Mike Bost: Unfit for Public Office

As we approach the final month of the 2014 campaign here in Illinois, it’s been revealed that Republican congressional candidate Mike Bost, who is running in the 12th Congressional District, once shot a dog and refused to report a stolen firearm to the police.

In 1986, after a dog named Rusty bit his then-four-year-old daughter so severely that she needed 19 stitches on her face, Bost drove to the home of Rusty’s owner and shot Rusty while it was in a penned enclosure:

The earliest episode dates back to 1986, when a neighborhood beagle named Rusty bit Bost’s 4-year-old daughter. The report filed by animal control officials indicates that the girl provoked the attack by chasing the dog. She ultimately had to get 19 stitches on her face.

According to court records, Bost was displeased that authorities would not be able to deal with the 10-year-old dog immediately. So he got his handgun, drove to Rusty’s owner’s home, and shot the dog to death while it was penned in an enclosure.

Bost’s track record of being an irresponsible gun owner doesn’t stop there. Two years before voting against legislation to require stolen guns to be reported to law enforcement, Bost once allowed a thief to steal his handgun and use it to threaten another man’s life without reporting the theft to the police:

The documents also detail another alarming, more mysterious incident. Bost, a gun-rights defender who in 2008 voted against a bill to require the prompt reporting of stolen guns, did not report a gun that was stolen from his own home.

In 2006, Bost’s nickel-plated special edition .357 Rossi revolver was stolen from his gun safe. According to police records, Bost did not know about the theft until police showed up at his door to inform him that the gun had been used to threaten another man’s life. Bost led investigators to the safe, and the firearm was indeed missing.

It is unclear who stole the weapon and how it was removed from the safe, but Bost and family members suspected that the thief may have been connected to a 17-year-old girl who had stayed briefly in Bost’s house. Bost told police that he usually did not lock the side door to the room that contained the safe.

Mike Bost’s temper issues go beyond statehouse rants that have made him a YouTube sensation with the Tea Party crowd. He’s also an irresponsible gun owner who shot a dog while it was in a penned enclosure and allowed a thief to steal his handgun and use it to threaten someone’s life. I don’t say this too often about political candidates, but Bost is unfit for public office.

ENDORSEMENT: YES on Illinois minimum wage advisory referendum

I strongly encourage my fellow Illinoisans to vote “yes” on the minimum wage advisory referendum on November 4.

Should the advisory referendum pass, it would send a loud and clear message to the Illinois General Assembly that a majority of Illinoisans want the state’s minimum wage to be increased to $10/hour. While a $10/hour minimum wage is not going to lift every single Illinoisan who is currently in poverty out of poverty, it will lift thousands of Illinoisans who are currently working, in many cases, working multiple jobs for more than 40 hours/week and making poverty wages, out of poverty and provide the state with more tax revenue to pay down the state’s large amount of unpaid bills.

More importantly, it would send a message to the Democrats who run the Illinois General Assembly who are too wimpy and/or bought off to pass legislation that would actually enact a $10/hour minimum wage to actually enact a $10/hour minimum wage, and it would send a message to the business community in this state that they can’t hold our state’s economy back by paying people ridiculously low wages.

I’ll be voting “yes” on the minimum wage advisory referendum, and I strongly encourage other Illinoisans to do the same.

Former U.S. Senator Roland Burris under investigation

Roland Burris, the former Democratic U.S. Senator from Illinois who was appointed to the seat previously held by President Barack Obama by notorious crook Rod Blagojevich, is under federal criminal investigation, although it’s not clear as to exactly why Burris is under investigation, although it appears to be in connection to charges filed against C. Gregory Turner, who is accused of illegally lobbying on behalf of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe:

New details of a federal probe of alleged misconduct by former U.S. Sen. Roland Burris have emerged on the eve of a trial of a Chicagoan accused of illegally lobbying on behalf of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Lawyers for C. Gregory Turner — who’s accused of trying to help lift U.S. sanctions against Mugabe’s regime — say they were handed evidence against Burris by federal prosecutors on Thursday, just four days before Turner’s trial is due to begin.

Burris is expected to be a key government witness against Turner, but at an emergency hearing Friday morning, lawyer James Tunick told U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo that the previously undisclosed probe of Burris raises “very serious” questions about his “misconduct” and credibility.

This is yet another reason why we need to purge the crooks from the Democratic Party in this state. We’ve had far too many people embarrass our state’s Democratic Party. Rod Blagojevich, Jesse Jackson Jr., Derrick Smith, and now Roland Burris.

Republican candidate in 17th Representative District of Illinois may not be eligible to serve in Illinois House

Kathy Myalls, the Republican nominee in the 17th Representative District of Illinois, may not be eligible to take her seat in the Illinois House of Representatives should she win on November 4 because she voted in Wisconsin in the November 2012 presidential election:

Kathy Myalls, a GOP candidate for the Illinois House of Representatives, has been vote hopping between Illinois and Wisconsin, voting in separate elections in both states.

[...]

Myalls was registered to vote in Wilmette, Ill., and in Fontana, Wis., near Lake Geneva, where she owns a second home.

[...]

If elected, she could face a challenge: Illinois requires residency in the district a candidate will represent for at least two years before an election. Myalls essentially declared her Wisconsin residency by voting in the 2012 presidential election, which took place on Nov. 6. And the Illinois election falls on Nov. 4, two days short of two years.

Myalls also voted in the 2012 recall election against Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker after having voted in the spring 2012 primaries here in Illinois just

Not only does Kathy Myalls want to implement Scott Walker’s destructive anti-middle class, anti-woman, anti-worker, and anti-democracy agenda here in Illinois, she happened to be a resident of Walker’s home state of Wisconsin at the time of the November 6, 2012 elections. Given that this year’s elections are scheduled for November 4, 2014, that means that Myallis won’t have been a resident of the 17th Representative District (or, for that matter, a resident of Illinois) for at least two years prior to the election, a legal requirement to hold a seat in the Illinois House of Representatives. If Myalls were to win, there would be a legal challenge to her residency, which could result in Myalls being disqualified.

The Democratic candidate in the 17th Representative District, which includes parts of northern Cook County and extends from Evanston to Glenview, is incumbent State Representative Laura Fine. You can find out more about her re-election campaign here. I’m not a fan of her support for Stand with Children, an anti-public education organization that, among other things, advocates for more standardized testing in public schools, but, when compared to her Republican opponent, who is a far-right nutjob who doesn’t appear to be eligible to hold the office she’s running for, it’s 100% clear that Fine is the lesser of two evils in this race.

Republican hypocrite Tom Cross: Part of the problem in Illinois

Tom Cross, the former Minority Leader of the Illinois House of Representatives and the Republican candidate for Treasurer of Illinois, claims to support fiscal responsibility. However, in reality, Cross’s record includes supporting many of the very policies that have left Illinois in a huge fiscal mess.

For example, Cross recently went on the WGN-AM radio program The Sunday Spin and publicly supported cracking down on union leaders receiving pensions. However, in 2006, Cross voted for legislation to boost the pensions of union leaders. If you’re wondering why the public employee pension system in this state is an absolute mess, Cross is one of many reasons why the public employee pension system is a mess.

In the same interview with WGN-AM, Cross called for suing the governor’s office and the General Assembly for adopting unbalanced budgets. However, when Republican crook George Ryan was governor of this state, Cross supported and voted for all of his budgets despite the fact that Ryan’s budgets left the state with a massive budget deficit, a massive state debt, and raided hundreds of millions of dollars from the state’s primary checking account to pay for pork-barrel projects.

In the same interview, Cross called for paying down the state’s massive amount of unpaid bills. However, Cross voted for a massive $10 billion pension borrowing plan that was supported by notorious crook Rod Blagojevich and netted Bob Kjellander, a big-time Cross crony, $800,000 in fees at the expense of Illinois taxpayers.

Over the past two decades, Republican Tom Cross has developed a long track record of saying one thing on the campaign trail while doing the exact opposite while in office. Illinois voters and taxpayers can’t afford to be double-crossed by Tom Cross any longer. I strongly encourage my fellow Illinoisans to vote for Democratic candidate Mike Frerichs for treasurer on November 4.

I Stand with Steven Salaita

As you may have heard, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), our state’s flagship university, terminated Steven Saliata,  for being brave enough to sharply criticize the Israel-led genocide of Palestinians.

Saliata recently gave his first remarks about the UIUC’s decision to fire him for exercising his First Amendment right to freely express himself, and he’s threatening to file a lawsuit against UIUC for violating his First Amendment rights if UIUC doesn’t rehire him:

Professor Steven Salaita was terminated from a tenured faculty position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) because he sent out tweets through his personal Twitter account that were critical of Israel’s assault on Gaza. Yesterday, he delivered his first statement on what happened to a room full of supporters on the UIUC campus—a number of which had walked out of their classes.

He announced that he was focused on communicating with the university so he could be reinstated and, if he was not reinstated, the university would likely face a lawsuit for violating his constitutional rights by terminating him based on the content of his speech.

I’ve rarely spoken about Israel and Palestine, but I’m now going to express my beliefs about Israel and Palestine.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, is actively leading a genocide of Palestinians. If you want proof of that, here it is. What is even worse is that the current position of the Obama Administration on Israel and Palestine is to shill for Netanyahu’s regime in Israel at every opportunity and defend the Israeli genocide of Palestinians. I firmly believe that Netanyahu’s regime in Israel doesn’t understand the concepts of U.S. sovereignty and Americans making foreign policy decisions, since the Netanyahu regime has a death grip on U.S. foreign policy. I believe that the U.S. should cease all foreign aid to Israel and terminate all foreign relations with Israel, since not doing so is, in my opinion, effectively defending genocide.

I absolutely despise the Hamas regime that is currently part of a unity government in Palestine. Hamas is an Islamic fundamentalist organization that intends, through terrorism and violence, to wipe Israel off the map. Additionally, Hamas supports Sharia Law, which, among other things, treats women as second-class citizens and criminalizes homosexuality.

I’m not anti-Israel or anti-Palestine, as I support the right of both countries to exist as sovereign nations. However, I am strongly opposed to genocide and terrorism.

The only reason why Salaita was terminated from UIUC is because that many of UIUC’s donors, who are more concerned about Israel’s well-being than America’s well-being, threatened to withhold money from the UIUC is Salaita remained employed by the university. I firmly believe that the UIUC should reinstate Saliata. Additionally, I believe that the Illinois and U.S. Constitutions should be amended in order to legally protect academic freedom.

Bruce Rauner spends more on wine club membership than the average Illinoisan makes in a year

Need more proof that Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is out of touch with Illinois voters? He spends more money on a wine club membership than the amount of money that the average Illinoisan makes in a year.

David Lewis of Montana Pioneer magazine took a photo of a bottle of wine that Rauner’s vacation buddy and fellow union-buster Rahm Emanuel was holding. The bottle of wine Rahm was holding could only be bought through a wine club that costs a whopping $100,000 to join. Rauner confirmed his membership in the $100,000 wine club at a campaign press conference:

Q: Do you belong to a wine club that costs $100,000 to be a member of?

RAUNER: (Laughs) I have many investments and I am a member of many clubs.

REPORTER: So that is a yes?

RAUNER: Yes.

To give you a perspective on how ridiculously expensive Rauner’s wine club membership is, the average Illinoisan makes $29,519 per year, meaning that it would take the average Illinoisan 1,237 days (3 years and 142 days, if no leap years are involved) in order to make enough money to buy a membership into Rauner’s exclusive wine club. Needless to say, most Illinoisans couldn’t afford to join Rauner’s exclusive wine club.

Bruce Rauner claims to be frugal, yet he spends $100,000 of his money on a wine club membership. He can’t be trusted to put our state’s fiscal house in order.

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