Tim Schneider, the new Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party revved up the troops, Tuesday night at the Woodstock VFW.
Stan Bond, the State Central Committeeman from the 14th Congressional District (Randy Hultgren’s) and Brian Colgan, Peter Roskam’s 6th District Committeeman also spoke to the Central Committee and guests.
Schneider said that Bond had “been on me since Day 1” to put together a precinct captain, committeeman training session.
“This year we’ve going to be organized.
“We’re going to deliver a message and we’re going to win the election.”
Schneider talked about the 67% income tax hike that the Democrats passed and Governor Pat Quinn signed after the 2010 election.
“We’ve gone deeper into the abyss since Pat Quinn was elected,” Schneider said.
Schneider has a connection to McHenry County, owning the Golf Course of Illinois in Algonquin.
He told of getting started in politics by winning a race for Hanover Township Trustee in 1984. He subsequently discovered that the Township Road Commissioner was stealing gasoline from the Township pump.
In 1997, Schneider ran against the incumbent and, despite being told he “couldn’t win,” beat him.
“I love it when they say, ‘You can’t win.'”
When he won election to the Cook County Board of Commissioners, he left the road district with a $2 million surplus, his biography says.
Schneider listed the priorities for the fall election:
- Get Bruce Rauner elected Governor and get Republicans elected up and down the ticker
- Lower taxes, less waste
- Promote a booming economy
- Quality education
- Term limits
“Bruce recognizes the value in you,” the State Chairman said to the Republican Precinct Committeemen.
Schneider recognized Democratic Party Chairman Mike Madigan’s political ability.
“They’re not very good at governing, but they’re really good at winning elections.”
Quinn’s budget is giving education $600 million less now than when he took office, Schneider said.
“Let’s elect a guy who can tell the truth,” he said in conclusion.
“I’m going to do everything I can to lead this party to victory in November.”
State Rep. David McSweeney gave a rousing speech hitting virtually all of the hot button issues.
“We need more taxpayers in Illinois,” he said forcefully.
“If we elect Madigan and Quinn again, they will destroy our state!”
McSweeney, who had to fight Madigan’s resources in the fall of 2012 in his run against Independent Dee Beaubien, is opposed by Democrat Bill Downs of Cary this year.
In other business, County GOP Chairman Sandy Salgado announced that over $30,000 had been raised.
She credited Mickey Schuch, whom she has appointed a Vice Chairman, with much of that effort.
“People are just fed up, especially the small businessmen,” Salgado said.
At that point Crystal Lake Precinct Committeeman Chuck Lutzow walked in and Salgado announced that the meeting had a quorum.
Referring to the money raised, Salgado pointed out that mailings eat up a lot of money.
She announced that a “fun, family-oriented” fundraiser was being planned for September, “bringing the family back to the Party in McHenry County. (I inferred that there will not be a golf outing this year.)
Vice Chairman Andrew Gasser explained precinct list availability and asked for volunteers who understand the ins and outs of the Excel spreadsheet system to run off lists.
Salgado announced what I took to be priorities for the fall election, starting with Bruce Rauner for Governor.
She added County Board candidates with Democratic Party opponents (District 1, 3 and 4) and State Representative candidate Steve Reick.
The Chairman pointed out that new Grafton Township Committeeman Christina Myers was the Communications Director of Republican candidate for Attorney General Paul Schimpf.
During member comments, State Rep. Barbara Wheeler told the group that House Speaker Madigan is requiring Democratic Party candidates to knock on doors fifty hours a week when the House in not in session. The number was reduced to twenty-five hours a week during the time the legislation was meeting. While on the floor they were expected to make a certain number of phone calls to advance their campaigns.
Wheeler told me later these were Madigan’s rules for those considered “investments,” that is, state reps where Madigan paid a lot of money–$400,000 to $500,000–to win the seat.
As the targeted Democrats go door-to-door they pass out a state government-paid piece of literature containing their names, e.g., an invitation to a Town Hall Meeting. She said the Democratic Party’s House targets could be identified by looking at the Democrats who voted, “No,” on the bill to make the Freedom of Information Act less friendly.
After Wheeler, long-time McHenry Township Committeeman and now Vice Chairman Steve Verr took the floor to argue we should be campaigning for Jim Oberweis, who is challenging U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.