Saturday, October 28, 2006

My Opponent on November 7

I have listened to my opponent on three occasions. She has made these statements:

She would have voted “no” on the PDC Application. When the JSEB asked her why she would have voted “no”; I was there as we were interviewed jointly; she said “because that’s what the voter wanted”. She was asked if she attended any of the 42 hours of testimony and cross-examination, read any of the application, viewed the almost 500 letters in support of the application, attended any County Board meetings or visited PDC to see how they converted toxic waste into hazardous waste meeting all criteria of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Her answer was “no” to all of the above. How would you like to be on trial and everybody said you were guilty and my opponent, a jurist would then find you were guilty (even though evidence showed you were innocent) by letters to the editors, phone calls and emails?
My opponent has spoken at forums saying “the county can not be run like a business”. In 6 years on the county board, I have proved that “government can be run like a successful business”. Peoria County is trying to do just that with increased efficiency, encouraging elected officials to do the same, leadership training, improving employee morale, constantly reminding the unions they can’t retire with large pensions, have their medical benefits paid by the taxpayers get potentially 33 paid days off, and still get large salary increases each year. We have curtailed expenses in many instances, hired good administrators and encouraged the departure of employees who were not deemed to be doing their jobs. Exactly like a successful business operates.
My opponent has never met a payroll. She has been a bargaining agent for the Illinois Teachers Union and here is what Mike Bailey wrote on 6/18/05 ; “How District #150 Went Broke” “Peoria’s School Board gave away the farm with the five year teachers contract wreaking a hurricane that created a deficit of $54.3 million spending over the past five years. That contract was a convergence of factors, a militant new union leadership, ect.” On 4/17/05 the JS reported that my opponent on November 7, was a chief negotiator working with the Illinois Federation of Teachers. Now this teacher’s union contract is up again and negotiations have been going on since March.
On 12/05/05, an article appeared in the JS titled “Study: Tenure Means Job Security”. The article reads “It is next to impossible for schoolteachers in Illinois to lose their jobs. Strong teachers unions and high costs related to legal appeals often scare many school districts from getting rid of even the worst tenured teachers. Of the more than 95,000 tenured teachers in employed in Illinois, an average of only 2 a year are fired for poor job performance. Another 5 a year are dismissed for misconduct. Many of the larger school districts have not fired a tenured teacher over an 18 year span. Among those districts listed was Peoria School District #150, who had attempted only 5 formal remediations since 2001. The Geneseo school district has spent more than $400,000.00 in attorney’s fees over 5 years fighting appeals stemming from the firing of just one tenured teacher.

The Illinois Teachers Federation has for years fought any competition such as Edison Schools, Charter Schools and private schools. The Peoria County Board is represented by nine unions. Union board members on our board have worked to be fair in union dealings. To elect a militant member of the negotiating team of the ITF to the Peoria County Board would be a step in the wrong direction of keeping reasonable harmony between the county and the unions representing them.

While I was owner of Widmer Office Products/ Interiors we were ably represented by the Teamsters Union. No grievances where filed in 21 years before my sale of the company in 1992. My old company is still represented by the Teamsters as the only office equipment company in this area represented by a union to the best of my knowledge. Unions have lost ground in the private sector but gained ground in the public sector where public boards are usually weaker.

The Peoria County Board with the help of my experience and knowledge has worked with unions without giving away, as Mike Bailey said in June of 2005, “the livestock and the children”. All that could change in the next couple of years if you do not pay attention to who you elect to serve on the Peoria County Board.

Friday, October 27, 2006

9/11 Pentagon Pictures

These are pictures I took when in Arlington on 9/11:

There is a fourth photograph taken from the Diplomat Parking area that I couldn't get scanned at this time.


“Thoughts” from the Oct. 30, 2006 issue of Forbes Magazine. “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it”. (Edward R. Murrow) “No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots. (Barbara Ehrenreich) - I still think her book titled “Nickled and Dimed” filled with truths, half-truths and suppositions, is overrated. “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” (John F. Kennedy) “Those who use terrorism as a means to power, rule by terror once they are in power.” (Helen Macinnes)

And from local traveler Nicholas Hornickle “Experience proves that the man who obstructs a war in which his nation is engaged, no matter whether right or wrong, occupies no enviable place in life or history. Better for him, individually, to advocate ‘war, pestilence, and famine’ than to act as an obstructionist to a war already begun.. The history of the defeated rebel will be honorable hereafter, compared with that of the Northern man who aided by conspiring against the government while being protected by it. The most favorable posthumous history the stay-at-home traitor can hope for is - - oblivion.” (Quoting Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs)

And finally from an unknown author “Correct the error when it is discovered. Decent, honorable people have a duty to oppose conduct they judge harmful to their civilization. We are becoming a nation of disrespect for authority; allowing disrespect to continue is the reason why our juvenile courts, and juvenile and adult jails and prisons systems are overloaded with wasted lives.”

Friday, October 06, 2006

PDC Landfill Application Expansion Hearings

Today’s “Letter to the Editor” from a Joanne Richardson is the first of a series of letters the radical environmentalists plan to have published in an attempt to defeat me in my race for reelection to the Peoria County Board. I received a call from Republican JoAnne Richardson, widow of Dr. Robert Richardson apologizing that she was not the Richardson that wrote the letter. She indicated that she would be writing a letter endorsing my reelection.

Some of you may not be aware that I wrote approximately 11 blogs on the research I had done on the Application for Expansion of part of the existing landfill owned and operated by the local Royal Coulter family, PDC. You can read these blogs by pulling up my archives starting in the last week of March and most of the month April.

I was one of 7 board members selected to be jurists for the county. (Actually all eighteen County Board members were told to be “jurists” and not base their decisions on community pressures). According to instructions given us by the Sates Attorney’s Office, we were to listen to only the evidence pertaining to the application, not as to whether the landfill should have been in that location in the first place, not where the waste came from, whether or not it could be recycled and not to be swayed by emotions stirred up by the radical environmentalists. We were to then to report our findings to the rest of the County Board, some of who attended none of the 6 days of testimony and cross-examination. Despite the fact that all testimony and cross-examination was posted on the internet many of the board members do not use computers. Four of the 7 of us voted in favor of the expansion based on facts. Of the three no votes, one was from a board member very active in the Sierra Club whose leadership was and is still trying to mislead the community that live toxic was and is being buried in the land that will eventually poison the whole community.

Unfortunately for reasons never explained to my satisfaction, the Siting Committee never had an opportunity to present our findings to the full board. Also the printed documents covering all public information did not become available until after the first vote in which the die was cast. I was of the opinion and still hold that opinion based on my being there that PDC never received a fair trial. PDC has filed a lawsuit against the county and the county has set aside the first $75,000 to defend itself and that is only a initial amount.

My position was backed by the Heartland Partnership, the Economic Development Council, the Chamber of Commerce and the Civic Federation. My position was also backed by Mayor Ardis and Bonnie Noble.

This week I received notification of my endorsement by the Progressive Peoria Political Aaction Committee (PAC)

By the way of interest, my opponent is telling people that if she had been on the board she would have voted no. She had an interesting time explaining to the JSEB how she could have made that decision without being involved or never having visited PDC.

If this community wants a person on the county board who makes all her decisions based on what her constituents tell her, so be it. Also pray that she never sits on a jury on which you may be being tried. She is also saying I said we are fortunate to have the landfill in Peoria. She evidently can’t read well either. I suggest she reread the article where I say we are fortunate to have a family owned business operating this landfill for 28 years the last 14 without a citation from the EPA. I stand by that statement.

I listened to my constituents in my district and 12 asked me to vote no. 4 of them changed their mind after I reviewed the testimony with them.

The entire proceedings are still available on

Thanks for your support. Do not look for yard signs or any signs as I am covering my district door to door and the response is excellent. I do not take money and have told the PAC that and they respect my request. They write “We appreciate your involvment in public service to the community and look forward to working with you after the election.” I, in turn appreciate their support.

Mister Roberts Point of View

“The values we care about the deepest, and the movements within society that support those values, command our love. When those things that we care about so deeply become endangered, we become enraged. And what a healthy thing that is! Without it, we would never stand up and speak out for what we believe.” (Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers)