December 11, 2005

Calling a liar a liar

Hat's off to Barb Ickes and the QC Times.
If not for the lies, we could honestly celebrate. Most of us can understand the need for a little secrecy. But nobody appreciates an all-out lie fest.

East Moline is getting a pork-processing plant and some of the first new Quad-City jobs to come along in a very long time. Any big hog operation is going to carry some baggage, but this one has extra.

For months now, Mayor John Thodos has denied that he knew anything about a Triumph Foods pork plant, even though he’s been “aggressively” working to get it here. In fact, Illinois Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, practically gave Thodos all the credit for single-handedly wooing Triumph to the Quad-Cities and sewing up the development deal.

Lots of people will wonder how that can be. After all, just a month ago Thodos was still denying any knowledge of a development on the land where Triumph plans to build.

He hasn’t always been so dodgy.

When somebody leaked the pork plant story to me back in June, I called the mayor for confirmation. He said he could neither confirm nor deny the information.

"I don’t want these people to get skittish," he said. "I don’t want to jeopardize anything."

Knowing what we know now, the mayor’s initial response seems entirely reasonable. The deal was at least six months from being done.

But Thodos got cocky. When well over 100 people jammed City Hall two months ago because they wanted to know the city’s plans for several hundred acres of land it was looking to annex, Thodos shut them down.

The residents were told they had no right to talk about any potential development. The annexation hearing wasn’t the time or the place, they were told. And the mayor repeated the deceit: He knew nothing about any pork plant.

Then he stepped outside another boundary, publicly criticizing a resident of tiny Barstow who was chosen to represent dozens of others who were worried that a pork plant could cause them serious problems.

"It’s his job to whip up fear," Thodos said of Doug Riel. "Doug is trying to muddy it up as much as he can."

Rich. Very rich.

Consider this: Thodos is the mayor of a city that is on the verge of a huge development involving millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money. Yet he publicly denied any knowledge of the project. Then he criticized a resident for “trying to muddy up” the situation?

If it was Riel’s job "to whip up fear," what do you suppose Thodos believed his job to be — covering up what he knows about the spending of his constituents’ money?

There should be no doubt the mayor tried to cover up this deal for as long as he could. He even called an editor at this newspaper and asked that a story about the new pork plant be killed. Naturally, the editor made no such promise.

Thodos no longer can deny Triumph Foods’ plans. But his efforts to keep them quiet are sure to inject a potentially terrific development with public skepticism and confusion.

No one expects a politician to lie about good news.

13 Comments:

At 12/11/2005 4:36 PM, Blogger diehard said...

I totalley hate the thought of the Triumph plant and think that Doug Reihl always does his homework!
This will bring the kind of growth that we do not want!
Including, and Im sure we do not need more of, illegals!
Go ahead call me a racist.
The fact is it is the US policy to make a law and then disobey that law every time big buisness wants to shut down a labor union with more bodies!
The main concerns of the Republican party are not abortion or national security or making every one into Ozzie and Harriet.
Its about A.Not paying anything for labor
B. The wealthy not paying any taxes.
C. Free Trade, but that ties into the last two.
As long as we have this mentality we will continue to sprawl.
And these Alderman will be pressured into voting for this mess!!

 
At 12/11/2005 6:47 PM, Blogger Rich Miller said...

Do you think this will hurt Mike Jacobs?

 
At 12/11/2005 11:35 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

My take?

As the Magic 8-ball might say, "Cannot predict now"

Obviously, this is a finger in the wind issue. If it goes through and the PR turns positive, Jacobs will no doubt be first and foremost in claiming credit.

If it turns out that opposition to the plant gains an upper hand, or if the project is not approved (hard to imagine) then Jacobs apparently can say it's all Thodos' fault.

Miraculously, Jacobs hasn't been widely quoted in the press on this, and hasn't pushed his way to the front of the "me, me!" line on this issue, which may turn out to be a shrewd move.

It appears that, at least on this issue, Jacobs has adopted an unusually and welcome semi-low profile, apparently willing to share the credit or blame with Thodos.

But no one has had a lower profile on this than the Rep whose district this project is to be located in. Mike Boland has yet to be heard from on the entire issue to my knowledge. Not a word in the press on what his stance on this issue might be, and not a single attempt to find out. Very strange indeed.

The whole thing put local pols in a tight spot, with figures associated with the project urging them to keep a lid on the proposal, and an obligation to the public to be honest and straight with them as far back as when the land the plant is to located on was initially proposed for annexation.

They were two mutually exclusive goals, and someone was going to get burned. Thodos apparently chose to honor the developers wishes over those of the public, though it can be said that his motive was to not jinx the project from locating here.

In the end, Thodos choose to outright lie about what he knew and when he knew it. Jacobs spilled the beans a bit ahead of time and got slapped around for breaking the omerta surrounding the project, and the whole thing has devolved into a typical mess.

I wouldn't want to be in Thodos or Jacobs' shoes right now, though it seems that Jacobs (at least to this point) has largely dodged a bullet on this one.

What are other's opinions on Rich's question?

 
At 12/12/2005 5:32 AM, Blogger diehard said...

I can't understand why Jacobs would be out in front on an issue that only hurts him with voters.
He should take a page from Lane Evans's book.
Show up, act concerned, then state the obvious, its up to the city council anyway!
Jacobs could be in trouble, but it is entirely his own doing. The good news for him is that his opponent has not given any real reason for the voters to change other than he is not Mike Jacobs!
In the press he claims to want to do the same thing Jacobs is doing without the formidale clout of Papa Jacobs.
Mike Jacobs needs to run a smarter campaign. Part of that is having a few key people to bounce his comments off of before they spill out onto the press. Whom he mistakenly thinks are his friends.
And the Daily [Republican] Dispatch, who may act impartial to his face but are activly out to destroy any Democrat no matter how right wing![with the exception of Joel Brunsvold!]
The perception was, when John Gianulis nominated him was the same as Pat Verschoore when he was given the state rep job. He did not deserve it!
So far neither of Gianulis appointees have proven that they deserve the job or care about the people they represent.
They both are perceived as simply doing it for the money and stature!

 
At 12/12/2005 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to answer Rich's question - Mikey 'lite beer' Jacobs biggest enemy is himself - so this blogger is just waiting for the inevitable comparison by Jacobs between himself and Caesar Chavez!

 
At 12/12/2005 11:36 AM, Blogger youngdem503 said...

I think Jacobs will do fine on this one, neither helping nor hurting him as long as he can keep his mouth shut. As for the village idiot (Thodos) this more than likely is going to hurt him, but by the time his election rolls around everyone will forgive and forget so no harm no foul to him.

 
At 12/12/2005 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Youngdem - I disagree with you. Mike can't keep his mouth shut and therein lies the problem.... Thodos may or may not have trouble down the line. Time will tell.

Mike Jacobs has shown over and over again how much of a buffoon he is.....in public for all to see.

 
At 12/12/2005 3:16 PM, Blogger theheadusher said...

A new poll shows Sen. Mike Jacobs crushing his primary opponent. In addtion, the survey shows voters favor building the pork plant by a 4-1 margine.

If 1,000 new jobs at $11.85 an hour is "trouble," Senator Mike Jacobs could use some more!

 
At 12/12/2005 5:50 PM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Youngdem - see the post from Headusher above and note that Mike Jacobs does NOT dissapoint us...as anon noted earlier in a post today.

Mike Jacobs(aka headusher also known as 'headcase') continues to shoot off his mouth on this blog and everywhere else......

Oh and usher - trouble is exactly what Jacobs is going to get in a few months!

 
At 12/12/2005 6:53 PM, Anonymous Puzzler said...

Die Hard..

The wealthy not paying taxes? You've got to be kidding me. It's unbelievable what the wealthy pay in taxes. I've seen a lot of tax returns in my working life. The rich pay a whole heck of a lot more in federal income taxes - even based on percentage of income - than you and I do.

 
At 12/12/2005 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please let us know where that poll is located that Mikey is "crushing" his opponent. People favor a pork plant...who did you ask? A bunch of men from Mexico?

 
At 12/12/2005 7:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike, welcome back! Good to see that you've found time to post some more nonsense (complete with misspellings).

I'd love to see these "surveys" of yours. Polling the family doesn't really count.

 
At 12/13/2005 8:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only poll that counts is the one taken on election day. And those numbers will be visible for all to see. When the time comes ---enjoy!

 

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