RICH JAMES: A dozen kiester eggs from scrambled politics

2014-04-20T00:00:00Z RICH JAMES: A dozen kiester eggs from scrambled politicsBy Rich James nwitimes.com
April 20, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Today we not only celebrate the resurrection of Christ, but we also glorify the incredible, edible egg.

We put eggs on a pedestal of sorts this time of year. But when someone lays an egg, it’s a different story.

During a lengthy career of tracking public officials, I’ve watched many lay eggs. Following are some of the most notorious examples.

Former Hobart Police Chief Lawrence Juzwicki. When James Cooley was found dead in his home in 1985, Juzwicki labeled it a suicide, saying Cooley hit himself in the head 32 times with a hammer. Coroner Dr. Danny Thomas called it a homicide.

State Treasurer Richard Mourdock. His attack on women while campaigning for the U.S. Senate in 2012 was among the worst in political history. He said when a woman is impregnated as a result of rape, it’s what God intended. He called the pregnancy a “gift from God.”

Former Lake County Councilman Will Smith Jr. Smith at one point was council dean and looked upon himself as a statesman, so much so that he made up words. He could be heard during meetings questioning the “beneficialness” of a “proposement” and wondering if it would be “signitized.”

Former Lake County Sheriff Rudy Bartolomei. When he took office, those close to him said they would get him a stamp for letters. When the signature stamp arrived, he expressed dismay that his photo wasn’t on a postage stamp.

Former Lake County Clerk John Krupa. With the old iron horse voting machines, the names were listed horizontally. Because that would have buried the name of a friend, Krupa ran the names vertically and his friend was listed second on the top row. It was all legal.

State Rep. Hal Slager. When running for office in 2012, he allowed his wife to send a letter to female voters only. It was warm and fuzzy and said, “Thank you for letting me share a more personal side of my prince.”

Former Lake County Commissioner Ernest Niemeyer. He wanted the county to arrest Chicago radio shock jock Mancow because some local kids painted Mancow’s name on a government water tower.

An assistant to former Lake County Sheriff Stephen Stiglich. For the first three weeks, she signed his name with an upside-down signature stamp.

Those who sent out distasteful campaign buttons laid eggs, including the picture of a donkey and the saying, “The (bleep) you save may be your own.” Others were, “Dump the bitch and vote for Rich.” That was Daley over Jane Byrne. And who can forget, “Beat the Bush and flush the Quayle.”

But when it comes to laying eggs, Thomas Philpot takes honors. While serving as county clerk and waiting (because of a year lag) to take office as coroner, he ran for Lake County sheriff. That egg finally got scrambled.

Rich James has been writing about state and local government and politics for more than 30 years. Email him at rjames@219.com. The opinions are the writer’s.

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