By Nona Tepper
If you haven't heard, the Forest Park Review is fact-checking every campaign flier this election season, in an effort to inform voters. Keep in touch: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flier Name: That is not politics as usual
Specs: 8-by-11, paper, two-sided
Submitted to the Forest Park Review: Nov. 5
Residents received an offensive flier on Nov. 5 concerning Jon Kubricht, who is running for village commissioner. The flier was sent to some, but not all, of those in the village, and made outrageous claims accusing Kubricht of holding racist, sexist and anti-Semitic views. There are no facts for the Review to fact-check in this flier, and the Review is not posting it online.
Here are some responses we received from individuals quoted in the piece. The Review reached out to every person named in the flier. The following responses have been edited for clarity.
"I have just been hoping it would go away."
"I do not know nor have met more than half the people quoted on the four pages."
"I am not married and do not have a house in Chicago."
"My dad does not live in Panama and is not a drug dealer."
"The picture of my supposed brother is no one I know."
"The two restaurants in Forest Park I frequent the most are Old School and Shanahan's and both have plenty of Hispanic staff."
"I have never been to any Nazi or KKK events. Nor would I ever go in the future."
"I was quite sickened to the point of not leaving the house when people started receiving them. … I was expecting this to be a clean race."
Mayor Anthony Calderone
"Having recently received the referenced flier at my home, I am now aware of the garbage piece that it is. [I do] not know who is responsible for this piece of garbage. … I have no opinion of Jon Kubricht, and lastly I denounce this flier."
"It is so bizarre and so over the top I decided to not even comment about it on social media, it didn't deserve the oxygen. … I can't imagine anyone in their right mind thinks I would pay for something this absurd — of course I didn't."
"I guess some people know my name around town and they wanted to try and 'ding' as many people as possible. … Only a crazy person would put this out. It's just a vile piece. I really hope this isn't becoming the norm in Forest Park politics."
Forest Park Firefighters Local 2753
The firefighters union posted the following on Facebook on Nov. 5:
"To be clear, Forest Park Firefighters Local 2753 had no prior knowledge of the mailer, was not involved in the creation of the mailer and does not condone the reprehensible, offensive content contained in the mailer."
Police Chief Thomas Aftanas
Aftanas said residents who feel threatened by the mailer should reach out to the police department, and officers will provide extra watch to their home.
"Use it to light a fireplace or a fire in your backyard. Whoever wrote that is just completely not in touch with reality. I don't know where you would get some of this stuff to even make it up. …
"I would really like to know who did it, but I don't think we'll ever know. Nobody's going to admit to that. It's just tossed in the mail. … With something like this, there's no crime.
"There really is nothing that you can do to prevent somebody from mailing something. You can mail any kind of literature you want and put it in a plain envelope with no return address and send it to anybody you want. There is a serious side to it because it's just hateful toward so many different people.
"That is not politics as usual, that is just totally outrageous that mailer."
Village Clerk Vanessa Moritz
"I do not know who made or distributed that flier. I did not speak to anyone nor did I give them permission to anyone to use my name for the flier. Further I do not know Jon Kubricht and, as far as I know, have never spoken to him. Last, I made no such claim about Jon Kubricht."
"I don't know who sent the flier. It came to my home.
"I've known Jon for a long time. He's a good person. He's not a bigot or a sexist person.
"It's not acceptable in Forest Park or anywhere."
Public Works Director John Doss
Doss posted the following on Facebook on Nov. 5:
"To whoever used my name is a smear campaign, shame on you! ... I feel horrible for the person they targeted, disgusting!"
"I have no idea who Jon Kubricht is, and I'm married. Sounds like mistaken identity."