Sunday, October 12, 2014

Q Restaurant in Orland Park offers a unique dining experience

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Q Restaurant in Orland Park offers a unique dining experience

By Ray Hanania

Q Restaurant in Orland Park is a new Asian fusion that offers a mix of Vietnamese and French cuisine. The design of the restaurant's dining room is very impressive and the food is even better. It not only offers a phenomenal menu of meal selections and appetizers, it also offers Martinis of all sorts.


As we ate, in the background, the restaurant was playing French music that gave it an atmosphere of being in the 1950s.

The service was attentive but not annoying. The waiter was very professional and courteous.

We ordered Shrimp rolls with bacon, mozzarella, and sriracha pineapple sauce. Sriracha sauce is a type of hot sauce or chili sauce made from a paste of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt and is named after the city of Si Racha in Thailand.

It was great.

I ordered a bowl of Noodle Soup which was so good I could have just had that for the luncheon meal. It was packed with tasty chicken and a variety of Asian veggies. It also comes with Tofu instead of chicken.

Our dinner consisted of two plates from the dinner menu, which the restaurant offers as an option during lunch. I had the lobster and shrimp dinner and Alison had Seafood Lover which offers an assortment of blue sea scallop, shrimp, crab meat, calamari, crunchy noodle, herbal brandy red curry sauce.

I also tasted the coconut Martini. It tasted so nice. I'm not a big Martini drinker, but I did sip it during the meal.

The dining room really set the stage for a great dinner. As soon as you walk into the restaurant, you are impressed. It reflects that kind of colonial Vietnamese culture that was common prior to the devastating war of the 1960s. It was so enjoyable. And perfect.

Q Restaurant
11379 West 159th Street
Orland Park, IL., 60462
708-966-2179

They also offer live music performances on specific dates. Check with the restaurant. Click here for their Facebook Page.

Enjoy these photos of the restaurant and the meal.









(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist. He is the managing editor of The Arab Daily News www.TheArabDailyNews.com and Illinois News Network online www.IllinoisNewsNetwork.com. Reach him at rghanania@gmail.com.)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Saturday's are always rough, especially with disrespectful people

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Saturday's are always rough, especially with disrespectful people

By Ray Hanania

English: Norman Wait Harris (N.W. Harris) foun...
Norman Wait Harris (N.W. Harris) founder and president of N.W. Harris & Co., Harris Trust & Savings Bank (later Harris Bank) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The work week is rough but Saturdays are even worse. Seriously. Even though I get to sleep a little late, I wake up to Saturday morning cartoons and several episodes of my favorite series King of Queens with Leah Remini and what's his name -- just joking, Kevin James (come on, two first names?)

But once that's over, and I make breakfast for the family, it's out and about to do my rounds which consists of certain very specific things. Post Office. Then the Bank. Then maybe Best Buy to just browse the computer equipment and new movies. I don't buy movies there. I buy them online at Apple and watch them on Apple TV.

Yet, it's at both the Post Office and the bank where I always have the same hassles. And it's all because of inconsiderate people.

Take the post office at 150th and LaGrange Road in Orland Park. It has a huge parking lot. There's rarely a problem finding parking, although on Saturday when everyone is bumper-to-bumper on LaGrange Road, parking can be tight.

But tight or not, there are always a bunch of morons who just don't want to park. They can't wait. They need to jump in front of the line, push you aside, make your life inconvenient so they can save a few seconds. So, they park their big assed Vans and Trucks along the Yellow Painted curb -- that means NO PARKING, and then step inside the U.S. Post Office to mail their letters and even wait in line to buy stamps or ask stupid questions.

And you what I have noticed, the people who park along the curb illegally in front of the Post Office causing traffic jams in the parking lot and creating dangerous encounters with cars trying to squeeze past their fat ugly trucks and vans and big boats (Do people really still drive 1990s Cadillacs?)

Those people should be ticketed. They should be punished. Why not put a Police Traffic Camera there and start recording license plates of cars that pull up and wait for 10s of minutes along the curb, creating parking lot havoc?

I can support that kind of Police Traffic Camera.

And once I check the mail, drop off some mail going out -- yes, I still like to mail bills using the U.S. Post Office and stamps -- I am off to Harris Bank. BMO, they call it. Some British company bought them up just like a British company bought up Amoco. Is anything American any more?

My favorite bank stop is at 143rd and 82nd Avenue. That Harris Bank Branch, at 8150 W. 143rd Street, is phenomenal. They have the best employees. They are all so polite. Considerate. They just want to help. And you can never be a hassle for them no matter what you ask. Deposit this. Withdraw this. Can you give me $300 in all fives?

Not a problem. They're all women, too, by the way and everyone of them is super polite.

You could turn that place into a coffee shop and I'd hang out there the employees are so courteous. GIVE THOSE PEOPLE A RAISE, please.

And then I drive by the coin store at the other end of Orland Park, at 159th just west of Harlem to check out some old coins. I love coins. My son loves coins. And when I'm done, I drive to the Harris Bank at 8400 West 159th Street. I think this is one of BMO's "main" banks.

So I walk in and the two ladies are chatting with each other. Loudly. Or maybe they just have loud voices. So I get in the line area. I'm the only one there. And I stop at the line and wait for one of them to say "Can I help you?"

Should I be rude and just push my way to the counter if no one is there? No. I wait until I am asked to come to the counter. I'm a glutton for punishment.

One of them finally says  tells me to step up to the counter. But it's not polite. And I ask the question that must have just ruined her day.

"Can I buy some rolls of coins. JFK Half Dollars? Gold Dollars?"

The woman looked at me like I was an alien, with that sour puss look that people with bad attitudes always seem to have. I could almost see her head doing that swivel thing of "You want what?"

And she looks at me like I'm nuts.

"Rolls of coins" I repeat. I collect them. I'm about to tell her I'm not just some bum off the street. I have several accounts at this foreign-owned Bee-Mo bank. But before I can assure her I am a customer lady, not some riff-raff off the street.

She blurts out rudely, "We don't have any rolls. No. We don't."

I look at her like, maybe I should explain exactly what a freaking bank does. This is a Bank, isn't it? I start thinking. And before I can blurt out the declarative question, she turns to her chat-buddy and says, "We don't have rolls of coins, do we?"

Oh, now you're basically saying you really don't know if you have rolls of coins and have to ask the other mean-faced lady at the other clerk window. What? For support?

"I didn't order any. I don't get a lot of customers who ask for them," the other mean-faced lady says.

Oh I'm sorry. Did the bank make you work through lunch or something. Taking out your anger on me? Is that a Canadian thing just because we can't get over the fact that Canada became a refuge for pot-smoking draft dodgers back in the 1960s? More than 50 years ago? You keep a grudge that long? The Bank of Montreal (BMO) hasn't owned you that long, I want to scream. They just bought you a few years ago and this is what they did to my neighborhood bank?

BMO Harris Bank needs to clean house at 159th Street. Those employees should see what it's like in the unemployment line. And as for the employees at 151st and 52nd Avenue in orland Park, those employees should be given a pay raise and promotions. They should be running both branches. If they did, I wouldn't get attitude with my bank statement.

You can take that to the bank!

(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist. Reach him at rghanania@gmail.com.)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fire District puzzled by Orland Mayor's criticism of fighting drug abuse

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Fire District puzzled by Orland Mayor’s criticism of fighting drug abuse

Orland Fire District rebuffs criticism from Orland Park Mayor McLaughlin and urges government agencies to work together to fight rising drug use

Parents and students packed an Orland Fire Protection District community-wide meeting on drug and substance abuse Tuesday July 15, 2014
Parents and students packed an Orland Fire Protection District community-wide meeting on drug and substance abuse Tuesday July 15, 2014
The Orland Fire Prevention District is puzzled and surprised that Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin would criticize the Fire District for hosting a program to raise awareness among parents about drug and substance abuse in the suburban region.

The program was held on Tuesday night (July 15) and has been hosted annually for the past four years. It was widely publicized, showcasing student role models and parents whose children and families have experienced the tragedy of drugs and substance abuse.

McLaughlin issued a press release Friday that falsely accused the Fire District of disseminating “inaccurate information” about drug use. It implies there is no heroin or substance abuse problem in Orland Park or the immediate suburbs and contradicts public statements made only four weeks earlier by Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy.

“We are deeply disappointed McLaughlin would issue his criticism without even contacting us to discuss the issue, or even attending the event which was widely publicized in the media,” Orland Fire Protection District President Jim Hickey said.
Brian Kirk, The HERO Foundation
Brian Kirk, The HERO Foundation

“The mayor’s press release was filled with inaccurate and irresponsible statements. I am deeply disappointed when public officials show more concern for their public images rather than for the safety and well-being of our citizens.”

Hickey said the information disseminated at the Fire District’s public meeting was accurate and correctly defined the threat of heroin and substance abuse as serious concerns that must be addressed by an educated community.

“It would be shameful to believe public officials would bury their heads in the sand and pretend there is no drug abuse problem in our region. The data shows a frightening increase in heroin and opiate abuse in this region and it needs to be addressed,” Hickey said. “That’s the only conclusion I can make from the mayor’s actions.”

Hickey said McLaughlin overreacted to a newspaper article which may have unfairly characterized the school district as being unresponsive, but the fact is there hasn’t been a concerted effort to address the rising drug problems.

“Drug use isn’t a problem that plagues ‘bad neighborhoods’ or ‘poor communities.’ It’s a problem everywhere and responsible public officials should do everything they can to educate and inform the public. That’s what the Fire District has and will continue to do,” Hickey said.
Fire Chief Ken Brucki, Bat Chief Michael Schofield, Brian Kirk, Sandburg athlete Pat Brucki, Denver Broncos draft pick Michael Schofield, US Olympic Ice Hockey Medalist and Sandburg Graduate Kendall Coyne, Tami O'Brien, OFPD Board President Jim Hickey, OFPD Trustees Chris Evoy and Jayne Schirmacher.
Fire Chief Ken Brucki, Bat Chief Michael Schofield, Brian Kirk, Sandburg athlete Pat Brucki, Denver Broncos draft pick Michael Schofield, US Olympic Ice Hockey Medalist and Sandburg Graduate Kendall Coyne, Tami O'Brien, OFPD Board President Jim Hickey, OFPD Trustees Chris Evoy and Jayne Schirmacher.

The Fire District is more than willing to meet with Mayor McLaughlin, Police Supt. McCarthy and officials from the local schools, Hickey said, to work together and develop a unified stand against drug abuse in a more appropriate manner rather than through public criticism from officials who didn’t even attend the meeting.
Tami O'Brien
Tami O'Brien

The Fire District program was not funded by taxpayer dollars and was conducted by volunteers who included three current and former Sandburg students, Michael Schofield, who was drafted by the Denver Broncos, Olympic Ice Hockey Silver Medalist Kendall Coyne, and Patrick Brucki a current Sandburg student athlete. The three students reached out to the more than 100 parents and students who attended the two hour long seminar.

Their message was clear: “Drugs are not fun. They are dangerous. And students must resist the temptation to hang around other kinds who are using drugs.”

The meeting included the experiences of two parents whose children were involved in drugs and substance abuse, including the father of a high school senior who died of heroin use. They related how their children made the “wrong choices,” destroying their lives and their families. Tami O’Brien and Brian Kirk represented the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM) and The Hero Foundation.

The program, cohosted by In the Blink of an Eye Foundation headed by OFPD Battalion Chief Michael Schofield, was widely publicized for six weeks. It attracted many community leaders including Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman, and Village of Orland Park Trustee Dan Calandriello.

The information reflected firsthand data as experienced by emergency medical personnel and first responders from the Fire District.
Kendall Coyne, Olympic Ice Hockey Silver Medalist
Kendall Coyne, Olympic Ice Hockey Silver Medalist

“Firefighters are oftentimes the first people at the scene of a drug or substance abuse incident. We are called to save their lives,” said Fire Chief Ken Brucki.

“Helping parents understand what is involved and what can be done can help save more lives. That’s why we continue to host this program and will host it again next year.”

Data clearly shows an alarming increase in heroin use in Orland Park, in the Fire District, and in the suburban region.

During the presentation, Brucki said he spoke about drug use among elementary school children “throughout the region,” not specifically or just in School District 135 or with respect to the local schools.

“At no time did we criticize the Village, the Police or the school districts. We noted the drug problem is growing not just in Orland Park but in neighboring suburban communities,” Brucki said.

Brucki cited an article in the local media on Friday July 18th that highlighted the success of the HELPS program started in Will County which has created "a phenomenal downturn in heroin related deaths" and which works to combine efforts from various branches of community leadership.

“We have most recently had a great relationship with the leadership of local school districts, including District 135, on education and prevention and we want that to continue,” Brucki said.

Hickey said that last month, Police Supt. McCarthy told local media that heroin use was a problem. He announced police will carry Narcan (Naxalon) in their vehicles to respond to drug abuse issues. Narcan can reverse the effects of opiate and heroin overdoses.

McCarthy’ was quoted as saying he “first noticed” an increase in heroin use in 2009, noting last year “Orland Park had 13 drug overdoses and six deaths, including five that involved heroin.” This year, McCarthy said, the department has seen eight overdoses and one death.

Hickey said McCarthy’s observations only reinforce the need to bring government officials together to address this growing problem.

Orland Park is only one community in the Orland Fire Protection District, which serves 75,000 residents in 33 square miles, including in Orland Hills and areas of unincorporated Orland Township.

The Fire District released the following incident report which shows a steady increase in heroin and opiate use since 2009. The figures do not include substance abuse incidents where Narcan was not administered.

“The incidents involved patients who displayed extreme drug seizures, were visibly unconscious, or were facing an extreme danger to life, such as experiencing a Heroin or opiate-like overdose,” Hickey said.

2009: administered Narcan 47 times, with 22 positive results.
2010: administered Narcan 49 times, with 23 positive results.
2011: administered Narcan 49 times, with 33 positive results.
2012: administered Narcan 63 times, with 32 positive results.
2013: administered Narcan 59 times, with 30 positive results.
(Photos courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District.)

Here’s the video of the public community program:
Here is a link to a story broadcast about the meeting by WBBM TV (CBS) Tuesday night.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Orland Fire District to host meeting to help parents respond to growing Heroin threat

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Orland Fire District to host meeting to help parents respond to growing Heroin threat

Like many suburban communities, the Orland Fire Protection District is seeing an increase in heroin use by young people. In response, the OFPD will host a communitywide meeting with parents and their children on July 15 to discuss the problem and solutions parents can use.

OFPD officials said the purpose is not only to educate parents so they can raise awareness of the problem involving their children but to also stimulate a community-wide dialogue to help educate young people about the risks of drugs and especially heroin usage, but also other substance abuse problems including with alcohol.

Celebrities from the Orland Park area including two former Carl Sandburg Graduates who have been drafted by the NFL will join Fire District officials and representatives from the Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization foundation (HERO) and from the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM).

"This is going to be a very important public meeting to discuss a growing problem that is spreading throughout the South Suburbs at an alarming rate," said Orland Fire Protection District President James Hickey.

"Heroin isn't an inner-city problem anymore. We're seeing more and more cases and we think parents need to know how to deal with it. They can't bury their heads in the sand."

Speakers will include Michael Schofield, a Carl Sandburg graduate who was a 2014 3rd Round NFL Draft pick to the Denver Broncos, and Kendal Coyne, a Silver Medalist for the US Women's Hockey Team. Also participating is Patrick Brucki, a student athlete standout who attends Sandburg.

"Young people tend to listen more when they have role models their age join the discussion to get young people more engaged," said OFPD Fire Chief Ken Brucki.

"Schofield, Coyne and my son are all actively engaged in sports athletics and that's a great connection for our young people."

Brucki said program speakers include Brian Kirk, a founder of HERO Foundation and Tami Obrien from AAIM.

Battalion Chief Michael Schofield, who is helping to coordinate the project, said the region's heroin problems have become epidemic.

"Our area recently has seen the reemergence of heroin - but this time around it is more pure and potent than was many years ago. Heroin is a cheap, highly addictive drug and has no clinical or medical use," Schofield said.

"As the use of this drug increases, so does the impact in our communities. It brings devastation to families, an increase in crime (to fund the addiction), the loss of innocence, a lifelong prison of addiction and, in the most extreme cases, death."

The program begins promptly at 6 pm on Tuesday, July 15 at the OFPD Administration building, 9790 W. 151st Street.

For more information visit the Orland Fire Protection District website at www.OrlandFire.org or visit the Facebook Page at Orland-Fire-Protection-District-IL.

END

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sexism and politics at the Orland Days Parade

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Sexism and politics at the Orland Days Parade

By Ray Hanania

County Commissioner Liz Gorman at the Orland Day Parade  with family and supporters
County Commissioner Liz Gorman at the Orland Day Parade with family and supporters
The Orland Days Parade recently drew a large crowd, as it always does, as floats, fire, police and veterans groups paraded down West Avenue.
There were many local heroes in the lineup including Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman who walked with an entourage of supporters handing out candy to the hundreds of kids who were along the sides of the parade with their parents.
Gorman, the Republican Committeewoman of Orland Township, was walking with her group in front of the entourage of County Board of Review Commissioner Dan Patlak.
There’s been a nice truce in the war between Patlak and Gorman, mainly because Gorman’s huge popularity proved to be far too much for Patlak’s low name recognition. It was more a d├ętente that benefits Patlak for sure because if Gorman ever really wanted to restart up her opposition to Patlak, the guy wouldn’t be holding office much longer.
So it was a little disturbing to watch as one of Patlak’s “volunteers” cozied up to a person (who he must have thought was just a member of the public) and then made a nasty, sexist comment that was extremely critical of Gorman.
Gorman’s entourage included some of her kids and her two dogs. And the Patlak stooge pointed to the dogs and asked the person, who was a stranger to him, in a sexist, disrespectful manner, “Which one is Liz Gorman?”
Gorman entourage followed by Patlak at Orland Days Parade
Gorman entourage followed by Patlak at Orland Days Parade
Women in politics have to put up with a lot of BS from men. Tough men are praised as “tough men.” Tough women are criticized as “vindictive.” It’s not an easy world. But the worst and most disrespectful thing you can say about a woman in public life is to call her the “B-Word,” referencing a female dog.
It wasn’t Patlak who made the comment. He was just walking down the street with that usual goofy look on his face that is so typical of his campaign literature. But he should be aware of what his underlings are doing.
Volunteers and minions don’t act like disrespectful morons on their own, unless they think it will make the boss happy. So when the Patlak volunteer made his derisive, sexist comment to the person he thought was just a member of the public, it reflects on Patlak personally and he is responsible.
As it turns out, the person the Patlak volunteer approached with his sexist, anti-woman comment was one of the Gorman’s volunteers, who immediately scolded the disrespectful and rude Patlak supporter.
Gorman deserves respect, especially from a male member of the Republican Party. Women are half the population and half the voters.
But politically Patlak must be an idiot. If Gorman wanted to take Patlak out in the next election, either by running herself or by slating someone else to challenge him, she could easily win.
Liz Gorman, Bruce Rauner, Sean Morrison
Liz Gorman, Bruce Rauner, Sean Morrison
You think that a member of the Cook County Board of Review (the new, generic name for the County Board of Tax Appeals), like Patlak, might be smart enough to recognize that Gorman is today one of the most powerful Republicans in Cook County.
How powerful is Gorman? Well, she was smart enough to back Bruce Rauner for governor when Patlak backed State Sen. Kirk Dillard in the Republican gubernatorial primary last March. Rauner, who many believe is certain to win the November Governors race against incumbent Pat Quinn, has been very close to Gorman ever since and he’s held several major events coordinated through Gorman. Rauner’s association with Gorman has boosted his own chances and helped him easily edge past Dillard, Bill Brady and Dan Rutherford.
Gorman and Palos Township Committeeman Sean Morrison are hosting a Golf Outing for Bruce Rauner at Crystal Tree, Monday, June 23rd., with a who’s who of Republican and political activists who were invited to attend by Gorman. It’s a private golf outing limited to 100 people.
One person who won’t be at the golf outing is Patlak. The question is, will he still be at the County Board of Review two years from now?
Not the way things are going.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Rauner beat rivals with smart politics, and backing of Cook County's most influential Republican

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Rauner beat rivals with smart politics, and backing of Cook County's most influential Republican

By Ray Hanania

IMG_4986Bruce Rauner won the Republican Party Primary despite a strong effort by Democrats to sidetrack him and the persistent personal attacks made against him by his Republican Party rivals.
Everyone wanted to stop Rauner, except the voters of Illinois who elected him with a whopping plurality in a field of four candidates. Rauner received 40 percent of the Republican votes cast, leading his nearest rival, Sen. Kirk Dillard by more than 23,000 votes. Rauner received 327,289 votes, Dillard received 304,094 (37 percent), Bill Brady received 123,109 votes (15 percent), and Dan Rutherford the only one of the four candidates to actually have won a statewide election as Illinois Treasurer, received only 61,609 votes (8 percent).
In the Democratic primary, incumbent Pat Quinn won with a healthy 72 percent margin. But it says something about Quinn’s weaknesses that more than 28 percent of Democrats chose Tio Hardiman, a man accused of domestic violence against his wife, as their candidate choice over Quinn. (Despite the May 2013 domestic violence complaint by his wife, his wife set aside the rancor to support him when he announced for Governor. Read more.) Quinn received 316,746 votes while Hardiman received 123,918 votes. That is not just an unhappy 123,918 Democratic voters. That is a solid core of voters who will clearly vote for the Republican candidate over Quinn in November.
Quinn only beat Brady, the least popular behind Dillard and Rauner in this race, by only 32,000 votes in 2010. You do the math.
Kirk on the Campaign Trail March 20, 2014 at 0...
Kirk on the Campaign Trail March 20, 2014 at 05:31PM (Photo credit: DillardTracy)
Why did Rauner beat three well-established Republicans? Some argue that Rauner only received 40 percent of the vote and if it were a contest between two candidates, he might have lost. That’s a stretch, however. Even if Dillard received the majority of the votes of the other two candidates, Rauner would have only had to take 40 percent of the 184,718 votes that went to Brady and Rutherford to win.
The key component in Rauner’s victory was the endorsement he received from the Suburban Chicagoland Republican organizations rallied behind Rauner by Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman. Gorman is the Orland Township Republican Committeeman and previously served as the Chairman of the Cook County Republican organization. She has the experience and the respect of mainstream, moderate Republicans. Rauner had the backing of Sean Morrison, the Republican committeeman from Palos Township, and other key leaders of the Suburban Republicans who helped him deliver his message to voters in the region of the state that counted most.
Gorman won her own race with a whopping margin over her challenger, Barbara Bellar, a darling of the Tea Party extremists and took, for the first time in four elections, every Township including beating Bellar in her own community.
Democrats feared Rauner. Some Democracts dislike Quinn. Those two factors prompted at least 40,000 Democratic voters, analysts predict, to have crossed over to take Republican Ballots on March 18.
Democrats believe that if Dillard had won the 2010 Republican nomination rather than Brady, Dillard would have defeated Quinn feeding the myth in 2014 that Dillard might be the stronger candidate to defeat Quinn in the Nov. 4 General elections.
Gov. Pat Quinn Speaks at State Event
Gov. Pat Quinn Speaks at State Event (Photo credit: usacechicago)
Rauner’s strategy was strategic. He concentrated his wealthy campaign fund on northern Illinois, knowing that the fight is in the six county region, not downstate where Brady pulled most of his votes.
That made the suburban Chicagoland Republicans and Gorman critical to Rauner’s victory.
In November, despite the rancor of the Republican Primary, the Republicans who voted for Brady, Dillard and Rutherford will vote for Rauner rather than for Quinn.
Gorman supported Rauner because of his centrist views, but also because Rauner was smart enough to reach out to her and show her the respect she has earned as being one of the most popular Republicans in Northern Illinois, built on her successful campaign to eliminate the 1 cent sales tax imposed by Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.
It is a fact that had Dillard received Gorman’s support, he might have won the Republican Primary.
But Dillard instead turned to a few Republican freaks in the north suburbs, and snubbed mainstream Suburban Republican leaders like Gorman and Morrison. Dillard played to his personal allegiances rather than to strategic political thinking.
And that is the amazing story of Rauner. Her are three seasoned Republican Professionals, two state senators, Dillard and Brady, and one of only two Republicans to hold statewide office, Rutherford. And none of these seasoned politicians thought it smart to reach out to the traditional Suburban Republican leadership or Republicans like Gorman whose record of election victories is sweeping.
Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Brady during a  R...
Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Brady during a Republican Day Rally at the Illinois State Fair (2 of 2) (Photo credit: myoldpostcards)
Rauner also won because he distinguished himself from Dillard, Brady and Rutherford.
Dillard had hired several former newspaper reporters who advised him, wrongly, to launch a vicious personal campaign of attacks against Rauner. Dillard also launched attacks against Rutherford. The accusations of sexual misconduct came across as a Dillard assault against Gay Rights and the ugliness of the attacks against Rutherford turned off many voters.
Rutherford is one of the nicest, most courteous politicians in the state and what they did to him was disturbing and below the belt.
But while Dillard tried to turn Rauner into a punching bag, his attacks seemed to over-reach logic. Accusing Rauner of owning senior care centers where seniors have allegedly died of abuse was so out on the limb that it was just too mean and too hard to believe.
To further make the point, Rauner followed Gorman’s strategy to focus on positive messages and to ignore the mudslinging from their critics. That strategy helped voters see a clear message of what Rauner would do if he is elected Governor, as many expect to happen in November.
Instead of making a case as to why he should be elected governor, Dillard reminded voters about how vicious and dirty Illinois politics really is. And his attacks reinforced Rauner’s message that his critics were insiders who were responsible for the tragic economic crisis that has handicapped Illinois and put many taxpayers into debt.
Quinn’s increase of the income tax is also not forgotten, and Rauner was the only candidate with a clear message tapping into that solid base of voter unhappiness with Quinn’s administration.
Dan & Andrea
Dan & Andrea (Photo credit: skeggy)
While it is admirable that Quinn has so closely associated himself with veterans, including on election night when he was falling all over war veteran Tammy Duckworth, the fact is that every politician loves the military and its veterans. They are not the deciding factor in an election.
Increasing taxes is a killer issue. Quinn never defended what he did. The increase has not eased the economic burden on Illinois taxpayers and many believe the state continues to be in decline. Rauner’s message targeted that dissatisfied voter majority and it resonated with their sense of the state failing to improve economically. They want someone to run Illinois like a businessman and Rauner played that card well.
The concern that Rauner will defeat him was reflected so strikingly on election night when it was announced that Quinn was not taking a break in the election but would start launching more attack ads against Rauner even before Rauner was declared the victor of the Republican Primary. It’s unheard of and it sent a chilling message that Quinn is afraid of Rauner, a message that voters heard loud and clear.
And in a telling moment on election night during the 10 pm news, WLS Channel 7 news is the highest rated program on television. Few people were watching the mumblings of analyst Chris Robling on WGN TV, for example, or the biased reporting of Carol Marin on WMAQ TV which trails WLS by a wide margin.
English: Ron Magers and Cheryl Burton anchor t...
English: Ron Magers and Cheryl Burton anchor the 5:00pm newscast on WLS-TV Chicago, June 16, 2006. Photo taken through the window of the State Street Studio of ABC7. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Viewers were watching two of the most respected journalists on television, Ron Magers and Cheryl Burton on WLS TV News, one of the most authoritative and accurate news organizations in Illinois. WLS was covering Quinn live when he came out to announce his victory over Hardiman. But as soon as word got out that Rauner was coming out, WLS dropped Quinn and turned to the news, covering Rauner who gave an emotion charged speech that was not his best but that clearly was more newsworthy than Quinn’s practiced, and recited talking points.
Rauner came across as interesting. Human. Like a regular person. Quinn sounded like he was reading cue cards, reciting statistics and boring facts that honestly didn’t speak to the economic pain many Illinois residents continue to face.
Gorman and Rauner both won because they ignored the attacks, and focused on their message, something not every politician knows how to do.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist and editor of the Illinois News Network news website at www.IllinoisNewsNetwork.com.)
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Liz Gorman sails to 4th term victory

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Liz Gorman sails to 4th term victory

By Ray Hanania

Elizabeth Ann Doody Gorman
Elizabeth Ann Doody Gorman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman sailed to a 4th term election victory representing the 17th Cook County district over rightwing Tea Party challenger Barbara Bellar.
Gorman, who has played an instrumental role in building the candidacy of Bruce Rauner as the Republican Party's choice for governor, was projected to win with a heavy landslide margin of 60 percent, based on early voter returns. The Rauner race was still close, as early numbers showed him leading State Sen. Kirk Dillard by about 3 to 5 percent, although the numbers were still early for the governor's race when Gorman claimed victory.
A champion of taxpayer rights, Gorman attributed a part of her victory to the "sloppy, garbled robocall" that former Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica made on Bellar's behalf Sunday night. Some voters said that hearing Peraica's voice reminded them of everything that is wrong with politics, and pushed them to vote for Gorman, giving her the extra voter boost.
Voter turnout was projected as being extremely low statewide, but Gorman said that she appreciated all the support she received from voters.
Gorman made a name for herself as a champion of taxpayers when she singlehandedly led the fight to repeal the repressive Todd Stroger 1 Cent Cook County Sales Tax increase. Stroger won the tax hike with a large majority of support from the county board, despite Gorman's opposition. But Gorman continued to push for a repeal of the tax introducing several resolutions to demand it be withdrawn.
While most commissioner simply fell in line with Stroger, Gorman showed voters that it was possible to repeal the tax which cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands in added sales taxes each year. And as public opposition to the sales tax hike grew as a result of Gorman's efforts, other commissioners joined in untilt he sales tax was removed in two steps.
"I want to thank all of the voters for the mandate they have given me," Gorman said early Tuesday night. "I promise to continue to fight to represent the rights of the taxpayers."
Gorman also credited her victory over Bellar and Tea Party extremists to her refusal to respond to Peraica's and Bellar's campaign mud-slinging.
"Their robocall showed how desperate they really were. Voters don't want to listen to candidates who throw mud. They want their candidates to talk about the programs they plan to implemented when elected and that's what I focused on," Gorman said.
Gorman had received endorsements from every major newspaper, including one from the Chicago Tribune that acknowledged her role in repealing Stroger's hated sales tax increase. Click to read that story.
The night before on Monday, Gorman organized a huge rally at the Lexington House on 95th Street for Rauner that drew more than 500 attendees. Click her to view that story and video.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter an columnist. He is the editor of the Illinois News Network www.IllinoisNewsNetwork.com.)