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Can the efforts to stymie opponents of video gaming in Forest Park get any more repulsive? Last week the Review reported in print on the Facebook tirade of sitting Commissioner Tom Mannix against the wives of two vocal gaming foes, women who have played no public role in this worthy debate.

Last Thursday, the Review posted the update that the emails used by Mannix to completely, unfairly slime one of those women, a professional employee of the Cook County Clerk, were obtained via a FOIA request by Mark Hosty, a current Forest Park bar manager, a former village commissioner, the person who repeatedly blocked a binding vote on gaming by clogging earlier ballots with nonsense referendums, and, by the way, Mannix’s partner in a real estate venture.

And did we mention that Mannix completely distorted the content of those emails in his Facebook vilification of this couple? Their exchange had nothing to do with video gaming but instead referenced participating with the clerk’s office in a gay pride parade. 

Here we have two elected officials, one current, one repudiated for reelection by voters, aggressively and publicly turning against Forest Park residents, and now their spouses, only because those citizens exercised their right to oppose a government action involving video gaming. 

At last week’s village council meeting, Mayor Anthony Calderone, who brought these two miscreants to office, mildly slapped Mannix’s wrist but then played the notorious false equivalency card by suggesting that venal campaign flyers from earlier years somehow justified current actions.

The equivalence we’d point out is that, during Calderone’s overlong tenure as mayor, it’s Forest Park’s politics that have gone into the gutter. The specter of our national political shame has parallels in our hometown. That’s pathetic and it starts with Anthony Calderone.

Hello, bar owners

Suppose you own a bar or restaurant in Forest Park. You’ve added video gaming and it has plumped your bottom line while not offending the regulars. Likely means you want local voters to allow gaming to continue when it comes to a binding vote in November. 

So why are you sitting by silently and letting your hard-won reputations be brought low by the likes of Healy’s Mark Hosty, who hasn’t met a political dirty trick that he hasn’t embraced, or mega-bar owner Marty Sorice, who has turned Facebook into scorched earth. We’ll give leeway to O’Sullivan’s James Watts, who has played legal hardball but at least stayed in legal lanes.

Seventy days until an election that will potentially impact your business. Who among you is going to step up and repudiate the tactics and the tone of these seeming leaders of your local industry? We’ve said before that there is a case to be made in Forest Park for video gaming if only someone would make it respectfully and not at the expense of a worthy opposition.

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