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Isabel’s morning briefing

Monday, Mar 27, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller


  1. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 8:09 am:

    === If only the “ComEd Four” bribery trial tied closely to former House Speaker Mike Madigan could be transformed into a reality TV show. The ratings might rise to the roof. More people in Illinois would be riveted to the reveals showing that what happens in Springfield far too rarely results in authentic, democratic representation for the good of its residents===

    Here’s the thing.

    Folks like “us” who engage in either the process, follow the process, understand who the players are, and why, and why all elements are compelling, heck yeah, it’d be super compelling and draw “us” in as an audience looking for the authenticity.

    As an overarching story, of course that could be a compelling argument to riveting and consumable media.

    But here’s “the thing”…

    You have the judge “bored”, wondering aloud “how long will you continue this questioning”

    You have in the weeds type of testimony that both sides felt *still* needed storytellers… think on that… both sides of this trial needed storytellers to tell their sides to a jury that might not even know what exactly are the charges, crimes, or irregularities to both process and the actual law.

    Now, don’t misunderstand me. The idea of that article is a pitch likely used often to tell “the real stories”, Illinois politics, if I can paraphrase a well known tweeter, “it’s the best tight story”, everything interwoven, but there’s a big difference between getting eyeballs… or rolling eyes at so much about so few.

    My point? Stories are compelling. That’s what one hopes in telling them.

    In court, stories are compelling but facts and broken laws lead to convictions, and being enthralled with the storytelling is that pitching the realities of where a conviction lies?

    Considering that both sides of this trial felt the need to have a witness really designed to spin yarns, not facts, I’ll wait to see how this can come down, even if the ethics aren’t the questionable things, since being unethical still needs legal evidence.

  2. - John Lopez - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 8:44 am:

    === * Tribune | Conservatives are targeting suburban school boards. And the elections are becoming political battlegrounds.: The Chicago suburbs have become a key battleground. From Oswego to Wheaton to Barrington to Lockport and beyond, tens of thousands of dollars are pouring into several ostensibly nonpartisan races ahead of the April 4 balloting as what have historically been low-interest elections are roiled by debates where Republican talking points such as “parental rights,” “gender ideology” and “critical race theory” are taking center stage. ===

    While not part of yesterday’s Chicago Tribune coverage, Huntley Community Unit School District 158 is the battleground in McHenry County, with 9 candidates running for 3, 4-year terms on the school board, and 3 candidates running for 1, 2-year term, and the Illinois Democrats only backed 1 candidate in each race.

    One of the conservative candidates running for the 2-year seat, Michael Thompson, is part of the Catalina Lauf slate, running under the McHenry County Citizens for Lower Taxes PAC, and Sunday afternoon, he posted the following on Facebook which might be seen in other races in Chicagoland and around the state:

    “With election day drawing closer, I would like to address some of the issues currently being raised on social media regarding funding and special interests. Unlike many of the posts, I will also provide all of the information below this, so that you can do your own research.

    “Catalina Lauf announced back in 2022 that she was starting a PAC to help local school board elections & counter the $800,000 Pritzker announced he was putting into 2023 school board races. She’s spoken publicly about it, noting these are leftover campaign funds from her previous run for Congress.

    “(There are no strings attached to it — she does not hold a political office, so what strings could there be?) She has offered it to a variety of non-profit causes as she cannot just keep that money. Some have decried ‘outside money,’ but the only thing outside Illinois is her accountant, as he’s based in Wisconsin. This money was raised locally for support in McHenry County.

    “Recognizing we needed money for signage and mailers to stand out with 12 candidates in this race, we reached out. The vast majority of it has been spent on postage, mailers, signage, and print materials. All of the spending is filed publicly with the PAC.

    “Why we prepared so well: Did you know that the Democratic party was robotexting targeted voters in the area as far back as October of 2022 offering to fully fund -their- 2023 campaigns if they would consider running for the D158 school board?

    “In fact, one of my Talamore [subdivision] neighbors, a registered Democrat, was the recipient of these calls and spoke with their organization a few times to see how much funding they were offering if she chose to run. They offered a sum conveniently under $5000 per candidate, so candidates accepting it would not have to report that they were taking it and could claim that they are ’self funded.’

    “Remember that whenever you hear someone saying they are ’self-funded.’ You can also go to Pritzker’s Defend Our Schools website to see exactly which D158 candidates he’s supporting in this race. On Friday, a round of mailers also went out to our community from Pritzker’s organization that is supporting these candidates.

    “Today’s Chicago Tribune has an article stating that Pritzker has given $300,000 to 84 school board candidates in 17 Illinois counties for this election.

    “Doing the math is easy here - it works out to a little over $3500 per candidate, which those candidates will not need to declare. Again, two of the D158 challengers he’s backing are listed on Pritzker’s site.

    “Had each of us taken money individually and kept it below $5000, we too would not have had to report. We -chose- to report everything in the interest of being fully transparent with voters.

    “There is a deceptively-edited video going around from the recent HEA Candidate Forum that removes important background info that Andy Bittman, Laura Murray, Gina Galligar, and I spoke to regarding our funding, and I would encourage everyone to watch the full forum video to view the unedited portion.

    “It’s very telling to me that people attacking the four of us are -only- focusing on OUR funding.

    “They aren’t attacking the actual issues in the district that we’re shining light on — the overspending on agendas that do not support children’s education, overspending/overstaffing on admins, underpayment of our teachers, staff, and bus drivers, the 44% reading at grade level, 40% doing math at grade level.

    “They know they cannot dispute any of these issues, because they’re true.

    “So, instead, they attack the fact that we created a budget and sought out funding for it — and then also attack our choice to be transparent about what we’re spending and where the funding came from.

    “It’s a strange tactic, indeed.

    “Everything on our end has been legally disclosed with the PAC - we chose to make it transparent to you, and we addressed it during the HEA forum as well.

    “I and the other Common Sense Candidates, Andy Bittman, Laura Murray, and Gina Galligar, are happy to discuss this and any other issues with you, our community, and our voters.

    “In the comments below, I will provide images and links to some of the things I’ve cited in my writeup.

    “I sincerely appreciate your support, and your vote, on April 4th.”

    Come next Tuesday night, D158 will be an interesting race to watch, given the Illinois Democrats could only back a total of 2 of 12 candidates for school board, Catalina Lauf is backing 4 self-described “common sense” candidates, the Daily Herald newspaper could only back two incumbents of the 4 running, and none of the candidates from the competing slates (Lauf vs. Illinois Democrats).

    Thompson’s correct, Lauf did talk about forming an Illinois PAC in an April 12 interview last year, possibly patterned after Congresswoman Lauren Underwood’s “Farm Team PAC”.

    Talk about a school district that clearly needs changes on the school board.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 9:00 am:

    - John Lopez -

    So… what exactly are you saying, commenting in full the Facebook posting?

    Catalina Lauf is a conspiracy theorists and insurrection apologist as she has retweeted both types of folks and highlighting her own agreement.

    If anything, fighting the likes of Lauf and her ilk at the school board level helps democracy, no matter who or how many are fought.

    So, are you cheering Lauf… again?

    Your comment as presented is seemingly an advertisement, as the entire Facebook posting is up.

    If you can *clearly* clarify, it would help.

  4. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 9:04 am:

    ===The ratings might rise to the roof.===

    Yeah, can you imagine all the drama of rate making, the ICC, and infrastructure bills? Ms. Doubek missed her real calling as a Hollywood producer.

  5. - Proud Papa Bear - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 9:13 am:

    Why does the Huntley board clearly need changes? That district is doing some amazing things, like leading the way in getting students an early start in health professions.
    I know at least one board member. While we are from different parties and disagree on many things, he’s an honorable man and I trust his leadership.

  6. - John Lopez - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 9:15 am:

    Oswego Willy, to be clear, I’m saying what I want.

    Unlike the Oswego District 308 school board race, D158 is different because:

    - district so messed up, NO ONE backing all 4 incumbent board members on ballot
    - in spite of Catalina Lauf’s past of retweeting certain fringe elements, she has recycled herself and given $15K (thus far) in a battleground she could possibly win, all or in part.
    - straight from a candidate gives context
    - I don’t “cheering Lauf” - when she does something bad (most of time), I call her out. When she does something right (very few and far between), I cheer her
    - unlike the far left, I believe no one, including Lauf, is beyond redemption and in time, she will be a state/national leader.

    As messed up as D158 is and given 13% of my hometown is in that district, I’m backing two of the candidates on the Lauf slate, one of the candidates on Democrats 2-person slate, and the most common sense incumbent.

    Hope that helps.

  7. - low level - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 9:39 am:

    ==“Dumb Shts”== - McClain

    Easy for the jury to remember. Speaking of dumb, he took the cake.

  8. - Back to the Future - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 10:07 am:

    Thinking you folks that want to turn the ComEd 4 into a cop show or drama have it all wrong.
    Now I don’t want to seem to be picking on the defendants during this stressful time for them, but thinking a good writer could turn this into a great comedy. Something along the lines of a throwback to “The Three Stooges” format.
    Whether or not the defendants are guilty or not they probably are going to be looking for alternative ways to earn a few bucks so thinking they could do a stage show with Jay Doherty playing Moe, the ComEd 4 lady playing Larry and (this casting idea is almost to easy) Michael - friend of Himself- playing Curly.
    Most people will just not believe the activity highlighted in court could happen n their community, but they sure could be entertained by the alleged shenanigans of the the current stars of the ComEd4 trail.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 10:11 am:

    === I’m saying what I want.===

    No you’re not, you literally put up a Facebook post, that is supporting the elements of conspiracy theorists and insurrection apologists.

    You write, (or you did) for a blog where other writers talk conspiracies, and also discuss far-right oddities, I won’t list the columns or the site again, they don’t deserve the traffic

    === I don’t “cheering Lauf” - when she does something bad (most of time), I call her out. When she does something right (very few and far between), I cheer her
    - unlike the far left, I believe no one, including Lauf, is beyond redemption and in time, she will be a state/national leader.===

    You support a far-right person who has purposely and consistently been an ally of the insurrection apologists, touting her as a leader *IS NOT* giving her redemption, you merely want to “move on” in hopes folks don’t realize you and Lauf have far more in common that you won’t honestly admit.

    Again, you should pay Rich for these advertisements you comment, the purpose is to highlight to a broader audience… in completeness… these ideas, and I’m glad Rich puts them up, as I’m never confused who you are, who you align with, and what is at stake.

  10. - DougChicago - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 11:17 am:

    It was somewhat satisfying to see the great newspaperman, Brian Timpone, effectively admit that his journalism is nothing more than disguised political material. Perhaps now the State Board of Elections can open an investigation. I have no objection to him saying whatever it is he wants to say. But his own statements show he is a political committee and the public is entitled by law to know where the money is coming from and going for that activity.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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