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Proviso Probe

Friday, July 11, 2008

Proviso connections at the Green Party convention

I've been attending the Green Party's national convention some. It started yesterday and runs through Sunday.

I'll be commenting generally on the convention on Prairie State Blue at some point. However, there is something of a Proviso angle.

I most of last night socializing with Jerry Pohlen, candidate for Congress; Kevin O'Connor, Proviso's Green Party committeeman and a candidate for state representative; and Rita Maniotis, a former Proviso East teacher and candidate for state representative. I also spoke to Rob Sherman, a candidate for state representative in the northwest 'burbs, but he also has a couple Proviso connections.

Pohlen is running against U.S. Representative Dan Lipinski in IL-03, which includes Brookfield, LaGrange Park and the southern portions of Forest Park and Westchester. Pohlen's partner Jim Frost, owner of Urban Flora, says the occupation of Iraq provides an easy way to connect with voters. When voters understand Pohlen is for withdrawing promptly and Lipinski is for the status quo the voters almost always respond positively.

Pohlen also has a new book out, Progressive Nation, a travel guide covering "more than 400 of the places in the United States that are important to progressive politics". See reviews on Amazon.com, New York Times and Barnes & Noble.

Maniotis was grumbling about her experience at a charter school. She didn't like that students could complain to the CEO about anything and then the teacher had to drop everything to respond to the complaint.

O'Connor, a LaGrange Park resident, has gotten lucky in his race against State Rep. Bob Biggins (R-Elmhurst). Biggins was arrested for DUI on May 28. See State Journal-Register. Since there is no Democratic candidate appearing on the ballot, O'Connor has the opportunity to make the race between the DUI candidate and the non-DUI candidate.

This afternoon I spoke to Sherman. He's the plaintiff in the lawsuit to overturn Illinois' moment of silence law. See Daily Herald (Rob Olmstead). The law was sponsored by State Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood). Sherman has appeared in the media with Lightford. He said she invited him to her birthday party and danced with him.

Previously, Sherman had been a talk show host on WJJG, 1530 AM. WJJG's studios are in Berkeley and various local personalities have hosted shows on WJJG, including the late Arnie Bryant.

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