Buy My Book Here

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Please check out my new books, "Prosecutors Gone Wild: The Inside Story of the Trial of Chuck Panici, John Gliottoni, and Louise Marshall" and also, "The Definitive Dossier of PTSD in Whistleblowers"

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Valor IT Program on Again

The Valor IT program is on again. I wrote about  this program last year. Hopefully, everyone can make their contribution because it's a great cause.

New Piece on Chicago Elections

Here's my latest piece on Chicago Elections 2011.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Interview with Steve Funk: State Representative Candidate

Here's an example of the difference between a conservative and a libertarian.


Also, here's my latest piece on Chicago Elections 2011.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

My New Home

I'm now working on the website Chicagoelections2011.com. The municipal elections are next February and run offs in April and this website will be dedicated to all things Chicago elections, aldermanic, mayoral and treasurer.

I'll be posting here on occasion and providing links to good articles I file there. I'll still be writing freelance features on occasion on national issues and post links here to those as well.

It will go totally live on Monday. We'll aggregate Chicago election news, provide features, do interviews with candidates, and post videos as well. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Southtown Star Endorses Tresser

The campaign of Green Party Candidate for Cook County Board President got a boost with the endorsement of the Southtown Star.

Tom Tresser tops his business cards with the message "Unbossed and unbought" in his quest to becomes the first third-party candidate to head the powerful Cook County Board of Commissioners.
"I'm the guy nobody sent," said Tresser, who lives in Chicago. "I'm going to drive a stake through the heart of the Democratic machine. Taxpayers are being ripped off. We've forgotten the county can be a center of excellence."
Tresser, 58, may be a political neophyte, but he's no stranger to activism and collation building. Tresser's crafted a thoughtful and detailed plan we believe truly could transform Cook County government into a "center of excellence."

Here again is my interview with Tresser.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

O'Donnell Right But...



When Christine O'Donnell said in a recent debate that there's no such thing as a separation of church and state in the Constitution she was right.

Republican Christine O'Donnell challenged her Democratic rival Tuesday to show where the Constitution"Where in the Constitution is separation of church and state?" O'Donnell asked while Democrat Chris Coons, an attorney, sat a few feet away.
Coons responded that O'Donnell's question "reveals her fundamental misunderstanding of what our Constitution is. ... The First Amendment establishes a separation."
requires separation of church and state, drawing swift criticism from her opponent, laughter from her law school audience and a quick defense from prominent conservatives.

In fact, O'Donnell is right and Coons is wrong. That phrase "separation of church and state" is NOT in the Constitution but first used in a letter by Thomas Jefferson.

I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State.

In fact, the Constitution specifically forbids the state's establishment of religion not a separation of religion from the state.All those laughing are actually ignorant of the Constitution. 

The problem is that O'Donnell has yet to explain herself. She has yet to point out that the separation of church and state comes from a Jefferson letter and not the Constitution. She has yet to challenge the assertions. Instead, media continue to portray her as dumb and she has yet to counter.

Chicago in Photos



Monday, October 18, 2010

Interview with Roger Keats: Republican Candidate for Cook County Board President



Of course, here again is my interview with Tom Tresser, Green Party candidate for the same office.



Toni Preckwinkle, the Democratic candidate for the same office, has an open invitation on the show. So far, she hasn't responded to our offer.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hillbuzz Silent

For a month from mid July to mid August, Hillbuzz, and its proprietor, drove a story that no one else followed. The story involved the head of the Chicago Republican Party, Eloise Gerson, the Executive Director of the Cook County Republican Party, Jeremy Rose, and the Cook County Republican Chairman, Lee Roupas.

In the narrative created by Hillbuzz, Gerson blew the whistle on a prior act of a sexually predatory nature by Rose, Roupas covered it up and then retaliated against her. For a month, this story was the number one story on Hillbuzz.

The story eventually spread to Huffington Post and then to the Capital Fax blog. Rose eventually resigned.

The story lost steam until I published a freelance piece on Gaper's Block. My piece challenged the narrative created by Hillbuzz. Given the amount of time and space it dedicated to the story, one would think they'd have a response. Yet, Hillbuzz has had no follow up to the story that they drove given the new angle that was opened up. Huffington Post and Capital Fax also ignored the story even though it challenged their assertions as well.

O'Reilly on the View



Of course, when the terrorists scream "Allah Akbar" as they perform their terrorist act, which religion are they bowing down to?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Giannoulias on the Defensive

The Consequences of the Foreclosure Freeze

It's likely to become the biggest business story, if not the biggest story period, of 2011. What will happen as a result of the massive mess created by the sloppy process by which banks foreclosed on properties? Already three banks have made foreclosure moatoriums in about half the states. More are likely to come. A handful of state AG's are considering charges and more will come.

The first impact is economic. Such a freeze on foreclosures will remove properties that need to be sold from the market.This will create a disequilibrium between supply and demand. There are few buyers and so prices will need to come down but with these properties being held out of the market prices will stay up artificially.

Second, the one area of real estate that's moving will freeze. About the only people making money in real estate were those that focused on foreclosures. Whether they were realtors, mortgage bankers, buyers, or attorneys, there has been plenty of money if you captured the foreclosure market. That will be no longer. Without that moving, nothing is moving.

The most potentially devastating is the potential moral hazard. The biggest problem with a successful loan modification process would have been that it encouraged more people to fall behind on their mortgage. After all, you only get a loan modification if you are behind. That never materialized. Now, we are facing a similar dynamic. Mass freezes on foreclosures mean that people have little to fear about falling behind on their mortgage. There is now little incentive to pay your mortgage. Banks have proven that when push comes to shove, they almost never can prove they have a right to take your home. So, why pay? There is no punishment.

Finally, no one will talk about the main problem, too much paper work. Too much paperwork was partially responsible for causing the crisis. Now, it's largely responsible for causing this crisis. Yet, we passed a massive financial reform bill that will expand paperwork exponentially.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Interview with Tom Tresser

Tresser is running for Cook County Board President. Also Washington Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, among the greatest landscape architects of all time.




Here's an interview with Tresser's Republican opponent, Roger Keats.



Toni Preckwinkle, the Democratic candidate, has not returned requests to come on the show.

Interview with Enrique Perez Aldermanic Candidate 2nd Ward



Here's a few notes. Mr. Perez was charged with voter fraud in a Local School Council election. Here's an article about the situation. 

Because it was only an LSC election, not all that much has been written about it. Mr. Perez kept his seat and he addresses the issue.

Through November as well as next February, you should see interviews with candidates locally and we'll be interviewing candidates from all parties. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Murkowski Ad



The problem is that there are several things in this ad that are dubious.First, while Murkowski was initially appointed by her father, she eventually won several elections in her own right. It's not entirely clear that Murkowski ever tried to influence the absentee ballot vote. Those are allegations that the Tea Party Express themselves made. There's also no evidence that Murkowski tried to strong arm the Libertarian Party.

This is unfortunately the second story in two days in which the Tea Party movement has been involved in stories in which they appear to be politics as usual.

Pollak's Ad



All right, you caught me. This was a shameless way of posting my interview with him again.

ADP Release Spells Trouble

Private sector employment lost jobs in September according to the monthly ADP release.

Companies in the U.S. unexpectedly cut workers in September, data from a private report based on payrolls showed.

Employment decreased by 39,000, the biggest drop since January, after a revised 10,000 gain in August, according to figures today from ADP Employer Services. The median estimate of 37 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a gain of 20,000. Forecasts ranged from a decline of 44,000 to a 75,000 increase.

A loss of jobs raises the risk that consumer spending, the largest part of the economy, will retrench and halt the recovery. A Labor Department report in two days will show companies added 75,000 workers last month, economists project.

The monthly BLS numbers come out on Friday and they will be the last employment numbers before the election.  A bad number is expected, but negative jobs will put the final nail in the Democrats November 2 elections.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Trump Tower

New Freelance Piece

Check out my newest freelance piece here.

Angle Caught on Tape

Sharron Angle was caught on tape blasting Republicans and making deals with a third party candidate in an explosive development in that race.

The problem for Angle is that this is the sort of thing that typical politicians, Angle promised access to Mitch McConnell if the candidate dropped out, do. Remember the Tea Party movement backed Christine O'Donnell even though her opponent in the primary would have won the general election in a cakewalk. They did this because purity is more important than victory.

Meanwhile, her third party challenger, Scott Ashjian, believes both parties are corrupt and so only a third party can offer the proper change. Isn't he also practicing purity? So, why is Angle trying to get him out of the race?

O'Donnell's New Ad



The problem with this ad is that it's all about her. Christine O'Donnell will win in Delaware if the race is all about her opponent, Chris Coons. She'll lose if it's about her.

Early and Often

Check out the new site dedicated to all things Chicago elections.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Foreclosures Stopping at a Mass Scale

My loyal reader AG first brought this to my attention but this story is now exploding.

The flawed practices that GMAC Mortgage, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America have recently begun investigating are so prevalent, lawyers and legal experts say, that additional lenders and loan servicers are likely to halt foreclosure proceedings and may have to reconsider past evictions.

Problems emerging in courts across the nation are varied but all involve documents that must be submitted before foreclosures can proceed legally. Homeowners, lawyers and analysts have been citing such problems for the last few years, but it appears to have reached such intensity recently that banks are beginning to re-examine whether all of the foreclosure papers were prepared properly.

In some cases, documents have been signed by employees who say they have not verified crucial information like amounts owed by borrowers. Other problems involve questionable legal notarization of documents, in which, for example, the notarizations predate the actual preparation of documents — suggesting that signatures were never actually reviewed by a notary.

Other problems occurred when notarizations took place so far from where the documents were signed that it was highly unlikely that the notaries witnessed the signings, as the law requires.

What really scares me about this story is that a lot of it is deja vu. Many of the problems in the foreclosure problems were problems in the closing process during the refinancing boom. Forgery, using a notary that likely didn't witness the signature (the purpose of a notary), and not verifying documents were all things that mortgage professionals did on a mass scale. Now that foreclosures are booming many of the same people are doing the same things. 

The consequences will likely be that many foreclosures will not go forward and people will stay in homes.

Quigley for Mayor

Mike Quigley, who's currently the successor to Rahm Emanuel as US Congressman in the 5th District (my district and the one once held by convicted felons Dan Rostenkowski and later Rod Blagojevich), is considering running for mayor of Chicago.

There is something about the seat in the Fifth Congressional District. Maybe it feels like a throne when you sit in it.

For 36 years, it was held by Dan Rostenkowski, adviser to presidents, distributor of tax dollars, wielder of clout. Later it was filled by Rod R. Blagojevich and then by Rahm Emanuel, both of whom went on to bigger things. Let’s just say the results were mixed.

Now Mr. Emanuel’s successor, Mike Quigley, said he was considering a run for mayor, even though Mr. Emanuel has quit his job as White House chief of staff and entered the race.

“I’m giving it some thought,” Mr. Quigley said in an interview. “For now, I’m focused on winning re-election and helping my colleagues in November, and after that, I’ll make a decision.”

With Tom Dart, Rickey Hendon, James Meeks, and Rahm Emanuel already in, the Chicago mayoral race is looking to be a wide open who's who of political heavy weights. 

Enough of Rahm

Talk about saturation. You'd think that the only one running for mayor of Chicago is Rahm Emanuel. He isn't. He's not even the favorite. We have a wide open race in Chicago. There's nearly ten candidates and all anyone in this city can talk about is Rahm Emanuel.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Schakowski Steps in It

This video has been making the rounds.



Of course, here's my interview of her opponent, Joel Pollak.

Friday, October 1, 2010

How Much Trouble Are Democrats In: Manchin and Blumenthal

Both Dick Blumenthal and Joe Manchin enjoy approval ratings of 60%+ plus in their states. Manchin is currently the governor of West Virginia. About 70% of the state is satisfied with his tenure. That's no easy task considering the state of the national economy. Dick Blumenthal is Connecticut's Attorney General. He enjoys 60% approval ratings.

Both initially lead their challengers by 20% and more. Blumenthal was brought in to augment the very unpopular Chris Dodd. At first, he looked to be a shoe in. The same goes for Manchin, now running for Robert Byrd's seat.

Both are now in toss up races. Manchin is now down. Blumenthal's lead grows smaller everyday. Blumenthal has had some personal problems following revelations that he was less than truthful about his military service. Manchin has no such problems. Yet, he's seen his vote total dwindle. Both have seen their electoral prospects dwindle simply because the perception is that a vote for them is a vote for the Obama agenda. Manchin has been distancing himself from Obama daily. First, he came out against cap and trade. Next, he said he believes part of health care reform need to be repealed. Bottom line is that if these two are in trouble everyone is in trouble.