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*** UPDATED x1 *** Suburban mayor who has fought repeatedly against virus protection measures will run for Congress against either Casten or Newman

Friday, Nov 19, 2021

* May 8, 2020

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau has called for his community to reopen faster than is outlined as part of Governor JB Pritzker’s plan.

He says it just can’t wait.

“The governor’s plan would not allow restaurants to reopen until at least June 26. Frankly, most of our small, family-owned restaurants will not survive that long,” Mayor Pekau said.

Mayor Pekau posted video on social media Thursday. The village said that it may lose $2.7 million this year in sales tax revenue because of COVID-19 restrictions, so it has laid out its own plan to reopen businesses at a faster pace.

* More from that video

Pekau said Pritzker’s plan is based off “weird science” and has used an “asinine display of logic” in his guidance to restart the state after COVID-19’s peak.

The video is here.

* May 18 of last year

Trustees in Orland Park could vote Monday to seek legal action against the state if businesses and “civic life” aren’t reopened in Illinois by June 1.

* Not long after he posted that video

Less than one week after Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau used taxpayer monies to file a vague and unclear lawsuit against Gov. Pritzker demanding that COVID-19 restrictions be eased, the coronavirus struck close to home.

According to sources, an employee in the Village Manager’s Office at Orland Park Village Hall has tested positive for Coronavirus.

Although this is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 at Orland Park’s Village Hall – other government agencies have reported cases – Pekau’s high profile publicity, his demand restrictions be eased, and his taxpayer-funded lawsuit against Gov. Pritzker’s coronavirus plan has made Orland Park the symbol of a growing movement of people who believe the virus is more of a myth than a threat.

* And then a judge dismissed efforts by the village to obtain a TRO in August

A federal lawsuit filed by the Village of Orland Park against Gov. J.B. Pritzker has been denied by the U.S. District Court of Northern District of Illinois.

The lawsuit – which was filed in June by the Village, an Orland Park restaurant and two Orland Park residents – claimed the governor’s executive orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic violated the U.S. Constitution, Illinois Constitution and the Public Health Act.

However, in an opinion filed on Aug. 1, Judge Andrea R. Wood denied the Village’s motion, stating the “plaintiffs have a negligible likelihood of success on the merits of those claims.” Wood also wrote that the “plaintiffs have not demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of any of their federal claims based on traditional constitutional analyses.”

* But Mayor Pekau persisted. He finally had to face reality in October of last year

The federal lawsuit filed by the Village of Orland Park against Gov. J.B. Pritzker has been dropped, records show.

After months of discussion and investigations, the dismissal of the case on Tuesday did not give an explanation as to why the village decided to voluntarily drop the lawsuit. Mayor Keith Pekau, reached by phone Friday morning, said “it doesn’t matter anymore.”

“It was pretty clear that [the judge] was going to say that we don’t have standing in a federal court and take it back to a state court, which obviously costs a ton of money… when it doesn’t matter anymore. We’re open,” Pekau said, adding that from August to now, the village has spent “almost no money” on the case.

Also

Trustee Dan Calandriello, who was opposed from the start to the litigation, said the consensus during Monday’s closed-door session was drop the matter.

“The feeling was it was time to finish this thing,” he said.

Calandriello, who is an attorney, said he believes the total legal bill for Orland Park will be about $70,000 and was critical of the expense at a time when municipal revenues have been affected due to the pandemic.

“At the end of the day this was not productive,” he said.

* Sept. 8 of this year

The Village Board of Orland Park voted 7-0 Tuesday to approve a resolution that opposes Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s mask mandate and any vaccine mandate against COVID-19. […]

Pekau went on to state that Illinois has been under a state of emergency for 600 days, during which time the governor had issued 97 executive orders. “These are the actions of a dictator,” the mayor said.

* Ted Slowik in the Daily Southtown around the same time

I think it’s rather sad how some elected officials keep making the pandemic about politics rather than public health.

Leaders in Orland Park, for example, seemed incapable of discussing mask and vaccine mandates last week without criticizing Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

“We’re ruling by fiat, and by one man, we’re not ruling by legislative action,” Mayor Keith Pekau said during a rambling, 25-minute diatribe at the Sept. 7 Village Board meeting. […]

Pekau refused to answer [WGN-AM’s Steve Bertrand’s] question about whether the mayor was vaccinated. […]

Pekau is hardly the only warrior for the aggrieved who seems like an opportunist using the pandemic to gain attention and score political points.

* Yesterday

Mayor Keith Pekau is running for Congress in the 6th Congressional District, according to federal documents filed Monday.

The Orland Park mayor had not formally announced his candidacy as of Thursday afternoon, but registered Pekau For Congress as a committee under the Federal Election Commission Monday afternoon.

Currently, the 6th District is represented by Democratic incumbent Congressman Sean Casten. … Democrat Marie Newman [has announced she will run] against Casten in a primary contest. Pekau has registered to run as a Republican.

* Related…

* Illinois suffers highest COVID-19 caseload in two months, spikes in hospitalizations, positivity, deaths: ‘We are in a surge’

*** UPDATE *** Media advisory…

WHO: Mayor Keith Pekau

Special Guests: Jeanne Ives and Other Local Leaders

WHAT: Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau has fought career politicians and the radical left to help his hometown put “people over politics.” Now, he’ll take that fight to the halls of Congress. Pekau will formally announce his campaign for the 6th Congressional District at a local small business.

WHEN: Monday, November 22 at 10:00am
Press can arrive at 9:30am to set-up.
WHERE: Alexander Equipment Co., 4728 Yender Ave, Lisle, IL 60532

WHY: Keith Pekau is the common sense, local leader 6th District residents need in Washington to take on the extreme politicians. His record of results stands in stark contrast to the failed far-left politics of Marie Newman, Sean Casten, and Nancy Pelosi.

EXTRA: Pekau’s public Campaign Kick-Off Event is that evening (November 22nd) at 5:30pm at Fox’s Pizza & Irish Pub in Orland Park.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

21 Comments
  1. - John Lopez - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 11:32 am:

    Will be interesting to see if Orland Park Village President Keith Pekau gains any traction from donors in his 6th Congressional District bid.

    Clearly, Niki Conforti and Justin Burau are not resonating with voters and donors.


  2. - Roman - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 11:42 am:

    That’s good news for Newman/Casten. He’s high profile and Trumpy enough to likely emerge as the GOP nominee. If the Republicans could ever nominate a non-political “school board mom” kind of candidate in that district, they would have a shot in a red wave midterm.


  3. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 11:44 am:

    If he cared so much about Covid restrictions maybe he should have run for Governor. He’d fit right in with the GOP nattering nabobs of nonsense (sorry, Spiro).


  4. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 11:58 am:

    I’d be interested to see an analysis on the differences in municipal and school liability insurance costs in towns where officials have been openly advocating for and implementing riskier officialy sanctioned policies.


  5. - Roadrager - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 12:00 pm:

    I was in Orland Park a couple of months ago. Pekau has flooded the mall with cops (village police, not private security) following the one breakout of looting it had in the summer of 2020. They were a constant presence inside, glowering at and following people, and barking orders and writing tickets out in the parking lot. I felt intimidated and unwelcome, and I’m just some average middle-aged white schlub from the suburbs.

    I welcome Pekau finding out how well his act plays outside his fiefdom. I also welcome people looking into the time he spent incommunicado and out of town during one of the peaks.


  6. - Numbers matter - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 12:02 pm:

    Jeanne’s guy. Not good.


  7. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 12:02 pm:

    From local experience, he’s a reactionary blowhard, so he should have a good chance in a GOP Primary.


  8. - Ugh - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 12:12 pm:

    That will notch yet another defeat for Proft & Ives.


  9. - Sir Reel - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 12:17 pm:

    “Weird” and “asinine.” This guy’s deep. Should fit right in with the new Republican party.


  10. - TNR - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 12:30 pm:

    If we see a Virginia/New Jersey-sized blue to red shift in the burbs here next year, that district could be in play for the Republicans. But not with that guy as their candidate.


  11. - Norseman - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 12:54 pm:

    This surge of more deaths, illness and economic harm is brought to you by the likes of Keith Pekau and other GOP politicians who are fighting prevention measures for partisan purposes.


  12. - Rabid - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 1:19 pm:

    You have a beef with Springfield, but want to go to DC to fix it


  13. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 1:30 pm:

    -I was in Orland Park a couple of months ago. Pekau has flooded the mall with cops (village police, not private security) following the one breakout of looting it had in the summer of 2020.-

    Unfortunately there is a lot of that attitude in the area based on personal experience. People worked into a frenzy about “the other” coming to their community, being it a racial/ethnic/religious minority and about how things used to be better when the area was more white and Christian. I think many local residents got that view in part because they and their parents were part of the “white flight” before from the city. Gets guys like this elected. Sad to see the attitudes haven’t changed.


  14. - Scooter - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 1:55 pm:

    “Unfortunately there is a lot of that attitude in the area based on personal experience. People worked into a frenzy about “the other” coming to their community, being it a racial/ethnic/religious minority and about how things used to be better when the area was more white and Christian. I think many local residents got that view in part because they and their parents were part of the “white flight” before from the city.”

    And not even just the City! Go a bit further northeast into Oak Lawn, Evergreen Park, etc and pretty much every residential block has (well, had) at least one family that moved to Orland Park/Hills, Homer Glen, New Lenox, and such after a non-white family moved in nearby.

    Anyway, any “Orland-sourced” Congressional representation for the new 6th district seems like a pretty bad idea given that municipality’s habit of making poor long-term decisions. I guess I can’t blame the mayor for being upset at retail restrictions during the pandemic, but when most of the Village’s tax revenue is sourced from mile after mile of big-box stores and chain restaurants, maybe the Mayor felt like he had no other choice? I don’t know. At least the water tower no longer proclaims Orland to the the “World’s Golf Center,” so they’ve got that going for them, which is nice.


  15. - Roadrager - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 1:56 pm:

    ==I think many local residents got that view in part because they and their parents were part of the “white flight” before from the city.==

    Agreed, and I think Orland Square is a symbolic focal point of it. You’ve had a diversifying middle and lower-middle class in the south suburbs for 50 years. Places like Matteson have also seen growth in an upper-middle class Black population. Lincoln Mall is long closed, River Oaks has been on the fade for two decades, and people need to do their shopping and find their common space somewhere, so they go to Orland. And so the people who are uncomfortable seeing different faces either demand something be done about their discomfort, or they move out to Kendall County.


  16. - Stu - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 2:46 pm:

    === WHERE: Alexander Equipment Co., 4728 Yender Ave, Lisle, IL 60532 ===

    Couldn’t get Four Seasons Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing, & Electric to offer up space, huh?


  17. - Wheaton - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 2:53 pm:

    Well the good news for the GOP is that Jeanne is not running for Congress. The bad news for the GOP is that she is involved in a campaign for Congress. Will Proft be coordinating the TV campaign of offensive and bigoted messaging?


  18. - OH - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 2:56 pm:

    As a former resident of the area, I can attest that several posts here have really nailed it. Orland Park is a first and second generation white-flight suburb. Kind of like DuPage County in the 1980’s. Keith Pekau is their Pate Phillip.


  19. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 2:57 pm:

    Not sure there is a huge groundswell of votes out there for him, even from Orland. He narrowly won re-election this year at about 52% in a rematch with the former six-term mayor who people were tired of and who had worn out his welcome. Against another viable, fresh opponent he could very well have lost.


  20. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 3:47 pm:

    You definitely get a “white flight” vibe from Pekau’s Facebook page with all the posts ranting about Kim Foxx.


  21. - Kyle’s mom - Friday, Nov 19, 21 @ 4:25 pm:

    From the Tribune:

    At Monday’s Village Board meeting, Trustee Dan Calandriello summarized the judge’s ruling and scoffed that village taxpayers had spent about $66,000 “on getting laughed (at) by the judge.”


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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