An anonymous “dirty laundry” website that criticizes Forest Park public officials and candidates in the upcoming April election shares the same unique Google advertising account number as two other websites linked to Village Commissioner Tom Mannix.
The ForestParkTruthSquad.com site’s Google AdSense account number is the same one used on ThatsBadAdvice.com, a domain name registered to Thomas Mannix, 3400 W. 111th St. in Chicago.
That same Google AdSense account number also is associated with a website called VoterKnowledge.com, which is operated by a company where Mannix serves as managing partner.
Google AdSense allows individuals or businesses to earn money by letting Google place ads on their websites. Google pays a portion of the money it makes selling the ads to the website’s owner – usually via a monthly bank transfer.
The mailing address for ThatsBadAdvice.com is the same address used by a company and another website associated with Mannix. Chicago Lockbox LLC, a company headed by Elizabeth Mannix, also lists 3400 W. 111th St. in Chicago as its address. Meanwhile, a website called VoterKnowledge.com also lists 3400 W. 111th St. as its address.
The VoterKnowledge.com website states it is wholly owned and operated by Elect Systems Inc., a company whose president is Andrew Todd, according to the Illinois Secretary of State. Tom Mannix is listed as Elect Systems’ managing partner on the firm’s website.
The ThatsBadAdvice.com was a blog that commented on published advice columns such as Dear Abby and Dear Amy. Its Facebook page has five “likes” including Thomas J. Mannix, Elizabeth Mannix-Gajos (Mannix’s sister), Brad Keefner (Mannix’s college roommate, now running for District 91 School Board) Elsie Radtke (Mannix’s mother) and Paul Alfonso.
ThatsBadAdvice.com was live as late as Thursday morning. Forest Park Review emailed Mannix about the Google AdSense connection between the two websites at 12:30 p.m. Thursday. The ThatsBadAdvice.com website has since been taken down.
Mannix responded to email requests for comment around 5 p.m. Thursday.
Although he on Wednesday denied running the Forestparktruthsquad blog or knowing who ran it, he said Thursday he built the website for a client.
“As with the vast majority of my clients, I have non-disclosure agreements, so unless they give me the okay, I cannot disclose who they are,” he said in an email.
Prior to the site being taken down, Forest Park Review had saved screenshots of the site and the source code connecting ThatsBadAdvice.com to ForestParkTruthSquad.com
The ForestParkTruthSquad.com blog appeared in spring of 2012, but most of the 22 posts appeared in January and February of 2013. Some of the website’s early posts appeared to be copied verbatim from another anonymous blog, Reviewing the Review, which has been inactive since last year.
The site purportedly airs dirty laundry of Forest Park public officials and private citizens. It is critical of the Forest Park Elementary School District 91 administration and denies that the administration actually rebated $1.5 million in tax money to Forest Park taxpayers.
One post involves school District 91 Superintendent Lou Cavallo ordering computer tablets for the school. The anonymous author asks “Does anyone else think it is a bit fishy that Dr. Cavallo has two children and two tablets were purchased right around Christmas time?”
The site also posts photographs, purportedly from Facebook, of 20-year-old park board candidate Matt Walsh holding a beer bottle. The site is also critical of the Forest Park Review and Village Commissioner Rory Hoskins.
Mannix works as a political consultant and specializes in online-based campaigns for politicians around the state, including helping with the campaigns of Calumet City Mayor Michelle Quakinbush, three write-in candidates for the Village of Northbrook and an unsuccessful run for state senate by Carole Pankau from Itasca.
Mannix also worked as a consultant for state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, orchestrating two robocalls to more than 3,000 voters. He also works as a spokesman for Calumet City.
Graham Johnston contributed to this report.