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Open Thread July 31, 2006

Posted by j-dub in General.
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Surprise me.

Chicago Olympics July 28, 2006

Posted by j-dub in News - Local.
7 comments

For those of you who might not know, Chicago is one of 3 finalists trying to host the 2016 Olympic games. There is potential for some of the Olympic events to be held right here in Champaign-Urbana at the University of Illinois.

With respect to this issue, WCIA ran a story yesterday about a University professor, (who’s last name I can’t remember, but I believe it started with an S) who wrote a letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the sole purpose of saying the University of Illinois/Chicago would not be a suitable venue for the olympic games. He says this is because the University still uses the Chief as their mascot. Basically, he said University wouldn’t be appropriate to host an international audience because of their current Chief issues.

Hold on just one second…Let me preface my comments by saying I support the Chief and I’d be sad to see him go. However, I understand the possible disrespect is causes to Native Americans and if the University did decide to part ways with the Chief; I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.

That being said, what’s this guy thinking? If I were the University I would find some way to can this guy for slander against the University. His whole premise was that we at the U of I support a racist, stereotypical, and insensitive mascot and therefore wouldn’t be worthy of hosting any events for the Chicago-based games which would have an international audience. Gee, I’d sure like to have a job where I can outright diminish my employer in the media, get away with it, and still keep my job.

I understand it’s his opinion and his right to say something, but give me a break. Most people in the real world wouldn’t be allowed through the doors the next day after making such boldface comments about their employer. Especially considering the fact that he wrote a letter to the IOC to jeopardize the Chicago Olympic bid.

And another thing, if he despises the U of I so much, why is he still working there?

Obviously, the IOC doesn’t think it’s a problem or Chicago probably wouldn’t be in the final 3, or at least there wouldn’t already be talk about the U of I possibly hosting events if Chicago got the bid.

Some people are truly amazing.

I have two questions:

  1. Does the Chief have anything to do with respect to the Chicago bid, even if events were to be hosted at the U of I?
  2. Would you still have your job after a similar incident?

Minimum Wage Increase July 28, 2006

Posted by j-dub in National, Politics.
6 comments

Here’s one story.

And a quote:

Democrats have been pushing to increase the minimum wage, now at $5.15-per-hour, in three 70-cent increments to total $7.25 by January 1, 2009.

Personally, I’m all for it. Think about those getting paid $5.15 per hour, with gas $3 a gallon. I don’t make the minimun and gas is a HUGE strain on my budget.  Not to mention all the other everday items that are inflated in price.

I’m sure this will also be a huge expense for businesses to take on, but businesses should be able to recoup the difference in various methods (increase prices, decrease expenses, etc).

Also, if you know anything about running a business, you’re people ARE your business; so why not pay’em?

Decipher the Media July 27, 2006

Posted by j-dub in News - National.
4 comments

I know all of you watch television. I’m sure you’ve seen coverage of the current Middle East Crisis being aired. Let me help you decipher the media. When you are watching television and you hear the TV correspondent say “Hezbollah showed us…” or “Hezbollah officials told us…”; You are getting the terrorist’s side of the story.

I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes, because why would I point out such an obvious thing? Well the reason I’m mentioning this is because the reports you see on TV will, often times, barely mention the source of the information. Why is this a problem? The problem lies in the fact that a good majority of people take these “stories” or “accounts” to be the “whole truth” about what is happening over there.

I personally saw one report (can’t remember which media outlet) in which the Hezbollah fighters gave this specific media crew a “tour” of an area inside Lebanon. And wouldn’t you know it, they showed all the buildings the Israelis destroyed and all the carnage that had taken place in this area.

I know war isn’t good and there usually isn’t much good to report during an actual conflict, but please, please, be conscious of what you are hearing/seeing/reading. And always consider the source of information.

Freebie July 27, 2006

Posted by j-dub in General.
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The storms last night didn’t give me too much time to post anything.

So, feel free to talk about whatever.

Ryan Katcher’s Body Found at Kickapoo July 26, 2006

Posted by j-dub in News - Local.
5 comments

Well, the first true lead into this story comes 5 and a half years later. The authorities, who were testing new equipment, found his truck (his body inside) in Clear Lake at Kickapoo State Park.

I can only report absolute shock when I heard the news. I’m just baffled by the whole thing really. I’m also extremely relieved for the family and Oakwood area residents. If you were around the area (as I was) when this happened, you would know the magnitude at which this affected people locally.

I didn’t personally know Ryan, but I do know people from that area and I know how this strange sequence of events has always puzzled and saddened everyone involved.

I thank the local authorities who have hopefully put an end to the story by finding Ryan.

Here are some links to all the local stories that I could find:

WCIA Channel 3:

http://www.wcia.com/news/default.asp?mode=shownews&id=4574

The News-Gazette:

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2006/07/26/ui_students_body_found

The Commercial-News:

http://www.commercial-news.com/homepage/local_story_207073951.html?keyword=leadpicturestory

http://www.commercial-news.com/local/local_story_207112008.html

http://www.commercial-news.com/local/local_story_207112502.html

Find Ryan Website:

http://www.findryan.com/

I’ll post some more of my opinions/thoughts later this evening. Feel free to pass along any info, thoughts, etc.

Indiana Sniper July 26, 2006

Posted by j-dub in News - National.
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This was really starting to freak me out…I’m glad they have their guy.

I just get chills thinking about this type of stuff. The kid doesn’t have any motive (at least not yet) and he’s only 17. It sounds as if an “acquintance” clued the police in and then they made the arrest and found the suspected weapon.
My question is when will the Central Illinois Sniper emerge? Seriously, it’s only a matter of time before somebody in our area flips their wig and we have the same situation on our hands. This was close enough for me. According to Yahoo maps, these shootings happened less than 3 hrs from here in Seymour, Indiana.

The bad part about something like this happening in our area is the terrain. I mean you can shoot for a pretty long ways in this area. You also have significant cover with all the surrounding wooded areas. And it’s not like the interstates are heavily watched by police. The state police have a lot of ground to cover and they can’t always be there.

Every year it’s a new sniper case somewhere in the U.S.. The most prominent being the D.C. area sniper back in 2002.

This is obviously an issue that law enforcement agencies around the country need to address. Just wait until someone extremely intelligent decides to pull a stunt like this. I remember when the D.C. sniper thing was occuring; it was a major problem and caused a lot of panic in the D.C. area.

I’m not sure what else law enforcement could do in such a situation, other than train to handle a similar situation when/if it ever arrives. I sure hope, for our sake, the Illinois State Police are prepared.

AMD/ATI merger July 25, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Technology.
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Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is going to buy ATI Technologies Inc., for $5.4 billion. Here’s the complete story.amdati.jpg

AMD makes processors for PCs and ATI makes GPUs (graphics processing units a.k.a. graphics cards), motherboard chipsets, etc. ATI is primarily known for its graphics cards. Your graphics card is what your monitor connects to at the back of your PC and it determines how well your monitor renders graphics, etc.

This is the second large-scale merger between two tech companies in less than 18 months. The last big merger of such was between Adobe and Macromedia (a $3.4 billion deal) last year.
As someone who deals extensively with PC hardware and software; these mergers have left me with a sense of uncertainty about the products I love to buy and use.

An example: I love to buy AMD processors. They usually outperform Intel and they are boatloads cheaper. How does this merger affect their CPU development?

If you read some of the financial analysis of this merger, it doesn’t sound like the best thing financially with AMD. However, I’m sure if Intel did the same thing we might be hearing the same sorts of talk. Nvidia, another GPU builder and ATI’s main competition, could possibly benefit from this deal.

Another example: I love Adobe AND Macromedia products. Adobe and Macromedia build similar programs. Which versions will they keep; Adobe’s versions or Macromedia’s?

I hear they will keep Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, InDesign, Acrobat, and some others. I’ve also heard Freehand (Macromedia’s Illustrator equivalent) is toast and maybe even fireworks (Macromedia’s Photoshop equivalent).

All of this said, we really won’t see the true fallout (or success) of these HUGE mergers until they release their first batch of consolidated software or hardware packages. I’m really anxious to see the upcoming releases from each of these mergers, and you should be too. These are some of the biggest players in the PC hardware/software markets.

This will not only affect people like me (people who make their living with computers), but it will also affect vendors such as Dell, HP, and so on. Which in turn, means it will affect anyone buying a computer in the future.

Those Funny Congressman… July 25, 2006

Posted by j-dub in National, Politics.
5 comments

Check out this story

Don’t get me wrong. I love a good joke and I’m all for politicians being normal and not the stiff, rigormortis types we often get these days.

However, I have to say this is not humor:

A bemused Wexler looked into the camera and said, “I enjoy cocaine because it’s a fun thing to do.”

Or this:

A follow-up in the complete-the-sentence questioning led to this comment: “I enjoy the company of prostitutes for the following reasons … because it’s a fun thing to do. If you combine the two together, it’s probably even more fun.”

Evidently, Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler of Florida, thought it would be funny to do this skit on Stephen Colbert’s Comedy Central Show. Colbert asked Wexler to say a few things that would “really lose the election for you if you were contested.”

Wexler eventually said his teenage children thought this of his performance:

“They thought I was foolish.”

Well, I guess it’s a good thing he’s uncontested this fall. And seriously, it wasn’t even funny.

Site Feeds July 24, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Technology.
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If any of my OUSTANDING readers are looking for an easier way to keep up with this blog; try using a feed aggregator (often called a feed reader) such as: Pluck, Thunderbird, Google Reader, NewsGator, etc.

A feed, in non-technical terms, is a very lightweight and compact version of the text/images/etc that you would normally read in a post on a blog, website, etc. This lightweight version usually cuts out all the extra webpage coding and other business you would normally see. The feed is basically just text and images and that’s it.

You can use a feed aggregator (often called a feed reader) program and setup links to your desired feeds. There a free feed readers out there and they are usually easy to setup.

Feeds are usually listed somewhere on the blog or website in plain view and might say subscribe or syndicate. Once you have setup links to a feed, everytime new information is posted to the blog or site you link to it automatically gets sent to your feed reader where you can view it.

Basically, if you read multiple blogs/sites every day it makes life much easier and you don’t have to keep returning to websites over and over again. This saves a lot of time and you can easily keep up with your information, and you’ll always know when new info is available because your program will tell you automatically.

Personally, I use Mozilla’s Thunderbird application. It’s an email client and has an RSS reader built-in. It’s pretty sweet, because I can check my mail and my blogs/news in the same application. Here’s a post I did on the Mozilla Project and it talks a little bit about Thunderbird.

I’ve tried Pluck and it also works very nicely.

Let me know if any of you are picking up my feed(s) (listed in the sidebar to the right) and how it’s working. I have two feeds, one is a standard feed for my posts and the other is for comments made to the site. Also, please chime in with other feed reader programs not listed above.

Abortion Revisited July 24, 2006

Posted by j-dub in National, Politics.
4 comments

On Friday, the Senate was discussing a bill “that would make it a federal crime to take a teenager across state lines to end a pregnancy without a parent’s knowledge.”

Here’s the full article.

The bills are S. 403 and H.R. 748.

Ah, the abortion debate. One of the most, if not the most controversial issues that can be discussed. It doesn’t make a bit of difference where you discuss this issue, it’s always a touchy subject.

Now, in reference to this particular set of proposed bills, I think this is a no-brainer. Not a no-brainer for abortion sake, but for the simple fact of taking a child to another state without a parent’s permission. I’d like to relate that to kidnapping, and or illegitimate behavior and should be punishable or illegal. I guess where it could be tricky is when the teenager goes with a family member, but even then I think it’s not right for someone to be taking a kid anywhere without a parent’s knowledge.

As far as abortion itself, I’m honestly confused about where to stand. I’m definetely pro-life, because I don’t think we should use abortion as an alternative for birth control measures. However, I have such strong feelings for rape/incest victims who probably didn’t have any choice.

I’m also skeptical about some sort of hybrid program that would allow rape/incest cases to be aborted, because there are so many extraneous factors that would limit the enforcement and effectiveness. I mean, would you have to have a conviction of rape before you allowed the abortion, because the way the legal system progresses you’d never get a verdict in time. If you didn’t have a conviction as a standard, girls who wanted out could simply say “rape” and be off the hook.

Well, it’s a tricky subject, but one we should think about. We have congressional races being voted on this November and these future congressmen/women could be determining this issue for us sometime soon.

I’d like to see where our candidates for Senate/House races stand on this issue. I’d also like to see/read what YOU all think about these proposed bills, and IF WE CAN BE CIVIL AND INTELLIGENT abortion law in general.

Sunday Housekeeping – Topics July 23, 2006

Posted by j-dub in General.
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Sunday housekeeping involves you readers once again.

Yesterday I informed you about the commenting aspect of the blog. I told you all that I really want to hear/read what you all have to say.

I’m a pretty demanding person, because I also want your suggestions on topics.  I figure, what better way to get involved discussion(s), then by letting you pick the topics.

I’d prefer the topics stay relevant to politics, sports, technology, and/or be related to the Central Illinois Area (more specifically Champaign & Vermilion Counties).

For example, I’ve posted about the Champaign County Fair which falls into none of the categories I’ve listed above; but is definetely relevant to our area.I’ll eventually have threads that are essentially “open” discussions for whatever topics, but those won’t appear until a later date.

Let me know of any ways to make it easier for you to post/comment, and/or any other feedback (negative or positive) that will help make this blog better for EVERYONE. 🙂

Saturday Housekeeping – Comments July 22, 2006

Posted by j-dub in General.
8 comments

Well, since I’ve switched to this wordpress format, I’ve had no comments posted yet. I’m not sure if the format is confusing or if people just can’t see the “add a comments” link.

Wait a second….maybe it’s because my readership is 3 people; me, myself, and I. 🙂

Seriously, if you want to leave comments; PLEASE do so. I would love feedback on any of my topics. I get really tired of talking to myself.

To add a comment, you can do it two ways.

  1. Click the “add a comment” link which is right under the post title (i.e. “Housekeeping” in the post title for this post).
  2. You can click the post title (i.e. “Housekeeping” in the post title for this post), and from there scroll down to the comments/add message section which is at the bottom of the post/page.

No matter which way you choose to comment here’s what happens next:

It will ask you for Name, URL, Email, and Comment/Message. You ONLY have to put something in the message field for your comments/message it to show up. If you want to put in a name (your real name, a nickname, call-sign (viper, goose, maverick, etc)), you can do so. The name can be helpful for those times when multiple people get involved in a coversation (that way there aren’t 10 anonymous posters to decipher). All the other information is OPTIONAL. If you have a URL and want to put it in; put it in. The same goes for email.

For other worpress.com users, if you login under your wordpress.com login it should only prompt you for your message.

Please feel free to remain anonymous if you like. That is part of the fun with blogs, there are no preconceived notions.

World Freefall Convention July 21, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Entertainment.
11 comments

This is a good time to be in East Central Illinois, as we have the Champaign County Fair and the World Freefall Convention going on at the same time.

The World Freefall Convention starts today and runs through July 30th in Rantoul. You can get all sorts of info on the convention from their website:

http://www.freefall.com/

The World Freefall Convention is held in Rantoul at the Rantoul National Aviation Center on the grounds of the former Chanute Air Base. It is a pretty cool experience to see the great numbers of skydivers plummeting from the sky.

The Navy Leap Frops will be participating from July 26th to 30th and there will also be a webcam shown on the World Freefall website. You can even pay ($199 according to the website) to participate in a tandem skydive with a professional skydiver.

It is an interesting event (I’ve been years past) and this year they moved the event up a few weeks in order to help increase attendance numbers which have been dropping over the past few years. However, they might have shot themselves in the foot considering the County Fair is happening at the exact same time.

If you stop by the Freefall Convention, post your thoughts here. I’d like to know what they have out there this year.

Champaign County Fair July 20, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Entertainment.
3 comments

The fair starts tomorrow, which can only mean two things: eating lots of fair food and being outdoors enjoying the area.

The website for the county fair is here:

http://www.prairienet.org/ccfair/

Click here for a list of events/entertainment for the fair.

I plan to stop by the fair at some point and check it out. For you country music lovers, there will be NO country music act performing this year. The first time the fair has been without such an event in a really long time; at least according to WIXY.

Other highlights include: demo derby, classic/custom car show, monster truck show, rodeo, motorcycle races, and a truck/tractor pull.

The fair costs $5 for adults and kids 12 and under are free. There is no cost to park either.

So get on out to the fair and check it.

Feel free to chime in with your favorite fair food, event, or other news/stories relating to the fair.

SBE Funds being returned July 20, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.
1 comment so far

You’ll find this on tonight’s County Board agenda:

FINANCE COMMITTEE
1. Adoption of Resolution No. 5510 on Return of Funds to the State Board of Elections

I’m sure our good friend Mr. Shelden, who deals with the SBE, might know what the reason for this is. Here’s an excerpt from the resolution:

WHEREAS, the County received notification from the State Board of Elections in a letter to the Champaign County Clerk dated June 15,2006, and a second letter to the Champaign County Board Chair dated July 7,2006 that the County has breached its agreements with the State Board of Elections by fading to comply with the terms of the said agreements as to the following grants:

o EAID Grant
o PPA Grant
o EAI Grant

Well obviously it’s not as exciting as a “smoking gun“, but it’s awfully hypocritical of Shelden to point out flaws in every other office of the County (check out his latest post on Curt Deedrich’s personnel policy) when he isn’t even handling his own business properly.

However, maybe there’s a logical reason for this. Maybe a bunch of other County Clerks had the same problem. If that’s the case, then I’ll shut my mouth; maybe the SBE is being ridiculous about their free money.

The Mozilla Project July 20, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Software, Technology.
1 comment so far

It’s finally time to put a true tech post out here on the ol’ blog.

This one is going to focus on a topic that I absolutely love: free software.

I should be even more descriptive; great, free software.

For those of you who have been living under a rock, aren’t tech savvy, or just don’t like change; you’ve been missing out on two of the best FREE PC software products available….Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird.firefox-128.jpg

Firefox is an ANSWER to Internet Explorer; not an alternative. Firefox is an open-source web browser that blows the doors off of IE. Honestly, the only time I use IE is for running windows update which will not allow me to use another web browser. IE7, which is still in beta form last time I checked, will finally get IE within striking distance of Mozilla. IE7 will offer tabbed browsing, better security, RSS subscriptions, pop-up blocker, etc. Most of these options have been availabe in Firefox for well over a year now. If you aren’t using it already…you should be.thunderbird-128.jpg

Thunderbird is an email client and is the counterpart of Outlook/Outlook Express, Eudora, Opera, etc. Thunderbird offers most of the same capabilities as Outlook or any other similar email client program. You should check it out sometime.

mozilla-foundation.jpgThe Mozilla Project has ties to Netscape (which is now owned by AOL) which had/has all sorts of ties to the University of Illinois and the NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications). This makes Mozilla products even more special, because they have ties to the Champaign-Urbana area and the University of Illinois in particular. You can read more about Mozilla’s history here.

Open source software is great. I absolutely love it. I currently use both Firefox and Thunderbird on all my PCs, and I’ve been using them both for well over a year and I haven’t even thought about switching back.

Please, check out the Mozilla Project website and get your free download of Firefox; the PC World 2005 Product of the Year. Also check out Thunderbird which I predict will be winning some awards of it’s own in the near future.

Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on the Mozilla Project and any other great, free, open-source software you use.

Welfare Improvements? July 19, 2006

Posted by j-dub in National, Politics.
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USA Today had an interesting article related to the welfare system and how it’s progressed since it’s overhaul 10 years ago.

Click here to read the article yourself, or follow along for my review.

First, let me say that I found this article extremely interesting. I think I found it so fascinating because we always hear the stereotypical remarks about the welfare system and this article debunked some of the common myths I’ve heard about. Let me say that I had the following stereotypes about the people on welfare prior to reading this article; not trying to work just collecting free money, mostly non-caucasian, and they usually had 3 or more children.

Here is the current ethnic breakdown of those currently on welfare: 38% black, 33% white, and 24% Hispanic.

Well, that removes one of my preconceived notions already. Whites are only 5% behind blacks and way ahead of the hispanic numbers.

Back in 1996 President Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act:

The law, modeled on state pilot programs begun in 1994 with federal approval, was intended to prod welfare mothers and fathers into the workplace with a series of carrots and sticks. Work, and you got help with child care, job training, transportation. Refuse, and you risked sanctions and being cut off by time limits.

This debunks the first myth I had about the work aspect of the welfare program. President Bush has also required more stringent guidelines on the work aspect of welfare.

The article states that the welfare caseloads have declined by nearly 58% since the overhaul in 1996. A huge victory, but there have been other setbacks along the way:

  • Most of the women who left welfare remain in low-paying, unskilled jobs.
  • More than half of those still on welfare aren’t looking for work, honing their skills or going to school. (which led to Bush’s more stringent guidelines.)
  • More than half of those eligible for welfare payments don’t get them — a sign, critics say, that the new system discourages people who need help from applying.
  • While welfare was trimmed, other parts of the nation’s social safety net were expanding. The number of people receiving Medicaid and food stamps has soared by 50% since 2000. Medicaid is now the nation’s largest entitlement program, with 53 million recipients; 25 million people get food stamps.

Here is a great chart listing the state by state breakdowns since the overhaul.

Overall, a great article and a good read. They also had some stories about some of the welfare families and how they’ve fared over the years.

Any thoughts or opinions on the welfare system?

Stem Cell Research July 18, 2006

Posted by j-dub in National, Politics.
1 comment so far

The Republican controlled Senate approved a bill that President Bush is promising to veto (which would be his first veto in office).

Here’s a summary of the bill:

Would lift President Bush’s executive order blocking federal funding for any stem cell research using embryonic stem cell lines developed after Aug. 9, 2001. To qualify for federal funding under the bill, newer embryos could be used in studies only if they:

  • Were created for the purposes of fertility treatment.
  • Were donated by in vitro fertilization clinics with written, informed consent of those being being treated.
  • Were “in excess of the clinical need of the individuals seeking such treatment” and would never be implanted in a woman.
  • Would otherwise be discarded, as determined by those seeking treatment.
  • Were not donated by patients induced to do so by financial or other incentives.

Source: “The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005,” H.R. 810.

Stem cell research boasts many possible benefits, but it also brings ethical and moral baggage also.

Do the possible benefits outweigh the moral and ethical issues involved? Should federal funding be used for this research? Or should this be relegated to private industry?

52nd Senate – Mike Frerichs – Democrat July 17, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.
2 comments

Here’s the final stop on our 52nd Senate Tour…Mike Frerichs.Mike Frerichs

Mike is the Democrat nominee for the Senate seat. You can visit Mike’s campaign website at the following web address:

http://www.mikefrerichs.com

Here’s the scoop on Mr. Frerichs – all information (and the photo) taken from his campaign website unless otherwise noted:

“Mike’s values were shaped in the East Central Illinois farming community of Gifford (pop. 800), where he was born and raised. The son of a truck driver and stay-at-home mother, he was the first member of his family to attend college. He worked his way through Yale University while competing for four years on the varsity crew. Upon graduating, Mike studied Chinese and taught English in Taiwan.”

“After completing a year-long fellowship in public affairs with the Coro Foundation, Mike returned home to serve the people of Champaign County. In addition to his time on the County Board and as Auditor, Mike serves on the local volunteer fire department, on the board of a local non-profit Nursing Home, and is a member of the Urbana Rotary Club…Mike Frerichs has been the Champaign County Auditor since 2002 where he has established a reputation as a watchdog over County spending and been awarded for his financial reporting. Before serving as County Auditor, Mike was twice elected to the County Board where he fought against wasteful spending and was recognized for his independence.”

Well, you can visit his website to read the rest of the bio information. Basically, Mr. Frerichs is still pretty young (I’m not exactly sure what his age is) and has held a few different offices already. This will be a fairly big step up in his political career. However, he does have a pretty impressive resume so far, and judging by his previous record of service he seems ready to handle the challenge.

Under the “Issues” section of the website we have the following:

  • Education Funding
  • Health Care
  • Jobs
  • Higher Education
  • Agriculture
  • Budget
  • Pensions
  • Energy and Gas Prices

Click here to see his position on each of these issues.

These are basically the exact same issues as Mrs. Myers has listed on her website. The two differences being Pensions and Energy and Gas Prices are listed on Mike’s website and not on Judy’s. These are two fairly hot topics currently and it’s interesting to note this quote: “I have proposed a plan to cap the state gasoline tax when gas goes above $2.50 a gallon.”

Are there any other issues you would like to see listed?

Mike’s website is created with the “Orange and Blue” theme throughout, has a web form for those wishing to sign-up and volunteer, a photos section, endorsements section, and the rest of the typical stuff (issues, contact info, etc). The photos section is nice to have (Judy’s site also has a gallery section). I like being able to see the various photos taken from events in the area and recognizing the candidate with the people and places of our area. Mr. Frerichs has several pictures of himself with Mr. Obama in there as well. He also has the district map available for viewing on the website (not shown on Judy’s site).

There are a few things missing from the site that would be helpful. A search capability would definetely be nice to have and is currently missing. I also like the calendar feature on Judy’s site. Just a simple calendar of events page would/should be out there for people to know when and what is going on with respect to the candidate. There is not a calendar/events page on his site at this time.

As far as SBE information goes, it’s once again the usual paperwork (so far as my non-expert eye can tell) listed on the SBE website. As of mid-March, Mike has approx. $27,000 available to his campaign which is a huge disparity from Judy’s $60,000 at the same point in the race. Big money contributors so far: John Goldstein ($2K), Mehdi Mahmud ($2K), Associated Fire Fighters of IL PAC ($2.5K), there were also contributions of $1K each from an Ironworkers, Laborers, and Carpenter’s Local. It also looks like Mr. Frerichs dumped about $4K of his own money into his funds in early Feb. of this year. It will be interesting to see if money plays a factor in the race; especially one that figures to be close. Once again, if I messed any of this SBE stuff up, please let me know so I can fix it.

Overall, another very formidable candidate for the Senate seat. The near future will bring us a review post highlighting the highlights of each candidate. A sort of “tale of the tape” if you will.

If you would like to review the other posts on the other candidates you may do so here:

Judy Myers

Joe Parnarauskis

Please fill me in on other pertinent info, your thoughts so far, etc.