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Archive → April 1st, 2016


CONTACT:  Richard Pearson, Illinois State Rifle Association, (815) 635-3198
SPRINGFIELD, IL – – The following was released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):
Thousands of law-abiding Illinois firearm owners will converge on the state capitol on Wednesday, April 6th to remind the General Assembly that concern for gun rights remains high across the state.
Wednesday’s event, widely known as the Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day (iGOLD), will kick off with a rally at the Prairie Capitol Convention Center at 10:30 followed by a march to the Lincoln Steps where the group will be addressed by legislative leaders.  From there, gun owners will enter the Capitol building to meet with their respective State Senators and State Representatives.  The topic of the discussion will be, of course, gun rights.
“These are interesting times for the United States, and Illinois,” commented ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson.  “Nationwide, interest in firearms is skyrocketing – primarily out of the public’s fear about crime and terrorism.  Here in Illinois, first time FOID card applications are being filed at a record pace and the monthly tallies of firearm purchase background checks are setting records of their own.”
“Firearm instructors are swamped with requests for training.  Shooting ranges are packed not only on weekends, but during lunch hour and after work as well,” continued Pearson. “We’ve had a number of new shooting ranges open up in the Chicago area yet the lines of people waiting to shoot continue to grow.  Let’s face it – firearms and the shooting sports become more and more popular as the months go by.  Nevertheless, extremists in the General Assembly continue to call for unacceptable gun control measures designed to hobble the free exercise of our Second Amendment rights.”
“Since 1990, law-abiding gun owners have come to Springfield each spring to advise their Senators and Representatives to stay true to the Constitution and to turn back pointless efforts at gun control, continued Pearson.  “That is why gun owners are coming to Springfield on April 6th and that’s why they’ll be back next spring and many springs after that.  The General Assembly needs to come to grips with the fact that gun ownership is here to stay and that we’re here to protect that right no matter how long it takes.”
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The ISRA is the state’s leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership.  For more than a century, the ISRA has represented the interests of millions of law-abiding firearm owners.
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Source: Will County News

Why do School Boards spend like it’s not costing anything/ Lincoln-way Taxpayers wake up

Lincoln-Way taxpayers paid $368,000 into annuity account for ex-superintendent

Taxpayers in Lincoln-Way High School District 210 paid $368,148 into an annuity account for ex-Superintendent Lawrence Wyllie, newly released records and interviews show.

The annuity is a second publicly funded retirement benefit for Wyllie, who is currently collecting a $312,000 pension — the largest in the state’s teachers fund. The school board voted on April 7, 2004, to approve Wyllie’s annuity, as part of a broader vote on 2004-05 administration and support staff salaries, Vice President Christine Glatz said. The April 7, 2004, meeting minutes do not mention the annuity.

The district first bought the annuity in June 2004 and the agent on the policy was Wyllie’s son, Christopher Wyllie, account statements released by the district and interviews show.

When Wyllie retired in the summer of 2013, Lincoln-Way High School District 210 transferred ownership of the annuity to him, records show. A March 2013 policy statement released by the district shows the annuity was worth $515,685 at the time.

To some, Wyllie’s annuity represents a broader trend of questionable spending by district officials that has drained Lincoln-Way’s finances. The district landed on the state’s financial watch list in 2015 after years of deficit spending, where the district remains.

Told of the annuity account by the Daily Southtown, government experts and school district residents criticized the expense. Sarah Brune, executive director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, called Wyllie’s retirement package “exorbitant.”

“It seems inappropriate for the taxpayers to be paying into two separate (retirement) accounts for one public figure,” Brune said.

Steve Eberhardt, an attorney who represents Lincoln-Way Area Taxpayers Unite in a lawsuit aimed at preventing the cash-strapped district from shuttering Lincoln-Way North high school, questioned the annuity’s purpose and said it’s wasteful.

“What’s the justification for giving him this extra third of a million (tax) dollars?” Eberhardt said.

Asked about criticism of the annuity, Glatz released a statement.

“The annuity awarded to (Wyllie) by the Board of Education was based on performance and retention during a time of transition within the District,” Glatz said. “The additional compensation did not add to his base salary nor his pensionable earnings.”

Lawrence Wyllie, who led the district from 1989 to 2013, did not return messages seeking comment. Christopher Wyllie, who works for AXA Advisors as a vice president according to the company’s website, declined to discuss what he called “private information.”

A spokesman for AXA later said Christopher Wyllie “was not involved in any way in the financial negotiations between his father and the school district.”

In recent months, the Daily Southtown has reported extensively on questionable financial practices, private uses of public resources and questionable deals benefiting insiders at the district.

Months before retiring, Wyllie signed a no-bid 10-year contract extension with Frankfort-based Aunt Nancy’s day care, which uses spaces at each of the district’s four schools rent-free.

The school board never formally approved the deal, Superintendent Scott Tingley previously said.

Lincoln-Way also bought at least $90,000 worth of playground equipment for Aunt Nancy’s, drawing criticism from government experts and parents who said the district should not subsidize a private business.

Oak Lawn-based Community High School District 218 has a similar deal with a private day care provider at one of its buildings but unlike Lincoln-Way charges its contractor $76,250 a year in “cost-recovery” fees.

In 2007, Lincoln-Way bought $5 million worth of farmland in Manhattan Township, apparently without an appraisal, in a deal that benefited the Lincoln-Way Foundation president’s firm.

Lincoln-Way’s former grounds director, Paul Gonzalez, in 2013 ordered “a few school district employees” to do private work in Wyllie’s Frankfort subdivision, records show.

He also ordered an employee to create a memorial plaque for Wyllie’s father, records show.

In 2010 and 2011, Wyllie spent nearly $45,000 in public funds to build Superdog, a dog training school that Tingley said had “no student benefit.” That school is run by a trainer who has worked with Wyllie and his dogs.

From 2013 to 2015, a time when the district’s financial situation was rapidly deteriorating, the district paid out $272,000 in retirement bonuses for 18 employees, including $16,000 for Wyllie, records show.

The district has also paid $199,113 in penalties to the state pension system.

During his last three years as superintendent, while the district’s finances tumbled, records show Wyllie also used his district-issued credit card to pay for meals, dog training books, hundreds of leadership texts, dozens of sweaters and a $106 teddy bear for his office.

More recently, Lincoln-Way emailed parents last month to say it is issuing refunds to driver’s ed students who were improperly charged $350 for classes, a mistake the district estimated would cost about $400,000.

The district was given more than a year’s notice that it had to renew its permission from the state to charge $350 but the district won’t explain how it failed to get state approval to charge $350.

Days after news of the $400,000 mistake broke, the board accepted Assistant Superintendent for Business Ron Sawin’s early retirement and released a copy of his retirement agreement, showing there is “currently a dispute” between Lincoln-Way and Sawin over his job performance.

Wyllie’s annuity is particularly controversial because he is already collecting a $312,000 pension from the state. That figure has drawn criticism not only because of its size but because it was derived using an obscure, now-abolished actuarial calculation that boosted Wyllie’s payout higher than any salary he’d ever received from the district.

Brian Murray, a Frankfort resident, said he was upset by the annuity approval process, which he said wasn’t transparent. Murray also said that the annuity is excessive because the school district already knew Wyllie had a taxpayer-funded pension coming.

“It seems wrong to me,” Murray said.


Source: Will County News

Message from the Inninois State Rifle Association

On Monday, March 21, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Second Amendment applies to all instruments that constitute bearable arms.  The decision of the court was unanimous.  The case, known as Caetano v Massachusetts, dealt with a Massachusetts law that prohibited stun guns.  The law was upheld by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, but was overturned by the United States Supreme Court.  In the decision ordering the law to be vacated, the court stated that the Second Amendment applied to arms that were not in existence at the time of the founding.  In short, that means that the AR15 and a variety of other arms are now protected.  Before we all begin dancing in the streets, remember we will be forced to slog through the courts, case by case.  Remember that the next President will replace as many as four or five Supreme Court Justices, so that may change.
Talk about a long reach!  Congratulations to David Sigale, who represents the ISRA and Second Amendment Foundation in several cases, for winning a case in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).  CNMI is part of the United States that many people do not even know about. Saipan is part of the island group that was acquired during the island hopping campaign against the Japanese, during WWII.  CNMI passed a law that made it Illegal to own a handgun or import ammunition, rendering people unable to defend themselves.  In 2008, David Radich, a U.S. Navy Veteran, and his wife, Li-Rong moved to Saipan.  In 2010, Li-Rong was home alone when invaders broke in and savagely beat her. Because of the CNMI law, they were defenseless against such attacks.  Radich and the Second Amendment Foundation filed suit against the CNMI law and won.  Judge Ramona V. Manglona struck down the law as unconstitutional – another nail in the coffin of the anti-gun movement.  Thank you David Sigale.
I have a few points on the IGOLD front.  As you know, IGOLD is Wednesday April 6th.  We have just confirmed our last two guest speakers.  They are Chip Eberhart, from Chicago, who does one of the NRA’s “I am the NRA and I am Freedoms safest place” ads and another is an old friend of mine, the famous self-defense instructor, Mr. Massad Ayoob.  I couldn’t be more pleased.  We have a couple of the great ones for you to hear and meet. The final point is that the cut-off for making bus reservations is noon on Monday April 4.  I would “Git-R-Done!”  The ISRA office will open on Saturday, April 2, 2016, from 8:00am – 12 noon so you can call in your IGOLD bus reservations.  See you at IGOLD!

Source: Will County News