In the tawdry and discouraging national election just concluded, it is of interest to note just how wildly Democratic Forest Park has become.
Yep, Donald J. Trump is still, stunningly, President-elect.
But in Forest Park, 70 percent of registered voters turned out to vote last week and, depending on the precinct, Hillary Clinton won 80 to 85 percent of the votes cast for president. Trump earned just 10 to 15 percent in any one precinct. Third party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein gathered a few breadcrumbs.
Tammy Duckworth, Illinois’ new senator and one of just two Democratic pick-ups in the upper chamber, clobbered incumbent Mark Kirk with 75 to 85 percent of the vote across local precincts.
What does it mean locally? Simply that Forest Park’s politics on a national level are quite progressive. Eventually that will catch up in local elections.
Assaulted and assaulted
Former village commissioner Mark Hosty has been a busy boy. On Election Day, he was allegedly assaulted by a 55-year-old grandma outside a polling place. And later that same day, he assaulted the entire village when he filed those bogus petitions at village hall.
The purpose of the rubbish petitions is to allow a pliable mayor and village council to place the bogus petitions on the April ballot, thereby crowding out the legitimate effort to place a binding referendum regarding video gaming on the ballot.
Let us stipulate that Hosty and his unnamed co-conspirators have done nothing illegal. In some circles, you might call this action politically adroit. We’d call it out as slimy, cynical and a slap in the face to many, many Forest Parkers who are tired of these sorts of shenanigans. Some of those frustrated are vocal opponents of video gaming. But an increasing number have just had it with hardball tactics in this small town.
Hosty, who manages, at the very least, Healy’s West Side bar and restaurant, has a direct financial benefit in keeping the gaming vote off the ballot. That is not lost on us or on most citizens.
At some point, likely in a late addition to a village council agenda, the commissioners will have to ratify these petitions. Assuming Commissioner Tom Mannix and Mayor Anthony Calderone are in on this fix, which of the three remaining commissioners, Joe Byrnes, Rachell Entler or Dan Novak, will have the spine to object to democracy being hijacked in Forest Park? We’ll be watching.
We’d note that one of Hosty’s trash-talking petitions is a return to his longtime and insulting question of whether Forest Park should secede from the Proviso high schools. Hosty seems to have missed the news that new and forward-looking Forest Parkers have actively engaged in remaking District 209. More proof that Hosty and his cronies are over-eager to live in the past.