The Illinois State Fair and Other Things Republican Today

Today, the Illinois Republican Party is holding its day at the State Fair. Busloads are people are heading that way as I write this article.

When I went, it was called Governor’s Day. That was back in Jim Thompson’s time.

We would go to the lawn of the State Fair Superintendent’s on-site home and eat lunch before the Governor would speak.

I remember one year when I ate with State Rep. Harlan Rigney’s family. The Red Oak farmer had been a 1970 Con-Con delegate before being elected state representative in 1972, the same year I first won.

One of the highlights was to be Thompson’s signature of a bill that would eliminate the sales tax on farm machinery. The argument this northwestern Illinois Republican offered was that business was going to Iowa, where no sales tax was charged.

“Cal, this is tax relief I can see on my kitchen table,” he told me as we chowed down. Harlan had such an engaging grin.

Reminding me of this is an email I received from the Illinois GOP rolling out its Dismiss Quinn web site.

Dismiss Quinn promotion on the Illinois GOP email.

I am amused that the actual web site has something missing on the promotion in the email.

Top of the page of the Dismiss Quinn web site.

Notice the difference?

“Donate Now.”

And, of course, those wishing change in state and local government could help their cause by sending a check to the candidate whom they most wish to be victorious.  It doesn’t have to be a big one.

I remember the $15 check I received from a woman in Wonder Lake in 1972.

McHenry County State’s Attorney Bill Cowlin had commented to the Elgin Courier-Review in an article written by Algonquin’s Marion Gallery that electing me would be like “putting a fox in the chicken coop.”

She had received my first mailing, which, of course, asked for contributions.  On the part she returned was a drawing of a fox.

Receiving it certainly made my day.

Every one-on-one race in which there is an incumbent boils down to a referendum on the incumbent.  The challenger is essentially irrelevant.

Notice that there is no mention of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady on what I have reproduced above.

It’s all about the suitability of appointed incumbent Pat Quinn’s service.  Some of us remember when he used to be a reformer, listing the names annually of the Double Dippers of Illinois.

The Coalition for Political Honesty.

That’s what he called his organization.

Now he takes the Double Dippers’ money to get elected.


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