Lottery chief's tweet crossed the line, Balich says
Will County Board Member Stephen Balich said when using social media political correctness is a must.
The retired 30-year Teamster seeking re-election to the Will County Board, told the Will County Gazette there is no excuse for former Illinois Lottery Control Board Chairman Blair Garber’s tweet calling St. Louis the “sh**hole of the universe,” even in the day and age of President Donald Trump’s Twitterverse.
“Mr. Gaber should have known better than sending a tweet, email, or any other post using language that is not politically correct or inflammatory in the eyes of the media,” Balich said. “Yes, he has free speech and has the right to exercise it, but in today's society the culture of political correctness trumps that right guaranteed by the Constitution.”
Balich, who is seeking re-election for County Board's 7th District seat, which includes Homer Glen, Lockport, unincorporated Homer Township and New Lenox north of Interstate 80, said Garber’s instant apology for his comments and immediate resignation from his post came only because political police, specifically Gov. Bruce Rauner, demanded it.
Sending an inappropriate tweet and standing strong in office are two different matters entirely, according to Balich, who has been a Will County Board member for five years.
“I have strong conservative opinions against increased taxes and increased government spending, but I will not quit my position because those who disagree with me call me out because my positions may be viewed as politically incorrect by an unknown entity,” Balich said. “The voters in my case are the court that decides if I stay or go.”
Balich said it is a shame Garber resorted to a derogatory tweet since the former chairman waived the $100 fee a meeting when offered the job, which led Balich to believe Garber was serving for the right reasons.
“Social media becomes the best way to get a message out to the general public in a form that is accurate and unbiased,” Balich said, adding many turn to social media to express their views by addressing issues with facts and explaining what could can be done to support, improve, or eliminate any respective issue.
But again, there is an unspoken rule on what not to speak, he said.
“My saying ‘God Bless You’ instead of goodbye is me giving a parting gift,” Balich said. “Many people may view it as politically incorrect but don't say anything to me. The point is that I will continue, because I have the constitutional right say what is often construed politically incorrect.”
Though politicians must stand for what they believe in, they must be careful in doing so, Balich concluded.