From a Friend of McHenry County Blog, who also reads the Northwest Herald comes this “Black Box” ad from the Village of Richmond:
This notice resulted from the 1978 “Thompson Proposition.”
Jim Thompson was running for re-election for the first time, after winning a two-year term i 1976.
Illinois was switching from elected governors at the same time as presidents to electing them in off-years.
Her was running against State Comptroller Michael Bakalis.
It was the year of California’s Proposition 13, which passed during the June primary.
Seekng to gin up his campaign with the backdrop of Proposition 13, Thompson came up with the idea of a property tax-related advisory refereendum.
Of course, advisory referendum rarely accomplish anything, but it was used as a campaign issue.
And the result was this warning to taxpayers that local governments had to publish in a local newspaper about a hearing to be held on the subject.
At the time for collecting petition signatures, the Lake in the Hills dam had been condemned.
Nightly meetings were held at the American Legion Home to craft a way to save the dam.
I was State Rep. and my father was on the County Board, both of us representing the area.
We even convinced Congressman Robert C. McClory to come one night…the crowds were that big.
After all, it was the Federal government which had found the dam structurally unsafe.
Attempting to garner Governor Thompson’s attention, we gathered Thompson Proposition petition signatures, registering non-voters before they signed.
The tactic worked.
During the fall election, Thompson flew into a site near the south end of the dam to promise assistance in saving it.
This was the same petition campaign that resulted in the downfall of Thompson supporter State’s attorney Gene Armontrout, who orchestrated an illegal roundtabling forgery effort to fill petitions.