You know, I get a little sick of partisan politics, but one thing makes me sicker...exclusion from any group by deliberate act of omission. Since the beginning of this process, Billy Halstead, Elaine Hopkins, and the Peoria County Democrats have deliberately and systematically avoided and omitted Matthew Woodmancy, a registered Democrat and a candidate for 18th Congressional District on Tuesday's ballot. Matt has been shunned by the Democrats because of his criminal background, but also because he is not another "cookie cutter" Democrat.
Some people might say that is reasonable, given the fact that Matt has freely admitted he has made mistakes in the past and is trying to get past them. But the fact of the matter is this is the same old crap we all faced in High School. The COOL KIDS make the rules, and shun anyone who doesn't want to play their game.
As a matter of fact, the Democrats were so worried about Matt being the only Democratic candidate on the ballot they actually sought out Steve Waterworth to go on the ballot as a spoiler to Matt. Steve revealed to Matthew at the debate in Macomb that he was not actually thinking of running until Elaine Hopkins encouraged him to run. Steve is a great guy, but let's face it, he has no chance of winning the election. He has tried twice before and failed.
Matthew has had to fight an uphill battle this entire campaign. The Democratic party has made it clear that not only will they not support Woodmancy, but no one else better support him either. Think of what an embarrassment it would be for them to have to acknowledge that a Gay Man from a poor background who has made a couple (and it is a couple) poor decisions in his life might actually have a chance of running for office. Worse than that, how about a Democrat who refuses to "kow-tow" to the party line, who refuses to take corporate or PAC donations, and thinks for himself?
Today, the Democrats will have several good candidates in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Peoria. Dave Koehler and Cheri Bustos I know to be honest and reputable people with the best interests of their constituents at heart. The people of the 18th Congressional District also have a candidate who meets these high moral principals. His name is Matthew Woodmancy, and he will be in Block 11 of the Parade. When you see his banner coming down the street, show him the respect and courtesy he deserves. He is out their on his dime, not the party's. And he is running for Congress to serve you!