More on the County Fair Isolation of Pro-Life Booths

A couple of days ago, I posted the Thomas More Law Center’s letter to the McHenry County Fair Association regarding the forced relocation of three Pro-Life booths.

Now, I have come into possession of a description of two phone calls made on May 6th by Paula Emmerth, a spark plug for Peter’s Net:

I called the McHenry County Fair office today to find out more information about who was actually going to be moved from Bldgs, C and D to the “Faith Tent”.

The part of the County Fair contract with location designation.

The part of the County Fair contract with location designation.

Liz, (office staff) informed me that there were further changes made following the Fair Board Meeting held the night before.

Liz explained that all those booths that they had been planned to be moved to the tent were now going into Building E.

I pressed her to let me know who was going to be moved.

In 2011, Peter's Net attracted kids with games.

In 2011, Peter’s Net attracted kids with games.

She wouldn’t give me any particulars, but said that there were booths from C and D being moved.

I asked her what was the basis for the selection was for moving some booths from each building and she said that they were trying to make a group of the same kind of thing.

I asked what was that?

She said faith groups, that they wanted to keep them all together.

In 2011, what caught my eye at the McHenry County Deanery's Respect Life booth was the transparent container with baby shoes.

In 2011, what caught my eye at the McHenry County Deanery’s Respect Life booth was the transparent container with baby shoes.

I asked if that included pregnancy information booths and she sad “yes”.

I told her that that sounds like discrimination and should be illegal.

She said that she wasn’t authorized to have that discussion with me and took my contact information to pass along the committee.

Larry Machereaux, in charge of vendor rental space, called me promptly to address my call to the fair office.

He boldly informed me that I was selected to be moved and that the new plan is to put my booth in Building E and that it had air conditioning too.

I asked Larry the same questions about who was going to be moved out of their prior locations and he told me that new contracts are going out tomorrow that show my location in Building E, and that I was welcome to accept that offer.

I pressed him for clarification on the booth selection criteria and he said that the fair committee made all those decisions.

I asked if this was based on booth message like religion and pregnancy, or why not seniority or other types of booths like political, educational institutions, or healthcare facilities, etc. and he said again that the fair committee established the group to be moved.

In 2008, the Woodstock Church of God had a booth.

In 2008, the Woodstock Church of God had a booth.

I could accept if it I wanted to and that he hoped to see us at the fair again.

I have never received a revised contract and he was very emphatic that I was to be in building E only.

I was never given any options beyond that.

I was also told by Liz in the fair office that the MCCC [McHenry County Citizens for Choice] was going to remain in Building D.

Sounds like they are scrambling around for damage control at this point.

And commenter “Wow” left this message on Wednesday, May 20th:

In 2010, the Woodstock VFW was next to Congresswoman Melissa Bean's government-paid booth, which was next to the McHenry County Citizens for Choice exhibit, which was next to a commercial booth with a sign saying, "Coutry."

In 2010, the Woodstock VFW was next to Congresswoman Melissa Bean’s government-paid booth, which was next to the McHenry County Citizens for Choice exhibit, which was next to a commercial booth with a sign saying, “Coutry.”

The thing that Mr Skinner fails to mention is that the pro choice groups and politicians will all be in the same area away from business – same as the pro life folks.

So to say there is a faith ghetto is absolutely absurd.

I have emailed the McHenry County Citizens for Choice asking whether “Wow” is correct.

If I get a reply, I shall share it.

= = = = =
Before I could get the above posted, I got an email from “Anonymous McHenry County Fact Checker” at 9:31 AM today, May 22nd.

He/she says that the following was posted as a comment, but, when I looked, it was not there.

Regardless, I thought you ought to read what was written:

This is not an issue of discrimination this is an issue about business.

I called not ten minutes ago and the fair said that they are taking all

  • non-profits
  • pro-life groups
  • pro-choice groups and finally
  • politicians

who had previously been in the exhibitor hall and putting them in a separate location apart from businesses.

In 2011, the Libertarians co-existed with Peter's Net, but the modeling agency across the aisle moved because too many young women wanted to look at the fetal models, instead of give away their email addresses.

In 2011, the Libertarians co-existed with Peter’s Net, but the modeling agency across the aisle moved because too many young women wanted to look at the fetal models, instead of give away their email addresses.

That’s the story.

That’s it.

They are not making one rule for pro-life groups and one for pro-choice groups like some are asserting.

In 2010, Congresswoman Melissa Bean was allowed to campaign between the free parking area and the entrance gate.

In 2010, Congresswoman Melissa Bean was allowed to campaign between the free parking area and the entrance gate.

There is no ghetto – and even if there were – calling it a ‘religious ghetto’ is absurd because there will be pro-life groups, pro-choice groups, and politicians in said ghetto.

The fair seemed pretty open and willing to try work things out, yet it is these noisy, victimhood-claming pro-life groups who are whining like children and claiming they are being singled out.

Yet, I REPEAT!!!!!

They are putting politicians, and pro-life and pro-choice, and non for profits who would have previously been mixed with business now separate from businesses and in an exhibitor hall (or tent).

After the "Faith Tent" drew vocal opposition the County Fair decided to put Pro-Life and religious exhibits in this building, where the main draw has been the Defenders and the County Historical Society.

After the “Faith Tent” drew vocal opposition the County Fair decided to put Pro-Life and religious exhibits in this building, where the main draw has been the Defenders and the County Historical Society.

Businesses are going in another area.

The fair is being completely unbiased towards non-for profit groups alike and treating them all the same.

Mr. Skinner, what sort of fact checking have you done?

It seems to be none, sir.

I replied,

Jack Franks in front of his 2012 County Fair Tent.  Photo Credit: Friend of McHenry County Blog.

Jack Franks in front of his 2012 County Fair Tent. Photo Credit: Friend of McHenry County Blog.

The facts keep changing.

I shall post your comment.

Been at Nunda Twp all morning.

I do wonder if Jack Franks will still be allowed to stay in his tent near the entrance from the parking.

Looking at more recent emails, I found the following sent May 22nd at 12:48 from Judy Cocks of the 1st Way Life Center:

Hello All,

Thank you Tom.

Job well done.

In 2008, 1st Way had the same corner booth.

In 2008, 1st Way had the same corner booth.

I received the call today and the McHenry County Executive Fair committee met and have reversed themselves completely.

1st Way will be in its same location as years past.

Sarah from McHenry County Fair assured me that there would be a mix of vendors as there has always been.

I am hopeful.

She did say that we may not have the identical booths around us as we have had, but that has always varied a bit from year to year.

Thank you, also, Cal.  I am certain that your articles helped.

Now for us, the next battle is SB1564.

Blessings to you all and have a great Memorial Day weekend.


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