Bach, Humbug!


We’ve been critical of Park Ridge Alderman Don Bach (3rd Ward) on many occasions, so it’s only fitting that we commend him for his literary prowess in authoring one of the longest letters to the editor we’ve ever seen in the Park Ridge Journal – an almost full-pager titled “A Comment On Courage” in which he criticizes certain unidentified blogs, certain unidentified bloggers and the unidentified individuals who contribute to them.

We assume PublicWatchdog is among his targets, and we can live with that.  In fact, we encourage it on the theory that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

But we have to wonder why Bach’s lengthy diatribe contains not one mention of his own political beliefs or even one insight into his personal philosophy of local government.  Maybe it’s because he doesn’t have any, which becomes pretty obvious from his description of how he surveys 20 or 30 different people “for each and every issue” before voting the way his constituents have asked him. 

That’s not being The People’s representative, Mr. Bach. That’s being a glorified weathervane. 

If Bach wants a quick lesson on what he should be doing besides licking his finger and holding it aloft, we suggest he try Federalist No. 10, where no less a political thinker than James Madison proposed a form of government where the popular views are refined and enlarged “by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country” and which can thereby pronounce the public voice in a way “more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves.”

But, of course, that requires a lot more thought and effort than simply surveying 20-30 constituents and then voting the way they tell you.

Oh, and by the way: Madison wrote and published Federalist No. 10 anonymously as “Publius” – as did the Federalist’s other two authors, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay.  Maybe Mr. Bach has heard of them even if, by his standard, those Founding Fathers were cowards for writing anonymously.  And by that same standard, Mr. Bach is courageous even though he eagerly scurries into closed sessions to do The People’s business in secret – and then has the gall to join Mayor Frimark and the rest of his Alderpuppets in condemning Ald. Dave Schmidt (1st Ward) for telling the public the truth about that “secret” stuff.

Although he writes that he doesn’t read blogs such as this, we’ll offer Bach our own “comment on courage” about how he performs his aldermanic duties: Don’t quit your day job, Alderman.

13 comments so far

Hey maybe Bach knows more than you think he does. He told Napleton that he would never buy another car from them, while in the same breath he gave them $2.4 million. Why? Because 20-30 people said to do it.

Now he can keep his promise because his buddy Frimark got to give his campaign contributor Napleton $400,000 and now they are leaving.

What a great precident. What will Napleton get for the property they are abandoning now?

Isn’t this the same guy that spent most of his allotted time reading the City web page to voters during his campaign address at the CURRB forum?

I’m impressed that he had so many words of his own to offer in the letter.

But just like during his campaign speech, he really has nothing to say.

Donny Bach,

Please prove us wrong, go after that $400,000 with a vengence. Don’t roll over because the Mayor is telling you to look the other way.

This is wrong. It’s a total waste of money, a complete give-away.

I know you’re reading here, as well as talking to your 20-30 “strategic advisors.” Take a stand Don.

Anybody who won’t spend $40Gs out of his own kick on a Nappy Caddy but will vote to give Nappy $2.0 Mil of our cash is either a goof or in somebody’s pocket. “Humbug” is righ.

A couple of points:

I was on the alderman’s route last weekend as he went about talking to the 30 or so constituents he did. As I have related to many, I give him kudos for getting out and about and talking to the PR citizenry. Where I differ with him, I think, given how he characterizes what he does with the input he gathers is how he uses the input. Don, if you want to gather some opinions and information that will help you see the different sides of issues and use that to fine tune what you will decide for yourself on behalf of your constituents that’s probably OK. But in the end YOU decide YOURSELF the matter based on its merits. On the other hand, if you go out and poll 30 or 40 people and base your votes, opinions, etc. based on those straw polls well, like the Napleton deal, that’s a big mistake. You are the Peoples representative Don…. not 30 peoples representative.

And on the matter of blogging anonymously. Well, Don, I understand you are a vet. God bless you for that. But what the hell were you fighting for? The freedoms you fought for allow for just this sort of thing. If over the course of history man, and Americans in particular, didn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t gather or comment anonymously we would not be here today. Or we would be but maybe still ruled by the Crown.

Right you are, Sunshine. I was there and it was the single most insipid performance of all of the 13 candidates.

Ald. Bach: If you were only half as outraged by what your mayor is doing as you are about the blogs, we’d all be better off – except perhaps for you and your mayor (and a few other aldermen who are mayoral lapdogs)

With all due respect Alderman Bach numerous questions emerge from your comments, namely “It is my belief that anyone who chooses to serve their fellow human beings in any way deserves a modicum of respect for this.” and “I have not engaged in any character assassination during those disagreements”. For the moment let’s just stick to those.
I am curious as to how you have the audacity to make those statements. While you may want people to believe what you are saying, you sure don’t associate with people who act accordingly. The current Mayor and many of the Alderman, including yourself, got into office based entirely on those items you site as “innuendo and misinformation”. Howard has spent his entire political existence making “innuendo and misinformation” his primary advantage on the political field.

First he stabs the Homeowners party in the back by refusing to adhere to the long tradition of candidate selection when he isn’t chosen to run for Alderman and runs himself. He spends more money than anyone would in their right mind, hires a professional campaign person and flings more mud than presidential candidates. And for what? Alderman in Park Ridge?

Then he spends two years saying no more than ten sentences and doing even less. Next he runs for Mayor. Then he runs one of most the negative and divisive campaigns ever seen in our small town municipal elections. He bad mouths and uses deception on not just his opponent, but anyone who gets in his way. His behavior is so bad that he completely alienates his fellow elected officials even beyond what is acceptable in Washington DC.

Then, after achieving this level of total repugnance, do you think he might try reaching out to his fellow elected officials? Nope, he spends the next two years stabbing them in the back. First, he attempts to steal control of council by propping his entire council minority in all of the committee positions. The City Council stands up to him and he runs around town crying about how mean they are to him. Next comes the purple ribbon garbage. He then systematically spends every waking moment telling lies and talking behind his “enemies” backs to gain political advantage. By the end of the term even those who supported him are fed to the lions if they got in his way.

Lastly he stages “The more efficient Council” Council reduction, the final blow to those who dare to stand his way. He collects one half the signatures himself on a referendum to get rid of his opponents and screw the people of Park Ridge in the process. He stages it in November so that the people who best understand will be out numbered by the “less is better” casual voter.

Do you think that is the end of the story? No, because some of the current Council have begun to question his behavior. Napleton, EOP, A new police station not to mention why do you think so many of the city staff has left? They just wanted to start a new life? Please.

Now, along comes a forum in which anyone can speak his or her mind in an open format allowing for open discourse. But, you Alderman Bach seem troubled with this. Yet we hear nothing from the grand master himself. You see that is how Howard works. He manipulates others to do his dirty work for him. You have stood arm and arm with master of deception and allowed this city to be taken for a ride. Yes Don there is deceit, dishonesty and deception and guess where it starts? It starts at 505 Butler Place, at the registered office of Friends of Frimark and you are nothing more than a pawn.

I just read Bach’s letter and then your commentary, and Ald. Bach is clearly full of himself (and something else) when he claims to be “courageous” for simply talking to people about local issues, or voting the way his Lord and Master, Mayor Frimark, directs.

The only blogs that discuss Park Ridge government and issues are this one and Park Ridge Underground, and I’ve learned more about what’s really going on from those two blogs in the last year than I learned in a decade of reading the local rags. Maybe Bach would be a more effective alderman if he was a regular reader of these blogs.

Steve Macko, your dislike for Mayor Frimark blinds you to some things that are not his fault.

Frimark may have stabbed the discredited Homeowers Party in the back and spent a ridiculous amount of money running for alderman, but the voters (including, I suspect, a number of Homeowners) gave him a substantial majority over his competition. And even though Frimark may have staged the cut-the-council referendum to get rid of his “enemies,” the outcome showed that the voters preferred Frimark to his “enemies.”

The fact that Frimark is the mayor and has been able to surround himself with stooges instead of real aldermen is more an indictment of the voters – or his opponents – than of Howard. Too bad it looks like the City is being screwed for years to come by Frimark and his cronies, in large part because it looks like the voters have disliked his opponents more than they dislike him. 

Anonymous on 04.12.08 2:57 pm:

I’m not sure your right about the voters choosing Frimark over his opposition, but Frimark clearly outmanuvered them in the Council and in the press, starting with that business about them stealing his powers. Reminded me of The Emperor in Star Wars whimpering that he’s dying before blasting the hell out of Master Windu.

I have neibhors who supported Frimark but now see what a mistake that was with all the shenanigans he’s been pulling.

Speaking council reduction Mayor Peemark came to our house with the petition to reduce it.

To bad my mom was at the door to sign yes on it.

Though I’ve always thought it was odd that we had 2 aldemen for each ward since Chicago only has 1, I thought it would of been better to leave things they way they were so I would of signed No on it.

So much for that.

I don’t want to make an argument over the issue, but Chicago also has 50 wards, not the mere 7 that we do. Chicago also pays Aldermen a fat salary and gives them funding for staff and offices in City Hall. While all those paid Aldermen with paid staff are supposed to be seeing to the people’s business, many of them also own and operate their own private business interests.

That is all just for starters. There is also all of the patronage jobs doled out and all the backroom deals.

I can very honestly say I do not want to copy off Chicago in any way.

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