The vice-chairman of the District 1 Democrats sent a personally critical letter to the editor last week that I would like to respond to and rebut.
Dave DeBaillie is a clear partisan, having served as past chairman of the Henry County Democrats. As well, he proudly displayed a photograph of himself with Barack Obama at each of the last three Henry County Democrats' fair booths.
Let me correct the record. Mr. DeBaillie refers to me as "Dragonslayer." While that sounds exotic, the name of my political and non-profit consulting business is actually "Goliath Slayer Communications."
I selected that name 15 years ago to reflect my admiration and belief in the biblical story of David vs. Goliath. I have worked to help conservative candidates for public office, often against long odds, win improbable victories.
Among Goliaths defeated by my clients are officeholders who have been in power for as long as 44 and 36 years, respectively.
Mr. DeBaillie then wonders "where Mr. Zahm comes from" while pointing out his lifelong Henry County residency. This type of soft smear, trying to besmirch a newer resident, is not the way to move Henry County forward. With population losses in the area, the best way to grow the economy is to attract new residents and businesses.
In my 4 1/2 years here I have been involved in public service as an Orion school board and Henry County Board member; sports as an Orion Little League, Galva Youth Baseball, and Orion Youth Basketball coach; and volunteer work with Junior Achievement, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Osco Community Church.
We need more families to move here and get involved. But they won't if they are treated like second-class citizens and outsiders like Mr. DeBaillie suggests.
I lived in Kane County, Illinois for 20 years before moving to Henry County. My family and I chose to come here and invest in this county. We bought a farmette that sat empty and was on the market for months. And we love it and love being part of Henry County, named after my favorite Founding Father, the patriot Patrick Henry.
And one last note. There is no doubt about my Republican credentials, despite Mr. DeBaillie's claim. I received over 20,000 votes from the Republican primary voters of the 17th Congressional District to have the honor of representing them in Florida last month at the Republican National Convention.
I have hosted six rallies as head of the Henry County Tea Party. Three in Cambridge, one each in Colona, Galva and Geneseo.
Among my speakers and sponsors have been Congressman Bobby Schilling, State Senate candidate Bill Albracht, and Reps. Rich Morthland and Don Moffitt.
If you believe you are "taxed enough already" and believe in God, the right to keep and bear arms, and love the Constitution of the United States, you are probably a Tea Party member too.
Page 2 of 2 - Let's stop the cynical attacks from the likes of Mr. DeBaillie and get back on track with a sunny, positive Ronald Reagan-style vision for our county and country.
That's what I believe in and stand for.
Jon Zahm, Osco, Henry County Board Member