Mad Co. bloggers aim to 'disagree without being disagreeable'

By Ann Knef | Apr 18, 2008

Mark Von Nida

Al Adomite

Unlike Hannity & Colmes, Republican Al Adomite and Democrat Mark Von Nida didn't have a stage to talk politics and float new ideas.

That is, until this week. After months of collaboration, the two friends --and public officials in Madison County-- filled the bill by launching a blog that speaks to compelling political and social issues of the day.

Like the Fox News Network co-anchors Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes, Adomite and Von Nida aim to represent different political points of view in a friendly manner.

"This website is a collaboration of two friends in Madison County from opposite parties who agree (and disagree) on more things than most would imagine," Partisan Discourse declares.

Adomite, an alderman from Troy and the director of Government Relations for the Illinois Civil Justice League, said he and Von Nida, Madison County Clerk, may not always agree on solutions to problems, but, "oftentimes we agree on root causes of issues."

He said Partisan Discourse seeks to discover "if it's possible to disagree without being disagreeable."

So far, so good, it appears.

Von Nida remarked that this "work in progress" hopes to open dialogue and elevate public discourse.

He said that people often take advantage of anonymity in the blogosphere to spew, and most people gravitate towards sites that reinforce their views.

Visitors of Partisan Discourse, he said, will see a Democrat and Republican who respectfully disagree -- much like they do in real life.

In his first posting, Von Nida muses, "So, what if two people of different parties blog about the events of the day? Can we create a discussion that will illuminate and entertain? Can we remain respectful in our small differences as well as the large? We aim to find out."

Adomite jumped into a hot topic currently being debated in Springfield by suggesting that he'd have no problem with local and county officials being added to the proposed recall provision.

"I'm a local official and I wouldn't be shy about saying I would have no problem seeing a recall provision for local officials," Adomite wrote April 16. "Not that I could cite any local examples of officials needing to be recalled, but I think the greater authority in the hands of the voters is a positive thing."

To jump into their discussions, head to

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