Moore: Lottery board chair's resignation was drastic but only a matter of time
Don Moore, candidate for the 108th House District seat held by Rep. Charlie Meier (R-Okawville), was discouraged by the harsh words of Blair Garber, former chairman of the Illinois Lottery Control Board, who referred to East St. Louis as the "sh**hole of the universe" in a tweet last month.
"Speaking as a parent of elementary and middle school daughters, I do not want my girls to believe that Mr. Garber's language is 'OK' because they have read it in public media," Moore told Metro East Sun. "However, Mr. Garber's comment was provocative and I would bet that in private conversations over the years this it is not the first time this phrase has been used to describe East St. Louis or any other decayed cities around our country."
Moore believes that degrading a city through insulting language taints not only the individual who said the words but also the people residing in that city.
"My grandparents lived in East St. Louis and as a child, I often played with my cousins in my grandparent's neighborhood," Moore said. "Those playful days are distant memories that no other children will ever be able to enjoy."
Garber's statement led to his resignation at the end of January, a move that Moore said, even given the details of the incident, was unnecessary.
"I believe that Mr. Garber should have considered an apology for his provocative language because it ended up in the public media, but do not believe he should have resigned," Moore said. "Sweeping statements labeling an entire city are generally unwise unless it is in a form of a compliment."
But even though the voluntary resignation may have been too drastic an action to take, Moore said he thinks it would have only been a matter of time before Garber was forced out.
"If I had to guess what would have happened if Mr. Garber would not have resigned with or without an apology for using provocative language, chances are that Gov. (Bruce) Rauner would have succumbed to political pressure and removed him as the Lottery Board chairman," Moore said. "You have to admit, our politicians are the best when it comes to succumbing to political pressure."
The 108th House District includes parts of Clinton, Madison, St. Clair and Washington counties.