suspect they haven't realized I've returned, and that's just as well. I could use the quiet.

Oh, I still drank as I watched the meeting, but at least I was able to do it in peace.

Okay, the Metrocentre wants a $600,000 loan so its employees and other obligations can get paid a little while longer.

They say one of the main disappointments is that naming rights haven't been sold yet. Don't worry, lads and lasses, I fully expect to visit the Puri Center in the near future

The council keeps on getting put in the position of injecting more tax dollars into a Titanic disaster, because the Authority Board knows the city has too much invested to cut them off now. Truly, think of it as using a bucket to rid water from the hull of the doomed luxury liner.

You know, Doug Block mumbled about this issue during the mayoral campaign, but he should have spoken louder, as it was obviously put off by Morrissey until after the election. Alas, hindsight is always 20/20, they say.

What I don't understand is why the city keeps bailing the Metrocentre out, but that the leadership there is never questioned. These people promised us grand results for the $20,000,000+ they talked us into not very long ago and it's time to pull rank and appoint some competence.

-"You think I'm skimming off the top, Mike?"
-"No, I think you're unlucky. Maybe we can do better."

Saturday, April 11, 2009

19 county board members shit on District 2 in Puri County

Before I headed out the door for a night of hedonism at the OTB, I just had to watch last night's county board meeting on cable to see exactly how the Cult of Puri goose-stepped all over the will of the people.
Children of Winnebago County, you've got a bunch of pushovers on the county board. The biggest ones are Bob Kinnison and Randy Olson, who didn't even bother to show up for the vote. (We'll count them as yes votes). At least everyone else had the balls to take a position.

Well, almost everyone else. Chairman Christiansen let developer Frank Gambino and banker Kyle Logan off the hook. Gambino said he has no financial interests in the project, but abstained anyway. Logan works for Amcore, which apparently asked him not to vote on the controversial subdivision. (Both would likely have voted yes, by the way). What in Winnebago County isn't somehow connected to Amcore Bank? Mr. Logan, you're the Wuss of the Week. Normally, I like what you have to say, but you still need to grow some balls, young one.

Steve Schultz, former president of the group that sued the county for granting the first permit in 2006, obviously had to abstain. That's unfortunate, because he's a good man and a good rep. I would have liked to hear what he had to say on behalf of constituents.

Schultz's Second District counterpart, Dave Yeske, waged a filibuster of sorts as the sole voice of reason, but it was futile in a room filled with the Cult of Puri.

Whether it's the city council or the county board, the rest of the body usually goes along with the wishes of those representing the ward or district that is affected by a vote. When the roll call goes another way, I usually smell bullshit, but I think Yeske was sincere, so he's my Patriot of the Week for trying like hell to convince his questionable colleagues to say no.

Paul Gorski was the only Democrat with the cajones to speak against the egomaniacal development, so I'll let him share Patriot of the Week with Yeske.

Shame on loudmouth, "double-dipping" Doug Aurand, tin-eared Ted Biondo, pushover George Anne Duckett, short-timer Karen Elyea, realtor Angie Goral, pro-labor Bob Hastings, Mother-of-Pearl Hawks, "property rights" Pete MacKay, puppet Tom Owens, big Mel Paris, glossy-eyed realtor Diane Parvin, Dorothy Redd, who said "pass" until she saw how others voted first, "manscaper" Dave Tassoni, tax-dollar-partier Fred Wescott and Uncle Tom LC Wilson.

As predicted only here before the vote, it was mostly Democrats who sided with the Puri/Cannell development. Big fucking surprise considering that Blago-pal Puri is a huge Dem-contributor lately. Republicans had the numbers to metaphorically sodomize him without the courtesy of a reacharound, but they didn't, which doesn't speak highly of their intellect or party loyalty. Way to go, guys and gals.

My suspicion is that this is the way Christiansen wanted it. His campaign has also accepted thousands from Puri. Nevermind the hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars invested in professional opinions on land use policies. Apparently, he was just throwing a bone to contributor Nicolosi & Associates for busy-work. It's clear the county has no will to follow the advice it's paid handsomely for. EVERY indication is that this subdivision is a bad idea. More importantly, people just don't want it. Last I checked, new housing like this was not in demand. I guess Sunil and that smug Chris Cannell didn't get the memo.

Potential challengers, I wait for your mission statements. I fully intend to start a PAC to support righteous candidates to replace these career deadbeats at the city and county levels.

"Death to the screwheads."

Patriot's note:
I guess the Cult of Puri didn't like what I had to say.

My Puerto Rican vacation skidded briefly to a halt today after I received a comment from an employee at a Rockford news outlet. He indicated his employer received an email from a county representative who alleged someone at the news outlet is behind this blog.

-Not true. As I've mentioned previously, I am a public employee. But for the sake of my own job, I'd prefer not to say which entity I work for.

This blog is not about me; it's about the incompetence that politics in Winnebago County is rife with, and this is a classic example.

Point 2: The media employee asked me to clarify my "death to screwheads" comment.
As it turns out, the county official suggested this to be some sort of threat, so I would like to dispel that right now, and then get back to my rum-soaked spot on the beach.

Jesus, I'd better not wear my "Eat the Rich" t-shirt for fear wealthy folks will feel threatened.

If one were to peruse other posts here, you'll find I've used the phrase at other times as a motto or mantra, of sorts - never as a threat.

For instance, I closed another post with something like, "Stay tuned, stay off your knees and death to the screwheads."

As you can see, it's really a stylistic device, but I'm glad to know county officials are reading! Data from my site meter and the comment from the media employee only confirm this.

Alas, the employee didn't want to give me any names yet, but I suspect I can trace IP addresses easily enough to find out which county folks are reading blogs on the taxpayers' dime. Stay tuned for that.

Now, if it were meant to be a threat, I would have implored, "Death to [insert specific name here]," and even then it would be difficult to construe it as a threat, considering my admittedly ridiculous writing style.

Stand down, Winnebago County government - you're not reading a terrorist manifesto here. I'm just some asshole with a blog. You can take us back to DefCon 5. All is well.

The only action I call upon readers for is through the democratic process to clean up local government.

I also gave the gentleman the number for a great little lawyer with a big hardon for government bullies, should the county official cause further problems.

By the way, look who I ran into today:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Report from a degenerate gambler

By now, you already know I cleaned up on the mayor's race. I just woke up a couple hours ago and am enjoying a three-martini breakfast. Tomorrow I collect what I wasn't able to Tuesday night. I expect resistance in a couple cases, so I've procured a private security agency to keep things civil.

By the way, the Yater is already paid for and waiting in San Juan, where we'll be united Saturday.

For all the barking the Blockheads did over the last month or so, they failed to even break the skin at the polls. Now get your fucking shine boxes.

Don't get me wrong, you won't find more critical coverage over the next four years than right here, so Larry-bashers are encouraged to stay tuned.

This will be the place new candidates are born, Patriots, so let's keep the dialogue going and take back city hall next time around. Hell, let's start our own Patriot Party.

The upset of the night: Useless Dan Conness managed to beat Pete MacKay for Rockford Township highway commissioner. I noticed Pete was running an awful lot of ads in the days before the race, but I never suspected he was in any trouble. Luckily, no one else thought Conness had a chance either, so I didn't lose anything on this race, except maybe faith in humanity. I vastly overestimated voter turnout, which I understand was only about 25%. Ouch. Pete's friends obviously stayed home Tuesday, and now look what's happened. The township has lost a friend and gained a fiend.

Those of you affected by the asphalt plant oughta be ashamed for allowing that to happen. Although many of you aren't in the city proper, my understanding is that you are in the township. If any of you really think Conness tried to stop the foul-smelling carcinogenic horror from coming to your neighborhood, think again. The same goes for your county board rep's. You've gotten what you deserve for your ignorance, you poor fools. See you in hell after a brief battle in the cancer ward. Morrissey was not your enemy, and Conness does not appear to have been your friend.

It occurred to me, however, that maybe John Harmon outsmarted everyone. If you'll recall, Harmon and a handful of others tried to oust MacKay by holding a caucus instead of a primary. The media actually took notice as it turned out, and no Republican had the balls to challenge Pete for the nomination. Then Harmon's closet buddy - Conness, a DINO - announced he was gonna run. Many laughed, including me, but Harmon and Conness are having a good chuckle now. Further proof of Harmon's political prowess, yes, but also evidence of what seems to be an exceedingly bitter nature.

Still, I'd like to spill a few with John. I'll bet he's one hell of a fun drunk. If only he could use his powers for good...

Betting against my heart - a guilty pleasure: The council is rid of Dapper Dan at least, but he'll be replaced by another dud in another ward, Karen Elyea. She who has the most yard signs wins, and that's how I was counting on the relatively uneducated 11th Ward to vote. My disdain for Elyea's plasticity and her apparent lack of any moral center nearly kept me from winning $1100 Tuesday night, but I wagered with my gut, not my heart. For what it's worth, I take little pleasure in having been right.

It was a bittersweet victory, but one that taught the part-time gambling rubes here at the compound an expensive lesson: Betting on who should win is folly.

Like the council with Conness, the county board will be rid of Elyea, but I shudder to think what kind of monster the likes of Doug Aurand will replace her with. For the liberals out there, you can take some comfort in knowing that at least it will be a real Democrat this time. Hopefully, they'll think about Mr. Latham for the seat. In any case, board Democrats will level the political landscape a bit with whomever replaces Elyea. They'll probably just move Jeff Polsean to the ward, since he can't seem to buy a seat anywhere else.

By the way, Democrat sources tell me they plan to vote in favor of Democratic-contributor Sunil Puri's special use permit at county board Thursday night. Whether Republicans plan to make it a partisan issue will be determined at the meeting. Republicans technically have enough votes to kill it should they choose, but I suspect there will be a lot of absences, so I'm not optimistic. Puri is smart enough to hedge his bets usually, but he was really counting on Democrats taking over the board in November, so Republicans could exact their revenge Thursday if they wanted to. I doubt they have the cajones, however.

One race I lost money on was township clerk. Overestimating voter turnout, as in MacKay's case, I had money on Diane Dal Pra Mitchell to keep her seat. Jeff Holt won that one, and I think the township will still be well-served, but it's obvious the Democrats really got the vote out in Rockford Township.

I really got beat up in the township races, but I ended up way ahead overall, so I can't complain. I lost a little by betting on Don Hall, who was challenging Mickey Goral for supervisor. I really hope Mr. Hall stays involved, because his political future is absolutely blinding. If he hasn't already, Hall needs to get together with another Patriot, Gen. John Borling, for some pointers. I think they'd get along famously.

Eli Nicolosi, you're a reader and I hold you personally accountable for the $350 I lost on your behalf in the trustee races! But I know you're good for it, and you also have a bright political future. We can work something out when I need a favor. Keep your chin up, kid, and remember who the real Patriots are.

You may or may not hear from me before my toes are in the sands of Puerto Rico this weekend, but you're all in my heart.

See you soon, Patriots.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Who I’m endorsing, and who I’ll actually vote for...

I'm gonna try to keep this as short as possible, because I'm not in the mood right now. As predicted, they started arriving shortly before 10AM today, already smelling like breweries, brandishing firearms and compelled to gamble on each of the local races. I'm sick of them already, but by the time the polls open in the morning, I'll get my second wind to carry me until all precincts have reported.

By the way, Mr. Nicolosi, I've got big money riding on you for a township spot. Don't let me down, kiddo. I'm told my oldest needs braces.

When the city council drinking game was finished this evening, an inexplicable lull came over the compound - the calm before the storm on election day, I suppose. Anyway, I'm taking this moment to deliver what I've promised.

April 7 will be a long night for those of us watching the local races. Some will celebrate victories, other will mourn defeats, and I expect to do a little of both.

We have a choice, fellow Patriots. The choice is whether we keep city hall in the hands of the lawyers, or give it to the cops - Not a comfortable decision to make, as both industries continue to cause significant amounts of grief in my own life.

There are, of course, two other candidates for mayor, but even before the Democratic primary was decided, it was clear the race would be between Block and incumbent Morrissey.

Jesus Correa is still plugging along, usually showing up for forums and debates when he’s invited. By the time this election’s done, Jesus might actually have learned quite a bit, but I don’t suspect we’ll see him run again in four years. However, I would wholeheartedly endorse Correa for a leadership position that will give him the resources to craft downtown into his inspired yet attainable vision.

I also liked his comments about the police. As he deftly noted, people fear cops whether they’ve done anything wrong or not. No one is happy to see a cop in their rear-view mirror, yet they’re never around when you need them, right?

Correa advocated for officers to actually get to know the residents of the communities they protect – an excellent idea. Too much time is spent driving around in squad cars instead of doing the legwork that makes a difference. Police need to build relationships with citizens if we’re gonna put a real dent in crime. Better yet, Jello Biafra once proposed that police officers should be elected by the neighborhoods they serve.

Lord knows the neighbors need someone to turn to when they find me pissing in their rose bushes and blasting a shotgun into the air at 5AM on a Sunday.

John Harmon, you’ve got a lot of wisdom and sensible ideas. During this campaign, you have been consistently stellar in identifying problems and presenting solutions. As far as my score sheet is concerned, you won every debate.

Comparing the cases presented by all four candidates, I hereby endorse John H. Harmon for mayor of Rockford, but that's not who I'll be voting for.

Unfortunately, John’s strengths are in politics, not in making friends. When you’re running as a Republican in a city of Democrats, you’ve already got an uphill battle. Add to that the fact that few in your own party support you and you’ve got, as Larry would say, a tough row to hoe.

John, I recommend you retire from running for office. Instead, you could keep your hand in things as a campaign consultant. Believe it or not, that actually might give folks like Jim Thacker something to worry about. Give it some serious thought. [Patriot’s note: I wrote this suggestion last night, prior to hearing Mr. Harmon mention such a possibility during today’s WNTA debate].

While Harmon, point for point, presented the strongest arguments to earn my endorsement, he simply cannot win, so my actual vote must be cast either for Larry or for Doug.

Doug is a well-liked guy. Considering that he worked internal affairs (not a popular position in the department), it's impressive that he has the full trust of Rockford's finest. And no matter what Larry dishes out, Block will be okay in my book, too.

However, I can’t ignore that he obviously has the interests of the police union at heart. His knowledge about other issues, quite frankly, is not up to snuff this time around. The problem, I think, is that Block’s candidacy is more about dethroning Larry than anything else. Beyond that, Doug doesn’t appear to have real plans yet to address the multitude of issues facing the city if he’s actually elected.

On the other hand, just about everyone who voted for Larry feels let down.

If we learned anything from the GW Bush debacle, however, choosing the guy you’d most like to do blow with while driving drunk isn’t always the best course of action. When it comes to that, there’s no question I’d rather party with Doug, but this is no Tijuana titty-bar.

At Block’s present level of fluency with the issues, I’m much more inclined to leave things in Larry’s hands right now, and I’ll grudgingly cast my vote for Morrissey.

There you have it, for whatever it's worth.

This is a tighter race than Larry would like, but I predict he'll win it. I've got money on it in fact, and I'm determined to fleece the derelicts in my living room who think Block has the edge.

If Morrissey is re-elected, I'll be scrambling to collect an estimated $14,000 in winnings before I board a plane for San Juan Saturday. In which case, a new Reynolds Yater high performance longboard will be my first purchase once I hit the beach. The remainder will, of course, be spent on foolish endeavors I hope to remember later.

Hang loose, Patriots.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Charlie Box don't surf!

I promised an endorsement, while also acknowledging it shouldn't count for anything - because who the fuck am I, right? Regardless, as much as I spout off about these poor bastards running for mayor, I can't go limp now.

I will be voting, I'll have to make a choice and I will share it with you the night before I do so. I don't care to sway your vote. You have your own reasons and beliefs. I'll just tell you what decided it for me as best I can.

It might come late, but by the time you wake to go about your civic duty on Tuesday, The Patriot will have spoken.

I'm really trying to keep an open mind until the WNTA debate is over Monday. That'll be the last stand for all 4 gentlemen and I expect friends, political figures and strangers will start dropping by the compound sometime Monday morning, demanding to start the tailgate party.

Once I wake up Monday, there'll be no sleep until Wednesday. When I regain consciousness sometime Thursday or Friday, I'll lick my wounds and pack my bags for Puerto Rico. I'm leaving Saturday, but will stay connected through the miracle of the porn machine. Some friends are making a movie (not a porno) in San Juan and I wanna get some color before summer.It'll be a nice break. I need to get to the beach for a recharge every now and then. Normally, I head home to San Marcos, CA. Most of the family is out that way, and I like to do a little surfing when I can.

By the way, I highly recommend winter surfing on Lake Michigan when you can't get to an ocean.

But it's been too long since I've been to Puerto Rico and it'll be good to see old friends. Mid-April typically marks the end of peak surfing down there, but I'm hoping for some nice swell anyway. Then again, I might just stick around there to do some surfing when hurricane season starts in June.

We'll just have to see how long the local authorities will be tolerant of me before I have to make a hasty exit from the archipelago.

Fear not. We're in it together as we inherit whatever disaster we find ourselves stuck with April 8.

Take comfort in knowing we've got 4 years to make sure Dave Syverson gets his dick knocked in the dirt when he runs for mayor.

Friday, April 3, 2009

OK, now that I've got the attention of Block and the PBPA

I noticed that my friendly suggestions to Doug were reposted on the the PBPA's blog, and I'm humbled that Rockford's Finest see merit in them. I'm glad you've taken notice, because Doug can win this thing, despite the awful week he's having at a crucial time. Heed the 10 tips I posted previously and you'll be well on your way - but waste no time.

Okay, as it turns out, Larry beat you to the Rick Nielsen endorsement, but that one was more of a joke than anything, so don't despair. Endorsements are like assholes anyway.

Now is the time to go back on the offensive - immediately. You're a self-described bulldog, Doug, so start biting and don't let go.

Having any luck with the Coppergate or Brauns suggestions? Those are biggies. I'd also urge you to concentrate on pledging to put a stop to the riverwalk. MFT funds might be better spent on roads, don't you think? Everyone knows the only one who wants the riverwalk is Larry - so that when he's no longer mayor, he can gaze from his office window in the Morrissey building and see his brick legacy along the river.

Since roads are a part of your platform, stress the need for accountability when it comes to the quality and longevity of the product. Like it or not, the cheapest bid isn't always the best course, and Rockford Blacktop (which isn't even located in Rockford, despite its name) needs to do a lot better after being hand-fed an asphalt plant by Larry. They should be put on notice that their bids will no longer be accepted if we have to replace their roads every few years.

Is there some reason it's the city burden to maintain the shitty roads we pay handsomely for? That should be the responsibility of the contractors, to ensure quality workmanship in the first place. Maintenance should be part of the contracts.

Also, as Spade agreed in his comment, like it or not, a casino is inevitable, so you might as well embrace it, Doug. You'd be surprised how much the State of Illinois will want to help Rockford when there are gambling revenues to be had.

By the way, Spade, there's always room for Jello here at the compound, so kudos to you for recognizing another Prophet and Patriot in Mr. Biafra.

Speaking of gambling, there's the matter of that card-game-gone-bad on Kishwaukee Street in October 2007. Everyone knows there were important folks there, and at least some members of the PBPA must know who they are. We're all ears, and your anonymity is assured by The Patriot. Drop me a line via comment (which I'll keep private), and The Patriot will do the rest. As stupid as the three young men were to allegedly rob the game, they don't deserve to be charged with murder. Be heroes and let the real story be told. Rockford wants to know. I'd love to print the tale as a work of fiction so that the more intelligent among us can read between the lines for some semblance of the truth.

That aside, I'll be waiting for Mr. Block to put some of my suggestions to work for him before the weekend, and I've got plenty more to dish out before Tuesday if he actually starts to listen. I won't even send you a consulting bill, Mr. Block. We can negotiate that for the next campaign in 4 years. I'd just hate to see Larry win simply because of his crybaby antics on Tuesday. Give him something to really cry about, Doug.

The Patriot has spoken, and it is so.

Humping Block's leg pays off for Elyea?

Republican Karen Elyea, who seems to call herself a Democrat only as a matter of convenience and opportunity, has been laughing all the way to her campaign coffer, thanks to union contributions she's gotten by following Doug Block around like a puppy dog.

The local fire fighters' union contributed, because they apparently assumed she's pro-union, since they've undoubtedly seen her riding Block's coattails.

Likewise, IBEW, the Northwestern Illinois Building and Construction Trades Council, the iron workers, plasterers & cement masons and laborers have thrown financing Elyea's way.

"Civilian" contributors to her campaign include Republican county board member Randy Olson. Additionally, Elyea's campaign documents show that she hired former Republican county board member Chris K. Johnson's River District Catering for a fundraiser.

It appears to me Karen might do or say anything to get what she wants, but for the unions who hope she gets elected, she'll be your worst nightmare, because she's probably already forgotten you. You'll learn that she cares primarily about her own agenda, and unions don't likely factor into it. Sorry, Charlie.

Where are all the contributions from people in her ward who believe in her? That's easy: There aren't any. Not one.

Advice to Doug Block: Choose your friends more carefully, because everyone else in Rockford seems to know more about Elyea than you do, and she could be hurting your chances of being taken seriously. And don't be afraid to ask your PBPA members about drug charges against her in 2003, and whether they believe there's more to that.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Just forwarded to me and too good to keep to myself


10. Harmon for Mayor
“because we can!”

9. John H. Harmon for Mayor
(The “H” is for hysterical)

8. John Harmon
Never Had It, Never Will

7. I want to have John Harmon’s baby!

6. I AM John Harmon’s baby!

5. Will Rogers never met John Harmon

4. Harmon for Mayor
Make Rockford what it once was, a frozen wasteland covered by ice

3. Harmon for Mayor
The Eric Cartman of Rockford politics

2. Harmon NOW!

And the number one slogan for John Harmon’s campaign for Mayor


Where do Doug Block and the police union stand on illegal aliens?

This Block campaign ad, featuring Aurelio Delarosa, makes one wonder...

Talk about pandering for votes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Block campaign begins to unravel

Just two or three weeks ago, Doug Block was having the best week ever. Could it be he peaked too early in the campaign? We shall see, because here in the home stretch, Mayor Morrissey is really pouring it on to swing the momentum in his own favor.

Larry convened what was apparently an invitation-only scandalfest for the media Tuesday at Forest Hills Country Club, just moments after he'd eaten lunch beside Block.

From what I understand, Larry showed members of the local press obscene text messages that none of them could possibly air or print. Why would he do this? Is it because his feelings were hurt?

I wouldn't count on it. He simply knows it'll make Block look like an ignorant union goon. Well, son Dan certainly looks like an ass, because this little thing could be enough to derail his dad's campaign, even though Doug cut Dan loose from the campaign a day later. The damage is already done, with less than a week to recover.

If we've learned anything from the Billy Carters and Roger Clintons of this world, Doug, it's that some family members oughta be mailed to Nepal during a campaign, and kept there if you're elected.

Larry's point: The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Apparently, Larry wheeled out some other complaints about Block's supporters, but they had little, if anything, to do with Doug himself. I think Larry really just wanted an excuse for giving the media hardons by confiding in them the contents of the text message, so as to perhaps manipulate the local press to put Block on the defensive, regardless of how silly it all is.

As I understand it, and mentioned earlier, Doug and Larry apparently attended some sort of candidate luncheon at Forest Hills CC just before the private donkey show. Obviously, Larry wanted Doug to see the media filing in as the luncheon ended. Naturally, Doug would stick around to see what's up.

After Larry got the local press all spun into a frenzy behind closed doors, he turned them loose on Block, who was apparently waiting right outside for the ambush. Very calculated.

Chuck Sweeny's column today brought up another good point. Doug's been running an ad based on a Register Star article he obviously never finished reading. What's sad is that it's starting to appear that Doug doesn't even realize the claim in his ad is false.

I personally think Doug's a good guy, but that he's really not fluent in issues unrelated to the police. If he doesn't win this time around, he can become awfully strong in the next four years if he broadens his horizons.

Adding to Block's woes, I see Frank Schier threw his endorsement behind Morrissey. Not a surprise after Larry threw Schier a bone Monday by backing off on industrial zoning along the Kish. Both men got what they wanted.

But you know it's a close race when Larry actually needs TRRT's endorsement, and I'm willing to bet Block was hoping to get it himself. It's just that tight.

If you think it's ugly now, just wait to see what Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday will bring. Those are the days that will decide this race.

Now is the point in the campaign where Larry will reach deep into his substantial warchest to bury Block if at all possible. This week, you'll see the difference having lots of money makes, Doug.

I certainly hope that Mr. Block is a reader by now. I have some advice that may be of help in these last days before the election:
  1. Doug McDuff is trying to get the two of you in a room together. Take that opportunity. Begin by offering a sincere, public apology for the conduct of some of your supporters. Make it short, but heartfelt. Then, say, "Now, let's talk about the issues."
  2. No more TIF districts. John Harmon is absolutely correct in his assertion that they are a BIG source of debt. Give John a call. I have the feeling he'd be happy to brief you, because I'm sure he knows he can't win. Beating Larry is good enough for him any way he can get it. And don't be afraid to credit Jesus Correa with questioning the success of TIF in the case of Anderson Packaging. This is right up your alley, Doug, and it'll show voters you know about more than just union bullshit. This is a story about 167 loyal Anderson workers getting fucked right after the city gave them $1.1 million to expand and create new jobs, and Larry calls it a victory. Sure, Anderson will probably hire enough illegal aliens at low wages in order to live up to its end of the bargain of creating jobs, but a lot of good people got canned. Be outraged about it, because you oughta be.
  3. Advocate for a casino downtown.
  4. Get Rick Nielsen to endorse you.
  5. Pledge to sell the IceHogs to a responsible local buyer if at all possible. Although you love the team, you should be opposed to city ownership. Do you suppose Dr. T and Craig could afford to buy them back now? Maybe it's just a pipe dream, but maybe not. Start making some calls and crunching some numbers, and undo an injustice done by Larry to the team you love.
  6. Tie Morrissey family relations to Coppergate. The connection is there.
  7. Draw attention to Ryan Brauns' connections to Morrissey while also being on the Board of Elections (not to mention consulting contract[s]). Talk about a fucking conflict.
  8. Advocate for concealed carry. The county board has already shown its willingness. Pledge to work with them to educate the public on the facts and dispel the myths. Then, an advisory referendum will pass, which will put a little more pressure on the legislature.
  9. Kill the riverwalk. That'll happen on its own once the casino is downtown, without having to go through people's backyards.
  10. Change your position on removing the pedestrian mall. It's a good thing to get rid of it.
There's 10 to get ya started, Doug. If I see you using any of these recommendations in the next couple days, I'll be glad to offer further counsel.

The Patriot has spoken, and it is so.

I'm spent. Ruthlessly drunk. The kids are asleep and the wife is waiting. As my balls slap against her in a matter of moments, I'll be thinking about election day.