By Dermot Connolly
Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison (R-17th) of Palos Park firmly rejects accusations by political opponent Abdelnasser Rashid that his campaign literature plays on racial and ethnic stereotypes.A
Morrison calls it “a very weak attempt to play the ethnic card.”
Rashid has taken issue with a cartoon showing a man standing beside a mailbox, getting his face forcefully covered with mud when the man opens a piece of mail from Rashid.
The caption states “Be careful when opening your mail. We don’t want any of his mud to get on you.”
The cartoon was included in literature the Morrison campaign sent to homes throughout the 17th district, which includes all or parts of municipalities in the townships of Orland, Palos, Worth, Lyons, Bremen, Elk Grove, Lemont, Leyden, Maine, Proviso and Riverside.
Rashid recently issued a statement saying, in part, that “Morrison’s latest attack is a deeply offensive attempt to scare people based on repugnant stereotypes.” He could not be reached for comment this week before press time, but he is apparently referring to explosions associated with Islamic terrorist groups. However, the cartoon doesn’t actually depict anything really exploding.
A Justice resident and Muslim whose father came from Palestine, Rashid is the Democratic candidate running against Morrison in the Nov. 6 election for the 17th District seat that Morrison has held since 2015.
Morrison, the chairman of the Cook County Republican Party and Palos Township committeeman, was appointed to complete Elizabeth Doody Gorman’s term and is seeking election to a full four-year term. He is CEO of Morrison Security Corporation in Alsip.
Rashid is a Harvard graduate and was deputy chief of staff for Cook County Clerk David Orr before leaving to focus on the election. He is also co-chair of Our Revolution Illinois/Chicago, a political action committee that grew out of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign—which Morrison calls a “radical” organization in the campaign brochure.
Morrison addressed the accusations by Rashid in a statement, saying “The cartoon on my comparison brochure is a standard stock political image used many times before to identify typical negative campaign tactics currently employed by my opponent.
“Labeling it anything other than a generic political cartoon is desperately grasping at straws. My opponent is not the victim here despite a very weak attempt to play the ethnic card.”
He went on to say, “The taxpayers are the victims of the Our Revolution tax and spend policies, and that is the message of the mailer. Rashid is the local chairman of Our Revolution and he cannot run away from its $2 trillion spending platform just because he has no plan to pay for it without raising property taxes, sales taxes and income taxes.
“The entire mailer identified only the issue stances of myself and my opponent and our publicly identified backgrounds,” said Morrison. “By accusing me of using his ethnicity to imply any link to terrorist acts, terrorist funding or terrorist organizations, he is foolishly bringing negative images upon himself that did not exist until he publicly created this false narrative.
“The only true explosion here is my opponent shooting himself in the foot. I am confident that reasonable people will draw their own reasonable conclusions,” said Morrison.