Monday, March 13, 2017

An Open Letter to the FOP Membership from Candidate Kevin Graham in Response to Dean Angelo’s Demands for a Public Debate.

From: Blue Voice Candidate Kevin Graham

Dear Fellow FOP Members,

It has come to my attention that President Dean Angelo is on social media making demands for a public debate.

I have received no notification from the Angelo for such an event, no letter, no email, nor any phone call. Nor have I received any stipulations on how, when, or where such an event would take place. This is strange, since my phone number and contact information are easily available to Angelo. Why would he not simply call me and ask?

Why Angelo would be spreading this demand around social media two weeks before the runoff election is something members can determine for themselves, but the word “desperation” is hard to avoid in considering the reason. Certainly my fellow Blue Voice slate members and I have always welcomed debating the issues and releasing our platform.

Indeed, our platform is on our website and on our blog, and we have spoken at every roll call in the city throughout the last few months in our effort to get our message to the members. We are, and always have been, an open book.

I also find it somewhat strange, but for another reason, that Angelo is calling for debate at this particular time. It was once common practice at the FOP for the current president to allow candidates five minutes during a regular membership meeting to address members. Angelo never allowed this during the current regular election, depriving four other candidates of the opportunity to speak directly to the members. Now, knowing that the vast majority of members voted against him in the recent election, he wants to debate.

I think that it is also important to recall that Angelo was challenged by then candidate Bill Dougherty to a debate in the last election, but Angelo refused.

If Angelo is making demands for a debate merely to vilify our intentions and our actions, it is a sad, weak, and pathetic tactic, indicative not only of his desperation, but also of the usual kind of tactics employed by him in the last three years, tactics that have driven this Lodge into the ground.

Certainly one question that will come up during a debate, should one take place, is a question Angelo has refused to answer throughout his entire administration and his current campaign, a question that comes up at every roll call during the campaign: How was it that a man who could work as president of the FOP, collecting some $60,000 in disability payments, how was it that he could not hold a light-duty position with the department?

In other words, is the current president of our Lodge a medical abuser?

But I digress.

We certainly welcome a debate so long as the terms are fair. We are, however, not interested in a continuation of the dog and pony show Angelo’s election committee has performed during the current campaign, imposing unfair rules and employed shady tactics in an obvious effort to bolster support for Angelo rather than run a fair election.

We anxiously await a serious, fair proposal for a debate and will respond promptly.

In the meantime, we will be out campaigning with the membership. 

Kevin Graham