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Archive → January 21st, 2017

Township Electoral Board removes clerk candidate from ballot for April election

BREAKING: Township Electoral Board removes clerk candidate from ballot for April election

Erin Redmond, Assistant Editor
8:02 pm CST January 19, 2017

After three separate hearings, the Homer Township Officers Electoral Board has made a decision: Marcela Cuevas, a candidate for clerk in the upcoming April 4, 2017 Consolidated Election, is off the ballot.

The board met for the third time Thursday, Jan. 19 to announce its decision to sustain the objection filed by Renea Wojnowski, a resident of Lockport and Homer Township, that stated Cuevas was not eligible to run for the office of Township clerk at the time she filed her candidacy paperwork. Township Supervisor Pam Meyers and Trustee John Kruczek voted to sustain the objection (Remove Cuevas from the Ballot), while Trustee Vicki Bozen dissented (Keeping Cuevas on the Ballot).

“Any time you have a … decision on a political question there’s always two sides: one that wins and one loses,” Homer Township Attorney Jerry Sramek said. “We are the initial form for the decision of this, so I think it’s very important that part of our job is to clearly articulate the reasons for the decision being made, so that if this is not the final form for review, there’s an adequate basis of understanding for what we did and why we did it.”

While the board and both parties were in agreement that Cuevas was a resident of Homer Township for a year when she filed her candidacy paperwork Dec. 16, 2016,  — as it was determined at the previous meeting she moved into the Township Dec. 17, 2015 — Meyers and Kruczek were guided by the Schumann v. Fleming decision, which states a “qualified” candidate must be a resident for a year.

The written decision stated that the board believed Cuevas was not a “qualified” candidate when she was receiving petitions to run for office or when she signed her Statement of Candidacy Nov. 23, 2016.

“The candidate swears at the time of signing that he or she is qualified — not that he or she will be qualified by the time the Statement of Candidacy is filed,” Sramek read from the written decision. “ … Marcela Lynn Cuevas is not eligible for the candidacy of Homer Township clerk in the Consolidated Election of April 4, 2017, and, therefore, her name should not appear on the ballot for said office for said election.”

Cuevas was running with the Homer Township Independent Party against the winner of the Republican primary, which will be held Feb. 28. That race includes current Clerk Linsey Sowa.

Cuevas’ attorney, Thomas Condon, filed a motion to strike the objection at the Jan. 11 public hearing, but it was unanimously denied by the board, prompting a trial. Evidence provided by Wojnowski in the form of a mortgage document provided indisputable evidence that Cuevas was a resident as of Dec. 17, 2015. What was up for debate, however, was the timeframe in which the residency requirement is fulfilled.

Because 2016 was a leap year, Cuevas argued that the file date — Dec. 16, 2016 — fulfilled the one-year residency requirement.

Bozen wrote in dissent that, based on the evidence, she did not believe Cuevas moved to Homer Township with the sole purpose of running for office, citing the $35,000 down payment she made on her house in July 2015.

“… Had the candidate signed her Statement of Candidacy and petitions on Dec. 16, 2016, there would not be an issue, unlike the Schumann case where the candidate moved into the Township three months before filing for elected office,” Bozen’s dissent stated.

Condon appeared to express disdain that written statements were prepared ahead of time and that no public deliberation was made during the meeting. He asked Sramek to ensure that no deliberation was made outside of the meeting, to which the Township attorney assured him he only provided legal counsel.

While the decision was not unanimous, Wojnowski expressed gratitude one was made.

“I am thankful that it’s done today,” the objector said. “I was just really thankful as a citizen of the Township to have the opportunity to participate in these kinds of things and say how you feel and try to do what’s right. I’m just happy that things went the way that they did, and I was able to have my word heard.”

Condon and Cuevas declined to comment after the meeting on if the Homer Township Independent Party would attempt to further appeal the board’s decision.

For Current information See Press Release http://willcountynews.com/2017/01/21/homer-township-board-decision-to-be-appealed-in-will-county-circuit-court/

Source: Will County News

The Wollman Rink vs. the Congressional Budget Office

The Wollman Rink vs. the Congressional Budget Office

Originally published at Fox News.

The Wollman Rink vs. the Congressional Budget Office

Congressional Republicans are about to be confronted with the first great choice of the Trump era, and it will be interesting to see if they can apply the lessons of the November 8th victory and the country’s desire for real change.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is simply incompatible with the Trump era.

President-elect Trump won as an entrepreneurial change agent who would “drain the swamp”, get Washington under control, take charge of the bureaucracies, and get things done in an entrepreneurial, common sense way.

The Congressional Budget Office is the opposite of these commitments.

It is a left-wing, corrupt, bureaucratic defender of big government and liberalism. Its scoring of ObamaCare was not just wrong, it was clearly corrupt. CBO literally brought in the architect of ObamaCare to be the adviser on scoring the very Obamacare legislation that he helped write. The score was a lie. It was so wrong it was totally indefensible. A year later the CBO produced a new score that was so much more expensive that it was clear ObamaCare would have been defeated if it had been the original score.

In the four years during which I was Speaker of the House, CBO was consistently difficult to work with. If we hadn’t fought with them constantly we would never have balanced the budget.

President-elect Trump presents a perfect test case for CBO in one of his best stories, the repairing of the Wollman Rink in Central Park.

This story is told brilliantly in Trump’s bestselling book, The Art of the Deal.

Every citizen should read the chapter on fixing the Wollman Rink.

In 1980 the skating rink stopped making ice.

For six years at a cost of $13 million dollars the city bureaucracy failed to fix it. The very sophisticated, expensive system they installed did not work. You could tell it did not work because there was no ice.

Trump’s penthouse looks out over Central Park. He got tired of looking at the empty skating rink so he began taunting Mayor Koch in the newspapers.

Finally, Mayor Koch responded, saying the city would give Trump $3 million and six months to fix the skating rink.

What tells a lot about Trump and Trumpism was his reaction to Mayor Koch’s challenge.

Trump admits he did not know anything about fixing ice skating rinks. He also knew he had to solve the situation or be ridiculed.

There is a great deal to learn about President-elect Trump from studying his thought process.

He asked himself, ‘Who fixes ice skating rinks?’

He concluded, Canadians – because of their great love of hockey.

He then found the Canadian firm that had built the most ice skating rinks for the NHL.

Everyone recommended the same firm.

Trump called the company and their CEO explained the principles of building ice skating rinks.

The Canadians flew in and were astonished at how dumb the New York City bureaucracy had been.

Within four months, for $2,250,000, the Wollman Rink was fixed. In its first year back, 225,000 people used the rink.

If we are truly moving into the Trump era, we must confront the amazing public policy implications of this story.

An entrepreneurial, problem solving, red tape cutting approach had solved the skating rink for 1/5 the cost in 1/18 the time.

How would the Congressional Budget Office accurately score the Trump approach?

All the current estimates for the wall with Mexico assume traditional bureaucracy with traditional red tape moving at traditional speed (ultra slow).

All the current projections for getting back to the moon and on to Mars are based on NASA red tape, NASA bureaucracy, and a system so badly run we currently put American astronauts on the space station using Russian rockets.

Every reform effort will get a false score from CBO.

It is impossible for the current CBO to come anywhere close to an honest, accurate score of a red tape cutting, entrepreneurially hard charging system.

The current obsolete, inaccurate, and dishonest CBO bureaucracy should be replaced with two bold reforms.

First, a competitive system of bidding should provide three to five scores for every legislative proposal. Over time, the projections should be measured against reality and the worst performers should be dropped while new performers should be added.

Second, all the secret formulas which CBO today refuses to release should be made public.

In the modern information age, it should be possible for anyone to work through the scoring conventions and produce their own estimates.

Recognizing the importance of the Wollman Rink example and insisting on replacing the Congressional Budget Office would be a bold step in the right direction for Congressional Republicans.

Your Friend,

Source: Will County News

:60 Of Sanity What’s Left Of The Left

If we learned one thing from Obama, speechifying doesn’t bring the country together, create jobs or reverse barbaric cultural trends.

And so Trump’s unity-signaling Inaugural Address was quickly followed by a protest march of grumpy old women and their wives to which Susan B. Anthony would not have been welcome.

If we learned one thing from the confirmation hearings of Trump Cabinet nominees, the ungracious, vituperative Left plans to scold, shame and bigot-bait its way back to power.

Comrade Bernie insinuated that Betsy DeVos was too rich to be Education Secretary whereas he resisted such class envy politics when billionairess Penny Pritzker was up to be Obama’s Commerce Secretary.

Massachusetts Sen. Fauxcahontas Crockagawea (H/T Mark Steyn) was so insulted by DeVos’ commitment to educating poor minority children that she waved off an attempted handshake so she could rush over to harangue Dr. Tom Price at his confirmation hearing.

Speaking of Price, Comrade Bernie used his allotted time with the incoming HHS Secretary to explain that America lacks the compassion of Brunei because the government hasn’t formally nationalized the health insurance industry.

And these are the leading lights of the Left.

If that remains the case, it’s lights out for the Democrats.

Source: Will County News

President Donald Trump’s full inaugural address

In case you missed it: President Donald Trump’s full inaugural address



President Donald Trump vowed Friday to put America first as he handles his duties in the nation’s highest elected office. Trump’s inspiring speech was derided as “divisive” by some members of the mainstream media. But for Trump supporters, the president’s message represented the dawn of a new era of patriotism.

Here’s the speech:

Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans and people of the world, thank you.

We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people.

Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for many, many years to come. We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.

Every four years we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power.

And we are grateful to President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition.

They have been magnificent.

Thank you.

Today’s ceremony, however, has a very special meaning because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people.

For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have bore the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered but the jobs left and the factories closed.

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

That all changes starting right here and right now, because this moment is your moment.

It belongs to you.

It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America.

This is your day.

This is your celebration.

And this, the United States of America, is your country.

What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.

January 20th, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.

The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now. You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before.

At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families and good jobs for themselves.

These are just and reasonable demands of righteous people and a righteous public.

But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists.

Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation.

An education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge.

And the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

We are one nation, and their pain is our pain.

Their dreams are our dreams, and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home and one glorious destiny.

The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.

For many decades we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.

We’ve defended other nations’ borders while refusing to defend our own. And we’ve spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.

We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon.

One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind.

The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world. But that is the past, and now we are looking only to the future.

We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital and in every hall of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.

From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our product, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.

Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never ever let you down.

America will start winning again, winning like never before.

We will bring back our jobs.

We will bring back our borders.

We will bring back our wealth, and we will bring back our dreams.

We will build new roads and highways and bridges and airports and tunnels and railways all across our wonderful nation.

We will get our people off of welfare and back to work, rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.

We will follow two simple rules; buy American and hire American.

We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow.

We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the Earth.

At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.

The bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity. We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.

There should be no fear. We are protected and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement. And most importantly, we will be protected by God.

Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger. In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving. We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action, constantly complaining, but never doing anything about it.

The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action.

Do not allow anyone to tell you that it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America. We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again.

We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow. A new national pride will stir ourselves, lift our sights and heal our divisions.

It’s time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots.

We all enjoy the same glorious freedoms and we all salute the same great American flag.

And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the wind-swept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they will their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator.

So to all Americans in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, from ocean to ocean, hear these words. You will never be ignored again.

Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.

Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together we will make America great again.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America.

Thank you.

God bless America.

Source: Will County News

Chicago’s gang violence catches highway drivers in crossfire

Chicago’s gang violence catches highway drivers in crossfire

 Thu Jan 5, 2017 | 6:02am EST  Reuters

FILE PHOTO – Chanel Crespo attends a vigil for her brother John Ortiz, who was shot and killed while driving on the Eisenhower Expressway, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo
By Timothy Mclaughlin | CHICAGO

Jonathan Ortiz and other members of his rap group, No Nights Off, stepped onto the stage at Chicago’s House of Blues in mid-September for a concert they hoped would propel their young, promising careers.

Less than two weeks later, the 22-year-old Ortiz, who forebodingly rapped under the stage name “John Doe,” was fatally shot as he drove on an expressway in Chicago. His girlfriend Alexis Garcia also got a bullet lodged in her back.

Ortiz and Garcia were victims of the 38th shooting on Chicago-area expressways in 2016, a record-high number for a city stung by a murder rate not seen in two decades.

“It is overwhelming that this is the reality in Chicago, that you can drive on the expressway now and get shot at,” said Tanue David, a family support specialist with the outreach group Chicago Survivors, who is working with the Ortiz family.

Officials say gang violence is increasingly spilling over onto Chicago’s expressways, with innocent drivers sometimes caught in the crossfire, while the state police force is shrinking.

The Illinois State Police, which has jurisdiction over the expressways, blamed gang warfare for the increased highway shoot-outs in 2016 that pose “an extreme danger to the motoring public.”

Ortiz was shot on Interstate 290, one of five expressways within city limits where shootings took place.


Ortiz and Garcia were shot on the morning of Sept. 29 while Ortiz drove her SUV not far from his mother’s home.

Chicago police said Ortiz had no criminal record and several family members and friends said he was not affiliated with a gang. He and Garcia met three years ago on the shores of Lake Michigan.

“He was calm, that’s how I knew that God took him fast,” Garcia, who grew up in a suburb of Chicago, said of the moments after Ortiz was shot.

In 2011 and 2012, there were nine shootings on city expressways, according to state police, which had no data prior to that.

That number jumped to 16 in 2013 and 19 in 2014. It nearly doubled the next year to 37 and climbed again in 2016 to 47. Three shootings last year were fatal.

The rise in highway shootings came as Chicago suffered a broader surge in violence that saw 762 people murdered in 2016, a 57 percent increase from 2015, and the highest number since 1996.

The number drew the attention of President-elect Donald Trump, who said that Chicago’s mayor must ask for U.S. government help if the city fails to reduce its murder rate. [nL1N1ES0LX]

Chicago police cite a number of factors, including splintering gang structures and police drawing back from confrontation out of fear of increased scrutiny for their actions.

Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has vehemently blamed lax regulations for gun repeat offenders. “The people committing these crimes think the consequences for their actions are a joke,” he said last month.


Source: Will County News