The Mannix effect

Opinion: Editorials

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There is poison in the politics of Forest Park. It has been there for a decade. It is seen in the divisive splits on the village council, in the unduly personal nature of that divide. It is seen in the fierce antagonism shown to critics by village leaders. It is seen in the marginal choices made by Mayor Anthony Calderone in whom he slates and whom he backs for the village council – the Mark Hosty, Mike Curry, and now Tom Mannix line of council members.

(And here we will take a break to say that Mark Hosty confounds us. Clearly he is a man who loves his town, works wonderfully hard on terrific events that make this town better, runs a popular business. But as an elected leader he is so bellicose, so personal, so thin-skinned that it makes him a poor public official. We've waited for him to grow into the role and mostly he hasn't.)

But Mannix is a new level of political poison. A paid political operative engaged in local elections across the region, Mannix is the sort of political animal who makes all politics feel dirty, that breeds distrust of anyone crazy enough to put their name forward in the public square. And, as we reported last week online and this week in print, Mannix always operates his political viciousness from the shadows. He digs purported dirt from public records but doesn't use his own name in filing FOIA's. He publishes anonymously on the web from behind the many veils of websites and domains he creates.

This spring he seeks to extend the local political influence of his backers into the until now non-political realm of our local schools by running a slate of suspect candidates including Thomas Brad Keefner, an old college roommate who moved to town in just 2010 and has no children. And pre-election he attempts to soften up the well-respected school superintendent with some sort of nonsense that this man has scammed the school district out of an iPad. And, for heaven sakes, he sends his mom out to challenge petition signatures of other candidates.

We have reported that the anonymous local website Forest Park Truth Squad shares the same unique Google advertising account number as two other websites linked to Mannix. That didn't stop this fellow from initially lying to The Review when we asked him to confirm the connection. He denied running the site and said he didn't know who did. A day later he moved away from that lie and told us he had built the site on behalf of a client. Wrapping himself in the cloak of ethical behavior he said he could not possibly disclose the identity of that client.

Right. Ethics first, Tom.

This is a key moment in Forest Park. Mayor Calderone and the good people who have his ear, need to speak out for a Forest Park that is truer to its kinder and fundamentally positive roots.

Reader Comments

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Brian Kuhr from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 6th, 2015 7:19 AM

The Mannix effect rears its ugly head again. I hope that this election people send a message to the powers-that-be that sleazy, dishonest anonymous campaign flyers are not welcome in our little town.

Gina Garrison  

Posted: April 5th, 2015 3:17 PM

This is the Mayor's right hand man. I am so embarrassed by the way that Forest Park is being portrayed by these stacks and stacks of lying attack ads. I feel like Tom Mannix has truly changed the culture of our town to one where sleaze is the norm. I am curious from those of you that have lived here and been hyper-involved in campaigns over the years if this really did come in with Tom Mannix or if this level of libelous attacks existed before he came along? Overwhelmingly this election I keep hearing that it is the worst ever in the town's history.

Brian Kuhr from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 4th, 2015 1:28 AM

The Mannix effect can continue to be seen in this election, alas. I hope people have had enough of the sleazy anonymous mailers full of lies and distortions.

This is Not a Trick!  

Posted: March 16th, 2013 9:52 AM

If you are AGAINST video gambling, vote YES on April 9th. This is not a trick!

Don't from Get Fooled Again  

Posted: March 13th, 2013 2:28 PM

Don't fall for a Mannix shill. NO to Moritz and Keefer.

Concerned from Forest Park  

Posted: March 13th, 2013 1:11 PM

@Spin. I'm not selling anything. I do not know O'Connor's motives. However, there are 6 candidates running for 4 seats. One of the "Mannix 3" will be elected. Of those three, only O'Connor is involved in the schools (as the police liaison and through PBIS), and has taken the time to attend meetings. O'Connor and the other two can speak for themselves at the upcoming forums -- if they even show up.

Spin City  

Posted: March 13th, 2013 12:50 PM

@Concerned You believe that "Mike O'Connor has smartly distanced himself from Mannix" as evidenced by what? O'Connor, along with Moritz and Keefer, hired Tom Mannix to package up his candidacy paperwork and had Mannix file on his behalf. Why is that? Is it that hard to file for a school board seat? Goin to a couple school board meetings doesn't change that. So all the sudden O'Connor just calls a do-over and everything is fine? I ain't buyin' what your sellin'!! O'Connor is one of them.

Concerned from Forest Park  

Posted: March 13th, 2013 11:15 AM

I believe Mike O'Connor has smartly distanced himself from Mannix. I understand that he has been seen at school board meetings. Keefner and Moritz have not. You can check out who attends the board meetings by looking up the meeting minutes on the school district website.

Spin City  

Posted: March 13th, 2013 8:50 AM

Based on the comments, The Wizard of Odd ,Tom Mannix, has spin central in full swing. The voters of Forest Park were fooled into voting for this carpet bagger once. Let's not be fooled into voting for the Mannix 3 in the upcoming D91 school board race. Remember, Tom Mannix put up the following candidates for D91. BRIAN MORITZ, THOMAS BRAD KEEFER, MICHAEL O'CONNOR. Do not allow him to ruin our schools by placing political operatives on the school board. Let's be smarter this time!

Willy from FP  

Posted: March 13th, 2013 7:56 AM

KEEP FOREST PARK SAFE VOTE YES. Have you noticed the signs hanging in many FP pubs stating "keep forest park competitive vote yes?" I wonder, did some crafty person in Village politics "purposely" word the letter that went out in our FP water bills? In the letter "NO" meant no video gambling. I understand in the voting booth the question will be worded that "NO" will mean you approve video gambling in FP. Does anyone know anything about this?

Hmmmm  

Posted: March 12th, 2013 11:28 PM

I think we just heard from Mannix's Mother, sister and fiancee.

Bill from Melrose Park South  

Posted: March 12th, 2013 11:17 PM

TimMin? Ready to take a slight risk and suggest to little Tony that he slap his technoboy into line?.... Theres's no shame in getting caught lying. Only in keeping on lying. And being connected to the lying. Someone- you?- needs to tell the FP Council's Wizard of Ooops to stop following his momma's marching orders. Since the little wizzer's wife-to-be surely doesn't want Momma looking over her shoulder, right?

Me In Forest Park from Forest Park  

Posted: March 12th, 2013 11:04 PM

Tom Mannix represents everything I want in an elected official. He is always working for the best of this town. He is a huge advocate of our Forest Park Food Panty, many times giving hundreds of dollars of food from his own pocket. I really don't care what he does for a living, he's all about helping this town. I see beyond your agenda. Keep it up Tom Mannix!

Forest Park Fan from Forest Patk  

Posted: March 12th, 2013 10:53 PM

And Cavello didn't buy one iPad, he bought three tablets on my taxpayer dollars just before Christmas. Get the story correct please.

Forest Park Fan from Forest Park  

Posted: March 12th, 2013 10:45 PM

You go Tom Mannix. This town has been cloaked in BS from forestparkforums and CUFP for ages. It's refreshing to see real facts on forestparktruthsquad.com whether you own it or not. I spend a lot of tax $ on dist 91 and if attention needs to be paid, I want to hear it. You are no virus, you are a refreshing clarity to this village.

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