Sunday, January 31, 2010

February 2 Elections - Vespa and Lickiss

I usually don't post preferences for local elected officials but I believe John Vespa for Circuit Judge and Jeff Lickiss for Peoria Public School District #150 Board would be best choices. Judge John Vespa is well respected in the community and has invested in a winning campaign.

To learn more why I support John Vespa visit

I served with Lickiss on the County Board and Jeff will ask the hard questions that need to be asked. Lickiss also supports Vo/Tech such as offered in Pekin, Limestone and IVC schools, right in classrooms in #150. What ICC offers reaches far too few students. Discontinued almost entirely in 1994, many a kid would have a job today if they had learned a trade. Many a household would have benefited from Home Economics, child care, welding, home repair, painting and gardening.

50% of the kids who enter the Peoria Public School System $150 do NOT EVEN FINISH HIGH SCHOOL yet all we seem to talk about is ALL kids will go to college and hold a white collar job. Lickiss will see that every kid gets an opportunity to go to college or to be qualified to be what they would like to be.

Lickiss will do more than pay "lip service" to Vo/Tech as almost all other board members and adminstrators have done in the past 15 years.

Peoria County Asphalt Boondoogle

Find more information on this "misunderstanding", I plead guilty, but I corrected my mistake, 10 other board members didn't, about Peoria County's action on helping drive small business out of Peoria by dialing up or Terry Bibo's article in the JS today.

Next County full board meeting is at 6:00 PM Thursday Feb. 11 in RM 402, fourth floor, County Court House.

Museum Lies or Are we Thought to be "Just Stupid"?

Jim Owens and now Doug Oberhelman should have a lot more important things to do (like building a $50 billion company they projected a few years ago. Caterpillar today, is in the $30 billion range and growth iffy especially if the Obama administration continues to fall out with China. I doubt very much that they were given the "real facts" about the "real" hold-up of breaking ground for the new museum.

Will someone please pass my blog site to Mr. Owens and Mr. Oberhelman so they can read the facts?

Read carefully what I am writing. If the reader is concerned that these words are not correct, please be at the Peoria County "Committee of the Whole" meeting Feb 4th, 3 Pm, Rm 403, Peoria County Court House.

These are just part of the contradictions presented by the Museum people:

At a 12/22/09 meeting of the County Facility Comnmittee, the museum people claimed to have about $4 million in cash on hand (Source, Mark Johnson, PCG liaison to the county). Also see DeWayne Bartels column "Move on with 'caution'" in the Times Newspaper, dated 12/23/09.

On January, 14, 2010, our County administrator stated in a letter to the county board that "Funds pledged or on hand were $1,801,791 as of 12/31/09". A shrinkage of over $2 million in 9 days.

At the 12/22/09 Facilities meeting we were told that $10 million of the funds raised to build the $78,969,000 facility had already been spent on "museum planning and architectural consultants" (Source, Mark Johnson and DeWayne Bartels)

In the January 14 letter from our county administrator, he said $11,516,757 were "Expenditures thru 12/312/09 by Lakeview/Cat", a jump of $1,516,757 in 9 days. To explain the Cat connection, if you recall, I wrote that Caterpillar had written the county on August 21,2009 that they had paid $1 million in Community challenge, $500,000 in Government challenge?? and $3 million in Core capital campaign. By Lakeview figures submitted, this money along with all other cash contributions is down to a measly $1,800,000+.

Good grief! And not a word from the JSEB who strongly supported this project even though on 6/16/99, almost 10 years ago, wrote "Fundraising will gauge interest in museum". Continuing, "Were we pragmatists here, of course, we'd say this fundraising effort is unrealistic". Gee.

And the of course, there was Phil Luciano's column "Museum unlikely to be big draw" dated August 8, 2006. Phil was highly criticized but, oh, so correct. Just look at all the other missed projections, the zoo is still trying to come up with $5 million to complete the parking lot and entrance among other things, my $50,000 investment in Pete Vonachen's ballpark has yet to return one thin dime and then there is (where is?)the $5 million Childrens Playhouse, etc, etc, etc.

And the PPD remodeled $1 million, 2 million, who knows old IDOT awaits PPD Administration move from the Pavillion to make room for the Playhouse, then to the deserted lakeview Museum, no wonder Caterpillar newsletter editor, Don Axt, called Peoria "Dreamsville waiting for a World Series between the Peoria and Rockford".

Some of our movers and shakers never brought into that theory that "you can lead a horse to water, you can't make it drink". Probably never born on a farm.

In the January 14 letter from our County Administrator Urich wrote that the projected total coat of the museum was $79,767,588, a jump of $800,000 in 9 days. This increase at a time when the Peoria Public Library said construction costs to expand "Graveyard" Lincoln Library came in lower than expected as there was more competition for the job. Hmmm.

Does anyone remember less than 3 years ago this downsized museum building was projected to cost $65 million? (JS, 6/8/07) In the same JS article "Officials (Woith and Vergon) say fund-raising not a problem". In fact, Kathleen Woith of Lakeview said, "We have many things coming up with (private) fund-raising that are very exciting" and she was right: $5 million of taxpayer dollars from the state courtesy of "Earmark" Dave Leitch. Now the county is blamed by Caterpillar for losing $5-6 million in NMTC, more taxpayer dollars. Private dollars? Why spend your own money when the "movers and shakers" can get the money thru more taxes?

Political Correctness

This accurate description was passed on to me by my daughter, Mary Jo Greytak.

"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

Whoever originated this description, nailed it!

Peoria County Democrats Playing Plantation Politics?

Email I received from Mayoral candidate, General Parker.

Peoria County Democrats Playing Plantation Politics
in 2010 County Board Races, Candidates Say
PEORIA, Ill. – With the Feb. 2 primary a few days away, voters are being left in the dark about
the political backdoor dealings that are manipulating County Board races to help the status quo
remain in power.
In the 1st District, Bonnie Hester didn’t want to run for re-election, but was strongly urged to run
by leaders of the Peoria County Democratic Central Committee.
Why? Because former County Board Chairman David Williams is running for her 1st District
seat, and it’s common knowledge that Williams and Billy Halstead, Peoria County Democratic
Committee Chairman, do not get along.
Halstead has even gone so far as to question Williams’ loyalty to the Democratic party,
suggesting Williams may be a Republican because he forged relationships on both sides of the
aisle during his 14-year tenure on the board.
Susan Yvette Cagle, who was on the ballot for that same 1st District seat, is pushed to withdraw
from the race. Through backdoor dealings by Halstead, Cagle is allowed to withdraw after the
Cagle said she was asked to run, and was then intimidated and harassed to withdraw by Halstead
and Jackie Petty, another Peoria County Democratic leader. She has phone records and saved
messages showing numerous intimidating calls to her.
Halstead told Cagle she could use the Democratic Committee office to compile a list of voters
and for whatever else she needed to run. But Halstead never told Cagle he was supporting
Hester, never said Hester was going to retire even though that was the message the 1st District
incumbent was putting out. Hester said she felt overwhelmed with the demands of the position,
and health issues.
Hester didn’t want to run, and hasn’t really campaigned, Cagle said. The Democratic Committee
is basically running her campaign for her.
When Cagle found out Hester was going to run again, and that Halstead would support Hester,
not her, “I really felt like I was used,” Cagle said.
Another candidate, who possibly has the strongest credentials of all three women, is treated like
a Republican outsider. Rachael Parker was never asked to speak with the Democratic Committee
about her candidacy, her qualifications, despite the committee’s and other groups assurances that
they would support all Democratic candidates.
All three candidates are black.
All three candidates are women.
At a candidate’s forum, Halstead was hostile to Williams and Parker, peppering them with
questions, as if he were questioning Republicans, not members of his own party. Even though he
told Cagle he would meet with all candidates before the races took off, he never met with
Williams or Parker.
To add even more layers of craziness, Channel 25 in Peoria interviews all the County Board
candidates except for Williams and Parker.
“This is the strangest race I’ve ever seen,” Williams said, wondering why the media will report
on every other race except this one.
The question voters should be asking on Feb. 2 is: How racist does the Democratic Committee
need to be? How sexist does the Democratic Committee need to be?
-- 30 --

Monday, January 25, 2010

Peoria's Bids For New Market Tax Credits

I believe those that those interested, or better have an interest in what is happening with the PRM project, should get a better picture of the current situation. I have most of the facts and started putting them on this blog site a couple of years ago. At times, I've been the only source open to the public or I should say the only reasonably correct source. My files on the subjects I blog on are factual based on my extensive data collecting system.. I use a lot of info available through various source of media.

Refer to a JS article by John Sharp, titled "Peoria projects line up for funds", dated 10/14/09, less than four month ago. John wrote "that the proposed Marriott, the Holiday City Center and the PRM are among those competing for $28 million in tax credits. (New Market Tax Credits) The Holiday Inn City Center, at this point, is the only one of three that is a private venture." The Centre has recently asked the City of Peoria for $8+ million. (I note the City of Peoria State of the City address banquet was held at this financially struggling hotel)

So the Caterpillar letter from Owens and Oberhelman, is blaming the county for not getting these "taxpayer funded credits" when nothing has appeared in print that any decision has been made to give any NMTC to nay of the three. To my knowledge, the PRM Committee has not notified the county of any information saying they are NOT going to get some of this "shovel ready" money.

How can any of these three projects be called "shovel ready" which is "supposed" to be a major criteria for receiving NMTC? Gary Matthews, the Marriott developer said 4 months ago his project was "close to happening". The PRM is still "trying to raise capital from anywhere mainly the government. There condensed financial statement made available to the county for the period ending 12/31/09 indicate that many of the museum "projections" have not panned out.

See my next blog will give a review of the additional financial info the county requested. (After the Feb. 4th meeting "County Committee as a Whole", 3 PM, Rm. 402, County Courthouse, an open to the public meeting.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Breaking Peoria Riverfront Museum News

According to an email I just received from a highly respected source, all mis-understandings have been cleared up and the collaboration contract will soon be ready for the County Board vote.

Caterpillar Chiefs Letter Blasts Peoria County Board

All County Board members received a letter dated 1/20/10 from Jim Owens, Caterpillar Chairman and CEO, and from Douglas R. Oberhelman, Vice-Chairman and CEO Elect stating in part "Delays (by the county) have cost our community $5 million dollars in New Market Tax Credits". The letter in part further reads, "In the absence of a positive response from the Peoria County Board by February 12, 2010, Caterpillar doesn't believe this project can be viable. Failure to move forward in a responsive manner will result in Caterpillar withdrawing its funding for a PRM and termination of our plans to move forward with the Caterpillar Visitor Center." (The PRM Committee has already spent over $11 million and has just around $2 million left in cash. Another $11 million is also counted as "pledges". Pledges, which are just what they are, pledges. Seven years after this project started to make the news??)

My compatriots on the County Board voted themselves into this mess. County administration outright supported the project and were more than interested in becoming the owner of the building. I was the only "no" vote because I did not want the county, a last resort for major funding by the PRM Committee when the private sector and the Federal Government failed to meet their promises, to expand our bureaucracy to such a major responsibility. Now, the blame is put on this board and administration by Caterpillar and the RCG for not moving this project forward quickly. The CEO Roundtable; this group promised to raise $10 million dollars did most of this "raising" by getting a near bankrupt State of Illinois to contribute, "Senate bill 1181 plans to pump $5 million into the PRM project". (JS, October 31, 2009) Where is the $5 million right now? The State of Illinois can't even pay their bills. On 2/3/07, Museum Director, Jim Richerson, was quoted "I learned of the New Market Tax Credits 6 months ago". And now three years later its the county's fault?

Yes, three years later Cat executives are blaming the county for failure to act quickly enough to secure $5-6 million in these tax credits. The Peoria County Board wasn't even in the major fund-raising picture until late in 2008. Our administrator did lobby Springfield for the right to put a "public facility" tax referendum on the April 7, 2009 ballot. The referendum passed by a "yes" vote 15,305 to 14,895 voting "no", a very slim margin of 410 votes, hardly a mandate when you consider only 22%+ of the registered voters took interest enough to vote. No, not hardly a mandate. Especially with the PRM spending a reputed $640,000 on "educating" the public. Lobbying might have been a better term.

Back to the CEO Roundtable and their $10 million pledge has turned out be mainly more taxpayer dollars, not private dollars. And now Caterpillar is "demanding" the County make up this $5-6 million so called loss of New Market Tax Credits? That's what the Cat executives say in their letter, carboning in Dave Ransburg and Bud Grieves.

Overlooked by the Cat execs is the hard fact that the Endowment Fund is basically unfunded; $1.6 million as of March 2009. The PRM Committee, now the Museum Collaboration Committee, (MCG) promised the County $3 million with an assumed $5 million, PRM Committee banker member Doug Stewart said $14 million was needed. Erik Bush, Peoria County Financial Officer, figured $7 million was a minimum and $11 million desired to fund the endowment. And aren't endowments usually funded by philanthropists? Not New Market Tax Credits.

Good grief!

In the meantime, Caterpillar cut their planned investment in the Cat Visitor Center to $37 million and is now perhaps looking for an easy scapegoat for this underfunded mess?? Or maybe another reason that I will let my reader dwell on.

And then there is the unfinished Environmental Impact Study and the unfinished, now being rushed, "Peer Review" of some other engineering firm on the underground garage.

My guess is as good as anyone who has followed this "world class" project since 2002. I calculate that if Caterpillar drops out and the project is scrapped, the savings to the community over 20 years will be in the quarter billion dollar range. Perhaps more as this property valued by the City of Peoria to be worth $8-10 million has the long-range potential of being a property tax PAYER. Caterpillar can put the $37 million saved on the Visitors Center to work increasing stockholder value or re-hiring some of the hundreds of local employees laid off or fired in the past 18 months. Also, they could spend more money with their "hurting" local suppliers who have had to cut back as Caterpillar moves more business to other states.

At some point I will print the entire Caterpillar letter signed by Owens and Oberhelman on this site. In the meantime, if you want the real "facts" on the project, vist this site. There are a lot of details that need to be made public for the sake of "transparency" the local media is always complaining about.

I've been trying.

ObamaCare Poison Pill

Forwarded to me by email from a relative:

The impudent tyranny of Sen. Harry Reid Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada is proving once again the maxim that darkness hates the light.

Buried in his massive amendment to the Senate version of Obamacare is Reid's anti-democratic poison pill designed to prevent any future Congress from repealing the central feature of this monstrous legislation!
Beginning on page 1,000 of the measure, Section 3403 reads in part:". it shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection."
In other words, if President Barack Obama signs this measure into law, no future Senate or House will be able to change a single word of Section 3403, regardless whether future Americans or their representatives in Congress wish otherwise!!
Note that the subsection at issue here concerns the regulatory power of the Independent Medicare Advisory Board (IMAB) to "reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending."
That is precisely the kind of open-ended grant of regulatory power that effectively establishes the IMAB as the ultimate arbiter of the cost, quality and quantity of health care to be made available to the American people. And Reid wants the decisions of this group of unelected federal bureaucrats to be untouchable for all time.
No wonder the majority leader tossed aside assurances that senators and the public would have at least 72 hours to study the text of the final Senate version of Obamacare before the critical vote on cloture. And no wonder Reid was so desperate to rush his amendment through the Senate, even scheduling the key tally on it at 1 a.m., while America slept.
True to form, Reid wanted to keep his Section 3403 poison pill secret for as long as possible, just as he negotiated his bribes for the votes of Senators Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Bernie Sanders of Vermont behind closed doors.
The final Orwellian touch in this subversion of democratic procedure is found in the ruling of the Reid-controlled Senate Parliamentarian that the anti-repeal provision is not a change in Senate rules, but rather of Senate "procedures." Why is that significant?
Because for 200 years, changes in the Senate's standing rules have required approval by two-thirds of those voting, or 67 votes rather than the 60 Reid's amendment received.

Reid has flouted two centuries of standing Senate rules to pass a measure in the dead of night that no senator has read, and part of which can never be changed.If this is not tyranny, then what is?


Do You Yahoo!?

Congressional Reform

Subject: Fw: YES YES YES

This is probably the most sensible proposal that I've seen in recent times even though it's been around awhile... This is "change" that I could support... Let's spread this concept around - Many others may see the wisdom of this and get the "grass roots" growing.


Sent to me by a friend. Get all the Tea Party Groups involved. As a person identified as a "politician", I agree.


I am sending this to virtually all our close friends and relatives. The proposal is to promote a "Congressional Reform Act of 2009." It would contain eight provisions, all of which would probably be strongly endorsed by those who drafted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (but not the incumbants).

I know many of you will say, "this is impossible." Let me remind you, Congress has the lowest approval of any entity in Government, now is the time when Americans will join together to reform Congress - the entity that represents us.
We need to get a Senator to introduce this bill in the US Senate and a Representative to introduce a similar bill in the US House. These people will become American heroes.. Please add any ideas on how to get this done.


A Fellow American


Congressional Reform Act of 2009

1. Term Limits: 12 years only, one of the possible options below.

A. Two Six-year Senate terms
B. Six Two-year House terms
C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

2. No Tenure / No Pension:
A congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security:
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund moves to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, Congress participates with the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, server your term(s), then go home and back to work.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan just as all Americans..

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

7.. Congress must equally abide in all laws they impose on the American people..

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

8. All contracts with past and present congressmen are void effective 1/1/10.

The American people did not make this contract with congressmen, congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

Please Keep this Circulating

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Checked by AVG -
Version: 9.0.730 / Virus Database: 270.14.149/2630 - Release Date: 01/18/10 01:35:00

Politically Correct??

I don't know whether Mr Buchanan said this or not because many others have said basically the same thing. Whether the figures are all EXACTLY correct, they are close. Read the news media. This nation and it's citizens, no matter what color, by now color shouldn't matter to anyone except the racists; racists of all colors need to stop playing the victimization game. One thing I'm certain of, most of us, realize it or not, are suffering from this administration.

I want all those citizens who pledged allegiance to this country, with all its faults, most of these faults caused by white people, to be given every fair opportunity to succeed. No game playing with diversity and quotas. A free public education is open to all if they wish to take advantage of this free education; even to those who don't meet the first criteria. If they don't take full advantage of a free education, sobeit.

When I established this blog site in August 2004, I said it would not be politically correct. It hasn't been. Anyone wanting to read more of my blogs can find them in my archives on your computer.

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Barack says we need to have a conversation about race in America .. Fair enough. But this time, it has to be a two-way conversation.. White America needs to be heard from, not just lectured to... This time, the Silent Majority needs to have its convictions, grievances and demands heard. And among them are these:

First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known. Wright ought to go down on his knees and thank God he is an American.

Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the ' 60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream. Governments, businesses and colleges have engaged in discrimination against white folks -- with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas -- to advance black applicants over white applicants. Churches, foundations, civic groups, schools and individuals all over America have donated their time and money to support soup kitchens, adult education, day care, retirement and nursing homes for blacks.

We hear the grievances.
Where is the gratitude??

Barack talks about new 'ladders of opportunity' for blacks. Let him go to Altoona? And Johnstown, and ask the white kids in Catholic schools how many were visited lately by Ivy League recruiters handing out scholarships for 'deserving' white kids.? Is white America really responsible for the fact that the crime and incarceration rates for African-Americans are seven times those of white America? Is it really white America's fault that illegitimacy in the African-American community has hit 70 percent and the black dropout rate from high schools in some cities has reached 50 percent?

Is that the fault of white America or, first and foremost, a failure of the black community itself?

As for racism, its ugliest manifestation is in interracial crime, and especially interracial crimes of violence. Is Barack Obama aware that while white criminals choose black victims 3 percent of the time, black criminals choose white victims 45 percent of the time?

Is Barack aware that black-on-white rapes are 100 times more common than the reverse, that black-on-white robberies were 139 times as common in the first three years of this decade as the reverse?

We have all heard ad nauseam from the Rev. Al about Tawana Brawley, the Duke rape case and Jena. And all turned out to be hoaxes. But about the epidemic of black assaults on whites that are real, we hear nothing.

Sorry, Barack, some of us have heard it all before, about 40 years and 40 trillion tax dollars ago.
This needs to be passed around because,
this is a message everyone needs to hear!!!

will you pass it on ?
YES. I did but will you?
Because I'm for a better America

Hotmail: Powerful Free email with security by Microsoft. Get it now. =
Attached Message

Subject: Fwd: Fw: Finally.............It is Said Publicly.]
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2010 18:23:31 EST

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Kathy Michael Report

Copy of an email sent me by Kathy Michael -

Erick Erickson at RedState nails it with this analysis. Enjoy.


. . . ObamaCare was on life support. Scott Brown just removed its feeding tube thanks to Ted Kennedy.

There are ten other things to take away from Scott Brown's victory:

1. Someone needs to ask Keith Olbermann, David Shuster, and the Democrats how the teabags taste.

2. Scott Brown should give the Republican response to Barack Obama's State of the Union speech next week. From his truck.

2. Centrist Democrats are running away from health care deform as fast as possible now. As Evan Bayh (D-IN) said, if Massachusetts is not a wake up call, there is no waking up for the Democrats.

3. The GOP has as much to worry about from Scott Brown's victory as the Democrats do. Consider this: Brown ran against the DC Republican establishment as much as the Democrat establishment. When the DC Republicans put in their $500,000.00 after the tea party had already raised Brown millions, they did so quietly and under the radar. Contrast that with Jim DeMint, who publicly endorsed Brown and used the Senate Conservatives Fund as a vessel to rally conservative activists for Scott Brown very publicly.

4. Jim DeMint said health care was Barack Obama's Waterloo. Yup. And the people of Massachusetts delivered the decisive blow. Today we may have to start calling DeMint "Wellington." He, not the GOP, has beaten Obama like a drum on health care.

5. Like it or not - Mitt Romney: Winner. But the health care issue in Massachusetts could be a serious vulnerability for him in light of the voters of Massachusetts who have the Democrats' universal health care dream have voted for the candidate opposed to expanding that "dream" to the nation.

6. There are a number of liberal Democrats tonight who are thinking the following: force health care through, take the hit in November, then expect every election from here on out to be about problems with health care - the Democrats will, in every case, be able and willing to outbid the GOP thereby creating a permanent Democratic majority. They will try it if they can. The GOP must not get overconfident of a health care deform defeat.

7. Little noticed bit of Scott Brown trivia: he polled better on the issue of "enemy combatants" than on health care. Voters really do not trust the Democrats on national security and it is growing in the conscience of voters as a very real issue.

8. How many people will die because Barack Obama's White House is incompetent. This is not hyperbole. No competent White House would spend political capital on a trip to Europe to sell the Olympics without a guarantee it would happen. No competent White House would spend political capital two days before an election viewed as a referendum on the President of the United States with the President's candidate's poll numbers cratering. If the White House is not competent in spending the President's political capital, how the heck can it be competent to save American lives?

9. The Left tells us the nation is now ungovernable. Actually, the allegedly ungovernable citizenry just told those attempting to govern to go to hell.

10. In 2008, Independent voters voted for Obama to prove they were not the racist bigots the media and Democrats hypothesized they were. Ever since, Independents have been voting against Obama to prove they also are not socialists.


Voters Send Washington a Ringing Message - Brian Mooney, Boston Globe
Massachusetts Voters Tea Off on Obama - Michael Goodwin, New York Post
Dems Should Still Pass Health Reform - Hacker & Hopkins, Washington Post
One Year Later, Dems' Dream Deferred - David Paul Kuhn, RealClearPolitics
No Obama Obits, Please - Joe Conason, New York Observer
What Does Obama Do Now? - Jay Cost, RealClearPolitics
Obama Needs to Fight Back - Dan Kennedy, The Guardian
Brown's Win a Blessing in Disguise for Obama - Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe
The Democrats' Deadly Delay - Harold Meyerson, Washington Post
Forces of Change Now Target Obama - Smith, Martin, & Harris, Politico
Win Sends Shock Waves Through Blue-State Races - Kyle Trygstad, RCP
Blame the Left for Massachusetts - Lanny Davis, Wall Street Journal
Learning the Wrong Lessons From Massachusetts - Joan Walsh, Salon
The Idea Is the Problem - David Harsanyi, Denver Post
Is China the Next Enron? - Thomas Friedman, New York Times
Tim Geithner's Lifelong Love of Bailouts - Mark Calabria, New York Post
Muhammad Cartoonist Defiant After Attack - Henryk Broder, Der Spiegel

Mass Tea Party: Voters Tell Dems to Shelve ObamaCare - Wall St. Journal
Win Doesn't Negate Obama's Resounding HC Mandate - Boston Globe
Heckuva Job Brownie! - New York Post
Hope Met Reality in Obama's First Year - San Francisco Chronicle

Kathy Michael
Michael Consulting
2018 Juniper Lane
Bloomington, IL 61701
Cell: 309.838.3210
Fax: 309.585.2495

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Renewable Energy Bankruptcies

Under bankruptcies in today's WSJ is Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings, Inc. with their major manufacturing facility and home office listed as 120 North Parkway Drive, Pekin, Il.

While this is not exactly NEW news, the reorganization plan up for voting approval is February,17. 2010.

My suggestion is that with all the political posturing of the current administration on how renewables are the way to go now, tread slowly unless you can convince the taxpayer to take the loss and the investors to take any gain. Be wary of where you put your money if you plan to buy stock. If you are forming a new company and know your way around Washington. D.C., you can get the Federal Government (taxpayers) to take most of the risk off your hands.

The landscape is littered with failed or failing renewable energy companies and sad investors; victims of political hype, bad management and a mis-read "ready" market for their product.

Noble ideas but, unlike the government, if they don't make money, even with all the subsidies they receive, they become another abandoned building on the landscape. This area has enough empty buildings right now to last for another 5-10 years and some, forever.

When oil was $150 a barrel, renewable investors thought oil would hold or go higher. Then it appeared that there was/is a lot more oil, clean coal or gas that is much cheaper than even a highly subsidized renewable.

Watch the $40 million pennycress company being organized in Mapletown and see where the funding is coming from. Bet it will be 90% funded by you know who. Fail or make it big, some insider people will make money on the project, one way or another.

Subsidies and entitlements will eventually be the total death of Capitalism in the U.S.A.

Doctors Without Borders - Donate to Help Save Haitians Lives

The greatest need in Haiti right now is money. Money you know will be used to save lives and alleviate suffering.

Mail to: Doctors Without Borders, U.S.A.
P.O. Box 5030
Hagerstown, MD. 21741-5030

Or call 888-392 0392

Or email

For veracity, look them up on the Internet.

Read article by two doctors working in Haiti now in to days Opinion Section of the WSJ "Trying to Save Lives in Port-Au-Prince"

Haiti was in bad shape; now it is in terrible. Before urging for money to rebuild, the corrupt country must be reformed. Some of the food, etc., is falling into the hands of gangs and looter. Medical dollars will have the greatest impacet right now.

Thank you.


Monday, January 18, 2010

The Communitarian Spirit - Bank Bonuses

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, based in Geneva, Switzerland wrote a thoughtful piece about what is going not only in the banking business, but communities as a whole. Mr. Schwab says "The emphasis on profit to the exclusion of other values led to the current economic crisis, and may undermine social peace." He talks about the role companies (including banks) used to play in society and the role of the executives within these companies. He talks about the "stakeholder theory" he developed and presented to the World Economic Forum about 40 years ago, this theory considers any enterprise as a community with a number of stakeholders, or social groups that are directly or indirectly connected and are dependent on its success and prosperity. These stakeholders include employees, customers suppliers, the state and the local society.

To meet and discuss their mutual responsibilities and promote that each individual is embedded in the common good can only be promoted through the interaction of all participants. The erosion of this spirit is obvious, visible not only in business but also in politics, etc. The business enterprise has been transformed from a purposeful unit to a purely functional unit.

The purpose of an enterprise-to create goods and services for the economic good-has been replaced by a purely functional enterprise philosophy aimed at maximizing profits in the shortest time possible. The enterprise is no longer an organic community and the entrepreneurial system is being perverted. It becomes a "profit-generating machine" in which all parts that do not fulfil that purpose, including managers,employees, products, locations, etc., are replaceable. This development is particularly visible in the financial sector, where there is at best only an indirect connection with the original purpose of an enterprise, meaning the creation of substantive, real value.

The consequences that one cannot expect anything other than selfish thinking and action from an individual who knows that he or she is replaceable at any time. Instead of a community or world that is guided by a communitarian sense of duty vis-a-vis society, there is a rise in individualistic profit-seeking behavior in which society plays only a secondary role.

The current crisis should actually be a warning shot for us to fundamentally rethink the development of our morals, our ethical norms, and the regulatory mechanisms that underpin our economy, politics, and glob interconnectedness.

We are all hiding from the reality of rising unemployment that will remain with us for years to come; it will also put enormous pressure on public goods and services as governments are forced to pay off their ballooning debts. The billions needed will lead to higher taxes, reductions of social and public health systems as well as reduced investments in education and infrastructure. In the end it is the taxpayer, the average citizen, who has to shoulder the costs of the crisis by a reduction of his/her disposable income.

Thus a real danger that the financial and economic crisis will develop into a real social crisis. Difficult times lie ahead. If we want to keep society together, then a spirit of community and solidarity is more important now than ever before. We need to embrace the stakeholder principle , not within the narrow confines of companies, but at a national and global level as well.

From this context, the bonus discussion is just a symbol of a more fundamental question: whether we can adopt a more communitarian spirit or whether we will fall back (or already have, my words) into the old habits (or always had, my words) and excesses, thereby undermining social peace.

Mr. Klaus Schwab, truer words are hardly ever spoken in our "politically correct" society, our "must have it ALL now" outlook on life and our increasing lust for greed and "our keeping up with the Joneses". But presently, I'm not holding my breath waiting for "societies" to change much voluntarily. It takes 9/11's, Haiti, Katrina's, etc., for the world to assume a communitarian spirit, shortly thereafter forgotten by most except the ones most directly or most indirectly affected.

Plus the operating of the "good old boys and girls" club, members who all think alike and those who can be convinced to think and act like the GOBG club, but not actually accepted; with all then acting in a herd like manner . Anyone they consider as having an adverse opinion is banned from the herd. Even whistle-blowers are shunned by the elite and the lower culture parts of the black community and drug dealers have a violent way of dealing with "informers".

Social peace has already or always has, been undermined especially now in England, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, large parts of Africa, the Middle East and rapidly deteriorating in this country.

Banks Set For Record Pay

"Top thirty eight firms on pace to award $145 BILLION for '09, WSJ Study Finds." Compensation climbs as the rich get richer, the poor get screwed and the middle class incomes stay stagnant.

The reasons for the big bonuses? Rising stockholder values. Sure, they are/were. Here are some examples: Morgan Stanley stock was trading at $62+ in January of 2007 - selling around $30 today. Goldman Sachs was trading at around $350 a share in January 2007 - today around $164. Bank of America stock was trading at around $51 in January of 2007 - today around $16 a share.

Another reason for billions in bonuses for 2009? They worked hard. Give us a break. Most people work harder under more stressful conditions than any stockbroker ever worked in their lives.

So the stocks were trading lower from 2007-08 and in 09, with massive intake of TARP billions, the stock rose. But what about the people who were believing the "analysts" and following their advise of "buy and hold"? They have lost stock value of 50% or more.

Now Obama, "seething" in public, maybe smiling in private, wants to tax the banks.
Sure tax them and the financial giants will get their money back by raising fees, cutting already low dividends and reducing the return to shareholders.

If the media had the guts, they would publish how much Obama and all congresspeople receive in contributions and from who and how the "who" are connected. Our paper has discontinued publishing contributions for local incumbents and their challengers.

Yet the media complains about lack of transparency. Unfortunately, most medias no longer print the facts, they print what sells and even that isn't keeping them all afloat. Probably can't afford to pay good reporters to dig out the "facts" unless the facts fall in a reporters lap. Or maybe they won't print or show the facts because they would irritate certain advertisers or "favorites", some who come to mind quickly are Caterpillar, the Peoria Park District, and Lakeview Museum and the PRM Group plus the CEO Roundtable, the folks who were to close the $10+ million funding gap with private dollars. Sure, the gap is being filled with public dollars costing more than the taxpayer will ever be aware.

More on what is happening in the financial field in my next blog.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"If we Don't Take it Someone Else Will"

These seems to be the lament by all politicians, plus 30% of the adult population when it comes to subsidies, entitlements, New Market Tax Credits, you name it.

I asked a City Councilman pressing the County Board to enter into this City/County lobbyist agreement: an agreement the city will not be contributing any money until 15months from now, whether "if we don't take it, some one else will" was the way he was bringing up his young family. After some hesitation, he said no, however.......

Ah, well, as a lemon called James W.Lemmon (I Googled him with no results and he isn't listed any local phone book??) said recently he could believe if it Merle Widmer hadn't said it. Well, I can't keep all you free-spending of OPM liberals, Democrats and Republicans, happy because it appears more and more people of all parties and non-voters are looking to our government to bail us out whatever the situation and/or how we got there. After attending 4 events, I'm not even sure the Tea Party people mean what they say.

And, yes, I did get elected 8 out of 9 times since 2000 and I do admit to being 84 years of age. Not the "best and the brightest" although my moniker still hangs on a business I started 45 years ago.


Peoria County Renews Lobbyist Contract

Peoria County has renewed a contract with a D.C. lobbying firm for a period starting January 1, 2010, extending through March 31, 2011. the contract will be payable in equal monthly installments of $7,083.33 annualized to $85,000 including expenses.

At the end of April, 2011, the City of Peoria will equally split costs, however either the lobbyist, City or the County can terminate this agreement with 30 days notice in writing. That is, after April 30, 2011.

From Jan. 1, 2010, the City of Peoria will be an equal recipient of any lobbying results even though they won't be splitting costs until 15 month later. Shortage of money in the city budget??

The lobbying group has already been give partial credit for the landing of a $500,000federal grant for a pennycress bio-diesel plant near Mapleton. However, an article (with Aaron Schock's picture) in the 10/06/09 issue of the JS appears that Representative Schock is taking credit. The JS states that the $40 million dollar plant still needs loan "guarantees" from the State of Illinois.

With 40,000 plus lobbyists roaming Washington, D.C., lobbying for money for special interests, it is little wonder the country is going bankrupt. There are no guarantees that this pennycress plant will break even, let alone, being a moneymaker without continuous state, federal and local subsidies. But you can bet, the private investors will be protected from any major losses.

By who? Guess.

As our Assistant County Administrator told the JS recently that "with all the needs of local governments, we have less buying power", in asking that stimulus allocations be increased.

Where was I on the vote to renew the lobbyist contract? No, it is difficult for me to hear all the complaints of how D.C. is heading the country towards bankruptcy and then having bloated public services lobbying for more money for investors lobbying for more government subsidies.

Makes sense? Probably the reason why this country is in the shape its in.

Not good nor do I believe Obama's and McCain's theories that our economy is "basically sound"?? No, I'm not spreading fear, just asking for more common sense.


If you ever even think of buying a Variable Annuity you may save thousands of dollars if you talk to me first. Investment performance for the last year - zilch and I can't get out of the contract without a sizeable penalty.

Get a securities attorney, not a financial "consultant", to help you read the fine print.

P.S. My orignal Variable Annunity "salesman" recently declared personal bankruptcy.

Johnson and Johnson

J and J always rank at the top or nearest to the top in polls conducted to find out who is the best company for whom to work in the U.S.

This week, J and J was accused of kickbacks to Omnicare on drug sales and a lot of the drug Tylenol was pulled from the market. Allegedly, some employees of J and J. were aware of the allegedly contaminated pallets on which the bottles of Tylenol were shipped.


CCN Haiti Death Count

CNN said this afternoon, that there still was "no official count of the dead in Haiti". This ranks as the most stupid quote of the day. I suggest some of these liberals ought to be in Haiti helping with the uncovering the still living from the massive amounts of rubble.

Climate of Fear

"We as a nation seem to have lost sight of the actual definition of a terrorist attack. The purpose of terrorism isn't mainly to cause death and destruction. It's purpose is to increase paranoia, inflict inconvenience, and bleed our coffers dry by implementing knee-jerk responses to the incident", so says Robert Schroeder of Ewing,N.J on 1/11/10 in the WSJ.

Well said. The terrorist groups know that we have a very large number of "wimps" (and growing in numbers) bred and borne in the U.S.A. today and politicians ready to "stand tall" to "protect" us by taking weapons out of the hands of the qualified and sane but legally unable to take them from the hands of the criminal element, terrorists all.

"Reasons to be Cheerful"- Climate of Fear

Comments by Jay Lehr, Heartland Institute, Chicago, on Nick Gillespie's "Reasons to be Cheerful" in 2010, WSJ, January 2. Lehr says, "This should be required reading for our nation's Nervous Nellies. They lost much sleep in the 1990's over Y2K, woke up to learn they had been scammed and then immediately locked onto global warming and avian flu without comimng up for air to enjoy so much as a single day of relaxed, fear-free living.

Those with an agenda have tremendous ability to gain power over us with fear, while not totally dismissing our need to be alert. Power-seekers have long known that fear of the unknowable and unprovable can keep a society off balance while political solutions are put in place, almost inevitably causing us to give up our freedoms our Founding Fathers fought so hard to bequeath to us. This applies especially these days to the promotion of climate alarmism which appears to be holding much of the rational world in a vice grip of irrational fear, producing unwarranted and costly respones."

I once asked one o our local leaders in Washington why this spreading of fear, especially among the elderly, was so rampant and almost always, untrue. His answer was because "sometimes we are right".

Yes sure, that why no one should drive a vehicle. 40,000 plus are killed in the U.S.A. each year and a million injured. No problem, he has banned text-messaging while driving omitting, kids and dogs in the drivers laps, music so loud an ambulance siren is blocked out, cell-phones glued to a drivers ear while they maneuver to flick the ashes out the window, etc.

Shy do so many military commit suicides? One reason, besides mental problems, is that they led "protected" lives that changed drastically when they entered a new "unprotected culture".

Do I believe in global warming? Yes, and global cooling, too. Both have been going on as long as there was a planet earth. And mankind, including the all-powerful Al Gore, will not stop either happenings.

The Sixth Amendment

The right to a speedy trial by jury is not enforced in Peoria County. The accused sit for hours each time they are notified to appear only to be told that a new trial date will be set. They appear on the new date, sit for hours waiting only to be told that a new date will need to be set, this time because the officer is "on vacation" or the court is too back-logged. For the innocent who work, it reaches a point where they can't miss any more work so they are basically forced to plead guilty and pay the fine. For others, guilty or not, and have the time to come and sit and wait, some cases will eventually be dismissed.

Or, once these defendants become truly "smart" a few will move (and appeal if the motion is denied) to have the case dismissed due to the dilatory conduct of of the prosecutor and the court in denying a speedy trial.

I have talked to Judge Jim Shadid about this problem. Seems to be no answer as so many judges are elected and mostly answerable to none except the electorate, who, at voting time, know little about the judges for who they vote.

During these long waits, no reading material can be brought in the waiting room. So people sit ant stare. Doesn't seem right to me.

As a County Board member, board members have no control over the judges. I do not know the answer.

Perhaps a reader does.

Friday, January 15, 2010

"No Reason for Same Edison Battle Again"

On 1/27/02, the JSEB wrote that "Every day is ground hog day in the Peoria Public Schools. Just like the Bill Murray movie, we're re-living the same tired arguments that we heard a year ago at this time regarding the Edison Project. Isn't one definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result?"

Eight years later we're hearing the same old "whine"; we have outstanding teachers who I think can do the same job without the cost (to) of Edison." (Board member and stock broker, Jim Stowell on the front page of the Journal Star today). See my previous blog.

The JSEB in 2002, continued "Peorians should accept from the outset that the union is feeding much of this anti-Edison frenzy. We are not confidant that D150 can do anything to satisfy the unions or their leadership. Edison could be graduating 100% Einsteins annually and the PFT would say, 'Yes, but they sure look odd'. We have to hear that D150 could do the same thing Edison does without Edison and the extra costs.

Meanwhile, if anyone painted a target on themselves regarding the Edison Project, it was School Board member, Vince Wieland." (Wieland, who resigned and moved his family to the Dunlap School District, is currently running for Peoria County Sheriff against the incumbent Mike McCoy). It will be interesting to see who the JSEB endorses.


So now we have Board member Jim Stowell making the same old "whine". And just a couple of days after he "hemmed and hawed" about granting a new "public" charter school and then voted yes. Lot's of pressure from charter presenters. Hmmmm. Maybe some reason for the renewed, "let's close the Edison schools". These presenters had better get it right. Too many in this community already feel they are not getting "the bang for the buck" and the new "public" charter" will take more tax dollars.

I believe that more people will move out of D150 boundaries than will move in, charter schools or not.

We'll see.

Another Reason D150 Needs Full Time Board Members

Full time well paid D150 board members? Today's JS article by Dave Haney, "Board Member Questions Edison Contract", is another selling point for 3 full time, well paid elected board members, replacing the 7 un-paid, mostly well-meaning but unqualified citizens. Each full-time board member would be appointed to a 3 year term with one member replaced each year starting, of course, after serving three years and then stepping down; by lottery, etc., and not eligible to be re-appointed until the other 2 members have completed 6 and 9 year terms. Replacing one member a year with a new member would keep "program continuity" plus not allowing one member to dominate.

Any appointed board member could be replaced at any time time depending on contract performance.

Who would do the appointing? A separate board of say five elected non-paid members. Divide D150 into 5 districts by equal population count per member. Term limit 3-4 years.

OK, you don't think this would work. Well, it's a beginning and the "best and the brightest" can go forward. To date, they haven't. Why not? A public charter school accepting 225 5th through 7th grade, leaves 13,000+ kid going back to where they were for 2010-11 academic year. And still no vocational school for half the kids who will drop out between year one and year 12. What part of Vo/Tech doesn't this community, board and administration, not understand?? The union at least appears to understand that part of the D150's failure.

It has been obvious for a long time that the School Board system being used in D150 is obsolete. 7 board members, some with little knowledge in running any kind of a business, yes D150 is an $150,000,000 business, have been the major reason for the failure of many of the schools in the district. Of course, a lot of the problem is the family, but the school should control the culture and the atmosphere while the kids are in their care. Failure to attract, appoint and hold good principals (and good teachers)has been a major part of the problem.

Why is the statement by D150 Board Member Jim Stowell so disconcerting? The failure of Louck's Edison School was caused by a "politically correct" decision by the administration to replace over-qualified Tom Welsh as principal with an unqualified male and later on with an unqualified female. After Mr. Welsh, now principal at Dunlap High School left in 2004, I personally observed the system slide downhill. Eventually it was closed as a "cost savings move" yet re-occupied by students from the burned out Jefferson School. Possibly to become a partially?? tax supported public Charter School.

Stock broker Stowell's statement "I don't want to remove the Edison-like model, but I believe we need to own it, not buy it. We have outstanding staff and teachers who I think can do the job without the cost to? (should be cost) OF Edison.

Stowell is buying in to the union mindset, a union who opposed Edison from the beginning 10 years ago. A union who opposes opposition not just in Peoria, but nationwide. The same 15 year old story; why can't D150 run all schools in their jurisdiction as schools should be run? The answer is, they can't, and never will, for many of the reasons cited.

The Very Possible Financial Future of the United States of America

Is a U.S. Default Inevitable?
By Patrick J. Buchanan

We were blindsided. We never saw it coming.

So said Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein of the financial crisis of 2008. He likened its probability to four hurricanes hitting the East Coast in a single season.

Blankfein was reminded by the chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Committee, Phil Angelides, that hurricanes are "acts of God." Financial crises are manmade. Yet Blankfein was backed up by Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan, who said, "Somehow, we just missed . that home prices don't go up forever."

The Wall Street titans thus conceded they did not foresee the housing bubble ever bursting and they did not consider the possibility of a collapse in value of the sub-prime mortgage securities piled up on their books.

Backing up Blankfein's plea of ignorance and incomprehension is this: The crisis killed Lehman Brothers and would have killed every one of them had not the Treasury and Fed, neither of which saw it coming, either, intervened with hundreds of billions in bailout cash.

Yet there were those who warned a housing bubble was being created like the dot-com bubble; others who predicted the Empire of Debt was coming down. As, today, there are those warning that the United States, with consecutive deficits running 10 percent of gross domestic product, is risking an eventual default on its national debt.

The warnings come from the Committee on the Fiscal Future of the United States, chaired by Rudolph Penner, former head of the Congressional Budget Office, and David Walker, former head of the Government Accountability Office and author of Comeback America: Turning the Country Around and Restoring Fiscal Responsibility.

With that share of the U.S. national debt held by individuals, corporations, pension funds and foreign governments having risen in 2009 from 41 percent to 53 percent of GDP, Penner and Walker believe it imperative to get the deficit under control. Unfortunately, it is not possible to see how, politically, this can be done.

Consider. The five largest elements in the budget are Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, defense and interest on the debt.

With interest rates near record lows, and certain to rise, and back-to-back $1.4 trillion deficits, this budget item has to grow and has to be paid if the U.S. government is to continue to borrow.

Second, with seniors on fire against Medicare cuts in health care reform, it would be fatal for the Obama Democrats to curtail Social Security or Medicare benefits any further this year. Next year, they will not only lack the congressional strength but any desire to do so, after their anticipated shellacking this fall.

The same holds true for Medicaid. The Party of Government is not going to cut health benefits for its most loyal supporters. Indeed, federal costs may rise as state governments, constitutionally required to balance their budgets, cut social benefits and beg the feds to pick up the slack.

This leaves defense. But the president is deepening the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan to 100,000 troops, and the military needs to replace weaponry and machines depreciated in a decade of war.

Where, then, are the spending cuts to come from?

Can the administration cut Homeland Security, the FBI or CIA after the near disaster in Detroit? Will Obama cut the spending for education he promised to increase? Will he cut funding for Food Stamps, unemployment insurance or the Earned Income Tax Credit in a recession? For the near term, the entitlements are untouchables.

Is this Democratic Congress, which increased the budgets of all the departments by an average of 10 percent, going to take a knife to federal agencies or federal salaries, when federal bureaucrats and beneficiaries of federal programs are the most reliable voting blocs in their coalition?

What about tax hikes?

Obama has promised to let the Bush tax cuts lapse for those earning $250,000 but has pledged not to raise taxes on the middle class. Any broad-based tax would be politically suicidal for him and his increasingly unpopular party.

But if taxes are off the table, Afghan war costs are inexorably rising, and cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and entitlement programs are politically impossible, as pressure builds for a second stimulus, how does one reduce a deficit of $1.4 trillion?

How does one stop the exploding national debt from surging above 100 percent of GDP?

America is the oldest and greatest constitutional republic, the model for all the others. But if our elected politicians are incapable of imposing the sacrifices needed to pull the nation back from the brink of a devaluation or default, is democratic capitalism truly, as Francis Fukuyama told us just two decades ago, the future of mankind?

What the looming fiscal crisis of this country portends is nothing less than a test of whether this democratic republic is sustainable.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Republican Dilemna Again

After the Republicans picked carpetbagger Allen Keyes to move to Peoria to run for a Washington office, they then picked Michael Steele to head the party.

C'mon, you Republican leaders. Being "politically correct" is not going to to bring up Republican Independents back into the fold. Nor is it going to bring Tea Party people over to our side. Nor Independents.

Slide Steele out now. Show some guts and acknowledge your mistakes as soon as you realize you made them. Or can't you act, looking like a deer in the spotlight?

Will the Central Committees never learn or will they replace some of the overly religious far right wingers with the type of moderate conservative Republican from my younger days.

Probably not.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Kill the Rich, Screw the Poor" - Peter J.O'Rourke

If you never read this book by O'Rourke, I recommend it. No, Obama is not going to do that to all the rich and poor. He's going to be sure the rich that didn't support him "get subsidized" and he will subsidize the poor that voted for him. It is the middle class that will probably get screwed.
Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times on 2/18/06, that "Poverty in Early Childhood Poisons the Mind". Sorry, Paul, I and most of my classmates would have been considered poor by yesteryears standards. What poisons childrens minds are adults,mostly those living in poverty, and their leaders, especially those who still wear the "I'm a victim" over their hearts, who have low or no expectations of those born in troubled homes and poverty.

Dan Proft - Support Common Sense - Support Proft for Governor

From: Dan Proft []
Sent: Sunday, January 10, 2010 10:59 PM
Subject: RE: tax info

Ms. Greytak,

We have to get structural tax-and-spend policy correct if we want to attract capital investment in Illinois. One-time tax credits, sales tax rebates and other ancillary economic development tools are not enough.

We need to cut taxes on work and investment, which is why I have proposed cutting the personal and corporate incomes taxes in half and eliminating the estate tax.

We need to restrain the public sector from crowding out private sector investment, which is why I have proposed imposing statutory spending caps that freeze state spending at current levels and only allow for annual growth equal to the sum of population growth plus inflation. Any monies collected in excess of that allowable incremental growth would be rebated to taxpayers to keep Springfield on that spending discipline year-over-year.

Structural tax cuts and statutory spending caps only work to create a climate for sustainable economic growth every single time they are tried and every place they have been tried.

There are other areas where wholesale system change is required to make Illinois a more attractive place to do business including reforming our worker's compensation system; taking on the trial lawyers; making state agencies like IEPA more responsive and less predatory. However, if we do not get our fundamental tax-and-borrow-and-spend policies right, Illinois will continue in its economic death spiral until we land in bankruptcy court.

In endorsing my candidacy for Governor, former State Sen. Steve Rauschenberger called my ideas "not only workable but absolutely necessary". Sen. Rauschenberger was the former Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee so he knows of what he speaks when it comes to state finances and attracting business.

Lastly, Illinois has to invest in our comparative advantages in the global economy-that means properly investing on a year-to-year basis on our transportation infrastructure to improve the flow of commerce to, from and through Illinois via our roads, rail, waterways and airports.

Some of my quick thoughts on the subject. I hope this answers your question. If you have additional questions or concerns you would like me to address, please advise and I would be happy to do so.


Dan Proft

312.446.6488 c

From: Mary Jo Greytak []
Sent: Friday, January 08, 2010 9:53 AM
To: General Mailbox
Subject: tax info

To Whom It May Concern:

I have been following Dan's campaign releases with great interest and find I agree with him on pretty much all I've read to date. My question is what does he see as avenues to grow our economy while reducing the taxes already in place. How will his team go about inviting substantial businesses to our state and winning back reliable employers? It all sounds good but I wonder what changes we can really expect.

Thank you.

Mary Jo Greytak

Sunday, January 10, 2010

No New Taxes

Says Republican Candidate for Governor Andy McKenna. So say other candidates who are reaching voters through recordings. Lairs all. Democrats also. Take property taxes. Assessed values almost always go up raising the amount of taxes you pay. Wait till you get your property tax bill for those of you who live in D150, the City and the Peoria Public Library District. Wait two more years and many people will actually weep when they see how much their property tax bill or bills have risen. Some businesses are smirking because they are under assessed and apparently little is being done about it. Rumor has it the the Journal Star properties are under-assessed which may be the reason the JSEB has not entered into the property tax debate.

Now take fees. Transfer of title jumped from $65 to $95 January 1. Same for a new title. So are license plates, drivers licences, marriage, divorce, passports and fines of all kinds. Our governmental bodies say if we want more services, we have to pay for them. We agree. Unfortunately, there is no end that the government thinks, agrees with what we think we need. Then everybody is forced to pay and pay more. After all, how is government going to pay for all those expensive pensions? Are those collecting big tax-payer funded pensions, complaining? Not hardly? Look at the City of Peoria and D150 pensions ballooning.

I'm told over and over that more money from the Federal Government will help us with things like our museum and our schools and welfare programs through entitlements, grants, tax credits and subsidies. Does the list ever end? Then everybody blames Congress for bankrupting the country. No, it is our greed and "keeping up with the Joneses" that is bankrupting all areas under partial or full governmental control.

No new taxes? Bull crap. They say "throw the bums out" just like the Possum; the old comic strip character who said "we has met the enemy and he is us" to use language generally associated with parts of our public school systems. But then, most of those that never learned the English language very well, pay less taxes.

Special Area Education Benefits and then Depart for Greener Pastures?

"75% of the kids who leave Peoria for higher education will NOT return to Peoria to live and work. 85% of the kids who do not continue on to higher education will stay." So wrote Connie Franks, Director of Project Target to me a couple of years ago. What % of each graduating class at Bradley stay in the area after say 2 years? Maybe someone can put those figures in my comment section.

Why leave? Because bigger cities offer more of everything and younger people today are looking for adventures and positions not available in Peoria now nor have they been for decades. Where the big bucks have been spent, low wage jobs are offered. Examples, Cubs Foods, the RiverPlex, the PPD Zoo, Gateway Center, One Technology Center, the ball park, the potential museum, the planned new $48 million BelWood Nursing home, safety net for the poor, and the $27 million expansion of the Peoria Public libraries. (some outsiders and insiders say you are surely kidding? No we're not). Qualifying for the private sector is also the ball park, the new Hy-Vee grocery store, the stores at the Shoppes, new restaurants, fitness clubs.

Where are the big bucks in PRIVATE investment like in FireFly, Globe Energy and uh-uh-uh, help me out. Yes, top jobs in education, 20 top administrators at D150 making 6 figure salaries, not including fantastic pensions, vacations, health care, etc.,(and successive administrators and boards have not got the job done or we wouldn't be opening a charter school), Bradley and ICC and high pay in the upper echelons of our Medical Centers and Medical Society. High Tech jobs, yes, but nowhere near enough and not much on the horizon. Then there is the highly touted Transport Regional Port District kicked off in 2003. Results to date - like new businesses??
New Manufacturers? Where?, and those few that employ how many above living wages jobs?

Not to be overlooked are the temporary high pay union jobs while building these public structures, offset, in the long run with increasing taxes and fees that go on forever.

I am not dumb. I know what the movers and shakers are trying to do but when Dr. John Erwin of ICC, in his LTE to the JS on 1/6/10, in promoting the new charter school says, "With the LEADERSHIP (what?) of the D150 School Board and administration and faculty....and Mayor Ardis says, "in a failing high minority school district....

It's not like suddenly we are inventing the wheel after 2 decades. But maybe Cat is finally getting really worried.

Oh well, read my numerous old blogs on "education" and see you Monday eve.

Government Can't Legislate Common Sense

Of course not, elected officials are too busy posturing for their next election and catering to the special interests who donate the big bucks for their next campaign, helping them build up large "war chests" to discourage challengers from even running for office. Using money, winning over quality, money overwhelming common people with common sense who CAN compete and but can seldom WIN. Common sense qualified people find it too difficult to win elections against stacked decks and a herd mentality dominating this nation.

This email forwarded to me by a friend has been around a long while but it appropriate that I print it now as Monday night; be there before 6 PM to get a seat, the #D150 School Board will decide whether to fund the major portion, with more taxpayer dollars, of a charter school using an existing D150 school building.

Nothing has appeared in media print clearly defining a mission statement of this charter school, a financial and an operating plan. An increasing amount of money will be needed for each year the charter school is in existence. Also, what stipulations can the charter school board put in a charter school teachers contract to prevent forming of a disastrous union that have ravaged public school systems nationwide? D150 teachers are already the highest paid with the best benefits of any school in the region.

And the community gets a sub-par performance from some teacher, administrators and boards. Thus the need for more expenses for a charter school. (I have been a long time proponent of charter schools but not ones tax-payer funded. This charter school will be partially tax-payer funded in year one and in future years may be totally supported by increased property taxes,) Where are the big INDIVIDUAL philanthropists rather than a few companies and foundations? SAME PLACE THEY'VE DISAPPEARED FROM THEIR Museum FUNDING PROMISES??

Also how many QUALIFIED math teachers are there in 5th-7th grade class level in the community? How will hiring these teachers at a guaranteed wage of $45,000 a year plus benefits affect the students who still need math teachers in the public school classroom?

What kind of common sense is being instilled in the kid who says, "He was working a summer job at a farmer's market when he noticed that people 'seemed to be looking right through him'. All they saw was another manual laborer, he thought. No one could see his aspirations or his intellect." (JS, 1/4/10)

What the heck is wrong with the use of his "intellect" doing manual labor? What are some of these incompetents teaching these kids? That they can't lead a successful enjoyable life without a college education?

Common sense. It is dead in too much of this country. One of the deader parts is in the bankrupt State of Illinois, D150 and the City of Peoria. We should be combining the efforts of our "best and brightest" but the best with common sense are not recently or presently, in a position of power.

Read on.


Subject: An Obituary You Really Must Read - Somebody we all know

An Obituary printed in the London Times - Interesting and sadly rather
true please read and take a minute of silence.

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who
has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was,
since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn't always fair;
- and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend
more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children,
are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but
overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy
charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended
from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for
reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the
job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly
children. It declined even further when schools were required to get
parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student;
but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted
to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses;
and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common
Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar
in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to
realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in
her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was
preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife,
Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now,
Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

If you still remember him, pass this on.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Mayo and Medicare - Washington's Shifting of Debt

I've got blog material stacking up so I''ll combine some potential blogs:

Mayo Clinic will no longer accept Medicare patients at one of its primary care clinics in Glendale, Arizona. Mayo said this is part of two-year pilot program to determine if it should drop other states with large populations of senior citizens, claiming it lost $840,000,000 treating Medicare patients last year. Governments lose staggering amounts like this and claim they don't have to change. Health care entities like Mayo are forced to change to prevent escalating costs of doing business; costs that they can't pass all on to their clientele.

ObamaCare plans to cut $500 billion in Medicare and the hospital industry agreed to chip in $1 billion a year over the next 10 years in lower annual payment increases for Medicare with an estimated 20% of hospitals becoming unprofitable as a result of this scheme. Obama praised Mayo last year as a "classic" example of how a health-care provider can offer "better outcomes" at lower costs.

Some example. Mostly because Obama and Congress don't want to give up political control over government health payments. Governments can't even control rampant fraud in the health care industry, estimated to be in the range of $100 billion a year.

ONE of the last things we need is a government run health care industry but that is what I'm afraid we are going to get.

Pekin Insurance Absurd Premium Notice

For probably thirty years of more, my company and my immediate family did business with Pekin Insurance Company. My wife still has a Major Medical Policy with this company. She is at $10,000 deductible for the past 3 years. She has not come close to reaching her deductible in years so Pekin hasn't paid her back one dime. Yet, Saturday we received notice that her quarterly premiums have will rise this year from $1,082 to $1,313 effective February 1.

Is she paying to support other people who are turning in claims, don't pay their premiums, don't have insurance or perhaps excessive payments to their executives or employees? Is this governmental influence even before the planned staggering new health bill is rammed down our throats? My guess the fee premiun raise ccmes from govermental actions.

Or is she doing business with the wrong company. Any insurance people out their can give her a competitive quote. We are in the phone book.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Medicaid Abuse - Expansion of the Culture of Recent Decades

Whether or not Snopes confirmed this post, I agree with Dr. Jones and millions of other workers and retirees. In 2006, during a debt-ceiling debate, then Senator Barack Obama said, "Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."

That was $2 trillion ago, when someone else was President.

Sorry I couldn't forward the picture of Dr. Jones.
The contents of this blog were forwarded to me by a friend.

Merle Widmer

Subject: Fw: Culture Crisis, not Health Care Crisis

I did verify this on the Snopes link. Outrageous!


Subject: Fw: It's A Culture Crisis - Not Health Care Crisis

Please meet Dr Starner Jones from Jackson , Mississippi . [see photo below].

His short 2-paragraph letter to the White House accurately puts the blame on a "Culture Crisis" instead of a "Health Care Crisis". Its worth a quick read:

Starner Jones, MD
I am a seventh generation Mississippian and wanted to come back here after going somewhere else for college and medical school.. My extracurricular interests are golf, hunting, fishing and college football.

Dear Sirs:

"During my last night's shift in the ER, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient with an expensive shiny gold tooth, multiple elaborate expensive tattoos, a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and a new cellular telephone equipped with her favorite R&B tune for a ringtone.. Glancing over the chart, one could not help noticing her payer status: Medicaid. She smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and, somehow, still has money to buy beer.

And our Congress expects me to pay for this woman's health care? Our nation's health care crisis is not a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. It is a crisis of culture ˜ a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on vices while refusing to take care of one's self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. A culture that thinks "I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me". Life is really not that hard. Most of us reap what we sow. Don't you agree?

Jackson , MS

Check this out on

The Community Word

This locally owned newspaper is more than an interesting read. And not just because they printed my "unedited" LTE in the January issue.

Advertisers and the community need to support small newspapers. These locally owned medias may be the only way we get "paper" information in the not too distant future. Readers can also find the Community Word on the Internet.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Books and Authors We Should Read

"The Sellout" by Charles Gasparino, also author of "King of the Club", both books deal with the Wall Street greed and government mismanagement.

Also "Catastrophe" by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, how Obama, Congress, and Special Interests are turning freedom into Socialism. The book also all the banks who received TARP bailout money.

Both should make your blood boil

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

"The Best and the Brightest" Now Running the Country

An email from my daughter. I didn't see the show or verify the figures but the figures look about right.

Thanks, Mary Jo

Did you happen to catch a recent Glenn Beck show? He had a graph up that showed past presidents and the percentage of each president's cabinet appointees who had previously worked in the private sector. You know a real life business, not a government job? Remember what that is? A private business???

Roosevelt - 38%

Taft - 40%

Wilson - 52%

Harding - 49%

Coolidge - 48%

Hoover - 42%

FDR - 50%

Truman - 50%

Eisenhower - 57%

Kennedy - 30%

LBJ - 47%

Nixon - 53%

Ford - 42%

Carter - 32%

Reagan - 56%

GHWB - 51%

Clinton - 39%

GWB - 55%

And the Winner is.......... ......... ......

Obama - 8%

YEP, EIGHT PERCENT!!!!! !!!!!!! And these are the guys holding a "job summit" this week? This ought to go really well!!!! I'm gonna go out on a limb here, I know, but I'm gonna go ahead and predict....we are toast.


Frightening Health Care Bill

I am leaving Ross's email address if doubters may question the accuracy of his source which is similar to dozens of other reports I have read. Thanks, Ross.

Merle, from a long-time friend and insurance agent. Hope you and the breakfast club are well. Ross

Subject: Fw:
From: Date: Wed, 6 Jan 2010 13:16:47 -0500

Well, I have done it! I have read the entire text of proposed House Bill 3200: The Affordable Health Care Choices Act of 2009. I studied it with particular emphasis from my area of expertise, constitutional law. I was frankly concerned that parts of the proposed law that were being discussed might be unconstitutional. What I found was far worse than what I had heard or expected.

To begin with, much of what has been said about the law and its implications is in fact true, despite what the Democrats and the media are saying. The law does provide for rationing of health care, particularly where senior citizens and other classes of citizens are involved, free health care for illegal immigrants, free abortion services, and probably forced participation in abortions by members of the medical profession..

The Bill will also eventually force private
insurance companies out of business, and put everyone into a government run system. All decisions about personal health care will ultimately be made by federal bureaucrats, and most of them will not be health care professionals. Hospital admissions, payments to physicians, and allocations of necessary medical devices will be strictly controlled by the government.

However, as scary as all of that is, it just scratches the surface. In fact, I have concluded that this legislation really has no intention of providing affordable health care choices. Instead it is a convenient cover for the most massive transfer of power to the Executive Branch of government that has ever occurred, or even been
contemplated If this law or a similar one is adopted, major portions of the Constitution of the United States will effectively have been destroyed.

The first thing to go will be the masterfully crafted balance of power between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the U.S. Government. The Congress will be transferring to the Obama Administration authority in a number of different areas over the lives of the American people, and the businesses they own.

The irony is that the Congress doesn't have any authority to legislate in most of those areas to begin with! I defy anyone to read the text of the U.S. Constitution and find any authority granted to the members of Congress to regulate health care.

This legislation also provides for access, by the appointees of the Obama administration, of all of your personal healthcare direct violation of the specific provisions of the 4th Amendment to the
Constitution information, your personal financial information, and the information of your employer, physician, and hospital. All of this is a protecting against unreasonable searches and seizures. You can also forget about the right to privacy. That will have been legislated into oblivion regardless of what the 3rd and 4th Amendments may provide.

If you decide not to have healthcare insurance, or if you have private insurance that is not deemed acceptable to the Health Choices Administrator appointed by Obama, there will be a tax imposed on you. It is called a tax instead of a fine because of the intent to avoid application of the due process clause of the 5th Amendment. However, that doesn't work because since there is nothing in the law that allows you to contest or appeal the imposition of the tax, it is definitely depriving someone of property without the due process of law.

So, there are three of those pesky amendments that the far left hate so much, out the original ten in the Bill of Rights, that are effectively nullified by this law It doesn't stop there though.

The 9th Amendment that provides: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people;

The 10th Amendment states: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are preserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Under the provisions of this piece of Congressional handiwork neither the people nor the states are going to have any rights or powers at all in many areas that once were theirs to control.

I could write many more pages about this legislation, but I think you get the idea. This is not about health care; it is about seizing power
and limiting rights. Article 6 of the Constitution requires the members of both houses of Congress to "be bound by oath or affirmation to support the Constitution." If I was a member of Congress I would not be able to vote for this legislation or anything like it, without feeling I was violating that sacred oath or affirmation. If I voted for it anyway, I would hope the American people would hold me accountable.

"Portrait of a Challenging Year"

The year 2009 was an uncomfortable one for the museum world. One museum after another cancelled programming, cut staff, froze pay, limited visitors hours and increased admissions in an attempt to reduce expenditures and raise some income. None have been immune from trouble. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, for example, saw its cash and investments drop 23% while the investment portfolio of New York's Museum of Modern Art also shrank 23%. In February, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that its endowment lost over $700 million over the preceding 8months, resulting in the layoff of about 250 full-time and part-time employees. The Art institute of Chicago, which raised its admission fee to $16 from $12, the Philadelphia Museum of Art let go 7% of its staff and raised its fees from $14 to $16.

So what's a museum, with all its fixed costs, supposed to do at a time when people have less money to spend (or less confidence) to give? One solution may be to just give up. The Gulf Coast Museum of Art in Largo, Florida, the Claremont Museum or Art in Claremont, Ca. and the Las Vegas Art Museum all closed for good. North Carolina's Fayetteville-Cumberland County is on life support with $400,000 debt and its building for sale. Add to the list the Fresno Metropolitan Museum in Ca., which defaulted on a $15 million dollar loan is expected to close in the near future.

Another gripped by financial hardship is the Barnes Foundation.... All of this information is taken from an article by Daniel Grant and can be found in the Leisure Section of the Wall Street Journal's late December Edition.

This is the message many of us have been trying to give to the Administrator and County Board and community "movers and shakers); Peoria County, who will be the the owners of this still under-funded (from the git-go) Peoria Riverfront Museum scheduled to break ground in early 2010. The PRM will feature the Illinois High School Association Association, which pledged $2.7 million and the African-American Hall of Fame Museum, which pledged $12,000, along with the Peoria Historical Society who pledged------fill in the blanks, etc., an IMAX theatre although I am not aware of any contract signed. If there is an IMAX, will the IMAX structure to be considered "part of the building" the county would own? Guess I'll find out when I see the contract "Agreement reached on Museum Board" 12/24/09, JS, reporter Karen McDonald.

"We will be looking for the 'best and the brightest' from the community on this 17 to 22 member board". Wasn't it the 'best and the brightest' who got this country in the mess it's in with no strong positive outlook that the mess will ever be cleaned up??

No one on the County Board has asked what will happen to the current Lakeview Museum, the building with it's vault (the new PRM will not have a vault) being owned along with the land, by the Peoria Park District which Park Superintendent Noble wants to occupy as the Park District Headquarters. But only after the Children's Museum occupies the Pavilion. Last report, they were half way through their 4 year fund raising drive.

More news tomorrow on the rumored $6 million in New Market Tax Credits and if anyone now sitting on the PRM Committee will benefit financially in this tax payer funded bailout. (As rumored and rumored the NMTC were or will not be bid out).

Just as a reminder, a County document dated 10/30/08 , copy available, states that the "Museum folks have indicated that if the funding (for the museum) is not reached by July, 1, 2009, they would scrap the project."

Interesting, not?

This 7 to 8 year old project appears to still be a mess as our consultant, Mark Johnson called it a few months ago. Hopefully all the "messes" will be straightened out before the Peoria County Board accepts the contract to own and to.....?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Taxpayers Continue to Help Fund Peoria Riverfront Museum

Even though I am a member of the Peoria County Board, I did not learn until yesterday that the Federal Government through New Market Tax Credits(taxpayer dollars), approximately $6,201,572.00, will complete the funding of the PRM building bringing the total of local, state and federal taxpayer dollars being invested in this $78 million or more?? museum building or approximately 70% of the cost. The private sector, including Caterpillar and it's Foundation will make up the balance.

This still leaves the Endowment Fund short anywhere from $6-12.5 million. On October, 22, 2009, a request was received from the PRM Committee "asking the board to agree to fund the Endowment shortage of $5.3 million through the sales tax referendum".

It was less than 15 months ago that the Museum Committee turned to the County Administrator and asked that the County make up the $34.7-$40 million shortage to build the museum building. (The City of Peoria donated the land and the infrastructure work totaling $18.5 million per the City Manager. A recently disclosed additional $140,000 environmental and parking peer review will be paid from the quarter % sales tax..

Some of you may be weary of reading my museum blogs but you may be sorry later that you weren't paying attention. I'll sum up some of the mis-truths that were presented to the County Board through the PRM Committee and it's supporting medias:

In the April 2009 edition of InterBusiness Issues, Representative Leitch and Senator Koehler were quoted as saying "The HUGE benefits of Build the Block far outweigh the SMALL public investment being asked of Peoria County residents." Note that the words were carefully selected as the total amount of the project funded by taxpayers will be around $80 million. These men are used to dealing with billion dollar deficits so what a measly $80 million.

On 7/4/07, Kathleen Woith of Lakeview Museum was quoted in the JS, "The original building of 95,000 sq. ft. was going to cost us $32 million. Now it's going to cost us $37 million to build 81,000 sq. ft." The PRM Committee now says it is going to cost $47 million." An increase of $1O million in a time of recession??

On 3/7/09, only 10 months ago, Brad McMillan, Chairman, Friends of Build the Block, was quoted on the Opinion page of the JS, "The block is supported with 57% private funds." This statement was misleading because the "block" included the now the then $41 million Caterpillar Visitor Center plus $15.2 additional Caterpillar or its foundation donations to the parking garage, the museum ground clearing and the museum itself. (He also said Peoria County residents would receive a 15% discount on admissions to its galleries. Remember to ask for this discount)

In May 2008, the PRM Committee released a document saying that 29 PRM Ambassadors had pledged $17.2 million. In October, 2009, the committee released documents saying that pledges totaled $11+ million. However, only $4+ million remained in cash available as $10+ million was already spent.

I'm open for a challenge to any of these figures, $18.5 from the city, so far, $8 million early on from the ISHA, NASA, 2007 Highway bill; credit LaHood, $5 million recently announced by Dave Leitch, the New Market Tax Credits which it is rumored will be announced late next week, around $6 million, and $40 million from the Facility Sales Tax that we will be paying for 20 years. Property taxes after 20 years with the County owning the building and all liabilities?? And perhaps still a shortage in funds to operate the museum, estimated to be from $4.1-3 million??

Isn't anyone concerned about what will happen to the "old" Lakeview Museum? We know Bonnie wants it to become the Peoria Park District Headquarters, that' after they have spent over $2 million renovating the old IDOT building on Knoxville. And what is happening with the under funded Childrens Playhouse and the $5 million shortage to complete the zoo?

Well, anyway, Happy New Year,optimist, pessimist or realist.