Hold Your Nose And Vote For Thillens…Just Don’t Do It Early


Early voting starts today and continues for the next two weeks.

We think early voting is a really dumb idea, maybe one of the dumbest ideas ever invented by politicians. And that’s saying something.

Worse yet, those politicians have been able to convince their more gullible constituents that early voting is really for the voters’ benefit rather than to make it easier for the politicians to allocate their campaign resources. As if polls open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on election day don’t provide enough voting opportunities for the average voter who actually cares about doing his/her civic duty. And as if traditional absentee ballots for people who truly can’t make it to the polls on election day aren’t a sufficient alternative.

Among the many thoughtful critics of early voting, Northwestern University Law professor and public intellectual Eugene Kontorovich may have stated the case against it most succinctly:

More fundamentally, early voting changes what it means to vote. Voting then becomes an incoherent summing of how various individuals feel at a series of moments, not how the nation feels at a particular moment. This weakens civic cohesiveness, and it threatens to substitute raw preferences and momentary opinion for rational deliberation. Of course, those eager to cast early will be the most ideological — but these are precisely the voters who would benefit most from taking in the full back and forth of the campaign.

Early voting also encourages voting without important information that often comes to the fore in the final weeks of the campaign, whether through debates, late-breaking events, or even crass political tactics like “October Surprises.”

If we employed early voting principles for jury trials, individual jurors would be permitted to return their verdicts anytime after opening statements. Some jurors might render their verdicts immediately and leave without hearing any evidence at all, while others would vote and go home after hearing only some of the evidence.

Would that be a reasonable way to run a justice system? Of course not.

Unfortunately, that’s the kind of incomplete decision-making early voting encourages. But since we’re stuck with early voting for the time being, we feel compelled to issue our one and only candidate endorsement in this election – in the race for state representative of the 55th District – for all you early voters instead of waiting until a day or two before election day.

Once upon a time, before Mike Madigan became Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives and began cutting all those foolish and kinky deals with Republican In Name Only (“RINO”) governors “Big Jim” Thompson, “Slim Jim” Edgar and George “No. 16627-424” Ryan that have helped turn Illinois into the banana republic of American states, we actually had elections between very good and good candidates. That slipped to elections between good and mediocre candidates, and then to between mediocre and bad candidates, and then to between bad and worse candidates.

Republican Mel Thillens v. first-term incumbent Democrat Marty Moylan presents a choice between terrible and horrible – like choosing between congestive heart failure and metastasized brain cancer.

In any rational world, neither Thillens nor Moylan would be allowed to run for anything more significant than home room rep to their high school student council. This editor has the dubious distinction of having talked government policy and practice with both of them within the past six months, allowing him to both hear and observe firsthand that what these two may lack in stupidity they more than make up for with ignorance.

They are, on their absolute best days, political hacks who represent the worst of the slim pickings their respective political parties have to offer the voters of this state.  It’s hard to fathom exactly how low that goes, but just the concept is scary.

There is one crucial difference between them, however, that accounts for today’s endorsement of Thillens.

The simple truth is that a vote for Moylan is a vote for continuing Speaker Madigan’s corrupt stranglehold on State government. So long as the Democrats hold a majority in the Illinois House, they will continue to elect Madigan speaker. And Illinois will continue its slide toward bankruptcy that started the moment Madigan became Speaker in 1983.

That’s right, folks, 1983. For twenty nine of those thirty one years (the exceptions being 1995-96, when the Republicans gained control of the House for a measly two years), Madigan has been the one constant in Illinois state government and the intractable mess it has become.

People are slowly starting to figure out that Madigan is the albatross, however, which is why Moylan doesn’t want the voters to think of him as Madigan’s sock puppet – despite the fact that Moylan can’t speak whenever Madigan is drinking water. So Moylan’s campaign is going out of its way to stress a few issues on which Moylan seemingly has split with Madigan.

Don’t be fooled. Moylan’s next original thought will be his first.

Ironically, back in 1999 Madigan attempted to recruit this editor – then in his first term as a Park Ridge Park District commissioner – to run for state rep against the then-incumbent one-trick (pro-abortion rights) pony, Republican Rosemary Mulligan in 2000.  Madigan’s recruiter back then was his political operative Rob Biederman, a Niles resident who subsequently moved to Park Ridge after his wife’s failed bid for Niles mayor in 2009.

Biederman promised this editor plenty of financial support from Madigan and assured him that Madigan tolerated independence from his minions except on certain key votes, such as when it came to electing the Speaker. When this editor rejected the pitch, Biederman turned his sights on then-Park Ridge Library Board member Mary Beth Tighe.

Madigan delivered on his promised financial support, and even produced U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin for a Tighe fundraiser at the home of Laura Morask – who was elected to the Maine Township Board the following April (2001) as a Democrat but soon flipped to the Republican side.

Mulligan beat Tighe by 1,300 votes, making it Rosie’s toughest re-election race until her botched petition drive two years ago led to her being blown out by Susan Sweeney by over 2,000 votes in a write-in Republican primary. Mulligan turned around and endorsed Moylan, thereby joining Morask in demonstrating that what Tribune columnist John Kass branded “The Combine” is alive and well in Maine Township politics and government.

So much for the stroll down memory lane. We’ve got more than enough challenges in the here-and-now.

The first is to convince as many voters as possible to envision the name “Madigan” on every green and white “Moylan” sign, and to treat every Moylan vote as a vote for Madigan himself. Practice by referring to them, interchangeably, as “Mike Moylan” and “Marty Madigan.”

The second is to make certain nobody deludes themselves about Thillens. He is NOT a fiscal conservative, as his three year tenure of tax, borrow and spend practices on the Park Board has amply demonstrated. When it comes to public policy, Thillens’ only principles are whatever will get him elected. And, like Groucho Marx, if you don’t like those, Thillens has others.

Voting for Thillens, however, does have one other positive effect beyond depriving Madigan of a vote for Speaker: if Thillens wins, we understand that he has to resign from the Park Board. As a first-term state rep he probably can’t do as much damage to Park Ridge taxpayers from down in Springfield as he can from Park District headquarters on Sibley, judging from the $20 million-plus of long-term debt he helped the Park District run up in the last 18 months or so.

That’s why we’ve decided to ask you to hold your nose when you go to the polls and cast your vote for Mel Thillens. Put on one of those ebola-proof hazmat suits if that’s what it takes for you to feels safe enough to vote against Moylan, the 55th District’s proxy for Illinois’ Dark Lord of the Sith. Because Illinois government will NEVER improve, E-V-E-R, so long as the Democrats keep control of the Illinois House and keep anointing Madigan as Speaker.

And with a little luck, maybe between now and 2016 the Republicans might actually find a qualified candidate to challenge Thillens’ re-election bid in the Republican primary.

To read or post comments, click on title.

24 comments so far

Wow! I’ve never seen an “endorsement” like this before. This might be a tough one for Thillens to quote on his next flyer.

On the other hand I see and agree with your point that Madigan and Moylan are like “metastasized brain cancer” that have to be removed if the patient (Illinois ) is to survive.

Your ignorance about how far people have to travel for work, and under what conditions, not to mention how many employers don’t follow the traditional American value of letting workers come in late so they can vote on election day, is just another sign of your entirely out-of-touch perspective. Early voting doesn’t help the guys who show up when they want, like you; it helps the guy and gal who can hardly take a day to bring a kid to a doctor. But of course, those folks are just the ones you’d like to deny the right to vote. Works for Rauner and his ilk all over the country. So much for patriotism.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Absentee ballots were expressly designed for people who can’t get to their polling place on election day. For decades they worked just fine for students away at college (the way this editor cast his first vote in 1972), military personnel, traveling salesmen, shut-ins, hospitalized folks (the way this editor’s dying father cast his last vote, at LGH, in 1998), etc.

And back when there was only election day voting and absentee ballots, the turnout was as high or higher than it is with all the pander-to-the-don’t-care-enough-to-vote crowd: for the 5 presidential elections from 1952 through 1968, the average turnout was 61.16% – higher than any single presidential election turnout since; and each of those 5 election’s turnouts was individually higher than any single election turnout since.

At least linking to this endorsement would be honest (like that is possible!!). A hell of a lot more honest than quoting data from the heritage foundation as fact.

The truth is this is the campaign he has been running the last few weeks. ALmost no focus on what he has done or will do and 90+% focus on Madigan.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Madigan is EXACTLY where EVERYBODY’S “focus” should be, because Madigan has done more to ruin this state than any Illinois politician in history.

You want to nix early voting in PR I have no problem with that, even though I have taken advantage of it a few times over the years. the reality is that in PR, once you reach the polls it takes about 5 min to vote….no lines no waiting. Sorry 3:53 but the commute time is on you, just like in a regular day. The idea that you cannot take those 5 minutes in the early morning or after work hours voting is hard to believe for just one day a year.

That said, not every place is PR. There are places where people literally wait hours once they have made the commute to their home polling area. In other words, it is not that they cannot be at the polls on election day rather that it takes them hours to vote compared to our 5 minutes. Unless and until these inequities can be addressed, early voting is an imperfect attempt to address the issue and should not be removed.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Once again, the answer is two words: “Absentee ballot.” That, and the fact that the percentage of voter turnout hasn’t increased to 1950s/1960s levels when all you had was election day and absentee ballot voting.

I hope Thillens wins, but only for the reasons you state, indluding getting him off the park board.

“Early voting also encourages voting without important information that often comes to the fore in the final weeks of the campaign, whether through debates, late-breaking events, or even crass political tactics like “October Surprises.”

With these two??? Look, I would completely support early voting if it guaranteed they would stop talking and sending the damn flyers…..”Are you aware that Mel Thillens causes global warming?”…..”Did you know Marty Moylan is causing all the trees to die?”

I do have to admit the commercial about Mel’s attendance and voting is funny. I mean it is complete crap but at least it makes me laugh.

The idea that we might “miss something” in the next two weeks is laughable.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The choice of Thillens and Moylan is “laughable” – to the extent that we laugh bacause otherwise we might cry.

But public policy shouldn’t be defined or influenced by any two candidates, however unqualified they might be.

Why don’t you move somewhere that shares your values? Like Mississippi? You’d be a lot happier. Life’s too short.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Because we’re committed to whatever we can do to help restore Illinois to the prominence it had before the incompetent and corrupt Democrats, aided and abetted by three incompetent and corrupt Republican governors, turned it into a sick joke of a state. Why don’t you give it a try?

When will voters realize that the Democrats have ruined this state and start voting them out of office? Thillens is a weak candidate, but Moylan is a Chicago style politician in the very worst sense of that term.

Illinois is in a death spiral because of the Democrats, and Moylan is our local version of the problem.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Twenty-eight years of Madigan control of the Illinois House, along with Dem control of the Illinois Senate for 29 of the last 39 years, means Dems OWN Illinois’ “death spiral.”


A very good question you ask. Let me ask one as well. When will Republicans start to run people for office who are not a “weak candidate?” Not only is he weak, for the dem’s he is better than that. He is EXACTLY the picture that they try and paint of the republican party. They could not have picked a better candidate themselves. He learned hard work working at a baseball field that was owned by his family…..oh my god!!

The truth is that this election (along with the election for gov) should not even be close. They should both be well out side the margin of error, especially when you consider that Quinn and Moylan screwed their base with SB1.

So who is picking these people??

EDITOR’S NOTE: A fine question…but not relevant until AFTER this election is over. Otherwise, it’s just a distraction from what should be the only goal: ending the Democratic control of Springfield that has destroyed this state.

This isn’t about Thillens, who’s just the slightest bit better than an empty chair. It’s about making sure the toxic twins, Marty Madigan and Mike Moylan, don’t get another two years in Springfield.

Until the Republicans put forth viable candidates instead of candidates like Oberweis and the likes of Ms. Atanus they don’t stand a chance!

Politics has become a rich man’s game. Perhaps campaign spending limits would bring more qualified people to the table. And while we’re at it, limit the time candidates can campaign. If you can’t get your message out in 6-8 weeks, who needs you? PACs need to be abolished, they have corrupted the American political system. And as for lobbyists, they are no better than pimps.

Having said all that, I’d still rather be here, even with the dreaded Dems than some other places in the world where my voice would not be heard.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Republican Party in Illinois has been a clown car for more than a decade, ever since RINOs like “Big Jim” Thompson, “Slim Jim” Edgar, George “No. 16627-424” Ryan, Denny Hastert and Bill Cellini dumped incumbent Sen. Peter Fitzgerald because he appointed the best U.S. Attorney in at least 50 years (Patrick Fitzgerald) and he wouldn’t play ball on their no-bid Lincoln Library scheme (“I want Illinois to get a $150 million library, not a $50 million library that just happens to cost $150 million.”).

None of that, however, excuses the plundering and pillaging of this State by Madigan and the Dem-controlled state legislature.

And if you’re right about politics having become “a rich man’s game,” then the Democrats’ control of state government for much/most of the past 30 years must mean the Dems are even bigger tools of the rich than their Republican opponents. Kind of makes all the Dems’ class warfare talk ring a little hollow.

Now he has a letter out there from a supporter talking about how sometimes some of our opponents policies may be better and working with others, finding compromise, “reasonable trade offs” and “win-wins”.

Wow….I guess it has come to “let’s throw it against the wall and see if it sticks!”

EDITOR’S NOTE: “He” who…Thillens or Mike Moylan/Marty Madigan?

Just finished that letter. So I guess if you don’t collaborate or seek a win-win or consider that others ideas might be better (or take it to a referendum), you wrap it in the phrase “he used political capital” and that make it OK??

If I may quote you…..”Rest assured that if Thillens, Ryan, and their fellow travelers on the Park Board could legally have gotten away with doing the Youth Campus project without a referendum, that deal already would be signed, sealed and delivered – the voters/taxpayers be damned by a lack of governmental and political integrity.

So correct me if I am wrong but does that behavior not qualify as the “brute force” the author refers to in his letter?? It appears that Thillens behavior was exactly the opposite the case that the author gives as a reason to vote for him. But that is OK. He was only using “political capital”.

EDITOR’S NOTE: There is no reason to vote FOR Thillens…other than that checking the box for him is simply and anti-Mike Moylan/Marty Madigan vote.

And commentators who ask questions like yours clearly are supporters of MM/MM who are delighted to watch Illinois continue to crumble as it has done for the past 30 years under the Democrats.

You’re being disingenuous: The Dem’s control for 30 years was based on rank and file — or in your eyes, simply rank — votes by ordinary people, with a little grease thrown in. Politics has only become a rich man’s game since the mid-80s when the flow of shared profits became a thin trickle of something else. In even more recent years, since Citizens United, the concentration of power due to wealth has attained warp speed. Do you seriously think the average mope believes he or she will be better off without health care (especially without health care for women), without a living wage, without retirement, without clean air to breathe and water to drink, without….well, you get the point. Of course not. But he’ll vote for pols who will take all of that away or make sure it’s permanently out of his reach, because knee-grows. Or immigrants. Or gays. Or uppity wimmenfolk. And the pillaging and plundering we’ve seen so far will make Madigan look like Henry Thoreau. Illinois under Rauner = Louisiana. And you know it. Pass the juleps!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Let’s see now…under the last 30 years of government by Madigan and the Democrats, the State of Illinois has become chronically unable to pay its Medicaid vendors; it has hemhorraged jobs and population (with 61% more people moving out of the state than into it just last year alone); its unfunded pension obligations have become the highest in the nation; Illinois will pay $1.6 billion just in interest on its massive pension debt this year; it can’t pay to repair its roads and bridges; and it has the lowest credit rating of all 50 states. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Louisiana and the 48 other states look great by comparison, with or without juleps.

The “he” is thillens. Check his website.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Why would anyone want to do that?

Careful how you throw around those initials.

Not all MM’s are bad.

In fact the candy is quite good.

EDITOR’S NOTE: And a bag of M&Ms could do a better job of 55th District state rep than either of the two candidates.

The people that come on here and troll you are the worst. One suggests that you move to MS. The poster doesn’t realize, that’s exactly whats happening.

Since 2012, No other state has more people who have moved out of state than Illinois. 40,000! So, who’s going to pay for Madigans democrat army, when the private sector jobs keep moving?

EDITOR’S NOTE: For what it’s worth, this editor isn’t going anywhere; and neither are the rest of the elves who make PublicWatchdog possible.

So if they reformed things such that Medicaid vendors got paid promptly and fairly, would you be satisfied? Or would you only be happy if there were no Medicaid at all to burden our taxpayers? I fear it’s the latter. And people leave states with good services for states with lousy services all the time, pursuing today’s equivalent of the Gold Rush: low, low, taxes and temporary tons of jobs that pay like Blackwater for a short time and then, poof! And when Vegas or Florida don’t pan out, it’s back they come. Madigan should go, but your solution — Mr. Potter, aka Rauner — is no solution at all. He has no intention of making the system work more effectively; only in dismantling it. After all, he doesn’t need it, so it’s not needed. Capisce?

EDITOR’S NOTE: And if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.

After 30 years of Madigan/Democrat incompetence/corruption, only a Kool-Aid chugging idiot would believe that “they” are interested in and capable of reforming ANYTHING. Hence, Einstein’s definition of insanity demands a vote against “them” – unless, of course, you enjoy Illinois spiraling downward into bankruptcy.

I understand that you don’t think either candidate would do a good job. I was wondering if you ever had to do a mea culpa because the person elected not only did a good job but exceeded your expectations?

I had to think about it for a long time, the exceptions are few and far between, but begrudgingly had to admit there have been a handful.

I am hoping Mel could be one of them but he would have to really work extremely hard at it, and even then his chances are not really in his favor.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our expectations for elected officials are high – including looking out, first and foremost, for the interests of the majority of residents instead of the special interestes – that simply meeting them is an accomplishment. Unfortunately, that standard seems to be too high for too many elected officials, especially on our school boards.

Mel is an affable buffoon. He’ll never be a competent elected official because he doesn’t have any sort of innate grasp of what that entails. If he wasn’t running against Marty Madigan/Mike Moylan we would never endorse him.

Voting for Mel Thillens would be rewarding him for his work on the PRPD-approving what he has done. And no amount of nose holding can make that a palatable thing to do.

Thillens is a enormously hypocritical ethically challenged liar. Thinking Illinois will be rid of the “me” centered politics of Madigan which has severely damaged our state-with the help of many Republicans along the way-by voting for the likes of Thillens is wrong. The only vote you can be sure of with Thillens is the one that promotes his own best interest.

Thillens actions of the PRPD board have negatively affected the PD and the taxpayers of PR from a financial standpoint for years to come and there is no guarantee he won’t act just like Madigan/Moylan and vote for his best interests not the states.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Thillens is unqualified for the office he currently holds AND the one he is running for. And there IS “no guarantee he won’t act just like Madigan/Moylan” if he’s elected.

But we KNOW for certain that Madigan/Moylan will continue to screw Illinois. So, in this case, a question-mark like Thillens is preferable to a guaranteed Madigan puppet pillager.

You want to know how bad it is? Look at all of what the editor has written about Mel. I mean let’s agree they have been some pretty harsh things although affable buffoon makes me smile.

But here is the funny one. He states “Thillens is unqualified for the office he currently holds AND the one he is running for”. Guess who endorsed him for the Park Board??

“That’s why we strongly encourage you to vote for Jim O’Brien, Mary Wynn Ryan and Mel Thillens for the Park Ridge Recreation and Park District Board on Tuesday, April 5”.


Not just encourage but STRONGLY encourage!!!!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Very true.

But if you were being honest rather than disingenuous, you would have acknowledged that such an endorsement was only in opposition to “a slate of candidates – Nicholas Giordano, Kristen Mattes and Peter Wachowski – being sponsored by Local 73 of the Service Employees International Union (“SEIU”), the very union that represents some of the Park District’s workers.”

And while we did note approvingly Thillens’ “financial and recreation experience from the private sector in the form of his work for his family’s businesses: Thillens Check Cashing and Thillens Stadium,” his three-year record on the Park Board suggests that his private sector experience may have been limited to driving a Thillens armored car and selling popcorn in the Thillens Stadium concession stand.

Once again, he’s endorsed only because the re-election of his opponent helps guarantee another two years of further degradation and destruction of our state under the Emperor Madigan. And because sending Thillens to Springfield would get him off the Park Board.

When your only choice is between “congestive heart failure [Thillens] and metastasized brain cancer [Madigan/Moylan],” you have to pick the lesser of two evils.

I’m looking at a Thillens campaign mailing and his plan to fix Illinois is (and I quote): “Mel will vote for term limits to stop career politicians. Mel will reject a taxpayer-funded pension. Mel will never vote to raise his own pay.” It seems to me that the only one of those three points that might make Illinois better is the first one, and that the other two are just stupid. Have I missed something?

EDITOR’S NOTE: No, you’re seeing what an empty suit Thillens is when it comes to basic government and public policy – which is probably why even a Republican-leaning paper like the Chicago Tribune couldn’t endorse him due to the fact that while “Thillens argues for lower taxes…as president of the Park Ridge Park District, his administration passed higher tax levies and borrowed heavily for projects, not all of which were voter-approved.” (

Mel Thillens has filled so many volunteer roles in this community that he deserves the support of all Park Ridge voters. Your bad mouthing him not only disrespects those accomplishments but also helps Moylan.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Volunteering for a community group and serving as an elected or appointed public official have little in common beyond low/no pay.

If we really believed calling a spade a spade re Thillens would help Moylan/Madigan, we wouldn’t have done it. So many people know Thillens is unqualified, based on his record on the Park Board, that they would never buy the idea that he deserved to win. So at least we’re being honest by portraying Thillens for what he is – the only alternative to the Madigan puppet, Moylan.

It is difficult for me to believe that some of the posts above seem to be arguing to defend the status quo. Are you guys ignorant of the current condition of our state or just plain stupid? Or maybe you’re beneficiaries of the corruption?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Or maybe both.

Even the Tribune cannot endorse Thillens over Moylans. What a pathetic lot.

EDITOR’S NOTE: True. But on the other side of that coin, it’s endorsement of Madigan puppet Moylan sure makes the Tribune’s regular articles decrying Madigan and kinked-up Illinois government sound like a bunch of hooey.

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