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Will County slams Jesse Jackson Jr.’s airport plan — again

Anti-airport signs sit farm property  near Peotone this file photo.

Anti-airport signs sit on a farm property near Peotone in this file photo.

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Updated: March 15, 2012 6:18PM

Will County took yet another swipe at U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s south suburban airport plan Thursday, piling on as he faces a challenge in next week’s Democratic primary election.

The county board approved a resolution calling on Gov. Pat Quinn to end talks with Jackson’s Abraham Lincoln National Airport Commission, the group he’s assembled to lead construction of the proposed airport, and work instead with Will County officials to create an airport authority.

It’s the latest attack in what has become an almost monthly ritual for Will County leaders, especially Will County Executive Larry Walsh, a Democrat, and County Board Chairman Jim Moustis and board member Cory Singer, both Republicans from Frankfort.

All but one member of the county board supported the resolution. Kathleen Konicki, R-Homer Glen, voted against it after telling her colleagues she’s not convinced the airport is even needed.

“I don’t like taxpayer dollars going to this project,” Konicki said.

Singer said he pushed for Thursday’s resolution. He said Jackson’s plan is the result of Chicago politicians trying to gerrymander their way into political control of the suburbs.

He again pointed to news reports that have linked the financial backer of Jackson’s plan, Canada-based SNC-Lavalin, to the Libyan government. He also criticized the lack of media coverage on the topic.

“It’s a big deal, huge deal, in a lot of other countries,” Singer said.

Jackson’s office has said he has “full faith” in the company. Spokesman Rick Bryant on Thursday declined comment on the board’s resolution.

Jim Bilotta, R-Lockport, accused Konicki of pandering to voters in next week’s primary, prompting a scoff. Singer is running for office too — county executive — but he has no primary opponent.

Walsh, his likely general election opponent, also supported the resolution. He and other Will County leaders are pushing for an airport authority dominated by Will County residents.

“That airport will always be located entirely in Will County,” Walsh said, “and there should be no questions asked about who should have the majority of a governance plan.”

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