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Seeing Through Ryan

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Dear editor:

Thank you for publishing Dan Sprehe's picture ("Driving the Wedge," September 11) as I now think I know who it was that was screaming past me at the top of his lungs during Halsted Street Days. It was around that time that the anti-Poshard hysteria was reaching its peak, and while at the street fair, I noticed what seemed like hundreds of "slash-Poshard" stickers everywhere. This interested me, since I believed I would have an opportunity to have some of my questions about George Ryan answered.

While hearing for weeks about how Poshard was out to destroy us, I had been wondering exactly what Ryan would do for the gay community. When I reached the booth, I was directed to someone who looked an awful lot like Mr. Sprehe. When I then posed my question in a thoughtful and nonthreatening way, he started yelling at the top of his lungs repeatedly to all passersby (and ignoring me) that "GEORGE RYAN WILL SIGN THE ILLINOIS GAY-RIGHTS BILL!" After hearing that broken record a few times, I moved on. Imagine my surprise the very next morning when the Tribune reported that Ryan, like Poshard, would not automatically sign the bill but, like Poshard, would think about it if it reached his desk.

Personally, I don't think that Ryan will do a thing to pressure passage of pro-gay legislation. Why should he, when the status quo we enjoy in our Chicago enclave is so comfortable? Ryan is simply using persons like Mr. Sprehe. I think Mr. Sprehe is more interested in his own job prospects than in the welfare of our state as a whole, and I resent such unelected gay "leaders" forcing the gay community into this situation. Whatever happened to the idea of simply not endorsing a gubernatorial candidate when both are real stinkers? Of course, Mr. Sprehe would then have to deal with his inner conflict: as a recent closet case, how can he continue butt-kissing his Republican bosses who couldn't care less about us, get a paycheck, and find approval from the gay and lesbian community all at the same time? So instead he continues trying to persuade himself and us that George Ryan is pro-gay. What a joke!

Meanwhile, what about the other issues? A few weeks ago I had the occasion to drive downstate. I was stunned to finally see for myself how far away Peotone is. Ryan's support for the third airport is really fishy. As the economy falters, where will the money to build come from? And who is going to be making the money in this deal? Then there is the integrity issue. Ask yourself who appears more ethical--the patron saint of patronage, questionable fund-raising, and free self-promotion, or Poshard?

I feel bad enough about having to vote for Carol Moseley-Braun, not to mention a Republican attorney general over the apparently corrupted Miriam Santos. I'm for the single license plate, and "fascist" Al Salvi is the only candidate for that. But wouldn't voting for him set him up for a future gubernatorial run? Stroger versus Pucinski? And on top of all that I have to choose between Ryan and Poshard? What's an anticorruption liberal Democrat to do? If it all wasn't so tragic, I'd be laughing; and if it wasn't for Dan Hynes for comptroller, I'd be sitting out this election day at home.

M.J. Woodward

N. Sheridan

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