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'My Life is an Open Book,' GOP Senate Candidate Tells Kadner and Voters

A day after a columnist raises questions about why Barbara Bellar calls herself a nun and where she earned her medical degree, Bellar offers a rebuttal and posts her credentials online.

In a rebuttal to Phil Kadner, the longtime Southtown columnist who tried to ask Senate candidate Barbara Bellar questions about her education and background, Bellar says she suspects Kadner has "significant ulterior motives" in raising the issue.

He's "voted Democratic" for the last eight years, says Bellar.

Kadner, at a recent candidate forum in Palos Hills, tried to ask the doctor from Burr Ridge who's seeking the 18th Senate District seat why she describes herself as a nun in campaign literature when the prioress of the order says she did not take vows. And he tried to ask her about her medical degree from Mexico. He says she avoided his questions, and that bothered him.

Today, Bellar sent a letter to Kadner and the newspaper, and sent Patch the same letter. In full, here is Bellar's response to his criticism of her.

To all the readers of the SouthtownStar, voters, and supporters of the candidacy of Barbara Bellar for Illinois Senate District 18:

It saddens me to have to write a rebuttal to an article that was published about me yesterday, but I need THE VOTERS to know that my life is an open book. First, I would like to say that all my credentials have been placed on my website at www.electbellar.com/credentials for the entire universe to refer to and further verify if they so desire. Second, I will and do answer all phone calls, I can be contacted at 630-917-3200.

As yesterday’s article mentions I have been recently treated in a very unprofessional manner by the writer of the article, Mr. Phil Kadner, who the record shows has consistently for the past 8 years, voted Democratic, which is his constitutional right. I am glad that he votes, but I sense his attack of my veracity has significant ulterior motives and is backed by another who would keep Illinois under and under their control. I was forewarned that I would be barraged by this reporter and would have gladly met with him by appointment at his or my office, but the manner in which he harassed me prior to an important forum was totally inappropriate and unprofessional. He did in fact, interview me about 2 years ago and interestingly he did not have any interest in slandering me then or going on a witch hunt for information that is available and authentic. 

To address my past, of 1970, I did enter the convent of the Order of Saint Benedict, I entered because I wanted to serve God, and I eventually left also because I wanted to serve God. It has been public knowledge and stated by me personally everywhere that I left before getting near taking any type of vows. It is common knowledge that the number of vocations to religious life has sadly dwindled, and numerous women have left after taking final vows. During my time in the convent I was referred to as Sister Barbara. I know my experience during those years contributes to my desire to serve both God and people to the best of my ability. Our campaign never meant to dishonor or discredit anyone who pursues religious life and perhaps everyone is not familiar with the stages and titles in the progression.

It is a shame that we are being distracted by the events from my life, known to all, that took place over 40 years ago. What I would really like to see addressed is the current sad state of affairs in Illinois. These are the urgent and imperative topics that we should be focusing on now.

Regarding my academic educational pursuits at Loyola, New York Medical College, St. Louis University, John Marshall Law School, University of Illinois and any other educational institution, these are all verifiable without question. So can we get back to the vital matters at hand, taxes, jobs, small businesses, pensions, the financial deficit, Obamacare and that I am the candidate that will serve the 18th District with integrity and fortitude.

Finally, I have confidence in the astuteness of the voters to see through such smoke screens of distraction as yesterday’s article and invite them to join me in representing them with a clear view and purpose to revive this great State of Illinois. Punch #22 on your ballot. God Bless!

Full scans of 36 credentials and documents relating to Bellar's career were posted to her website as of today. Bellar faces State Rep. Bill Cunningham in the Nov. 6 election.

Want to know more about her positions? Read the Patch candidate profile.

The 18th District includes parts of Oak Lawn, Palos Hills, Palos Park, Orland Park, Burr Ridge and the 19th Ward on the Southwest Side of Chicago.

Emily October 30, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Bob - you're trying to make this into let's bash Cunningham and that's fine. However, I don't know anything about him, he's not in my district, I am not voting for either of these fools. The article was written because the candidate above posted her BIO on her website and it's completely false. This has nothing to do with Cunningham. This is if someone declared themselves to be a lawyer. They went to law school (not the school the claim they did) and never took the bar. Therefore, they are indeed not a lawyer. She was never a Nun. She got her degree in medicine other than where she claims. She lied.
Bob October 30, 2012 at 03:17 PM
It's not about bashing Cunningham, Emily, it's about being fair and holding both candidates to the same level of scrutiny. Clearly that's not what you're about. As far as her bio being "completely false" you obviously haven't read it. If you did, you're the one who's lying. If you didn't, you're making false claims from ignorance, which is just as bad. NOWHERE does she claim to having taken a Nun's vows, nor that she was ever anything more than a novice. She went to medical school, and she passed her medical board exams. That's a fact. She went to law school and passed the bar exam. That's a fact. I won't argue the wisdom of her making the "nun" part of her past a major part of her political brand. She never took her vows as a nun, and she left the calling, so how did it make sense to bring attention to that? She's handing out rulers as promo's. How making voters associate her campaign with getting their knuckles hit by a nun as a positive makes no sense to me. Medical doctors hold among the highest respect among professions. She gives a great deal of free care to the needy in disadvantaged neighborhoods. She's smart, she's a licensed attorney who knows and understands the law, and she has a strong background in ethics. THAT should've been her brand instead of this "nun" thing. She's spent thousands on "political consultants". It's a shame the "professionals" she hired apparently didn't clue her in to this.
Emily October 30, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Bob - you're showing your age with the nuns cracking knuckles, cause it's been decades since they were allowed to do that. They couldn't do that when I went to school and I am pretty old. This wasn't the only article written about her BIO. I am also going off the other one that stated what her BIO read. If that was incorrect, then it's fault to the author of the article for misinforming people. If she chose to brand herself a Nun, then it's her fault.
Emily October 30, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Bob - I did what you asked and went to her bio. This is the last sentence. Dr. Bellar served as a Benedictine nun for five years and remains active in her church. This is a false statement. (Maybe not the be active in her church part, but serving as a nun)

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