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Worth Township Incumbents Claim Opposition Faked Endorsements

The United Party of Worth Township claim two suburban mayors gave them thumbs up first in the derby to win political endorsements.

Allegations of false endorsements are flying in the race for the Worth Township Board, where eight seats are up for grabs on April 9.

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The current elected township officials who are running together as the United Party of Worth Township claim that two suburban mayors' endorsements touted in the opposition’s campaign literature and website are false and misleading to voters.

The long-time, township board is facing an aggressive challenge by the Worth Township Community First Party, whose slated candidates bill themselves as “reformers” that support term limits, salary freezes and suspension of pensions for part-time, elected township officials.

Among the dozens of endorsements racked up by the challengers are stamps of approval from Blue Island Mayor Donald Peloquin and Palos Heights Mayor Bob Straz.

Worth Township Clerk Roger Benson said both mayors endorsed his slate first.

“Mayor Peloquin gave us a glowing endorsement letter,” Benson said. “We’re the poster children for getting along.”

Peloquin’s letter dated March 18 states that since becoming mayor in 1985 the staff and elected officials at Worth Township have been “the best group to work with over my years of service to Blue Island.” He further wrote:

“In today’s society, it is indeed nice to have elected officials who constantly work for the people they serve."

Peloquin said this was the first he heard about his “endorsement” of the Community First Party when contacted by Patch.

“I sent [the Worth Township supervisor] a letter on my letterhead,” the Blue Island mayor said. “That’s my position right now.”

Read Mayor Peloquin's endorsement letter.

Worth Township Supervisor John “Jack” Murphy said in addition to Peloquin, that the United Party slate also received a “verbal endorsement” from Straz, who left them a voice mail.

In the phone message replayed for Patch, Straz complimented Murphy on the township board’s fine work on behalf of Palos Heights’ residents, and "to go ahead and use this in your campaign brochures. Whatever you guys need.”

Straz acknowledged leaving the message for Murphy.

“I don’t make a habit of endorsing other races,” the Palos Heights mayor said. “I just commented on what [the Worth Township Board] did for the residents of our town. That’s all I’m concerned about. It was just factual.”

Straz said he was also unaware of his name appearing on the list of endorsers for Worth Township Community First.

“They called me,” Straz said. “We were going to have a meeting but we never met. I didn’t put it there.”

Asked if he were going to mention it to Community First, Straz said, “not unless they want to take it up with me.”

The Community First Party, which includes experienced elected office holders and novices, and whose campaign is being advised by Worth Democratic Committeeman John O’Sullivan, may also have jumped the gun on listing an endorsement by Democratic Congressman Dan Lipinski.

While Lipinski’s chief of staff, Jerry Hurckes, said his boss was planning to endorse Worth Township Community First in the upcoming April election, they wanted to review the slate’s campaign literature before putting Lipinski’s name on it.

In a call to Kevin Hughes, who is running against Murphy for town supervisor, they got Congressman Lipinski’s official endorsement as of Monday.

“We talked to Congressman Lipinski's office and we’re all set,” he said.

Calls have also gone out to the two suburban mayors. Hughes said that Peloquin had given his verbal endorsement to Community First trustee candidate Patrick Hanlon, at the Blue Island mayor’s recent fundraiser.

Hughes said that Straz had also given his verbal permission to put him on Community First’s endorsement list.

“We’ve gathered 41 endorsements,” Hughes said. “If one or two go neutral, that’s fine.”

The Township of Worth includes the communities of Oak Lawn, Evergreen Park, Alsip, Blue Island, Palos Heights, Chicago Ridge, Worth, Crestwood, Merrionette Park, Bridgeview, Hometown and Robbins.

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Big Mac March 29, 2013 at 01:39 AM
Angry...Double Dippers? Really? How will Ed Moody work his full time job at the Bridgeview Courthouse (with his $90000 salary, health insurance and pension) and work as the Highway Commissioner at the same time? Isn't that double dipping? Or doesn't that count? On which job will he be a ghost payroller?
Angry Taxpayer March 29, 2013 at 02:19 AM
hey maximus in regards to your meeting length. "15 minutes of fame is short-lived media publicity or celebrity of an individual or phenomenon". Enjoy your celebrity while you can? Don't worry though, you can still play volleyball at the township facility. I almost forgot, "TURN IN YOUR KEYS", never mind I'm sure they'll just have the locks changed. If you feel the urge your little group can probably come back every once in awhile and pretend to look for the FOIA request just like they are now.
Big Mac March 29, 2013 at 03:20 AM
Uh oh, hit another sore spot, huh? Double Dipper Ed Moody running for his second public paycheck. Which job will be his ghost payroller job? Maybe both? Come on, tell the truth!
Angry Taxpayer March 29, 2013 at 03:48 AM
Ghost payroller? Who are you kidding Mr.15 minutes. So by your logic if he put 30 minutes in a month, he'd double what you do? Way to go Fredo. I'm smaart Mike! I'm smaart! How does it feel to be the the "Fredo" of your group? "Fredo, do this, Fredo do that". Fredo go get the volleyball. Fredo say something inane and childish. You've got that Fredo impersonation down perfectly. Geez, I'm really going to miss you guys.
Big Mac March 30, 2013 at 02:44 PM
How can Ed Moody work a 9 to 5 job at the county and give the taxpayers of Worth Township their money's worth as Highway Commissioner? Your avoidance of an answer speaks volumes.

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