'I don't blame reporter DeWayne Bartels'

DeWayne Bartels

Earlier this week when I received news of a poll done on candidates in the 106th State Representative race and 53rd Senate race - among other state races - I moved on the story.

This decision struck a nerve with 106th District candidate Richard Thomas.  

Thomas wrote a lengthy email response to my request for comment on the poll.

His email was far too long to print in the web or print story in its entirety. I cut his response down for the publication to both.

Thomas takes me to task for the story calling it unworthy of coverage. Thomas is entitled to his opinion. So that I do not face allegations of hiding his critical comments about me from anyone I am putting his comments here - unedited - for all to see. The only changes I have made are the paragraph breaks and redacting a name because I have not had time to verify Thomas' claims.  

- DeWayne Bartels

February 1, 2012

To DeWayne Bartels,

A funny thing happened on the road to democracy. If you go to www.woodfordtimes.com you will find reporter DeWayne Bartels trumpeting the headline,“Bennett leads pack in 106th race.” The report boldly proclaims that the leader is Tom Bennett with 19 percent. And then list the rest of the results Josh Harms 18 percent, Scott McCoy 11 percent, Brian Gabor 4 percent, Richard Thomas 1 percent and 47 percent undecided.

Now, in the spirit of Paul Harvey, Candidate Richard Thomas will bring you the “rest of the story.”

First of all, 47 percent undecided in a 5 way race is only an indicator that the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association cited “poll” is not news worthy. The report doesn’t reveal any specifics about the poll regarding the questions or methodology of the poll. Furthermore, nowhere in the report does it give any reasons WHY Mr. Bennett would be the most qualified candidate nor does it discuss any issues that face Illinois.

And last but not least, if a reporter goes to the Illinois State Board of Elections website( www.elections.illinois.gov) and searches all 5 candidates, one would find that a (name redacted) purchased all(but one of) the candidates petitions to examine in early December. The 2 main reasons to do this is to try to knock OPPOSING candidates off the ballot and to see who might be supporting YOUR opposition.

According to http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jim-raftis/a/747/48 (name redacted) works for XPS which is the political consulting/polling subsidiary of the Illinois Manufacturer's Association. Now isn’t it highly coincidental that the only candidate that (name redacted) did not investigate is now “leading the polls” of the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association…things that make you go Hmmm.

If I were a reporter, I would be checking into that massive war chest of Mr. Bennett(which is under Thomas M Bennett, not ballot name Tom Bennett on the elections site). This massive war chest of big donors allows Mr. Bennett to have signs everywhere throughout the entire massive 106th District.

At the end of the day, I may have the smallest wallet, but I have the largest ideas. I am the most transparent candidate because all my donations are listed on my website www.VoteRichardThomas.com. I seek to win with grassroots efforts and I will be beholden only to the people of the 106th District and never to special interests. I will tenaciously ferret out the corruption in our state’s budget and send a message loud and clear that the working families, small businesses and farmers of District 106 are taxed enough already.

If the above is true, then in my opinion this “poll” smacks of Chicago ward style politics that the good people of District 106 are fed up with. The poll is much ado about nothing. Does

it make sense that a poll gives one percent to the ONLY candidate with BA and MS degrees in Political Science, the only veteran, the only candidate with real legislative experience at the capitol? And that is a not complete list.

I don’t blame reporter DeWayne Bartels for this poll, but I would urge Mr. Bartels to give all candidates sufficient lead time, etc. before reporting ‘big’ stories.

As the race heats up, soon we will no doubt be treated to last minute negative campaigning that if true would have come out long ago. Richard Thomas has and never will engage or condone negative campaigning. I don’t need to. I have the strength of my platform and superior credentials. That’s what is newsworthy. I feel the momentum in my direction wherever I go.

The only poll that counts is the “People’s poll” on March 20th, 2012. And there you have, “the rest of the story.”

Thank you,

Richard Thomas