Just six months after the last election ended, the mayor and two village council members have begun planning how to better fund their futures in local politics by announcing the creation of a political action committee (PAC).
Mayor Anthony Calderone, and Commissioners Mark Hosty and Tom Mannix recently formed Forest Park PAC to begin to “streamline efforts” for the next election, as Hosty put it. Thus far, those “efforts” have included a fundraiser the PAC held earlier this month.
The PAC further evidences the alliance that has formed between the three board members since Mannix was elected in April. Hosty and Calderone have always been close, but their circle now includes Mannix, who ran on an unofficial slate with the two veteran council members at the end of the last election.
Both Hosty and Mannix said that, because the PAC was formed, it is possible that the three will run on a slate in 2015.
“It’s inevitable, people [candidates] tend to team up,” said Mannix, of political alliances. He added that, during the last election, there was a lot of “synergy” between him, Calderone and Hosty.
The rookie board member also said that in future local elections he thinks that slates will become a trend.
“There’s going to be a movement to do it a bit more formally … to kind of pick what sides people are on,” Mannix said.
After the election, Calderone, Mannix, Hosty and some supporters got together to discuss the weak points and strengths of their respective campaigns, Mannix said. It was a way to start thinking about how to more efficiently run for office – as a team – the next time around, both Mannix and Hosty said.
“We spent a lot of money duplicating efforts,” said Mannix, adding that the idea is, in part, to “pool a set of resources so we can campaign better.”
Hosty echoed this when he hinted that money from the PAC could be used to purchase lawn signs bearing the names of all the candidates, “so not every lawn is covered with five signs.”
There are five members on the village board, and at the end of the last race an unofficial slate formed when Calderone, Hosty and Mannix appeared in an ad with former Commissioner Mike Curry and candidate Sam Tarrara. Neither Curry nor Tarrara were elected.
Nonetheless, the trio that comprises Forest Park PAC currently represents the 3-2 majority on the board. And all three have voted in unison on nearly every piece of village business since the new board was introduced in May.
The village council has, over the years, included some quarreling between board members, but Hosty said the arguing is often brought on by the “minority.”
“Bickering on the council constantly comes up, but I don’t really think the bickering is caused by the majority, it’s caused by minority,” said Hosty, likely in reference to past and present council members who have publically disagreed with him, the mayor and whomever else has been part of their three-person majority over the last decade, or so.
This time around, those two minority council members are Commissioners Rory Hoskins and Chris Harris.
Both minority board members said they had heard about the formation of the PAC, but knew little about it. In a voice message left with the Review, Harris said the PAC didn’t surprise him.
Whatever the case, the creation of Forest Park PAC indicates that Calderone, Hosty and Mannix intend to band together, now and in the future.
According to Hosty, the committee was formed about a month ago, although there is no record of this, because Forest Park PAC has not yet filed organizational paperwork with the Illinois State Board of Elections. It does not have to do so until it receives or spends more than $3,000, according to state law.
“Any financial filings will be made, as required by law,” Hosty said.
Mannix added that, although he didn’t know who was handling the filing, the group is working on submitting a D-1 document, the statement of organization that is required when the PAC exceeds the $3,000 threshold.
“We don’t have anything to file yet,” Mannix said.
Now that the PAC is formed, the officials will have another source to fund their campaigns, besides the individual committee each already has.
The amount of money that each of the commissioners has in their committees is dwarfed by what Calderone has accumulated, though.
As of June 30, the last time Citizens for Anthony Calderone filed paperwork with the Illinois State Board of Elections, the committee had $35,904. In contrast, Committee to Elect Mark S. Hosty had $2,280, as of Sept. 30, when he last reported. And Friends of Mannix had a mere $91 when it filed a report, on June 30.
It should be noted, though, that Mannix’s committee was only formed earlier this year, whereas the mayor’s has been fundraising since 1999, so it’s had much more time to accumulate money. But, then again, Hosty’s committee, which has some $33,624 less than Calderone’s, was formed in 2000.
Now that Forest Park PAC is around, though, it is not clear if all the board members will keep their committees.
In an email to the Review, Hosty said he intends to keep his operating. Mannix said he wasn’t sure what he was going to do. And the Mayor’s Press Office did not return repeated phone calls, or an email seeking comment on this story.
On Oct. 2, Forest Park PAC held a fundraiser at McGaffers Saloon, 7737 Roosevelt Rd. Those who support Calderone, Hosty and Mannix were invited to come out and watch the Bears game – at $35 per person or $60 per couple.
“Everybody had a good time,” Hosty said.
The Bears took the game, Mannix pointed out. When asked what Forest Park PAC took in, at the day’s end, though, neither Hosty nor Mannix said they knew.