I wonder how many Franklin residents remember there was a mayoral election in 2017.
Steve Olson, the incumbent, ran against a flawed candidate, the former disgraced, recalled Franklin alderman, Basil Ryan.
Ryan engaged in customary negative campaigning. Here’s an example. In one of his campaign brochures Ryan claimed “Franklin has more sexual predators than any surrounding community.”
False. No substantiating data was provided.
The worst dirty trick however came when Olson’s opponent felt the need to use a Franklin citizen.
Olson’s opponent filed a suit against one of Franklin’s best known and highly respected citizens.
Olson’s opponent filed a suit against a true Franklin hero.
Olson’s opponent filed suit against the single-most dedicated advocate for Franklin’s senior citizens.
Olson’s opponent filed suit against Casper Green.
Rather than being fully, totally concerned about working day and night on the election, Olson’s opponent went to court.
An official documented court record shows Olson’s opponent attempted to have a restraining order issued against Casper Green.
Green was nearly 90 years old at the time.
So what did Green do that warranted being sued?
Did he assault Olson’s opponent?
Did he threaten Olson’s opponent?
Did he stalk Olson’s opponent?
Admittedly and in fairness I don’t have all the details. I’m not a 24/7 reporter/blogger. But I heard Green wrote a flyer that was critical of Olson’s opponent.
OMG! A difference of opinion.
Not to Olson’s opponent. Clearly an open and shut case of defamation of character. See you in court, old man.
And so Olson’s opponent dragged Casper Green, close to 90 years old, before a judge. Please click here to see that Olson’s opponent lost. The case was thrown out.
Not as bad, but still concerning. In 2017 my own alderwoman who forgets she works for me foolishly thought that any printed criticism of her was defamation of reputation and needed to be removed (More on this later in the series).
I asked the following on my blog this past year:
Is this the new dirty political norm in Franklin…bullying of private citizens?
Private citizens were bullied and threatened, even sued because…they wrote something that wasn’t slanderous or defamatory. They, based on what they knew…expressed an opinion (More later in this series).
Is this what we can expect in what once was a quiet, clean hamlet…dirty tricks? Efforts to silence? Tactics that obviously don’t stand a chance in court thanks to our constitutional rights?
Because the culprits don’t understand I fear it could get worse.
This was a disturbing trend in 2017. Let’s hope it stops in 2018.
THE TOP 10 FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2017