ROUND LAKE - A Round Lake Middle School lesson about unfair taxation created a bit of a stir when it was picked up by some blogs and taken seriously.
The letter sent home with students said that following the winter break, Round Lake Middle School students would be required to pay 10 cents per photocopied page used for assignments. If they refused to pay the fee, they would receive a "zero" for that assignment's grade.
"This letter was part of a social studies lesson. It is not real" the school's principal Jeff Prickett told Illinois Review Monday afternoon. "We sent home a retraction letter to follow up."
According to some parents, the letter (below) was part of a lesson to teach the kids about unfair taxation, in the same way the tax on tea was unfair and was an event that led to the American Revolution.
Illinois Review asked for a copy of the retraction letter sent home to parents. We'll post it when we hear back again from Principal Prickett.
CHICAGO - If GOP gubernatorical primary candidate Bruce Rauner's "upside down" ad or the one about his $18 Timex didn't catch your fancy, maybe his newest featuring a plaid shirt-clad Rauner shaking a holiday snow globe with the State Capitol inside will do the trick. Or maybe the one with the sledge hammer. Or the malted shake. Altogether there are seven 15 second ads, and there's audience participation to pick the best ad on the new Hammerandshake.com website to boot.
Sort of like "Illinois' Got Ads" instead of "America's Got Talent."
With another $100,000 donation added to the Rauner campaign Monday, their fundraising surpassed the $6 million mark -
Following $25,000 each coming from three members of Chicago's uber-wealthy Lester Crown family, plus more from other well-heeled donors -
State Senator Kirk Dillard is getting heat from the Champion News blog over contributions he and his senate campaign made to Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration committee. Dillard, as well as several other Republican federal and state lawmakers, joined the January 2009 DC celebration and attended the Illinois State Society's exclusive inaugural ball. Those expenses show up on Dillard's filings with the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Champion News, which is owned by Jack Roeser (who serves on Bruce Rauner's campaign committee), argues the recorded inauguration expenses contradict Dillard's assertion that he never contributed to Barack Obama's presidential campaign. The Rauner campaign agrees, tweeting:
Dillard has been criticized since 2008 for participating in a campaign ad for Obama, lauding then-State Senator Obama's willingness to work across the aisle for legislative progress. Dillard does not apologize for his part in the campaign ads, and has said he believes his part in them could help him gain support among suburbanites and conservative black church voters.
In 2008, Adam Jadhav of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, spoke with Dillard about the ad:
"Saturday morning Senator Mark Kirk went to Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital with stomach pains. Doctors determined that, due to the fact that he had gall stones, his gall bladder needed to be removed. This morning Senator Kirk underwent a successful surgery to have his gall bladder removed and is resting comfortably. His doctor expects a quick recovery."
CHICAGO - Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights Rich Williamson died, the Illinois Republican Party announced Monday. Williamson has been Illinois GOP's Republican National Committeeman since 2010. He previously served as the IL GOP chairman from 1999 to 2001.
Illinois Republican Party Chairman Jack Dorgan urged all Illinoisans to keep Williamson’s wife and children in their thoughts and prayers.
“Rich was a true friend, and a great diplomat,” Dorgan said. “He loved his family, loved his country, and loved this party.”
Williamson, born in 1949, served in the George W. Bush, the George H.W. Bush and the Ronald Reagan administrations in senior foreign policy positions. In 1992, he ran against former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley-Braun in the "Year of the Woman."
The Heartland Institute's Jim Lakely is reporting how even the liberal mainstream media believes Greenpeace has gone too far in its latest video using Santa to advance lies that scare kids about the climate.
CNN says the commercial (below) "looks like a hostage video, but instead of Al Qaida, it's Santa." You see, says Greenpeace’s Apocalyptic Santa, if the ice doesn’t stop melting at the North Pole, “there may be no alternative but to cancel Christmas.”
More of Lakely's analysis HERE
Emanuel nominated Daniel Widawsky, a managing director at Citadel Investment Group, to become Chicago's next comptroller. Widawsky must be confirmed by the City Council and would succeed Amer Ahmad, the former Ohio deputy treasurer indicted recently for running a kickback scheme.
More at FIN HERE
Last week, fast food workers in several major cities organized and walked out of their jobs at McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and other facilities most, at one time, would consider a rich "entry level" environment. Now union officials are seeing fast food places as sources for new members, where organization and representation could force franchise owners to pay their part time employees $15 an hour, and double the cost of a Happy Meal.
The minimum wage hike movement is well-meaning, but badly mistaken Acton Institute's Joe Carter writes. He gives "10 Things You Should Know About the Minimum Wage Debate." Here's the first five:
More on each of those points and five more is on Acton Institute's blog
CHICAGO - He couldn't be a Chicago cop 20 years ago because of his criminal arrest record, but the Illinois Department of Corrections and Illinois taxpayers are now paying him $110,000 a year to advise the department's chief of parole.
That's the story the Chicago Sun Times tells about Xadrian R. McCracken:
Xadrian R. McCraven has a criminal history that includes “at least” 24 arrests on charges including arson, illegal gun possession, attempted robbery, drug possession and aggravated assault, according to federal court records.
More details about other government jobs he's held and lost over the years is detailed in the story, raising the question of whether there might be more qualified prospects for the job, with less controversial work histories.
NORTHFIELD - After just two years in a newly-renovated 75 thousand square foot building in Northbrook, Nestle' Pizza division is moving to Ohio's Cleveland, taking 250 jobs and pizza brands Digiorno, Tombstone, California Pizza Kitchen, Jack’s and Delissio along.
The company's decision to move involved a stunning amount of secrecy, Ohio-based corporations working together to entice the Illinois-based operation, tax incentives and thousands of volunteer hours, Crain's Cleveland reports. The process began with dissatisfaction in Chicago's northern suburbs, developed into real estate and talent queries and ended with a big move to Ohio, where Republican Governor John Kasich is leading the state away from higher taxes, deeper debt and burdensome regulations.
Bottom line? Another well-respected source of employment and taxes is on its way out of Illinois to greener pastures, just two states east.
BLOOMINGTON - Over the weekend, GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady boasted the support he received from ten different editorial writers on last week's pension reform plan in an email to his supporters. Brady, a state senator from Bloomington, was the only one of four GOP candidates that supported the plan, agreed upon by the state's top four legislative leaders.
State Senator Kirk Dillard (R-Burr Ridge) wanted more time to assess the plan's long term effects, State Treasurer Dan Rutherford (R-Pontiac) doubted the law's constitutionality and Chicago businessman Bruce Rauner criticized the plan as not reforming as much as needed.
One source dubbed Brady as "Churchillian," for being one of the 25 Republicans that supported the legislation which promises to save the state $160 billion over the next 30 years while preserving pensions for current employees and retirees. Another one of the 25 Republicans that supported the plan was Dillard's lieutenant governor teammate, State Rep. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy).
The public sector unions are expected to challenge the plan in court. Brady shared why he supported the plan in the following video featured on his website:
Illinois Treasurer, and GOP gubernatorial candidate, Dan Rutherford on his opposition to the pension bill.
WASHINGTON DC – Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-18) announced he will lead a congressional delegation traveling to South Africa to commemorate and celebrate the life of President Nelson Mandela. The delegation will honor the life of President Mandela.
Schock said, “I have always had great respect for former president Mandela. The personal sacrifices he made in order to achieve what was right for the people of South Africa is something I carry with me every day," said Schock. "I am humbled to be leading so many of my colleagues in tribute to Nelson Mandela.”
House Speaker John Boehner added, “Nelson Mandela was one of the most consequential and beloved figures of our time, and I am grateful that Rep. Schock is leading our congressional delegation to the memorial service to honor his life.”
CHICAGO - Illinois GOP gubernatorial candidates Bruce Rauner and Dan Rutherford's campaigns took on a holiday theme Sunday afternoon while their teams are out meeting potential voters during the days leading up to Christmas 2013: (see below the fold)
CHICAGO - You may think this is a crock of bull#%@^, but Illinois is the fifth worst cursing state in the nation. Illinois ranks behind the nation's worst mouths in Ohio (ranks in the “Sailors” category), Maryland (2nd place), New Jersey (3rd place) and Louisiana (4th place). What the h - e - double hockey sticks?
Illinois' remarkably naughty speech habit was caught by Marchex Data when they ran scans on 600,000 phones calls made by "consumers to businesses across 30 industries, including cable and satellite companies, auto dealerships, pest control centers and more." You know, those irritating calls when you're kept on hold for minutes, the customer rep is an idiot and restrained from authority to fix the problem you're calling? And the calls that start out with "This call may be recorded in order to serve our customers better ..."?
Things are tough in Illinois, dammit. There's got to be frustration relief somehow ... Maybe it's Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's infamous potty mouth that's giving Illinois such a bad name.
In his interview of President Obama on Thursday, Chris Matthews asked what could be the reason for the significant decline in the trust American citizens have in their government. The President goes on for several minutes in his answer and points out various ways in which the government could “improve”, claims that the media doesn’t cover good stories about government (more on that later), and then finally concludes with this gem:
“We’ve had a politics, frankly, you know, the entire republican party brand since Ronald Reagan has been government’s the problem. And if you day after day, week after week, election after election, are running on that platform and that permeates our culture and it’s picked up by you know, ordinary citizens who grow skeptical, then it’s not surprising that over time, trust in government declines.”
More from RightScoop HERE
For the past three days, we have been subjected to the predictably lame, bed wetter coverage of the death of former South African president Nelson Mandela. It has been simplistic, celebrity-obsessed, superficial, agenda-driven, and of course, all about Barack Obama. Isn't everything? Still, there is actual news that you need to know, including about Nelson Mandela, that you aren't hearing from the legacy media. For example,
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SPRINGFIELD - Of 20 possible Illinois Senate races next November, challengers for only a few filed for General Election ballot placement. Local parties have the option of appointing candidates, but unless that happens, the 2015 Illinois State Senate is likely to have a very similar appearance with 40 Democrats and 19 Republicans. Thus far, challengers in only five Legislative districts have filed:
The nonpartisan Illinois State Society of Washington, DC celebrated Illinois Statehood Day in grand style last Tuesday, Dec. 3 at the Comedy Spot Theater in Arlington, Virginia. A play with ten actors was produced to portay 30 famous people from Illinois history who are mentioned in my book Land of Lincoln, Thy Wondrous Story. A large 195th Illinois Birthday cake and champagne was served to more than 100 guests. There was not enough room for 195 candles on the cake but the guests agreed it was delicious. Part of the proceeds are being donated to the Red Cross for Illinois tornado victims.
With plummeting temperatures, the threat and promise of snow, and the turning of pages of the calendar, we are fully into the Christmas season. We hear Christmas hymns and other holiday songs on the radio, in TV commercials, at school and church pageants.
But I wonder if we are all sufficiently aware of some of the deep historical meanings behind some of our favorite carols. For example:
The Top Five Christmas Songs Associated with Major Historical Events
1: During the long, cold winter of 1979-1980, the Hunt Brothers famously attempted to corner a precious metals market. Remember those days? And we were singing...
Watchdog.org's Tori Richards found that while leftist Center for Media and Democracy in Wisconsin is funded by third and fourth Liberal sources, they're devoting energy and resources to find similar funding conservative media sources - a distraction from their own secrets.
A Watchdog.org review of financial documents reveals the Madison-based CMD, which bills itself as a journalism organization, received $520,000 in 2011 from the Schwab Charitable Fund. That’s 60 percent of the $864,740 CMD received that year.
CMD lists no donors on its tax returns, but its website identifies numerous financial backers without any financial data. Several are highlighted in bold and labeled “current donors.” But one important name is missing: Schwab.
WASHINGTON DC - Three governors have faced recall elections in U.S. history. Wisconsin Republican Scott Walker is the only one to survive – and with a larger margin of victory the second time around.
How did he do it? Walker visited Heritage for an interview with Jackie Anderson to talk about what’s worked in Wisconsin and the path forward for conservatives. (Hint: It doesn’t require moving to the middle.)
As he considers a run for the White House in 2016, Walker is touting his successful reforms and recounting his story in a new book, “Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge.”
SPRINGFIELD - Unlike 2010, the public-sector unions may not throw their full endorsement to Democrat Governor Pat Quinn in 2014. This week, the Service Employees International Union spokesman Adam Rosen told the Associated Press that both State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and State Senator Kirk Dillard has approached SEIU, looking for union support.
Rosen told the AP the union has met with two Republican gubernatorial bidders seeking future endorsements. Republican state Sen.Kirk Dillard and state treasurer Dan Rutherford both spoke out against the pension plan, which passed by narrow margins.
SEIU, as part of the "We Are One" Coalition that opposed the pension reform bill Quinn signed into law Thursday, says it is open to supporting either a Republican or a Democrat in the upcoming election.
"We Are One" complains the pension reform plan raises the retirement age, cuts into the compounded annual COLA hikes and "breaks a promise" made by the Illinois legislature. Retirees will lose more, the older they get, the coalition says. They plan to take the reform plan to court.
Of the four GOP gubernatorial candidates, only State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), who served on the pension reform committee, voted to support the plan.
Dillard voted "no", and Chicago businessman Bruce Rauner urged opposition to the plan as well, saying the reform plan wasn't bold enough. Rauner told a Chicago radio show this week he plans to set up a PAC to assist those incumbents that voted against the plan.
State Treasurer Dan Rutherford said the bill would likely be judged unconstitutional, an argument the unions agree with.
CHICAGO - Illinois State Rep. La Shawn Ford is proposing to rename Chicago's Cicero Avenue to "Mandela Road" in honor of the late South African president. The 66-mile route runs directly through Chicago's neighborhoods, along Midway International Airport, from Kankakee in the south to Skokie in the north. Ford said in an emotional press statement:
"President Nelson Mandela is an inspiration to many and has been an example during our own lifetimes of the power of love, reconciliation, and non-violent resistance, following in the line of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."
Ford said the name change would be "a small gesture to drive for excellence for the whole human race."
"Illinois Route 50 is the perfect state highway to be renamed, as it crosses so many different communities and will remind us of the almost miraculous work that Nelson Mandela understood as he brought together people in his own county and all over the world to advance peace, democracy and opportunity. His work should be an inspiration for us to work for these same goals," said Ford.
CHICAGO - It may not be news in your circle of acquaintances, but it's official when Rasmussen surveys line up with what you, your friends and family are saying. Overall, as America heads into the year end holiday season, Americans are in a bad mood about the president, the nation's direction and the headlines about the ObamaCare debacle. Rasmussen reports this weekend that:
So how tough will it be to have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year?
By Nancy Thorner and Al Boese -
Three very different Black men -- author Walter Williams, baseball player Jackie Robinson and President Barack Obama -- have played very different roles in American history.
First, Walter Williams. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dr. Walter E. Williams holds a B.A. in economics from California State University, Los Angeles, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from UCLA. He also holds a Doctor of Humane Letters from Virginia Union University and Grove City College, Doctor of Laws from Washington and Jefferson College, and Doctor Honoris Causa en Ciencias Sociales from Universidad Francisco Marroquin, in Guatemala, where he is also Professor Honorario.
So Dr. Williams is not a radical, but a scholar, an historian, an economist, a professor, and also an African American. To some, Williams is an Uncle Tom.
On December 4, Williams published on Townhall.com a short piece which drew a comparison of Obama to Jackie Robinson.
GLEN ELLYN - The first of a series of national townhalls on the Affordable Health Care Act will be held Saturday at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, starting at 12:30 PM. The meeting, hosted by Independent Women's Voice (IWV), will feature panels of healthcare experts, insurance industry leaders, medical professionals, and politicians. The MyCancellation.com project is to advocate on behalf of those who have lost their health insurance due to ObamaCare and to bring to life the stories of the millions affected.
Saturday's panel, featuring healthcare policy expert Naomi Lopez of the Illinois Policy Institute, insurance leader C. Stephen Tucker of Small Business Insurance Services, Inc., and medical professionals, will be held in the College of DuPage's Student Resource Center, Room SRC 2000.
CHICAGO - C. Steven Tucker stood face-to-face with an IRS agent this morning in his Chicago home. After months of traveling the Midwest, warning taxpayers about negative changes coming with ObamaCare, Tucker suddenly received two letters from the IRS the day before Thanksgiving 2013.
One notice said Tucker's insurance business owed taxes of $3,592 from 2003 and another said he owed over $2,000 from 2010. The letters came just days after Tucker reached out to help Bill Elliott, a South Carolina man battling cancer who had lost his health insurance as a result of Obamacare.
Tucker counseled Elliot that it was illegal for a health insurance company to drop a patient while he was being treated. Elliott took Tucker's information to his insurance company, and they reversed their cancellation, allowing Elliott to continue his cancer treatments.
The same day the insurance company reversed the cancellation, Tucker received notices from the IRS about alleged past due taxes, and the IRS notified Elliott that he - as a former government employee - would be audited in 2014.
It was all a coincidence, the IRS agent told Tucker at his home Friday morning.
"After the Treasury Inspector General and his partner met with my attorney in my home today, they believe that this action was simply a coincidence," Tucker wrote. "I still disagree. They took my statement and advised me to 'resolve this issue with the IRS as soon as possible. ...If not, I will be visited again by the IRS and they could garnish my wages or put a lien on my home," Tucker said.
Tucker told Illinois Review he had not been aware of any outstanding taxes previous to the letter he received last week from the IRS. A copy of the 2003 bill is below: