An Island Lake trustee candidate is criticizing Mayor Debbie Herrmann for promoting a website that attacks her political opponents and ridicules some local residents.
The site, sourgrapesgang.com, labels some Herrmann critics as "whackadoos." It's also filled with "half-truths" about the candidates challenging Herrmann and her allies in the April 9 election, said village board hopeful Mark Beeson, who is running against Herrmann's political slate and was among those targeted.
Herrmann promoted the website in a comment she made early Wednesday at dailyherald.com, following a story about the Island Lake election.
In the brief post, Herrmann said the site's creator, local resident Daniel Field, sent her a link to the page. She added: "I thought it would be a good time to share this site with the readers and the residents of Island Lake."
Herrmann's plug "shows a lack of leadership as a mayor," Beeson said.
In an email to the Daily Herald, Herrmann said she wasn't promoting the site but merely sharing a web link.
"I didn't create the site, nor did I have any involvement with its content," she said.
Field co-owns a business that does computer work for the village. He and resident Louis Sharp also filed a formal objection to the candidacies of two of Herrmann's political rivals, mayoral hopeful Charles Amrich and trustee candidate Tony Sciarrone.
The site, which consists entirely of a long essay about Island Lake politics, takes shots at Beeson and the other members of the "For the People" political slate. It details allegations about their behavior and personal lives and makes a variety of implications that aren't supported by evidence.
The site also makes allegations about the slate's campaign manager, former Island Lake police officer Wayne Schnell.
In a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon, Field said he created the website to make people aware of what he's learned about the candidates he targeted. Field initially insisted everything he posted was factual but then admitted some of the information didn't meet that journalistic threshold.
Herrmann, who is leading the electoral board considering Field's request to remove Sciarrone from the ballot, was promptly criticized by other dailyherald.com readers for the post.
Beeson said he left a phone message for Field asking him to correct inaccuracies on the website.
"He has a right to post his opinion, but he needs to get all of his facts straight," Beeson said in his own post at dailyherald.com.
Amrich, Sciarrone and Beeson are campaigning with clerk candidate Teresa Ponio and trustee hopeful Keith Johns as the "For the People" slate.
In a telephone interview Wednesday, Amrich called the website "hogwash" but admitted he hadn't reviewed it. He wasn't concerned about the allegations the site contained.
Herrmann is leading the "United for Progress" slate. She's joined by Clerk Connie Mascillino and first-time trustee hopefuls Josh Rohde, Ken Nitz and Ed McGinty.
When asked about the website, Mascillino said all Island Lake residents have the right to express their opinions.
"And that includes Dan Field and Debbie Herrmann," Mascillino said.