Why the personal attack on Jim Tobin and his group, Taxpayers United of America, who opposed the District 208 (R-B) tax referendum? [Looking out for No. 1, April 20] It smacked of a personal grudge and contradicted the stance you took just a month earlier, when you editorialized against the same referendum (‘Sharpen the pencils in District 208,” March 23.)
Your statement that ‘the district didnft need Taxpayers United to defeat [the] referendum … [since] it was … soundly defeated by a 3-to-1 margin” wrongly downplayed Tobin’s contribution to the defeat of the measure. I met a lot of people outdoors when I helped pass out their flyers on the Sunday before the election. Given your coverage of the subject, I was surprised by how many were unaware of the pending referendum.
The real post-election story (that you missed) was about how his group’s 11th-hour distribution of flyers woke up the hordes who donft read your newspaper and sent them flocking to the polls. But I suppose it wouldnft be in your interest to report that.
The flyer listed the Top 100 teacher salaries. Everyone thought that was pertinent information, but I never saw it in your newspaper. The flyer also alerted voters to the ballot’s understatement of the amount of the proposed tax hike, something you said in your March 16 editorial (‘A balled-up ballot”) should be done with a mailing by the district to every taxpayer, which they didnft do. They probably werenft reading your paper. Good thing Tobin was; he acted on your recommendation.
But why fault others? You donft read your own newspaper either. In your March 23 issue, Bob Skolnik told us about the district’s use of our tax dollars for electioneering, complete with citations to the laws broken, in a piece of reporting so concise and informative it deserved a Pulitzer Prize. Yet your editorial stated, ‘What on earth does [Tobin’s] group propose to accomplish with a lawsuit for what it has determined was electioneering by the district?” And here I thought theyfd come forward to act on your determination.
Could the answer to your question be: ‘To enforce the rule of law and hold our public servants accountable for misusing our tax dollars?”
‘Where was Tobin in 2006? Mowing greener pastures?” Hardly. He was actively opposing the R-B building referendum. He spoke on the subject of runaway spending to an anti-referendum group, which met in Brookfield’s Sokol Hall. You reported on it. You could look it up; it’s in your archives.
The fight against public corruption doesnft have any boundaries. Tobin and his group have no less standing to intervene from Chicago on behalf of R-B’s taxpayers than the Landmark has to weigh in on local issues from Oak Park.
The same Constitution that guarantees you canft be silenced doesnft guarantee you an audience. To develop one, you have to shun personal attacks and remain editorially consistent. Maybe then youfll have more than the letter writers and Jim Tobin reading your newspaper.
Terence M. Heuel