On Oct. 2, the newly formed Forest Park PAC likely had more to cheer for than the narrow victory the Bears came away with – one that was not replicated in Monday night’s game against the Detroit Lions.
The group held a fundraiser at McGaffers Saloon and asked that folks come out in “support” of Mayor Anthony Calderone and Commissioners Mark Hosty and Tom Mannix at $35 a head ($60 for couples).
By all accounts, a significant number of people showed up, which probably means the trio behind Forest Park PAC – Calderone, Hosty and Mannix – came away with a decent amount of cash.
Mannix and Hosty said the event was a hit. Calderone did not respond to our inquiries on this new political venture. Neither Mannix nor Hosty knew how much money was raised, though, and we weren’t able to check this because Forest Park PAC hasn’t yet filed its paperwork with the Illinois State Board of Elections. Those filings are not yet required, we want to note.
Mannix and Hosty said, basically, that the PAC was formed to raise money to fund all of their campaigns in 2015. And Mannix also said that there will likely be a stronger campaign link between the trio and two other running mates in 2015.
Wait a minute. Didn’t all three of them just get seated, like, four months ago? They sure did. But, apparently, four years is not that far away and these elected officials want to make sure they have ample funding for the next race.
After all, the $35,904 that Citizens for Calderone has in the bank won’t be nearly enough to fund the nearly $70,000 campaign the mayor ran earlier this year.
If he wanted to be nice, the mayor could give some of that money to the committees of his two allies on the council – both of whom spent less than $10,000, each, during the last election.
Now that there’s Forest Park PAC, though, the mayor doesn’t have to worry about that. Instead, residents, non-residents, organizations, companies (local and out of state), and other politicians and elected officials now have another way to bankroll these local pols.
When we heard about the PAC, the first thing that came to mind was: Why?
Why, in a town, of just over 14,000 people, do three local politicians need more than one committee to raise money to campaign? The answer we’d suggest is that these leaders are moving into permanent, organized campaign mode. In recent years, Calderone has been ambivalent about straight-up slatemaking. The PAC suggests that such ambivalence is in the past. The majority is getting organized early. The loyal opposition, currently under various rocks, ought to take note.
Politics in Forest Park is getting more interesting, more organized and more political.