Thursday, September 30, 2010
During a debate on whether Twittering during meetings of the Cook County Board should be banned, Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Gorman made the funniest quote of the week which was broadcast widely including on WBBM AM Radio.
The proposed ban was introduced by Cook County Commissioner Mario Moreno and the main target was disliked and controversy-plagued colleague Commissioner Tony Peraica.
Said Gorman: "I'll chime in since I've been the target of erroneous tweets by the twit in question."
Peraica sends out tweet attacks during the board meetings targeting Gorman that usually distort or misrepresent what's happening. But in the end, if Peraica wants to waste his time twittering during board meetings attacking foes usually for political reasons instead of spending his time representing the interests of his constituents, that's his choice. And with him, it is a popular choice.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Patrick Maher, the cousin of 19th Ward scion Dan Hynes, is attacking Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman for using part of her monthly county stipend for miscellaneous services including education, to pay for a small part of her tuition. (Read the story in the Arlington Heights Daily Herald?)
Never mind that Maher lied through his teeth about his past aggravated felony charge and his later plea deal to misdemeanor battery, disclosing it only after the secret was out of the bag. But look who's talking about wasting taxpayer money?
Gorman used between $6,000 and $7,500 to pay for a portion of the $75,000 in college costs to get her degree. According to Maher, we don't want educated elected officials in office because that might mean they'd ask questions about the Chicago Machine's hold on the suburbs. (The 19th Ward looks at Orland Park the same way the Soviet Union preyed on Poland)!
It's not a bad story and raises issues about the county's policies. But the fact is Gorman did nothing illegal. She didn't beat someone up with a friend and then conspire to keep it a secret so as not to undermine a silver-spooned career in politics.
In contrast, Maher is the president of the Orland Fire Protection District, which has one of the highest and most outrageous budgets of any fire protection district in the region. A typical Fire Protection District spends about $7,000 for services. Orland's Fire Protection District spends more than $25 million.
So let's put it all on the scale. Gorman spent $7,000 to become a better educated county official. Maher spent $25 million to build a government base from which he can run for higher office. (According to the 19th ward scenario, Maher wins the county board seat and then runs for U.S Senator. And then, walks in to the White House like Barack Obama. Yea right!)
Worse, Maher allows his battalion chiefs to drive their huge SUV gas-guzzlers anywhere not only while on official duty but also while off-duty. Like taking the kids to the little league games in other community like in Lemont, where his brother missed the 19th Ward's Golden Ring in an election there, too.
You want to talk about wasting money, clean up your own back yard first. You're a good kid with a bad mistake on your resume. Instead of hiding it and then fudging it, show courage and fess up with the facts. Trim the waste at the Orland Fire Protection District. And make those battalion chiefs drive their own vehicles when they are off-duty. The Orland Fire Protection District has more than enough BCs to cover any fire. They don't need someone burning gas and wearing down the vehicles (taxpayer funded) so they can help the supervisors on duty to do their jobs.
-- Ray Hanania
Thursday, September 23, 2010
The Southtown has a profile of the election battle between Demcoratic State Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Republican challenger Jeffrey Junkas today. (Click here to read it)
In the story, McCarthy makes this incredible claim:
While knocking on doors, McCarthy said voters in his district understand that the state's problems are a result of the economy.
"They also understand this is not a time for beginners," McCarthy said. "They understand I'm independent, and I'm willing to take on tough issues like pensions and the telecommunications rewrite."Although McCarthy has been a lock-stock-and-barrel liberal, the purpose of the story is to make him look "conservative" which might help him stave off the challenge from Junkas, a hardline Republican and conservative.
But McCarthy ignores the key issues facing the district, which includes Orland Park, and the state. The state economy is one of the worst in the nation. It didn't get there because we had a lot of "beginners" at the helm and it was like that even BEFORE the economy tanked. McCarthy was at the helm. The FACT IS voters in his district DO NOT understand that the economy is the problem. The problem is that many incumbents like McCarthy have been disconnected from their constituents and worse, they have been focused on statewide politics and patronage rather than on trimming fact and cutting back on spending.
Illinois is also the center of the political culture of corruption and that's been going on a long time before Gov. Rod Blagojevich was thrown out of office in a gesture intended to distract voters from the fact that corruption still exists at the state level and it is continuing.
It's not a great choice between McCarthy and Junkas, but in situations like that it;s always better to take a chance on a new face than to send the same old people involved in the problem back to office for two more years of failed leadership.
Where has McCarthy been all these years? Taking orders from the bosses. He's not listening to the people and he isn't going to start now.
Stop blaming the economy for everything and take responsibility for the failed situation in this state. Gov. Pat Quinn has a serious problem and I doubt he can hang on to office given his own wishy-washy stands on issues and his PR stunts that hug popular issues like supporting the veterans but closes its eyes to serious problems like the need to trim the fat at the state. Bill Brady is too conservative for most Democrats who are disillusioned with Quinn but at least they have an alternative in Scott Lee Cohen, the independent whose numbers continue to rise.
It might be too late for McCarthy to change his stripes but voters still have a chance to make a difference. The question is will they be part of the solution or remain a part of the problem by being uninvolved and not voting?
-- Ray Hanania
Monday, September 20, 2010
GOP files formal complaint with state to probe Maher past conviction
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jonathan Blessing
September 14, 2010 773-450-0478 (c)
Did Patrick Maher Tell a $25,000 Lie to the State of Illinois?
Formal Inquiry Filed with the State Into Maher’s Failure to Disclose Criminal Past
(Chicago, Illinois) – 17th District Cook County Commissioner candidate Patrick Maher has trouble with the truth and the implications go well beyond politics and to his professional status as a state-licensed real estate appraiser.
On candidate questionnaires to the Chicago Sun-Times and Southtown Star, Mr. Maher lied about a previous criminal conviction for battery, he lied about his birthdate to make it more difficult for inquiring minds to find out about that criminal conviction, and he lied about where he went to college and for how long.
To compound the matter Mr. Maher then lied about his lies, repeatedly changing his explanation as reported by Fox News Chicago and the Southtown Star newspaper.
If he lied about his criminal background to media outlets, what about to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation?
A formal letter was sent yesterday to Brent Adams, the agency’s director, asking the agency to do what Mr. Maher refuses to do: produce his original state application.
According to state records, Mr. Maher became a Certified General Real Estate Appraiser on April 11, 2001. The application to become an appraiser requires the full disclosure of one’s educational background (Part IV) and disclosure of one’s criminal background (Part VII).
Part VII specifically asks: “Have you been convicted of any criminal offense in any state or federal court (other than minor traffic violations)?”
The Certifying Statement on an Illinois Appraiser License application states:
“I understand that false statements may be used as evidence to deny this application or, to revoke or otherwise discipline any license issued on the basis of this application. The statements and indications made on this application are true and correct to the best of my belief and knowledge.”
If Mr. Maher knowingly lied on his application in 2001 as he did on candidate questionnaires in 2010, he would be eligible for the following disciplinary action according to state statute (225 ILCS 458/15-10) which reads in part,
The Department may suspend, revoke, refuse to issue, renew, or restore a license and may reprimand place on probation or administrative supervision, or take any disciplinary or non‑disciplinary action, including imposing conditions limiting the scope, nature, or extent of the real estate appraisal practice of a licensee or reducing the appraisal rank of a licensee, and may impose an administrative fine not to exceed $25,000 for each violation upon a licensee for any one or combination of the following:
(1) Procuring or attempting to procure a license by
So, did Patrick Maher tell a $25,000 lie to the state, a lie that has allowed him to fraudulently work as a state-licensed real estate appraiser for the last nine years?
We expect that answer to be forthcoming from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation since we know it won’t be forthcoming from Mr. Maher.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
A small plane flew over Orland Park and around the immediate region today at around 2 pm pulling a banner that began, "RIP Jorge Mena ..."
Many people may wonder who Jorge Mena was. He was a 20 year old kid. His friends were students at Sandburg High school. The details were explained on a special tribute page posted on Facebook for Jorge Mena by his older sister, Melissa, who wrote:
In honor of Jorge Mena, there will be an aerial banner flying over Frontier Park in Orland Park and surrounding area at approximately 2pm on Sunday, Sept 19. It will also fly through Palos and Worth to Holy Sepulchre cemetary. Remember to keep Jorge in your prayers when you see the banner in the sky.
Mena, who was only 20 on Saturday Sept. 19, 2009, was killed during what police described as a drug-related robbery at his home at the 97th block of Ravinia Court. He was with his girlfriend at the time.
The news reports last Fall detailed a real tragedy and the same day, police arrested three Orland Park men, Brandon E. Hambrick, 21, Elry R. Lyle, 19 and Fadi A. Alkarim, 19. All three were charged with first-degree murder.
During the robbery, one of the suspects pulled out a handgun and pointed it at Mena's girlfriend, a law enforcement source said. A struggle then took place and Mena was shot once in the back, while Lyle was wounded in the leg, police said. Police reported finding a "significant amount" of marijuana on the scene.
Lyle was wounded during a scuffle. Hambrick was hiding in a shed and Alkarim was arrested at his home.
It was only the second murder of the year in Orland Park. Many may recall the events as the air was filled with police helicopters, too, as they searched the region for the suspects.
Click HERE to view Jorge Mena's tribute page on Facebook.
There hasn't been any updates on the killing or the status of the three suspects who were denied bond a week after the killing in Bridgeview court.
However, Lyle remains in custody at the Cook County Department of Corrections. He's listed as being a sex-offender on the Village of Orland Park's Sex Offender list. CLick here to view the Village Sex Offender List. No other information is listed for Alkarim or Hambrick.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
The SouthtownStar wrote a story today about the bankruptcy filing of Gerry Gorman that was made several months ago.
Click HERE to read the SouthtownStory.
Why now? Maybe the paper is playing a balancing act. The SouthtownStar's columnist Phil Kadner slammed Pat Maher, who is challenging Gorman's wife, Liz Gorman, for the 17th District Cook County district seat in the November election.
Click HERE to read Kadner's' column.
I agree with Kadner on the Pat Maher issue that it isn't so much about the past criminal incident that he was charged with and later pleaded guilty to in order, apparently, to avoid another trial. He was a college student then and college students do stupid things, including engaging in violence.
The real issue is that Pat Maher couldn't face the truth as an adult and appears to have orchestrated or engaged in some kind of coverup to pretend it never happened. The most significant issue is did he lie on his real estate license application which asks if he was ever convicted of a criminal incident in his past? And, did he intentionally change his birthdate to further distance efforts to search his past. (By changing a birthdate, you can go through all kinds of records to find out about a person's past and miss everything, something Pat Maher's father Dave Maher, a cook county sheriff's administration and the Orland Park Village Clerk, knows all too well.
In the Gerry Gorman bankruptcy issue, bankruptcy is not a crime. It's a reflection of bad economic times. Gorman had a car dealership that went bellyup and got in to a court fight with Chrysler, one of the big bad auto dealers. Chrysler doesn't care about American workers. All they care about is the bottom line. The story played up the fact that Chrysler won a lawsuit against Gerry Gorman but played down the fact that Gerry Gorman won a lawsuit against Chrysler, too.
Maybe Chrysler should file bankruptcy.
Oh year, Chrysler did file bankruptcy in 2009. (Click HERE to read a story on it.) But President Obama, trying to save the jobs, gave Chrysler and GM a multi-billion bailout of $86 billion.
Amazing how governments can bailout big corporations but they can't help the little guy.
Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman has been handling the issues properly. The fact is that Pat Maher misled the public about a past criminal incident. In comparison, Liz Gorman hasn't lied about her husband's past at all. Had they pulled a "Maher" -- a new term now for someone who misleads the public about the truth -- Gerry Gorman would have held off filing bankruptcy until after the election (he didn't) and Liz Gorman would not have commented about her husband's business troubles as openly and as fully as she has over the past many years that this story has been dredged up in the news.
The 17th District battle is getting interesting. Maher has shown to be a formidable candidate. But I wonder if his missteps may have cost him his shot at public office. And, will it bring down others int he Village of Orland Park, too?
-- Ray Hanania
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Liz Gorman calls on Pat Maher to resign from campaign and Orland Fire Protection District in wake of criminal past
Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman released the following statement today regarding the escalating scandal involving Patrick Maher, the cousin of Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes, the president of the Orland Fire Protection District and a candidate for the 17th District Cook County Board seat.
(Read the background on Maher's criminal past and Maher's statement released last night? Click here?)
Last night Fox News Chicago ran a story about Patrick Maher, a Democrat who heads the Orland Fire Protection District, and my opponent in the upcoming November General election. I encourage you to take a look at the news story yourself.
You can click here to view the video and read the accompanying article.
Watching this expose on Maher's battery of a young man, I took the words of the victim's mother to heart
'I am appalled that Mr. Maher currently holds an elected position and is seeking a second elected position. I question how many voters Mr. Maher made aware of his criminal record prior to his election.'I am calling on convicted batterer Patrick Maher to immediately resign from the Orland Fire Protection District, as by his own admission he has violated his own policies for employment with the district:
"It is of capital importance that the personnel hired are of sound moral character for they serve not only the public in times of emergency but also as exemplary figures in the public eye. There is no room for the thief, the cheat, or the deceiver of the innocent." (source: http://www.orlandfire.org/EMPLOY.htm)I would encourage you to forward this information to any friends and family you have in the area, the people and voters of our communities must know the truth about Maher and voice their opinion.
17th District Cook County Commissioner
Patrick Maher misleads public on his past conviction: He should resign from his campaign and his office
FOX Chicago News reporter Dane Placko broke a huge Chicago-type political story this week when he revealed that Patrick Maher, the cousin of Illinois Comptroller Dan Maher and son of Orland Park Village Clerk Dave Maher, was charged with criminal felony assault while in college and then after a hung jury in 1991 pleaded guilty to criminal misdemeanor battery.
Amazingly, Maher did not disclose that to anyone, including to the SouthtownStar in filling out its candidacy documents, although Maher claims he told the Arlington heights Daily Herald the tragedy of his youthful indiscretion.
Maher learned that Dane Placko, the award winning and reputable investigative reporter for FOX Chicago 32, was investigating the story. In fact, Placko confronted Maher at his home to ask about the controversy. In Placko's report, aired on Wednesday night on FOX Chicago 32, Maher said he forgot to mention the story but said a day doesn't go by that he doesn't think about what he did in brutally beating another college student in a tussle over his girlfriend who is now his wife.
It's a sordid tale. And it is a sad story, too.
To head off Placko, Maher sent an email to the SouthtownStar, where I read about the story. I then emailed Maher and asked him about the reports and also information that Maher was misrepresenting the issue by listing his wrong birthday.
Maher didn't answer any of the questions, but he did respond saying he was sorry about the past. Read my column on the story here.
Placko was on my radio show Mornings with Ray Hanania on Wednesday morning to talk about his story. Click here to listen to the radio podcast.
Placko said it appeared that Maher was misleading people.
Here is Placko's story:
Maher has not come clean on the issue. And it appears as if he was trying to hide his past and got caught. His claim that he told the Daily Herald, but not the SouthtownStar, is disingenuous. And his refusal to address the issue of multiple birthday date conflicts suggests something more is involved.
I can forgive someone for a youthful indiscretion. But it is hard to forgive a candidate for public office from a clout heavy political family from misleading the public about such an important past issue.
His conviction would be a major fact in his election campaign against Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman, who Maher has repeatedly slandered in his emails and mailings and public comments.
Here is the misleading email that Maher is mailing to people. It is rather disgusting that he can't face the truth. And frankly, I think that if he in fact intentionally lied about his past and changed his birthdate by one day, then he should resign immediately from the campaign and also in his capacity as the president of the over-taxed Orland Fire Protection District.
Over the Labor Day weekend, while most of you were celebrating with friends and family, the Liz Gorman Smear Machine was in high gear. It's the same Smear Machine that she unleashed against a very honest man, Herb Schuman in 2002 and against her 2010 Republican opponent Mark Thompson. These tactics are more of the same old style machine political games, practiced & perfected by the Chicago Ward bosses & Liz Gorman. Games like loading the Democratic Primaries with straw man opponents in past years so that she can skate into office without anyone really knowing anything about Liz, her record, her past, not to mention her lack of ideas for Cook County.
It comes as no surprise to those who know Liz that she employs these tactics when her political mentor is none other than "Fast Eddie" Vrdolyak. Over the years, "Fast Eddie" has been called Liz Gorman's "partner", her "ally" and even her "mentor". At a time when Cook County residents are desperately seeking a new kind of leadership to lift us out of the hole that Liz and her cronies have dug, Liz Gorman is going back twenty years to bring back old style politics. The politics of distortion, of rumor, of lies and of personal destruction. The kind of politics where facts are an inconvenience to be tossed into the same garbage heap as integrity and honesty. Well, I believe Liz Gorman has miscalculated public sentiment this time. And I promise you she has underestimated me and my desire to stand up for what I believe in.
Liz has been recently successful in getting some of the Chicago media to run stories on an event that occurred in my life when I was 19 years old. Unfortunately they chose to ignore several key facts including the fact that I voluntarily told the Daily Herald the details of this incident when I answered their candidate questionnaire last month. When I was in college I got into an altercation with a fellow student in our dorm. My behavior was wrong and I owned up to my mistake by pleading to a misdemeanor. Since that time twenty years ago I have tried to make a positive impact in our community. I have raised my family in the same neighborhood where I grew up, I started and operate my own successful business, I have mentored young kids as a baseball, football and soccer coach, and I have served our community as a Trustee & President of the Orland Fire Protection District. I think we all can learn from our past mistakes and hope to make ourselves and our community better.
That is why I am running for Cook County Commissioner.
As part of her recent smear campaign against me, Liz and her gang of rumor mongers are spreading stories about me getting out of this race. Let me make this clear, I am running and I am running to win! It is time to elect someone with new ideas to represent the 17th District on the Cook County Board. Someone with the experience to get things done without shifting the burden on to the home owners of our community. I am disappointed my opponent has chosen to start her campaign by spreading rumors about me in the media and returning to her roots in the "Fast Eddie" Vrdolyak ward politics of the past. I know that once the voters know about me and my record the choice will not only be clear but overwhelmingly so.
Will you join me and the thousands of others who are standing with me against the Gorman Smear Machine and the politics and policies of the past? Will you stand with me and say it is time for some new voices and new ideas to move Cook County into the future.
We have 54 days until Election Day and I need your help to bring true community representation to the 17th District. If you want to join our movement to fix Cook County please visit my website www.friendsofpatrickmaher.com and volunteer or call us at (708) 357-2739 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how you can help change the failed policies of the Gorman years.
Candidate for Cook County Commissioner, 17th District
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Under apparent pressure to admit the truth, Pat Maher sent an email to the Southtown/Star regarding his secret past conviction in the brutal beating of a college friend back in November 1991 at Illinois State University.
The beating was so brutal, the victim sustained serious injuries. Maher was charged with felony assault in May 1993, but later pleaded guilty in June 1993 to criminal misdemeanor battery, according to published reports. Those published reports added that Maher's friend held the victim down while Maher continually beat the man on his face. The incident involved a woman who dated the victim and was then subsequently dating Maher.
Maher was sentenced to two years probation and 100 hours community service, according to the SouthtownStar.
I have emailed Maher and his spokesperson Trevor Montgomery, first asking if Trevor was still working for Maher and second asking for Maher's response.
I received this response directly from Pat Maher today at around 3 pm:
"Almost 20 years ago as college student, I got into an altercation with another student and later pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge resulting from the incident. I was deeply ashamed of my actions and learned some valuable lessons about personal responsibility. Lessons I will share with my children as they get older and begin to face the world on their own. I am running for Commissioner because I believe that my adult life experiences, as a small business owner, as an elected official and most importantly as a Father & Husband, make me the best qualified candidate to solve the problems facing Cook County."
Still, important questions I asked about public policy and office remain:
Maher never noted on any of his election filings that I have seen that he ever was convicted of anything. Was he intentionally hiding that conviction and does that now require that Pat Maher resign as the President of the Orland Park Fire Protection District and withdraw as a candidate from the 17th Cook County District?
Maher's resume always cited that he graduated from Northern Illinois University, but never mentions anywhere that he attended ISU. Was that an effort to hide the past?
Who else knew about this? Dave Maher, Pat's father and village clerk of Orland Park, had to know. Dave Maher works for the Cook County Sheriff's office and has worked there since 1994, starting right after his son's conviction.
I also had another question: What is Patrick Maher's birthday? Was it changed by one day? He is listed as being born Nov. 19, 1971 on his official bio, but is his real birthday Nov. 18, 1971?
Why suddenly did Maher release the information that he has a past conviction on his record?
Well, several reporters were already sniffing out the story. In Fact, one TV station was already at his house last week and confronted him for a story he is working on asking many of the same questions.
Here is what the Southtown reported:
"Almost 20 years ago as college student, I got into an altercation with another student and later pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge resulting from the incident. I was deeply ashamed of my actions and learned some valuable lessons about personal responsibility," Maher wrote in the statement e-mailed to the SouthtownStar.The SouthtownStar story is at:
It was also picked up by the CBS affiliate, WBBM TV:
The real issue is this: Pat Maher, the college student, can be forgiven for his past indiscretion, brutally beating a man over a girlfriend they had both dated. But can Pat Maher, the politician, be forgiven for lying about it in news media candidacy questionnaires and trying to hide it from the public?
Maher says he learned lessons. What lessons did Pat Maher really learn?
The Orland Fire Protection District sent out another expensive newsletter promoting all of Pat Maher's achievements. I didn't see a mention of his past indiscretion.
-- Ray Hanania