Let freedom ring

The Madison County Record Sep. 4, 2006, 4:19am

Steve McGlynn

Just because the pesky First Amendment trumped Granite City's attempt to squelch anti-abortion protesters in the city's annual Labor Day parade via a federal court order, doesn't mean freedom of expression triumphed for all.

Parade boss/Madison County Associate Judge Barbara Crowder, a Democrat running for circuit judge in November, saw fit to exclude Republican judicial candidates from walking along the labor-lined streets of Southern Illinois' Steel City.

Republican judges Don Weber and James Hackett doth protest not too much, figuring there's nary a vote to be swayed in a place where the politics have been so one-sided.

And they wouldn't want an ugly confrontation. Crowder's diktat to volunteer parade marshals-- you have power and will use it.

Advantage: McGlynn

An early poll has Team McGlynn beaming. Sources tell Dicta that a Democratic-commissioned poll in the 5th District has Appellate Court Justice Stephen McGlynn leading opponent, Saline County Circuit Judge Bruce Stewart, by a respectable five points.

If the trend continues, we'll be curious as to when the trailing campaign goes negative.

During last week's candidate forum, Stewart practically begged McGlynn not to get in the gutter. He urged him to sign the State Board of Election's Pollyannaish "Fair Campaign" pledge.

Later that day, McGlynn accepted the challenge but cautioned he will not wither if attacked.

Happy Labor Day!

Remember the green shirts that took to Main Street en masse last October? For two weeks, normal business at Madison County's Courthouse and Administration Building grinded to a halt, courtesy of striking employees.

And now they're not so happy, again.

Union workers--including secretaries, deputy circuit clerks, probation officers, court bailiffs, nurses and detention and maintenance workers--have been without a contract since December 2004.

After agreements to the new contract, the county decided it wanted to drop the "Me Too" clause because the Teamsters union negotiated a 4.5% increase in pay for highway workers. County offered 3%.

The "Me Too" clause would also give the Local 799 workers a 4.5% raise.

Sources tell Dicta workers may have to look in their closets for their green shirts. They can walk out at any time, without notice.

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