Saturday, March 23, 2013

O'Halloran targeted because he fought for taxpayers in Orland Park

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O'Halloran targeted because he fought for taxpayers in Orland Park

Orland Park Trustee Brad O'Halloran is being attacked because he spoke out against the expensive Ninety 7 Fifty project which has a lot of taxpayers up in arms. But those taxpayers have no place to go with their anger because the village's incumbents are not being challenged.

Mayor Dan McLaughlin, who defends the project, has built up a great record over the past four years and while we have had differences in the past, I think he's on the right track. O'Halloran, who had the cajones to stand up and publicly speak out against the development, also has been on the right track for a long time. His hiring as Chairman of METRA gives Orland Park an added benefit. He's someone who will actively insure that Orland's transportation interests are protected.

Trustee O'HalloranThat may offer some insight into why O'Halloran was being viciously attacked in a robocall last week that used false charges against Moraine Valley Community College candidate John Schiera as a basis to personally attack O'Halloran. (Click here to read that post.)

That story got immediately picked up by the Chicago Tribune. Click here for the Chicago Tribune's follow-up to my blog. In the end, the attack against Shiera is unfair because it is anonymous and the accusations are all lies. Schiera has never been convicted of domestic violence. He had an incident with a former girlfriend years ago but nothing came of it, except maybe anger. But doesn't all domestic squabbles end up in anger?

Accusations spit out by anonymous people who are afraid to stand up and identify themselves reflects directly on the accusations. They are false. Completely false. And the people spewing them don't care. Worse, they don't care about Domestic violence. The only reason they raised the issue of Domestic violence and John Schiera was to create a false basis for a political attack against O'Halloran.

Yet, what does any of that have to do with Brad O'Halloran who has been a wonderful father and a great family man who has stood up to champion the taxpayers and has been an independent voice on the Village of Orland Park board?

The village needs an independent voice on the Orland Park Village board but it has to be a responsible one. O'Halloran is that person.

Trying to associate O'Halloran with such a vicious slander was political in its intent.

On Friday night, Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman put out her own robocall defending O'Halloran. Gorman is probably the most popular elected official in the Southwest Suburbs. Her fight to  oppose the outrageous Cook County Sales Tax increase was unique. So few elected officials really stand up to fight for the taxpayers. But Gorman did. She praised O'Halloran and urged voters to support his re-election and not be swayed by vicious rumors and false charges made by some low-life who was afraid to identify him or herself.

Like Gorman, O'Halloran is a champion of the taxpayers. He has nothing to do with the Schiera issue, although as far as I am concerned, I am going to vote to support Schiera because I don't like anonymous negative attacks from people who are afraid to speak up and defend their charges.

But I definitely am going to vote for O'Halloran. We need an independent voice on the Orland Park Village Board who is responsible and has experience and a proven track record fighting for taxpayer rights.

O'Halloran is a class act who is so different from many other elected officials. O'Halloran handled his opposition to the Ninety 7 Fifty development, representing the widespread views of many concerned taxpayers, with respect and dignity, unlike those who attacked him. (Click here to read the story.)

Everyone keeps throwing out one name in speculation about who is behind the smear campaign. But that doesn't matter. Let the patches of low-lifes who populate online chatboards and  discussion groups can spew all the ignorance they want. They're a small group you don't want to be associated with.

What matters is keeping Orland Park strong. For the first time, we have a real taxpayer advocate on METRA to fight for our transportation needs and holding the line on spending.

-- Ray Hanania

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