Gordon energizes young voters, tosses older Democrats under the bus

The Journal Star’s “Word on the Street” column ran a post-election love letter to State Rep. Jehan Gordon and the young, energized voters who attended her victory celebration. No mention is made of her unnecessarily negative and misleading campaign ads. These commercials complained about opponent Jim Montelongo voting record on the Peoria City Council.

Council members Bill Spears and Barbara Van Auken (both fellow loyal Democrats along with Gordon) cast votes on these issues similar to Montelongo’s. And just four ago, Spears was the party candidate for the seat Gordon now holds.

And when I say “unnecessarily negative,” I am referring to the fact that Montelongo was pretty much goign to loose anyway. The Republican business owner did NOT get much support from his own party, no doubt because the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce was unhappy that he dared to cast a few votes against the downtown museum. And it didn’t help that the were a handful of little things wrong with his campaign, like those God-awful signs that were difficult to read (Dark grey letters on a dark blue field? Really?) and which many people thought were ads for a job placement service (“Jim’s for Jobs?” Really?).

In other words, she didn’t need to go negative because she was probably going to win anyway. But by doing so, she tossed a lot of mud on people who were just trying to keep the city solvent and were willing to make difficult decisions, popular or not, to do it. The negative tone can be attributed to the influence and money from the state party, run by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

The word on the street I hear is that she needs to be aware that her large margin of victory THIS YEAR should not trick her into thinking she’s more popular than she is among some in the party.

She didn’t win her first primary by much (thanks to last-minute get-out-the-vote support believed to be from Gov. Blagojevich) and then won handily due to the Obama landslide in Illinois. in 2010, she faced a weak opponent.

She’s governed pretty well, actually. But she lost some good will thanks to bridge-burning in the campaign. And her NEXT opponent might have his or her act together.

Not one cent of taxpayer cash for super-rich Cubs owners

Anyone who has watched a Cubs/Cardinals game with me knows what a Cubs fan I am. In fact, I am a hugely obnoxious Cubs fan. I’m proud of that fact.

But I say “no” to giving the team’s new owners any cash to renovate Wrigley Field. It is supposedly a way to use future revenue from entertainment taxes to pay off the money they would get up front from taxpayers.

I do not buy this B.S. for one second.

First, I recall that the White Sox, at least for a while, didn’t have to pay off its debt because the team really wasn’t making money (I looked for a link last night. If anyone has one, send me the link).

Second, if the Cubs can pay off this debt by diverting the amusement tax already paid by their customers, where is that money going to NOW? I presume to paying off someone else’s debt.

Third, the Ricketts family did not buy Wrigley site unseen. They did not take ownership and then decide there weren’t enough high-prices luxury seats. I suggest they shop around for good terms on a load.

The Ricketts probably think that Cubs fans rabid loyalty to the team translates into huge pressure on the government to do anything to avoid the Cubs leaving Chicago. The opposite is true. Cubs fan-dom will NOT follow the team if the owners show so much disloyalty. The fact that Wrigley Field is home for the most of the reason Cubs fans ARE Cubs fans. Move the team to the burbs or to effin’ Indiana and there goes half of the revenue the team gets, if not more.

I call on Cubs fans to call the Ricketts out and demand they pay for their own damn renovations since they will benefit the most from them.

I hate greedy owners.

No victory for cops. victims or taxpayers

Peoria County State’s Attorney Kevin Lyons was defeated in his effort to try a Peoria Police officer, who he and a drug dealer claimed was too rough when he and other cops arrested the drug dealer. Lyons admitted defeat and decided to drop related charges against two other officers.

Considering the lack of real evidence other than the word of a fleeing heroin dealer and a dash cam that didn’t show whether the heroin dealer was resisting arrest, I think this was the best outcome we could expect.

But I’m not going to say justice was served. Justice would have required that none of these officers be charged with anything, considering the lack of evidence, as well as Peoria County Lyons’ long-standing grudge against officers who endorsed his opponents in overwhelming numbers.

There’s certainly no justice for the three officers, who were put through the torture and expense of being charged with felonies.

There’s no justice for taxpayers, who will now pay these three officers back pay since they were placed on unpaid leave. Certainly these officers could have been of use to crime-weary Peorians during the past several months.

And there’s no justice here for future crime victims, who now are being protected by a police department manned by officers who justifiably have to worry that if they try too hard, Lyons might decide to take the word of some other confirmed criminal over their word.

City managers are hired to be fired

City manager Scott Moore resigned last month. Translated: he was asked to resign because council members were unhappy with the quality of his work. Too bad this happened just weeks after former Peoria assistant City Manager Craig Whitehead was bolted his interim CM job in Galesburg and took a job in Utah.

And by “too bad” I mean that he lost his job in Peoria when the City Council told then City Manager Randy Oliver to fire his ass or he would be out the door, too. Which he was too, not long after that…

And Peorians might as well get used to this revolving door, because the council will continue to use city managers as sacrificial lambs until we wise up and switch to the strong mayor form of city government, in which there is only one chief executive of the city, elected state wide, whom the voters can justifiably hold responsible for the state of the city.

Still the mayor, on plain paper or otherwise

Mayor Jim Ardis wrote a letter on his official mayoral stationary asking a judge to show leniency for a dude who is facing drug charged. Judging from what I read, the guy is a good candidate for lenience. But it’s one of those scandals that is a scandal because it has the appearance of a scandal. Am I upset that he used a few pennies worth of stationary, or maybe a stamp? Since he stated that he was speaking for himself and not anyone else, it can’t really be argued he was speaking for the entire city. This is unlike Journal Star editorials, which are unsigned and marketed as the official opinion of the Journal Star as an institution, despite how annoying many employees find the stupid things.

I have it on good authority that Jim Ardis once during his six years as mayor wrote something on a blank piece of paper, and yet the person who read it was still perfectly aware he was still the mayor of the city of Peoria. Didn’t fool the recipient for a second.

Billy Dennis



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