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Airport, Illiana Expressway opponents rally before election

 Mark Ekhoff speaks Saturday meeting for opponents Peotone airport IllianExpressway. | Casey Toner~Sun-Times Media

Mark Ekhoff speaks Saturday at meeting for opponents of the Peotone airport and the Illiana Expressway. | Casey Toner~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 22, 2012 6:51AM



As the clock winds down to the Nov. 6 election, members of groups opposing the south suburban airport and the Illiana Expressway gathered Saturday to rally their troops.

About 20 people showed up to the meeting held at the Will Township Center, 30317 S. Will-Center Road.

Anthony Rayson, the outreach coordinator for the anti-airport group Shut This Airport Nightmare Down, led the ceremonies and read from a pamphlet he wrote called “Will County Farmers Under Vicious Siege.”

“People need to go beyond voting for one party ... in what can only be called a thoroughly corrupt and dysfunctional government,” Rayson said. “Land-rustling is a crime, and government doesn’t get a pass to commit crimes on anybody, including their own people.”

Judy Ogalla, a Republican candidate for the Will County Board District 1, encouraged the crowd to vote for candidates who are against the Illiana Expressway and the third airport near Peotone.

Specifically, Ogalla urged the onlookers to vote for Brian Woodworth, a Republican running against U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-2nd), a longtime champion of the third airport.

Ogalla said it would be an uphill race for Woodworth because the media is biased in favor of incumbents and minority candidates.

“We’re hoping the people in Cook County stay home,” Ogalla said. “We need everyone to get out and vote.”

The Rev. Anthony Williams, who is running as a write-in candidate in the Jackson race, also showed up to the meeting and asked the crowd for support.

He acknowledged the long shot odds of a write-in campaign, but noted that John F. Kennedy once won such a contest.

“I think we need to send a message to the district because pundits are saying if Jesse Jackson Jr. was in a casket, he would still win,” said Williams, of Robbins. “I’m going to work like a Trojan.”

To drum up support and publicity, Rayson proposed an anti-airport demonstration on Nov. 3 outside the home of state Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields).

Virginia Hamann, who lives in the proposed airport’s footprint and stands to lose her dairy farm if it is built, promised to bring one of her 124 cows to the protest.



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