Category Archives: Public Service Announcement

Mystery Pardon

There’s been a dearth of information about the one Illinoisan on the list of 14 that President Bush pardoned a couple weeks ago: Richard Micheal Culpepper.


Richard Micheal Culpepper. Of downstate Mahomet.

Seeing as how the 2000 census put Mahomet’s population at 4,877, a lot of folks down there probably know Culpepper. But I’ve come up pretty much empty.

What we do know is that Culpepper was sentenced on Jan. 15, 1988 to five years’ probation for making false statements to the government. He was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $4,351.90 in restitution.

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Field Notes: India

Editor’s Note: Just as I was getting ready to post this last night, Barack Obama clinched the presidency and I didn’t want to ruin the mood. But reality will set in soon enough, so here we go . . .

From Natasha Julius:

Most people in Jaipur do not care. They had penciled Obama in weeks ago and are more or less disinterested at this point. What does interest them is any prospect to separate you from your money, but that’s another story.

The big news is that the major press out of Delhi is aflutter over comments Obama made concerning terrorism in Pakistan. Apparently, he mentioned the need for a stronger presence in that part of world and seemed to associate stability in Pakistan’s tribal areas and along the
Kashmiri border with stability in Kabul. The fear here is that this will lead to some sort of US intervention in what India sees squarely as a domestic issue.

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Riot Patrol

* A popular Chicago police blog, Second City Cop, is reporting an unprecedented amount of traffic today – apparently because of a post called “Riot Survival for Dummies.”

* A Chicago-area man with an assault rifle and a “laptop computer in the vehicle was open to a YouTube page about possible rioting by African Americans if Obama won today’s presidential election” has been arrested, the Sun-Times is reporting.

Early, Often

The tease that just landed in my inbox:

“A record number of people voted early in Illinois, but Chicago Tonight has uncovered a flaw in the system that seems to allow early voters to cast a second ballot on Election Day. We tell you what election officials have to say about the problem.”

This is only meaningful, of course, if early voters were/are aware of the flaw . . .

Con-Con Controversy

More Con-Con shenanigans? This morning I wrote this in my Beachwood Reporter column:

“I almost missed voting on the Con-Con referendum. After I thought I had completed my voting, I wondered where the Con-Con question was. I even thought it was missing. Then I found it at the very beginning of the ballot, right where I was instructed to ‘Start Voting Here.’

“It was shaded in blue, though, almost like a space for official use only or instructions. My guess is others will miss it too – and not go back looking for it.”

Cate Plys sends me this message:

“Bad news, you DID miss the con-con question. I, too, completed the question in blue at the very beginning – but that was just an example. I realized that when I got to the very bottom and found the real Con-Con question, which I almost didn’t see. Wonder if they did that on purpose? I checked with the election staff and they confirmed that the blue one was just an example. I checked with them because I was afraid filling out the sample one would ruin the ballot.”

You know, that was a vote I really cared about.

Party Patrol

A review of options this evening, as culled from various news sources.


Event: Grant Park Rally
Time: 8:30 p.m. gate opens
Place: Hutchinson Field
Special Features: Guest appearance by the president-elect.
Commentary: Weight the competing impulses of participating in a historic event versus coming face-to-face with “the people.”


Event: Illinois for McCain
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: English, 444 N. LaSalle St.
Special Features: Free drinks first two hours.
Commentary: Short lines at the bar may make up for the gloomy ambiance.


Event: Onion News Network coverage
Time: 7:01 p.m.
Place: Quencher’s, 2401 N. Western Ave.
Special Feature: $2 PBR longnecks
Commentary: Beats watching real TV, but live music starts at 9 so load up on PBRs and high-tail it to another event.


Event: Bronzeville Celebration
Time: 6 p.m.
Place: Bronzeville Information Center Exhibit Gallery, 411, East 35th St.
Special Features: Frugal Joe’s Beer, $2; free popcorn
Commentary: Discover the South Side. It’s where our next president is (sort of) from.

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Spooky Good Weather

Barack Obama wrote in The Audacity of Hope about his “spooky good fortune” in facing a series of opponents in his U.S. Senate race who flamed out because of ugly allegations found in divorce files or the untenable obstacle of simply being Alan Keyes.

And ever since then, it’s seemed as if every break has gone Obama’s way.

Here’s another one. Schedule an outdoor evening rally in Chicago on Nov. 4 and any other candidate gets snow. Not Obama. Here’s Tom Skilling’s forecast for today and tomorrow.

Today’s High: 72
Today’s Low: 53
Forecast: Rare three-day November spell of 70-degrees or more moves into Day 2. Warmest Election Day in Chicago since temperatures hit 75 on Nov. 3, 1964! Sunny, breezy, unseasonally warm. South to south southwest winds 10-22 m.p.h. Temperatures nearly 20 degrees above normal and near the record for the date of 74 degrees set in 1978. Fair Tuesday night, breezy, unseasonably mild. Grant Park Obama rally temps: 64 degrees at 8 p.m., lowering to 57 degrees.

Wednesday’s High: 71
Wednesday’s Low: 57
Forecast: Sun filters through extensive high clouds. Unseasonably mild. Stronger winds – gusts 35+ m.p.h. The third consecutive day with 70-degree or higher temperatures.