Three 16th Congressional Candidates Appear on Rockford Radio

Where is Mal Bellairs when we need him?

The short answer is WIVS-AM radio (850 on the dial) owner Bellairs is retired.

During the 1970’s, he used his Crystal Lake radio station across from The Freeze to inform listeners about things political, among other topics. I listened on the way down Route3 47 to Springfield, but lost the signal at about Interstate 55.

He would have sponsored the type of debate that Rockford’s news-talk station WNTA sponsored yesterday.

U.S. Congressman Don Manzullo (R-Egan) faced off against challengers Robert Abboud (D-Barrington Hills and Scott Summers (G-Harvard).

Due to the advance in technology, you can hear the hour-long debate in four 15-minute segments.

Downloads can be obtained here.

More of Bellairs role in the political arena.

My friend Forrest Hare was elected Algonquin Township Assessor in 1969. He was 26, I think.

He followed the assessment law, which his predecessor most certainly had not. That meant assessing all property consistently, whether it be farm land–which at the time got no special tax break–or new homes, which were assessed at 60% of market value, even though the average home in the county was assessed at 43%. (That was when the “official” assessment level was 50%, not the present 33% of a three-year running average.)

Forrest so enraged developers and the few farmers left, that the Establishment put up a young teacher.

In the Crystal Lake Thanksgiving Day Parade, Barrington Hills gentleman farmer, former Palatine Township Republican Committee, former Cook County Sheriff Dick Ogivlie top assistant, Governor Ogilvie Illinois Racing Board Chairman entered a manure spreader that had signs which said,

“Garbage In, Garbage Out.”

It targeted Forrest.

In the contest for re-nomination, the Algonquin Township Republican Central Committee had a multi-location caucus.

It was in 1973 and I was in my first session as state representative, so I couldn’t offer much more than advice.

Forest created “Homeowners for Hare” and ran a skillful campaign.

Still, his amateurs, mainly owners of relatively new homes who had previously been taken to the property tax cleaners, were facing the “organization,” with my high school classmate and legislative colleague State Senator Jack Schaffer on the other side.

Voting was in Algonquin, Cary-Grove High School and Crystal Lake Community High School. After the ballots were cast, they were brought back to CLCHS to be counted.

As I remember Forrst telling me, the counting went on until late in the morning. After it was over, he had lost by a handful of votes.

He asked the judges if they were sure of the results.

Bleary eyed, they replied, “Of course not!”

The Algonquin Township Republican Central Committee would not allow a recount.

So, Forrest ran a write-in campaign.

Mal Bellairs was outraged at the refusal to allow a recount.

Between Forrest’s write-in announcement and the general township election, Bellairs featured the contest.

Forrest trounced the young school teacher, who was the Republican candidate.

After that Jack and I agreed that it would probably be a good idea if party central committees were allowed the option of conducting official party primaries in addition to party caucuses. We changed state election law.

Algonquin Township has had a primary election every election since then.

Alex McArthur, who turning into a strong supporter of mine and a strong advocate for open space in Barrington Hllls as its village president, probably wouldn’t not be too happy with the way those who bought his farm tried to zone it for more than the traditional 5-acre zoning in his village.

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Don Manzullo is on the left, Robert Abboud in the middle and Scott Summers on the right. Photo positions are not necessarily an indication of their places on the political spectrum.


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