Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Election winners and losers, and close calls

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Patlak versus Sean Morrison

The right wing extremists celebrated a pyrrhic victory Tuesday night with the narrow victory of Dan Patlak over better qualified Sean Morrison. Patlak will face a stiff challenge from Democrat Casey Thomas Griffin who received an enormous vote of more than 65,000 in the Democratic primary which had no real draw.

In fact, the low voter turnout in the countywide and Chicago elections reflected the fact that many Democrats did not vote because there were few district wide races and President Barack Obama was unchallenged. In November, that voter turnout will increase dramatically and Patak's chances of holding on the seat will drop.

The bottom line is that Patlak has surrounded himself with rightwing extremists like Tea Party literary terrorists at the Illinois Review and chief hack Fran Eaton. And unless he distances himself from that inflammatory branch of the party, mainstream Republicans who did their best to give the GOP a real choice in the November election will either sit on their hands or cross over and support Griffin.

Because the Patlak-Morrison race was defined by the fanatics versus the moderates and Patlak, though a decent person himself, is smothered by many extremists who don't represent the Republican Party.

Mitt Romney will probably be the Republican Party nominee for President, and that will further weaken the Republican Party, though he is the better candidate than challenger Rick Santorum. The Tea Party activists will remain a threat to Republican party revival. 

All that spells bad news for the besieged Patlak who comes out of this election wounded by divisions, poor guidance, and a strong challenger in November.

Luis Gutierrez and his failed power grab

There is no doubt that Congressman Luis Gutierrez ran a slate of candidates he hoped would help takeover areas of the Mexican American community on the South Side. Gutierrez is Puerto Rican and he has held office by dividing Mexican voters whoa re the majority in his strangely drawn district -- it's like two balloons tied together with Puerto Rican voters dominating the north side and Mexican Americans dominating the south side.

Gutierrez was behind several power grab races including:

- The challenge by Ricardo Munoz against Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown. Brown easily slam-dunked Munoz.

- The challenge by Raul Montes against Senator Steve Landek. Landek (who I work for) defeated Montes in a huge landslide.

- The challenge by Rudy Lozano, the son of the murdered former community activist, against Silvana Tabares, the talented former editor and journalist at the Extra Newspaper. Tabares defeated Lozano with a sizable margin.

- The challenge by Robert Reyes against State Rep. Lisa Hernandez. Reyes lost big time, too, to Hernandez.

All four of the Gutierrez slate of candidates Munoz, Montes, Lozano and Reyes were dramatically defeated.

Maybe someone should  challenge Gutierrez in the November election instead of allowing him to raise his money from his cronies and buddies that he directs into other campaigns.

Bill Foster buys a second chance

Bill Foster easily outpaced two challengers, Jim Hickey, the president of the Orland Fire Protection District -- the OFPD is one of my clients -- and Juan Thomas, a local attorney. Foster had millions at his disposal while his challengers lacked funds. But the race shows that Foster can't win against Republican incumbent Judy Biggert in November. Biggert can easily count on a solid coalition of Republicans including support from Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman whose successful anti-sales tax hike battles has redefined voter priorities in Cook County's suburbs.

My money is on Biggert if she can reach out and build a coalition of moderates, and tap the still strong "Reagan Democrats" who populate the Southwest suburbs.

Metropolitan Do-Nothing Water Reclamation District

The worst government agency in northern Illinois is the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, which spends billions doing little to live up to its important mission. The agency has been a failure when it comes to fighting flood waters. But it has spent lavishly on its board members

Mayor Richard M. Daley's nephew Patrick Daley Thompson and his two running mates, Kari Steele and Deborah Shore, an incumbent. easily won the seats.

Patricia Young, a former MWRD commissioner, and incumbent Patricia Horton, lost, along with Stella Black.

Thompson will undoubtedly become the district's new president.

Click to read a review of that race.

Other Races:

Congressman Dan Lipinski easily won renomination defeating an unknown challenger, Farah Baqi. Baqi is Arab and Muslim and got about 6,000 votes, which reflects the strength of that community in the 3rd District. They constantly focus on races they can't win, of course. Poor leadership.

Congressman Jesse Jackson defeated Debbie Halvorson, despite the controversy stain from the scandal surrounding the conviction of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. No real surprise there at all.

Tammy Duckworth defeated Raja Krisnamorthi. This was a tough race for Krisnamorthi, a qualified candidate, running against an Iraqi war hero who lost her legs in defending this country. Krisnamorthi still has a great future.

Michael Hastings, the son of Orland Hills Mayor Kyle Hastings, won the contested nomination in the new 19th Senate District representing the Southwest suburbs, defeating Greg Hannon.

Palos Fire Protection District Referendum

Voters approved a tax increase by a slim margin of 72 votes. The district will hike taxes to keep its district from closing a fire house. And that will no doubt end  discussions of consolidation between the Orland Fire Protection District and the Palos District, which could have saved taxpayers money.

Consolidation is always good.


Democrats didn't vote statewide with the exception of pockets where there were heated races. That fact accounted for this record low voter turnout.

-- Ray Hanania

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Patlak lackie poison pens lies at the Examiner.com

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Patlak lackie poison pens lies at the Examiner.com

John Dyslin describes himself on his LinkedIn.com professional profile as an “Analyst at the Cook County Board of Review.”

But he forgets to mention that in his poison pen diatribe he wrote bashing Cook County Review candidate Sean Morrison and Morrison’s chief ally pro-Taxpayer champion Cook County Board Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman.

The column is on the Examiner.com, an online news site that I have also written for in the past.

I bet if the editors knew that Dyslin works for Patlak as a paid employee at the Cook County Board of Review, they might have taken a different perspective on his column bashing Morrison and Gorman.

In his profile, he also brags that he currently works to “Analyze residential assessment appeals, attend voter outreach events and assist in some communication efforts for Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Dan Patlak.”

In his column, where he hides his true identity, Dyslin falsely accuses Gorman of backing former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger and the increase in the sales tax that Stroger passed just before being booted out of office by angry taxpayers.

The truth is Gorman led the fight against the sales tax increase. Her persistence introducing ordinance repealing the sales tax hike three times resulted in the entire one cent increase being rolled back.

Imagine how desperate Patlak must be to falsely claim that Gorman supported Stroger. Are you kidding me? Gorman was Stroger’s worst nightmare on the Cook County Board. In fact, one could easily argue that Stroger lost his bid for re-election in a large part because of the battle Gorman waged to fight the sales tax increase.

But Dyslin’s ethical lapse in identifying his relationship to Patlak, Morrison’s chief rival, exposes how desperate Patlak must really be. Patlak wouldn’t resort to all the mudslinging that has characterized his campaign if Patlak were leading Morrison in the polls. In fact, the polls show that Morrison is leading Patlak in the March 20 Republican Primary.

Part of the reason is that Morrison ran once before against Patlak. But this time, Morrison has Gorman’s backing and every taxpayer in Cook County is grateful to Gorman for having saved them thousands of dollars in unnecessary sales tax spending.

Hiding your political alliances is not ethical. When I write columns about clients who I work for, which is only occasionally, I point it out clearly and upfront.

But I don’t work for Gorman. I admire her. I took the time to closely examine her work and realized that she is the real thing, someone who promises to fight for the taxpayers and actually fights for the taxpayers. Gorman is refreshing. And the voters and the taxpayers know it, too.

I never met Morrison or Patlak before this election contest. They both seem like nice people although you really have to wonder about Patlak when you look at some of the people he hangs around with.

The race for the Cook County Board of Review happens to be the most important race Republican’s will decide on Tuesday March 20 along with deciding who is going to represent the party in the race to defeat President Barack Obama, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich.

Dyslin argues that the race between Morrison and Patlak will define the face of the Cook County Republican Organization. He's right, but for the wrong reasons. The fact is Morrison and Gorman are trying to save the Republican Party from Patlak's rightwing fanatic pals.

Patlak has tried to make that the cornerstone of his shallow campaign, also arguing falsely that Morrison and Gorman are undermining the Cook County Republican Party. Patlak’s only real argument doesn’t hold water. If anything, Gorman put the spine back in the Cook County Republican Party. It’s Patlak’s pals, like the Tea Party extremists and the fanatic writers at the power hungry Illinois Review who are destroying the Republican Party.

Dyslin rambles on and on attacking Morrison and Gorman in his column. He’s not very talented at writing, just throwing mud. The kind of mud that characterizes Patlak’s campaign literature. In one personal attack against Gorman that had me belly laughing, Dyslin wrote, awkwardly, that Gorman and Morrison are “two big liars, and distorters of truth and reality.” Seriously Dyslin, “who learned you English?” The Illinois Review?

By the way, Dyslin also brags on his LinkedIn profile that he’s a precinct captain for the Wheeling Township Republican Organization. Isn’t that the place where Patlak is also a member of the organization there.

Dyslin is a lot like Fran Eaton at the Illinois Review, who throws around pejorative attacks against individuals while avoiding any of the issues.

Dyslin does claim to have some “writing” experience. For example, on his Linkedin Account, Dyslin says he is a freelance writer “at the Indepedent Freelancer.”

Well, Dyslin may be “indepedent,” whatever that means, but he is far from independent. And he is far from being honest, too.

The Examiner.com should remove Dyslin’s column and give him a lecture about not pretending to be someone that he is not, and about hiding his political alliances in order to help his political pals at the expense of the Examiner.com’s reputation.

Ray Hanania

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Friday, March 9, 2012

You won't read this in the Illinois Review -- Patlak hammered by WMAQ TV Investigation

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An attorney interviewed by WMAQ TV claims he was pressured to donate funds to Dan Patlak, a member of the Cook County Board of Review. Patlak's challenger Sean Morrison has accused Patlak of taking huge donations from the attorneys who do business before the Board of Review.

It doesn't sound surprising.

What is surprising is the collection of Republican losers who have circled their broken wagons around Patlak: The Illinois Review, Fran Eaton, Jeff Junkass and more. Patlak is an example of why the Republican Party has problems.

I'm a Reagan Democrat and a "Gorman Republican." A Reagan Democrat as you know is a Democrat with conservative leanings and who admired and voted for the late President Ronald Reagan. A "Gorman Republican" is someone who recognizes that the Republican Party is in complete turmoil, undermined by goofballs like Junkas, Eaton and Illinois Review, the creepy online magazine that accuses people of playing politics and then plays politics worse than anyone. Real hypocrites. 

Gorman Republicans are named after Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman whose persistence in fighting the Todd Stroger sales tax increase resulted in its rollback. She refused to give up. Gorman represents the real mainstream, moderate and effective Republicans, while Eaton, Junkass and Illinois Review and a few more of their worthless mudslingers who I don't need to name have helped to destroy the Republican Party.

WMAQ TV reports:

"When you think your property taxes are too high, you take your case to the Cook County Board of Review. But there are accusations of heavy-handed campaigning by one of the commissioners, Dan Patlak. Patlak says the charges are "false and unsustainable."

View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The disgusting tactics of Dan Patlak's campaign

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Earlier this week, as many of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter know, my sister Linda experienced a life-and-death crisis. She continues to recover int he hospital although her challenges are many. Her health is in serious risk but the doctors are doing everything they can to help her. She remains on life-support and her condition is precarious. It can change at any time. (Thank you ALL for the well-wishes and prayers!)

So, you can imagine when at about 8:39 last night (Wednesday) I had received a phone call that the Caller-ID identified as coming from "Glenn Dale MD" at the number "240-556-9966."

I had just spoken with the nurses at the hospital and the call shocked me, thinking that something had changed. But when I picked up the phone thinking I was being called by a Doctor -- "MD" -- instead I heard a creepy sounding voice asking me to "Vote for Dan Patlak" for the Board of Review.

I have heard of the deceitful tactics of some campaigns trying to do robocalls to make it more likely for a homeowner at 8:40 in the evening to answer the telephone. Putting the letters "MD" after a name scares people into believing they have to answer the call from the unknown number, disarming their natural instincts to suspect any calls that come late at night -- especially around election time -- and from numbers they don't recognize.

It was disgusting to listen as the voice on the line turned out not to be a doctor, but instead was a telemarketer hired by Patlack to promote his candidacy.

Patlak must be desperate. Patlak sent out a brochure, as you have read here, in which he splattered his own face with "mud" to build sympathy and accuse his opponent, Sean Morrison of "throwing mud." But criticism and holding elected officials accountable is NOT throwing mud, Mr. Patlak. It's called accountability and that's exactly what the public should demand from their elected officials.

While Patlak is pretending to be a victim to build up sympathy and smear the good name of Sean Morrison, Morrison is out there trying to play by the rules, questioning Patlak's associations and political ties to sleazy groups like the "Illinois Review," the mud-slinging extremist conservative online blog that attacks people personally as their form of "critical analysis."

I received a robocall from Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman earlier that day and it was respectful. The number was local. t was made at 1:22 pm in the early afternoon so it could go to voice mail, rather than waking people up late at night with scares. Gorman is backing Morrison and she showcases the hard work he has done over the years and his ideas to improve the situation for taxpayers as she has done too.

Patlak is going to argue, of course, that the "MD" doesn't stand for Doctor but rather Maryland. Even then, why the hell would someone running for Cook County Board of Review (formerly the Board of Tax Appeals) hire out a non-Illinois firm in another state like Maryland to make the calls unless that company sold them on the promise: "Psssst! Hey, buddy! If you use our telemarketing firm, most normal people will think that a doctor is calling their home and they will pick up the phone. Tee Hee! Isn't that sneaky? Kind of like what Patlak and the Illinois Review are all about? Tee hee!"

Pathetic. Cheap election tactic. Typical of what you might expect from Mr. Patlak.

-- Ray Hanania

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Family of Maureen Murphy slams Patlak's exploitation of her name

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Dan Patlak has been mailing brochures throwing mud on himself, avoiding the issues and attacking his challenger Sean Morrison. But it seems that Patlak's mud has provoked anger from across the suburban district in the Board of Whatever race (Board of Review).

Patlak has used the images of a lot of past Republicans to portray himself as continuing the legacy of the Republican Party which has watched as extremists and fanatics including those in the Tea Party and at the hate-filled online publication the Illinois Review have undermined and brought the Cook County GOP down.

He used the images of former Cook County Sheriff Jim O'Grady, and then former Cook County State's Attorney Jack O'Malley. He put his own picture up along with the rest including the picture of the beloved former member of the Board of Review, Maureen Murphy.

Maureen passed-away in 2008. She had been a school board member at Evergreen Park High school, then the legislator from the area and then committeeman of the powerful Worth Township Republican Organization succeeding another truly great Republican Herb Huskey. Back in those days, the Republicans were united by principles and moderation and commonsense.

Today,, morons like the Illinois Review have hijacked the Republican Party fueled by the vicious hatred of some Tea Party activists whoa re more interested in promoting themselves than the principled foundations of the Republican Party that O'Grady, O'Malley and Murphy once represented so proudly and effectively. There are very few Republicans like that and include Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman and Sean Morrison. Morrison and Gorman represent the moderate Republican Party movement. They focus on real issues like fighting unjustified sales tax increases while Illinois Review, their close friend Patlak, and the Tea Party focus more on incendiary political vitriol and diatribes.

Illinois Review doesn't care about strengthening the Republican Party. They only care about taking over and the power they perceive as the prize.

But abusing the name of great Republicans isn't the only trespass of Mr. Patlak. He received this angry letter from the son of Maureen Murphy, Shaun Murphy who is now the Worth Township Republican Committeeman.
Board of Review Commissioner Dan Patlak recently sent out a campaign mailing which included a picture of my mother, Maureen Murphy who passed away in 2008. Throughout his campaign, Mr. Patlak has repeatedly mentioned Maureen's work for the taxpayers in an attempt to associate himself with her and her record. Time and time again, he has used her name as an implied endorsement, a shield, and has even used her as a scapegoat, depending upon the audience. The complete lack of judgment Mr. Patlak has shown in bringing my mother's name into this race is disappointing. The Murphy family wants to make it clear that although he is using Maureen's name, our family is not endorsing Mr. Patlak in his campaign.
Shaun Murphy
Evergreen Park, IL
Maureen Murphy was a one-of-a-kind person. A truly considerate and kind leader. She was pragmatic, smart and dedicated to the local Republican Organization. Not everyone supported her or her kind of thinking. She worked for respect rather than using bullying the way the Illinois Review and Patlak are throwing mud in their vicious campaigns to slander anyone who dares to stand up to the garbage politics.

She deserves better than to be dragged into Patlak's mud-throwing, ugly election campaign.

-- Ray Hanania

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Radio Chicagoland expands into Southland Chicago and Northwest Indiana

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Radio Chicagoland which is broadcast every Sunday from 8 am until 11 am is now expanding its broadcast signal on two stations. Radio Chicagoland will now simulcast live on both WSBC AM 1240 and WCFJ AM 1470 radio stations.

The call-in number remains 773-792-1240 and the web site remains www.RadioChicagoland.com. But while WSBC AM 1240 broadcasts mainly to Chicagoland's North, Northwest, West and near Southwest suburbs (as far south as Palos), the new radio station WCFJ AM 1470 will now include listeners in the far Southlands and Northwest Indiana. WCFJ is based on Chicago Heights and will include southwest suburban communities from Orland Park south.

"Listeners in Orland Park should be able to chose between either station but now the new station will open up the popular political and current events talk radio program to many new communities including Tinley Park, Frankfort, Homewood Flossmoor, Chicago Heights and also into Northwest Indiana," said radio host Ray Hanania.

The program focuses on the hottest topics in the news and includes a special interest in regional, national and international politics.

Kheir Fakhreldin co-hosts during the program from studios located in Northwest Chicago at 5625 N. Milwaukee Avenue.


Radio Chicagoland expands into Southland Chicago and Northwest Indiana

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Radio Chicagoland which is broadcast every Sunday from 8 am until 11 am is now expanding its broadcast signal on two stations. Radio Chicagoland will now simulcast live on both WSBC AM 1240 and WCFJ AM 1470 radio stations.

The call-in number remains 773-792-1240 and the web site remains www.RadioChicagoland.com. But while WSBC AM 1240 broadcasts mainly to Chicagoland's North, Northwest, West and near Southwest suburbs (as far south as Palos), the new radio station WCFJ AM 1470 will now include listeners in the far Southlands and Northwest Indiana. WCFJ is based on Chicago Heights and will include southwest suburban communities from Orland Park south.

"Listeners in Orland Park should be able to chose between either station but now the new station will open up the popular political and current events talk radio program to many new communities including Tinley Park, Frankfort, Homewood Flossmoor, Chicago Heights and also into Northwest Indiana," said radio host Ray Hanania.

The program focuses on the hottest topics in the news and includes a special interest in regional, national and international politics.

Kheir Fakhreldin co-hosts during the program from studios located in Northwest Chicago at 5625 N. Milwaukee Avenue.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dan Patlak's mud-flinging campaign against Sean Morrison

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Why is Dan Patlak throwing mud on himself? Oh he is. Just look at his latest mailer that spammed my mail box last night.

Picture from Patlak's own mailer this week
He's throwing mud on himself to make himself look like a victim.

Dan Patlak is in trouble. He's running for the "Board of Whatever," sometimes more commonly called the "Board of Review," which previously was better known as the Board of Tax Appeals. It's an easy job. You basically go around Cook County telling homeowners who are voters that you can help them reduce their property taxes by reviewing their assessments.

It's a fun charade where taxpayers, just before the election, are almost promised that their property taxes will go down if they just come to one of their seminars and fill out a few forms. But the truth is that the average tax reduction on a home is only a few hundred dollars, about $20 a month. The big breaks go to the commercial properties and big businesses who can afford the real estate lawyers who happen to make the biggest contributions to the campaigns of the Board of Review incumbents.

So when a Republican rival decides that he wants the one single Republican in County Wide office to be accountable to the people, Sean Morrison, Patlak attacks Morrison saying that Morrison is "throwing mud."

Yes, using the big bucks he got from a lot of campaign contributors including some of the lawyers who appear before the Board, Patlak mailed out one of the most stupid mailers I've seen. He splotched his own picture with mud, printed a photo of the beloved Republican Icon Ronald Reagan, and threw some mud spots on him too, and then told everyone -- "Waaaaa! Waaaaaa! My rival is throwing mud at me." Patlak isn't a candidate. He's a baby.

Morrison has been challenging Patlak to be accountable. Patlak says that's throwing mud.

The only mud is coming from the pigfest that has surrounded Patlak, a handful of questionable writers and PR people including one associated with the biased and one-sided "Illinois Review." They might as well call that "Illinois Mud Central."

I don't know Patlak. He seems like a nice guy. But I do know Morrison and I know that Morrison wants whomever holds the Board of Review seat to actually do something for the taxpayers. He wants that one Republican to be accountable to the voters and the homeowners. He wants that one Republican to talk about the issues instead of throwing mud on himself, as Patlak is doing in his own expensive full-color mailers, to make it seem like he is a victim.

No, Dan. You're not the victim. The taxpayers and the homeowners are the victim. And if you can't even answer a few basic questions about your performance in office, maybe you should pack up and get out of the trough, er, kitchen!

Morrison isn't a baby. Morrison isn't whining about Patlak criticizing him. Morrison is talking about the issues. Unlike Patlak, Morrison isn't handing out pictures of himself splattered with mud. He's talking about the issues that taxpayers want discussed. But instead, all the voters and Morrison are getting is the mud being thrown by Patlak's pals in the mud-pit of Cook County politics. Yes, Patlak's muddied up cronies are the ones throwing the mud at Morrison!

The "Why are they throwing mud at me" mailer is one of the oldest tricks in the book. The fact that Patlak uses that instead of showcasing his own achievements begs the voters to ask the question, "What's Patlak's problem?"

The problem is that Morrison is a better candidate than Patlak. And Patlak's pals in the mud pit are afraid that if Morrison wins, their mudfest is going to come to a mud--filled end.

How about addressing the issues, Dan? Instead of trying to win votes by making yourself look like a victim. The responsibility of every elected official is to take the heat and answer the criticism and questions, not brush off legitimate questions by describing them as "mud."

-- Ray Hanania