If you can’t make a case against your direct competitors in a school board election, it seems the next best choice for the politically-amped Proviso First slate is to blatantly lie in suggesting that their far superior opponents at Proviso Together are in the pocket of Gov. Bruce Rauner.

We’re up to two flyers this week in which the failed incumbents with the incontrovertible political connections are wholesale lying about the parent-led, grassroots reformers of Proviso Together. While Rauner and his cronies are spreading their limitless cash and creating fake newspapers in multiple jurisdictions, it simply isn’t happening in D209.

In this election, the Proviso High Schools are about to take the final step in casting off the political chains that former school board chair and current State Rep. Chris Welch, along with his own cronies and mayoral hacks in Proviso towns and villages, have used to decimate our public high schools over decades.

To his credit, Forest Park Mayor Anthony Calderone is breaking away from the other Proviso mayors and is backing the Proviso Together slate of Rodney Alexander, Amanda Grant, Della Patterson and Samuel Valtierrez. If elected they will join Theresa Kelly and two dedicated Forest Parkers – Claudia Medina and Ned Wagner – who won election two years ago.

Today’s Review also carries a powerful letter of support for the Proviso Together reformers from Tim Gillian and Dorothy Gillian. Mr. Gillian is Forest Park’s village administrator. Mrs. Gillian is a local Realtor. They note the passion and the ideas they saw from this slate when they hosted a coffee for the challengers in their home recently.

The retaking of the Proviso high schools from the political forces of self-dealing began two years ago in Forest Park, in an impromptu meeting at Brown Cow. While Kelly, Medina and Wagner led the crusade, it was the alliances that have been built among fed-up parents and taxpayers across this township that have been glorious to watch. 

In 2015, the trio swamped the slate put forward by Welch and the mayors. Now the Welch holdovers on the board are reduced to pathetic claims that these passionate parents are in the pocket of none other than Rauner. Preposterous. 

So we have one flyer picturing Rauner with a batch of chickens and a lot of stupid puns about “fowl” agendas. And now a second flyer attempting to more directly link Proviso Together to the deeply unpopular Rauner.

While most of Proviso is Democratic and firmly in the anti-Rauner orbit, the truth these incumbents are about to be handed by voters is that Proviso Township is made up of good people totally fed up with the local and mostly Democratic pols – state reps and mayors – who have sunk our schools for their own greedy reasons. 

We have now watched the passion and the smarts of this slate on multiple occasions and grow only more impressed by what they can add to this district. As both Calderone and Gillian understand, the future of Forest Park is inextricably linked to the revival of these high schools. The only path forward is with Proviso Together. Overall, this is not an exciting election season. Don’t use that as an excuse to pass up this opportunity to vote.