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*** UPDATED x1 - Actual Gidwitz e-mail *** The damage done

Monday, Oct 28, 2013

* At first, lots of GOP insiders were grumbling that Republican money bags Ron Gidwitz was somehow pushing Jim Oberweis for US Senate. The theory that Gidwitz was supposedly operating under was that Oberweis would burn himself out and so discredit himself that he wouldn’t be able to challenge Mark Kirk in the 2016 Republican primary.

And then came the pushback, and it was massive. Bruce Rauner’s people were appalled at the prospect of Oberweis being on the primary ballot (because he’d likely gin up the right wing turnout) and the fall ballot (because he’d possibly take down the ticket). Mark Kirk’s people were not amused, either, and Gidwitz told Oberweis he should back out.

Gidwitz all along denied that he had encouraged Oberweis to run, and recently asked Oberweis to stop saying so in public. It hasn’t worked, as Bernie reports

Ron Gidwitz, a businessman and 2006 Republican primary candidate for governor, says he’s sorry he gave state Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, results of a poll that Oberweis said helped convince him to collect signatures toward a possible run for U.S. Senate. […]

Oberweis remembers things in quite a different way. He said many people were encouraging him to consider a run, and Gidwitz “was trying to talk me into running” before the poll was done. Afterward, Oberweis said, Gidwitz sent an email saying “the poll was strong and he thought that was enough to encourage me to run.”

Oberweis thinks the Gidwitz story changed because some in the “establishment wing” of the Republican Party believe Oberweis on top of the ticket could draw more conservatives to the polls, helping governor candidates Bill Brady or Kirk Dillard. Gidwitz is finance chairman of Bruce Rauner’s gubernatorial campaign.

“I’m not sure having Oberweis on the ticket helps Rauner any,” Gidwitz said, but he’s not “terribly worried” about that. He also thinks that having Oberweis on next fall’s ballot “may not be helpful to some of the other people running down-ballot on the ticket.” […]

Oberweis said after he got the “stunningly strong” numbers, he did plan a more in-depth look. But a Washington polling firm told him people were so angry at the GOP over the government shutdown that results would be skewed at that time, “so we decided not to spend the money.”

Gidwitz said that among other potential Senate candidates, West Point grad Doug Truax from Downers Grove “looks to me like a solid guy” who would be “much more acceptable in a general election” than Oberweis.

Go read the whole thing.

Oberweis says he’ll need big help from donors if he’s to make this race. Gidwitz is now helping to block those big donors. It’s a fustercluck for sure.

*** UPDATE *** Well, it sure looks like Oberweis was at least partially correct about Gidwitz. Oberweis forwarded a Gidwitz e-mail that included the now infamous poll. From a buddy…

From: Ron Gidwitz []
Sent: Monday, September 23, 2013 9:15 PM
To: Jim Oberweis
Subject: Fwd: Poll results, attached


You need to give the Senate race serious consideration.



- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - MrJM - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:12 am:

    Oberweis says he’ll need big help from donors if he’s to make this race.

    Where shall I send my check?

    – MrJM

  2. - Spliff - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:15 am:

    Wonder what Alan Keyes is doing these days?

  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:16 am:

    “Dear ILGOP,

    Soory. Good Luck.


    “Dear Ron,

    The more you try to help, the more help that is needed to to fix your disasters.

    Just write checks.



  4. - 47th Ward - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:20 am:

    ===It’s a fustercluck for sure.===


    I think the real threat to Rauner is a spirited primary for US Senate between Oberweis and Truax. If Oberweis is successful in getting conservatives and tea party GOPers to the polls in the primary, Rauner is in trouble.

    Gidwitz ought to be terribly worried about which voters an Oberweis campaign brings out in March, not November.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:21 am:

    @FakeKirkDillard - Hey Ron, Just want to say, that you are not part of my campaign, and for that I thank you. #RonGidwitzILGOPVersionOfBronxTalesMush

  6. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:32 am:

    Nothing quite like outsmarting yourself, is there?

  7. - train111 - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:38 am:

    Kind of early for the Dems to be rolling out their secret weapon–the Illinois GOP–to insure their dominance in this state for the next two years!!

  8. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:40 am:


    Emails …always come back to haunt.


    the Internet.”

  9. - dave - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:43 am:

    You need to give the Senate race serious consideration.

    Ha… awesome.

  10. - Siriusly - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:45 am:

    Dear Illinois Republican Party,

    Thank you so much for the gift.

    Governor Pat Quinn

  11. - In the know - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:50 am:

    “who are you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?!?”

  12. - Just Wondering - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 11:51 am:

    Still want to thank Obie for the classic commercial of Judy doing the polka with George Ryan.

  13. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:01 pm:

    Who knew the Illinois GOP clown show would be out in full force this early?

  14. - frustrated GOP - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:02 pm:

    At least the GOP has turned from eating their young to eating their old. And we wonder why we still have Pat Quinn, ha.
    Did you hear that…. It was another million dollars of union money going to Democratic races elsewhere, it’s not needed here.

  15. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:03 pm:

    Sun-Times, May 9:

    –A livid Ron Gidwitz called out the conservative faction of the party’s central committee on Thursday, telling the Sun-Times its ousting of Illinois Republican Party Chairman and lack of preparation to deal with the fallout has put a poor face on the party, “destroying” the embattled GOP’s chances in next year’s election.

    “The state central committee — a faction of the state central committee — is destroying any chance that the Republican party has in 2014,” an angered Gidwitz told the Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday. “I mean, how stupid is this! The lack of thoughtful, leadership … The state central committee is responsible for the leadership of our party. To push out the party chairman with no plan for a replacement — it is absurd. And with no thought to the consequences of their behavior.
    They all know how I feel because I told them.” –

    Capt Fax, today:


    You need to give the Senate race serious consideration.

    Ron –

    And Gidwitz is supposedly one of the Big Brains in the outfit.

  16. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:03 pm:

    === You need to give the Senate race serious consideration. ===

    === He just wants to run and he’s looking for an excuse ===

    Funny how that story changes.

    So much for being an honest broker putting the good of your party ahead of your personal agendas.

  17. - Aldyth - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:05 pm:

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if lying really did cause ones pants to catch on fire?

  18. - JAFTC - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:08 pm:

    Six weeks still to go before filing and half a year before the primaries and the IL GOP is already in a circle firing away at each other.

    The downside to all this is at some point there will be a crucial shortage of popcorn.

  19. - just sayin - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:09 pm:

    It’s time to stop all those ethanol subsidies, we’ll need the corn for popping.

  20. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:11 pm:

    Took a look at Truax’s COH. 31k isn’t going to cut it, buddy.

    Someone will have to check Oberweis filing next quarter to see how much Pat Quinn donates to his illustrious cause.

  21. - Union man - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:18 pm:

    Who cares? Jimmie isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

  22. - train111 - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:23 pm:

    Funny thing is that this might embolden Jimmie to stick it out, just to spite Gidwitz etal.

  23. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:26 pm:


    Chicago - Illinois GOP leader Ron Gidwitz explained the meaning of his 9 word email to state Senator Jim Oberweis (R- Sugar Grove) encouraging Mr. Oberweis to run against US Senator Richard Durbin (D - Illinois) in the 2014 Election in a brief blast email to all Illinois Republicans and to the Media covering this story.

    This is the email sent;

    “Oops. My Bad. Looking forward to 2016. Ron”

    Oberweis, whose “Purity” stances, and unwavering support of the GOP Platfrom have put him in the crosshairs of anyone who understands that adding voters to a party is helping, and alientating voters is hurting, forwarded the Gidwitz email.

    “Mr. Oberweis wanted to show his insane run, and the idea of Jim ruining the chances of the ILGOP, are being encouraged by others. Mr. Oberweis is excited to forward Mr. Gidwitz’s wonderful email, asking Mr. Oberweis to consider ruining the 2014 Election.

    The little voices in Mr. Oberweis’ head do not have internet access, so this email stands for not only Mr. Gidwitz, but all the half baked ideas Mr. Oberweis has to ruin the ILGOP.”


  24. - he said she said - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:32 pm:

    So Uncle Ronny likes to change his story - umm not the first time we’ve heard this - Dillard is probably kicking himself he didn’t get that loan forgivence conversation in writing. Note to future candidates get EVERYTHING in writing from Uncle Ronny

  25. - HoosierDaddy - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:34 pm:

    It’s all part of the Illinois Republican Triathlon: backpedaling, running in circles, and drowning their message.

  26. - Siriusly - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:40 pm:

    he said - or email works fine too

  27. - Shore - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 12:42 pm:

    ” believe Oberweis on top of the ticket could draw more conservatives to the polls, helping governor candidates Bill Brady or Kirk Dillard”

    Dillard, the grass roots conservative! there you go.

  28. - The DuPage Bard - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 1:14 pm:

    Another move towards a Brady victory.
    Durbin, Obama, Dillard in the same picture, next to Rahm and Rauner.
    Ouch….. looks better and better for BB.
    Maybe Ron is actually on BB’s staff?

  29. - Judgment Day - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 1:23 pm:

    Running for US Senate would not be a smart move by Obie - at least with some of the locals around here. A number of locals were (and still are) under the impression that Obie was going to stick with the IL Senate seat, and not just use it as a ‘one and done’ stepping stone to another office.

    He runs for US Senate, that’s not likely to sit well with some folks on his home turf who backed him the first time around ‘with conditions’.

    It’s all about jobs and economics - that party line social policy stuff just doesn’t sell in a statewide election.

    Obie better plan on a pretty much self funded US Senate race if he’s serious.

  30. - Allen Skillicorn - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 1:32 pm:

    Since Oberweis is passing Rauner’s term-limits petition, I suspect the Rauner camp is well aware of Jim’s plans. There’s probably less to see here than you think.

  31. - too obvious - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 1:37 pm:

    Like the old Seinfeld episode where George Costanza realized he could be successful by doing the exact opposite of what his mind told him to do, the GOP would be smart to do the exact opposite of whatever Ron Gidwitz suggests.

  32. - A. Nonymous - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 2:02 pm:

    The only question is…

    To whom else did Gudwitz send the same boilerplate “You need to give the Senate race serious consideration” ???

    Joe, You need to….

    Jason, You need to…

  33. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 2:13 pm:

    Who are “Bruce Rauner’s people” if such a group does not include Gidwitz, his campaign finance chairman?

  34. - votecounter - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    So what this says is that the GOP wants it’s base to stay home? Are they writing off another election cycle? This is why the “leadership” of the GOP is worthless. If they cared why not go out and recruit a candidate for US Senate instead of leaving the spot open? The job of the party is to recruit candidates if not why have them? There is no real candidate for Treasurer, Secretary of State, AG and until a week or so ago US Senate. (Some would say Governor as well)
    If someone were being paid by the opposition they couldn’t screw up a political party as badly as the leadership of the IL GOP. Who cares what they want?
    BTW if anyone on this page thinks Durbin would rather have Oberweis and the numbers he has instead of Truaxe your whistling past the graveyard. It will cost millions that can’t be used elsewhere and turn into a national race.

  35. - LincolnLounger - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 2:31 pm:

    Oh good, more “help” from Gidwitz.

  36. - Archiesmom - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 2:39 pm:

    = Emails …always come back to haunt. =

    Right on, OW! It’s amazing how many people haven’t figured out that electronic media exists out there ensuring that pretty much anything you say and do is preserved for posterity.

  37. - John Bambenek - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 2:45 pm:

    Rich, there was a few typos in the e-mail, I fixed it for you.

    From: Ron Gidwitz []
    Sent: Monday, September 23, 2013 9:15 PM
    To: Rich Miller
    Subject: Fwd: Poll results, attached


    You need to give the Senate race serious consideration.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 28, 13 @ 3:12 pm:

    For you - votecounter -…

    === - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 23, 13 @ 11:58 am:

    To the Updated Post,

    If you are a member of the ILGOP, take heed.

    This, is real. This, is not speculation. This, is not, “maybe”.

    The ILGOP Ticket could very well look like this;

    US Senate … Jim Oberweis - Black helicopters, the torches and pitchforks of intolerance, and the 1-6 record, winning a state Senate seat designed to make Oberweis stop ruining My Party and stay somewhere with irrelevence to hurting other GOP candidates. Fail.

    Governor … Bill Brady, seen that Movie, bad match for Oberweis on the top, leading to more intolerance issues.

    Governor … Bruce Rauner, seen as Rahm Emanuel’s Governor pick and his running mate “Slip and Sue” Sanguinetti who is not even remotely qualified to run the 5th Largest State in America if … Rahm Emanuel’s Governor fails to complete his term.

    That is it.

    You have Jim Oberweis to highlight intiolerance, and elitism, and “Purity”, with 2 very specific candidates, one who was already defined as “too extreme” and would not be too difficult again (to paint intolerant) with Oberweis on top, and you have Payton Prep Clouter Bruce Rauner, running with Oberweis, both elitist, out of touch, and lacking the governmental acumen to seem to voters as they are alternatives to Durbin or to Quinn.

    Jim Oberweis will taint Dan Rutherford, as Rutherford tries to expand the GOP, but Oberweis will be right there, destroying and tainting.

    Jim Oberweis will manipulate Kirk Dillard’s new “Right” lean to try ot beat Durbin. Oberweis will not let the Dillard Campaign “try” to find a middle, as Oberweis will try to attach himself to his Senate Colleague, “Slytherins till the end.”

    No one to run against Jesse.

    A token AG candidate, I do not envy, but might not realize what he got himself into as he runs … as he is running.

    Tom Cross will have a battle against Mike Frerichs. Oberweis is going to help? Cross not voting for SSM… AND …Oberweis on the top of this ticket…sounds like a winning formula?

    The only incumbant (sic) Republican running statewide is Judy Baar Topinka, who draws the turncoat/AG candidate/now comptroller candidate Sheila Simon. Question is - How much of a drag will Oberweis/Brady, or Oberweis/Rauner be … and how much damage can be done to effect Comptroller Topinka with Oberweis/Rutherford and their seperate “ideas” … Kirk/Brady all over again? How much damage can be done to Comptroller Topinka with Oberweis/Dillard, as Dillard tries to find a middle and Oberweis dragging on Dillard, his Slytherin Senate Colleague?

    Throw in Durkin’s “New Day” HGOP and the candidates saddled with Oberweis, as Diversity is the key for those numbers in the House to increase… as they hear and see Oberweis just tainting every one of those races.

    This is real. Reality. This is 2014, today, in a snapshot of what My Party is shaking out to put to the voters so they can decide what is best for Illinois.

    Funny thing about all those pitchforks and torches and political ice cream, with all those votes that never happened….

    The ILGOP SSC tried to save us all from the taint. I guess the SSC never expected the “Stain”… would run for US Senate to finsih what the “Stain” tried to start.===

    That is why “No One” is better than the Slytherin Jim Oberweis, “purity”, pitchforks, torches, black helicopters …

    Jim Oberweis is a Stain on the ILGOP Brand if he runs for US Senate in 2014.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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