Monday, December 1, 2008

Military veteran Gerald F. Maher to challenge Mayor Dan "Happy Talk' McLaughlin in 2009

THE SCOOP: Longtime Orland Park residenNumbered Listt Gerald F. Maher will soon officially announce his candidacy for mayor of Orland Park, challenging incumbent Mayor Dan "Happy Talk" McLaughlin in the April 7, 2009 municipal elections. Maher will run under the Concerned Citizens of Orland Park independent party.

Maher challenged McLaughlin once before in 2001 and while he did good, McLaughlin was riding high and won. Maher will do better this time.

Immediately after his election, McLaughlin imposed a .75 % home rule sales tax increase and then bought off citizen outrage by promising to rebate homeowner property taxes. That, McLaughlin promised, would off-set the increased sales taxes we would have to pay and put the tax burden on outsiders who shopped in Orland Park.

But the McLaughlin tax Hike is back, and the rebate has been trimmed significantly. Not only will you not get it rebated AS WAS PROMISED by McLaughlin, but if you miss the deadline, you will no longer have a chance to qualify. How much will be rebated? Far less than promised, and even less depending on how many people apply.


Don’t confuse Gerald F. Maher with McLaughlin’s cohort, Village Clerk David P. Maher, who has a problem with the fundamentals of the Illinois Open Meetings Act – he can’t seem to understand it. Gerald F. Maher is the brother of Robert J. Maher the Orland Township Supervisor. Remember, Gerald Maher supported his brother while the do-nothing Orland Township Republican Committeeman Elizabeth Doody Gorman backed Tom Mahoney, the Democrat, who lost re-election.

It’s David Maher’s son, Patrick Maher, who is the president of the Orland Park Fire Protection District.

Clearly, Gerald F. Maher is from the right political side of the popular family name.


McLaughlin also promised a new vision for the village of Orland Park, but over the years the reality has plagued that vision with cataracts, and the village has “seen” a series of backdoor property tax hikes, fee increases, lack of accountability and the Chicago Machine’s stranglehold on local politics. (His chief ally, trustee Brad O’Halloran is a relative of Chicago 19th Ward powerhouse and former alderman and legislator Jeremiah Joyce.)

The rebate plan, despite watered down news reporting, has been cut back to off-set the mayor’s failed leadership. In fact, the property tax rebate reduction isn’t even an honest dirty back-door property tax hike. When you promise voters to off-set a sales tax you impose by rebating their property taxes, and then renege on the rebate, that’s a TAX INCREASE.

Maher, though, plans to change all that. He promises open and accountable government that will speak to the voters and citizens of Orland Park, not to their political backers or to their slacker pals in the news media.


There are many issues that we face in the village:

• The tax rebate fiasco – you are only getting a portion of that tax rebate and you are still saddled with McLaughlin’s .75 % sales tax hike.

• The 143rd Street TIF District fiasco. I thought a TIF district was for blighted property, not property that a poor mayor blights with bad talk and bullying? How much money was wasted on that project that the mayor plans to salvage by shutting down so many family-owned businesses?

• Fees have continued to skyrocket with no accountability from anyone in McLaughlin’s Machine Organization – Orland Park is often referred to as Chicago’s 51st Ward it is so much under the control of the 19th Ward and relatives and friends of Brad O’Halloran.

• The village bought several homes allegedly severely damaged by flooding several years ago, and then lost a fortune by re-selling them far below the purchase price. AND, how much money was spent to refurbish them? (Why didn’t the village save money for the taxpayers by simply giving the beleaguered homeowners interest free loans to fortify and salvage their properties instead of dumping millions into the properties only to lose money?)

• What about open government? The village is using Comcast Cable TV to broadcast their Happy talk propaganda, instead of trying to inform the residents about important issues. They continue to rebroadcast over and over and over again these soppy interviews with the mayor and his allies discussing why they are so great, ignoring issues like back door property tax increases and fee increases. We need live broadcasting of the village board meetings so that the village activities are brought directly to the public, rather than forcing the public to attend the uninformative, political village board meetings.

I am elated that Gerald F. Maher is running. He is a military veteran. (I can’t remember, did Dan McLaughlin serve in the military or does he just surround himself with veterans and exploit their service in Iraq and Afghanistan to make himself look good in village press releases?)

Maher has already launched a web site and I urge you to visit it and read the information there. It is very informative. It is

Here is Maher’s Bio:
(You can read McLaughlin's background in the taxpayer funded newsletters that saturate the village and have more pictures of McLaughlin and his named mentioned than real issues.)

• Orland Park Resident of 29 years

• Husband, father of 4, and grandfather of 4

• Attended Moraine Valley and Northwestern University

• Previous Business Owner:
- International Transportation
- Financial Consultant

• Politically active for more than 40 years incl.:
- Campaigned with President Ronald Reagan
- Campaigned with President Gerald Ford
- Campaigned with Senator Chuck Percy
- Ran successful campaign in 2005 to elect Robert J. Maher as Orland Township Supervisor, defeating the heavily endorsed incumbent

• Veteran - 82nd Airborne
• Member, American Legion

• Previous coach:
- OYA - Varsity Boys Basketball
- Beverly Little League Baseball

Wake up Orland Park. It’s your tax dollars. Why are you allowing some Chicago Machine hack to run this village to the ground, offering excuses, patronage, clout and insider deals to his pals while making you pay the bill? It is your hard earned tax dollars that are at stake in this election.

Maher's slate will also include:

Kenneth Houston for Trustee, Orland Park
Orland Park Resident of more than 20 years; Graduate of Robert Morris College.
Previous Business Manager and UPS Employee for 15 years.

Kenneth Wzorek for Trustee, Orland Park
Orland Park Resident of 18 years
Graduate of Governor's State University BA Public Administration; Business Owner
Husband and father of three, grandfather of three
Active member of St. Michael's Church
Veteran US Army; Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 15014; American Legion Member Orland Post111 ; Member Elk's Lodge No. 2254

-- Ray Hanania

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