University of Chicago Medicine Breast Cancer June 2022
SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Candidate creates chaos at Palos Township Board of Trustees meeting

jones protest photo 8 16 Photo by Anthony Caciopo

“Go to hell,” yelled congressional candidate Arthur Jones as the crowd chanted “Nazis go home” at Monday’s Palos Township Board of Trustees meeting. Jones, running on the Republican ballot for the Third Congressional District seat currently held by Democrat Dan Lipinski, has decades-long ties to the white nationalist movement. He attended the meeting “just to say my piece” about the First Amendment and the protests seeking to force Trustee Sharon Brannigan to resign. Jones left without making his prepared comments.

By Anthony Caciopo

The heat was turned dramatically up at Palos Township headquarters Monday as protestors gathered to confront Arthur Jones, a candidate for Congress with long ties to white nationalist movements, who planned to speak there.

“Nazis go home! Nazis go home!” chanted the crowd of at least 70 people who spilled out of the packed meeting room, many of whom craned their necks and held cellphone cameras aloft for a view of the proceedings inside.

For more than a year, monthly meetings for the Palos Township Board of Trustees have been the scene of rallies, protests and demonstrations calling for the resignation of Trustee Sharon Brannigan.

She had posted comments on social media directed toward Muslims and Middle Eastern people that many people have found offensive. The comments have long since been deleted.

Monday’s meeting, however, saw protests return to levels that haven’t been seen since the earliest meetings of summer, 2017.

“The disruption, the anger, the unrest, (it’s) everything they started with a year ago,” said Township Supervisor Colleen Schumann, who convened the meeting at 7 p.m. and adjourned it only eight minutes later after completing a hurried agenda of township business.

The lightning rod for Monday’s stepped-up protests was Arthur Jones, who is running against incumbent Dan Lipinski for the Third Congressional District seat.

Jones is running as a Republican. Lipinski is a Democrat. Jones won the Republican nomination when the GOP fielded no other candidate to run in the primary. Some Republican leaders have expressed regret, and even embarrassment, about Jones’ candidacy.

He was on hand, he said of the Palos Township meeting, to speak up for First Amendment rights and the voting process, which he said are being ignored in the push to oust Brannigan from her position.

“I read a story in your Reporter newspaper about Sharon Brannigan and I thought ‘What? They’ve (the protestors) been at this since last July?’” he said.

“They’re psychos,” said Jones. “They took a stinking little comment on Facebook and they’re going absolutely nuts, demanding a duly elected official should step down from office because they don’t like what she said.”

“That’s absurd and that’s not the way we do it in this country.”

Brannigan’s comments have been reported in detail by The Reporter many times over the year since the protests began. She had questioned the influx of Muslims into the southwest suburbs, their documentation status for local schools and other topics.

She clarified her position and then apologized. The apology has not been accepted by her opponents, who are demanding she step down from her elected position. Brannigan has stated unequivocally she will not resign, and that the only way for an elected official to be removed from office is via the voting process.

Her term expires in 2021.

Jones was prepared to deliver prepared comments to the board, but he didn’t come close to speaking his piece.

Amidst near-constant chants of “Nazis go home!” Jones briefly battled verbally with the crowd, eventually matching the cadence with his own chant of “Go to hell!” before leaving the room with his campaign sign held high.

As the chanting continued at a high volume even after his departure, two Palos Hills police officers entered the room.

Brannigan and Schumann, the township supervisor, were quick to say that they had nothing to do with Jones’ attendance at the meeting and that they want nothing to do with him.

“I reject and condemn Arthur Jones and his candidacy for any office in any state in our United States of America. He and his repulsive blather is such that it is nonsensical for me to waste words or breath on a person so low in character,” said Brannigan in an email exchange with The Reporter.

“The Township Board completely denounces anything that Arthur Jones stands for,” said Schumann after the meeting. “He was not there for any reason other than his own political reasons. He has nothing to do with Palos Township.”

After his departure, Jones stood across the street with his wife and three other supporters who held large cardboard signs and a vinyl banner criticizing Lipinski, Sharia law and “mass murdering anti-Christ Israel.”

“U.S. Constitution equals free speech, Muslim Sharia law equals no speech,” read the sign that Jones held up with a supporter to passing traffic on Roberts Road and to his opponents on the other side of the street.

At least one person in the meeting was there in support of Brannigan, with perhaps others. They did not speak publicly.

Outside after the meeting, Omar (who preferred not to provide his last name) said it was disturbing to see Art Jones there.

Mike Wolf, who sat next to Jones in the meeting room, asked Jones questions about prejudice and the Holocaust. He said his wife’s family came to the U.S. from Ukraine and Belarus not long before Nazi domination began.

“I had no interest in engaging him at all, I was just hoping because he was here I could make a little impact,” Wolf said.

“He’s a clown, he’s not going to do anything (politically) but he represents something going on in our society and country today, which is more open racism,” said Wolf.

Basem Kawar, the national coordinator of the National Network of Arab American Communities, said “Jones and five of his supporters were here today. Look at the signs across the street. It’s disgusting. We will not allow a Nazi to be in the same room with us.”

Schumann, reacting to the higher level of disruption at Monday’s meeting, said future instances won’t be tolerated.

“Moving forward, if that’s how they’re going to operate then the police will be called. We will wait for the room to be cleared and we will conduct the business of the township.

“All of a sudden, they (the protestors) went back to the early days of these disruptions,” Schumann said.

“The anger and the hatred is what’s so alarming to me. I thought we had made enough headway that we at least respected each other’s space and understood what needs to go on. I was so shocked to see this is what it had come back to,” she said.

Palos Township covers all or parts of Palos Heights, Palos Hills, Palos Park, Orland Park, Willow Springs, Worth, Bridgeview and Hickory Hills.

Following the meeting, Brannigan presented Kawar of the National Network of Arab American Communities with a bouquet of flowers.

An enclosed note read “Come on…Let’s stop the hate and work for a better and stronger community.”

Kawar told The Reporter “When I asked her what she thought the solution was, and if she acknowledges that her comments were racist, she got stuck.

“I asked her if she is willing to abandon her office and she said ‘no.’ She isn’t looking for real solutions. I’m not sure that flowers are the sort of accountability that will deliver justice,” he said.

Local News

CRRNH_TabaresLopez_062922

Mayoral race comes to Archer

Neighbors cheer as Lopez slams Lightfoot on crime By Tim Hadac Southwest Side civic and business leaders last Saturday got an early glimpse of the 2023 mayoral race, as 15th Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez made a campaign stop on Archer Avenue. Lopez was the guest of honor at a “meet and greet” held at the…

election 2022

Two incumbents square off in new 6th District

Newman, Casten battle for Dem nod By Steve Metsch It doesn’t happen often, but voters in the new 6th Congressional District have an unusual choice in the June 28 Democratic primary. Because of redistricting, two sitting members of Congress–Marie Newman and Sean Casten– are going toe-to-toe for the nomination in the June 28 primary. The…

pathlights Ice Cream Fundraising Flyer 6.17.22

Fundraiser is Sunday for Pathlights

Tinley Park nonprofit One Less to Help One More is hosting a special community fundraiser for Pathlights in honor of June’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Month from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, at Oberweis at 7202 W. 159th Street in Orland Park. For shoppers, 20% of your purchases will be donated…

USPS logo new

Mail truck loses load on Harlem Avenue

By Bob Bong A U.S. Postal Service truck leaving a local post office spilled its load at Harlem Avenue and 103rd Street Tuesday morning. Palos Hills Police Deputy Chief Tony Carroccio said the truck was driving with its rear door open at 3 a.m. when it dropped packages all over Harlem Avenue near 103rd Street.…

reporter worth welcome sign

Worth considering limits on tobacco stores

By Joe Boyle The Worth Village Board is considering establishing an ordinance that would put limits on where tobacco stores can operate in the village. Worth is not a home rule municipality and therefore cannot vote to put a limit on the amount of tobacco stores in the village. Greg Jones, the village attorney, is…

Election-Vote-Logo-1024x631

Incumbent Zalewski faces challenger for Dem nod in 21st District

By Steve Metsch Taking a break from the campaign trail – talking on a cell phone as he walked door to door – state Rep. Michael Zalewski (21st) said the choice facing Democratic voters on June 28 is simple. “I’ve said consistently that it’s the choice for voters between a record and a promise,” Zalewski…

Totally Blown had its tobacco license suspended for 30 days and its lawyers are seeking a lighter punishment. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park smoke and vape shop looking for a lesser punishment

By Jeff Vorva Truly Blown Smoke and Vape appealed to the Village of Orland Park Board of Trustees to lighten up a 30-day suspension for selling products to underage customers. The business was also fined and had its tobacco license suspended for 30 days during a June 1 hearing. The appeal was held on Monday,…

Palos Pines residents say cars speeding in their neighborhood are dangerous. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Heights neighborhood pining to eliminate speeding

By Jeff Vorva Residents in the Palos Pines subdivision are worried for their safety and their children’s safety because cars are constantly racing through the Palos Heights neighborhood. Two people spoke up at Tuesday’s city council meeting and a third had an e-mail read to the council members. Also, other neighbors have been contacting police…

election 2022

Update: Morrison, Gorman duking it out for county commissioner spot

By Jeff Vorva In what is one of the nastiest races around, Sean Morrison and Liz Gorman are duking it out for a commissioners’ spot on the Cook County Board. Gorman had the job in the 17th District from 2002-2015 but gave it up to work in the private sector. Morrison took over and had…

election 2022

Six candidates vie for GOP nod in 6th Congressional District

By Jeff Vorva Six for 6. It’s a busy Republican field in the newly drawn 6th Congressional District and six candidates are duking it out on June 28 for the right to take on the Democratic survivor between sitting U.S. Reps. Sean Casten and Marie Newman, and Charles M. Hughes. The new 6th District includes a…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
CRRNH_TabaresLopez_062922

Mayoral race comes to Archer

Neighbors cheer as Lopez slams Lightfoot on crime By Tim Hadac Southwest Side civic and business leaders last Saturday got an early glimpse of the 2023 mayoral race, as 15th Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez made a campaign stop on Archer Avenue. Lopez was the guest of honor at a “meet and greet” held at the…

election 2022

Two incumbents square off in new 6th District

Newman, Casten battle for Dem nod By Steve Metsch It doesn’t happen often, but voters in the new 6th Congressional District have an unusual choice in the June 28 Democratic primary. Because of redistricting, two sitting members of Congress–Marie Newman and Sean Casten– are going toe-to-toe for the nomination in the June 28 primary. The…

pathlights Ice Cream Fundraising Flyer 6.17.22

Fundraiser is Sunday for Pathlights

Tinley Park nonprofit One Less to Help One More is hosting a special community fundraiser for Pathlights in honor of June’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Month from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, at Oberweis at 7202 W. 159th Street in Orland Park. For shoppers, 20% of your purchases will be donated…

USPS logo new

Mail truck loses load on Harlem Avenue

By Bob Bong A U.S. Postal Service truck leaving a local post office spilled its load at Harlem Avenue and 103rd Street Tuesday morning. Palos Hills Police Deputy Chief Tony Carroccio said the truck was driving with its rear door open at 3 a.m. when it dropped packages all over Harlem Avenue near 103rd Street.…

reporter worth welcome sign

Worth considering limits on tobacco stores

By Joe Boyle The Worth Village Board is considering establishing an ordinance that would put limits on where tobacco stores can operate in the village. Worth is not a home rule municipality and therefore cannot vote to put a limit on the amount of tobacco stores in the village. Greg Jones, the village attorney, is…

Election-Vote-Logo-1024x631

Incumbent Zalewski faces challenger for Dem nod in 21st District

By Steve Metsch Taking a break from the campaign trail – talking on a cell phone as he walked door to door – state Rep. Michael Zalewski (21st) said the choice facing Democratic voters on June 28 is simple. “I’ve said consistently that it’s the choice for voters between a record and a promise,” Zalewski…

Totally Blown had its tobacco license suspended for 30 days and its lawyers are seeking a lighter punishment. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park smoke and vape shop looking for a lesser punishment

By Jeff Vorva Truly Blown Smoke and Vape appealed to the Village of Orland Park Board of Trustees to lighten up a 30-day suspension for selling products to underage customers. The business was also fined and had its tobacco license suspended for 30 days during a June 1 hearing. The appeal was held on Monday,…

Palos Pines residents say cars speeding in their neighborhood are dangerous. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Heights neighborhood pining to eliminate speeding

By Jeff Vorva Residents in the Palos Pines subdivision are worried for their safety and their children’s safety because cars are constantly racing through the Palos Heights neighborhood. Two people spoke up at Tuesday’s city council meeting and a third had an e-mail read to the council members. Also, other neighbors have been contacting police…

election 2022

Update: Morrison, Gorman duking it out for county commissioner spot

By Jeff Vorva In what is one of the nastiest races around, Sean Morrison and Liz Gorman are duking it out for a commissioners’ spot on the Cook County Board. Gorman had the job in the 17th District from 2002-2015 but gave it up to work in the private sector. Morrison took over and had…

election 2022

Six candidates vie for GOP nod in 6th Congressional District

By Jeff Vorva Six for 6. It’s a busy Republican field in the newly drawn 6th Congressional District and six candidates are duking it out on June 28 for the right to take on the Democratic survivor between sitting U.S. Reps. Sean Casten and Marie Newman, and Charles M. Hughes. The new 6th District includes a…

CRR NH Prusak Roofing House Ad
Regional CC Asphalt House Ad