Morrison was defeated by Patlak in the 2010 primary. Morrison, it seems, is still bitter about that loss and has not hesitated to sling wild and false accusations at Patlak. Morrison, who calls himself a Republican, is cut from the same cloth as is political loser and RINO Jim Dodge. (Morrison even looks a bit like Dodge.)
One need only look to the fact that Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth Doody Gorman of Orland Park, a "progressive Republican," supports Morrison. Liz Gorman was a supporter of Dodge in his failed bid for Illinois State Comptroller in 2010 (he came in a far distant third to victor Judy Topinka and dark horse Bill Kelly).
The Illinois GOP only rarely interferes with local primary races (perhaps not often enough), but Brady felt compelled to jump into this one. Gorman is no friend of the Illinois Republican Party, and why she hasn't been drummed out of the party is a mystery. She has long been known for being "more than willing to routinely accommodate Democrats," after all.
“This race is a unique circumstance, no doubt about it,” The Daily Herald quoted Brady as saying in a March 16 article. Brady, reported The Herald's Matt Arado, "said he believes Morrison....isn't a genuine Republican candidate at all, but a 'Democratic plant.' (Morrison denies this allegation.)" Arado also quoted Brady as saying, “I see this as a blatant attempt to get a Democrat into that seat,” and, “So I felt it necessary to weigh in.”
Tarasuk's full article at Patch also notes that Gorman is making robo calls for Morrison. Read more of Tarasuk's article here.
Sean Morrison has a right to run for any office, of course, whether he's a "real" Republican or not. However, as John F. Di Leo points out, challenging an incumbent is fine "if you campaign fairly. Unfortunately, that’s not what Sean Morrison is doing."
"Knowing that he has no real grounds for demanding that the party overthrow the only Republican to beat an incumbent Democrat in Cook County in fifteen years (oh yes, it’s WORTH repeating)," wrote Di Leo in a must-read article at Illinois Review, "Sean Morrison has taken Patlak quotes out of context and run them in his radio ads, in the most twisted way possible. This isn’t completely unknown in politics, but it’s particularly egregious in this particular race."
"The entire Morrison campaign," Di Leo wrote, "is based on a belief that Republican primary voters don’t understand the office of the Board of Review, and a hope that deceptive commercials can sway a naïve electorate on primary day. Sadly, not much can be done about it – the First Amendment protects most political speech, even most outright lies about the office and the officeholder. Slander and libel laws aren’t completely overridden by the First Amendment, but the bar is set so high as to tolerate almost anything."
Di Leo offers a simple solution to the Sean Morrison Problem. "We need to declare that Sean Morrison’s abuse of the system," he wrote, "unfair tactics and distortion about the office and its powers, are unacceptable in the Republican Party. We need to proudly re-elect Dan Patlak, and to shun Sean Morrison in any future political bid. He’s proven to be the wrong kind of candidate, the wrong kind of politician."
Dan Patlak is endorsed by The Chicago Tribune and by The Daily Herald. Both papers make very strong statements about Patlak and about Morrison.
Excerpt from The Chicago Tribune endorsement (emphasis added):
Patlak's challenger is Sean Morrison, the Palos Township Republican committeeman, whom Patlak defeated in the 2010 primary. Morrison, a security firm executive, has radio ads that suggest he will lower everyone's property taxes. The ads are misleading. The job is to review assessment appeals so property tax bills are fair. There's a race here because one faction of Cook County Republicans is feuding with another faction. There is no reason for voters to unseat Patlak. Morrison evidently knows that: He has built his campaign primarily on serial mud-slinging that doesn't speak well for his judgment. That is one of this job's core necessities. Patlak is endorsed.
Excerpt from The Daily Herald endorsement (emphasis added):
In fact, Patlak, while pointing justifiably to improvements he has pushed, does seem a little too comfortable with the status quo. But Morrison hasn’t made a strong case for replacing him, and some of Morrison’s charges have been wide of the mark or unsubstantiated. We endorse Patlak, based on his experience, and his record in helping improve how the office runs and its timeliness completing reviews.
- Mailing adds to mudslinging in board of review race (dailyherald.com)
- Patlak vs. Morrsion (Hanky Panky in Orland Township) (orlandpark.patch.com)
- Letter from Dan Patlak to GOP Committeemen (chicagogop.com)
- Morrison's Campaign of Lies, Intimidation (examiner.com)
- The Real Sean Morrison (prairiestatereport.us)
- The Curious Case of Sean Morrison (examiner.com)
- Sean Morrison Fact Check (seanmorrisonfactcheck.com)
- Morrison + Gorman = Lies Squared (examiner.com)
- The Strangely Ecumenical Liz Gorman (cdobs.com)
- Candidate Dan Patlak Offers Free Property Tax Help (July 2010) (chicagonewsbench.com)
- Jim Dodge's Political Donations Show He's a Fake Republican (chicagonewsbench.com)