Somewhere in Illinois, a “research facility” is being operated by zombies, cannibals or, perhaps, a mad scientist from Transylvania:
The 18 human head specimens that arrived at O’Hare International Airport from Rome just before Christmas were on their way to a research facility in the Chicago suburbs — a facility that is “under investigation,” a source told the Chicago Sun-Times Tuesday morning.
Officials initially said a paperwork problem prevented the shipment from being delivered to its final destination, but the Sun-Times has learned that the hold-up is connected to an ongoing investigation at the suburban facility in question. The investigation is “absolutely not” connected to the shipment of the heads, the source said.
The heads were shipped from Rome as cargo on a Lufthansa Airlines flight, arriving at O’Hare about one week before Christmas.
“They were properly preserved and tagged as human specimens,” said Tony Brucci, chief investigator for the medical examiner’s office.
Brucci said U.S. Customs officials at O’Hare initially held up the shipment, when they found the paperwork to be “a little confusing.”
Brian Bell, a spokesman with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said earlier Tuesday that the specimens appear to be legitimate medical samples.
Stacy McCain has more, plus an important question about Democrat voters
Unfortunately, liberalism isn’t listed in the DSM-IV:
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is heading back to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. — and was reportedly en route Friday evening.
A source said the decision was made to have the the South Shore Democrat return to the famed clinic, where he spent four weeks this summer for bipolar depression. He had been staying at his home in Washington, D.C. since leaving Mayo.
A source who visited Jackson this week said, “Jesse wanted you to know he is finding it difficult to continue his treatment because the press is staking out his home and making access to his doctor, who is within a short walking distance from his home, incredibly hard.”
The source added that Jackson is trying “to stay focused and calm to enhance his treatment and is just following doctor’s orders.”
Jackson is a corrupt race pimp just like his father, but, I guess the brainwashed voters of the “D” party will vote for anything with that “D” by it!
Who’s crazier: The congressman suffering from bipolar depression, or the Illinois voters who don’t mind re-electing a genuine nutjob, so long as he’s got a “D” beside his name?
Yes, I know, I am being mean, and insensitive right? Wrong! I am tired of stupid voters who cannot bother to see what type of clowns politicians like Je$$e Jr really are.
Via Shall Not Be Questioned comes this nugget from a statement by the Illinois Attorney General
Our message is this: we will no longer use the power and authority of our office to criminalize and punish decent, otherwise law-abiding citizens who choose to exercise the rights granted to them by the Second Amendment of the United States’ Constitution to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and their families.
Wow, I love the sound of that. Of course, the Left is flipping out and mashing the panic button to beat the band I ESPECIALLY love this tweet
@SebastianSNBQ We oppose anyone & everyone who flouts our Constitution & takes the law into their own hands. And we always will.
Aha, so NOW the gun grabbers give a rat’s ass about the Constitution? The same Constitution they actively seek to destroy where the 2nd amendment is concerned? I like this quote from the link, it really sums up the real priorities of the gun control zealots
This is what they are freaking out about. It’s not criminals possessing guns, it’s not drug dealers possessing guns — they are freaking out because a prosecutor has declared he’s not going to try to put otherwise law-abiding, honest people in prison.
BINGO! In the demented minds of these folks, armed Americans who defend themselves with a gun are a bigger threat than actual criminals.
H/T to Bill Quick who is quite pleased too
When biologists say the pacu fish eats nuts, they may be correct in more ways than one.
according to British fisherman Jeremy Wade, the pacu is known as the “ball cutter.” In 2011, Wade said locals informed him that two fisherman had died from blood loss after something in the water had bitten off their testicles, according to the Metro.
“The locals told me that this thing was like a human in the water, biting at the testicles of fishermen,” Wade said.
Neither has Bob Belvedere, who has been all over this story since it broke. Today he posted some eye-opening info that you ought to read
One aspect of Brett Kimberlin’s life story that’s easy to forget is the incidents that led him to commit those acts of domestic terrorism that won him the title of The Speedway Bomber. They involve the possible rape of a young girl, possibly starting at the age of ten, and the brutal murder of that girl’s Grandmother.
Yesterday, Stacy McCain provided us with some of the sordid details of this aspect of the story of Brett Kimberlin. A highlight:
FROM AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION
We do not actually know the name of the girl who was reportedly “groomed” by Brett Kimberlin. Mark Singer used the pseudonym “Jessica” for Sandi Barton’s youngest daughter, whereas a 1981 news article by Joe Gelarten of the Indianapolis Star used the name ”Debbie.”
Jessica/Debbie was 10 years old when Kimberlin, 20 at the time, entered her life in 1974, and she was 14 when her grandmother, 65-year-old Julia Scyphers, was murdered – a crime that remains officially unsolved to this day.
Bob also links to some possibly bad news for Rauhauser, the noose may be getting a tad tight
Retired Chicago Police Officer Peter Bella knows exactly what the Kimberlin/Rauhauser Cell are up to, as you will see by reading his latest column here [tip of the fedora to Aaron Walker]: This item from that post is very interesting [and some damn good investigative reporting]:
A self-described “black” operator, who demands to remain anonymous, knows Neal Rauhauser. He claims Rauhauser is an “extremely dangerous individual”. He said Rauhauser is not only a dangerous political and digital operative; he is “personally dangerous”.
Neal Rauhauser owes close to thirty five thousand dollars in back child support, which is a state and federal crime. His children are reportedly on state Medicare. Yet, he shows up in public places, like courtrooms without fear of arrest*. He travels the country in his quest for clients, public exposure, and big money. He allegedly invests heavily in computers and technology.
Rauhauser claims to work or worked for Infraguard, a public and private security partnership run under the auspices of the F.B.I. According to their website all members must pass a rigorous background check. That kind of check would have prohibited Rauhauser from being a member and possibly led to his arrest.
*Warrants are supposedly being reissued for Mr. Rauhauser’s arrest for being a ‘dead beat dad.’ There is also an allegation Rauhauser has an outstanding unspecified criminal warrant in Illinois.
Stacy McCain also notes a set back for Kimberlin in Maryland
Illinois Republican Rep. Joe Walsh, one of the first members of Congress to demand Attorney General Eric Holder resign over the ill-fated Operation Fast and Furious gun-walking program, told The Daily Caller that Holder’s recent use of racial politics to attack his critics appears to be something President Barack Obama “orchestrated.”
Walsh agrees with Florida Republican Rep. Allen West’s assessment of Holder’s behavior, saying Holder’s race card is the “last card in the deck.”
“This is sort of the last refuge that people on the left will go to when they’re in trouble,” Walsh said in a phone interview. “They’ll accuse their opponents of racism. My God, we’ve got tons of problems in this country and … this president, is through Eric Holder, saying, ‘Nope, you can’t criticize me. If you criticize me, we’re going to accuse you of racism.’ Shame on them, that’s terrible.”
Walsh said Obama’s continued silence in the face of Holder’s inflammatory rhetoric demonstrates that the president shares in the blame for the attorney general’s choice of words.
“His [Obama’s] silence, to me, tells me the president is complicit in this,” Walsh said. “And, even if he does come out and say something, I can’t believe Eric Holder can even make a statement like that. In his statement he refers to himself and the president. I can’t believe that Eric Holder made that statement without either understanding that the president agreed with it, or [that] he had the president’s permission to say this.”
In a front page story, Holder told The Sunday New York Times that he thinks his critics are motivated by race. Holder said some unspecified faction — which he referred to as the “more extreme segment” — is driven to criticize both him and President Barack Obama because of the color of their skin.
“This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him,” Holder said, according to the Times. “Both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know, the fact that we’re both African-American.”
Walsh said Holder’s use of racial politics can also be explained by pressure the attorney general is feeling from a groundswell of House members demanding his resignation. To date 60 congressmen, two senators, every major Republican presidential candidate and two sitting governors have asked Holder to step down over the Operation Fast and Furious scandal.
Additionally, 75 House members have signed on to a House resolution calling for a vote of “no confidence” in Holder as attorney general. Between the two lists, there are 86 in the House who disapprove of Holder continuing to lead the DOJ.
Walsh said Holder’s comments appear to be a small-scale preview of the 2012 election season when Obama “will do anything to get re-elected.”
“This is so despicable, because what they’re doing is they’re trying real early now to lay down the ground rules for his re-election,” Walsh said. “This time around, the American people are not going to put up with it. We can criticize this president based on the job he’s done — I don’t care what his skin color is.”
“He is going to say, because he did this during the last election, and the media is going to enable him to get away with it, that any time we criticize him, it’s because of his race,” Walsh added. “For Eric Holder to take that same line right now is absolutely ridiculous and to me, it’s just more fodder proving that he needs to resign.”
White House spokesman Eric Schultz confirmed that he received The Daily Caller’s questions about whether President Obama agrees with Holder’s characterization of his critics as racists. Schultz promised to answer the question on Monday, but he had not responded at press time.
Warner Todd Huston has the sad details of how PC is being given more sway than kids that need families!
Earlier this year, the state of Illinois moved to force religious-based children’s services to break their religious principles and give children in their charge to homosexual couples. Organizations such as Catholic Charities have been told by the state that they either break their religious principles or face being shut down by the state. So, pursuant to that agenda, the state has determined that all children currently in the hands of religious adoption agencies need to be removed immediately.
So, the State will uproot kids, and treat them as pawns in a game of PC?
So what was so bad that the State of Illinois felt it necessary to take all children away from religious-based organizations? Have there been cases of abuse? Perhaps children’s services from religious-based groups have been rated lowly? Have adopting parents complained?
None of the above. In fact, there is no substantive reason at all for this attack on religious-based children’s services in the Land of Lincoln. Well, no reason except for a left-wing, pro-homosexual political agenda, that is.
You see, the state received precisely one complaint about Catholic Charities. It was from an activist homosexual who complained that the religious-based adoption agencies in the state would not willingly give children up to homosexual couples.
Personally, I would prefer that a child be adopted by a Gay couple, if that couple were deemed suitable, than for the child to remain without a family. Of course, I think the optimal solution is for a married Hetrasexual couple to be given priority. But regardless of my own feelings, there is no reason for the Sate to act in this manner, none at all.
Once more Liberal ideology has, in the name of doing something “for the children” have completely disregarded the children. Why can’t Liberals just be honest, for once, and say, “it is for political correctness”?
Ah yes, ACORN, the radical Leftist group that was so involved with Obama’s 2008 campaign, until it was forced to “disband”. Is it any surprise that these Neo-Marxists are firmly involved with the OWS? Just take a look at what Jim Hoft unearthed
Barack Obama was not honest about his relationship with ACORN during the 2008 election.
In 2009 Congress voted to defund ACORN and its affiliates. But that didn’t stop the Obama Administration from giving $560,000 to ACORN affiliates in 2010.
So it really comes as no surprise that ACORN is working behind the scenes in the Obama-endorsed Occupy movement.
FOX News reported:
The former New York office for ACORN, the disbanded community activist group, is playing a key role in the self-proclaimed “leaderless” Occupy Wall Street movement, organizing “guerrilla” protest events and hiring door-to-door canvassers to collect money under the banner of various causes while spending it on protest-related activities, sources tell FoxNews.com.
The former director of New York ACORN, Jon Kest, and his top aides are now busy working at protest events for New York Communities for Change (NYCC). That organization was created in late 2009 when some ACORN offices disbanded and reorganized under new names after undercover video exposes prompted Congress to cut off federal funds.
NYCC’s connection to ACORN isn’t a tenuous one: It works from the former ACORN offices in Brooklyn, uses old ACORN office stationery, employs much of the old ACORN staff and, according to several sources, engages in some of the old organization’s controversial techniques to raise money, interest and awareness for the protests.
Sources said NYCC has hired about 100 former ACORN-affiliated staff members from other cities – paying some of them $100 a day – to attend and support Occupy Wall Street. Dozens of New York homeless people recruited from shelters are also being paid to support the protests, at the rate of $10 an hour, the sources said.
How is that for transparency? This nation, or at least millions of us, were duped by a message of Hope and Change. A message delivered by a con man, and supported by a media that REFUSED to do any digging into the radicalism that oozes from Obama’s past, and apparently, his present as well, and seemingly everyone one of his associations .
Yesterday Joel Pollack at Big Government reported on how Barack Obama led #OccupyChicago style protests in Chicago in 1988.
From Stanley Kurtz’s essential Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism, pp. 117-8:
Obama personally helped plan one of UNO’s most confrontational actions of the eighties [in 1988]: a break-in meant to intimidate a coalition of local business and neighborhood leaders into dropping a landfill expansion deal.
We know of Obama’s involvement in this demonstration only because his supporters in 2008 felt it necessary to rebut charges that, contrary to his claims of inter-racial healing, he had organized exclusively with blacks. Only then did Obama’s former colleagues from UNO [United Neighborhood Organization, a largely Mexican group] of Chicago reveal that he had helped to plan and lead this multi-ethnic demonstration against landfill expansion on Chicago’s South Side.
…Shouting “No deals!” somewhere between eighty and a hundred UNO-DCP [Developing Communities Project, a black group organized by Obama] marched to a local bank. There they broke into a meeting being conducted by the bank president and local community leaders. The group was exploring the possibility of a deal with Waste Management. The protestors, presumably including Obama, surrounded the meeting table while [Mary-Ellen] Montes [of UNO] told the negotiators, “We will fight you every step of the way.”
It wasn’t an isolated incident.
In his early years as a community organizer, Barack Obama sued banks and lenders to ease lending practices.
He also led protests at banks.
State Sen. Barack Obama and Fr. Michael Pfleger led a protest in January 2000 against the payday loan industry demanding the State of Illinois to regulate loan businesses. (NBC 5 Week of January 3, 2000)
America has paid a heavy price for falling for a message promising transparency that was only transparent in that it was obviously completely false. At least it was obvious for anyone paying attention.
Of course, too many of us refuse to pay attention. We fall for a message that tells us what we want to hear. This is what happens when a large part of the electorate does not know how to think, and does not know the history of this nation. I can only pray that our eyes are open next November. The Communist thugocracy has done enough damage to our Republic!
Cornelius Osborne may not seem like baby-sitting material.
He was convicted of raping two women. A succession of felonies, from robbery to failing to register as a sex offender, repeatedly sent him to prison, state records show.
But over more than two years, the state paid Osborne nearly $5,000 to baby-sit two children, before his latest conviction – for dealing drugs – put him back behind bars.
Osborne, of Chicago, wasn’t the only sex offender paid by taxpayers to baby-sit, according to a Tribune investigation that found cases of convicted rapists, molesters and other violent felons given access to children over the past decade. The money comes from a $750 million-a-year program that subsidizes child care for more than 150,000 impoverished Illinois families.
The state Department of Human Services poorly vetted baby sitters for years – and when a 2009 law forced better checks, it took nearly 18 months to start them, the newspaper’s investigation of the Child Care Assistance Program found.
Also, despite the reforms, the Tribune found that even now the state lacks safeguards to weed out baby sitters who watch children while living in the homes of sex offenders and other felons deemed too dangerous. Based on those findings, the state is vowing further reforms.
It’s nearly impossible to determine just how many of the illegal baby-sitting arrangements the state has allowed. The newspaper found no cases where children were harmed, although privacy laws shield data needed to do an in-depth study.
Still, the Tribune’s findings are frustrating to Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine, who pushed for the reforms mandating better checks to weed out illegal arrangements.
“You’re talking about not only the state sanctioning, but the state creating, an economic incentive for someone with a criminal record to be in a room with a kid,” Murphy said. “That’s frankly not a situation that I find acceptable.”
Advocates such as Maria Whelan insist that the vast majority of baby sitters are aboveboard and that the 14-year-old federal-state program is key to helping parents work their way out of poverty. About half of the subsidies are in Cook County, where they are administered by the nonprofit Illinois Action for Children run by Whelan.
“This is a program that is absolutely essential if we are going to, with a straight face, tell families that if they work and if they continue to develop themselves, we can help them make a difference for their families,” she said.
Program administrators have gotten national recognition for weeding out parents who don’t qualify for the subsidies. But records show they’ve struggled for years to weed out disqualified baby sitters, such as Osborne.
The honor system
All it took for Osborne was a 2004 application mailed with the help of his sister, whose two children he would be paid to watch in her Englewood apartment.
She was able to pick the baby sitter, and she told the Tribune she didn’t worry about her brother hurting the kids. But she did worry the state would object.
“I thought he would be rejected,” she said, “but they didn’t. I never got a call. They never asked about it.”
They should have. The program has long barred those convicted of sex crimes and the most violent felonies. But Osborne wasn’t spotted because of how the form was filled out. It asked him if he had been convicted of any crimes and, if so, which ones. His response showed “drug trafficking” – a crime that at the time didn’t disqualify him.
He didn’t mention the prison stints for rape, robbery and kidnapping, which would have.
And there’s no record anyone checked further.
At the time, the state trusted Osborne and tens of thousands of other applicants to be honest.
The nonprofit’s job was to forward the applicants’ names to Human Services, which worked with the Department of Children and Family Services to screen them. But they checked only a database kept by state child-welfare caseworkers. And it doesn’t list all convictions.
Osborne joined the ranks of more than 70,000 child care providers paid by the program – 60,000 of them unlicensed.
In Illinois, someone who watches four or more unrelated children needs a formal license, which requires the most extensive background check, including fingerprint-based searches of law enforcement databases.
But those who watched three or fewer children were exempted from such checks, even if the state helped pay for the service. Those unlicensed providers watch about 40 percent of the children getting subsidies.
‘Children at risk’
The issue increasingly became a topic in Cook County courtrooms, where defendants with long rap sheets mentioned their baby-sitting jobs during proceedings.
“That profoundly concerned me,” said longtime Circuit Judge Nicholas Ford.
By 2008, judges asked the court’s child-protective division how ex-cons could qualify to baby-sit for the state. Checking into it, the division’s policy analyst, Larry Grazian, said he learned nobody ran full background checks on unlicensed baby sitters. So Grazian called Sen. Murphy, who pushed a law to require background checks.
Advocates such as Illinois Action for Children supported the move, at least for baby sitters who weren’t related to the kids they watched. They argued it would be too invasive to extend it to grandmothers and other baby sitters watching relatives. Murphy said he agreed to the limit to get the law enacted in August 2009.
The mandate still took an additional 171/2 months to become practice – even as the state was alerted to sex offenders on its rolls a few months after the law was enacted.
As part of a routine, wide-ranging audit of Human Services, state auditors compared the addresses of state-paid baby sitters with the sex offender registry. They found two payments made that year to a registered sex offender at the offender’s address. Also, 83 baby sitters lived at addresses where sex offenders were registered, according to the auditors’ report.
Auditors called it a “significant deficiency.”
“Failure to follow established department rules and policies has led to putting children at risk when receiving child care at certain providers,” auditors said.
The audit didn’t name the offenders, but one may have been Tremayne Huey, who was convicted in 2004 under an alias for having sex with an underage girl, according to court records. On two baby-sitting applications filed before the law took hold, prior convictions were left blank or denied, state records show.
Huey could not be located for an interview, but Human Services records show his address at homes in Blue Island and Chicago Heights – the same addresses where both his real name and alias had been listed on the state’s sex offender registry. Still – even after the auditors’ report – Huey kept getting checks.
He received nearly $4,800 from taxpayers for two stints as a baby sitter, the last one ending in March 2010, according to state records.
The state said it didn’t fully begin checking the sex offender registries for the names of unlicensed baby sitters until September 2010 – 13 months after the law took hold – and only began full background checks on nonrelative baby sitters in February 2011.
The Department of Children and Family Services blamed the delay on legal hurdles and manpower shortages in an era when government is expected to do more with less.
“You can’t keep adding water to the bucket and not expect that at some point it will overflow,” said the agency’s deputy director, Kendall Marlowe.
Meanwhile, people such as Ester L. Davis continued to be paid.
State records show he has been paid nearly $44,000 since 2005.
Along the way, Davis was convicted in 2008 of felony marijuana possession – a crime that program administrators said should have prevented him from being reapproved as a child-care provider under state rules.
Yet he continued to get payments through July 2010. He could not be located for comment; a warrant was issued for his arrest after he skipped court earlier this year on pending felony gun charges.
Advocates say more thorough checks are being done on longtime baby sitters – and those who live with them – as their cases come up for renewal, about every three to six months.
But those checks still rely on baby sitters being candid about who lives in the homes where they baby-sit.
On a sunny summer afternoon, a Tribune reporter rang the doorbell to a 11/2-story brick home in Bellwood.
It’s the address where, since February, the state had paid Lemorial Westfield to watch three children.
It’s also the address where Lemorial’s 67-year-old husband, George, long has registered as a sex offender, convicted of sexually abusing a teen who had briefly lived with the couple.
The Westfields’ door was answered by a 6-year-old girl whom the state was paying Lemorial to watch. The girl, a friend of the family, went to fetch George Westfield, who said his wife had stepped out briefly while he watched the girl.
This scenario isn’t supposed to happen, according to long-standing state rules.
By law, a baby sitter can’t watch children in a home with any residents who wouldn’t pass the background checks.
Unlicensed baby sitters who use their homes are now required to list who lives with them on forms mailed to the state. But if baby sitters are not forthcoming, there are few mechanisms in place to catch them.
The Tribune found the Westfields by comparing baby sitters’ addresses with the sex offender registry. Such checks have been done for several years by DCFS for its foster parents. Human Services had promised in June 2010 to “periodically” do the same thing for its baby sitters.
After being presented with the Tribune findings, Human Services said it will begin determining how best to check all baby sitters’ addresses against the sex offender registry.
Beyond sex offenders – whose addresses are publicly available – there are no protocols to check harder-to-obtain parole and probation databases of other ex-offenders to see who may be living where children are being watched.
The Tribune compared baby sitter addresses with prison data on parolee addresses and found 126 baby sitters received checks this summer at Chicago-area addresses where parolees were living. Some of those arrangements may have been legal – Illinois law allows some felons, such as burglars, to watch children for the state or live in homes where they are watched.
Based on the Tribune findings, Human Services said it’s exploring how it can do real-time checks of prison databases to weed out addresses of parolees. But it will be difficult to navigate different types of data systems.
In the meantime, examples of questionable cases have emerged in court.
Nobody stopped parolee Raheem Gray from moving in with his girlfriend, who was being paid by the state to baby-sit. That’s despite Gray having been to prison for convictions on two gun and three drug cases, which should have barred state-paid baby-sitting in their South Austin neighborhood home.
Court records show Gray did move out last year. He was sent back to prison after a parole check at the couple’s apartment found a gun stashed under a child’s bed.
Odd it is, to me anyway, that Democrats are constantly calling Conservatives greedy, while it is democrats, who are always trying to find new ways to take OUR money!
A Democratic senator is preparing to introduce legislation that aims to end the golden era of tax-free Internet shopping.
The proposal–expected to be made public soon after Tax Day–would rewrite the ground rules for Internet and mail order sales by eliminating the ability of Americans to shop at Web sites like Amazon.com and Overstock.com without paying state sales taxes.
Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second most senior Senate Democrat, will introduce the bill after the Easter recess, a Democratic aide told CNET.
“Why should out-of-state companies that sell their products online have an unfair advantage over Main Street bricks-and-mortar businesses?” Durbin said in a speech in Collinsville, Ill., in February. “Out-of-state companies that aren’t paying their fair share of taxes are sticking Illinois residents and businesses with the tab.”
Greedy greedy Democrats
A 28-year-old black man has been charged with sending threats signed from the KKK to officials in the southern Illinois community of O’Fallon.
Federal prosecutors say a grand jury has indicted Justin Lamar Kidd of two counts of maliciously conveying a false threat.
Officials allege Kidd is behind two November 2006 letters to the O’Fallon Police Department and City Hall. Both are signed “KKK warning.”
The police letter warns that an apartment complex would be burned down if “all the blacks” aren’t removed.
The City Hall letter threatens to burn down the homes of black residents if they’re allowed to stay.
Kidd was arrested Wednesday and is being held in federal custody.
A judge has ordered a mental evaluation for him. It wasn’t immediately clear who he’s being represented by.
The news release from the U.S. Attorney:
A former O’Fallon resident is charged with conveying false threats to the O’Fallon Police Department and O’Fallon City Hall in November of 2006, the U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton announced today.
Justin Lamar Kidd, age 28, was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 25, 2011. The grand jury returned an indictment charging Kidd with mailing a letter on or around Nov. 9, 2006, to the O’Fallon Police Department, which stated:
“Get all the blacks from Chevy Chase Apartments from out of O’Fallon before we burn the [w]hole complex down. KKK warning,” and, then, with mailing another letter on or about Nov. 18, 2006, to the O’Fallon City Hall, which stated: “Get all the blacks out of O’Fallon before we start burning the[ir] houses down.” Kidd, an African-American, sent these threats, knowing them to be false.
Counts 1 and 2 of the indictment charge the offense of conveying false threats in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 844(e), which carries a maximum sentence of ten (10) years’ imprisonment, $250,000 fine, or both, and up to three (3) years’ supervised release. Kidd’s initial appearance before the district court was held in East St Louis on April 7, 2011.
This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, with the assistance of the O’Fallon Police Department. The case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Liam Coonan.
The chairman and CEO of Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc. is raising the specter of moving the heavy equipment maker out of Illinois.
In a letter sent March 21 to Gov. Pat Quinn, Caterpillar chief executive officer Doug Oberhelman said officials in at least four other states have approached the company about relocating since Illinois raised its income tax in January.
“I want to stay here. But as the leader of this business, I have to do what’s right for Caterpillar when making decisions about where to invest,” Oberhelman wrote in the letter obtained Friday by the Lee Enterprises Springfield bureau. “The direction that this state is headed in is not favorable to business and I’d like to work with you to change that.”
Oberhelman said he’s being actively courted to move.
“I have been called, ‘cornered’ in meetings and ‘wined and dined’ — the heat is on,” Oberhelman wrote. “Before, I never really considered living anywhere else and certainly never considered the possibility of Caterpillar relocating. But I have to admit, the policymakers in Springfield seem to make it harder by the day.”
Cat spokesman Jim Dugan said the letter was designed to show Quinn that Oberhelman wants to be involved in finding solutions that benefit the company, which employs 23,000 people in Illinois.
“I view it as an olive branch to offer our help,” Dugan said.
Quinn plans on discussing the letter with Oberhelman April 5 when the two meet at a conference in Peoria. The governor also plans on touring Caterpillar facilities at that time, spokeswoman Brie Callahan said Friday.
“The governor welcomes frank and open exchanges between the business community and government, and we are always open to new ideas that can help our businesses grow, innovate and create jobs,” Callahan said.
Oberhelman didn’t single out any specific problem with the state’s policies in his one-page letter, but Dugan said the recent income tax increase — signed into law by Quinn in January — played a significant role in triggering the note.
The tax hike has led to attempts by other states, including Wisconsin, Indiana and New Jersey, to try and poach companies that don’t want to stay in the Land of Lincoln.
Oberhelman also sent along correspondence Cat has received from other states.
“I stand ready to help convince you to relocate or expand in the fiscally conservative, low-tax Lone Star State,” wrote Texas Gov. Rick Perry in a Jan. 24 letter.
“I encourage you to consider South Dakota as a place for your business to grow and prosper,” noted J. Pat Costello, secretary of the South Dakota governor’s economic development office.
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman wrote in February to say, “In Nebraska, we balance our budget by controlling spending, not by raising taxes.”
Republican leaders, who unsuccessfully fought Quinn on the tax hike, say the letter confirms why they were opposed to the increase.
“These are the kinds of letters we fear,” said Patty Schuh, spokeswoman for Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont. “Even more worrisome are the hundreds of businesses being wooed that we don’t know about.”
Schuh said the tax hike and the state’s worker compensation costs on businesses “make Illinois a hostile environment, prime for the picking.”
Roger Keats (R), a former Illinois state senator and Cook County Board president, is packing up and leaving the Land of Lincoln for good. The 62-year-old Keats was a good government reformer who helped clean up the rampant corruption in the Chicago-area courts uncovered by Operations Greylord and Gambat.
But now he’s throwing in the towel, and he and his wife are heading for Texas. “I am tired of subsidizing crooks,” Keats told the Wilmette Beacon.
In “Good Bye and Good Luck,” a letter to all the friends and political supporters he’s leaving behind after 60 years, Keats says he is leaving what he calls “the most corrupt big city… and most corrupt state in America” with “a heavy heart.”
“But enough is enough!” he writes. “The leaders of Illinois refuse to see we can’t continue going in the direction we are and expect people who have options to stay here.”
Indeed, Illinois has already lost a quarter of its population and will lose another seat in the next Congress.
And that’s not the only sign of serious, and possibly irreversible, decline.
“Illinois just sold still more bonds and our credit rating is so bad we pay higher interest rates than junk bonds! Junk Bonds!” Keats points out.
“Illinois is ranked 50th for fiscal policy; 47th in job creation; first in unfunded pension liabilities; second largest budget deficit; first in failing schools; first in bonded indebtedness; highest sales tax in the nation; most judges indicted; and five of our last nine elected governors have been indicted. That is more than the other 49 states added together!…
“We are moving to Texas where there is no income tax while Illinois’ just went up 67%. Texas’ sales tax is half of ours, which is the highest in the nation. Southern states are supportive of job producers, taxpayers and folks who offer opportunities to their residents. Illinois shakes them down for every penny that can be extorted from them.”
As a recent study by Americans for Tax Reform found, migration from high-tax states like Illinois to states with lower taxes and less government spending like Texas will dramatically alter the composition of future Congresses as more and more Americans, like the Keatses, vote with their feet.
Steve and Lance are Packer fans, Cheese Heads, you know good guys with questionable taste in football teams, and head gear. But, as much as I like these two, I am not looking forward to their big heads the next two weeks. And, as bad as their boasting will be, can you imagine how bad they will be after the Steelers punk the Packers? Maybe Lance and Steve could buy a Troy Polamalu wig and wear them? Hmmmm, here is a picture or two for the Burri boys to ponder, and, I guess a bit of Rule 5 for the ladies
It was mostly a lovefest this morning as Illinois’ Republicans gathered over sweet rolls and coffee at the Union League Club to proclaim unity after a sometimes fratricidal primary election.
Democrats also tried to close ranks, with President Obama calling Gov. Quinn to congratulate him even though State Comptroller Dan Hynes, trailing by more than 7,400 votes, has not conceded.
A few awkward moments did emerge at the Republican Unity Breakfast as gubernatorial hopeful Sen. Bill Brady (CONSERVATIVE-Bloomington) sat on one side of the podium and rival Sen. Kirk Dillard (RINO-Hinsdale) sat on the other.
“I know this election is tight, and I wish Sen. Dillard would concede right now but I understand he’s probably not likely to,” Brady said.
“I thought I’d introduce only one governor nominee,” Party Chairman Patrick Brady said as he introduced the party’s candidates for statewide office seated at the dais. “Congratulations to all the candidates — those who won, those who didn’t and those who don’t know yet.”
Only a few hundred votes separate Brady and Dillard in the GOP race for governor. Brady says he’s 700 votes ahead. Dillard says he’s only 100 votes behind. The Associated Press reports Brady 750 votes ahead with 99 percent of the state’s precincts reporting.
Third-place finisher Andy McKenna, 8,000 votes behind Brady and Dillard, was not even invited up on the dais, though he has not conceded the race. A former state party chairman, McKenna finished a contentious disciplinary procedure with party officials that resulted in a reprimand over funds he used for a poll related to his own race.