Editorial: Doing politics right, wrong


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Originally Posted Online: Dec. 05, 2012, 11:37 am
Last Updated: Dec. 05, 2012, 11:34 pm
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The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus

If you can stand it, here's one more election-related story. Before you turn away in disgust, instead of more of the same old political angst, this tale offers an example of how our leaders are supposed to behave.

Just one week after the Nov. 6 election, the race for Henry County Board District 2 was turned upside down. On Election Day, Thomas Wiley, the Democrat from Cambridge, went to bed believing he had beaten incumbent Kippy Nelson, R-Cambridge, by just five votes.

But after the official count was taken, Ms. Nelson was declared the winner over Mr. Wiley by a single vote. The tally was 4,043 for Ms. Nelson and 4,042 for Mr. Wiley. There was more than a single seat at stake here. Ms. Nelson's election gave Republicans an 11-9 edge. Had Mr. Wiley's victory stood, the split would have been 10-10.

A recipe for political disaster, you might think? Just the opposite.

After the recount, Ms. Nelson told reporter Lisa Hammer Mr. Wiley was very gracious. "I feel for Tom," she added. "Tom ran before and, what can you say, I was thinking that I was going to be the loser. It's very disheartening. I knew how he must feel."

Mr. Wiley and his party could have called for a recount, gotten attorneys involved and let a judge decide the election, dragging out the process. Instead, they let the Friday deadline for filing for a recount pass. The results stand and the new board has gotten on with business.

"I appreciate that they are not going for a recount," Ms. Nelson told Ms. Hammer. "It's nice to be able to put this to rest and move forward with the business at hand. I still feel really bad for Tom," she said, adding she appreciates his decision. "It says a lot about him as a person."

It does, indeed, and we join in saluting him.

There's a lesson here on how to do things right in a political word where doing it wrong is too often the norm.

Doing it wrong

Elsewhere in Henry County this week, for example, citizens witnessed another incident of some Cleveland village leaders behaving badly.

Colona police were called Monday to a political caucus for this village of some 250 people along the Rock River. We suppose the intervention by law enforcement shouldn't be all that surprising in a village where authorities once called on the cops to keep order while they argued over an Eagle Scout project. Yes, you read that right, an Eagle Scout project.

Everything from the boat ramp parking lot resurfacing by the scout to nameplates for meeting nights has set these folks off.

On Monday, caucus participants apparently struggled over state election papers while arguing about who was or wasn't eligible to attend the meeting.

Police took no action Monday, but the dustup led to the caucus being canceled. However this shakes out, the 70 or so families in the village lost, again.















 



Local events heading








  Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital.
1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post .
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.








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