Observer Kicked Out of McHenry County Democratic Party Convention

The following was written by Joseph Monack:

Tonight I went to the McHenry County Democratic Party’s convention to see who they would nominate for their leadership positions in what’s shaking up to be a very good year for them.

Their Chairman, Michael Bisset, had declined to run again.

As someone with an interest in politics, I decided to check out their convention.

The Democratic convention was at MCC.

I have a friend who is a Democratic Precinct Committeeman, one of my former teachers is a Democratic Precinct Committeeman, and I have friends and family who regularly pull Democratic ballots, so it’s not as if these people are alien to me.

Besides for that, the Democrats’ website even said the event was open to the public.

When I arrived there, I told the person doing check-ins that I am not a committeeman but a member of the public. She told me to sit behind the first two rows, so I did.

Within two minutes, I was told to leave.

The reason they gave me was that I was not a committeeman.

I could understand if they had some rule about that, but the website explicitly said the meeting was open to the public.

To me, public means anyone.

Apparently, the Democratic Party of McHenry County uses some alternative definition of the word.

Some people know that I used to be a Republican Precinct Committeeman, but I resigned from that position during the fall of 2016.

Again, I could understand a political party not wanting officials from a rival party to go to their convention, but what really irritates me is that their website said it was open the public.

The Democrats lied to the public.

I explained to them that I just wanted to sit there quietly and see who they picked for their executive committee.

When they told me to leave again I asked them who was running for various positions; they would not tell me.

That was another thing that irked me.

Sure, nominations weren’t officially made, but in politics things are generally known in advance.

For instance, there was a pretty good idea of who was running on the Republican side, and this information was public.

I didn’t feel like standing around and telling them to get the cops to come (they aren’t worth it) so I left their convention begrudgingly.

As I was leaving through the main entrance, I saw someone I knew who was going into the convention and I explained what had just happened.

That Democrat listened, went into the lecture hall, came out, and told me he made a case for me but was overruled.

Maybe screaming, “You guys are real open minded” when I left killed any possibility of me being able to come back in, though I don’t suppose they would have anyway.

Open-mindedness is something people like to talk about.

Actually practicing it is another issue. (I am grateful that at least one person was willing to listen to me though.)

Interestingly, I attended the statewide Green Party convention as well as the statewide Constitution Party conventions last month.

I was allowed to stay even though they knew I was not a member. I wrote about both conventions on Springfield Daily.

After the Democratic debacle, I went to the Republican convention and was told they only allow people in who voted in the Republican primary (I’m not sure if this was stated somewhere, but that’s what I was told.)

Such a rule is reasonable and would be reasonable for Democrats.

Had the Democrats not specifically said the meeting was open to the public, I probably wouldn’t have gone.

Had they pointed out that I took a Republican ballot in the most recent primary and that disqualified me from being able to attend, I would have also thought that to be an acceptable rule.

The fact they said it was open to the public, then told me I couldn’t attend because I was not a Democratic Precinct Committeeman is dishonest.

= = = = =
Here is what is on the Democrats’ web site:

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 07:00 PM · 69 rsvps

McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, IL

County Convention 2018

The Democratic Party of McHenry County will meet at 7:00 p.m., April 18 at McHenry County College in room A-240, Bersted Hall, on the upper level of the college. Please park in the A parking lot off Lucas Road.

This meeting serves as the biennial County Convention, at which officers are elected to lead the party for a two-year term. Only precinct committeemen elected at the March 20, 2018 primary are eligible to vote at this meeting, but anyone can attend [emphasis added]. In accordance with the party’s constitution, the positions to be elected at this meeting are:

Vice Chair
General Counsel


Observer Kicked Out of McHenry County Democratic Party Convention — 20 Comments

  1. It would be interesting to know how many Democrat precinct committeeman attended, that pulled a Republican ballot for the last primary. Or, if any of them attended the Republican convention, that being the criteria. That needs to change to at least currently registered to the party, if not Committeeman only.

  2. FOIA how much they paid to rent that room for thier Convention!

  3. If it smells like rotten fish that’s because it is. These people finally show themselves for what they really are.

  4. Mr. Monach;

    As an Elected Precinct Committeeman and an attendee at Wednesday evenings meeting I would like to share my regret at the way you were treated at the Democratic County Convention at MCC.

    I understand your having been frustrated by the discrepancy between the party’s website invitation to “anyone” and that you were asked to leave when you asked to observe the Convention proceedings.

    My understanding is that opening the convention to the public is subject to the discretion of each political party, which is different than I would have it if the decision was mine alone to make.

    I was interested to learn that the Republican party has similar restrictions on their County Conventions in McHenry County.

    I think wearing a “Make McHenry County Great” orange cap may have raised concerns that you were presence was intended to be disruptive.

    Also, as you may have noted the room we were in was over pact with some of our candidates and PCs limited to standing through the meeting.

    It may have been the shortage of seats that was on the mind of those in my party who decided to ask you to leave.

    If it was my decision to make, I would have preferred you be allowed to stay.

    Maybe you can work to persuade your party to open their conventions to the public in future election cycles and I can work on the same effort for the party I am a member of as well.

    That would be progress.

  5. Thank you, Terry. I appreciate it.

    Just so people know, the hat was given to me by Ray Flavin, who was the Democratic Party’s State’s Attorney candidate in 2016. It doesn’t really mean anything per se. I don’t think Mr. Flavin is a big Trump supporter. People have their own ideas about what “great” means. People might have read too much into that.

  6. So based on Kappel’s explanation, they judged him based on. The way he was dressed?

    Very Progressive Indeed.

  7. Good comment by Landon. MCC should voluntarily state the fee that the Democrat Party paid the college to use that room. If it was free to the Party, MCC should disclose that.

  8. Just wearing a hat? Try this.

    I got my hair styled into the Trump coiffure, dyed baby chick yellow, complete with folded flip back.

    Whips Dems into a froth of anger everywhere I go.

  9. Democrats – The self-proclaimed party of coexistence and inclusiveness … and bad spellers.

  10. “I think wearing a “Make McHenry County Great” orange cap may have raised concerns that your presence was intended to be disruptive.”


  11. Mary ‘Shady Lady’ Mahady, attended, but sat by herself — she’s still in the doghouse for trying to micro-manage the Democrats for her personal scam-pain in this fall!

    Jack Franks was there too!

    Trying to hob-nob with the Biss/Sanders People who can’t stand double-chinned/fork-tongued Jack bc he wont give any $ back & bad mouths so many behind their backs.

    Sorry Jack, you betrayed too many people for too long.

    It’s really time.

  12. @ Terry Kappel, The Republican’s Comvention was open to all.

  13. @ Lorna Mills, if the Republican Convention was open to all, why did Joseph Monack write

    “After the Democratic debacle, I went to the Republican convention and was told they only allow people in who voted in the Republican primary.”

    As a Democrat I was willing to express, on a Republican Blog, an honest disagreement with a decision by the managers of our County Convention, it seems that there is not similar objectivity among those responding to Monack’s post and my response. I reached out to Mr. Monack out of compassion for him and his feelings.

    Is there no ability among the GOP to examine their own decisions with equal sincerity as I have done here. Does everything always have to be about putting the “others down” so our group can win mind set?

  14. Wow, you read a lot into that. Calm down, I’m with you. Joe was not asked to leave the Republican convention. He was there quite awhile. It was open. They would not have been able to have Students volunteering or other people who were not Repub PCs if that were not the case. Sincerely.

  15. This is what I wrote.

    “After the Democratic debacle, I went to the Republican convention and was told they only allow people in who voted in the Republican primary (I’m not sure if this was stated somewhere, but that’s what I was told.)”

    That’s just what one person told me — I acknowledged it might not have been a written rule, and it certainly wasn’t being enforced even if it were a rule. That was just some small talk I had with somebody at the GOP convention after I told them about what happened at the Democratic convention. There actually wasn’t anybody checking people in, at least when I got there (which was late, since I planned on attending the Democrats’ convention). I probably should have made that more clear. Sorry for the confusion.

    By the way, who won the various contests on the Democratic side? I was told there would be a press release. I didn’t see any reporters at either convention. Nothing was written in the paper about it today. As of right now, nothing is listed on the Democrats’ website.

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