Saturday, May 27, 2017

Andrew Gasser...Draining the Swamp?

During the recent local elections, Andrew Gasser commandeered Donald Trump's campaign slogan of "draining the swamp."

Instead of draining the swamp, he created a swamp of broken televisions and gallons of paint.

You see, Algonquin Township has a nationally recognized recycling program that accepts paint, electronics and other items on the last Saturday of the month starting in March.

Or, I should say, had a nationally recognized recycling program.

But that was B.A.G. -- Before Andrew Gasser.

Today, many people went to the Algonquin Township office with their televisions and paint, but found it closed.

Yes, the sign along the street did say that "specialized" recycling for May was cancelled:


But the signs in the parking lot announce that recycling is on Saturday.  So people dropped off a bunch of stuff.


And now, Andrew Gasser has released a video of the mess and blamed the residents for not following directions.

Other than driving by the office, how would people have known that the recycling has been cancelled? It certainly wasn't on the website.  In fact, the website is nothing compared to what it had been before Gasser's election.

If you wanted to go to the recycling center's website, this is what you would find:


Here is what is was in April:


In fact, all of the information that used to be accessible on the Algonquin Township Highway Department is no longer available online. No information about the recycling center. No calendar. No news. Nothing.

In fact, this is what the homepage looks like today:


And here is what it looked like in April:



So what is Gasser up to?  On the surface, he's simply blaming others for his incompetence. But it is more than that. After the election, he removes all references to the recycling program from the website, offers no links, no news to the cancellation of the end-of-the-month Specialty recycling. He puts up only one sign, but keeps the others up in the parking lot.

And when people show up, he gets angry, films the mess and blames those who left the paint and tv's. He even threatens people with the surveillance cameras. 

Nice job draining that swamp Andrew.

I can't wait to see what you so next.







Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Scott Vetter Ruse

Yep. Scott Vetter claimed to the Northwest Herald that he has removed himself from the slate, in order to protect the others, apparently, from his toxicity.

But what does that actually mean?

He's still on the ballot.

He's still apparently campaigning.

Case in point: he posted to the article on the McHenry County blog the following:


This doesn't seem to be someone who has "removed himself" from the slate.

The only thing that happened here is that he told the Northwest Herald he removed himself from the slate.

But nothing has changed.

Oh, look: squirrel!

----- More later.




Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Scott Vetter is dropping from the slate...but is still in the race

Apparently, Scott Vetter is worried that his tweeting may bring down his running mates, Donna Kurtz, Raphael Kamner and John Pletz in the race for the District 155 Board of Education.

So, according to another Northwest Herald article, he is leaving the slate. However, he is not leaving the race.  "I would still love to win," he stated.

His running mates have not really commented on the matter, except in this recent article. No one, except Kamner, has actually come to Vetter's defense. That's pretty telling, isn't it?

Kamner stated in the article, "He is not a racist now nor has he ever been, and he’s not anti-religious."

Funny, but do the videos claim that he is a racist? No, not really. The tweets are just shown as an example of inflammatory rhetoric not befitting of a school board member.

It's interesting that Vetter supporters are honing in on two of the tweets.  In fact, the McHenry County Blog recently posted an article about Scott Vetter with a screenshot from the video of the the "BLM racists" tweet Vetter sent on July 31, 2016.  The article is entitled "So Scott Vetter's a racist?" And, in an attempt to prove something about Scott Vetter that was never even claimed in any of the videos, author Cal Skinner posted a picture of Vetter and his wife.

This is a classic example of a "Strawman Fallacy." Skinner and supporters of Vetter are focusing on the two race and religious tweets and declaring that Vetter is not a racist. This misses the entire point of the video. The video used the tweets to show the inflammatory rhetoric of a candidate for the school board. If people are thinking that others may think that Scott Vetter is a racist are reading more into the video than is there. This actually says more about them than about Scott Vetter.

So I attempted to set the matter straight by commenting on the article in the McHenry County Blog. But, alas, my comment is still "awaiting moderation:"


The point is this: if someone wants to post inflammatory tweets, call people names on social media, that's fine. They have the right to do that. We all do.

But don't be surprised when you run for a position on a board of education that those tweets will resurface as an example of your demeanor. Remember, this is behavior we teach our kids not to engage it. Go ahead: call people "fucking idiots" on Twitter. Or, post an article about the President on Facebook and call him an "Ass Clown." That's fine.

But don't cry when these things are brought to the attention of voters. Right, Raph Kamner?





Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"Tweetgate" and Vetter's Running mates

So, "Tweetgate" is a thing--as it should be. After all, the the public postings of someone who could be in charge of the direction of our children's education is fair game.  These tweets reveal the character and demeanor of a person who could possibly sit on a board of education and help form educational policy.

What's even more telling is that Scott Vetter is running on a slate with three other candidates: Donna Kurtz, Raphael Kamner and Jeff Pletz. These candidates have been silent on the issue of the tweets. Jennifer Weinhammer is running for Cary Trustee, and she has been on record publicly endorsing Scott Vetter in other races. She, too, is silent.

What does this silence say?  We can only imagine.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Scott Vetter and "Tweetgate"

What does it take for Drew “Mad Again” Madigan to come out of retirement?

Scott Vetter and the Northwest Herald.

I have blogged about the Northwest Herald’s stellar reporting before, and man, they keep getting better with age.

For those of you who have not been following the news, or have been out of the country, or live in a cave, Scott Vetter is Crystal Lake resident running for a spot on the District 155 School Board.  He has been involved a bit in McHenry County Republican politics for a few years.

One thing is for sure: He likes to tweet.  And last year, he tweeted a lot. Here is an example of a gem of a tweet that has been enshrined for posterity in the Google cache system:



A“campaign” video has been created to highlight those tweets.


Of course, Scott Vetter claims that he had been hacked. That’s the go-to for politicians today to try and cover up obnoxious behavior online.

“I didn’t call that guy a ‘fucking idiot.’ I was hacked!” See how easy that is? 

The problem is that Scott Vetter’s explanation just doesn’t make sense. 

Let’s take a look:

1) In a Facebook post, he claims that he hadn’t used that twitter account in “two years.” However, the account was for his position as Algonquin Precinct 36 committeeman. He didn’t get that position until April of 2016, when he wrote an email to McHenry County blog, identifying himself as the "newly elected Precinct 36 Committeemen in Algonquin Township."

2) In another post, he claims that the account was shut down over a year ago, but the account didn’t exist before June 2016, as is shown in the cached screen images. There is no record at all of an account existing before this date. And why would it? Vetter wasn’t the committee chairman long before that time.

3) Then, in the same post, he says that he closed the account in September, which is way less than a year ago. And the tweets in question come before that date. Confused? Yeah, it’s like an episode of Lost. It just doesn’t make sense.

3) Later, he admitted in the Facebook post that some of his tweets were his but were used, apparently, by the hackers and were “taken out of context.” 

But wait, you're saying in your head right now: Didn't he say that he hadn't used the account in two years?  

Yes, he did. But, apparently, we shouldn't take his word. Just the kind of guy you want on a school board, right?

So this became an issue in the race when those tweets surfaced online. And videos like this were made:



So Scott Vetter was caught with his tweets down. Literally.

And in comes the Northwest Herald. They must have put their best journalist on the case because they went right to the source.

Reporter: “Hey, Scott Vetter? How about those tweets?”

Scott Vetter: “I was hacked. Those weren’t mine.”

Reporter: “Cool. Can I quote you?”

Scott Vetter: “Sure.”

So the Northwest Herald reporter—we’ll call him Nate Linhart, because that’s his name—wrote a story that simply allowed Scott Vetter to repeat the same claims he has made over the last few days on Facebook.

I guess fact-checking is not something done by the Northwest Herald.

Or maybe they don’t have access to Google, I am not sure.

A quick glance of the cached images would show that the Twitter account in question was created in June of 2016.



A quick Google search would show that Scott Vetter was elected precinct chairman in April 2016, not 2015 as he claimed in the article.

This was the best part of the article, though:

Vetter said some of those tweets that were on the screenshots were from him, but not ones that used profanity or discriminatory remarks.

That’s Vetter saying, “Yeah, some of those tweets were mine. But only the good ones. The ones that people don’t like, those aren’t mine. Unless you like those, then maybe.”

If a journalist was really doing his job, he would notice that many of those tweets with the profanity that Scott Vetter claims to not have used are in the same Twitter conversations as the ones he takes credit for.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out: they were tweeted by the same person! And that person, admittedly, was Scott Vetter. At least for the ones that people aren’t upset about.

Again, some of these inconsistencies could have been checked out by simply typing a few words into Google.

I know, the Northwest Herald has a lot on their plate; more important things like “Spring Grove church hosting special service with Congressman Joe Walsh.”

That should tell you all you need to know. And newsflash: Joe Walsh is no longer a Congressman.

I bet Scott Vetter will be there because Scott Vetter really likes Joe Walsh. In fact, a lot of Scott Vetter’s tweeting was in response to something Joe Walsh tweeted or in defense of Joe Walsh. But most of the time, Scott Vetter simply retweeted Joe Walsh tweets.  

And this is the guy that Donna Kurtz, Raphael Kamner and John Pletz have decided to run with?

And what have they publicly stated about their running mate and “Tweetgate?” 

I'll give you a hint: It sounds something like crickets:




---more later.


Is it time to bring back Drew?

With everything that is going on in the community, it seems like Drew just might be coming back.

Stay tuned.  In the meantime, watch this video:



Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Cost of Breaking a Union


Apparently, it is costing taxpayers in Cary a lot of money to break the District 26 teacher’s union.  And for all the talk about fiscal responsibility coming from the board this smacks of hypocrisy.

In addition to paying the Board’s “standard counsel” $1,500 a month, the Board decided to hire another lawyer.  “[He] had come recommended,” Board president Chris Spoerl explained.  In the month of June alone, they paid him $13,789.25.  Then, the following month, Chris Spoerl lamented about the district’s financial situation.    “We have found ourselves in a position where we have to continually fight to stay afloat,” he stated.

I guess “fighting to stay afloat” implies that a high-priced lawyer is needed to bail the water from the ship.   As of July, the board has paid out over $29,000 in legal fees for the ongoing contract negotiations.

Not to mention the hiring of two new administrators at the junior high.

Or $15,000 for some used computers.

Or concluding a new contact with Superintendent Brian Coleman that includes raises based on CPI and up to 4% extra a year upon completion of some undefined “goals.”

Or the unknown amount of money paid to Advantage Analytics, LLC for making the highly informative and enlightening powerpoint presentations Spoerl uses at Board meeting to put us all to sleep.

Nothing like trying to keep a boat afloat which is overburdened with cargo that you yourself have added to the hold. 

Thanks, Chris Spoerl, for showing us that the children really aren’t at the forefront of the Board’s decision-making.  That’s comforting to the thousands of parents who have no choice but to send their kids to District 26 schools.

The Northwest Herald recently reported that $29,000 figure after the documents were secured through Freedom of Information Act requests.  This figure, however, reflects information only through July.  This means that the money given to lawyers is much higher---could even have passed the $40,000 mark, considering that the negotiation team has met several times in the last month and the board apparently thinks nothing of forking over $13k in a month period for legal fees.

The Board wants nothing more than to drag this out as long as possible.  And when this happens, more money flows from Cary taxpayers into the pockets of lawyers.

That is unacceptable. 

Especially considering that this money could have paid for a full time art teacher at one of the schools.

Thanks, board, for showing us your true priority.

------------------------

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