VMA insulted our intelligence

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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I agree with Dan Haley's excellent analysis in his column last week [VMA's well-deserved thumping, News, April 17].

It indeed got ugly and unappealing.

In addition to Haley's assessment that "the VMA badly underestimated the frustration level of voters toward the status quo in town," probably more of a factor for me occurred during the last week of the election. By hammering on non-issues and blowing them out of proportion, it became crystal clear that the VMA had launched a (failed) assassination attempt on Anan Abu-Taleb's character.

My reaction went from, "They appear to be a little out of touch" to "They think we are stupid!" Along with other Oak Parkers, I may be a lot of things, but stupid is not one of them.

So the VMA also underestimated our intelligence.

Bridgett Baron

Oak Park

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get over it already  

Posted: April 24th, 2013 2:25 PM

Way to put things behind you and move on, Bridgett. YOU and your cohorts are the problem, not the VMA, which is moving forward to work with Anan while you continue to whine about the election.

Jane Hedges from Oak Park  

Posted: April 24th, 2013 1:13 PM

Hey, the election is over. Let's now celebrate Oak Park. Oak Park just won the Distinguished Budget Presentation from the Government Finance Office Assoc. for fiscal year 2013. Down Town Oak Park won an international award this April. This is a great place to live!

Bridgett Baron from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 24th, 2013 12:48 PM

Nancy, it appears that you are a supporter of the VMA. I didn't have any experience with, hence no opinion of, the VMA before this last election. Is this the way VMA folks communicate? Because you are proving my point with an over-the-top tone with me in your comments. You are personally attacking me and failing to see that the things you are accusing me of, is exactly the things that members of the VMA did, and lost the election for Village President because of it. My letter is slanderous, you say? You don't think Jon Hale's One View piece, published right before the election, wasn't out of line? WJ gave him more space than my lil ol' letter. A letter to the Editor, which was in response to an entire column that you didn't feel necessary to comment on, but choose go after a letter writer about such column? Why? Why not a tirade on Dan's column? My letter is peanuts compared to what he said. :-) I am not into politics as much as, it seems, you are. But watching how things unfolded in the final weeks of the election, I do agree with Dan Haley's criticism. And the VMA can consider his criticism and my added criticism, if they want to win future elections. Or not. {{shrug}} I hope to meet you in person one day and we can continue this discussion, with civility. Cheers.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 24th, 2013 11:23 AM

Franklin quote "Lastly, Anan's campaign was effective in convincing the public that John Hedges was the status quo, when he actually differed very much from the rest of the board...." Many voters embraced the "status quo" description of the VMA and candidate Hedges, yet in the last week's of the campaign the VMA team decided that a concentrated smear on Anan would be more effective than addressing the "status quo." view posed by Anan's team. That's called politics. Anan won because he had a focused strategy. The VMA lost because it stuck with their strategy of degrading the opposition. Anan's team chose to ruin an issue's campaign. It worked because village voter wanted change. A lot of people believe, including VMA members, that the felony and liquor license attacks by the VMA gave Anan the strong name recognition that he needed to win against a very strong candidate. Bad campaign choices were made in the election and they were not made by Anan. I think Bridgett nailed the campaign tone that led to the VMA loss.

Nancy Dmitri from Oak Park  

Posted: April 24th, 2013 11:19 AM

And by the way- for giving a platform to Bridgett's slanderous drivel, as well casually tossing Oak Park's historic commitment to clean government by the wayside for a temporarily popular restaurateur, this newspaper has just lost a reader who has avidly read these pages for over a decade. Not that I am guessing you are that concerned.

Nancy Dmitri from Oak Park  

Posted: April 24th, 2013 11:15 AM

I read Haley's view. I disagreed with that too. Btw, it was an Opinion piece, not a piece of hard news reporting. But I am sure he'll be glad to know that you hold his opinion in high enough esteem to use it as a rhetorical crutch when unwilling to do your own research. AG's opinion is public record. I am not talking about pay to play. I'm talking about the conviction, clemency, and the AG. Casually demeaning people as thugs for bringing up a matter of public record is wrong of you. And Dan.

Bridgett Baron from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 24th, 2013 10:58 AM

@Nancy Dmitri, Did you read Dan Haley's article on which my letter to the Editor is about? There's a hyperlink in my letter to it, for your convenience. Your assertion about the attorney general is inaccurate. And bringing it up *again*, while saying that "bringing forth relevant facts not hitherto reported on" is also inaccurate. As Dan states, "He [John Hale] based his unsubstantiated accusations of pay-to-play on a poorly reported 2009 story from the Sun-Times at the time of the pardon. In that piece, a Sun-Times reporter gathered the usual suspects to tsk-tsk at Illinois' brutally corrupt politics using Abu-Taleb's pardon as the current manifestation. Trouble is, there was no evidence then or now that either Abu-Taleb or his lawyers did anything wrong."

Nancy Dmitri from Oak Park  

Posted: April 24th, 2013 10:42 AM

Bridgett- if you are talking about Mr. Abu-Taleb's tax conviction and his clemency from Blagojevich, and that the attorney general's office disagreed with the clemency- that's not character assassination or a "non-issue" either. That's bringing forth relevant facts not hitherto reported on. Someone's legal (not personal- legal) history is relevant to the office they seek. Funny how in this forum VMA were compared to genocidal dictators and that didn't seem to bug you much. Brazen hypocrisy.

Bridgett Baron from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 24th, 2013 10:40 AM

@Franklin, Regarding the hammering non-issues, two examples are cited by Dan Haley in the article on which this letter to the Editor is about. Did you happen to read Dan's article? WJ kindly hyperlinked to Dan's article in my letter above. It's a good read. Here is one quote: "Jon Hale, a respected former VMA-elected trustee, was the thug in a One View he penned for the Journal and in subsequent attack comments he posted to our website." I participated in the online discussion with Mr. Hale, as well as others. Go read those threads for your examples. Other examples can be found on OPT's Facebook page. The last week before the election, they spent more time concerned with Anan and what *he* was doing, rather than focusing on their own candidates. And the fact that you single out Jesse White as an issue, is an example that what you and I consider issues are very different. For me that's a non-issue and citing it is an insult to my intelligence in regards to someone's ability to serve as Village President.

Nancy Dmitri from Oak Park  

Posted: April 24th, 2013 10:33 AM

Bridgett- this is a flip and glib piece of commentary. I actually find it borderline slanderous. Who decides what a "non-issue" is? You? Is the application of an ethics ordinance a non-issue for you? Did the people who wrote the ethics ordinance 40 years ago assassinate Mr. Abu-Taleb's character? No. Did the people who had the temerity to bring it up assassinate Mr. Abu-Taleb's character? No. They brought up a law that is on the books. That's not innuendo. Not character assassination. How rude.


Posted: April 24th, 2013 9:42 AM

Um..... What was the "failed assassination attempt on Anan's character? Can you provide examples of how they hammered on non-issues. Interesting how you excuse Anan's untruth that the Oak Park Village taxes have increased 30%, and his use of Jesse White (Outside politics) to get elected. Lastly, Anan's campaign was effective in convincing the public that John Hedges was the status quo, when he actually differed very much from the rest of the board....

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 23rd, 2013 11:21 PM

Way to nail it Bridgett!

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