Two Gubernatorial, AG and State Treasurer Candidates Speak to McHenry County Republican Reformers’ Rally

VFW signs 2-13-14

Signs for Bill Prim, Bruce Rauner and Andrew Gasser were at the entrance to the Woodstock VFW.

I’ve been to a lot of Republican Party functions since I came back from Washington to run for McHenry County Treasurer in the spring of 1966.

The meeting at the Woodstock VFW Thursday night, however, had more energy than any other I’ve attended.

When Central Committee meetings are held, it’s almost as if people are going through the motions.

That was not the case with the GOP Precinct Committeemen candidates and volunteers who numbered over 110 when I counted, with more arriving later.

While I was out getting some literature, the slate the reformers are proposing to lead the McHenry County Republican Central Committee for the next two years presented themselves.

The reformers propose the following to lead the Republican Party for the next two years:  County Board candidate Chuck Wheeler as Treasurer, County Board member Sandy Salgado as Chairwoman, Connty Board candidate Andrew Gasser as Vice Chairman and County Board member Diane Evertsen as Secretary.

The reformers propose the following to lead the Republican Party for the next two years: County Board candidate Chuck Wheeler as Treasurer, County Board member Sandy Salgado as Chairwoman, County Board candidate Andrew Gasser as Vice Chairman and County Board member Diane Evertsen as Secretary.

Introduced by Gasser, three county candidates spoke first.

Crystal Lake City Councilman Jeff Thorsen gave his pitch for the Republican nomination for County Treasurer.

McHenry County Board member Nick Provenzano followed suit.

Bill Prim, around whom most in the crowd were grouped, spoke briefly.

Sandy Salgado escorted Bill Prim to the stage.

Sandy Salgado escorted Bill Prim to the stage.

“As a public speaker, I’ll make an excellent Sheriff,” he said ironically.

Prim said that Thorsen, Provenzano and he had the same philosophies.

Then began a parade of four statewide candidates.

Paul Schimpf

Paul Schimpf

Paul Schimpf is running against Lisa Madigan.

I’ll write a separate story about his campaign later, but he ended his talk with a zinger:

“If you want an Attorney General who will

  • protect your freedoms
  • fight corruption and
  • transform the Attorney General’s Office in a watchdog that will protect citizens from intrusive state government,

you need to trust a retired Marine, not a [member] of the Madigan machine.”

Duffy also repeated the story about his first Senator floor speech.

That was during Rod Blagojevich’s impeachment trial.

"This is the largest get-together of committeemen and activists I've seen in McHenry County,"State Senator Dan Duffy said.

“This is the largest get-together of committeemen and activists I’ve seen in McHenry County,”State Senator Dan Duffy said.

Senator President John Cullerton apparently was trying to manage the message and Duffy was not supposed to be one of the speakers.

He persisted, however, with the message, “Everyone down here in the Capitol needs to be held responsible.”

This did not please Cullerton who came over and told Duffy, “You basically accused us all of being corrupt.”

Cullerton asked him to apologize to the body.

Duffy said he told him, “If you recognize me, I have more to say.”

Duffy was not recognized, but after the vote Cullerton announced that Duffy was in the wrong parking place “and you’re going to have to move.”

“You are going to change politics not just in McHenry County, but in all of Illinois,” Duffy told the crowd.

“Can you imagine if we had a Springfield full of Dan Duffys?” moderator Gasser asked.

Gasser then said that Committeeman John O’Neill had called that afternoon and asked if gubernatorial candidate Kirk Dillard could speak at the meeting.

“We are an inclusive party,” he continued before introducing Dillard.

Kirk Dillard praised the level of excitement in the room.

Kirk Dillard praised the level of excitement in the room.

“This is awesome–this kind of excitement.  I’m glad you let me speak before Joe Walsh.”

Dillard told of being in Crystal Lake this morning before traveling to Rockford and back before praising the crowd:

“The most important elected office in the State of Illinois is you, the Precinct Committeeman.

“I am committed to reinvigorating the Republican Party.”

Dillard told of following Pate Philip as DuPage County Republican Party Chairman.

“When I left, there was 20,000 more margin and 12,000 fewer Democrats.”

Then it was on to the appeal for support:

“The cadence of corruption is this state…has to end.

“[There is] too large a tax burden”

He told of a substantive proposal to lower the sale tax levied on gasoline as well as on the Motor Fuel Tax.

He pointed out that the sales tax on gasoline and the MFT doesn’t even go to fix roads.

“That’s bad public policy,” Dillard asserted.

As he does regularly, Dillard pointed out that he was Chief of Staff for Jim Edger.

Edgar took office with a billion dollars in unpaid bills and left with $1.5 billion in the bank.

He concluded with an exercise of power that saved Harmilda, the cow on Route 14 in Harvard, from disappearing as a result of IDOT’s widening the intersection.

Only seven states do so.

Bruce Rauner being introduced.

Bruce Rauner being introduced.

Bruce Rauner was up next.

“We’re gong to make Quinn history as Governor of this state.

“We’re going to do a fundamental turnaround of this state.

“I’m not a politician.

“I’m a self-made businessman.”

He then mentioned the four points he brings out in every talk:

  • more jobs
  • lower taxes; take down the spending
  • better education, including vouchers
  • “term limits on all the politicians in Springfield”

He criticized “career politicians making money from their political position.”

Rauner called it “wrong, corrupt.”

“The only way to get them out is term limits,” he contended.

He pledged that he and his lieutenant governor would serve no more than eight years.

Rauner predicted that Quinn’s labor union allies would label him an “evil capitalist.”

Just like church, these party activists did not sit in front as Bruce Rauner addressed the crowd.

Just like church, these party activists did not sit in front as Bruce Rauner addressed the crowd.

“I’m a proud capitalist,” he said pointing out the investments his firm made for Illinois pension funds brought a “net, net 18% rate of return,” while the average investment was 7%.

Citing contacts in Chicago’s black church community, including former State Senator, the Rev. Jim Meeks, he said, “We’re going to steal Quinn’s base.”

Joe Walsh, coming from his WIND radio show, spoke next.

“I wanted to come up and say, ‘Thank you.’

“You’e in this room because you know the Republican Party is broken and we’re going to change that.

Joe Walsh predicted formation of a third political party, if the Republican Party is not invigorated.

Joe Walsh predicted formation of a third political party, if the Republican Party is not invigorated.

He advocated infiltrating the Republican Party.

“Give them a respectful pat on the back when we Tea Party conservatives become committeemen.

“We have too many good ol’ boys.

“We have Republican office holders who are best friends with Jack Franks.

“He’s a Democrat!

Walsh gave the same message I heard when he spoke to the Huntley Area Tea Party in Algonquin:

“If we don’t reinvigorate the Republican Party–if we don’t do that,a third party is coming.

“Let’s respectfully take over the Republican Party in this county.”

Greenwood Township Precinct Committeeman Mike McCleary–one of those indicted by the Special Prosecutor, but, as with all the others, found not guilty, took the stage to announce a new Political Action Committee that will help committeemen pay for their precinct letters and other expenses.

(As an aside, back in the 1960’s each Committeeman got $40 to defray such expenses.)

Then, Salgado gave the floor to Steve Reick, the Republican candidate running against 8-term Democrat Jack Franks.

Steve Reick critiqued Jack Franks' performance in Springfield.

Steve Reick critiqued Jack Franks’ performance in Springfield.

“I’m not running for Miss Congeniality.

“I’m running to win.

“Everybody’s a friend of Jack.

“He’s every Republican’s favorite Democrat.

“Jack has run for eight terms [while he promised to serve only three] and the first vote he takes is for Mike Madigan.

“He comes back and he’s Mr. Independent.”

Reick pointed to his telling McHenry County constituents that he voted for civil unions, “but I’m against gay marriage.”

“He voted for it.”

Reick told of sitting in the House gallery during the pension debate. Franks said nothing and was the last to cast his vote.

“He voted against the bill because his vote was not needed.

“Mike Madigan is the host and Jack Franks is the disease.”

Joe Walsh approached Reick and, in stirring words, urged strong support for Reick’s candidacy.

Joe Walsh verbally and physically laid hands on Steve Reick's candidacy against Democrat Jack Franks.

Joe Walsh verbally and physically laid hands on Steve Reick’s candidacy against Democrat Jack Franks.

In fact, it was the strongest support I have heard him give any candidate.

Salgado asked those running for County Board to come to the stage.

They couldn’t give speeches, but could introduce themselves.

District 5's Michael Rein, Bjorn Mattson, District 6's Ersel Schuster and District 1's David Stieper and Andrew Gasser were on the left hand side of the stage. Mattson, appointed Committeeman in Dorr 4, misunderstood the invitation. Gasser announced that he and Stieper were running together.

District 5’s Michael Rein, Bjorn Mattson, District 6’s Ersel Schuster and District 1’s David Stieper and Andrew Gasser were on the left hand side of the stage. Mattson, appointed Committeeman in Dorr 4, misunderstood the invitation. Gasser announced that he and Stieper were running together.

District 4's Chuck Wheeler, District 5's Zane Seipler, District 2's Donna Kurtz and District 6's Larry Smith.

District 4’s Chuck Wheeler, District 5’s Zane Seipler, District 2’s Donna Kurtz and District 6’s Larry Smith.

But that wasn’t all.

Bob Grogan

Bob Grogan

Primary candidate for State Treasurer Bob Grogan, DuPage County Auditor, had walked in the door.

Gasser urged the crowd to vote for Grogan, rather than someone “who double crossed the Republican Party” (referring to former House Minority Leader Tom Cross, Grogan’s primary opponent).

Grogan was introduced as a person who was both a CPA and a Certified Fraud Examiner.

“If qualified people don’t run, lawyers will,” Grogan said. Cross is an attorney.

He told of using that line and being challenged by an attorney that Lincoln was a lawyer.

Grogan’s reply:

“But Lincoln was smart enough not to run for State Treasurer.”

Grogan explained that Cross touted his two decades in Springfield.

“Just because you’ve been the witness to twenty years of bank robberies, [doesn’t make you capable of stopping one].”

Grogan promised that in running for the office of State Treasurer he was seeking “neither a stepping stone or a political consolation prize.”

Sandy Salgado ended the meeting with this observation:

“This hasn’t happened in McHenry County…ever.”


Comments

Two Gubernatorial, AG and State Treasurer Candidates Speak to McHenry County Republican Reformers’ Rally — 18 Comments

  1. I have absolutely no faith in any politician anywhere, ever.

    But even I got excited reading this piece.

    WTG, Cal!

  2. Cindy: Email this post to your friends and print this out to share it.

    There is still a glimmer of hope for a change!

    We need to invigorate our friends and neighbors.

    Voting records for the Consolidated election last year indicate that 7.8 % of the population of Algonquin Township voted in that election.

    Many complain about how a few people have been running politics in this County but if you have less than eight percent of the people voting, what do you expect?

  3. Really Rauner? “net, net 18% rate of return”?

    Last person I remember making such a ridiculous claim of return, was Bernie Madoff back when Barron’s and the WSJ were investigating him.

    Of course that was way before the SEC got off their dead butts and went after the Ponzi schemer.

    However at 18% the Il. pension problem is solved by my math.

    So we should turn the whole of all funds over to Rauner and pals, right Bruce?

    Just another self proclaimed “self made businessman”, who made his fortune, feeding at the trough of Public Funds.

    No thanks.

  4. Great job putting this event together!

    The theme of inclusion was repeated and experienced by everyone.

    Its about time.

    The gift bags and help sending out committeeman letters were both very good ideas.

    I suggest a more handicap accessible location for the next event to ensure inclusion.

    Its great to see everyone working together, its time to change the old boy ways and make everyone feel welcome.

  5. It was a great night for McHenry County, and beyond I had never heard Dan Duffy before; what a great firsthand account of what really happens in Springfield! Need more Dan Duffys.

  6. To all of the organizers and attendees last night – THANK YOU!

    From this event many good things will come to McHenry County, the State of Illinois and the United States of America.

    It all starts here, from the ground up.

    All are welcome to join, but it is your free choice not to….but better get out of the way, because this train has left the station.

  7. It is really refreshing to see so many people joining the bandwagon to fight corruption.

    Many people have waited a very long time for this to happen…

    Can we really bring change to Illinois? … Yes…..

    McHenry County is becoming the shining example for reform across the State of Illinois.

  8. Great event and good to see people get Fed Up with what’s going on in IL. and McHenry Co.

    I can’t wait to see McHenry County’s Good Ol’ Boys Club broken up and dissipated never to be in elected positions again!

    Still a little troubling to see friends of the opposition there posing as Conservatives and fighters of corruption.

    You know who you are-luckily we know who you are too!

    I draw the line at “inclusion” with people who are part of the problem!

  9. It was a great event for the precinct committeeman of Mchenry County.

    I believe this was the first event given for the precinct committeeman in Mchenry’s history.

    I have never been to an event with so much enthusiasm for the conservative message that each speaker brought to the group, outside of a tea party rally!

    I was very impressed with Steve Reick’s speech.

    Candidate for Illinois District 64, running against Jack Franks.

    I believe we all need to take Joe Walsh’s advice and ask, Tryon, Althoff and Wheeler if they are supporting Steve Reick or are they supporting Franks?

  10. So why was Tryon so upset about last night’s energizing event? Because the PC’s and worker bees were treated with respect? Because the politicians were there to allow themselves to be vetted in person, in one room at one time…no charge?

    Hey, I bet it was the profound knowledge that we were told we had the option as registered voters in Illinois to sign a petition to get on November’s ballot the a game changing vote to LIMIT TERMS in Illinois!

    No joke. Can you imagine the fear in every “cemented in” politician responsible for Illinois’ mess?

    Contact [email protected] and she will send you petitions to get signed by registered voters.

    If you don’t…start house hunting out of state cuz we are toast in this one.

  11. Should be some interesting conversations about the Thursday February 13, 2014 Reform the McHenry County Republican Central Committee meeting at tomorrow’s McHenry County Republican Central Committee Annual Lincoln Day Dinner.

    From the McHenry County Republican Central Committee website.

    “One of the most important events of the year is the Annual Lincoln Day Dinner. In 2014 the Lincoln Dinner will be held on Saturday, February 15 at D’Andrea’s Banquets & Conference Center in Crystal Lake. See the Events Calendar for details.

    This year’s Guest Speaker will be Jack Dorgan, Chairman of the Illinois State Republican Party.

    Many State & Local Candidates Will Attend!”

    Here are the current officers of the McHenry County Republican Central Committee.

    Mike Tryon, County Chairman, Crystal Lake
    Mark Daniel, Vice Chairman, Crystal Lake
    Glenda Miller, Secretary, Harvard
    Fred Wickham, Treasurer, Crystal Lake
    Geri Davis-Executive Director, McHenry.

    “The Executive Committee is comprised of the above officers plus the Township Central Committee Chairs, the NorWest Republican Townships Chair, Michael Smyk, and two appointed Vice Chairs, John McCrory and Mike Skala.

    The Executive Committee is comprised of the above officers plus the Township Central Committee Chairs, the NorWest Republican Townships Chair, Michael Smyk, and two appointed Vice Chairs, John McCrory and Mike Skala.

    The Executive Committee administers the Party between Central Committee meetings.”
    http://www.mcgop.org

  12. Great event.

    I was invited and asked to participate by this group.

    My Precinct hasn’t had representation or active Republican leadership in the 12 years I have lived here.

    I have seen less than 10% participation rate and continued growth in Democrat Majorities thanks to Cook County and a growing Liberal base in McHenry.

    Our Party Leaders need to Lead follow or respectfully be replaced.

    Lets hope this is a wake up call to all but especially our party leaders that status quo doesn’t cut it anymore.

    Republican Party Leaders I ask you commit to a program to triple voter participation between now and 2016 or please do us all a favor and resign.

  13. Dillard has my vote, he’s the only Republican candidate that can beat Quinn!!

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