Susan Handelsman, Seneca Township resident, had this reaction to the Woodstock Independent’s trashing of Joe Tirio, McHenry County Clerk:
Independent editorial attacking honest reformer for standing up to Professional Political Class
In response to the Woodstock Independent editorial attacking County Clerk Tirio:
Tirio has never left off the people’s business of merging the functions of his two offices.
Now he must also devote his personal resources (at considerable personal expense of money and emotional stress due to attacks like the Independent editorial), to another people’s business:
standing up to the professional political class who break the law in their enormously expensive efforts to prevent honorable reformers from gaining political office.
As we all remember, Mr. Tirio was not a professional politician when he ran for Recorder of Deeds on the platform that he would eliminate that unneeded patronage appointment position, and merge Recorder functions into the County Clerk office.
His campaign website message IWonthiremyWife.com resonated with County voters paying among the highest property tax rates in America.
After winning the County Clerk position he has declined to keep drawing the Recorder salary to which he was entitled, keeping his promise to hold taxpayers’ interests in first priority.
This anti-Tirio editorial exhibits the same attitude of that professional political class who feel entitled to break laws and rationalize that “the judge was wrong.”
Defamation standards under Illinois law are difficult to meet, and in this case Tirio proved that the mailers were defamatory by those tough legal standards.
Defendants flouted the court order to reveal the source of the mailers, forcing further Court intervention.
As the judge told one defendant,
“You may disagree with my ruling, but you do not have the right to disobey it,”
This case illustrates the effectiveness of
- employing illegal tactics, and
- deploying seemingly unlimited funding to evade any consequences,
all in the effort to discredit an honest reformer who threatens to disrupt political status quo.
A chilling effect on would-be reformers entering politics may be assumed.
We may also assume that the Woodstock Independent editorial board has motivation to protect this entrenched political class from consequences of their actions.