Letter to the Editor of the Moline (IL) Daily Dispatch
from 1st Ward Alder Person Helen Heiland
(March 12th, 2008)
Heiland Sets the Record Straight
I feel I have to set the record straight. An election was held on Wednesday, March 5 for Chairman of the (sic) Democrat Party of Rock Island County.
Back in September I talked to John Gianulis about the possibility of him retiring. During that conversation, he said he was thinking about retiring. I asked him to stay on since I felt he had done so much for the party and we were on the brink of having a Democrat president.
When this conversation was over; I told him that if he did retire I would like to pursue the position. His exact words, “Helen, you would be my first choice. If I decide you will be the first to know.”
Therefore, because of that conversation, I decided I would not even discuss the position until I was notified of his retirement. I received a letter with all the other committeemen when he decided to give up the position.
At that time I started to pursue the position. Then came the betrayal nomination from a man who had picked me as his chairwoman for more than 20 years and many times told me that I was his right arm and he could not do it without me.
I was picked by him and not elected. There was not enough time, and John Brown, “office manager,” had already started working on getting his candidate elected from the Democrat office.
Everyone says that is just politics. I disagree. Why does politics have to be so underhanded? Is this why we have so much dissention (sic) in the Democrat (sic) Party?
To the few that stood up and supported me at the “election,” I thank you. I truly believed that I had a lot more to give to the party, but others have thought otherwise. This has been an unbelievable experience.
1st Ward Alderman
East Moline, Illinois
(*Editor’s note: the letter above appeared in the Moline, Illinois Daily Dispatch newspaper on March 12th, 2008. Below is the response I sent to the newspaper, which may well never see the light of day, so read it here and learn about how elections are run in Rock Island County, Illinois.)