I’ve been going back and forth as to whether or not I would write this column. Internally, we debated if it would be best to just let everything play out and be done with it all on April 5. However, the level of ridiculousness was turned up to 11 this past week and it has forced my hand.
It’s no secret that the election season in O’Fallon this spring has been heated at times. One just needs to read the letters to the editor we receive to see some of the lengths folks will go to support their candidates. Somehow, through everything, we here at the O’Fallon Weekly have found ourselves caught in the middle between the two campaigns for mayor. Both have at one point or another questioned if we were either working for or interested in seeing the other candidate win.
Let me be clear: The official position of the O’Fallon Weekly is that it has no dog in the fight. That position includes me, as well.
Since the beginning of the race we have offered up space to both candidates for mayor to share their views on the issues of the day. Ultimately, both took advantage of the space.
Additionally, we have opened our pages for a significantly increased amount of letters to the editor.
Yet despite all of this, we have been accused, for example, of working with one mayoral candidate because his insurance office is in the same building as our office. We’re being accused of this as if we were able to look into our crystal ball and knew back last April that Gary Graham wasn’t going to run for re-election and that Phil Goodwin was going to decide to run for mayor at the eleventh hour. I’ve been accused of a lot, but being the Amazing Kreskin isn’t one of them.
Again, we chalked a lot of the complaints from one campaign or the other up to stress and micromanagement. However, this past week, the absolute absurdity reached a new level and we decided we had to address this all head on.
Despite what has been stated on one candidate’s Facebook page, Graham, Goodwin, and John West have absolutely no financial or ownership stake in the O’Fallon Weekly. If anyone is interested in seeing who owns the paper, our articles of incorporation are freely available to view on the Illinois Secretary of State’s website. And trust me, you won’t see Graham, Goodwin, or West anywhere on them.
All we’ve done is provide those running for office in O’Fallon a platform to get their message out to the voters, something I might add the Progress hasn’t done. We believe an active and engaged electorate will make the best decision for their community.
Look folks, there are less than two weeks left before Election Day. How about everyone focuses less on attacking the O’Fallon Weekly and more on telling the voters why they’re the best candidate for the job they’ve chosen to run for.