The second fundraiser at the Bull Valley Country Club was held for Bill Prim two weeks ago. Snow shoveling and other activities have kept me from completing this story until now.
Brian Kelly was first up to the microphone after folks had had some light refreshments. He introduced Gary Rabine.
Rabine characterized Bill Prim:
“He’s not a politician.
“He’s a cop, a great cop.”
Rabine talked of the situation in the Sheriff’s Department.
“The only way it’s going to change is to get Bill Prim in office.”
McHenry County Board member Sandy Salgado spoke next. She is the one seeking to replace the retiring Republican Party Chairman Mike Tryon.
“Enough is enough!” she said, talking of the reform that is needed in this country.
“We need to start in our own backyard.
“We went out and recruited new Precinct Committeemen.”
She told of Thursday’s meeting.
“You could not imagine a room filled with newly-energized individuals.”
21-year old Turning Point Action head Charlie Kirk was next.
The day before he had been interviewed by Fox News about his carrying the free market message to college students.
While being in New York, Kirk told of being invited to a Columbia University lecture in political science by a friend who warned him not to say anything. (And, just in case he did, the friend sat six rows in front of where Kirk was seated in the back row.)
The professor set him off by talking about “capitalists stealing our money.”
The friend turned around to urge him silently not to say anything.
But that’s not in Charlie Kirk’s DNA.
For forty-five minutes he debated the professor.
After, students came up to thank him.
“I’ve never heard the other side,” one said.
Kirk had expounded on the tenants of the free market.
He suggested that if he could take on a Columbia University professor, those supporting Bill Prim could surely knock on the doors of their neighbors and convince them to vote for Bill Prim.
Kirk urged the crowd to “bring the county back to responsible governance in the Sheriff’s Office.”
A friend of Carolyn Cox then read a statement about the problems she had with the State’s Attorney’s and Sheriff’s Office while trying to get honest prosecution of the man who tried to kill her. (When I get a copy of the text, I’ll put it up.)
A telling comment:
“I learned there was a way things were done in McHenry County.”
Toward the end of the talk, she wrote, “We began by electing a new State’s Attorney and now we need to do it in the Sheriff’s Office. Bill Prim can made that [happen].”
Then Tom Merryman spoke.
He told of the abysmal situation for construction companies in Illinois.
“We were forced to go to nine different states,” he said of his family business.
“The people we fought the hardest to get ahead are supporting the opponent.
“Bill is a man of character. He not sold and bought.”
Merryman, pointing to the audience, said, “It’s the people in this room that expect nothing by truth and justice [who support Bill Prim].
“I’d like our politics to go straight.
“I’d like to be able to work where I could go home for lunch.”
He explained real estate prices have gone down 20-65% while the Sheriff’s budget went up 21% from 2008 to 2012.
Attorney Robert Hanlon also spoke corruption in McHenry County.
He concluded by saying,
“We need a person of honor and character in the Sheriff’s Office.
Bill Prim will be that man.”
Bill Prim was up next.
He pointed out the increase in the Sheriff’s Department budget since 2007 has been 35%.
“As a politician, I’m going to be a great Sheriff.
“As a public speaker, I’ll make a great Sheriff.
“People have given me their reputation and trusting me with it.
“It’s outstanding and humbling and I can’t thank you enough.”
The candidate repeated his intention to recruit volunteers to help the office.
He said a national study had valued such service at $23.19 per hour.
Touching on savings he thinks possible in the Sheriff’s budget, he said, “I want to make this a county where our kids can afford to come back and stay.
“I want to be the Sheriff, but the office belongs to you.
“We’ll be financially prudent,” but more important is the question:
“Can you be an honest and fair Sheriff?
“Yes, I can”
McHenry County Clerk candidate Nick Provenzano spoke briefly, as did McHenry County Treasurer candidate Jeff Thorsen.
Provenzano stated that he led the fight to freeze the county budget as well as for the referendum to elect the county board chairman at-large.
Thorsen touted his fiscal conservative credentials, pointing to “no” voted on raising the Crystal Lake City sales tax by 75%.