The TRUTH Will Set You Free, Addison!

The TRUTH Will
Set You Free, Addison!
By Susan M. Halpern
Former Addison Councilmember (1992-1999)

There is nothing about the TRUTH that is malicious or disgusting.  TRUTH is not slander.  TRUTH is not despicable.  TRUTH has returned the Addison Way to our community, and TRUTH is what will keep Addison moving forward in a positive direction.  As they say, the TRUTH will set you free!  And that has never been truer than it has been for Addison during the past few years.

But TRUTH can also be unflattering.  Which brings us to some recent writings that have apparently touched a nerve with the negatives and naysayers.  Let’s talk about it. 

Over the past week, we’ve addressed the TRUTH about a ridiculous mailer sent out by a candidate who is falsely telling voters that $41 million is missing.  With detail and precision, I showed how his claims were completely unfounded, and demonstrated that he simply did not do his homework.  I’ve since had dialog with the candidate, and invited him to tell me what I’d written that was not 100% TRUE.  He didn’t challenge a thing.  He can’t.  It’s TRUTH.

This candidate did call me a lot of names, made some veiled threats, and carried his attacks so far as to suggest that the non-existent $41 million had somehow made its way to my law firm’s trust account.  Amidst all the insults and absurdities, he confirmed my underlying point.  This candidate has not done his homework.  He has not educated himself about Addison or its finances.  And, he apparently refuses to do so even when the facts are laid out in front of him, with dates and agenda references included.

That brings me to the negatives’ designated blogger.  These folks are now circulating an email taking me to task for writing TRUTH about this candidate’s nine-years-running bankruptcy case, painting him as a victim of sorts.  In the email, they too call me lots of names, suggesting that my article and a post written by an anonymous author (not me, not that it matters), were “malicious” and “unethical” and “slanderous.”  They call the Midway Meadows neighborhood “hateful,” and claim that I’ve provided “partial information” and “inflammatory half-truths.”

It’s a temper tantrum on paper.  But, when you wade through the many LOUD words and the slightly unhealthy obsession with me, you end up with nothing.  Zero.  There isn’t one bit of substance to any of it.  And, most significantly, they do not make a single challenge to the TRUTH about which I’ve written.

So, let’s turn to the issue of why this candidate’s bankruptcy case and the revocation of his discharge are important.  To start, there is nothing inherently wrong about filing bankruptcy.  There are times when good, honest people encounter financial difficulties and they need a fresh start.  That’s what the bankruptcy laws are all about. So, ordinarily, this candidate’s bankruptcy filing would not be significant.  But all that changes when you review Bankruptcy Judge Stacey Jernigan’s 141-page opinion revoking this candidate’s discharge.  That’s when it becomes significant in connection with the election.  Consider, for example, Judge Jernigan’s description of the candidate’s reasons for filing his case:

[His] bankruptcy was plainly motivated not by a legitimate need for relief from debts he was unable to pay, but by a willful and malicious desire to thwart Plaintiffs’ pursuit of state court remedies.  With regard to both the Bankruptcy Case and this Adversary Proceeding, [his] ongoing scheme to defraud his creditors – and Plaintiffs in particular – constitutes bad faith abuse of the bankruptcy process and the judicial system.

Judge Jernigan also pulled no punches in describing how this candidate got his discharge in the first place:

[He] obtained a Discharge in his Bankruptcy Case through widespread fraud, including the deliberate concealment of assets and significant and numerous false oaths.  In particular, [his] Bankruptcy Filings, which were never amended, reflect inaccurate disclosures regarding [his] employment circumstances, compensation and professional activities, and inaccurate information about his assets and income and that of his wife.”

To be clear, these excerpts are not “cherry-picked,” but you can read all 141 pages of Judge Jernigan’s opinion if you have any doubt about that. The point is that these descriptions speak to this candidate’s character, and that is indeed important. They speak TRUTH to the picture this candidate has otherwise tried to paint about his supposed business acumen. And, if the candidate or these negative bloggers find that TRUTH unflattering, then they should look to the candidate himself, who made all the choices to act as so graphically described in Judge Jernigan’s opinion. There are no “half-truths” in any of it. If you want a half-truth, read this gem from the silly email (this is verbatim): “It is true that some legal were actions taken against this businessman.” Good grief. If I get what they’re saying, it’s the understatement of the century.

Here’s the point of all of it, and despite all this protesting and all the personal attacks, these folks won’t touch it: Aren’t Addison voters entitled to know the TRUTH? 

Because TRUTH is what this is all about and TRUTH needs to be our focus.  Not bizarre emails about my council service that are intended to distract us from honestly evaluating candidates.

The Addison Way is carrying our town forward in a positive direction and this election provides us a golden opportunity to keep our momentum going.