We need Morrissey for mayor

We need Morrissey for mayor

By Jon Bystrom

We need Morrissey as our next mayor

We’re on the eve of an election for a new Mayor in Rockford. The diversity of opinions and experiences is what makes this community rich. The unprecedented debate is giving us a real choice. Information is power and this is the Information Age.

Youth and experience does count

My interest in politics started as a newspaper boy in the early ’70s at 11 years old. I read each issue of the Register Republic while delivering it. At 13, legendary State Rep. “Zeke” Giorgi introduced me to local politics when he took me to a city council meeting at City Hall. He helped me earn requirements for the Citizenship in the Community merit badge. He left an impression on me of how politics directly effects our lives.

Introduction to business and politics

At 14, I was hired into Woodward Governor’s recruit program where we learned about the American Free Enterprise system and Democracy. With money I saved, working summers and shoveling snow in winter, I bought property on my 18 birthday in downtown Rockford. During renovations I hit my first political obstacle, when a City Hall inspector condemned my property allegedly in behalf of a banker who wanted to quick take my property through condemnation.

At 20 years old, I met Nancy Reagan and volunteered for Republican Ronald Reagan’s presidential bid. A year later I volunteered for Democrat John McNamara’s first campaign for mayor of Rockford. I valued then, as now, my independent mind and perspective.

A Dirty War: Economic and political corruption

At 21, I left Rockford for an LDS mission in Argentina. My eyes were opened to hear of over 30,000 Argentine young people “disappeared” by the government for their “subversive” beliefs in civil rights, free speech and the right to join unions. Known as the “Dirty War,” military, civic and business leaders conspired behind closed doors to oppress and torture activists that challenged the status quo. Civil Rights violations reached the level of an “art form.”

Censorship alive and corrupt

I returned to Rockford and looked for information on the “Dirty War.” Censorship by Argentine newspapers protected the political and economic grip of the perpetrators.

I attended college locally and studied International Relations before switching to Journalism before getting a job at a local TV station. Without a 4-year university here, opening a couple video stores with my family made sense.

Listening to my friends working for the daily newspaper and other news media increased my questioning. I saw censorship of stories by management and heard well-meaning reporters who longed to work for news media that would allow them to tell the whole story.

Corruption abroad and at home

In 1992, as part of a peace delegation I traveled to El Salvador to see for myself how our American military and business interests helped kill over 75,000 Salvadorans in their 12-year Civil War. Later that year I wrote my first screenplay, a romantic comedy about city hall corruption and the young idealist who gets caught up in it. By the end of the “The Discount Detective,” the protagonists start a weekly newspaper to finally get a voice. My, my, how art imitates life. One month after finishing the screenplay, my friend Mike at the Irish Rose introduced me to Frank Schier, who had just started a weekly newspaper—The Rock River Times.

Uncensored to promote the community

Frank is one of the most fascinating characters I’ve met in my curiosities. His enthusiasm compelled me to get involved. Frank had newspaper experience at the Catholic Observer with a fire in his belly to start at a newspaper to print uncensored news and promote the people of Rockford. He let me write uncensored about politics and the local arts community.

All community voices to be heard

In this mayors race, Republican Dennis Johnson and Democrat Doug Scott warn, Independent candidate Larry Morrissey’s too young. They fault his experience because it is not their experience and his youth because their ideas are old. But it is their Republican and Democratic political machines which created the desegregation suit and put Rockford #300 on the Money magazine list. Censoring independent candidates with unfair Jim Crow-like elections laws keep them in power. Politics of the entrenched parties is all talk. Morrissey appeals to voters because of his extraordinary insight in defining our problems and willingness to listen to the voters. Unlike them, to Morrissey your voice counts.

Larry Morrissey is a breath of “clean” politics

It must be flattering for Morrissey to be blamed for his youth as they Quick Take his ideas. Morrissey will oen communication at City Hall, to include voters in the process. The closed sessions begs the question, what aren’t we supposed to know? Morrissey will let us decide what’s relevant to our great good. Ronald Reagan told the Russians we will, “Trust, but verify.” But how can Rockford voters judge for themselves, when the doors to information are closed?

Morrissey’s vision to bring rail and air transportation back to Rockford culminated in a delegation to Washington. And Morrissey vows to protect our interests by promoting neighborhood development and building a fair environment for economic growth. To those who have followed city hall’s backroom deals, he is breath of clean air. Morrissey in City Hall means some of us won’t have to be threatened any longer for trying to build businesses here.

Morrissey is a candidate voters can trust

Scott is the very author of Quick Take legislation, and the Register Star endorses Scott. Are you surprised? Scott’s integrity is in question. He defends Quick Take. I don’t question Johnson’s integrity. I question the integrity of his Republican supporters who will certainly pull Johnson’s puppet strings. Johnson appears to be the front man, since the rest of the party has lost face.

Community created by Democrats and Republicans

As with the Desegregation Suit, business leaders, politicians and news censors have raised corruption to “a new art form.” The undeniable proof arrived at the Ditzler farm last summer. If Democrats and Republican are willing to Quick Take a blind veterans property in your face, imagine what they’re willing to do behind your back. Morrissey represents interests of the taxpayers and voters from the front room.

Quick Take denies property owners due process

Quick Take violates all of our religious values of fairness and justice. Mr. Scott defends his argument with work tricks saying the two elements of “eminent domain” are only reversed in Quick Take—”taking” and “paying”. Quick Take violates common decency. Parents teach “taking” without “paying” is stealing. By taking before paying, Quick Take removes taxpayers only bargaining chip—possession. As possession is nine-tenths of the law, Ditzler’s were muscled into a position of weakness. Quick Take violates due process, which violates civil rights. Mr. Ditzler’s eyesight was lost serving this country. Due Process is the crown jewel of Democracy for what we’ve fought wars over. County workers apologized to the Ditzlers. Doug Scott did not.

Tag team bull fights at the Ditzler’s

With red flags in your face, Democrat Scott struck first with his Quick Take “special legislation” in Springfield. Ditzlers heard on the radio their property had been “seized.” Like wearing down the bull with “picadores” (spears) the second strike came from Republican County Chairman Kris Cohn, by insisting the road will go where she says, without community input. The final blow was struck by State’s Attorney Paul Logli. Logli gives glowing endorsement for Dennis Johnson as his number one supporter, listed in “Johnson For Mayor” leaflets. Logli called “enforcing” Quick Take against the Ditzlers—”a gamble.” When the Rule of Law becomes a gambler’s game, we’re all in trouble.

Civil rights violations and the new Jim Crows

If this doesn’t frighten you, it should. Republicans and Democrats ganged up and arrogantly violated Ditzler’s civil rights by using Jim Crow-like legislation which may be “legal”, but certainly not constitutional or just. But who could challenge them? The bulldozers raped Dizler’s 9 acre backyard. We asked who will be next? Kris Cohn aggressively decried, “On to Perryville!” Cohn insulted taxpayers repeatedly, until 900 in Rockton assembled and consented, “Enough already!” The voice of the people was finally heard and Cohn conceded defeat (for now…). On the other side of town, Ditzlers are sill unpaid as Quick Take vultures await ominously over the Torres family grocery.

Party of the past, party of the future

How long can our community allow party machines, representing economic “special interests,” to destroy our common interests? We must Quick Take our city back at the polling booth, like the 900 who stood up to Republican and Democratic Jim Crow-like machine, and stop their road to “Pottersville.”

Community input is Morrissey’s vision

Mayor Morrissey will create a “Communications Director” at City Hall. It’s one of his most progressive visions for our future that will empower voters and taxpayers. His creative experience in running his campaign on a small budget is indicative of his ability to lead city hall from the Dark Ages to the Information Age. With Internet technology, voters should be able to monitor how our Mayor is doing. Aren’t you tired of the Old Party mantra: “Information is ours alone. Trust us, you don’t have the need to know?” The 21st Century is here and Rockford lags far behind under the Democratic and Republican lack of leadership. We are not ready? Morrissey will use technology for dissemination of information. That is empowering.

Mayor Larry Morrissey is our future

People who follow the political money trail understand free enterprise is not free. Our rights have been fought and paid for by the blood of civil rights activists that go back to Jefferson, Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. How many more civil rights violations can we afford in Rockford? City Hall’s assault on the Torres Market will be just another example of abuse of public authority for private developers.

This city has lost many of our best and brightest who find deserving opportunity elswhere. Let’s not send Larry Morrissey packing to somewhere that will appreciate his knowledge and energy. A Morrissy mayoral victory will be a victory for fairness and equality. It’s time to elect Larry Morrissey Mayor to make this city great, again. With his experienced team, his vision and your vote, we will.

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