Eric Zorn’s Column: “In New Trier, is a right wing plot unfolding?”

From Eric Zorn in the Chicago Tribune:

“I went to the Wilmette Theatre on Wednesday evening to catch the premiere of “New Trier: Tip of the Spear,” an insta-documentary on the controversy that broke out in advance of New Trier High School’s Feb. 28 Seminar Day on Race.

It wasn’t because I wanted to revisit or relive the parochial debate about whether the high school in Winnetka had included enough political conservatives in its lineup of guest speakers.

But it was because filmmaker Paul Traynor, 46, a New Trier parent, said it was about more than that. He said his movie argues that the dust-up is a window into a vast yet stealthy effort by the right wing to take control of government at the community level, and that this effort is manifesting itself in the upcoming April 4 municipal elections.”

You can read the rest here.

Update: The Chicago Tribune published another story concerning outside right-wing influences in our Township. Here’s an excerpt:

Traynor, who argued in favor of the seminar during radio and television appearances, said the vast majority of New Trier parents were fine with it, and that those who protested were “aided and abetted” by Dan Proft, a Republican operative and talk show host with a larger agenda.

“Dan Proft has a vested interest in painting New Trier in a bad light,” Traynor said in an interview Thursday. “New Trier is one of the crown jewels in American public education. If they can give New Trier a black eye and make them look like liberal bed wetters … then I think it helps to advance their case that the public education system is broken.”

He claims Proft is also the unseen hand guiding the candidacy of three people running as independents for the board of New Trier Township. Should they win, Traynor said, he thinks they might try to curtail the township’s social service functions or dissolve it altogether.

You can read the rest here.