To the Editor:
As the Republican candidate for Madison County State's Attorney, today I sent letters to leaders of the Greater Madison County Federation of Labor and letters to the cities of Granite City and Alton demanding that my campaign and the campaigns of other Republican candidates be allowed to participate in upcoming Labor Day parades.
I believe that any candidate, Republican or Democrat, should be allowed to participate in the Labor Day parades if they support the cause of organized labor.
Last year, I was denied entry in the Alton Labor Day parade after a tense standoff with the organization's leaders. Instead, I chose to have my campaign march in front of the parade along the sidewalks holding signs in support of labor. However, this year I am demanding that my campaign and any other Republican campaign be allowed to participate with the other groups, campaigns and officials who support organized labor.
To deny any individual or group entry into these parades on the basis of political affiliation is discrimination.
The fact that taxpayer supported resources - police and fire departments – are being used when such discriminatory practices are taking place is wrong.
This practice has been going on for years, but I do not believe the cities of Alton or Granite City are to blame. The municipalities merely permit the parades and provide certain public services to ensure they are conducted safely. The sole decision to deny us entry into the parade is made by the leadership of the organizations.
Republican candidate for Madison County State's Attorney