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If you haven't heard, the Forest Park Review is fact-checking every campaign flier this election season, in an effort to inform voters. This is the first flier that's been submitted to the Review since the video gaming referendum in November 2018. Keep in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flier Name: "Don't Stand For Much"
Specs: 8-by-11, glossy, two-sided
Submitted to the Forest Park Review: March 19
This flier features a student on the front and encourages voters to cast ballots for the "Proviso High School District 209 Team" on the back. The Review is fact-checking whether the flier was indeed endorsed by the following groups, as well as how the flier characterizes a candidate slate.
1) The flier characterizes "Claudia Medina, Nathan 'Ned' Wagner, and Sandy L. Aguirre' as a "team." NOT TRUE
Nathan 'Ned' Wagner and Claudia Medina, of Forest Park, are members of the Proviso Together slate, which also includes Theresa Kelly, of Maywood. Sandy Aguirre is an independent candidate from Melrose Park.
2) The flier states that Forest Park Mayor Anthony Calderone endorsed Wagner, Medina and Aguirre. NOT TRUE
"Do your homework, same nonsense 4 years ago," Calderone wrote in an email to the Review. "I have no idea who did this whatsoever."
Calderone endorsed Medina and Wagner, but not Kelly, in 2015. During the last election season, several fliers related to the D209 race that falsely attributed endorsements to candidates were circulated. There is no record of the political groups that paid for them.
The same tactics are being used this election. Fliers with different combinations of candidates—including the Proviso Together slate—with false endorsements have been circulating at early voting centers over the last two days. Connie Brown, owner of Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor who heads the Proviso Together campaign, said the misleading fliers are meant to "distract" voters.
"Attempts to divide our team and confuse voters won't work because we have a demonstrated record of success," Brown wrote in an email. "Voters understand that Proviso Together is a team and that Claudia Medina, Ned Wagner and Theresa Kelly are all essential to keep moving our schools forward. This team stands firmly together to get the next four years of work done."
Aguirre did not respond to an interview request about whether she received Calderone's endorsement.
SENT BY: Illinois Education Alliance. No record of Illinois Education Alliance exists but campaign committees do not have to register with the state unless they raise $5,000. Brown said Proviso Together could not find any record of the Illinois Education Alliance. Aguirre did not respond to an interview request about whether she knew what Illinois Education Alliance is.
--by Nona Tepper