The LWVPR And The “Non-Partisan” Lie (Updated)


On September 27 the League of Women Voters of Park Ridge (“LWVPR”) joined with the American Association of University Women (the “AAUW”) to sponsor a debate between incumbent 55th Dist. state representative Marty Moylan (D) and his challenger, Marilyn Smolenski (R).

Why it takes two organizations to run a debate between only two candidates is a bit puzzling, but that’s a topic for another discussion.

Irrespective of the logistical concerns, the LWVPR claims to be big-time ticked off because a portion of a video of the debate taken by somebody associated with the Smolenski campaign – that portion where Moylan loudly denies (untruthfully, it appears) that he has accepted money from Speaker Mike Madigan – is being used in a Smolenski campaign ad. The LWVPR claims that’s a no-no.


According to letters to the editor by LWVPR president Mary Upson in both the October 22 edition of the Daily Herald and the October 24 edition of The Journal, “[b]oth campaigns asked to videotape the [debate] with the verbal agreement that the video could be used for internal purposes only” [emphasis added]. A “verbal agreement” is a common alternative term for “oral agreement” and is legally enforceable IF mutual assent to its terms, and the terms themselves, can be adequately established.

Unlike written agreements, oral/verbal agreements are disfavored in the law because too often both the mutual assent and the exact terms can be very difficult to prove. So if preventing the use of the debate videos or any portions thereof was so darn important to the LWVPR, one would think that it would demand that both campaigns sign a written agreement to that effect.

But guess what?

At just about the same time Upson was insisting, in her two letters to the editor, that LWVPR had a “verbal agreement” with both campaigns, she also was insisting in two separate comments to an October 22 post on the Concerned Homeowners Group of Park Ridge FB page – that “[b]oth campaigns signed an agreement, one in [sic] which LWV Park Ridge has been using for years.” We have printed that entire FB post and all of its comments, with our various questions and challenges in red because addressing all of them in the body of this post would be unwieldy.

So which is it, Ms. Upson: A “verbal agreement” or a written one “signed” by “both campaigns”?

If it’s a written one, why haven’t you posted the signed versions to prove that you’re not just making up this “we had a deal and Smolenski broke it” whining? Are you and the LWVPR such partisan Democrats that you’re willing to fabricate this whole kerfuffle as your faux-“non-partisan” way to publicly hammer Smolenski for using a clip from the debate video in what you label her “attack ad against Marty Moylan” that actually portrays him as the lying Madigan coat-holder he really is?

But that’s not all.

Ms. Upson, speaking once again for the LWVPR, also complained in those two letters to the editor that “Marilyn Smolenski’s campaign (managed by the Illinois Opportunity Project) offered to share its video with [the LWVPR] to post for community members who could not attend”; and then she beefed that Smolenski’s campaign didn’t provide the copy of its video “despite numerous attempts to contact the campaign.”

Why don’t you name names, Ms. Upson? Which member(s) of Smolenski’s “campaign…offered to share its video”? To whom at LWVPR was that “offer” made? Who from LWVPR made those “numerous attempts to contact the [Smolenski] campaign”? And to whom with Smolenski’s campaign were those attempts directed?

Or are all those assertions just more made-up stuff with which to hammer Smolenski on a purely-partisan basis, for Moylan’s benefit?

Interestingly enough, neither Upson’s letters nor her FB comments say whether Moylan’s campaign made the same offer and followed through on it. And neither those letters nor her FB comments say whether Moylan’s campaign was asked to submit its video for the LWVPR’s website after Smolenski’s campaign allegedly failed to do so.  As of the publication of this post we could find no debate video on the LWVPR’s website or on its Facebook page.

Is your concern about informing those “community members who could not attend” the debate limited to only the Smolenski video and not the Moylan video? Why isn’t what’s sauce  for the gander (Smolenski) also sauce for the goose (Moylan)? Is the LWVPR placing greater demands on the female candidate than on her male opponent?

It sure looks that way.

That being the case, why aren’t Kim “Did you grab my ass?” Jones and her supporters demanding fair treatment for the female candidate – other than because she’s a Republican and they’re all RINOs (or Dems) who are supporting Moylan? Shouldn’t they be asking the LWVPR why it didn’t expect and demand the same video sharing from Moylan that it expected from Smolenski, especially if informing the public is the goal?

Of course they should! But of course they aren’t, and they won’t.


Because none of them are really “non-partisan.” And most/all of them support Moylan over Smolenski. They just don’t want us average taxpayers/voters to realize it.

Otherwise, the myth of a “non-partisan” LWVPR becomes the lie .

UPDATE 11.01.2018.  True to her word, Ms. Upson has shared with us the “signed…agreement” of Marty Moylan, dated October 13, 2016; and the “signed…agrement” of Marilyn Smolenski, dated September 25, 2018.

As you can see, these are not actual “agreements” but, instead, a set of “Rules” for a candidate forum. They contain no language that identifies them as any sort of legally-binding contract. Additionally, because the Rules themselves contain no language that commits the candidate, by signing, to be bound by them, the candidate’s signature/e-signature does not appear to hold any legal significance whatsoever.

Finally, the only provision of those Rules that deals with video and audio recording is the last bullet point, which merely gives “the sponsoring organizations” a right to record and disseminate the recordings as it chooses.

So we’re left with the LWVPR’s totally incredible, totally uncorroborated, totally evidence-less allegation of some “verbal agreement” by which both campaigns allegedly agreed not to use the videos they took for campaign purposes.

As the late and supremely corrupt Ill. Sec’y  of State Paul Powell used to say: “I can smell the meat a-cookin’.” What the LWVPR has cooked up definitely smells…but it’s most definitely not edible.

To read or post comments, click on title.

19 comments so far

That “Did you grab my ass?” video just kills! You should put that in every one of your Assgate posts as well.

My mother was a member of the LWV in our county in Iowa and it truly was non-partisan. They selected board members to ensure that there was a balance of Rs and Ds, going so far as to check primary voting records to confirm that the applicant really was the D or R that they claimed to be.

Looking at the various pictures of LWVPR officers and members on its website/FB page, I recognize several of them (including Ms. Upson, Cindy Grau, Carol Sales) as women who identify as Democrats, or “Liberals” or “Progressives.” The only Republican I could see was Ald. Wilkening.

“Because none of them are really “non-partisan.” They just don’t want us average taxpayers/voters to realize it.”

I disagree. They want us to realize it. They all signed a public letter endorsing progressive liberal democrat Moylan over a fellow Republican. That’s shameful. It really is. These people should be ashamed.

I rarely post here but this topic upsets me. Every day for two weeks I receive a mailer from Moylan telling me that he’s endorsed by planned parenthood. And the maine township republicans endorse this guy. Shameful.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you don’t like Planned Parenthood, are you in favor of the higher taxes that would be needed to raise to adulthood, educate, train, employ, subsidize and/or imprison the 39,856 children that would have been born had they not been aborted in 2015; and the 38,382 who would have been born had they not been aborted in 2016, to say nothing of all the children who were never conceived because of birth control provided/encouraged by Planned Parenthood?

We didn’t think so.

Claiming to be “non-partisan” is the LWVPR’s elevator pitch to be taken seriously and to get candidates to participate in their debates and candidate forums.

How funny yet sad that even their president can’t get her own story straight, and offers not a thimbleful of proof to support either of her two versions, verbal and written.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re guessing that, after Ms. Upson’s letters claiming a “verbal agreement” were already out the door (if not already published) before somebody told her that she would be unable to prove that Smolenski, her campaign, or any of her supporters (IOP, LPPAC) actually agreed not to use video excerpts in campaign ads or materials. So she came up with the “signed…agreement” alibi to publish on the Concerned HOs FB page. But where are those agreements and why isn’t Ms. Upson or her LWVPR colleagues publishing them?


Excellent reply to 9:28:

The only think I could ad would be did their son/daughter have proper access to knowledge and birth control before they wen off to college??

” If you don’t like Planned Parenthood, are you in favor of the higher taxes that would be needed to raise to adulthood, educate, train, employ, subsidize and/or imprison the 39,856 children that would have been born had they not been aborted in 2015; and the 38,382 who would have been born had they not been aborted in 2016, to say nothing of all the children who were never conceived because of birth control provided/encouraged by Planned Parenthood?

We didn’t think so.”

Yes, I am actually OK with paying for life. SO there’s that.

Will you be voting for Marty Moylan?

I didn’t come here to debate abortion, I thought it would be interesting to hear your take on 8 Maine Township republicans endorsing a liberal democrat. Apparently you’re more concerned with taxes. Have a nice day.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Yes, I am actually OK with paying for life.” This isn’t about “paying for life” – it’s about Illinois taxpayers paying for millions of lives over their own lifetimes; and I have yet to hear a “Republican” advocate for that as part of his/her opposition to Planned Parenthood or abortion.

I have never voted for Marty Moylan, nor will I ever; and those are “8 Maine Township” RINOs endorsing a Madigan shoe-shine boy, nothing more.

Is it just my imagination or is this becoming a “tribal” battle being waged by RINO and Liberal Democrat women against everybody who disagrees with them?

EDITOR’S NOTE: That may be simplifying it a bit too much.

Wow, I am really surprised that it appears Public Watchdog is condoning a campaign lying to a non partisan group providing a public service. Let me me break down your letter. 1. yes two organizations sponsored an event- why this is an issue for public watchdog is beyond me. 2. Yes both campaigns signed an agreement with rules for participating. We then had a verbal agreement about video taping in which teh moderator Kathy Tate-Bradish (LWV) was a part of. Both things are true at the same time! Amazing! 3. The agreement to share the video was made solely with the Smolenski campaign, and the campaign at the time did not claim that this would be overly burdensome on the female candidate. 4. You want names: Nora Joyce of the Smolenski campaign and Illinois Opportunity Project lied to Cindy Grau (LWV, AAUW). Cindy attempted to contact Nora several times via email and phone. Absolutely no response from Nora. 5. Correct we have no video up of the forum, because the Smolenski campaign never gave it to us. 6. The League of Women Voters of Park Ridge gave both candidates a platform to communicate with voters that well received by members of the Republican Women of Park Ridge due to its non partisan nature. We could have easily not hosted a forum, giving an advantage to the incumbent. But we didn’t, because it’s good for democracy to have a forum for the community to see both candidates. These forums are not organized for campaigns to get fodder for commercials, they are for the community to have access to candidates unfiltered. I am shocked that a website called ‘public watchdog” can’t see that.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Wow, and I’m really surprised that you are responding, and doing so in your own name. Kudos!

1. Based on my 50+ years of experience with LWV-sponsored debates, LWV branches didn’t need or want the involvement of other organizations. Why did the LWVPR want the AAUW’s involvement?

2. So why haven’t you produced those written agreements? We’d be happy to embed them into this post so that our readers could see exactly what you’re talking about. And thanks for finally identifying Ms. Tate-Bradish: Was that so tough? But now, who else was part of that alleged “verbal agreement,” where did it occur, and exactly what was said by whom? (Because the existence and terms of any “verbal agreement” depends upon exactly what was said by the parties to it.)

3. Irrespective of the lack of any burdensomeness on the Smolenski campaign, why were the two campaigns treated differently? And once the Smolenski campaign wouldn’t share, why didn’t the LWVPR (or the AAUW) ask the Moylan campaign for a copy of its video? After all, informing the public is the LWVPR’s goal, right?

4. “Nora Joyce of the Smolenski campaign and Illinois Opportunity Project lied to Cindy Grau (LWV, AAUW).” Now we’re getting somewhere: See, you really can be transparent! So why didn’t you provide this information without my having to write about it?

5. Had you asked for the same video sharing from both campaigns instead of just the Republican woman’s campaign, you’d at least have the Moylan video. BTW, have you even asked the Moylan campaign for a copy of their video to post on your site so the public can be informed?

6. I’m delighted the LWVPR held the debate. But if wanting “the community to have access to candidates [sic] unfiltered” isn’t just b.s., why would the LWVPR want to prevent the candidates from using their own and their opponent’s “unfiltered” statements in commercials, fliers, white papers, etc.? And if that “community…access” isn’t b.s., why hasn’t the LWVPR asked the Moylan campaign for a copy of its video?

When can we expect copies of those written contracts and the details of the “verbal agreement”?

If there are written contracts signed by each candidate or campaign they should have been produced at the time Ms. Upson wrote her letters or her FB comments.

Nice of you to offer to put them in your post. But I am betting that it is an offer she can and will refuse.

So you are looking for no statements from the Smolenski campaign?? They get to just stand by and watch you be there attack dog? What about a comment from this Nora person? Common PD, you have spoken at RWOPR and are connected to all these folks….probably have them on your friends list. Never been any controversy like this with LWVPR since I have lived here. Only with the Smolenski campaign but they are not required to explain anything?? How about at least a claim that Upson is lying and a nanner nanner.

EDITOR’S NOTE: That’s not how this works. The “Smolenski campaign” didn’t send letters to the newspapers, or post comments on FB, accusing the LWVPR of violating any “verbal agreement” or written agreement, so why should we be looking for any “statements” from that campaign?

The burden of proving these accusations is on the LWVPR, so the LWVPR’s failure to produce those written agreements is problematic. So is its failure to produce sworn statements from Ms. Tate-Brandish and Ms. Grau – not just Ms. Upson’s hearsay about what they said or did – to establish this currently imaginary “verbal agreement”: Exactly what was said by whom to whom, when and where.

Hey when you contact them here is a question you can ask. If there was no agreement, written or verbal, and this is all just partisan crap then why did they pull the ad down from the internet. Seems like that is a pretty clear indication that they knew they had done something wrong.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re not sure who you mean by “them” or “they.” But we continue to see ads on television sponsored by Liberty Principles PAC that contain the debate clip of Moylan denying that he has received almost $1 million from Madigan, along with a clip of him leading cheers for Madigan.

Nice try, Ms. Upson, but where are those written agreements? Your whole explanation sounds like a cross between a half-baked hit piece against Smolenski and an amateur hour debate process.

There is no issue with the written agreements, no one was accused of violating them. “Editor” I believe has my email address, this person is more than welcome to email me for them, but I don’t know who “editor” is (transparency?). The details of the verbal agreement have been shared and that is where the issue lies. Again, I am surprised the “public watchdog” is not concerned about a campaign breaking a verbal agreement with an organization made up of constituents. I mean that’s what our politicians do, right? They make verbal not written agreements with us. One would think that a “public watchdog” would be supportive of calling out a campaign that lied, evaded and let a PAC behave in such a way on their behalf. The campaign did remove the ad from their Facebook page. But as of yet no other response. LWV PR is open to women and men, liberal and conservative. Our next meeting is December 8 at 3pm at the Park Ridge Community Church. Our meetings are posted as events to the PR Concerned Homeowners page. If one is concerned about co sponsored events, please become a member and vote at our annual meeting about this topic. If one is concerned that there are not enough conservative voices on our board, please join the league and give your name to the nominating committee. We would LOVE to have you! If anyone would like a copy of our e-newsletter, private message us your email on facebook or email at [email protected]. Please come to our meeting in December and see what we do, you are all welcome! PS “editor”, I fully agree with your statement on PP – so we have that going for us :), hope to meet you in December.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This editor’s identity is the worst-kept non-secret in Park Ridge, but you can find it in the posts of 07.04.18, 03.05.18, 04.28.17, 03.15.17, 05.30.16, 01.22.16, 11.16.15, 09.14.15, 05.08.15, 12.29.14, 06.06.14, 05.26.13, and others too numerous to identify. Nevertheless, I will send you my personal e-mail address and gladly accept copies of those written agreements, so long as I can embed them in the post so that others can read them.

So far you have provided NO “details” of the verbal agreement. The scant info your provided doesn’t come close to establishing that there even was a “verbal agreement”; i.e., what individuals, acting on whose authority and behalf, exchanged what specific language that demonstrated a meeting of the minds on certain specific terms? Absent a “verbal agreement” there is nothing to be broken. And if you think that politicians’ promises are “agreements,” you also must believe in the tooth fairy and that Mike Madigan and his shoeshine boy, Marty Moylan, really care about what’s best for Illinois.

This blog and I both DELIGHT in “calling out” liars, frauds, spendthrifts of the taxpayers’ money, freeloaders and parasites. But without a shred of evidence that Smolenski or her campaign lied to the LWVPR, the only clear LIE related to the LWVPR debate is Moylan’s denial that he has accepted almost $1 Million from Madigan – which, ironically, is contained in an excerpt of the video that you and the LWVPR are trying to suppress. Pot, meet kettle.

Thanks for the invitation to join the LWVPR but, during my 30 years in Park Ridge, I have yet to see the LWVPR actually act in what could objectively be viewed as “non-partisan” fashion. And if I wanted to belong to an organization that doesn’t live up to its stated principles, I could become a Democrat or a Republican. ?

Your forgetting the most important point dog. Why we all know that Dan Proft and the rest of the folks involved in running Smolenski’s campaign would NEVER give their word and go back on it…..never!! Why these are completely honest and honorable people, right?? THey would never play political…no…no. The mean ole’ League of Women Voters took advantage of them. Give me a break!!!! You love to call people partisan but you let those who you agree with get away with what ever they want.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We wouldn’t trust Dan Proft to tell us the correct time, the correct date, or even the correct year. In our opinion, he and his bankroller, Dick Uihlein, are a cancer on what’s left of the Illinois Republican Party, a/k/a the “Illinois Stupid Party” (the “ISP”).

But unlike the twinkies who have run the ISP for the past decade or more, Proft and Uihlein are the only nominally ISP members with calcified spines (or, if you prefer a closer-to-the-equator metaphor, cojones). So, to paraphrase an old axiom: “In the land of the eunuchs, the one testicle man is king.” That’s Proft…we’re speaking figuratively, unless you want to check him for hernias and report back.

Where your defense of the babes in the woods LWVPR goes awry, however, is that they can’t come close to proving any “verbal agreement” with anybody: Not with Smolenski herself or her actual “campaign,” not with Proft’s IOP, or his Liberty Principles PAC, and not with his evil twin Skippy. So we don’t even have to consider whether or not Proft or his minions hornswoggled the LWVPR’s Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time Players.

This inane kerfuffle has demonstrated, beyond peradventure, that the members of the LWVPR (and its co-sponsor, the AAUW) are either so partisan or so pathetically inept that, in the future, they should cede their sponsorship of any candidate forums to the Maine South Constitution Team. Because it’s pretty clear that both the LWVPR and the AAUW need a remedial course in 6th grade Civics, along with an industrial arts-level class in basic contract law.

Cindy Grau and Mary Upton are embarrassed for announcing that at the debate that they would post the video on the AAUW and LWV websites. I checked the website to share it with others but the video is not there. Why did they announce that they would post a video if they didn’t tape the debate? Why didn’t they tape it like they said they would? Did anyone at the debate record it on their cell phone, or was that not allowed? In this age, unless you confiscate everyone’s phone, anybody can take a video and use it however they want. This is just face-saving by Grau and Upton. They couldn’t deliver. Or maybe it just an attempt to help Marty Moylan. Or maybe both.


Babes in the woods. That’s the point PD. You tell me as you apparently have been involved with LWV for 50 years. Apparently this has never happened to them before. Is there a case where a campaign used clips from a debate for an ad?? You tell me. SO it is possible that they never properly considered the idea that they might need a legal document to make sure all these candidates lived up to their word. When the Smolenski campaign made the ad it is possible LWV was upset and decide to tell the press……kind of like babes in the woods.

Of course they failed to realize you would write a hit piece on them. Come on PD. If they had a legal document you would find a way to shred them on that to.

SO what is the whole point of this. Is it to say that Moylan takes money from the democratic side?? Well of course he does and anyone who does not realize that is an idiot. Is it to say he lied? Duh?!?! They all lie. Smolenski’s campaigned has lied as well.

This is all just another example why people are so turned off by politics. Even a local State Rep election turns into a bunch of crap.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Not “involved with LWV for 50 years”: Attending LWV-sponsored debates for 58 years. And yes, campaigns regularly had photographers present and, later, camcorders and other devices so that they could capture not only their own candidate’s comments but also his/her opponent’s.

Your comment assumes an alleged “fact” – that either Smolenski or her “campaign” gave “their word” – not even remotely close to being in evidence.

The point of all this is that the LWVPR is clearly a partisan organization made up of folks who can’t even run a simple candidates’ debate competently and honestly; and who then appear to lie about some bogus “verbal agreement” that allegedly was entered into by the “campaigns” when they also had the candidates sign written “Rules” (not an agreement) that expressly discusses videotaping but doesn’t mention how the campaigns can use it.


Or maybe they are telling the truth. Maybe they announced it because they were expecting to receive a tape from Smolenski, as they claim, but they never received it.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, that must be it. So they accuse the Smolenski campaign of breach of an imaginary “verbal agreement” when they could have solved the problem by asking the Moylan campaign for its tape.


Bob, where is your proof that I am lying? Where is your proof that it was “imaginary”? You made the claim it was imaginary – the burden that is was falls on you.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mary, the concept may be foreign to you but, hopefully, you’ve at least heard of it: “Innocent until proven guilty,” not the other way around.

Since YOU wrote the letters to the newspapers accusing “Smolenski’s campaign” of breaching some sort of “verbal agreement” that the debate videos “could be used for internal purposes only” – whatever that’s supposed to mean – YOU have the burden of proving: (a) there actually was a “verbal agreement”; (b) the exact terms of that agreement; and (c) that the Smolenski campaign breached it. Instead of satisfying that burden, you published FB comments talking about some “signed…agreement that turned out to be nothing more than a sheet of “Rules” having nothing to do with campaign videotaping.

Your amateur hour, mercifully, is over. Hopefully when you and your LWVPR Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time-Players attempt to host your next debate, you’ll have your act together – even if it is another partisan Democrat carnival.


So you can’t prove that I am lying – so stop saying that I am. You want to say that my LTE APPEARS partisan, fine that’s your OPINION. But saying I created and “imaginary” verbal agreement to intentionally slam the Smolenski campaign an entirely different story. You have absolutely NO proof. I have 3 people that say the agreement happened and 4th that hasn’t denied it. YOU have made an accusation against ME, now YOU have the burden to prove it (a) that there wasn’t a verbal agreement (b) that my motivations were partisan. You have not backed up your claims at all, you just keep making excuses and personal attacks. BTW the forum itself was a great success – just ask Char and Susan . . but you’ll probably accuse me of lying about that too because I didn’t get it written down and have them sign it.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This stupid kerfuffle started by YOU accusing the Smolenski campaign of breaching a “verbal agreement” that you have the burden of proving but have not, as has been discussed at length in the post and in the EDITOR’S NOTEs to the comments. But since that apparently hasn’t sunk in yet, let’s try it this way (and feel free to move your lips if it helps your understanding): Saying “I have 3 people that say the agreement happened” is not proof of the “verbal agreement.” So it’s still imaginary.

I am not a handwriting expert, but when I look at the Smolenski signature, it looks as if it’s a typed font. Either that or she has perfect handwriting.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We just assumed it was an e-signature. But doesn’t the signature on the other one look like “Mike Madigan”?

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


(optional and not displayed)