By Mark Wachtler
January 26, 2015. Chicago. (ONN) Enough is enough - let Dock Walls participate in the televised Mayoral debates. It’s bad enough that independents in Chicago need 20,000 signatures to run for office while Democrats and Republicans only need 500. But battle-hardened independents like Mr. Walls are then left off corporate media polls and purposely excluded from the debates. In response to that blatant injustice, and on behalf of independent and third party voters across Chicago, the Illinois Herald proudly and defiantly endorses William Dock Walls for Mayor of Chicago.
The independent voters of the Illinois Herald proudly endorse William ‘Dock’ Walls for Chicago Mayor. Image courtesy of WN.com.
Dirty tricks - Chicago-style
The Chicago Tribune, WTTW Chicago and even the League of Women Voters will all tell you that they only invite candidates to their debates and include them in their polls if they’re already polling a certain percentage. But it’s impossible to poll anything but zero if you’re not included in the polls - dirty trick #1. They may even tell you that they only include experienced candidates, until a wealthy amateur like billionaire Bruce Rauner or Willie Wilson comes around. Then they say money equals credibility - dirty trick #2.
So, let’s get this straight WTTW - the usually unbiased local Chicago PBS station. Being obscenely rich qualifies one to fully participate in a democratic election. But 30 years of experience with Chicago government and politics, including a position as aid to the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, is worthless and meaningless?
That may be WTTW’s position, which should automatically disqualify them from ever hosting a Mayoral debate again. But here at the Illinois Herald, we’re a grassroots, independent news outlet that publishes independent news for independent thinkers and independent voters. And if there was ever an illustration of the anti-independent bias by Chicago government and Chicago media, it’s the blatant exclusion of the only verifiable independent candidate in the 2015 Chicago Mayoral race - William Dock Walls.
Don’t rock the boat
As detailed on WTTW’s website, ‘Chicago Tonight will host a live candidate forum on Wednesday, Feb. 4 with contenders for the office of Mayor of Chicago, including the incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Ald. Bob Fioretti, Cook County Commissioner Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia, and businessman Willie Wilson. The forum will also be live streamed at wttw.com.’ Notice anyone missing? There are five candidates for Chicago Mayor, but only four participants.
Most Popular Illinois Herald Articles
2. Illinois takes over Private Pension Systems (11,522)
3. Cook County Jail at Crisis Point (3,335)
The Illinois Herald is an independent, grassroots news outlet. Without your support, we couldn't continue publishing. Any donation is appreciated.
The network goes on to explain that the City Club of Chicago is ‘helping to underwrite this forum on both television and the web.’ WTTW isn’t an insurance company. So we wonder what they mean by ‘underwrite’. Perhaps they mean ‘control’ or ‘buy’, which would explain why the only independent candidate for Mayor was purposely excluded from their televised debate.
Incredibly, the WTTW announcement goes on to confess that the Mayoral debate is a special present for the rich and politically connected members of the City Club of Chicago. As WTTW explains, the debate will take place in front of an, ‘invited studio audience of City Club of Chicago members and their guests.’ Now it makes sense. Chicago’s rich and powerful, aka the establishment, fear and despise honest, corruption-busting independents. And the members of the City Club of Chicago are the establishment.
Independents line up behind William Walls
When an honest, humble, simple God-fearing mailman saw his south side Congressman go to prison for corruption, he decided he’d had enough. Marcus Lewis, the intelligent and educated independent voter, would become an independent candidate for Congress. We at the Illinois Herald were so impressed and endeared, we endorsed him, twice.
What none of us knew the first time around was that it’s apparently against the law for mail carriers to run for elective office. Marcus Lewis refused to surrender his right to participate in his democracy, or drop out of the race as demanded by the federal government. The Office of Special Council went on to prosecute him to the full extent of the law. What was Marcus Lewis’ response? He ran for Congress a second time. Today, that proud and righteous husband and father is a dedicated volunteer for the William Walls for Mayor campaign.
“William Dock Walls is being systematically excluded from the day to day campaign reporting by mainstream Chicago media sources,” our good friend Marcus Lewis told us last week, “Some media have expanded that slight to include certain forums and debates. It is not merely our imagination.” Proving that it’s not their imagination, local independent journalist Keeshana Meehan contacted WTTW Executive Producer Mary Field for an explanation.
“I wanted to get a comment in regard to the discrimination against William Dock Walls not being invited to the February 4th debate?” Meehan asked WTTW’s Mary Field live on a televised call. Field paused in silence and then blatantly dodged the obviously uncomfortable question. She told Keeshana how all five candidates have appeared on other shows and programs, completely ignoring the question posed. Meehan wasn’t letting the nervous TV producer off that easy.
Keeshana Meehan again asked her question. This time Producer Mary Field got the point, “Mary Field to Dock Walls and Marcus Lewis, ‘You don’t have a million dollars.’” WTTW’s Field went on to dodge the question two more times before finally admitting, “When it comes to candidate forums, we invite candidates the same way we invite guests - we use our judgment as to which candidates and which races are important to our viewers.” In other words, there is no specific criteria for qualifying candidates for televised debates. Watch the full telephone interview at YouTube.
4 politicians and 1 righteous man
To force the movers and shakers of Chicago business and government to listen to an independent anti-Machine candidate like William Walls would be torture for them. Sure, Mayor Rahm speaks for poor people, until he shuts their schools down and moves their families out to the suburbs so his dream of a city without cars and poor people can be realized. Sure, Alderman Fioretti is a member of the Progressive Caucus, except when he’s exchanging money and favors with wealthy Republicans.
Jesus Garcia was championed as the honest, progressive candidate. We even watched his press conference slamming Mayor Emanuel’s corruption-plagued ‘red light ticketing cameras’. But then we remembered that he voted for them the day after taking money from a company that supplies the very same red light ticketing cameras. Then there’s debate participant Willie Wilson - someone who’s never run for office and nobody north of Chicago Avenue has ever heard of.
If he didn’t buy his way into the debate, WTTW will have to provide a different reason. Because we can’t figure out how a non-politician with no experience like Willie Wilson got invited to the debates, but a 30-year community activist with government experience and the backing of independent voters across the city like William Walls was singled out and banned from participating.
"The news shouldn't be left wing or right wing, conservative or liberal. It should be the news. It should be independent" - Mark Wachtler, Illinois Herald owner/editor
A corruption-buster from the past
Your author was reacquainted with William Dock Walls when he ran for Mayor four years ago. I say ‘reacquainted’ because with both of us being staunch and passionate 25-year grassroots independents, William Walls and your author have crossed paths before. In fact, we’ve found ourselves shoulder to shoulder, side by side, black and white, fighting the Machine in many long ago battles. An aid to Harold Washington and later a leader of the Harold Washington Party, William Walls was fighting Machine corruption at the same time this author followed Ross Perot into the Reform Party from Chicago’s Solidarity Party, where we were also fighting the Machine’s corruption.
So, when the powers that be in Chicago say William Dock Walls doesn’t have enough experience with Chicago government and politics, what they’re probably saying is that William Dock Walls is the only candidate that has proven he won’t happily play the 100-year-old Chicago corruption game. A Chicago Mayor like William Walls would rock the system to such a point, the people of Chicago might actually find out what’s really been going on inside City Hall.
Meet William ‘Dock’ Walls
The Illinois Herald’s biggest reader demographic is independent voters, including supporters of the Green, Libertarian, Constitution, PSL, SPUSA and Veterans Parties. We have a saying - the lesser of two evils is still evil, don’t vote for evil. William Walls’ website goes on to remind longtime Chicagoans that he’s been fighting the evil and corrupt forces in Chicago for decades.
As detailed on William Walls’ campaign website, ‘William “Dock” Walls, III is a community and political activist. He attended Horace Mann Elementary and Chicago Vocational High School, and was a member of the 1974 Public League Championship Football team. Dock enrolled at Tuskegee University, and graduated with honors in 1980. In 1986, Walls graduated from IIT-Chicago-Kent College of Law.’
‘During the late Harold Washington’s successful campaign for the office of Mayor of Chicago, Bill Dock Walls helped to organize the Lawyer’s Committee for Harold, served as president of Law Students for Washington and as Assistant Scheduler,’ his campaign website reminds voters, ‘As a key member of the Washington administration, Dock served as Confidential Assistant to the Mayor from 1983 to 1986.’
A blow to free and fair elections
CBS-2 Chicago is another local TV network airing and sponsoring a Mayoral debate. Sure enough, with no explanation given, only four of the five candidates are being invited to participate. Once again, Dock Walls is not being allowed to speak. ABC 7 Chicago is the final televised Mayoral debate host. And unlike four years ago when the League of Women Voters was the debate sponsor and refused to let Mr. Walls participate, this time around the network has graciously invited all five candidates. Kudos to ABC 7.
With that now out in the open, we at the Illinois Herald have one question. What is William Dock Walls going to tell the people of Chicago that the establishment is so afraid of, they’re willing to blatantly and openly sabotage and silence the campaign of the only independent candidate in the race for Chicago Mayor? Tell us NBC, CBS, WTTW, City Club of Chicago. This author is really curious to know, especially after all the trouble the powers-that-be went through to silence one man.
So curious in fact, the independent publication for Chicago’s independent voters - the Illinois Herald - proudly and defiantly endorses a fellow tried-and-true, corruption-busting independent, William Dock Walls, for Mayor of Chicago.
Find out more about Chicago’s other famous community organizer, William Dock Walls, at his campaign website WallsForMayor.com.
Subscribe to the Illinois Herald. Only 1 weekly email in your inbox. It's FREE and you can unsubscribe at any time. Subscribe now!