Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Eric Krieg is an idiot, former Hammond corporate counsel says so

Why is the former City of Hammond corporate counsel writing a letter to the editor against Eric Krieg?

A poorly written letter, to boot.

Interesting that he doesn't really give any examples of the City not being failed, just examples of individual citizens doing what they do best, helping their fellow citizens through times of trouble.  That has nothing to do with the City being failed.

The City of Hammond is a kleptocracy, as we have documented on this blog time and again.  I am sure that, having been the corporate counsel, the letter writer could provide many such examples to the FBI, if he really wanted to.  One wonders why he has not done so.

An interesting way to try and shut down a blog

Don't get any ideas, Heinie...
It's interesting that the Chicago State administration would be so bold as to try and shut that blog down over an alleged copyright violation.

Since when is landscape design copyrighted?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Commenter finds Purdue Sales Disclosure Form

From the comments:

The buyer, Purdue Research Foundation (address: 1281 Win Hentschel Blvd, West Lafayette, IN 46323) should have an appraisal of what they purchased.

The sales disclosure of the sale from Willardo to Kaplan that is in the state DLGF database does not include anything about a contract sale. They can be searched here http://gatewaysdf.ifionline.org/Search.aspx

The disclosure for the sale to PRF is in the state database. I wonder if these are input at the state or local level? There is a problem with the accuracy of the info reported to/by the state for the Willardo to Kaplan sale since it makes no mention of the contract purchase.

November 11, 2013
The SDF IDs per the DLGF are as follows:

45-2013-2380254 Willardo to Pyramid (Kaplan)

45-2013-2380365 Pyramid (Kaplan) to Purdue Research Foundation

Enter the SDF ID and Lake County. After search, scroll down and hit "Details" and then scroll down and hit "View PDF".

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Visclosky is delusional

Visclosky wants to use income tax money to extend the South Shore to Lowell.

Silly Congressman!  Doesn't he know that there's no more income tax money?  It was all used for raises for public employees.

Visclosky has "free money syndrome", a common Lake County Democrat malady.  He think that just because the Feds are willing to throw good money after bad, we should as well.  If we "just" invest a "small amount" of "local match", the spigots of Federal Revenue will flow through The Region.

In reality, the numbers are terrible:

The congressman has recently been meeting with regional leaders to get support for the West Lake Corridor, eight miles of track between Hammond to Dyer estimated to cost more than $464 million to build, and another $9.6 million annually to operate enough trains expected to carry 4,510 passengers a week into Chicago.
That's only 900 passengers a day.  That's a subsidy of over $10,000 PER YEAR PER PASSENGER, ignoring the capital cost.  That's insane.

This ignores that the capital cost is lowballed.  Who here thinks that a flyover through downtown Hammond can be built for less than half a billion dollars?  I don't.  In fact, I don't even see how one could be built, it seems far too congested there to fit one in.

Maybe Visclosky will propose a Hammond subway?

What is worse is that this is typical Lake County Democrat Do-Goodery.  There is a better plan than Visclosky's West Lake Plan, it involves using the current Amtrak route (Hoosier and Cardinal lines), which ends up in Union Station and does not go through Hammond (and thus, doesn't need a flyover).  But Visclosky ignores that option because Democrat Hammond Mayor Tom "Mayor McCheeze" McDermott is against any South Shore expansion that doesn't go through Hammond.

Classy Dernulc Letter

This is exactly what I expect from Republican Lake County Chairman Dan Dernulc:

New Team Member

Last week the Republican Precincts Committee Organization held a caucus and selected a Lake County Assessor to replace our beloved Hank Adams. The city/town chairman of our party, in Republican fashion, chose the process we used.
The vote, after the tally was completed, was close. Mrs. Jolie Cavaciu was appointed as our new Lake County Assessor.  I congratulate Assessor Cavaciu on her victory. She was certified as a Republican this week, and I look forward to working closely with her continuing Hank Adams' legacy. She is qualified, eager to get involved in the party, and is going to do a good job.
It is noted that the numbers on this election showed it to be split fairly even. It is important we all understand this election is past, and we all unite as good Republicans for the party as we move forward for our next election season.
I congratulate both candidates on a job well done, and I thank all those who attended the caucus.  

Welcome to the team Mrs. Cavaciu!

Dan Dernulc
Lake County Chairman
 That is exactly how I expect my Chairman to act.  That's why I supported Dan at the caucus.  Nice job.

More on McDermott Campaign Headquarters sleaziness

From a commenter:

I looked over the sales disclosure documents you linked to. It states: satisfaction of contract. This would indicate a prior sale, maybe years earlier, and then the final payment which enabled the payoff of the contract. The bigger problem is the sale was clearly a fix between Purdue and Kaplan. If GK actually ever paid, or agreed to pay 700K, it was at a time when the market was much better. In today's market, and considering the building's condition, the building was not worth anywhere near the PUC purchase price.
Okay, the highlighted item makes sense.  Maybe Kaplan was under contract for the building in 2011, when McDermott paid him $1000 to use the building as his headquarters.  That's why there was no payment to the Coroner who went to jail.

Of course, paying $1000 to rent a building worth $700,000 is an issue.  At the very least, McDermott needs to show a contribution in kind from Kaplan for the full market value of rent over the time period that his campaign occupied the building.  That's a campaign finance violation, don't you think?  What should rent have been?  $2000 a month?  Something like that?

I still think the assesment is an issue.  Why would Kaplan pay $700k for something that is only assessed at $500k.  Assessments aren't that far off, as Dave "Heinie" Hein (aka "Sparks") asserts.  You're telling me that commercial assessments in North Township are systematically low by 40%?  That in itself is a scandal, if true.  Of course, Heinie would know, wouldn't he?

Moreover, shouldn't Purdue have done an appraisal before they bought it?  Wouldn't they have known that Kaplan just paid $700,000 for the property?

Where would I go to FOIA the appraisal, if there is one?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

McDermott campaign headquarter sleaziness

So I went down to the Recorder and Assessor's offices yesterday, and got the scoop on McDermott's campaign headquarters (the one that he only paid Dave Kaplan's company $1000 for during his campaign, from what I saw in his campaign finance reports).

I've got the deeds here.

I've got one of the property transactions here.

I've got the property card here.

I've got the assessment here.

Now, the first thing I notice is that Kaplan didn't buy the property until November of 2012.  Why did McDermott pay Pyramid $1000 in 2011 for "campaign headquarters rent"?  That makes no sense.  Did Kaplan have an interest in the property before he bought it?  Maybe he was managing the property?  I need to look into that further. 

The next interesting thing is that Kaplan bought the property through Pyramid and paid $700,000 for it.  Hank only had the property assessed at around $500k.  From my experience with Hank, I have found that his assessments were VERY accurate.  I have to assume that Kaplan overpaid for the property, or that there were substantial improvements made to the property that were not reflected in Hank's assessment (the assessment was done in 2008 by Nexus).  Who made those improvements?

Did you see who Kaplan bought the property from?  It was owned by Al Willardo, who multiple people have told me was the disgraced Democrat Lake County Coroner who went to jail back in the '80s for something or other.  Remember what I say about the Lake County Democrat party taking care of those who go to jail and don't rat them out?  This is yet another example.

This property was also used by North Township in the past, as well as many hooked up attorneys.

Finally, we see that Pyramid sold the building one month after they bought it.  We know from Times reporting that the Purdue Research Foundation bought the property for $1 million.  So Kaplan made $300k in one month?  That's crazy.  I guess that's how you can afford a palatial mansion in a gated community in Munster.

There was no property transaction at the Recorder's office for the transaction between Pyramid and Purdue.  I'm relying on crack Times reporting for the transaction price between Pyramid and Purdue.  Take that for what it is.

Does any of this seem like it is on the up and up to you?  Isn't this sleazy?  Isn't in highly unethical?

I wonder what Purdue Chancellor Mitch Daniels thinks about this transaction?  I wonder what Inspector General thinks.  I wonder what Attorney General Greg Zoeller thinks.  We're going to find out.

How does the Lake County Liquor Board work?

This is a bleg, those of you who know the answer please respond in the comments.

I heard that Aquavor was before the Lake County Liquor Board (not the correct name, right?) on Thursday night.  I'd like to get the minutes of the meeting, or perhaps they videoed it.  Where would I go to get that?

I also heard that someone that I am very interested in may be on the board.  Is the board membership online anywhere?

The answer is not intuitively obvious from the Internet.

Thank you in advance.

Did McDermott pay for Woerpel's attorney with campaign funds?

Somebody called me the other day and said to check out Democrat Hammond Mayor Tom "Mayor McCheeze" McDermott's campaign finance report from 2009, where he made a $6000 expense for "consulting services" to Dave Woerpel when Woerpel got busted for growing marijuana in his backyard.

So McDermott did in fact pay Woerpel for "campaign consulting" on 8/12/2009.  According to Woerpel's Lake County Docket, he was charged on 8/31/2009.  The Times article says that a trooper came to his house on September 1st.  Also, look who Woerpel's attorney was.

So the timing is not exactly right, but we don't know when exactly the Indiana State police did their flyover that discovered the pot.  Perhaps McDermott had prior knowledge that Woerpel was in trouble.  Or the McDermott's could have backdated the check.  It would be interesting to see when that check was actually cashed.  You would need to have subpoena power to get that, I'm sure.

I went through McDermott's entire campaign finance file at the Elections Board yesterday, every single line of every single report (ask the poor employee that had to stand there while I did it!), and I didn't notice a payment to Woerpel for "consulting services" any other time in the 10 or so years of campaign finance reports that they had there.  Of course, I could have missed a line, McDermott is a prolific campaigner, raising and spending vast sums of money.  But he doesn't pay Woerpel like he does his wife (who is paid $3000 for "consulting services" through her company Kelly Services just about every month since 2006).

Even the amount paid is suspicious.  McDermott doesn't pay ANYBODY that much money, not even his wife.  The most he every pays Kelly Services for "consulting services" at any one time is $4000.  And we know that Kelly Services does actual work for the campaign, McDermott's wife is the Treasurer for his campaign and puts together the campaign finance reports.

So what did Woerpel do for the campaign?  Did "The Mailman" pick up the mail from campaign headquarters?  It was an off year!  What possible work could there have been to do for McDermott, especially by a postal employee?  Did Woerpel charge McDermott at the same rate that he charges the Postal Service (his "prevailing rate")?  That is my interpretation of what the law requires, but of course I am not a crack attorney with the Hammond Legal Aid Clinic.  Maybe McDermott should ask one of those crack attorneys.  He pays for them, after all.

I'm not sure if this is illegal or not, but it is all highly unethical.  Of course, McDermott is "very ethical".  He said so on WJOB.  He also said that the FBI "monitors" his show, it's hard to understand why the FBI needs to monitor the radio show of someone who is very ethical.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Lake County Republican Chairman Den Dernulc does the right thing

Lake County Republican Dan Dernulc did the right thing, certifying Jolie Covaciu as a Republican, allowing her to take office as Republican Lake County Assessor.

I was just on the Assessor's web site doing some investigatin', and I see that her picture and name are now on the site.  CONGRATS!

I know that Jolie wasn't his choice, and I'm glad he has chosen to go with the choice of the majority of Lake County Republican committeemen at the caucus.

In doing do, he made a break from the past Chairwoman, who fueled many vendettas against those who went against her.  This is why I went with Dan in the caucus for Chairman.  I feel somewhat vindicated in that choice.

I didn't like how everything was done in this caucus, Dan didn't stay neutral as I would have liked.  There were mistakes made, and I hope that we all learn from those mistakes.

The biggest thing is not to let paid Lake County Democrat spokesmen at the Hammond Times and elsewhere make too much of our differences as Republicans.

Yes, Republicans are not unified like Lake County Democrats are.  But the Lake County Democrat Party is like a criminal organization, not unlike the mafia (without the killing).  Everyone in the Lake County Democrat organization, from the chairman on down to the precinct vice-committeeman, is in on the fix.  Lake County Democrat Party members who go to jail and who don't rat out the organization are taken care of when they get out of jail.

Republicans are different.  We saw something with a candidate that didn't look right, and we took that into consideration in our vote.  We are not rubber stampers.  The Democrats are, including the paid Lake County Democrat spokesmen at the Hammond Times.

Kiesling thought Hammond Councilwoman Janet Venecz was a McDermott "supporter"

Hammond City Councilwoman Janet Venecz is the force behind the change in parking rules that shut down Aquavor.

Interestingly, when she was appointed to the council, Mark Kiesling wrote a column about her ties to Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott.

She is a very close ally of McDermott, according to Kiesling:

Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott Jr. looks like he is consolidating power on the City Council.

While the council has in recent years been seen as a raucous, uncontrollable and unpredictable entity, McDermott now has essentially appointed one-third of its nine members.

The Hammond Democratic Precinct Organization, chaired by McDermott ally Dave Woerpel, has within the past three years appointed three strong supporters of the mayor to the council.

The latest was Janet Venecz, whose husband, Phil, once had the political job now held by Woerpel. Not shockingly, both Phil Venecz and Tina Woerpel, Dave's wife, work or have worked for the city.

Venecz replaced Kathy Pucalik, D-at large, who recently died. And in December 2009, Councilwoman JoAnn Matonovich, D-at large, also died and was replaced by McDermott ally Dan Spitale.

The new council members have denied they will be rubber stamps for McDermott, but it might just be that they see things the same way as the mayor.

It is not necessarily being a rubber stamp to agree with someone; a rubber stamp is when you violate your own principles for the sake of the party leader who has appointed you or made sure you were appointed.

I don't know if this has folks like Poland, Higgs and Markovich nervous for their seats in the upcoming election, and I don't know that they need to be.

But it must make McDermott feel more secure in his council. And I do mean his council, more and more.

Income Tax fueled raises come to Lake County Corrections

Your new county income tax, so far used for nothing more than giving raises to municipal employees, will give County Corrections officers a 2% raise and 1.5% boost in their pensions.

What was your raise this year?  How's your pension?

When is the Lake County Income Tax going to be used for something that actually benefits those who pay it?