Part one:  Obama clueless about jobs, yet ‘On the Road Again’

Its beginning to sound much like the song country music singer Willie Nelson made famous, ‘On the Road Again.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Road_Again_(Willie_Nelson_song)
Over the past week President Obama has been out and about the nation attempting to pass his jobs bills by appealing to the American people in what the White House calls “official” trips, but for all intensive purposes they are pre-election campaign jaunts.  It matters not that Obama’s field trips are not being paid by his re-election campaign.  
 
On Monday, October 17, President Obama started a three-day bus tour across North Carolina and Virginia, once again championing his job-creation program in states critical to his re-election.  At every stop Obama pressed Congress to pass his $447 billion jobs bills in “bite-sized” pieces. http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wnij/news.newsmain/article/0/0/1864462/Top.Stories/On.the.road.again..Obama.pitches.jobs.plan
 
In case you need a refresher, the $447 billion bill included tax cuts for workers and businesses and $175 billion in infrastructure and school spending among other things.  It is to be funded by a surcharge on those with an income exceeding $1 million.
 
Given that the last $787 billion stimulus bill passed on Feb. 12, 2009, amounted to little more than a slush fund for Democrat supporters, is this one likely to do any better? http://www.google.com/search?q=When+was+the+1st+stimulus+bill+passed+and+for+how+much%3F&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7ADFA_enUS441
  
And what about Obama’s most coveted tax hike to pay for his jobs bill?   As Charles Krauthammer wrote in his published “Tribune” commentary,  
“Dibs on the rich,” on Monday, Oct. 17:  “As a matter of math and logic, Obama’s most coveted tax hike — an extra 3 to 4.6 percent for millionaires and billionaires — would have reduced last year’s deficit from $1.29 trillion to $1.21 trillion.”  
 
Regarding the big oil breaks for oil companies which the public has been told over and over again to hate for their greed, Krauthammer had this to say:  “The  oil-drilling breaks cover less than half a day-s federal spending.”  As to Obama’s favorite tax loophole — the depreciation for corporate jets — Krauthammer wrote:  “You could collect for 100 years and it wouldn’t cover one month of Medicare.”  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/ct-oped-1017-krauthammer-20111014-2,0,3387083.story
Drilling for oil is the most obvious way to produce good paying American jobs, achieve oil independence, and to make good use of America’s resources.  For 230+ years Americans have been hearing that it would take years to get oil out of the ground if started today.  Imagine how many good paying permanent American jobs would be in existence today had it not been for regressive, negative attitudes.  When the original “Wildcatters” started drilling for oil, it didn’t take years to extract the oil!
 
With calls for increased drilling production in the U.S., a statement much like the following is often made.  Even if drilling were opened up to all the areas now restricted in the U.S., there would not be enough found to last for very many years.  How wrong they are!
 
An article in the “Wall Street Journal” by Daniel Yergin on Sept. 2011 — “There Will Be Oil” — tells a different story. The late M. King Hubbert predicted 60 year ago that this country had reached its peak oil production.  Over the ensuing years the same was predicted four more time, only to have the year moved forward a decade at a time.  Forgotten was that most of the world’s supply is not the result of new discoveries, but of additions and extensions to existing sites due to new technologies developed to find increased resources and to produce them more efficiently. 
 
In the same “Wall Street Journal” article Yergin predicted that according to current and prospective plans, “It appears that the world’s production capacity for ‘oil and related liquids’ should grow from about 92 million barrels per day in 2012 to over 110 million by 2030, an increase of about 20%.”  http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2780701/posts
Of importance in the U.S. is the Bakken formation in North Dakota.  In 2003 it was producing a mere 10,000 barrels a day 2003.  Today its production is over 400,000 barrels making North Dakota the fourth-largest oil-producing state in this nation and perhaps the richest in the world. Presently oil companies are being brought to trial because twenty eight small birds, not even endangered, were found dead in a sludge pit which many believe was placed there by anti-oil environmentalists. 
 
If Obama really wanted to create jobs he would scrap his current $447 jobs bill and start from scratch with an energy policy that would actually help to jump start the economy.  Instead, Obama and his administration are continuing to invest billions of dollars in pie-in-the sky alternative forms of energy which have no chance of succeeding, as with Solyndra, all in the name of man-made global warming which thousands of scientists across the world have rejected.
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A meeting was held at Elawa Farm in the classroom at the southeast end of the complex, 1401 Middlefork Drive in Lake Forest, for residents of Amberly Woods, MIddlefork Farms, Regents Row, and Willow Lake Farms to discuss the Special Service Area (SSA) tax that has been levied on these property owners for the purpose of generating revenue for Lake Forest School District #67 (K – 8th).

I heard about the Elawa Farm meeting through an e-mail forwarded me by Brian Costin sent to him by Howard Handler, Gov. Affairs Director of the North Shore-Barrington Association of Realtors, requesting that Costin contact Illinois Policy Liberty Leaders in the Lake Forest area about attending the meeting. The same e-mail announcement was forwarded by Handler to Chicago area newspapers and Pioneer Press publications.

Brian Costin, as Director of Outreach at the Illinois Policy Institute in Chicago, heads its Liberty Leaders program. The Illinois Policy Institute is a non-profit organization, whose 10-point program is being utilized throughout Illinois to evaluate transparency at all levels of government under the auspices of the right of the public to know (letting the sunshine in).

Of note is that a transparency project is presently being conducted in regard to a Local Transparency Overview of Shield’s Township, including evaluations of Lake Bluff School District #65 and Lake Forest School Districts 67 and 115.
http://illinoispolicy.org/uploads/files/2011-2012ILLegGuideLocalTransparencyProject.pdf

Close to sixty concerned citizens turned out on a rainy and wind-swept evening to listen to a brief informational session presented by Howard Handler, who like other real estate agents throughout this state and nation, believe in fair taxation, not under the roof taxation.

Related by Howard Handler is how each property owner of Amberly Woods, Middlefork Farms, Regents Row, and Willow Lake Farms, through a Special Services Area tax assessment (SSA), will be paying over twenty years between $9,580 and $15,000 or more above and beyond the property taxes they are already paying annually to Lake Forest School District #67 to cover “impact” costs their developments have imposed upon District #67 through increases in school enrollment.

What makes the extra SSA tax assessment so unfair and unjust is that impact fees have already been paid by the developers of the four Lake Forest properties to compensate for increased school enrollment in District 67.

For those unfamiliar with Special Service Area assessments, this explanation was taken from a handout distributed at the meeting as published on the nsgbar.org website: “SSA is a special taxing district created by an ordinance of a municipality or country. Most often they are created to fund the costs of new infrastructure or to pay for repairs and maintenance of existing infrastructure, such as a sewer system. SSA is a tax lien on the property; the assessment appears on a property owner’s tax bill as a line item. Those assessed a SSA are supposed to particularly benefit from the SSA more than others.”

Since Lake Forest District #67 has no authority to impose SSA assessments, how did the tax come about?

It was through a request by District #67 that the City of Lake Forest establish criteria for SSA tax assessments. Determined criteria was that SSA assessments could be levied on five to six unit developments. Two to four unit developments were excluded from consideration.

Home owners were reminded that, unlike property taxes, SSA assessments are not tax deductible. Mr. Handler did suggest that a home owners’s tax attorney should be consulted as he is not a lawyer.

Troubling is how Alan Albus, FOIA Officer of Lake Forest School Districts 67 and 115, denied FOIA requests made by Howard Handler to disclose how SSA monies were being used by District #67. Is SSA tax money being credited into a general District 67 fund from which those paying the SSA assessed tax receive no benefit?

According to the SSA Act and various court rulings, a description is required of the specific services to be provided, yet the ordinances which detail the use of SSA monies by District #67 are never described beyond the vaguely worded “facility improvements and programs.” Might such a broad and nebulous description be considered adequate to hold up under law?

Those assembled were told that the City of Lake Forest or the Lake Forest School District 67 could abolish the SSA’s in short order to release home owners in the four Lake Forest developments from paying the assessed tax.

They were likewise encouraged to contact both elected Lake Forest School District #67 Board members and members of the Lake Forest City Council, urging them to take immediate action to abolish the unfair SSAs tax for funding School District #67

For ease of contacting, distributed was a list of names and telephone numbers for Lake Forest City Council and School District 67 Board members. This information was obtained and compiled from their respective government’s websites.

Four post cards were likewise distributed to be mailed out, addressed to Aldermen Donald P. Schoenheider and Thomas H. Morsch, Jr. of the Third Ward; Mayor James J. Cowhey, Jr.; and Julia Wold, President of the School District #67 Board.

Common to each post card were these words found in paragraph three: “As you know, the developer of my subdivision has already paid significant impact fees to off-set any impact. To then charge a elect group of residents $9,580 to $15,600 or more for the exact same reason is unwarranted, especially when School District 67 reports sharply declining enrollment.”

Why should Amberly Woods, Middlefork Farms, Regents Row, and Willow Lake Farms be subjected to a Special Service Area (SSA) tax when similar impact fees have already paid been by the developer?

Why should a greater tax burden be placed on just four selected Lake Forest communities for the benefit of District #67 and not on the rest of Lake Forest?

Lake Forest might be a unique community, but as related by Howard Handler, he knows of no other Illinois community that has imposed such an unfair and unjust additional SSA tax assessment on home owners for the purpose of school funding, and this might apply to the entire nation!

Such uniqueness Lake Forest can do without. The SSA tax assessment must be abolished!

Vice President Joe Biden seems to think that the most effective way to prevent rap and murder is for government to pay for more police officers on the street.  Such was Biden’s rhetoric in a speech at the University of Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Oct. 18, as reported in the “Washington Times”:

“It’s not temporary [administration’s proposed stimulus] when that 911 call comes in and a woman’s getting raped, if a cop shows up in time to prevent the rape.  It’s not temporary to that woman.”

In the same speech Biden wished Republicans were themselves rape victims: “I wish they had some notion of what it was like to be on the other side of a gun or [to have] a 200-pound man standing over you, telling you to submit.”

When Joe Biden was confronted a day later on 10/19 by “Human Events” reporter Jason Mattera whether he really meant that rape will continue to rise unless Republicans act to pass the first part of Obama’s jobs bill which addresses the hiring of cops, Biden didn’t back down, but instead responded with anger:  “Murder will continue to rise, rape will continue to rise, all crimes will continue to rise.”

President Obama’s shameful response to Biden’s allegations were positive, as confirmed by White House press secretary Jay Carney at his press conference on Thursday, Oct. 20.

Facts informs us that police budgets are the responsibility of each individual state, not federal bureaucrats.  What happens when money given by government to hire new or to retain hired cops runs out?  States will either have to cough up the money or lay off public employees.

Logic reveals that policemen are not present at the scene of an on-going rape to keep it from happening.

Facts, however, did prevail in this “Washington Times” report by Dave Boyer on Thursday, Oct. 20, “White House backs Biden’s rape, murder remarks”:

“Changes in crime rates from year to year have many possible explanations, from changing demographics to the number of officers deployed on the street versus the number of police assigned to desk jobs.  The FBI reported that overall crime in the U.S. was down sharply in 2010 — murder was down 4.2% from the previous year, rape down 5% and robberies down 10%, compared with 2009.  The decrease in crime rates came at a time when most state and local governments already were well into severe budget cuts and layoffs of public employees.”

Obama’s own lack of logic, and the impetus behind his frenzied, national campaign-like appearances to push his $450 million jobs, was captured in these words by Ed Morrissey in a HotAirnotes posting:

“The President’s “jobs” bill doesn’t go directly to hire police officers anyway.  Instead, “It allows states to paper-over budget gaps for another year rather than address their systemic budgetary issues, and protect unionized bureaucrats whose jobs should be on the chopping block.”

Obvious is that the purpose behind Obama’s union-backed $447 billion tax-hiking jobs bill is to provide yet another government stimulus program aimed at getting teachers and public-sector employees back to work.

Isn’t it more than enough that the American people were misled in February of 2009 when told that the $787 billion spending stimulus scheme would cut unemployment to 8% in 2010, only to see it rise to between 9 and 10% where it remains to this day?  In my own misguided state of Illinois, it was announced on Friday, Oct. 2l that the state’s jobless rate had edged up from a seasonally adjusted 9.9% in August to 10% in September.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) made these uninformed remarks on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday, October 19 in defense of the first piece of Obama’s so-called Jobs Bill calling for a $35 billion dollar state subsidy to pay unionized state public employee salaries (The $450 Jobs Bill was broken up into pieces to be voted on piece meal in the coming weeks after the whole was defeated on Tuesday, October 11.).
“It’s very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine.  It’s the public-sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation is about.  It will put hundreds of thousands of people back to work teaching children, have more police patrolling our streets, firefighters fighting our fires, doing the rescue work that they do so well.”
James Sherk in The Heritage Foundation “Morning Bell” of October 21, titled, “Biden and Reid’s Jobs Bill Farce”, refutes Senator Reid’s rhetoric:

“Senator Reid is not just mistaken; he has his facts exactly backwards.  If the recession has barely touched one sector of the economy, it is government.  Since the recession began in December of 2007 the private sector shed 6.3 million net jobs, while government payrolls are down by just 392,000.  That amounts to a 5.4% drop in private sector employment, while government has slipped only one-third as much at 1.8%. Education-related government jobs have fallen even less, down 1.4% . . . Relatively few government employees are unemployed.   Only 4.7% of government employees cannot find jobs — half the national unemployment rate.  Government employees have the lowest jobless rate of any industry.”

Despite Senator Reid’s vigorous defense of the first part of the Jobs Bill On October 19 that would have provided a $35 billion state subsidy to pay for unionized state public employee, the Senate voted down the measure the following day. The legislation needed at least 60 votes to pass; the vote was 50-50.  All Republicans voted against the legislation.  Two level-headed Democrats, Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR), broke ranks and voted against it with the Republicans.

It is ill-conceived for Obama and his liberal cohorts to believe that out of their tax and spend stimulus programs jobs will flow, but this is the only idea most Democrats seem willing to entertain.

Didn’t the $787 billion stimulus bill (also know as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) signed into law on Feb. 17, 2009, fail to jump start the economy and create jobs?  Now Democrats have the chutzpah to admit failure while claiming they need billions more to do exactly the same thing under new rhetoric, a new name and a new tax bill, marketed as a $450 billion Jobs Bill to be financed by taxing millionaires and billionaires.

Given the current administration’s obsession with man-made global warming, the economic lunacy of employing tax and spend methods to create economic recover has been extended by the Obama administration to its Energy Policy.  Billions of dollars are being squandered to advance and support green technology (windmills, solar panels and energy efficiency) under the false assumption that alternate forms of energy will provide the means through which this nation can divorce itself from fossil fuels and still be privy to economic growth and five million jobs.

Meanwhile, and in tandem, Obama’s EPA has issued rules and regulation aimed at reducing the number of coal and oil-fuelled power stations which will result in the loss of thousands of jobs that need not be lost if not for the administration’s unfounded belief that man-made global warming exists and that CO2 is the cause.  The Obama administration, along with many European nations, has chosen to disregard the thousands of scientists throughout the world who refute the idea of man-made global warming to the detriment of their own economies.

Of note, as stated by Jay Lehr, Ph.D., Science Director at The Heartland Institute at a recent Heartland event in Chicago:  Global temperatures have not risen since 1998; it was seven degrees F. warmer in the 13th century when Greenland was actually green; carbon dioxide is to plants what oxygen it to man, it is not a pollutant; historically, CO2 concentrations have risen after, not before, warming periods; and 900,000 years of ice core records show continuous 1,500-warming cycles.

The Heartland Institute hosted its Sixth International Conference on Climate Change in Washington, D.C. on June 20 – July 1, 2011, “Restoring the Scientific Method,” where dozens of think tank cosponsors and hundreds of scientists gathered in an effort to “restore the scientific method” to its rightful place in the debate over the causes, consequences, and policy implications of climate change. http://climateconference.heartland.org/

It matters not that the U.S. has oil reserves that are equal to those of Saudi Arabia and that Illinois has been dubbed the Saudi Arabia of coal production.  Drilling for oil would be a good start toward renewing economic growth in this country.

The meddling of The Obama administration in its unrelenting zeal to advance green technology recently garnered headlines with the exposure of Solyndra and other energy investments in which billions of dollars of taxpayer money was wasted in non-productive ventures without creating jobs.

The same meddling by the Obama administration occurred in the Obama-favored unionized auto industry where an agreement was reached that raises federal fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks to an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.  Devised by the EPA to limit greenhouse gases (one volcano eruption produces more greenhouse gas than), these overly stringent standards could add $10,000 to the cost of a new car.

According to a Heritage Foundation “Morning Bell” report issued on July 28, 2011:

“Higher prices reduce demand and force people to hold onto their older vehicles longer.  Reduced demand means fewer car produced, leading to automakers shedding jobs.  The Michigan-baased consulting firm Defour Group projected that a 56 mpg standard would kill 222,000 jobs. . .

Forcing automakers to achieve the 2025 standards could likewise result in the loss of life as the weight of vehicles would need to be reduced, leading to less safe cars on the road, thereby contributing to between 1,300 and 2,600 deaths in a single representative year.”

Job creation depends on American Free Enterprise, not government meddling to advance a political agenda.  Accordingly, economic growth and recovery is achieved from the bottom up and not from Washington down.

Values associated with free enterprise include individual initiative, hard work, freedom of choice, and the free exchange of trade and capital. These are the ideas that built our nation.  Free Enterprise is a powerful idea that is inseparable from the American Dream.  It offers the opportunity to dream big and to turn that dream into a reality.

Apple Legend Steve jobs, through free enterprise, used his freedom and ingenuity to make the world richer.  He kept making things better until his body failed him.  Having the vision and the drive to succeed, Steve Jobs unlocked his potential without government interference or government financial largess. His financial success as an entrepreneur also created thousands of good paying jobs.

In a new biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson, the author relates that during a meeting in 2010 with President Obama, Jobs warned the president that he wasn’t going to win re-election because of what Jobs perceived to be a pervasive anti-business climate in his administration.  Jobs cited excessive federal regulations and operating costs for business as harmful legacies of the Obama White House.

It will possibly take a new administration to set this nation on the road to recovery, one not committed to the ill-conceived notion that investing in and promoting green energy, coupled with drastic and unnecessary EPA regulations, will result in job production and provide the impetus to lift this nation out of its economic morass.

The 2012 elections represent cross-road elections unrelated to partisan politics.  Will free enterprise values win out — the means to build this nation, create economic prosperity, and in which government has a limited government role — or will the Obama administration be awarded another four-year term to continue its American experiment of spreading wealth through selected government investments in the belief that government is the creator or jobs and wealth and that government knows best what its citizens want and need.

It will be up to the American people to decide.  The re-election of President Obama would likely signal the end of the American dream and this nation’s influence and standing in the world, and well as its decline from a once great and prosperous nation to a nation of third-world status.

The Heartland Institute held its Seventh Emerging Issues Forum and 27th Anniversary Benefit Dinner on Thursday, October 13th.

In addressing the attendees, Heartland President Joseph Bast related how Heartland’s first budget was $24,000. By contrast, this year’s budget stands at $6 million with a staff of 41 here in Chicago.

Attending the forum were elected officials and legislators from many states, policy experts, and Heartland allies and supporters from around the country.

Panel discussions were the medium through which emerging issues were presented, each with a moderator, after which guests could ask questions directly of the panelists. Supplemental literature was distributed to add clarify to the presented issues, as were hand-outs prepared by panel experts.

Topics covered throughout the day included: “Can Tobacco Cure Smoking?; “The Future of Energy and Environment Policy; Budget and Taxes; Opportunities to Transform K-12 Education and “Obamacare: Repeal, Replace, Reform.” The forum experts were composed of individuals associated with the Heartland Institute and others brought in from around the country.

Given that every panel presentation was replete with great information, I found it difficult to zero in on the ones to feature in my writeup.

When it comes to political issues my interests are eclectic in nature. In writing I go from topic to another, drawn as I am to those issues I care deeply about. I count among them illegal immigration; the deplorable financial state of IL; union control of schools; the catastrophic nature of Obamacare; and the hoax of Global Warming.

Having spent much time in the past three years attempting to convince legislators, Chicagoland newspaper editors, and any one who would listen to my story about the premature dismantling of the Dual Zion Nuclear Plant, I followed my continuing interest in Nuclear Energy by zeroing in on “The Future of U.S. Energy is Indisputable,” presented by Jay Lehr, Ph.D. as the Keynote Breakfast speaker and Science Director at the Heartland Institute.

Jay Lehr, Ph.D. was introduced by John Northdurft , Government Relations Director at The Heartland Institute, as an internationally known renowned speaker and scientist who spends one hundred day a year on the road speaking. He has been with Heartland for fifteen years. At seventy five years of age, Lehr holds the record for skydiving once a month for the for the 34th year and is a Iron Man Triathlon winner in his age category. As an author and editor, Jay Lehr’s most recent edited work is the “Nuclear Energy Encyclopedia: Science, Technology, and Applications” — his 30th book — with three more volumes slated for his “Nuclear Energy Encyclopedia.” As an outspoken opponent of man-made global warming, Jay Lehr made these statements:

1. “There is no scientific evidence whatever that the use of fossil fuels in our country has any negative impact on our climate. Our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint are foolish. A simple volcanic eruption will cancel a decade of effort in this regard.

2. “The laws of physics in our universe make it absolutely impossible to ever harvest the earth’s winds or the sun’s ray in an economic manner that can contribute any useful portion of our electric grid and while we can create transportation fuels from agricultural crops, burning food for fuel will never make sense in a hungry world.

3. Without doubt as I stand here in 2011, the United States is by far the nation that is richest in energy resources in the entire world, soon to be number one in oil, already number one in natural gas, coal and nuclear power, while North American collectively can dwarf the rest of the world in energy resources.

Jay Lehr spoke about the late M. King Hubbert , a mentor and colleague of mine, who predicted 60 years ago that this country had reached its peak oil production. When this date didn’t pan out, the date for reaching peak oil production was moved forward a decade at a time. Today Hubbert’s prediction is without merit as the relatively simple technique of hydro-fracking, used successfully in the oil industry, can now be applied to shale gas with the ability to do horizontal drilling

Also discussed were the efforts being made by the EPA and the Department of Interior to block efforts to develop oil and natural gas, government preferring instead to spend billions of dollars for renewable wind and solar energy projects that will never prove to be useful.

Then there is the Bakken formation in North Dakota, perhaps the richest oil find in the world, where oil companies are being brought to trial because 28 small birds, not even endangered, were found dead in a sludge pit which many think was placed there by anti-oil environmentalists.

In regard to wind energy, Jay Lehr compared tracing wind energy as no different than Don Quixote jousting with Wind Mills. Why? Because the capital equipment costs to harvest the wind are too high, continuing to chase wind energy is no different that Don Quixote jousting with Wind Mills. To be remembered is that a fossil fuel plant must stand ready to back up the wind turbines when they fail to spin.

A similar situation applies to solar power plants. Jay Lehr is confident “that a decade from now thousands of windmills and fields of photo voltaic solar cells and mirror farms will sit inoperable for lack of funds, effectiveness and adequate maintenance, and the nation will then recognize our technical folly and financial futility.”

Jay Lehr reveals the following misconceived follies that stand in the way of convincing believers in Global Warming that the reduction of our carbon foot print through renewable energy makes no sense at all:

1. In charting the earth’s atmosphere, man’s contribution to the earth’s envelope of green house gas is barely one-tenth of one-percent.

2. It is CO2 that makes our planet habitable by supplying the lifeblood to vegetation which then become the food for human and animal life.

3. Wind and solar power would not reduce the carbon footprint because the equipment necessary to harvest the dispersed energies produce would produce as much carbon as the burning of fossil fuels.

Jay Lehr predicted that environmental fear mongers will keep doing everything possible to prevent cheap, and abundant energy in the years to come, as they have in decades past.

After a fact-filled and intense morning of listening to panel discussions on policy issues covering Tobacco, Environment and Budget and Taxes — followed by an afternoon of equal valuable discussions about Education and Healthcare — the time-out period of lunch became noteworthy through the remarks presented by Luncheon Speaker, David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute. His topic: “Bridging the Gap Between Philosophy and Public Policy.”

David Boaz joined Cato in 198l and has played a key role in the development of the Cato Institute and the libertarian movement. Mr. Boaz is the author of “Libertarianism: A Primer.” His latest book is “The Politics of Freedom.”

First off, and without hesitation, David Boaz suggested to those assembled that they read “Road to Serfdom” by Austrian-born economist and philosopher Friedrich von Hayek, written between the years 1940 – 1943. In his book Hayek “warned of the danger of tyranny that inevitably results from government control of economic decision-making through central planning.” Hayek also argues that the abandonment of individualism, classical liberalism, and freedom inevitably leads to socialist or fascist oppression and tyranny and the serfdom of the individual.

“The Road to Serfdom” is among the most influential and popular expositions of market libertarianism and remains a popular and influential work in contemporary discourse and a best seller.

Continuing with his remarks, Boaz claimed that progress toward liberty has happened despite the rise Hitler and Stalin and the welfare state here in the U.S. and in Western Europe. After all, the terrible challenges of Hitler and Stalin were defeated.

David Boaz believes that the world can be changed for the better, and that it is up to the U.S. to ensure that change continues and that bad change gets reversed.

As a proponent of “natural” liberty in defining the relationship of the individual to the government, David Boaz holds true to his libertarianism philosophy: “To live life as long as you don’t interfere with the life of another.”

In quoting his Chicago friend, the late Robert Novak, Boaz related a comment told him by Novak whenever Novak was called upon to gave a commencement address: “Always love your country, but never trust your government.”

As one also skeptical of government, Mr. Boaz suggested that sometimes the right action for government to take is to do nothing at all.

David Boaz offered these five principles which combine philosophy with private policy:

1. What belongs to you, you tend to take care of (your home). Things owned by no one or everyone is not taken care of (a public park).

2. People who want you to do something for a group of people will end up hurting other individuals (Government kept Chrysler in business in 1979 through a loan. Borrowing became difficult for ordinary individuals because all the money went to bail our Chrysler.).

3. If you encourage something you get more of it; if you discourage something you get less of it (We pay people to stay unemployed.).

4. Nobody spends money as wisely as when you spend your own money yourself (With our own money we can buy what we want, not what others think we want or need).

5. Government has nothing to give anybody unless it takes from someone else. (Ever dollar government spends came from someone else who now can’t spend it.)

David Boaz expounded upon the obvious in light of this nation’s present day economic morass, “It is always easier for government to spend money that isn’t theirs to spend (taxpayers’ money) than to curtail spending.”

In speaking about concentrated benefits and diffuse costs, Boaz criticized the culture of spending that exists in Washington, D.C., and how the longer legislators are in office the more likely they will vote for even more spending.

Another example cited by Boaz was Medicare. The idea of a Medicare was entertained in the administration of President Harry Truman, but Medicare didn’t come into being until the presidency of Lydon Johnson. Once the Medicare program passed and became law, there were no further discussions about Medicare. It became a done deal as first perceived, despite all its flaws.

In conclusion, David Boaz emphasized how the fight for liberty is never easy through verbal examples of past student uprisings in China in the early years of this present century.

Bringing the fight for freedom home to the shores of this nation, Boaz spoke of remarks intoned by Patrick Henry on the floor of the House on March 23, 1775, in which Patrick Henry stated unequivocally to other House members his argument telling why the oppressive yoke of the British needed to end in order to fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country.

Patrick Henry’s argument to the House in 1775 ended with these words:

“Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. Forbid it, Almighty God? I know not what course others may take; but for me, Give me liberty or give me Death.”

In closing David Boaz emphasized how freedom is not free, that it must be defended in every generation.

To the assembled Boaz offered this reminder, that no longer are we incarcerated for speaking out as were those who first fought for freedom in this nation. Accordingly, Boaz encouraged all assembled to spread the word to others through sharing books, information, and giving money to those candidates who are willing to fight to preserve freedom and who believe in the principles so eloquently expressed in our Constitution, remembering that freedom is God-given and not bestowed upon us through government mandates and policies 

 

Even though primary elections here in Illinois are not until March of next year, the months will whiz by as Thanksgiving and the Christmas season will receive our undivided attention.

For those like me, who consider political happenings of great importance because of how their outcomes will affect not only Illinois, but also this nation, I felt it necessary to respond — even though some may consider it premature — to the two articles that appeared in the Local News Section of the Lake Forester on October 6: “Karen May won’t seek re-relection” by Pat Krochmal and “Two Republicans to battle for May’s seat.”

Since last week’s announcement in my local Pioneer Press publication, Lauren Turelli has also thrown her hat into the ring for Karen May’s House seat. Lorren Turelli was defeated in her attempt to unseat May in 2010.

Of equal political importance was the recent “Lake Forester” article that told of Senator Susan Garrett’s (D-29th) retirement at the end of her present term in office.

In all honesty, I must admit that I am well acquainted with each Republican seeking to fill the positions now up for grabs in the IL General Assembly left by the retirements of Senator Garrett (D-29th) and Representative Karen May (D-58th). Having written letters in support of all of them prior to their failed campaign bids in 2010, it was not a simple task to zero in on my two choices. All are excellent and well qualified to fill the Springfield positions of Garrett and May, which could prove to be a real dilemma for voters come Primary Election time.

What helped seal my replacement selections at this early date for candidates Dr. Arie Friedman to replace Senator Susan Garrett and Dr. Mark Neerhof to succeed Representative Susan May was a radio interview I heard this past Sunday morning at WIND-560 AM on Champion News Talk Radio, a weekly Sunday 8 a.m. program that featured insurance provider, Steve Tucker.

As an expert on ObamaCare, Tucker expanded on a situation that is already adversely affecting small business owners since “ObamaCare” (nickname for the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a U.S. federal statute that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010).

Many small businesses are located here in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, my home town. In a previous published letter in the “Lake Forester” on Thursday, August 11, “Lake Forest and Lake Bluff are not immune from nation’s economic turmoil,” I related how local businesses are hurting and pinching pennies to stay in business and that some have closed their doors.

Steve Tucker told of a grave injustice that small businesses are presently facing since Obamacare was signed into law if they have not qualified for waivers presently being doled out by the Obama administration. Because of the central planning aspect of ObamaCare, with its countless mandates telling insurance companies what they must provide, those with Blue Cross/Blue Shield as their provider, have seen insurance costs skyrocket by as much as 46% since Obamacare passed.

3.7 million waivers have already been granted by the Obama administration to big Democrat donors and to businesses to avoid increases in insurance premiums, whose support is considered essential to maintain Democrat power. Unions and lawyers rate as immensely powerful groups in the Democrat Party and are being awarded the waivers accordingly.

Here in Illinois it is the SCIU (Service Employees International Union) and the IEA (Illinois Education Association) who are influential in deciding policy through the intensity of their lobbying efforts in Springfield. For example, lawyers oppose tort reform which would lower the cost of health insurance. The IEA opposes charter school, which through competition could create better performing public schools.

What are small business owners in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff and all over Illinois to do when confronted with the rising cost of insurance for their employees? They can either not honor their obligation to employees, lay off workers to meet the extra expense, or go out of business. All are bad options. And what about Illinoisans without the clout to be granted a waiver by the Obama administration to avoid paying higher insurance rates?

One option open to residents of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff — and voters in IL District 29 and 58 — is to help send a team of doctors to Springfield. Dr. Arie Friedman, recognized as an outstanding Pediatrician in private practice, to fill the seat of retiring Senator Susan Garrett (D-29th), and Dr. Mark Neerhof, an attending physician at NorthShore University HealthSystem and clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Pritzker School of Medicine, to takeover for retiring Representative Karen May (D-58th).

Drs. Friedman and Neerhof were involved in what ObamaCare would mean for this nation’s health care system even before ObamaCare became law in March of last year, with its targeted year of 2013 for full implication. Both doctors frequently traveled together to Washington, D.C. where they walked the Halls of Congress alerting legislators to the resulting consequences should Obamacare become law

Dr. Mark Neerhof is the main contact and the founder of the Chicago Chapter of Docs4PatientCare, an alternative group to the AMA to give doctors a voice on issues related to “responsible” health care and reforms. Dr. Arie Friedman recently became chairman of Doctors Patients Alliance of Illinois which he founded.

As physicians, Drs. Friedman and Neerhof would provide much needed experience and knowledge regarding this state’s fastest growing expenditure — health care. Currently there is not a single physician in the Illinois General Assembly even though legislators routinely make far-reaching health care decisions.

You might wish to check out for yourself the report which details the state budget Illinois’ Gov. Pat Quinn signed on June 30, 2011 where health care is a pressing issue.

Because Illinois’ financial situation is worse than any other state in the country, according to a study by the National Conference of State Legislatures, If nothing is done before the end of FY2012, Illinois will have to push off $1.2 billion in Medicaid payments until FY2012 to those companies (including hospital and nursing homes) that provide services. This would increase the payment cycle to another 162 days. Unbelievable is that there is no means testing for Medicaid residents in Illinois of which there are currently 2.5 million enrolled in Illinois.

A further drain on Illinois’ health care system, as related by Steve Tucker, was initiated under the Blagojevich administration and which continues to this day: The All Kids Program expanded first to Family Care and now to Mom’s and Family. 75% of those enrolled are illegal immigrant families.

Sending Drs. Friedman and Neerhof to Springfield will not only benefit the communities of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, but all of Illinois. Regarding health care issues, they would reign supreme in their knowledge in the Illinois Senate and House. Both also realize how higher taxes imposed in January on this year on both individuals and businesses must be repealed, that public school cannot be tied to union rules and a bureaucracy more interested in tenure and pensions than in students, and that job creation was only made worse by the increase in taxes.

We need principled, dedicated, moral, and those who understand the issues and will not waver from their beliefs when confronted by Springfield lobbyists. This is not to say that the other candidates in the mix for Karen May’s position do not have these qualities, but Drs. Friedman and Neerhof, in my opinion, stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Hopefully others will get behind and support those candidates in their districts who could and will make a difference in Springfield.

Electing enough of them to the General Assembly in 2012 seems to be the only way the economic disaster that is Illinois can be prevented to keep the state from falling off a cliff of financial Armageddon.

 

Part one:  “David Cooper’s candidacy is challenged despite stellar qualifications to seek Lake County Office of the Coroner

Part two:  “Documented events give credence to corruption of long-standing in Lake County Office of the Coroner”

Part three:  “Hiring practices during tenure of Barbara Richardson (1977 – 2003), with an examination of Steve Newton as a Richardson hiree and 2012 Establishment candidate” 
 
Corruption seems to be of long-standing in the Lake County Coroner’s office and is not only of Republican origin.  Nevertheless it cannot be allowed to fester unchecked, for in time corruption will destroy that which was created to serve the people.
 
Through research I was able to construct a time-line of questionable hiring of deputy coroners by Barbara Richardson during her tenure as Lake County Coroner (1977 – 2003). 
 
The following news article has Barbara Richardson admitting that she must do better in her hiring practices.   

In 1995 Barbara Richardson hired Eric Johnson (25) of Winthrop Harbor. He was later indicted on two counts of official misconduct, one for allegedly stealing drugs and the other for unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.  Mr. Johnson “resigned” on December 13, 1996 and was sentenced to eighteen months.  Barbara Richardson refused to comment to the press about the case.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/42165977/Corruption/Ex-deputy%20Coroner%20Sentenced%20In%20Theft%20-%20Chicago%20Tribune.pdf

In 1997 Barbara Richardson hired Zeke Locke, Jr. (ASA Lionel Locke) (39) of Zion.  He was indicted on one count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and one count of perjury.  Mr. Locke “resigned” in late 1999 and was sentenced early in 2000.  Richardson refused to comment to the press about the case. 

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/42165977/Corruption/Ex-deputy%20Coroner%20Guilty%20In%20Gun%20Case%20-%20Chicago%20Tribune.pdf

 
In 1999 Barbara Richardson tested and hired 26 year-old Stephen Newton (AKA Steve Newton) of Antioch, from a group of five candidates including David Cooper, but Newton wasn’t brought on board until 2000.  After Barbara Richardson’s hasty resignation as coroner in 2003, Steve Newton was elevated to the position of Chief Deputy Coroner by then coroner, Jim Wipper, appointed by Richardson to serve out her term in the interim. 
 
During Steve Newton’s tenure as Chief Deputy Coroner the coroner office became unionized by the AFSCME.
 
Upon the election of Democrat Dr. Richard Keller as Lake County coroner over that of Republican Jim Wipper, Steve Newton remained in his position under Keller.  It was initially suggested to me that Steve Newton was fired from his position as Chief Deputy Coroner by Dr. Keller on April 30, 2007.  This link shows the date Dr. Keller “officially” fired Newton:  http://dl.dropbox.com/u/42165977/Corruption/Coroner%20to%20fire%20his%20top%20deputy%20-%20Chicago%20Tribune.pdf
 
Steve Newton’s firing occured close to the same time Keller was being investigated by the Lake County States Attorney’s office for the death of his patient, Steve Vaughn, 30, who died after mixing methadone with Xanax, a dangerous combination.  http://dl.dropbox.com/u/42165977/Corruption/Lake%20County%20Coroner%20Richard%20Keller%20quits%20methadone-clinic%20job%20-%20Chicago%20Tribune.pdf 
 
Now fast forward just four years and Steve Newton has become the anointed one by Republican insiders to win the office of Lake County Coroner in 2012. 
 
What is there about Steve Newton’s education and experience that elevates him above the qualifications and preparedness of David Cooper who was engaged in military activity for 8 years as an MP in the United States Army, reaching the rank of sergeant?  Cooper’s education likewise features a B.A. degree with a major in Sociology and a minor in Law Enforcement from Western Illinois University, as well as a Mortuary Science degree from Carl Sandburg College. 
 
What I found after doing diligent research on Steve Newton’s background was quite unsettling.  Perusing Newton’s website I found unexplained gaps in the time line of Newton’s stated educational and professional achievement.  Impossible to locate on the web were documents to prove that the work required for receive the certifications and educational achievements noted by Steve Newton were actually completed.   http://www.newtonforcoroner.com/about/

Better than 90% of Steve’s listed “accomplishment” are in “blocks” of the 40-hour training that he was required to compete as initial training for the deputy coroner’s position he accepted in 2000.  

The following link describes the “course load” for coroner deputy “trainees” in Lake County.  Compare this with Steve’s accolades and you will find that not only is the training required of newly hired Lake County coroner deputies IDENTICAL to the formal training offered at the St. Louis Medicolegal College at St. Louis University, but that Steve even lists the school in St. Louis redundantly, giving the impression that he HAD the experience, then went to school for the formal training.  

http://medschool.slu.edu/mldi/index.php?page=course-content Steve Newton lists 10 years of firefighter service which would put him at age 17. 

But how would this be possible, even if dismissing Steve’s age, without  the benefit of attending firefighter academy or police academy to qualify for service?

But what proved to be most revealing about Steve Newton’s background is research which led to information pointing to a plausible reason why Steve Newton was fired from his position as Chief Deputy Coroner in April of 2007 by Dr. Richard KelleThe following article describes “coziness” as a possible reason for Newton’s firing.  Do people actually get fired for being “cozy”?

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/42165977/Corruption/Coroner%20to%20fire%20his%20top%20deputy%20-%20Chicago%20Tribune.pdf  This article appeared on page 4 of the Daily Herald.  It describes the nature of the firing due to an improper “relationship” with a female underling.  Dr. Keller evidently felt justified in firing Newton because of his ”relationship” as Chief Deputy Coroner with a direct subordinate.

 
Part four, and the final article in my series, will relate what amounts to strong-armed tactics by some in the Lake County Republican Establishment (also known as “The Good Old Boys Club”) to sully David Cooper’s reputation and to take away his livelihood, to clear the way for Steve Newton, a Waukegan “insider,” to run unimpeded for the position of Lake County coroner in November of 2012.
 
 
 

A trilogy of event happened all on the same day, Wednesday, October 5th, which led to the impetus for writing this article. 

1. Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs died in California at age 56 — seven years after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer — who will be remembered as an American computer entrepreneur and inventor and co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc.

2. A book was received in the mail, “The Morality of Capitalism,” edited by Tom G. Palmer and containing a series of articles honoring a capitalist culture which celebrates the entrepreneurs, the scientist, the risk-take, the innovator, and the creator.

3. Observing a group of protesters walking along Michigan Avenue in Chicago, carrying signs and to the accompaniment of drums, shouting over and over again, “Tax the Rich” and “Feed the Poor.”From the introduction to “The Morality of Capitalism” Tom Palmer has this to say:

 “Capitalism today is ‘the greatest story never told’ on far too many college campuses, in high schools, in the press, and by politicians seeking your votes by promising a bureaucratic administrative state will solve all the social and economic problems of the economy — problems that are almost always caused by politicians and bureaucrats.”

Capitalism has been blamed for everything bad that happens, when in truth it relates to a system of innovation, wealth creation, and social change that has brought billions of people a prosperity that was not dreamed possible in earlier generations.  Only consider what has happened in China and India where hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty with the embrace of more capitalism

It’s inevitable that not everybody is going to rise at the same rate, but capitalism makes it possible for individuals to do so over a period of time.  It is disconcerting that many Americans have come to believe that the rich have become rich because they took from others, in a nation that prides itself on making the American Dream available to all!

Given President Obama’s failure to understand capitalism as exhibited through his repeated public railings against those who can afford to own private jets and yachts, and now through his proposed Buffet Rule calling on the rich to pay a higher rate on capital gains, it was inevitable that uninformed and impressionable young people would follow Obama’s lead.

These misguided protesters, many of them college-aged, are but following a pre-determined script handed out by protest organizers, not really knowing why they are protesting or how the object of their protest would affect their future well-beings should their mission succeed.

In reality the protesters are only biting the hand that could ultimately create future wealth for them, indoctrinated as they are into believing that taking from the rich (redistribution of wealth) will be of benefit to them in the long run. 

Even in communism societies which purport to produce a society of equal ownership wealth, it is highly stratified and has elites who are the recipients of privileges and of monetary awards.

Protests against capitalism have now spread beyond Manhattan’s Wall Street to the White House, the U.S. Chamber of Headquarters Building in Washington, D.C., Manhattan’s Wall Street and now to Chicago and many other cities across this nation. It has been said that the protests will continue through January with a stated mission to kill capitalism as soon as possible.

Who might be paying for the food, drink and shelter of the protesters?  Many of them are obviously being supported by their parents who through capitalism have acquired the means for their children to rail against the successes of their own parents.  And what about the ipods and other Apple products being used by protesters that were produced by entrepreneur and inventor Steve Gates?  Surely Gates utilized the free enterprise capitalistic system to obtain his wealth.

In reading “The Morality of Capitalism,” there were several essays of the caliber young people need to read, especially those who currently embrace anti-free-market capitalism and whose professors are not about to level with them.

President Obama would likewise benefit as it is evident that his schooling ignored the beneficial role capitalism plays in a society.  Why else would Obama not recognize that government-generated jobs are at the taxpayers’ expense and amount to subsidized employment?

Following are quotation from three of the essayists in “The Morality of Capitalism”:

John Mackey (co-founded of Whole Foods Market in 1980) writes about Crony Capitalism as a term that can be applied with increasing accuracy to the economy of the U.S.:

“Crony Capitalism occurs when failed firms are routinely bailed out with money taken from taxpayers, in which the national capital is little more than a gigantic pulsating hive of ‘rent-seeking’ lobbyists, bureaucrats, politicians, consultants, and hacks, and in which appointed officials of the Treasury Department and the central (the Federal Reserve System) take it on themselves to reward some firms and harm others.”

Mr. Mackey’s essay presents two examples of Crony Capitalism found in the Obama administration:  1) The over thousand waivers granted by the Obama Administration for rules and regulations under Obamacare and 2) All the subsidies that are going to green technology that is being taken from taxpayers and being redistributed to people who are politically favored.

Mario Vargos Idosa, 2010 Nobel Laureate in Literature and a champion in the global fight for capitalism, offers this insight into capitalism:

 “We must convince our fellows that the businessman and the entrepreneur are not exploiters or the enemies of the poor, that they are in fact the drivers of wealth and transformation.  Capitalism and markets are not dirty words; they are inseparable from progress, from prosperity, from civilization.  It is socialism, communism, nationalization, and nationalism which are in fact the main reasons for poverty, misery, and inequalities.  We are in a cultural battle, a battle of ideas.  It will be difficult to win.  But we must win it.”

Lastly from Temba A. Nolutshungu, a South African economist and director of the Free Market Foundation in South Africa.

“In a country where the government refrains from interfering in the economic arena, there will be high economic growth and concomitant socio-economic benefits.  In other words, if a government promotes the economic freedom of producers and consumers and allows them to engage in transactions that do no entail force or fraud, the country and its people will prosper.”

Not shocking, but nevertheless of great concern, were the responses from Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Biden and President Obama on Thursday, Oct. 6th, in regard to the “Occupy Wall Street” protests.  It has even been speculated that the protests against capitalism by Pelosi and crew are being exploited as diversions from the crucial issues of the day — this nation’s debt and the lack of job creation. 

Nancy Pelosi went so far as to praise the protesters by calling on God to bless them for their spontaneity. According to Pelosi, “The message of the protesters is a message for the Establishments everyplace.  No longer will the recklessness of some on Wall Street cause massive joblessness on Main Street.” 

Does Nancy Pelosi not remember that when the Tea Party movement emerged in 2009, then as Speaker of the House, Pelosi called Tea Party members “astroturf” and un- American” people who were “carrying swastikas”

Addressed in the “Chicago Tribune” on Friday, October 7, was the artful way President Obama ducked the question asking whether the “Occupy Wall Street” movement had the same potential as the tea party.  Never one to mince words, Vice-President Biden didn’t mince words when he drew a direct connection between the ideologically disparate protests. 

News reports on Friday, October 7 expanded the protests to include labor unions, communists, “community organizers,” socialists, and anti-capitalist agitators, all joining together to “Occupy Wall Street” and protest against greed, corporations and bankers. 

Billionaire financier George Soros’ fingerprints have been all over the anti-Wall Street campaign from the very beginning.  Recently Soros publicly announced his sympathy for the protesters and their complaints about bailouts, despite the fact that Soros had lobbied for even greater unconstitutional handouts to bankers in 2009.  A Soros-backed outfit participating in the protests, MoveOn.org, has received millions of dollars from George Soros. 

Noteworthy is that the original call to “Occupy Wall Street” came from the magazine “AdBusters,” an anti-consumerist publication financed by the Soros-funded Tides Foundation.   

Pertinent to this age and time is the already shared quote by Mario Vargos Idosa, 2010 Nobel Laureate in Literature:  We are in a cultural battle, a battle of ideas.  It will be difficult to win.  But we must win it.”

The 2012 elections will decide the future of this nation.  Communism or socialism has never worked when or wherever it has been tired.   Voters must be educated in the attributes of free-market capitalism, which represents the greatest force for good in the world if this nation is to survive.

The Daily Herald article,“Senator used clout in 911 calls?”, rightly questioned whether State Sen. Suzi Schmidt (R-District 31) wielded her clout in a domestic marital tiff which amounted to a breach of public trust.

Schmidt defeated incumbent Michal Bond last November. Prior to that, she served as the Lake County Board chairman from 2000 to 2010, the first woman ever elected to that position. Most of my contacts with Schmidt were while she was chairman of the Lake County Board in regard to the now defeated proposal to build a wind farm in northern Illinois, the premature closure the Dual Zion Nuclear Plant, and on the issue of gun rights.

Schmidt’s district is north of my own, but corruption should be nipped in the bud wherever it may fall in the political spectrum, whether Republican or Democrat related. For corruption is like a cancer. Once fertile ground is located through which its tentacles can grow and spread, it will destroy all that is in its path.

What might have been construed as domestic disputes between Schmidt and her husband has now evolved into the use of clout. As with many counties, Lake County has a “Good Old Boys Club” whose members protect their own. Lake County Republicans are rallying to defend Schmidt, appearing as hypocrites, as the same Republicans would not tolerate an identical situation from a Democrat.

Is it any wonder why the public rates elected politicians so low on the totem pole?

Four-part series: A modern day ‘David and Goliath’ clash over corrupt practices in the Office of Lake County Coroner

Part one:  “David Cooper’s candidacy is challenged despite stellar qualifiications to seek Lake County Coroner position”

Part two:  “Documented events give credence to corruption of long-standing in Lake County Office of the Coroner”

In beginning Part two, I wish to once again emphasize that it not my intent to point fingers at individuals or to even scores with those whose actions, both past and present, seemingly reach far beyond lacking good judgment; nevertheless, facts do not lie.  To engage in a coverup, knowing the facts as I do, would relegate me to the same status as those Republicans who prefer to circle the wagon in their denial of the facts. 
 
Corruption is of long-standing in the Lake County Coroner Office.  It’s not only of Republican-making, but it also encompassed the office and caused the resignation of Dr. Richard Keller’s, elected to office as a Democrat in 2004. 
 
In April of 1999, David Cooper was selected as one of five candidates chosen to be interviewed for a deputy coroner position.  Appearing in front of a Roundtable of Coroner’s Deputies and the Chief Deputy Corner, David’s curiosity was raised when one of the board members, Deputy “Zeke” Locke Jr. (AKA Lionel Locke) — serving as a deputy coroner at the time under Lake County Coroner Barbara Richardson — kept pummeling David with questions relating to his service as an MP in the Army reserve.A red flag was raised in David’s mind when Zeke Locke seemed to know more than David did, even though David was serving as an MP in the army.  Looke was later arrested as a fugitive from justice, when revealed that he had been investigated and dishonorably discharged for an infraction committed while serving in the Army.  In that Looke’s own criminal investigation had been conducted by Military Police, enabled Looke to quiz David as knowledgeably as did about Davd’s role as an MP.
 
Two question demand answers:  1) What made Locke a fugitive from the law in the state of Georgia? and 2) How did Looke manage to arrive in Lake County, IL from Georgia to seek and to be hired as a deuty coroner by coroner Barbara Richardson?
 
The facts:  When hired by Coroner Barbara Richardson as a deputy coroner, Locke was no longer in the Army from which he had been dishonorably discharged in 1981.  Zeke Locke, however, had an outstanding warrant for a 1987 felony theft conviction in Georgia and was forbidden to leave the state.  Having traveled to Illinois to apply for a deputy coroner position in Lake County, IL, Locke became a fugitive from the law.  Zeck Locke further used the identity of his father in applying for a Lake County deputy coroner position.  Authorities caught up with Zeke Locke in 2000.  He was arrested as a fugitive from justice and was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for probation violation. The following article explains some of the circumstances that led to Locke’sindictment.
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/42165977/Corruption/Ex-deputy%20Coroner%20Guilty%20In%20Gun%20Case%20-%20Chicago%20Tribune.pdf
 
Armed with information that  David Cooper had been rejected in 1999 when applying for a deputy coroner position in Barbara Richardson’s Office, I asked David Cooper how Locke could have been hired in the first place?  Did Locke meet the qualifications David had to meet when applying and upon which David was ultimately judged, that of Experience, *Training, Interview and Test Results? 
 
*In reference to Training as a qualification when applying for a position as a deputy coroner in Lake County, I was informed by David Cooper that training is not essential to apply or to be accepted as a deputy coroner in Lake County.  When hired, the deputy is sent to college to receive medico-legal training on firearm forensics, blood splatter, and on other subjects related to how death occurs. Training consists of a 40-hour, five-day course at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, the Medicolegal Death Investigator Training Course (MLDIC).
 
Following is the 1999 rejection letter link David Cooper received from Coroner Barbara Richardson: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/42165977/Corruption/Deputy%20coroner%20rejection.pdf
 
After Locke was arrested as a fugitive from justice, Barbara Richardson, under considerable scrutiny, “retired” from office in 2003 near the end of her second term.  Richardson appointed Chief Deputy James Wipper to finish out her term as interim coroner.
 
Corruption likewise erupted under the Democratic administration of Dr. Richard Keller, who was elected in 2004 (and re-elected in 2008) to replace Republican Jim Wipper, Barbara Richardson’s replacement. 
 
It was an attempted cover-up by Dr. Keller that forced him to resign from office while serving his second four-year term in office (Artis Yancey, a Democrat and former Police Chief of Waukegan, IL, was appointed as interim coroner to replace Dr. Keller and is presently serving as Lake County coroner.  Yancy is expected to run in 2012 for the Office of the coroner in Lake County as the incumbent.).
Dr. Keller’s corruption involved a position he held in tandem with his elected position as Lake County coroner.  Keller was the Medical Director at the Green Dragonfly Clinic in Waukegan, a facility for treating drug abuse.  One of Dr. Keller’s patients, 30 years old at the time, died of a drug overdose.  In that Dr. Keller took charge of investigating the death of his own patient and attempted a cover-up of the facts, resulted in Keller’s resignation as coroner on August 17, 2009. 
 
This link describes some of the some of the facts that brought about Dr. Keller’s indictment and resignation:
Following Dr. Keller’s resignation, three individuals were selected to investigate and offer guidance to the Office of the Lake County Coroner:  Mark Curran, now Lake County Sheriff; David Stolman, now Lake County Board Chair; and Barbara Richardson, Lake County Coroner from 1977 to 2003.
 
Uncovered by Curran, Stolman, and Richardson were stashes of human remains (bones) which should have been disposed of through burial or cremation and personal effects never returned to families of the deceased.
 
Part three will document questionable deputy hiring by Barbara Richardson during her tenure in office and will also examine Steven Newton, the present status quo choice candidate of Republican insiders.
 
 

Four-part series:  A modern day ‘David and Goliath’ clash over corrupt practices in the Office of Lake County Coroner   

Part one:  “David Cooper’s candidacy is challenged despite stellar qualifications to seek position of Lake County Coroner” 
 
In what is a reversal of the battle between David and Goliath, as given in 1 Samuel, Chapter 17, is a  present day battle being carried out between one who has not yet officially declared his candidacy for the position of Lake County Coroner, David Cooper, and Republican Lake County establishment insiders.Politics can be nasty and definitely is not for the weak at heart, but what I find reprehensible is when fellow Republican politicians attack one of their own, with the sole purpose of causing a prospective candidate both monetary and personal degradation irrespective of the targeted candidate’s qualifications and experience that far surpass the candidate Republican establishment insiders have already predetermined to win the office

As a Liberty Leader at the Illinois Policy Institute — Brian Costin heads the Liberty Leaders program as Director of Outreach, with John Tillman serving as CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute — I am committed to advancing a stated Illinois Policy Institute objective, that of transparency (allowing the sunshine in) at all levels of government under the assumption that it is the public right to know what is being done be those we have elected to work for us.

Many of my fellow Republicans might look unkindly at me for revealing what my research has uncovered.  Definite definite tactics and acts were seemingly committed with the sole purpose of dissuading David Cooper from pursuing the Office of Lake County Coroner. 

Corruption in politics and in government should not and cannot be tolerated, whether practiced by Republicans or Democrats, for corruption is like a cancer that eventually destroys by devouring all that is good about about an institution meant to benefit the citizens under its jurisdiction.

As a resident of Lake County and in my role as Precinct Committeeman in District #240 in Shield Township, I have witnessed time and time again irresponsible behavior.  Such is current action at the Federal level where  Republican establishment insiders and pundits are trying to sway the public to favor the Republican candidate they themselves favor to challenge President Obama in 2012. 

It is also the way things are done here in Illinois.  Practiced is the selective choosing of candidates even before Republican voters in all 102 Illinois counties have registered their choice in Primary Elections.

The reprehensible tactics in my home county of Lake by Republican insiders against David Cooper, when announcing his intentions to run for the Office of Lake County coroner to fellow Republicans and legislators, will surely rank as one of the most deliberate acts of candidate sabotage ever in the state of Illinois. To be fair, I must admit that I am friends of Ken and Beverly Cooper, parents of David Cooper.  Beverly Cooper, as producer for the past 30 years of her own weekly Comcast cable TV program, “Cooper’s Corner,” has given political recognition to some of the same Republicans who are now ganging up on her son, having willingly come to her studio in Highland Park as guests to receive county-wide political recognition and political exposure.  “Cooper’s Corner” is videotaped and shown throughout Lake County and five other counties on   community Comcast TV stations in the week following Bev Coopers weekly Wednesday TV program. My first encounter with David Cooper was at a Libertyville Lake County Tea Party held on July 5th of 2008.  At the time I was actively involved in a “crusade” to keep the Dual Zion Nuclear Station from being destroyed forever, and with it the Nuclear facility’s 2,100 MW’s of clean, safe and green energy.  Having made two sign alerting hose in attendance to the foolishness of wasting this massive source of energy, David Cooper agreed to carry one of the signs.

Although David had no qualms in displaying the sign, I did lose sight of David from time to time as I walked with my sign, stopping from time-to-time to engage in discussions about Zion’s destiny should Exelon Corporation get its way.

 
David, as it turned out in his walk-around, was making frequent stops to consult with elected officials he met along the way about the feasibility of declaring his intentions to run for Lake County coroner.  To be noted that In the summer of 2008 no one else had yet declared their candidacy for coroner.What made David Cooper believe that he had the qualifications to be elected as coroner of Lake County.
Following is what Cooper related to me.  
 
First of all, David Cooper is an American combat veteran who enlisted in the Army in January of 1996 and was honorably discharged in April of 2005.  David was home-based in Rosemont and was placed on active reserve status because of illness in the family.  Even so, upon enlisting Cooper qualified through testing and was immediately accepted into the Military Police Program in Anniston, Alabama for sixteen weeks of intensive training.  His DD214 certification is on file at the Lake County Recorder of Deeds Office in Waukegan.David Cooper, in his active reserve status, was deployed overseas twice, first serving in 1997 as a United States Army MP as part of “Operation New Horizons” — also assigned were medical corp personnel and army engineers — and second, in October of 2001, a month after the 9/11 attacks on American soil took place, to Alexandria, Egypt to participate in “Operation Bright Star” for maneuvers with the Egyptian army as MMC (Mubarak Military City).By the time David Cooper was deployed to Alexandria, Egypt, he had obtained the rank of sergeant after attending the Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC) in 1999.   

While on inactive duty status from 2003 – 2005, David Cooper made good use of his time by completing the necessary work to receive a B.S. degree from Western University with a major in Sociology and a minor of Law Enforcement.  A Mortuary Science degree followed from Carl Sandburg College before David Cooper’s honorable discharge in April of 2005. I was surprised to learn that David Cooper had applied for and was interviewed for a deputy coroner position, while still serving as an active Army reservist, in the Coroner Office of Lake County in April of 1999 during the tenure of coroner Barbara Richardson.

What David Cooper experienced during his April 1999 interview and what followed upon receiving his rejection letter, offered David insight into what seemed to point to endemic corruption in the Lake County Coroner Office of many years standing stemming back to the 1970’s.

Part two will offer insight into events, through documentation, which should give credence to corruption of long- standing in the Lake County Coroner Office.