Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pension Reform

State Senate candidate Karen McConnaughay today announced her support for the creation of a tiered state pension system that will move employees to a defined contribution system and away from the unsustainable defined benefit plan that has left the state with an unfunded liability of over $80 billion dollars. “I have great respect for the men and women in public service, and the worst thing we can do is to prop up an unsustainable pension system that will eventually drag down the state’s finances and force radical reductions in benefits,” said McConnaughay. “Moving to the type of retirement plan that the vast majority of Illinois workers have is not just common sense, it is the fair and responsible thing to do,” she added.
McConnaughay, currently Chairman of the Kane County Board, announced that she will support SB 512 which will establish three options for current state employees. Those employees will retain current benefit guarantees for the years they have worked, but, going forward, will either increase their contributions to maintain the current benefit guarantee, maintain current contributions and have future benefits reduced, or move to a 401(k)-type retirement savings plan that will include a state contribution. The legislation also calls for a scheduled pay off of the current unfunded liability for state pensions.
“I applaud the work of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club which has been relentless in its promotion of meaningful pension reform,” said McConnaughay. “I believe they have focused attention on this issue that has been swept under the rug for too long.” The Civic Committee’s “Illinois is Broke” campaign has promoted restructuring state government pensions through grassroots advocacy and education across the state.
As part of her support for state pension reform, McConnaughay also announced that she will not participate in the General Assembly Retirement System while she serves in the Senate. “I currently save for my retirement through the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), and will continue to do so,” she said. “I will not seek eligibility in another public pension system to feather my nest while asking state workers to sacrifice along with other working families. In fact, because of the reduction in compensation between the County Board chairmanship and the legislature, I will be ultimately reducing the pension I will receive.”

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mike Sheahan.

Mike Sheahan
One of the most stand up guys you will ever meet. Proud to be able to say I know him.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

This may ruin your day.....but you might want to think about it.

Who will bail out the bankrupt states?
Los Angeles, CA
—The not so Golden State has taxed and spent itself into a financial quagmire. Employers and producers have fled in droves to avoid the extortionate taxes here.

California taxpayers providing services to illegal aliens, is at an all time high. That has gutted the schools and health care needs of California’s legal residents.

The prisons and jails are pushing dangerous criminals out to certain unemployment in today’s economy. The body count will be off the charts and every Medical Examiner's Office.

California’s politicians have not and will not let up on their reckless spending habits or desire to regulate everyone’s lives.

The fact is it’s only a matter of time before they can no longer continue the handouts the Entitlement Zombies are accustomed to receiving. When that happens, Los Angeles and Oakland will be on fire like never before.

The death toll and massive amounts of homeless will be staggering. The other more frugal states will be forced to bail out California.

In Lockstep with California will be Illinois, New York and New Jersey. They have the same problems.

I hope the other states abandon these pathetic Socialist utopias that have gone bad. The fools in Congress will bend over as they claim bailouts are the only humanitarian way to solve the problem.
This will bring America closer to a Civil War for sure.

In the meantime America has changed in that the residents don’t care about liberty as much as getting a free ride. The color of the Nation has darkened and traditional work ethics and culture has been on a sharp decline.

The America most of us grew up in no longer exists. We are rapidly becoming a Fascist nation were people are enslaved by Socialism. We can either resist now or wait for the holocaust.

From my friend Paul H.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Condition of streets.

Whenever we go shopping at Dominicks, I always take the same streets back home. I have noticed that the 5 year old payment on Talman between 111th and 113th is failing. Some kind of a Daley sweetheart deal I'm sure. I was wondering how many other streets in the neighborhood are about to fail. Is there anyway of getting them fixed the right way?

Monday, February 20, 2012

So just who is the smartest?
The results from the earlier poll which measured the public's perception of raw intelligence, were interesting but murkey, so we had to do another one. As you can see on the right, the contenders have been hitting it hard. I expect to declare a winner soon.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Is the 19th Ward Machine in trouble?

Fran Hurley
Detective Shaved has spoken. Chicago Democrats are poised to extend their control over Southland state legislative seats in unprecedented fashion this year.

Typical of the makeover created by House Speaker Michael Madigan’s remap is the Democratic primary election for the 35th House District seat.

“The Democratic Party picked the secretary of the 19th Ward alderman and decided to run her for a House seat that would represent Worth, Palos Heights, Orland Park and Orland Hills as well as the 19th Ward,” said Andrew Byrne Hodorowicz, of Palos Heights, the only suburban candidate running in the Democratic primary. “She has no prior experience except that she worked for (former 19th Ward) Ald. Ginger Rugai and now works for Matt O’Shea.”

Indeed, Frances Ann Hurley touts her experience as an aldermanic aide, claiming that she was responsible for constituent services in the 19th Ward office. There she shared office space with 19th Ward politicians such as former state Rep. Kevin Joyce (D-Chicago) and Matt O'Shea.

Also running in the new 35th District Democratic primary is Anthony R. Martin, a resident of the Mount Greenwood community and a Chicago fire lieutenant.


February 19, 2012 8:42 AM

Friday, February 17, 2012

The parade is a go!

And dont forget the fundraiser tomorow night at Bourbon Street.

Debate Report

The candidates for State Rep 35th Dist met and debated last night. Were you there? Tell us what you observed. Who will you vote for.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bob Hoff

Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff just resigned. Reason for the abruptness is unknown. A great leader and a true loss for the Department.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

G-8 Good or Bad?

What do you think about the G-8 summit? Is it good for Chicago to host such an event? What about the possible disruption of daily life? What about the financial cost to Chicago.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Coverup? What do you think?

The victim
Imagine your child goes  out for the night and you get a phone call that he or she is hurt and on the way to the hospital. A few days later, the child is dead. Would you want an explanation? Would you want the police to do something? Would you want the states attorney to do something?  What if they failed to act because.............. the suspect was connected? How would you feel? The following was in todays paper.
Facing the possibility of coming under scrutiny by a special prosecutor, the Cook County state’s attorney’s office and the Chicago Police Department are, for the first time, offering an explanation for why, just hours into the case, detectives abruptly dropped the David Koschman investigation and didn’t pick it up again for 15 days:
The two detectives assigned to the case went on vacation.
Hours after detectives Rita O’Leary and Robert Clemens had learned that Koschman was in a coma, with a fractured skull and swollen brain, the police stopped talking with witnesses — apparently, a top police official now says, in hopes that Koschman would recover and would be able to talk with detectives about his confrontation with a man later identified as Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko, a nephew of then-Mayor Richard M. Daley.
As a result, detectives interviewed only two of the eight known witnesses in the 11 days before Koschman died. One of them was a Vanecko friend who lied to the police on two separate occasions, concealing Vanecko’s involvement. Friends who were with Koschman weren’t interviewed.
“It’s a sound investigative technique to interview the victim first, if possible,” says Dean Andrews, the police department’s deputy chief of detectives. “The detectives at the time were told Koschman was going to be in a medically induced coma for five days. It’s reasonable to believe that the detectives did not think this was going to turn into a fatality.”
Instead, Koschman’s grave condition only worsened while O’Leary and Clemens were on vacation, hospital records show. The 21-year-old part-time college student from Mount Prospect underwent surgery four times and never regained consciousness, dying on May 6, 2004.
It took four more days for the police to assign the case to a new team of detectives, as O’Leary and Clemens remained on vacation. The new team of detectives got the case on May 10, 2004 — the day the Cook County medical examiner ruled Koschman’s death a homicide.
Given how dire Koschman’s condition was, criminal justice experts question why the police waited to resume interviewing witnesses — including those who would ultimately reveal that Vanecko was involved in the drunken confrontation on Division Street that led to Koschman’s death.
“Did everybody miss the point that [Koschman] was gravely ill?” says Eugene O’Donnell, a professor of police studies at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. “If you think somebody’s going to die, you should have a full-court press going that night.”
Koschman died as the result of a single punch. The night of the confrontation, the police classified what happened as a battery and assigned the case to the Area 3 detective division, then overseen by Cmdr. Michael Chasen, who has since retired. O’Leary and Clemens still work at Area 3, which is at Belmont and Western.
Chasen and O’Leary have declined to comment. Clemens hasn’t returned messages seeking comment.
Questions about the 15-day gap in the investigation first arose last March.
But no one provided an explanation until Jan. 31, when State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez cited the detectives’ vacation in a court filing. Andrews expanded on that short mention in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times.
The court filing was a 46-page objection that Alvarez filed with Cook County Circuit Judge Michael Toomin to a request Nanci Koschman made in December seeking the appointment of a special prosecutor to re-examine her son’s death and the way the investigation was handled by police and prosecutors. The mother’s lawyers argue that an outside prosecutor is needed because Alvarez’s office has a conflict of interest in investigating conduct including that of current officials in the prosecutor’s office.

The Koschman request for a special prosecutor cited a series of Sun-Times reports, beginning Feb. 28, 2011, that have questioned how police and prosecutors handled the case. David Koschman and four friends had been out drinking in the Rush Street area when, during the early-morning hours of April 25, 2004, they bumped into Vanecko, then 29, and three of his friends. During an ensuing argument, Koschman was punched in the face. He fell, fracturing his skull on the pavement.
Vanecko ran away. He has never spoken with the police about what happened.
Still, after giving the case a new review after the Sun-Times sought records in the case, the police said last March 1 that they determined that Vanecko threw the only punch. Seven years earlier, they had said they couldn’t say for sure who punched Koschman.
But although the blow left Koschman mortally injured, the police decided that Vanecko shouldn’t be criminally charged, asserting that, even though the much-smaller Koschman hadn’t hit anyone, Vanecko acted in self-defense.
Six hours after the deadly confrontation, Koschman had just gotten out of emergency brain surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital when O’Leary and Clemens began investigating what happened.
O’Leary called Northwestern Memorial and was told by a nurse that Koschman was unconscious and in “critical but stable condition,” according to a report she filed three weeks later.
She and Clemens then went to the North Side home of Kevin D. McCarthy and his wife, Bridget Higgins McCarthy, who had been involved in the argument with Koschman.
After Koschman fell unconscious, the McCarthys were walking away when the police detained them and handcuffed Kevin McCarthy. Koschman’s friends told the police that McCarthy didn’t hit their friend but that both he and his wife were with two men who ran away.

When O’Leary and Clemens came to their home, McCarthy lied, telling the detectives that he and his wife came upon the confrontation and didn’t know anyone involved. Weeks later, McCarthy’s wife told the police that she and her husband actually had been with the two men who ran away, identifying them as Vanecko and Craig Denham.
After interviewing Kevin McCarthy, O’Leary called Koschman’s mother at the hospital. She said her son had a skull fracture and swelling in his brain and would be sedated for “at least the next five days.”
O’Leary then called Michael Connolly, one of two bystanders who happened upon the confrontation. He told her he saw Koschman “get ‘pushed or shoved’ from the group and fall to the ground.”
It was the last interview O’Leary and Clemens would do, police records show. Three days later, each went on vacation for three weeks, starting April 28, 2004, according to Alvarez’s court filing.

Koschman died May 6, 2004. The police investigation resumed on May 10, 2004, when detectives Ronald E. Yawger, Anthony Giralamo Jr., Edward Louis and Anthony Villardita took over the case from O’Leary and Clemens, who were still on vacation.
Here’s what happened in the weeks that followed, according to police reports:
May 10, 2004: Phillip Kohler, the other bystander who saw the incident, was interviewed by the police for the first time.

May 12, 2004: Koschman’s four friends were interviewed by detectives for the first time.
May 13, 2004: Bridget Higgins McCarthy — whose father Jack Higgins was a friend of then-Mayor Daley and also was the developer who built Chicago’s police headquarters — and her lawyer met with detectives. This was when she contradicted her husband’s earlier story, revealing that she and her husband were with Vanecko and Denham.
May 19, 2004: Kevin McCarthy and Denham — who later married a sister of Daley’s son-in-law — met with detectives and backed up what McCarthy’s wife had told them.
May 20, 2004: O’Leary, back from vacation, turned in a six-page report detailing what she and Clemens did on the case 25 days earlier.

Three hours later, Vanecko, McCarthy and Denham appeared in police lineups. No one could identify Vanecko, whose lawyer had told detectives Vanecko might talk with them that day. Instead, Vanecko left without speaking with the police. Assistant State’s Attorney Darren O’Brien — who was felony-review chief for then-State’s Attorney Richard Devine, a longtime Daley friend — interviewed several witnesses and told the police there wasn’t enough evidence to charge anyone in Koschman’s death.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

This election is starting to look like a sham!

REPOST 35th district debate?

We have 38 days to go before the election. Are the candidates, Martin, Hurley and Hodorowicz, planning on having a public discussion of the issues? Where are all the local civic groups on this?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bell Ringing

This Saturday, February 11, 2012 there will be a bell ringing ceremony at 8:00 am to honor fallen Firefighter / Paramedic Patrick King and Firefighter Anthony Lockhart who died in the line of duty on Febraruary 12, 1998. The ceremony will be held at King Lockhart Memorial Park at 10611 S. Western Ave. and will last approximately ten minutes. Please bring your family out to pay tribute to these brave men who died protecting our community.

The above is from the Alderman's office.

A letter from Cardinal George

Cardinal George
This is in response to the recent, highly coordinated attack on the Catholic Church. The current administration has demonstrated that it holds contempt for Catholic beliefs. This administration, and all of its followers, has to go. They will be defeated in November.

February 5, 2012
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
I write to you concerning a most serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced on January 20 that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those "services" in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.
In so ruling, the Administration has seemingly ignored the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation's first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. As a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics must be prepared either to violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Administration's sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.
We cannot-we will not-comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens because of their religious beliefs. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America's cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. All that has been built up over so many years in our Catholic institutions should not be taken away by the stroke of an administrator's pen. This order reduces the Church to a private club, destroying her public mission in society. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same.
Therefore, I would ask of you two things. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I would also recommend visiting www.usccb.org/conscience to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Administration's decision.
A letter similar to this is being sent to their people by diocesan bishops around the country. I thank you for your consideration of this unprecedented challenge to religious liberty. You and your families are in my prayers; please keep me in yours.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Chicago

35th district debate?

We have 38 days to go before the election. Are the candidates, Martin, Hurley and Hodorowicz, planning on having a public discussion of the issues? Where are all the local civic groups on this?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Is the parade in jeopardy?

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration indicated this week that it doesn't think the group trying to resurrect the South Side Irish Parade, shut down three years ago because of drunken violence, is prepared to pull it off.
In a letter to the parade committee, the administration asked for additional details about its plans for security, and also called for a public meeting on those plans.
Although the parade committee's application for the March 11 event has been accepted, a permit is not issued until the organizers prepay for city services that include putting up barricades and parade-route signs, an administration official said Wednesday.
"Before we seek the payment, we would hope that the parade committee will come to the conclusion that it is not ready to hold this event," the official said.
Joseph Connelly, who heads the parade committee, said he believes that his group will be able to run a "safe, family-friendly" event.
"We're confident that working with the city we'll get to the right place," he said.
Connelly questioned the need for a public meeting, saying his group held four such meetings in August and early September. "Right now, our focus is on having the parade, not having another public meeting," he said.
Ald. Matthew O'Shea, 19th, a onetime parade organizer, has repeatedly called for another public meeting on the parade and said most local residents weren't aware of the previous meetings. In fact, residents were surprised to learn that parade plans were moving forward, he said.
O'Shea contends the parade committee's security plan is sparse on detail, a perception echoed by the administration in its letter.
Although the parade committee has been working with a prominent security company, the contract for parade-day security has yet to be written and signed, Connelly said.
The parade committee is about halfway to its goal of raising $200,000. One sponsor is City Beverage, which distributes Guinness and Bud Light, Connelly said. They will help promote the event's zero-tolerance policy, he said.

The parade, first held in 1979, was discontinued after 2009 when alcohol-fueled violence near the increasingly popular event led to injuries to police officers and others.

If Matt O'Shea ever stepped up to the plate, it should be now. Save this parade.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Skinny Sheahan

Mr. South Side
The man that saved the South Side Irish Parade (and quite possibly the neighborhood). Everyone should buy this man a drink when they see him. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Check out the latest attack on the Catholic church.

Catholics need to take this seriously.  We are witnessing a highly organized attack on the church. This ruling should be considered one of the first steps toward the eventual labeling of the Catholic church as a "hate group". 
Catholics across the country heard something unusual at mass this weekend regarding a decision by the Obama Administration involving birth control.
Sunday, 2 On Your Side was invited to mass at Our Lady of Pompeii Roman Catholic Church in Lancaster, where the pastor's stinging critique drew a standing ovation.
"Something big is going on, and by now you should know what it is," said Pastor Leon Bienart during his homily.
Bienart was referring to the decision by the Obama Administration requiring religious employers to provide health insurance that covers contraceptives, including the "morning-after" pill.
This weekend, church leaders nationwide vowed to fight it, arguing it violates their First Amendment religious freedom.
"President Obama is telling our Catholic institutions that serve this nation well in hospitals and schools and charitable organizations," Bienart said. "President Obama is telling our Catholic Institutions to provide and pay for what we find morally and religiously wrong. President Obama has lied to us. He has lied to us."
Bienart was referencing the President's 2009 speech at the University of Notre Dame, where told Catholics that, regarding his health care reforms, "Let's honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause."
The President's regulation does exempt church employees, just not workers at other Catholic institutions, like hospitals, universities and charities.
"I believe the state and the federal government should not be able to tell the Roman Catholic people what to do," Parishioner Barbara Bordonara said.
Father Bienart ended his homily by saying that he did not intend to bring politics to the pulpit, but that politics had thrust itself into the church with the new regulation.
"I am Father Leon Biernat and I do approve of this message," he concluded, and was greeted to a 20-second standing ovation from parishioners.
The regulation has drawn applause from women's groups, who argue it will reduce the number of abortions. A White House spokesperson said the regulation is "an effective balance between religious beliefs and increased access to important preventative services."

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Term Limits, February Issue of the month.

Some historical background on the topic is listed below. We are just coming off a period where we had a mayor serve for 22 years.  Do you think he was at the top of his game near the end of his last term? Do the citizens deserve better?

I am not saying that he was not committed to the betterment of Chicago. He was very committed. What I am referring to is the human condition known as burnout caused by years and years of giving it your all. He may have been mentally exhausted in the end. Too exhausted to be at the top of his game. 

There is also the concern that long-term politicians have been known to lose touch with the citizens for various reasons not worth mentioning here.  How can we protect ourselves from long-term politicians and ensure that we have the best and the brightest leading the way. Maybe the founding fathers had it right. Public service for a few years and get out. Let someone else, someone with some better ideas possibly, give it a try.

Wikipedia:Term limits, or rotation in office, date back to the American Revolution, and prior to that to the democracies and republics of antiquity. The council of 500 in ancient Athens rotated its entire membership annually, as did the ephorate in ancient Sparta. The ancient Roman Republic featured a system of elected magistrates—tribunes of the plebs, aediles, quaestors, praetors, and consuls—who served a single term of one year, with reelection to the same magistracy forbidden for ten years. (See Cursus honorum)[1] According to historian Garrett Fagan, office holding in the Roman Republic was based on "limited tenure of office" which ensured that "authority circulated frequently," helping to prevent corruption.[1] An additional benefit of the cursus honorum or Run of Offices was to bring the "most experienced" politicians to the upper echelons of power-holding in the ancient republic.[1] Many of the founders of the United States were educated in the classics, and quite familiar with rotation in office during antiquity. The debates of that day reveal a desire to study and profit from the object lessons offered by ancient democracy.
In 1783, rotation experiments were taking place at the state level. The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 set maximum service in the Pennsylvania General Assembly at "four years in seven."[2] Benjamin Franklin's influence is seen not only in that he chaired the constitutional convention which drafted the Pennsylvania constitution, but also because it included, virtually unchanged, Franklin's earlier proposals on executive rotation. Pennsylvania's plural executive was composed of twelve citizens elected for the term of three years, followed by a mandatory vacation of four years.[3]
On October 2, 1789, the Continental Congress appointed a committee of thirteen to examine forms of government for the impending union of the states. Among the proposals was that from the State of Virginia, written by Thomas Jefferson, urging a limitation of tenure, "to prevent every danger which might arise to American freedom by continuing too long in office the members of the Continental Congress...."[4] The committee made recommendations, which as regards congressional term-limits were incorporated unchanged into the Articles of Confederation (1781-1789]). The fifth Article stated that "no person shall be capable of being a delegate [to the continental congress] for more than three years in any term of six years."[5]
In contrast to the Articles of Confederation, the federal constitution convention at Philadelphia omitted mandatory term limits from the second national frame of government, i.e. the U.S. Constitution of 1787 to the present. Nonetheless, largely because of grassroots support for the principle of rotation, rapid turnover in Congress prevailed. Also, George Washington set the precedent for a two-term tradition that prevailed (with the exception of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's four terms) until the 22nd Amendment of 1951.
However, when the states ratified the Constitution (1787–88), several leading statesmen regarded the lack of mandatory limits to tenure as a dangerous defect, especially, they thought, as regards the Presidency and the Senate. Richard Henry Lee viewed the absence of legal limits to tenure, together with certain other features of the Constitution, as "most highly and dangerously oligarchic."[6] Both Jefferson[7] and George Mason[8] advised limits on reelection to the Senate and to the Presidency, because said Mason, "nothing is so essential to the preservation of a Republican government as a periodic rotation." The historian Mercy Otis Warren, warned that "there is no provision for a rotation, nor anything to prevent the perpetuity of office in the same hands for life; which by a little well timed bribery, will probably be done...."[9]
The fact that "perpetuity in office" was not approached until the 20th century is due in part to the influence of rotation in office as a popular 19th century concept. "Ideas are, in truth, forces," and rotation in office enjoyed such normative support, especially at the local level, that it altered political reality.[10] For a detailed study of the 19th century concepts of rotation let the reader consult Political Science Quarterly, vol. 94, "House Turnover and the Principle of Rotation," by Robert Struble, Jr. See also his Treatise on Twelve Lights,[11] chapter six, "Rotation in History". Consult also, James Young's The Washington Community, 1800-1828.
According to Young, the tendency to look with mistrust upon political power was so ingrained into American culture that even the officeholders themselves perceived their occupations in a disparaging light.[12] James Fenimore[13] An article in the Richmond Enquirer (1822) noted that the "long cherished" principle of rotation in office had been impressed on the republican mind "by a kind of intuitive impulse, unassailable to argument or authority."[14]
Beginning about the 1830s, Jacksonian democracy introduced a less idealistic twist to the practice of limiting terms. Rotation in office came to mean taking turns in the distribution of political prizes.[15] Rotation of nominations to the U.S. House of Representatives – the prizes – became a key element of payoffs to the party faithful. The leading lights in the local party machinery came to regard a nomination for the House as "salary" for political services rendered. A new code of political ethics evolved, based on the proposition that "turnabout is fair play."[16] In short, rotation of nominations was intertwined with the spoils system.
In district nominating conventions local leaders could negotiate and enforce agreements to pass the nominations around among themselves. Abraham Lincoln was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1846 under such a bargain, and he returned home to Springfield after a single congressional term because, he wrote, "to enter myself as a competitor of another, or to authorize anyone so to enter me, is what my word and honor forbid."[17]
During the Civil War, the Confederate States constitution limited its president to a single six-year term.
The practice of nomination rotation for the House of Representatives began to decline after the Civil War. It took a generation or so before the direct primary system, civil service reforms, and the ethic of professionalism worked to eliminate rotation in office as a common political practice. By the turn of the 20th century the era of incumbency was coming into full swing.
A total of 8 presidents served two full terms and declined a third and three presidents served one full term and refused a second. After World War II, however, an officeholder class had developed to the point that congressional tenure rivaled that of the U.S. Supreme Court, where tenure is for life.
"Homesteading" in Congress, made possible by reelection rates that approached 100% by the end of the 20th century, brought about a popular insurgency known as the "term-limits movement". The elections of 1990-94 saw the adoption of term limits for state legislatures in almost every state where citizens had the power of the initiative. In addition 23 states limited service in their delegation to Congress, with the general formula being three terms [six years] in the U.S. House and two terms [twelve years] in the U.S. Senate.
As they pertain to Congress, these laws are no longer enforceable, however, as in 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned congressional term limits, ruling that state governments cannot limit the terms of members of the national government.[18]
Where rotation in the legislative branch has withstood court challenges, term limits continue to garner popular support. As of 2002, U.S. Term Limits found that in the 17 states where state legislators served in rotation, public support for term limits ranged from 60 to 78 percent.[19]

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Where are our local leaders?

This is a repost of something from last September.

What business raises their prices by 26%?

Waste and Inefficiency
The Metra Board is mulling fare increases which average 26%. If a business tried that, they would be out of business. Trust me when I say the Metra Board is composed of grossly incompetent people. They have a $65 million deficit? Did they ever hear of budgeting? How about cutting your expenses? How about living within your means?

Imagine the detrimental effect this is going to have on our neighborhood. We need our local pols to jump into action.

They can't be found. A 10% increase in 2008 and a 26% fair increase in 2012 and our elected officials see nothing wrong?