Monday, July 7, 2014

So I did my time...

i can't say that serving in the obama administration was the most fun i ever had. can't say that at all. nor can i say that it was the hardest work i've ever done. maybe the most frustrating. trying to pass a cybersecurity bill when no one wants to pay for cybersecurity is, well, hard. trying to satisfy hundreds of generals and a hundred senators, that's insane. i'd say i was proud of the work i did (which, i suppose, i am), but it would be more appropriate to say that i was proud to serve this administration...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

No Local Post Offices on the Prospective Closing List

For the second year in a row, the USPS has proposed closing local postal facilities. The list for Illinois includes only two facilities in the 604xx zip codes. They are the Kinsman and Verona Post Offices in LaSalle County. The complete list for Illinois:

Office City Zip
CLARE CLARE 60111
ESMOND ESMOND 60129
HILLSIDE HILLSIDE 60162
KINSMAN KINSMAN 60437
VERONA VERONA 60479
LA GRANGE PARK LA GRANGE PARK 60526
LEE LEE 60530
MILLINGTON MILLINGTON 60537
WEDRON WEDRON 60557
NANCY B JEFFERSON CHICAGO 60612
CHINATOWN POSTAL STORE CHICAGO 60616
ENGLEWOOD CHICAGO 60621
OTIS GRANT COLLINS CHICAGO 60623
MARY ALICE HENRY CHICAGO 60624
OGDEN PARK CHICAGO 60636
FINANCE STATION U CHICAGO 60637
REV.MILTON R.BRUNSON STATION CHICAGO 60644
ROBERT LEFLORE JR. CHICAGO 60651
ASHBURN CHICAGO 60652
HAYMARKET POSTAL STORE CHICAGO 60661
RIVERDALE RIVERDALE 60827
BUCKINGHAM BUCKINGHAM 60917
CAMPUS CAMPUS 60920
CLAYTONVILLE CLAYTONVILLE 60926
ELLIOTT ELLIOTT 60933
EMINGTON EMINGTON 60934
GOODWINE GOODWINE 60939
IROQUOIS IROQUOIS 60945
PAPINEAU PAPINEAU 60956
STOCKLAND STOCKLAND 60967
WELLINGTON WELLINGTON 60973
WOODLAND WOODLAND 60974
CHANA CHANA 61015
ELEROY ELEROY 61027
HOLCOMB HOLCOMB 61043
KENT KENT 61044
LINDENWOOD LINDENWOOD 61049
NACHUSA NACHUSA 61057
NORA NORA 61059
SEWARD SEWARD 61077
BARSTOW BARSTOW 61236
BUFFALO PRAIRIE BUFFALO PRAIRIE 61237
ARLINGTON ARLINGTON 61312
BLACKSTONE BLACKSTONE 61313
BUREAU BUREAU 61315
CEDAR POINT CEDAR POINT 61316
COMPTON COMPTON 61318
DANA DANA 61321
DOVER DOVER 61323
KASBEER KASBEER 61328
LEE CENTER LEE CENTER 61331
LEONORE LEONORE 61332
LONG POINT LONG POINT 61333
MAGNOLIA MAGNOLIA 61336
MARK MARK 61340
MINERAL MINERAL 61344
NEW BEDFORD NEW BEDFORD 61346
RUTLAND RUTLAND 61358
SEATONVILLE SEATONVILLE 61359
STANDARD STANDARD 61363
TRIUMPH TRIUMPH 61371
TROY GROVE TROY GROVE 61372
VAN ORIN VAN ORIN 61374
WEST BROOKLYN WEST BROOKLYN 61378
BARDOLPH BARDOLPH 61416
BERWICK BERWICK 61417
BISHOP HILL BISHOP HILL 61419
CAMERON CAMERON 61423
CAMP GROVE CAMP GROVE 61424
CARMAN CARMAN 61425
CASTLETON CASTLETON 61426
EAST GALESBURG EAST GALESBURG 61430
ELLISVILLE ELLISVILLE 61431
FIATT FIATT 61433
GILSON GILSON 61436
HENDERSON HENDERSON 61439
LA FAYETTE LA FAYETTE 61449
LAURA LAURA 61451
LITTLETON LITTLETON 61452
LITTLE YORK LITTLE YORK 61453
MARIETTA MARIETTA 61459
NORTH HENDERSON NORTH HENDERSON 61466
PRAIRIE CITY PRAIRIE CITY 61470
RARITAN RARITAN 61471
RIO RIO 61472
SAINT AUGUSTINE SAINT AUGUSTINE 61474
SEATON SEATON 61476
SMITHFIELD SMITHFIELD 61477
SMITHSHIRE SMITHSHIRE 61478
SPEER SPEER 61479
DUNFERMLINE DUNFERMLINE 61524
EDELSTEIN EDELSTEIN 61526
KINGSTON MINES KINGSTON MINES 61539
LA ROSE LA ROSE 61541
LIVERPOOL LIVERPOOL 61543
TOPEKA TOPEKA 61567
BARTONVILLE BARTONVILLE 61607
ANCHOR ANCHOR 61720
ARMINGTON ARMINGTON 61721
ARROWSMITH ARROWSMITH 61722
BELLFLOWER BELLFLOWER 61724
COOKSVILLE COOKSVILLE 61730
CROPSEY CROPSEY 61731
DEWITT DEWITT 61735
KENNEY KENNEY 61749
LAWNDALE LAWNDALE 61751
SECOR SECOR 61771
SHIRLEY SHIRLEY 61772
SIBLEY SIBLEY 61773
STRAWN STRAWN 61775
UNIVERSITY STATION URBANA 61801
ALVIN ALVIN 61811
ARMSTRONG ARMSTRONG 61812
BONDVILLE BONDVILLE 61815
STATION A CHAMPAIGN 61820
CISCO CISCO 61830
COLLISON COLLISON 61831
DE LAND DE LAND 61839
DEWEY DEWEY 61840
INDIANOLA INDIANOLA 61850
IVESDALE IVESDALE 61851
LONGVIEW LONGVIEW 61852
MUNCIE MUNCIE 61857
PENFIELD PENFIELD 61862
ROYAL ROYAL 61871
BROCTON BROCTON 61917
HUME HUME 61932
LA PLACE LA PLACE 61936
METCALF METCALF 61940
MURDOCK MURDOCK 61941
VERMILION VERMILION 61955
EAGARVILLE EAGARVILLE 62023
FIDELITY FIDELITY 62030
HILLVIEW HILLVIEW 62050
KANE KANE 62054
LOVEJOY LOVEJOY 62059
NATIONAL STOCK YARDS NATIONAL STOCK YARDS 62071
OHLMAN OHLMAN 62076
PATTERSON PATTERSON 62078
PIASA PIASA 62079
ROCKBRIDGE ROCKBRIDGE 62081
ROSAMOND ROSAMOND 62083
SAWYERVILLE SAWYERVILLE 62085
VENICE VENICE 62090
WRIGHTS WRIGHTS 62098
FULTS FULTS 62244
HUEY HUEY 62252
MAEYSTOWN MAEYSTOWN 62256
NEW MEMPHIS NEW MEMPHIS 62266
RENAULT RENAULT 62279
ROCKWOOD ROCKWOOD 62280
BASCO BASCO 62313
CAMDEN CAMDEN 62319
ELVASTON ELVASTON 62334
FERRIS FERRIS 62336
KINDERHOOK KINDERHOOK 62345
LIMA LIMA 62348
NEW CANTON NEW CANTON 62356
NEW SALEM NEW SALEM 62357
PLAINVILLE PLAINVILLE 62365
ROCKPORT ROCKPORT 62370
TENNESSEE TENNESSEE 62374
TIMEWELL TIMEWELL 62375
WEST POINT WEST POINT 62380
MOUNT ERIE MOUNT ERIE 62446
YALE YALE 62481
CHESTNUT CHESTNUT 62518
CORNLAND CORNLAND 62519
GLENARM GLENARM 62536
LAKE FORK LAKE FORK 62541
OCONEE OCONEE 62553
PALMER PALMER 62556
TOVEY TOVEY 62570
WAGGONER WAGGONER 62572
ALEXANDER ALEXANDER 62601
ALSEY ALSEY 62610
BATH BATH 62617
BLUFF SPRINGS BLUFF SPRINGS 62622
BROWNING BROWNING 62624
CONCORD CONCORD 62631
KILBOURNE KILBOURNE 62655
MANCHESTER MANCHESTER 62663
NILWOOD NILWOOD 62672
CAPITOL STA SPRINGFIELD 62706
BONE GAP BONE GAP 62815
EWING EWING 62836
KEENSBURG KEENSBURG 62852
LOGAN LOGAN 62856
MAUNIE MAUNIE 62861
MILL SHOALS MILL SHOALS 62862
MULKEYTOWN MULKEYTOWN 62865
OPDYKE OPDYKE 62872
ORIENT ORIENT 62874
RADOM RADOM 62876
RINARD RINARD 62878
SCHELLER SCHELLER 62883
SIMS SIMS 62886
SPRINGERTON SPRINGERTON 62887
VERNON VERNON 62892
BELKNAP BELKNAP 62908
COLP COLP 62921
GRANTSBURG GRANTSBURG 62943
HEROD HEROD 62947
JACOB JACOB 62950
MILLCREEK MILLCREEK 62961
MILLER CITY MILLER CITY 62962
MUDDY MUDDY 62965
PERKS PERKS 62973

Monday, May 30, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

Chicago Heights getting nervous...

The Integrity Party has brought a lot of new people into the political scene in Chicago Heights. I usually call these people (political) virgins because it's not like what they teach you in school.

One of my candidates was horrified after Dave Gonzalez instructed a city worker to throw her out of city hall. "He was rude," she explained.

I've had to explain to these candidates, often more than once, that you don't take power out of the hands of those who have it graciously. You take power away by force. Especially when there is so much money at stake. Chicago Heights spends millions more than cities of a similar size. It employs more people than cities of a similar size. So it should be no surprise that it taxes its residents more than other cities of a similar size.

Not that it provides good (public) service for their dollar. I've been told by friends and supporters that I should be calling the police when we are threatened or we see things that shouldn't be. So this week I did.

But not a single police officer came to deal with the matter. No one.

This isn't unusual. And not just because Dave Gonzalez is forcing city workers to campaign on his behalf, apparently during working hours.

Yep, corruption costs someone money. And Dave Gonzalez sure has the house to show for it.

Tomorrow, 300 Hispanics from Cicero are supposed to arrive to help out Gonzalez. I assume he'll need the help. I think I was supposed to be surprised that 300 people were supposed to come down, but I already expected this. I've already duked it out with Gonzalez in a race in that area. And it will be an impressive show of force.

Of outsiders. But they have already had a slew of outsiders come in and knock on doors for them. Gonzalez has to have outsiders come in because he doesn't seem to be generating the kind of support in Chicago Heights that he expected.

Supposedly, last weekend, Gonzalez put up 1000 signs. But I don't know a single one that was placed in a yard of one of his supporters. Maybe he doesn't have any. Even some of the people who *they* mobilized to early vote claim they voted for Joe (one was a city worker!).

Like all politicians, Dave Gonzalez has an inflated view of himself. It's kind of pathetic, especially in this case. He has to hide from what is real, and project what is not. For example, Gonzalez has been telling other politicians that he has this race wrapped up and that he can mobilize this huge work force (presumably all the city workers that he's impressed into service illegally) but he's got to ship in hundreds of Hispanics to help him make "Latino Day" look good.

What a character.

Well, Gonzalez has already started to figure out that he doesn't have a strong grasp of politics. And he has an even weaker grasp of politics that is played at this level. A teenager could figure out what we are going to do. It's not rocket science, and it isn't a secret. So this upcoming week ought to be very, very interesting. But I'm having a *very* good time. Dave Gonzalez is an extremely rich oppo target and the only difficulty is in trying to decide which parts of his past and his hypocrisy I want to go after.

He's made it easy for me. For example, the city of Chicago Heights (ok, really Dave Gonzalez but they pretend that it is the city, so I will, too) has halted the provision of basic services to the 4th Ward (which is Joe Faso's ward), in the belief that they can blame Joe for their failure.

Which shows a basic disconnect from the residents in the 4th Ward (or just an assumption that voters are stupid). They know what is going on. This makes them more determined to get out and vote for Joe, not less likely. The only stupid person here is Gonzalez.

But we can pretend that he isn't an idiot. After all, he's bringing in 300 Hispanics from Cicero tomorrow. That ought to impress someone. Really. I mean, I assume...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Would you elect the brother of a Domestic Terrorist to be your mayor?

That's the question in Chicago Heights this week.

Dave Gonzalez sent out a mailer claiming drug dealers are Domestic Terrorists. Which is a odd thing to say about your brother, someone you let into your home, someone who acts in the community as a representative for you.

Perhaps Dave didn't see the irony. But others did.

So would you?

Would you elect the brother of a Domestic Terrorist to be your mayor?

I know I wouldn't. I can't imagine too many people who would.

I'm really starting to wonder if Dave Gonzalez understands politics. I mean, I'd expect him to throw his brother under the bus. Dave Gonzalez isn't exactly known for his loyalty to people. In fact, quite the opposite.

But emphasizing your relationship to Domestic Terrorism?

That's not smart. Not smart at all. Not if you want to be mayor.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dave Gonzalez "unleashes" the dogs (is that code for something?)

It was an exciting day in Chicago today. Down here in Chicago Heights, the excitement is only starting to build. I just got a call telling me that a local gang leader walked into a Chicago Heights business today and told him that they were taking over this town. Dave Gonzalez has "unleashed the dogs." Not exactly sure what that means, other than it's a warning. I'm supposed to tell those opposed to corruption, drugs and gangs in Chicago Heights to back off. Or something.

It's almost like living inside a movie. I know that Gonzalez and his gang think that we should be afraid. Maybe they are, and they are projecting their fear on others. I can't really say. But what I do know is that Gonzalez clearly didn't grow up in the South, didn't experience race riots or drug wars. I had friends who had crosses burned on their lawns when I was a kid. We had a race riot (with the cowboys bringing their shotguns to school) when I was first in high school. I worked a special Congressional election in Miami in the middle of the 80s. Columbian drug lords thought nothing of shooting up the place.

So I'm having a hard time taking all the threats from the Heights seriously. Seriously.

Sure, Chicago Heights is the murder capitol of Chicagoland. And more than a few people have suggested that I should be afraid, very afraid going up against someone who is so connected. But, again, I grew up in the midst of the Civil Rights movement. So I understand perfectly that people with power (like Dave Gonzalez) don't give it up easily.

What I find so fascinating, though, is why anyone would think that an increase in gang tags or public bravado would help Dave Gonzalez. Sure, we have lots of Hispanic support for the Integrity platform, but I find it hard to believe that Dave Gonzalez believes it. And trying to intimidate Integrity volunteers? If they are anything like me, they will only get madder -- and more determined.

At the very time that people in Egypt and Tunisia have overturned tyrants (and one party rule) in their countries, it's really difficult to understand why Dave Gonzalez would think that he could succeed with these tired old tactics right here in the South Suburbs. He's got power (now), and he's determined to keep it. I understand that. But getting the gangs to do your dirty work? And that's supposed to help?

I dunno, but I think some politicians haven't entered the 21st century. Dave Gonzalez is at the top of that list. The real question is whether Chicago Heights is stuck in the past, as well...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Details of Saturday's Chicago Heights Meeting leak out

While I tried to attend Saturday's meeting at the Chicago Heights Country Club (I was told I could not enter, and then told that I'd have to leave the parking ), called by mayoral candidate Dave Gonzalez who mandated that all city employees attend or "face the consequences," I have gotten word back on some details.

City employees have been instructed to turn in contact sheets of 40 names by Friday. A vague threat was made about not turning them in, but Gonzalez is clearly trying to stay under the radar of the U.S. Attorney General's Public Integrity Section of its Criminal Division.

City Employees were told that they would be responsible for getting the names of their contact lists to the polls for Gonzalez, with a goal of perhaps half those names voting either by absentee or early vote.

Several Chicago Heights employees have complained to me about the stressful conditions they now work under. Gonzalez has placed apologists throughout the departments, and workers thought to be independent or non-partisan have received extra attention.

Again, it is illegal to condition employment at Chicago Heights' city hall upon political work for any candidate or party. It is interesting to me that while the County is moving away from openly violating Shakman, and I'd expect the city of Chicago to be less resistant to Shakman under a new mayor and city council, the South Suburbs is belatedly falling into a gray area -- openly violating Shakman and Rutan, but trying to obfuscate those violations. I'm not sure how the city -- well, the taxpayers -- of Chicago Heights can afford these corrupt practices, but until people stand up against the corruption, their tax bills will only get higher and higher.

If you are a Chicago Heights employee (or the employee of any city) who felt intimidated or forced to participate against your will, please call the Public Integrity Section at (202) 514-1412. You won't have to give your full name to express your concerns. They are eager to hear from you. I will follow up on this on Saturday, and afterwards...