Archive for the ‘Deception’ Category


Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker addressees the New Hampshire Democratic Convention on Saturday, June 18, 2022

MANCHESTER, N.H. — New Hampshire Democrats zeroed in on abortion rights during their annual convention here Saturday, bringing in Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker to prop up the campaigns of Sen. Maggie Hassan and governor candidate Tom Sherman, who will likely ease through September’s primary but face tough races heading into November’s general election.

“The Republican Party is so afraid of the power and influence women have achieved in our society that they are seeking to shame and criminalize your very autonomy,” said Pritzker, who leads a state that has a law that codifies Roe v. Wade.

It’s a subject that generated the most applause throughout the day, including during a speech by Marty Walsh, Secretary of Labor and the former mayor of Boston (Massachusetts also has codified Roe). For the record, Walsh told the crowd, he’s not running for president.

Pritzker’s name, on the other hand, has popped up repeatedly as a potential future presidential candidate, most recently when it was announced he’d be speaking Saturday in New Hampshire. But the Democratic governor’s political team says Pritzker is only focused on his reelection and on helping elect Democrats across the country who support abortion rights.

Pritzker, a self-described “Ukrainian-American, Jewish, Democratic, billionaire, businessman,” was scheduled to travel to Maine after leaving New Hampshire to campaign for Democratic Gov. Janet Mills.

By the end of his speech, Pritzker had won over a cadre of Belknap County delegates who enthusiastically told a POLITICO reporter that they’d like to see him run for higher office.

“I think he should be our next president,” Johnna Davis, co-chair of the Belknap County Democrats, said as a couple other delegates seated in her row nodded along. “He’s got great energy. He’s perfect.”

Oy. Read more of the story here.

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A state audit found the Illinois Department of Employment Security lost to fraud more than half of the $3.6 billion in federal COVID-19 dollars earmarked for out-of-work Illinoisans. The full scope of the unemployment fraud remains unknown.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security sent nearly $2 billion in unemployment benefits to crooks during the pandemic, losing more than half the federal dollars earmarked for out-of-work Illinoisans, according to a new audit.

The partial state report uncovered “unprecedented” levels of theft, showing the agency failed to “maintain accurate and complete” data on residents filing claims through the program. IDES previously admitted there were 212,000 false claims, but had refused to disclose the cost.

Auditors said this resulted in the vast majority of fraudsters being successful at stealing real Illinoisans’ identities and swiping their unemployment payments. In total, the department lost more than half of the $3.6 billion in pandemic funds promised to residents between July 2020 and June 2021.

Republican state lawmakers have decried the rampant fraud and blamed Gov. J.B. Pritzker for mismanaging the program rollout, which ranked seventh worst in the nation. IDES has attempted to downplay the losses.

IDES failures during the pandemic were widespread. It was months late in implementing a system to get federal dollars to the self-employed, allowed a data breach that exposed the private data of 32,483 unemployment applicants, made applicants wait months for benefits and at one point had a call backlog of 156,000 people awaiting help with their claims.

IDES administrators said they “stopped roughly $40 billion in fraudulent payments across state and federal programs” through the end of last year and have introduced new technologies to mitigate theft moving forward.

More here.

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Property Taxation

A proposed change to the Illinois Constitution would effectively transfer power over taxpayer money to government worker unions. The trend of property tax hikes would likely grow even worse during the next four years.

It’s election season in Illinois, and politicians are running on the promise of property tax relief as usual, including every major candidate for governor.

Illinois’ property taxes are already the second-highest in the nation and a major reason taxpayers are fleeing to lower-tax states. That problem could be made worse on Nov. 8 when voters will be asked to decide the fate of Amendment 1, a tax hike disguised as a “workers rights amendment.”

The change would prevent commonsense reforms to reduce homeowners’ tax burdens while giving government union leaders virtually limitless new ways to demand higher costs from taxpayers. If it passes, Illinois’ trend of large annual property tax increases will likely grow faster than ever. Gov. J.B. Pritzker has failed to deliver on property tax relief during his term – the average family paid $1,913 more during his administration.

Amendment 1 would guarantee that family pays at least $2,149 in higher property tax bills over the next four years, no matter which politicians win this November or how well they try to follow through on their promises.

This is a conservative estimate, assuming the rapid growth of Illinois’ property tax burden holds steady. It’s likely property taxes would grow at an even faster rate, because Amendment 1 would give Illinois government unions unprecedented bargaining powers that don’t exist in any other state. Exactly how much faster is an open question.

Read on here.

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Commonwealth Edison electricity customers would get more than $38 million in refunds tied to the federal bribery scandal that led to former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s indictment, under a proposal being considered by state regulators.

While it would be about $17 million higher than the refund ComEd proposed in December, a utility watchdog estimated a typical residential customer would save “less than $5″ in the form of a credit on bills.

The new proposed order was filed this week by an administrative law judge at the Illinois Commerce Commission, which could consider the proposal by early September.

The proposal is designed to resolve two ICC investigations — one regulators initiated and one required by a new energy law approved last year. A key part of both probes was to examine whether ComEd improperly charged ratepayers costs tied to the scandal.

Read more here.

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The Riding Club of Barrington Hills (RCBH) recently released their April newsletter.  Topics covered this month include:

  • State of the trails
  • Saturday morning trail rides
  • 4th of July parade
  • What’s happening at the Park District, and
  • Forest Preserve

A copy of the RCBH newsletter can be viewed and downloaded here.

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The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold their regular monthly meeting this evening in person and via Zoom at 7:00 PM.  A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

Instructions for accessing the meeting remotely can be found here.

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JB Census

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker made a big deal out of “finding” 250,000 hidden Illinoisans during the past decade, claiming the state population was over 13 million in the 2020 Census head count.

“I look forward to celebrating this development with all Illinoisans, including those who routinely badmouth our state,” Pritzker said in a press statement last week.

Two interesting observations here.

First, Pritzker cheerily embraces the idea of population gain, despite plenty of evidence Illinois is rapidly losing people, and he misinterpreted what the U.S. Census Bureau was saying. Of course, you’d expect him to grab onto the “Illinois is growing” theme, because it lets him ignore the public policy issues that he’s made worse, including $2,165 in new taxes per family that are driving those families out.

“Move along. Nothing to see here,” Pritzker is saying.

Second, he tried to hush anyone who calls him out for his mistake by expecting even those who “routinely badmouth our state” to join him in his glee. Facts can be troublesome things, but telling the truth is far from badmouthing.

So now for some truth telling.

The U.S. Census Bureau knows counting every person is a problem. For decades they and experts have argued that there are better, more accurate ways than spending $14.2 billion to send surveys, knock on doors and try to find every homeless person under a bridge. “One, two, three… 331,893,745.”

The Op-Ed continues here.

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Editorial note: What follows was posted to the Village website Friday after The Observer’s posting of our commentary:

“The Village experienced technical difficulties during the Board of Trustees Meeting this past week, leading to a less than optimal streaming quality. We are working to improve this. Our goal is to upgrade to a more reliable system. In the meantime, the existing system has been tuned up, to improve the audio quality.

In addition to the audio that is live-streamed from the meeting, a recording of the meeting is made available shortly after the meeting at barringtonhills-il.gov/meeting-packets. Since this audio is not being streamed, the quality is more consistent.

We appreciate your feedback. As always please contact us at 847-551-3000 or village@vbhil.gov with any questions or concerns.”

Click here to view the post.

Related:What message is the Cecola administration sending residents?

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BC 2

Brian Cecola

Three weeks ago, we ended an editorial (“Meanwhile, One Barrington Hills makes amends, extinguishes website and turns the volume down”) with the following:

“And just last month, residents reported they couldn’t hear April’s Board of Trustees meeting due to low or no volume when they phoned in, so what are they to make of this?

If the OBH party is sending a less than subtle message to residents, consider it received, Brian, David, Laura, and Tom.  But you’re in for a LONG three (3) more years in office.”

Monday, residents who dialed the number to connect to the May Board of Trustees meeting heard the usual:

”Welcome to My One Number.  If you are the host, press star now.  Otherwise please wait and you will be joined into the conference.”

After some time passed, the message changed to indicate the conference had begun, but beyond that there was nothing but silence. The frustrated residents who took time to listen in were left to question what went wrong (again) or was it their error.  The made no error.

We know President Cecola reads The Observer, so he was aware of the telephony issues weeks ago.  But apparently, he is just too busy to address a documented issue that negatively reflects on both him and his administration. Or, he simply doesn’t care.

The question now is what other issues is he too busy to address or not care about? The way things are recently, we’ll be the last to know.

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Some Illinois politicians are using an estimate to revise the Census count and claim Illinois doesn’t have a problem with its residents moving away. A closer look shows they are wrong, and the danger of denial.

On May 19, the U.S. Census Bureau released state-level results for their Post-Enumeration Survey. The survey estimates Illinois’ household population was undercounted by 1.97% during the 2020 official Census.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker used that information to claim Illinois welcomed over 250,000 new residents.

But the Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program tells a different, consistent story. It has estimated Illinois population declines each year since 2014, including in 2021 when its numbers showed a record-setting loss of 114,000 residents.

Two separate estimates and a head count each yielding different numbers complicate this simple question: “Are Illinoisans leaving for greener pastures?” That is, unless you have a data analyst to help sort through it, which the Illinois Policy Institute is happy to provide. Stay with us.

What is really going on with Census data?

To accurately decipher the various estimates of population levels and changes it is important to have a fundamental understanding of what each program from the Census Bureau does, and how it is intended to be used.

Let’s start with the official decennial census, the most recent of which was the 2020 census count. Each decennial census is an count of the U.S. population on April 1 of the reference year. The population is determined based on physical responses from each household and the results are used to determine representation in Congress and the allocation of some federal spending. These counts include those living in group settings such as college dorms, nursing homes and prisons. The 2020 official Census count estimated Illinois’ population to be 12,812,508 as of April 1, 2020.

Read more here.

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