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One Man's Thoughts

Looking at local politics and other issues that I find interesting

Updated: 2018-04-18T01:33:33.680-05:00


I Think Ives Might Pull It Off


If she does, I think Rauner can look in the mirror and blame himself for the campaign that he ran. Also an Ives win will not bode well for the entire party in November.

Sports Betting In Illinois


The Supreme Court heard the Christie v NCAA case that seeks to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992.  If successful, this would likely make it legal for states to allow and regulate sports betting.  So let's say it is successful, it seems to me that it would make sense for Illinois to allow such gambling and try to generate revenues from it.  Here are some ways I could see it happening.The Illinois Lottery:The lottery would perhaps be the easiest way to bring this to the state relatively quickly. Parlay:The lottery could develop a parlay game.That is you have to get multiple bets correct in order to win and then do it either as a para-mutual game (where the winners split the pot) or just underwrite the game extensively. So, for example, you had a parlay card where you predicted the winners of 5 football games.  Let's say this game generated $1,000,000 in bets in a given week. The state could take 10% off the top for taxes, and let's say the operator took 10% of what was left for operating fees and vendor rewards.  That would leave $810,000 in the prize pool.  Those who got 5 out of 5 would split 90% of the pot and those who got 4 out of 5 would split the remaining 10%.  Streight up betting on events:I think this might be harder to implement this for the lottery because it would create basically a large set of products (one for each sporting event as it were). It would also increase the lottery's risk in case a bet didn't go its way.  It could eliminate that risk by making each individual event a para-mutual type bet but depending on the event the pool would be too small to be interesting for a bettor.The Tracks and their OTB facilities as betting facilities:This might be an easier implementation than the lottery options.  Just let them operate like William Hill, betfair or Bet Fred for example. The state could generate revenues by just taking a slice of every bet and could require the operators to kick some of the revenue to the horse racing industry by increasing purses.  This would likely make the tracks and the racing industry very happy and would make sports betting available, but not everywhere.Video Poker Locations:Allow an additional machine that would take sports bets. However instead of the facility taking on the bet risk (which seems a bit too risky to me, yes that is kind of ironic) that there would be underlying operators (the machine owners) who could set odds and payouts.   No single underlying operator could operate more than 25% of the locations in the state that would have the units.  The state could take a cut of the bets or just a cut of the revenues.Complete Stand Alone Betting Shops:This would be the longest option to implement, but it would be an option.[...]

The Tesla Semi and Other Electric Semi Trucks Are Going to Screw Up Road Budgets.


So the electric semi truck from Tesla and others are coming shortly.  There is a host of advantages to this technology coming out now, obviously, the reduction in pollution, improved safety features, reduction in noise are all going to be advantages.

However what happens to state and local transportation budgets when tax revenues from commercial diesel fuel sales start to decrease?  

Here are just some of the tax/local revenue impacts of this technology
  • Reduced fuel taxes going into the road fund.
  • Reduced fuel sales at local truck stops and gas stations selling commercial diesel
  • Reduced video gaming revenue for local municipalities and the state of Illinois.  The largest revenue video poker locations are almost all truck stops.  
  • Reduced ancillary revenues at truck stops, if you don't have to stop at a truck stop to fuel up you don't go in to buy stuff.
  • Reduced revenues from taxes on ancillary truck supply and maintenance spending.  If it is like the electric cars, they are not going to need to get oil changes.   

You are either going to have to tax these trucks on a per-mile basis or figure out some sort of way to make up for the motor fuel tax losses.  There is some time before these become wide scale, 2022 perhaps, when it happens (and it is going to happen because of the lower project cost per mile) it is going to be a significant change to how good are moved over medium distances in this country.

A Post I Think I Need To Repeat


Monday, December 07, 2015

It's Not Me, It's You...

Dear Republican Party.

If a candidate who says we need to keep people of any race, creed, gender or sexuality out of our country is taken seriously as a candidate at the national level I really can't identify with that party in any way shape or form anymore.  I realize there have been local folks who have had these ideas for quite some time, but it isn't that hard to find idiots at the local level in virtually any group, be it political party or organization.

That being said, when you are considering a national leader who think that, you have to count me out. I don't care how popular the idea might, how well it may poll or help someone in the polls.  We all have our limits and you have hit mine.

I know I have commented in the past that politics isn't church and it is about winning not about being 'pure'.

But I can't nor do I want to self identify with any group who has a leader who thinks crap like this is good policy or morally right.

Chris Kennedy On Sunday Spin...


Some thoughts and observations about what Chris Kennedy had to say on Sunday Spin...

The audio is here and it starts at the 38-minute mark...

He starts out by making some good points about remedial education....

Then he says basically the Trump voter comes from our high school education process, where kids are undereducated.  Would like to see some sort of Illinois correlation between bad HS education and voting patterns, not sure you are going to see that in this state.

His next point...
Enormous wealth disparity was created in the 80s, where the rich live near the rich and the poor live near the poor.

Mr. Kennedy, that didn't start in the 80s, that started way before the 80s at least here in Illinois, the North Shore has been significantly wealthier than the south suburbs for a  long time.  You sound a bit silly when you say stuff like that.  Property tax disparity is not something that magically came about during the 80s...

General observation, you can hear him breathing on mic, he needs to work on that.

He goes hard on the property tax system and makes a lot of sense.

Did he move here to deal with the Merchandise Mart, he talks about all of these other reasons he came to Illinois, but not that one.  But later references the Mart.

Nice of Kennedy to help the GOP write some ads about Pritzker.  Interesting using the word 'sick' when talking about Pritzker's conversation with Rod.

You can be a billionaire and have customers and may have worked for others, Mr. Kennedy.

I am a person of means but not a mean person...  Not bad...

Rick asks a very interesting question, is the Kennedy magic generationed out, has too much time passed?

Chris, if you are really worried about workman's comp costs, odds are you not looking to put an office in the Merchandise Mart.

Kennedy Gets It Right....


So Kennedy went full on property taxes and politicians who work the property tax system....

I think it is a very, very smart play here is why,

The Democratic front-runner (and the guy running ads now) made the house next door to his uninhabitable by removing the toilets and then got a property tax break.  When third party ads start running, Pritzker is going to get slammed for this and it is going to work.

If Pritzker survives this attack (and I suspect he will) it will still be all set up for Rauner to go.

Because property taxes are something most voters understand and may be the tax they feel the most 'jerked over' about an income tax or a sales tax is easily understandable and stays relatively consistent over time. The rates are fairly consistent, but your property taxes show up on a bill that is different each year with a variety of line items.  It is a confusing bill, perhaps intentionally, perhaps not, but it is confusing.

I think really keying in on that part of the tax system is a smart political idea. The concept that the system is loaded against you the 'average guy' is not that hard of a sale because of the complexity of the property tax system and the idea that the person who has the same house as you two blocks away might be paying a significantly different amount of tax.

The $15 Minimum Wage


So we had an advisory referendum on a $10 an hour 2 years ago, it passed and then the Democrats didn't advance it before Rauner took office....

Now they vote for a $15 an hour minimum wage 2 years later because...

Because they know that Rauner will veto it and if using it the minimum wage to get enough people to the polls didn't work maybe this will.

The entertaining and highly unlikely option is that Rauner signs it, calls their bluff as it were because while it might be popular with unions and some groups, it is likely not to play as well with business interests and it isn't going to play well at all with small businesses, especially those in rural areas.

When You Sign An Executive Order About Religious Freedom..


If the ACLU decides not to file suit you likely didn't go that far...

Just a thought, people who are fans of limited government should be fans of entities like the ACLU, Institue for Justice or other groups or entities that ask the question "Is this something government is allowed to do". Regardless if you agree or disagree with what they are challenging,  it is important and necessary to ask the question, constantly.

Well It Looks Like Richard is Going to be Our New Mayor


Blogged about Richard's first run back in 2005,,, A lot has happened since then, including a surprising result of the primary for the race for mayor this time around (I really thought it was going to end up Richard vs Linda)...

Richard is a good guy and I have given him money in the past.

I will say it is a bit disappointing that 7,547 votes can get you elected mayor of a city of 200,000 people.

A Primary....


Fundamentally a primary helps every candidate besides Linda.  She has the best name recognition and has raised the most money (with the potential to raise more) a single round helps her significantly more than anyone else. Turnout in general in this race is going to be low so name recognition is going to be helpful, she can take full advantage of her money advantage.

 If you are any other candidate your best bet is to get into a one on one round with Linda where those advantages she has are mitigated.

You can force a primary with 5 candidates, this includes write-in candidates so if you want to force a second round it isn't that hard. You just need to get one or two folks to run as write-in candidates and you have a second round.

I fully expect that we will have two rounds.

Really Guzman...


The Beacon had some more about petitions and primaries and the like for the mayor's race in Aurora.

I would suggest you read the article, but it appears that Guzman offered some assistance to get someone else on the ballot (which would force a primary).  The nature of that assistance is what the question and discussion is about.

We are going to start here

Guzman responded Saturday by calling Chapa LaVia's allegations "ludicrous and politically motivated" and said she picked on del Bosque's petitions "knowing that he did not have the money, resources or connections to enter into an expensive and protracted legal process."

Thanks to election commission you can see his filing here. You need 439 valid signatures to be on the ballot, he submitted 57 pages with 14 lines on each page so that would be a potential maximum of 798 (the most you can submit is 703), it looks like 662 lines were filled out and not scratched out. Some of these are going to have issues (I saw one Warrenville for example).  But he may very well have enough valid signatures.

But then

Chapa LaVia's campaign has contended that Guzman and his campaign helped collect petition signatures for del Bosque, then had them notarized incorrectly without the actual petition passers present. Chapa LaVia's campaign referred to that as "fraud."

Found more on this rule explicitly in Colorado, but I did find this from a candidate in Illinois also something along the same lines from Frerichs campaign here.
You must sign as the circulator of the petition before a Notary Public licensed in Illinois and the Notary Public must affix his/her seal or stamp
That's kind of what a Notary does.  So if this did happen that is an issue, if it didn't happen I don't see why you would incur an expensive legal battle you would just need to testify.

Guzman even offers a defense

n Saturday, Guzman released a statement saying that while he did help del Bosque, "in no uncertain terms" was fraud committed. He also said neither he nor any campaign workers or volunteers circulated petitions for del Bosque. He also said Illinois case law clearly allows petitions to be notarized without the petition passer present "if the circulator believes that they are under oath when they sign their name to the petition attesting that they personally collected the signatures on the form."
Then share the case law with the dude and help him out.  It isn't that complicated...

It's the second largest city in the state man, this isn't nor should it be patty cake.

Really Kirk....


At best it indicates the stroke had a mental impact on him that means he shouldn't be in the Senate, at worse, well...

I think at this point, he should be thankful for early voting and those trying to keep the senate in GOP hands should be thankful they can spend money in other places at this point...

Remember When Eric Zorn Would Put Stuff on Facebook That Wasn't About Trump or Folk Music...


I do...

But follow him now...

It's Anti-Trump stuff, the occasional a vote for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein is a waste and folk music stuff and Michigan football. For some reason, he doesn't seem to do much or anything negative about Clinton.  Not a big deal nor a surprise since he is a columnist and has an opinion and that is part of his job.

I am not sure if putting content on Facebook is part of the Tronic plan or something but spending time writing about how the guy who writes Dilbert is endorsing Trump and being critical of the why seems a bit, well, trite.

First, let's get this out of the way, I am not voting for Trump.  Have never been a fan.

But let's look at the three reasons "the increasingly batshit" -- Zorn's words Adams gives that Zorn references...

Scott Adams gives him the nod because, primarily, it seems he hates inheritance taxes. Also because Hillary doesn't look healthy to his practiced, cartoonists' eye. And because he thinks the main job of being president is persuading people and he thinks Trump is good at that.

Ok... He hates inheritance taxes.  Well, I don't think that is a "batshit" political viewpoint, as that bastion of conservative viewpoint Mother Jones points out (admittedly old data) 68% of Americans back in 2010 were in favor of a complete repeal.  It might be hard to believe that a guy who has created something likely worth tens of millions of dollars might not want that value to be reduced when he dies and have it go to the government.

He doesn't think Hilary looks healthy "to his practice, cartoonist's' eye". I guess Zorn has a point here, looking forward to Zorn's commentary about those who implied various reasons for Trumps sniffing.

The main job of being president is persuading people.  I think Adams is on to something here, it may not be the 'main job' but it is a huge part of the job.  As a leader of any entity where you need to get others to agree with you to get stuff done, getting people to agree with you is a big part of it.  A big chunk of FDRs success was his ability to get others to agree with him, even when it turned out to be unconstitutional.  Imagine if  Governor Quinn who was in favor of increasing taxes (and making that change permanent) and increasing the minimum wage (which was on the ballot and won) was able to convince the legislature to make that happen?

Don't underestimate the need for the Commander in Chief to be the Salesperson and Chief.

Zorn says he may write about other stuff after the election and I am looking forward to that.  

So Madigan Had A Fundraiser For Linda Chapa-LaVia


Full disclosure: I have given a small amount of money to Linda recently, it was not at this fundraiser. When she first ran for State Rep I gave money to her opponent and publicly endorsed him. I have in the past also given money and attended fundraisers for Richard Irvin.

An the other candidates are all up in arms about it.

Wow, where to start with this.

Well considering Guzman appears to be Tom's guy in this race, If you take this argument at face value I would have to say I would rather Madigan's candidate be mayor vs Tom's guy be mayor. For what it is worth I don't think it is as much of a Madigan play as they are making it out to be.

Besides Richard, I think it is hard to imagine any of the other candidates saying no to a Madigan fundraiser.  Heck Saville has raised so little money he can file on paper (and does).

What it would be interesting for the local newspaper to do, is look at whom and given to who and look for some patterns.

You might find one candidate seems to get a decent % of money from developers and people who work in real estate, you might find another candidate seems to get a decent % of their money from local lawyers, you might find one gets a decent % from PACs.

That might be interesting.

But that would require the sort of reporting that the Beacon just doesn't do anymore (if they ever did).  There may be a local blogger who might start sharing that as more financial information comes in.

Not saying who mind you....

The Beacon Learns that Aurora Exists South of Ogden.


There was a fatal accident on Heggs and 30, if you live out in this part of town this does not come as a surprise to you at all.

The Wolf's Crossing (not Wolf road as the article I am going to link to says) intersection at 30 gets backed up going westbound past Eola during morning and evening rush.  It gets worse once school starts with the buses headed to both Oswego East, kids driving to OE and buses headed down to Murphy Jr High.  The change in the intersection of 30  & Wolfs Crossing to use a left turn lane helps, but a light with a turn arrow (as was suggested when speedway went in and ignored) would also help.  Changing the interval on the light would also be a good idea to give traffic on Wolfs crossing more time during the AM  might help.

But hey, the Beacon News is now on it.  The Beacon News has discovered at least for a moment that there is part of Aurora that exists south of 34 and attends the Oswego school district.  But in traditional Beacon News style, they made sure that they didn't really start asking questions until something bad enough happened that the government entities involved were going to have to take immediate action.

Some newspapers report on things that lead to government action, the Beacon waits until government is already going to do something so that way no one looks bad.

Sometimes I think there is a sign in the newsroom (such as it is now) that says "Make Sure No One In Aurora Area Government Looks Bad"



US Senate

James Marter gets at least 35% of the vote.

Democratic Presidential

Sanders by 3%


Trump wins Illinois, Kasich

Kane County

Lauzen mops the floor with Shepro

Dr. Bob & Martinez both in squeakers.

State Rep:

Madigan wins by 20%
Dunkin by 5%

Cook County Attorney General

Foxx by 10%

Well Richard Is In


Back in May I put the odds of Richard Irvin running at about 80% it turns out I was right on that one. He is going to run, he has referred to being mayor as his life's callling.

So we have Linda in, Richard in, Alderman Mike Saville is thinking about it and Kurt Becker is thinking about it (but would have to move to town).

The Beacon (behind the paywall) also had some stuff about Richard being really complementary to Tom, I think it is safe to say that Saville would be so complementary to Tom that that you might think that he is Tom's PR guy.

 If Becker doesn't run and you end up with Linda, Richard and Saville, it may end up that Linda will end up being the least complementary to Tom.

Think about that...  Linda will end up being the anti-establishment candidate.

It's Not Me, It's You...


Dear Republican Party.

If a candidate who says we need to keep people of any race, creed, gender or sexuality out of our country is taken seriously as a candidate at the national level I really can't identify with that party in any way shape or form anymore.  I realize there have been local folks who have had these ideas for quite some time, but it isn't that hard to find idiots at the local level in virtually any group, be it political party or organization.

That being said, when you are considering a national leader who think that, you have to count me out. I don't care how popular the idea might, how well it may poll or help someone in the polls.  We all have our limits and you have hit mine.

I know I have commented in the past that politics isn't church and it is about winning not about being 'pure'.

But I can't nor do I want to self identify with any group who has a leader who thinks crap like this is good policy or morally right.

Dear Every Candidate Besides Trump


Stop talking about secure backdoors into encryption...

  •  The idea is silly, there is no such thing as a secure back door. You put a back door in at some point someone you don't want to enter said door, will..
  • There is plenty of hard to crack encryption algorithms such as RSA  exist and don't have backdoors.

Lauzen vs Shepro...


Well it looks like Chris Lauzen is going to have a primary challenger, Ken Shepro.

Full disclosure, I know both of them, haven't talked to either of them in a while but know both of them.  Also at one time I worked for a candidate that ran against Chris so suffice to say I am not likely one of his preferred guys in town. Also will say that after working for a local dairy guy I have purchased fund raising tickets to a couple of Chris' events. At one point in my life I sat in a fair number of meetings with Ken.

Now that we have that out of the way.

I don't think this is going to be close.  Lauzen has managed to keep the tax levee where it was when he took office, just like he said he would.  I have not always been a Lauzen fan, but I have to say he has done a better job than I expected as Chairman and has even worked better with Democrats than I expected.   The keeping the tax levee where it was at is huge.

Ken's a nice guy, but having seen both of them in action, Lauzen has better skills on the trail by far. I also suspect that this will be seen as the last gasp by the ABC (Anyone But Chris) crew.

Here is a statement for Ken
Shepro said the county's regional plan commission and farmland preservation committees no longer function. There is no economic development focus or staff that Shepro said he is aware of.
Well Ken to be blunt, the average Republican voter can really care less about a county regional plan commission.  I would say that is true for the average voter in general.

The Lost Benefit Of The Doubt...


Between in video in Chicago and GI Joe I would argue that the benefit of the doubt that police have had in Chicagoland when there may be two stories about what happened when the police are involved with something happens may be gone.

If Anita is still running on primary day...


I think it will demonstrate she is perhaps the most deluded elected official since Rod...

Seriously, is anyone buying the I wanted to wait for the feds thing...

I suspect she will finish her term but I would like to think someone with some responsibility is going to sit down with her and point out how the primary is likely unwinnable and the general will be unwinnable.

Yes Someone Of Any Faith Or No Faith Can Be President Of The United States.


I would like to say I am shocked that this is even coming up as a thing, but I am not shocked at all...

People with different viewpoints than your own, people of different races, creeds, genders, financial backgrounds, faiths, favorite sports teams, education levels can be perfectly competent leaders of the free world.

A competent leader is not the same thing as someone who agrees with you on everything.  

There is a difference.

This Is The End...


The Awl has an excellent story about what is going on at the Sun Times...  And I am going to offer my thoughts about what is going on.

First, assuming the design isn't terrible, content always beats design.

Secondly, old media trying trying to imitate new media is asinine.  It's a bit like me using the words bae and acting like I know who Fetty Wap is.

Third, one of the things that made the Sun Times, well the Sun Times was the unique investigative reporting.  Think The Mirage, man that was good reporting and a hell of a good story.

People say no one wants to pay for content, that's not true, people don't want to pay for content that they can for the most part get someplace else.



Was taking Metra home today and saw something that blew my mind.  I looked up and ahead of me by about 6 feet from where I was sitting was pregnant woman who was stuck standing on the train.  I was able to have someone get her attention (she was closer to the door than I was sitting) and offered her my seat.  She said yes and thanked me.

I was disappointed and shocked that no one seated closer to her than I was had made the same offer. Seriously what is wrong with people today, at the least some dudes should have already extended the offer before she ever got up to where I was sitting. I know we all like to look at our phones but come on people.

I hope we have finally reached peak selfishness in the US at this point.