Meet John Doe: Wasco stiffed by old-school politics

By Paul Gorski

The landfill isn’t the only thing stinking up the place lately. Former State Rep. Dave Winters (R) recently resigned from his office just in time to have John Cabello (R), candidate for that office this fall, appointed to fill his vacancy. All this while Cabello is running a close race with Carl Wasco (D), a Rockford alderman for the very same state representative seat.

Before readers start claiming I’m only complaining because I’m a Democrat, that isn’t so. Clip this article, bookmark it or otherwise save it. I believe it is wrong to appoint a candidate for an office to fill a vacancy in that office, only to give that candidate a boost during the campaign. This applies to Republicans and Democrats. My friends know I believe in fairness across the board.

So much for a break from past old-school politics. Winters, re-elected less than two years ago, should have simply finished the last few months of his term. He ran for a two-year term; he should have finished his term. Even if Winters felt compelled to leave office early, Cabello should have declined the appointment. He would have earned the respect of many. No. Although we may have fresh faces running, seems like we have old, tired campaign tactics. We deserve better.

I’d like to think Wasco wouldn’t have taken a similar appointment. Carl is a pretty straightforward, relatively conservative guy. His first response to someone suggesting he accept such an appointment would result in a visible cringe and “umm, no.”

Carl currently serves as a Rockford alderman and has the reputation of being a rational, level-headed person, who tends to ask questions rather than claim he has all the solutions.

I wish someone had all the solutions. Like local politics, the landfill continues to smell. I reported two days of odors this past week, the same week the landfill owners reported they were acquiring a landfill in Rochelle. The timing of the acquisition appears suspect, coming after landfill expansion hearings and a vote by the county board. But that, too, is old-school politics.

If you believe you smell landfill odors, report them at The landfill expansion still needs to be approved by state authorities, and if the reports keep coming in, the landfill may have to take extra measures to reduce the odors to keep the expansion application moving along.

Paul Gorski is a Cherry Valley Township resident and a former Winnebago County Board member. Visit for more about Gorski.

From the Aug. 15-21, 2012, issue

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