What a thrill for George Shadad and family

Former State Senator George Shadid and his wife, Lorraine, traveled to Washington D.C. for the Judicial Committee hearings for their son, Judge Jim Shadid. If that wasn’t a big enough thrill, they were then invited to the Oval Office to meet with President Barrack Obama. George and the President had served together in the Illinois Senate. The President, I’m told, greeted them warmly with handshakes and embraces. What a thrill! And just think, years ago George was actually a Republican.


Michelle Malkin, the popular Conservative author who has penned three bestselling books, did a number on former Peoria Congressman Ray LaHood in one of her books, “Culture of Corruption.” Malkin says, “LaHood is a klieg-light shining example of (President) Obama’s anti-earmark disingenuousness.” Malkin claims “LaHood is a card-carrying member of the Chicago Political Machine,” and adds, he’s “an especially intimate crony of fellow Illinois king maker and (former) Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.” The book, a New York #1 best seller, has been updated with three new chapters. It makes for fascinating reading, unless you’re a Democrat and a big fan of Obama.


I’ve never been a big fan of taxpayer subsidized National Progressive Radio also known as National Public Radio. The radio network is liberal; some say radical left. Despite federal funding, the network employed only one African-American, Juan Williams. No longer. He was fired by a bunch of liberals at the top in the most unprofessional and unethical process imaginable. Here’s the rub. Williams is a liberal as well, with one big difference. He has always listened to opposing views with an open mind.

There are some 25 radio stations in the Peoria area. I have never been able to understand why my tax dollars should go to support a radio station in the competitive market place, especially one that espouses a political view.


In other media news, the Independence Radio Group of local stations has a new name for one. It’s called “Jack” and is copying Bloomington’s “FM Bob.” Trouble with radio guys is they’re about as original as spit. “Jack” is just another rock station. The next thing they’ll do is have a wolf howling between songs.


In the shadow of a closed modern high school, complete with a fantastic swimming pool, beautifully landscaped campus, including individual football and baseball fields, District 150 officials beamed with pride over receiving $17 million to continue updating the old Peoria High School and the newer Lincoln Middle School. The new money again reflects the folly of the knee-jerk reaction of 150 board members to close Woodruff High School. Meanwhile, the end of each school day at Peoria High, with enrollment around 1,500, makes North Street look like riots in Paris. There’s no truth to the rumor that Laura Petelle, who cast the deciding vote to close Woodruff, is working as a crossing guard at Central.


As predicted in this column, the petition drive by the small group opposing the funding mechanism for the “Build the Block” project failed; failed miserably. I knew it would. They were spitting in the wind and Peoria citizens obviously agreed.


I make no bones about it. I’ve always admired and respected Joe Stowell even after he presented me with a T-shirt lauding my lack of athletic talent. He did it one morning before appearing on WOAM’s “Breakfast with Royce and Roger.” As stated in last month’s column, the unceremonious dismissal as analyst for Bradley basketball games on WMBD was disrespectful to Coach Stowell.

Lord knows the pay, I’m told, was a joke, so Stowell certainly wasn’t doing it for the money, or should I say, for the lack of it. Stowell, by the way, joins a long list of people WMBD’s manager Mike Wild has fired including John Malone, Dan Dermondy, Harry Canterbury, and others. All of them class people.

Stowell loves basketball and Bradley. However, here’s what I heard was the most painful experience for the coach. I heard he was summoned to meet with the university’s new Athletic Director, Michael Cross. After waiting beyond the appointed time, the Bradley AD finally emerged from his office, told the patient Coach Stowell he didn’t have time to talk beyond to say, “We’re replacing you on the Hall of Fame board,” and then quickly left. That’s the story floating around the BU community among alumni. Mr. Cross, if this story is true, you owe Coach Stowell an apology!


In last month’s column I quoted a story by Paul Guppy of the Washington Policy Center regarding a new real estate sales tax that will start in 2012. Guppy claimed the new Health Care bill provides for a 3.8% tax on all home sales. However, a representative of the Spokane Association of Realtors has taken issue with Guppy’s claim.

Sara Orrange says the 3.8% tax will be imposed only on any gain realized over a $250,000 threshold. So if you sell your house for, say, $300,000, you’ll pay 3.8% on $50,000. It’s termed a Medicare tax (really) and will actually start in 2013.


The 3rd Tri-Annual Turkey Day Reunion is set for Sunday, November 7, at the K of C Hall on Radnor Road starting at 1:30 p.m. Anyone who played, coached, officiated, cheered or attended the Turkey Day games is invited. No reservations are necessary. Beer and chips will be available along with great fun and conversation. Historian and former Woodruff athlete Bob Sulaski says the Central-Manual Turkey Day game started in 1915. The morning game was followed by an afternoon contest between Woodruff and Spalding but not until 1939. The wonderful community tradition between the Rams and Lions ended in 1973 with the Warrior-Irish rivalry finishing earlier in 1952.


You read it here first. Bob Sulaski has written an exciting account of all the Turkey Day games complete with box scores and photos, plus interesting facts and stories. The title is “59 Years of Drumsticks and Pigskins.” It can be ordered by sending a check for $20.00, payable to “The Turkey Day Book,” PO Box 31, Edwards, Illinois, 61528-0031. One game in the book took place November 25, 1949, between Spalding and Woodruff. The opposing quarterbacks were Bob Manning for Spalding and my brother Zack for Woodruff. Spalding won 7-6. Interestingly, Bob was Zack’s best man when he married Barb Kunkel from Manual. However, she wasn’t the quarterback for the Rams.


More memories will be shared Sunday, November 7, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the Gateway Building on the Riverfront. The Neighborhood Alliance, NFP, is sponsoring “Remembering Peoria,” an event featuring stories of the city’s earlier years with long-time Peoria residents John Stenson, Norm Kelly, Dr. Peter Couri, Jim Polk, Alice

Brophy and Dr. Rita Ali will offer memories of Peoria. Pat Ward and a barber shop quartet will entertain. Tickets are just $5.00. I have the pleasure of serving as emcee.


The ceremony, complete with the unveiling of his statue, was and is a fitting tribute to General Wayne A. Downing. I had the pleasure of interviewing General Downing twice on our morning radio show and later served as master of ceremonies for the dedication of the World I and II Memorial at the Courthouse. General Downing was the keynote speaker. He was gracious, kind and very open about his love for our country. When we talked about his mission in the first war against Iraq, I asked for details on our show about how he and his men managed to parachute, get into Iraq and destroy the Scud missiles. His answer was brief. “We did it.”

Who cares that Poopie Goldberg and Joy Blowhar walked off the set of the TV show, “The View?”

Are you enjoying the TV commercials for AARP and the health care bill with Andy Griffith? I hope so. You’re paying for them with your federal taxes. Poor Andy looks and sounds more like Barney Fife.

The name for the new sports arena on the Bradley campus is Renaissance Coliseum. Ugh. So much for sports legends at Bradley like A.J. Robertson. A better name would’ve been Robertson Sports Center.


We’ve had to watch too many political TV commercials; way too many. Hopefully, Mark Kirk will defeat the poster boy for Cook County politics Alexi Giannoulias. Kirk is accused of having embellished his military record for which he apologized. Unlike Alexi, Kirk has served in the military for over 20 years as a Naval Intelligence Officer. He was awarded five medals and was deployed to Bosnia and Afghanistan. He commanded the Naval Unit which was named unit of the year for outstanding service. Now for the military record for Giannoulias. Oh that’s right. He has none. Zero.

Predictions are Republicans will win big nationally, but don’t bet on it. Locally, Mike Smith will be re-elected despite a terrible, negative campaign. Jehan Gordon will win. Republicans will see Aaron Shock re-elected in a landslide of epic proportions. John Vespa will get the nod for 10th Circuit Judge. With Democrats holding a voting edge in the state, look for Quinn to remain as Governor despite over 1,700 reasons not to vote for him. That’s the number of convicts released by Quinn, some of whom went out and murdered, robbed and assaulted Illinois residents. And he calls Bill Brady “reckless?” Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Governor from downstate?

On a personal note, I’ve had my own advertising/marketing agency since 1993. One of my political clients is John Vespa. I’m glad he and his wife Diane selected me to help them buy TV and radio time. Unlike his opponent, Chris Spanos of Pekin, who used an Iowa agency, the Vespa Campaign used a small business right here in central Illinois. That’s important since this area is still hanging around at 10% unemployment. I’ve known the Vespa family for years, including Judge Joe Vespa, John’s brother. It’s a privilege to work on John’s behalf. Like Joe, John will be an excellent Judge for the 10th Circuit.


“Enthusiasm is one of God’s greatest gifts. If you are not getting as much from life as you want, examine the state of your enthusiasm.” – Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

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