It's 4:12 in the morning on the Saturday after the Cubs lost 1-0 in the third game of the World Series against Cleveland. It was the first time in 71 years that the World Series came to Wrigley Field. What a freaking stressful game.
Alexis and I watched it in our living room since we have a full day ahead in Wrigleyville. That's right. We're headed up to Cubs Crazyland to sit in a bar and also walk around doing Facebook Live videos. Anyone from the Region who's heading up there, hit me up on Facebook and maybe I'll interview you... if you're not too drunk.
We watched what turned out to one of the most stressful and distressing Cubs games on record. It's the third time this post-season that the Cubs have been shut out. Sometimes Bryant, Rizzo, Baez come to hit. Sometimes they don't. When they don't, you just sit there watching and hoping and maybe even praying, yet the hits don't come. Runners stranded in scoring position. 1-2-3 innings.
Last night was a surreal way to watch the Cubs in the World Series. In between innings, we channel changed to CNN and other news feeds to watch coverage of the Hillary Clinton email mess. The head of the FBI last night, 11 days ahead of the November 8 election, announced that he's reopening an investigation into Hillary Clinton's possibly illegal use of emails while she was secretary of state. This is huge. And it reminds me of something.
In 1991, Alexis worked as one of the secretaries in the office of Peter Katic, city judge of Hammond. The job didn't pay all that well, but we had just got married and the job gave Alexis, me and her son Steve benefits. In 1991, I was still in the process of building our trading business, and at the time it didn't make any money. Her paycheck, however meager, and the accompanying benefits were huge for us.
Katic, however, had to run for judge in 1991. I did not, and neither did Alexis, really know the political process all that well. But we figured along with everyone else that Katic, a rather popular Democrat, would probably win. That's until the Indiana State Police stepped in.
On the day before the election, the ISP raided Katic's office for evidence... with media in tow. I don't remember after all of these years exactly what the ISP said they were looking for. I do remember, however, asking Alexis - "How can authorities make a big hullabaloo of a raid of a judge's office and bring the media the day before an election? That could effect the election."
It turned out to be a prurient question. On election day, a huge article appeared on the front page of local papers - "Judge Katic Raided." Attorney Diana Cross Gonzalez wound up winning by a few hundred votes out of 25,000 or so total. Surprise, surprise.
It didn't really faze Alexis and me in that although we were new to the political rubicon, people "in the know" were telling us that since Alexis didn't have a position of leadership, Ms. Cross Gonzalez couldn't fire her.
Wrong. The new judge fired her on the first day. Lesson learned. We talked with an attorney, along with another secretary who was fired, and the attorney said we might have had a decent case for a political firing lawsuit. But we said screw it. We had other things on our minds, like trying to have a baby. It hadn't worked so far, with her working full time and me trying to build my trading business. So less than ten months after Diana Cross Gonzalez fired my wife, our daughter Jeanie was born.
Another positive offshoot of the firing is that I quit messing around and started to make some money trading. We didn't have any other choice. We had just bought a house - for $67,000 - and if I didn't bring some sort of money home, Alexis, our new daughter, Steve and I would be out on the street. Or even worse, back living in her parents' basement. Yikes.
In the end, there were three very positive things out of Alexis getting fired, ostensibly deriving from a misdirected investigation by the Indiana State Police of Judge Peter Katic. A couple of weeks after the election, the ISP came out with a statement that they didn't find anything. It got a one or two paragraph mention in the Hammond Times. That was it. Lesson learned.
It's a lesson that I recalled last night watching the Cubs swing futilely at Josh Tomlin curve balls, and it's a lesson that I recalled even more keenly after attorney after attorney came on CNN touting the canons of law enforcement. One attorney quoted from American Bar Association guidelines. Another quoted from the bylaws of some prosecuting attorneys manual. The message is the same - law enforcement officials are not to engage in activity that unduly influences the outcomes of elections.
But we know better, Alexis, me and the three or four of you who read my blog. It happened right here in Hammond, Indiana, in 1991. We lived it. I'm not saying that James Comey, the head of the FBI, is going after Hillary Clinton so that Donald Trump wins. Not at all. And I'm not saying that the Indiana State Police went after Peter Katic in 1991 so that his opponent would win. There's a lot more to it.
If you think about it, what is the right thing for the Indiana State Police and for James Comey to do? If evidence comes across their desks, should they deliberately wait until after an election to investigate the matter? If law enforcement officials do that, they would essentially be covering up information that should be out there for voters to use to decide who they're gonna vote for.
It is a Catch-22 for law enforcement. In 1991, when the ISP did influence the outcome of a city judge race in Hammond, and in 2016, when the head of the FBI may influence the outcome of the election for president of the United States, there is no clear cut answer to what is right and what is wrong. What I can tell you is that investigations placed right before an election, whether they ultimately turn up anything illegal or not, can change the course of history.
I thank the good Lord that in 1991 the Indiana State Police raided the offices of Judge Peter Katic. Sorry, Peter, but months later the most beautiful baby popped out of Alexis (while I sat across the room eating Ding Dongs and watching the movie "Cool Runnings" with John Candy). Also, with nowhere else to turn, I started to make some money trading, starting on a trajectory to make enough dough to buy the local community newspaper and a couple of radio stations.
What's the third positive thing that came out of all of this crap from 1991?
Alexis said "screw it" to working for judges and went back to school. A few years later, she graduated summa cum laude, whatever that means, from Purdue Calumet. Years later, she graduated from John Marshall Law School. She brings home a healthy paycheck while I build our trading, er, radio business. The circle of life and Another Thousand Words.