If you long to see a politician just say what he thinks to a lying activist, refresh yourself by watching the video linked here of Bob Bielinski, Village President of Wilmette at a board meeting last week.
The spat occurred, first, over the activist’s comments on a land use issue and then on Wilmette’s June decision to opt out of the Cook County minimum wage ordinance. The activist is from a group called the Wilmette Justice Team.
Bielinski later said he had “lost his cool” and apologized, according to a Chicago Tribune article linked here. He indeed should have let the guy talk without interruption and saved his comments for afterwards, but he was right to be harsh.
Bielinski, who I know, is exceptionally patient and politically neutral in dealing with the tedium of village administration, so it’s a bit ironic to see this even though his anger was appropriate. Setting minimum wages village-by-village is just plain stupid. That’s why over 50 Cook County municipalities — 80% of those in the county — have opted out of the county’s minimum wage ordinance as Wilmette did.
Maybe that’s what set him off — aside from the activist’s dishonesty, which Bielinski described. Make the case to raise the minimum wage if you want, but it should be to be done at the national level.
–Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints. Opinions expressed are his own.