The following letter was published in the Woodstock Independent and is reprinted here with permission from it author Elliot Cassidy:
Frivolous lawsuit attacks First Amendment Rights
I want to thank the Independent for your recent Editorial about the frivolous lawsuit filed by County Clerk, Joe Tirio, against authors of campaign flyers.
I further want to thank the Independent for printing McHenry County GOP Chairman Diane Evertson’s hyperbolic response to the editorial because her wading into the debate further proves that Tirio’s lawsuit is political posturing and not a legal issue.
Evertson and Tirio claimed that the content of the flyers were outright lies. But a quick Google search unearthed a few interesting points.
For example, the October flyer said Tirio “hired cronies.”
Then, on March 4th, Tirio stated, “I haven’t hired four cronies. I haven’t even hired four regular people!”
But, in reality, Tirio verified in his lawsuit that he hired four people.
The flyer photoshopped a mask on Tirio and called him Crooked Joe.
In his lawsuit, Tirio stated the attacks were “malicious” and “damaging.”
But, in reality, Tirio was spotted after the “attacks” [emphasis added] at a GOP fundraiser sporting a mask and joking about the flyer. (Would someone do that if they thought the attacks were seriously malicious?)
The flyer said Tirio has a “slush fund.”
Tirio maintains he doesn’t have a “slush fund.”
But, in reality, Tirio has little oversight over the automation fund his office administers, he provides zero line item details about how his office spends the funds and his office has yet to reply to a FOIA from me about specifics behind how the fund is invested.
Simply put, I provide more details about my corporate expenses to my boss than Tirio provides about a multi-million dollar taxpayer fund.
Reasonable people know the flyers were over the top, but that’s what happens in today’s politics – just ask Crooked Hillary.
No one likes a sore loser, but even worse is a sore winner.
Tirio won his election and that should have been enough.
Instead, he resorted to attacking the first amendment and now Party Chairman Evertson is piling on to gain political points by attacking a reputable paper for honest coverage about a lawsuit that should never have been filed in the first place.
Sources:Tirio, “I haven’t hired four poeple. I havent’ hired anyone.”
Source: Flyer Contained “Slush Fund”
Source: Flyer Containing Mask