Friday, February 17, 2017

Angelo No, Graham Yes

Key To FOP Future Is Presidency...

Angelo no, Graham yes.

Does the upcoming election boil down to this simple question?

It does, and here is why.

Whoever wins the presidency of the FOP enjoys vast authority. One example is the fact that the President choses who will work at the FOP office as Field Reps and other office positions.

The President is not obligated to bring into the office those members who garnered the most votes in top positions, like First and Second Vice President.

An example of this is the presence of Tom McDonough at the FOP. McDonough is not an elected official of the Lodge. In fact, he placed third in the last election.

How did he get there? Well, as you recall, there was a runoff in the last election between Dean Angelo and Bill Dougherty. McDonough threw his support behind Angelo, and Angelo won.

Next thing you know, McDonough has a top spot in the Lodge.

Go figure.

This is an example of how the President can use positions at the FOP for patronage or to keep his political allies or sycophants at the Lodge and leave other elected members distant from the Lodge’s power center.

It’s a glaring shortcoming in our Lodge’s bylaws that allows the President to keep elected members out of the office and turn the FOP into his own patronage machine.

Many FOP members do not realize this.

So, even if Angelo were to win his position as President but lose every spot on his slate, he would still be able to run the FOP largely his own way.

Even if Angelo wins but his slate losses some or all of the other election spots, the very best that can take place at the FOP is paralysis, as Angelo would spend his days fighting the other elected members and they would fight back.

At the very worst would be the continuation of what we have had for the last three years, an administration so incompetent that the members of the FOP are reeling from the loss of their benefits, the legal attacks against them, the threats of loss of employment from an administration that will not speak for them.

Three more years of this and we are finished.
The President’s position is, therefore, crucial.

Kevin Graham is the one who should fill it. A Unit Rep with a long resume of working within both the state FOP and Lodge 7, Graham has the knowledge and the background to run the FOP.

 Presidential Candidate Kevin Graham

And, unlike Angelo, Graham is not seeking to use his position for his own benefit. He is not trying to build a political machine.

Despite whatever bombs Angelo and his slate have dropped on social media, Graham has assembled the correct mix of experience and new faces that will get the FOP on track from the first day. If he were only looking out for himself, why would he assemble such a collection of proven fighters like Martin Preib, Bob Bartlett, and Joe Ferenzi?

Under Graham, grievances will be fought. Phones will be answered. Disability cases will be resolved. The media will no longer enjoy the luxury of relentless attacks against the police without response. IPRA/COPA will be forced to conduct legitimate investigations with due process rights.

For the first time in three years, there will be contention on the FOP board, as members speak freely about what policies the Lodge should pursue.

And, for the first time since Angelo took office, the members will know what the hell is going on at the FOP. Meetings will no longer be an Angelo dog and pony show.

None of this will take place if Angelo wins and Graham loses.

So it is this simple:

Angelo no.

Graham yes.