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Staackmann Has Integrity, Loyalty to Morton Grove

Dan Di Maria pledged his support to the Action Party candidate, but then reneged and ran against him, this author says. By Peggy Flickinger-Friewer

The opinions expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author alone. Patch merely serves as a forum for opinions.

I am writing this letter as a former vice president of the Action Party as well as a member of the screening committee for many years. Most people have never participated in the screening process, so have no idea how it works.

The potential candidate is interviewed by the members of the committee and he or she provides a resume’ to be reviewed. They are allowed to give the reasons they feel they are qualified for the position they are seeking.

As part of the process, they must also pledge their support to the individuals that are chosen to be slated for election whether they are chosen or not. This is a crucial part of the entire process. It shows the candidate's loyalty and sense of integrity to the election process.

As you know, this year the Action Party selected Dan Staackmann to be their choice as the candidate for Mayor in the April election. Dan DiMaria was also screened for the position, but was not chosen by the committee.

What did he do? He chose to run against Dan Staackmann in a primary. This is something that shows to me his total disregard for the election process and his lack of integrity.

How can we trust a person like this to be the Mayor of Morton Grove when he goes against his own political organization? What happened to the promise he made to support the slate as chosen? If he can break that solemn promise what else will he be willing to do to achieve his goals ?

He has been a trustee for the last four years. If he had issue with the way the village was being run, why not address them while he was sitting on the Village Board? It is much easier to criticize than to take the initiative to make the changes that you feel are necessary. Please look at more than the promises made during this primary election. Look at the individuals and you will see that Dan Staackmann is the candidate with proven trust and integrity that can and HAS served our Village well.

Peggy Flickinger- Friewer, Morton Grove

Matt R January 18, 2013 at 10:49 PM
Any candidate that attempts to limit the field of choices or casts negative comments on another candidate simply for wanting to be one of the choices doesn't have my vote. I would rather a ballot of 20 than 2. Nothing wrong with more choices. I know nothing about either candidate, but the sole face that Staackmann's group would write a letter like this means the other guy get's my vote.
Pat Craig January 18, 2013 at 11:04 PM
I guess it comes down to being able to trust someone to keep their word. If trustee DiMaria wasn't willing to abide by the choice of the party he had the same opportunity as trustee Gomberg which is to run in the general election. He chose instead to break his word to those who were the members of the party of which he claims to be a member. I guess if you have no problem with him not keeping his word, (some would say lying), then it's not such a big deal. In the end, the people will chooses but because of either ego or selfishness trustee DiMaria will cost the taxpayers of Morton Grove the unnecessary expense of paying for a primary.
Matt R January 19, 2013 at 04:07 AM
But according to another article posted on patch your party called for a primary before he filed. So your response doesn't seem to pass the stink test. Why would your party file for a primary but then blame him? Is this other patch story incorrect or is your statement wrong ?
Pat Craig January 19, 2013 at 02:07 PM
I guess a Party member will have to answer Matts' question here, but if you saw it on the internet it must be true! They can't put anything on the internet that's not true. By the way, I'm a French model.
Old Time Grover January 19, 2013 at 03:06 PM
I agree, there is nothing wrong with letting the people chose - but if an organization selects someone who best represents their goals and values, the ones not chosen can always run in the general election (and that wouldn't have cost us taxpayers more money)!
Old Time Grover January 19, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Wait a minute, the lady who wrote the letter said used to be part of Action Party so she didnt try "to limit the field" as Matt said - she was just voicing her opinion and knowledge about the guy. If Matt knows nothing about either candidate and votes based on someone else's letter, shame on him for not taking his civic duty seriously.
Lizzy T January 19, 2013 at 03:26 PM
Candidates for office in a small town like ours have to keep their word as it is the only thing they truly possess. If Mr. Gomberg took the high road to run in the main election then why would Mr. DiMaria not do that too? I think too many people these days just want what they want and will do or say anything to get it. That's not the person I will be voting for.
Mark V. Matz January 19, 2013 at 03:36 PM
There is a point that needs to be clarified in terms of individuals filing for a primary. Established parties such as the big national ones or small locals like the Action Party are required by Illinois state statutes to submit the nominating petitions of their candidates earlier than those of new parties or independents. If nobody challenges the selected candidates as has happened for many election cycles before now, these candidates then pass right on through to be listed on the ballot of the Consolidated Election, and no primary is held. I hope this helps clarify the situation for those having trouble understanding this new development in Morton Grove.
steve January 19, 2013 at 04:09 PM
Matt - go back and reread the other Patch article. The statement that his party filed for a primary came out of Dimaria's own mouth. No where else has it been confirmed (by Patch or any other news source) that this was the case. http://niles.patch.com/articles/dan-dimaria-why-i-m-running-for-mayor. Why would you trust anything this guy says? I agree with Pat, this whole primary thing is going to cost us taxpayers a bunch of money. And who needs that? It's totally unnecessary. Dimaria should have decided to run in the general election as an independent if he thinks people want him as their mayor.
Paul Young January 19, 2013 at 04:33 PM
I like the idea of choice. By the way, don't the Republicans and Democrats have primaries at all levels? I don't hear anyone calling the people involved in the primaries disloyal and furthermore, it gives people a choice of who is going to represent the party. As for the requirement of the party that they can't run if they don't get selected, I find this to be counter productive for the Action Party. Maybe the slating committee is out of touch with the voters and they selected a candidate that is not palatable for the voters at large? With the major parties, we have seen people get selected by the party establishment that were not accepted by the voters at large. If your argument to my statements is that you shouldn't run against an incumbent in your own party, my answer to that is, look at how many incumbents were known to be unpopular by their party, but a primary was discouraged by the establishment. Maybe, based on what I have seen, the challenger believes that he should have a chance to run for his party's nomination and give people a choice. If you don't trust his motivations or don't believe him, then don't vote for him. In my opinion, I believe that having options is a good thing and is not disloyal. Let the best candidate win!
Matt R January 20, 2013 at 12:49 AM
sorry. Sounds like just a bunch of whining by the action party. I have no party affilition and i find MG parties funny (actually, stupid), but in the end, these guys fear choice, so they are not for me. I guess I'm forming a party opinion now. I really hope this challenger wins. I had no plans on voting in the primary, but I am now.
Matt R January 20, 2013 at 12:50 AM
OK, Old Time Grover. So, is that statement incorrect? I haven't heard anyone dispute it.
Lizzy T January 20, 2013 at 01:34 PM
Voting for a Mayor carries a responsibility for us all to learn about the people running and their records. We should vote for them based on their record, vision and integrity. Calling those people who volunteer their time on behalf of our community as funny and stupid is a rude, uneducated and class-less remark. I hope everyone in Morton Grove looks at what each candidate offers the community and then votes for the most qualified person based on real information and not some funny and stupid reasons others have mentioned.
Pat Craig January 20, 2013 at 06:32 PM
I guess the question comes down to can you be trusted to keep your word or not. I guess it depends on whether personal ambition trumps loyalty and fair dealing. If you research candidate DiMarias petitions for the election, you see prominent officers of the Caucus Party as circulators. Perhaps after being soundly defeated they were able to devise a way to gain control through the ego of a dissident. Candidate DiMarias' assertion that he is a loyal member of his party rings falsly hollow when his policial committee is made up of those who tried to destroy the party to which he claims allegiance. Perhaps, to some, honest dealing and loyalty have no place in politics as long as you win. As one who had abandoned the Caucus Party in the past, I too, like Matt had no intention of voting in the primary. I will now, because I remember what things were like here in MG when the folks working with candidate DiMaria were in charge. Higher taxes, bread and circuses, questionable real estate deals and a generally downward spiral. This is not the first time in history that a member of a group changed loyalties to the detriment of those whom he claimed to be allies. There is a famous Revolutionary war general who fell into the same type of behavior. For those who don't remember American history, it was General Benedict Arnold.
Jac Charlier January 20, 2013 at 08:01 PM
I get why members of the Action Party would be upset (I am not involved with or against the Action Party), but the issue is "for the good of our democracy" - in this case Morton Grove. Framed from that viewpoint, DiMaria and many other citizens should run as candidates to maximize voter choice. No political party is greater than either the people nor our republic.
Pat Craig January 21, 2013 at 12:22 AM
Jac; We live in a Republic, not a democracy. It has been said that the definition of s democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for lunch.
Old Time Grover January 21, 2013 at 01:27 AM
If the Action Party wanted to pick people who best represented their values, shouldn't they should be allowed to do so? They gave us Mayors like Dick Flickinger and Dan Scanlon afterall. It's true that no political party is greater than the people. That's why there's a general election here in which everyone can run and truly maximize voter choice and not squash it. Let's not even mention saving taxpayers the cost of this silly primary. Is the Caucus Party backing someone secretly on the side because they couldn't win in an open and fair fight? Maybe this is the reason there is no Caucus Party on the ballot. I can only wonder about that, but I do know who I'm voting for this time. Like Mr. Craig I'm not going to be bamboozled again.
Jac Charlier January 22, 2013 at 12:44 PM
Pat, Thanks for your post. We live structurally in a republic and (not but) it practically works itself out in some-to-many aspects as a democracy. Some have called this a "democratic republic" and the tension between these two ideas must always be kept in balance. If we should ever have to choose one over the other, then I choose the people and a full democracy. We are indeed first and foremost a nation conceived in liberty. I appreciate your engagement on behalf of the community.
Newgrover January 22, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Oldgrover and Mr. Craig are forgetting to tell everyone about the inroads that Caucus made into the Staackmann campaign. They preach about a Caucus conspiracy and leave out how a Caucus candidate is running with Staackmann and supporting him. I believe that Mr. Pietron recently ran for trustee under the Caucus banner. Maybe Oldgrover and Mr. Craig ought to take their conspiracy theories against Mr. DiMaria and report the truth about the Caucus influence in Staackmann's campaign.
Pat Craig January 22, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Interesting bit of attempted misdirection Newgrover. Perhaps the difference ids that Mr. Pietron has decided that he is more suited to the ideals espoused by the party he has chosen to run withy. You would have to ask him that question. Having looked at the nominating petitions from both candidates, I see no Caucus officers or operatives on Staackmanns I see the executive committee of the Caucus all over DiMaria. I am not preaching any conspiracy but questioning Mr. DiMarias' loyalty to any principles aside from win at all cost. Actually, it is smart politics on the part of the Caucus executives in that, if you can't win on your own, find a turncoat to run as your stalking horse. I remember the fiasco from 2005-2009. I also remember other political pecadillos that DiMaria was mired in. They say politics make strange bedfellows. It seems as though Morton Grove has its' own Quisling.
Paul Young January 22, 2013 at 05:04 PM
Actually Old Grover I believe that you are wrong. It says that she used to be the Vice President and is a part of the screening committee. I don't believe that you can be a part of the screening committee and not be an active member of the party. By the way, you don't need to be rude to Matt for questioning since it does appear that he made a valid point based on her own credentials (Being a part of the screening committee). This would seem to suggest that she was a part of the selection of Mayor Staackmann over Trustee DiMaria. I don't particularly care who chose whom in the selection process, but I do see where Matt made a valid query since she was a part of this selection process. Lets try to keep this a bit more civil since Matt is exercising his civic duty. When are the debates?
Old Time Grover January 22, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Can't speak for anyone else. For me, Newgrover writing that Caucus is making inroads into Staackmann's campaign seems unfounded. I remember reading that Action openly advertised for people interested in running but NEVER remember the Caucus Party EVER doing that. Seems like Mr. Peitron took Action up on their offer and made a good enough impression to be endorsed by them to run as a trustee. I even think the Champion endorsed him the last time around. Did others from Caucus ask to be considered or is all this about sour Caucus grapes?
Roger Jones February 17, 2013 at 09:50 PM
Again Pat, really? Blah blah blah I'm going to keep throwing out the same questions, even though they have been answered. Pat, you lost, admit it. Your guy stinks worse than the pigs that were on your lawn. Your guy didn't vote for the tax hike because he was too chicken to even show up. Too bad so sad, a mayor can't stick his head in the sand. Go ahead, ask your four questions again, but everyone on this board, who is not Mark Matz or Maria Toth, can read the literature or go to a coffee to get the answers. Be a graceful loser and admit that the four years of Staackmann was a waste. He accomplished nothing except that he gave a job to his wife.

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