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Monday, Mar 14, 2016

* Politico

Donald Trump’s Illinois campaign director has been sidelined after the national campaign grew furious over what sources described as a lack of organization in the state in the run-up to Tuesday’s primary.

Instead, two others have assumed duties that were held by Springfield-area attorney Kent Gray, who is also running for state representative, a person intimately involved with Trump’s political operation confirmed. […]

Sources told POLITICO that Gray was sidelined early last week after the Trump camp learned he made few inroads with get-out-the-vote efforts and organizing volunteers.

“One thing after another was bungled,” said one source with knowledge of the discussions.

* But as the above story indicates, Gray denies it

“It is an anonymously sourced and recklessly inaccurate story,” Gray told The State Journal-Register via email on Monday.

“I have a six-month contract as Illinois state director that was always scheduled to conclude on Illinois’ primary, March 15,” he added.

I have no idea who’s telling the truth here, but I do have one simple question: What kind of a goofy outfit waits until a week before primary day to discover they have a field organization problem in a huge state like Illinois? Election day operations take weeks, even months to build.

I mean, seriously, they don’t have regular progress report deadlines?

…Adding… Trump also obviously has serious problems with his advance team and some of his supporters really are clueless

Local firefighters from Bloomington and Normal teamed with other volunteers to repair gravesites and the grounds at East Lawn Memorial Gardens in Bloomington which were damaged by parked cars that turned the cemetery into a makeshift parking lot for the Donald Trump rally.

President of the Bloomington Firefighters Union IAFF Local 49 and Bloomington firefighter John Meckley said at least a dozen gravestones were damaged.

“There was trash everywhere, where they had driven over numerous stones,” Meckley said. “Fortunately, not all were damaged, but there were rows and rows and rows of headstones that were driven over.”

After pictures surfaced on social media, volunteers went to work with jacks, shovels, and rakes to re-level headstones and smooth out the grounds which were torn up by the cars and the rain.

“It was a community gathering of…. this is not tolerable, this is not acceptable,” Meckley stressed.

Cue Fox News white-hot outrage. Oh… wait. It’s Trump. Nevermind.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Donald Trump (aka jerry 101) - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:11 pm:

    Field Operations? Field Organization?
    Who needs it? Losers, that’s who.
    Our turnout is going to be YUUUUUUUUUUUGE!!

  2. - Anon221 - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:12 pm:

    Rich- “What kind of goofy outfit waits until a week before primary day to discover they have a field organization problem in a huge state like Illinois?”

    Answer- The Trump (Dis)Organization.

  3. - @MisterJayEm - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:13 pm:

    “What kind of goofy outfit waits until a week before primary day to discover they have a field organization problem in a huge state like Illinois?”

    Uhh… the Hillary Clinton campaign?

    – MrJM

  4. - Carhartt Representative - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:16 pm:

    What Trump’s supporters did to the cemetery in Bloomington is horrible. I tried posting a link, but I don’t know if it went through.

  5. - Reme - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:17 pm:

    And what kind of operation hires a guy as their state director who is running in a competitive legislative primary to culminate on the same date?

  6. - Who cares - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:19 pm:

    Come Tuesday night when Trump is announced the winner, no one will care who the statewide political director was … and Trump doesn’t need one or an organized GOTV effort. Trump’s following doesn’t need to be led by anyone but Trump.

  7. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:21 pm:

    ===Trump’s following doesn’t need to be led by anyone but Trump. ===


    OK, but maybe their fearless leader ought to tell those followers NOT TO PARK THEIR CARS ON GRAVES.

  8. - Thoughts Matter - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:21 pm:

    His whole campaign process seems to be: get on tv 24/7, tweet 24/7, say outrageous things 24/7, put name on ballot, schedule rallies- there, all done. sadly for the rest of us, it seems to be working. How is his system in Ilinois any different than anywhere else? Can we dare hope he doesn’t win Illimois?

  9. - VanillaMan - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:22 pm:

    I don’t believe anyone thought Illinois would matter.

  10. - Thoughts Matter - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:24 pm:

    Need edit button. Illinois. Hadn’t heard about cemetery. Will any national tv pick up on that?

  11. - Dirty Red - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:26 pm:

    If Kent knew GOTV he wouldn’t be running for state rep this cycle.

  12. - walker - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:27 pm:

    Trump is a television personality, and the internal metrics of interest to him are publicly reported polls, and neilsen ratings (or equivilent). He’s not an operating manager kind of guy.

  13. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:27 pm:

    Fake Trump “No one that is dead is getting hurt by my campaign”.

  14. - paddyrollingstone - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:27 pm:

    Politics aside, pretty cool of the firefighters and the other volunteers to do this. Do the right thing. All the time.

  15. - Anon221 - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:30 pm:

    The cemetery story was covered locally, although I heard it first here on CapFax. I doubt the Donald even knew there was a cemetery across from the airport, but the attendees should have been bright enough to figure it out. This particular cemetery only has in-ground (flush) headstones, but you can still tell it’s a cemetery fro crying out loud!

  16. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:30 pm:

    Trump’s high name recognition may yet carry the day, but I guess that he will benefit from a divided field of opponents splitting the vote — I do not think that Trump has ever managed to get close to half of the votes in caucuses or primaries to date (Cruz has come closest in a few states).

    Trump has had a positively inept Illinois staff: bungled objections to the Kasich slate, scheduling a rally at UIC to make it easier for angry protesters to gain access, no named delegates. etc. Gray deserved to be fired.

  17. - The Captain - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:31 pm:

    I’ve been surprised how non-existent his state rep campaign has been, I just assumed he was busy with Trump stuff. If that’s not the case what is he doing, has he gone missing? Should someone do a wellness check?

  18. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:33 pm:

    Appears Trump is ignoring the dead vote. Never wise to do here.

  19. - A guy - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:36 pm:

    Treating a cemetery as anything less than sacred ground is a travesty. Having watched media operate in an “in and out” fashion, I’m left to wonder if they were among those who were careless. They tend to be very rushed and not worry about what they’re driving over to cover the story. That could be part of an answer.

  20. - Anon221 - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:44 pm:

    The Pantagraph has a detailed story that will be updated. Over 50 comments right now, and a LOT of outrage! But, believe it or not, there are Trump defenders on the comments claiming that there is no proof attendees did this!

  21. - Ryan - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:46 pm:

    It wasn’t just Trump supporters who parked there, many of the protesters did as well. Let’s not pin it all on Trump (as much as I’d like to). It’s pathetic that ANYONE parked there. Sad, pathetic and sad.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:55 pm:

    === I’m left to wonder if they were among those who were careless. They tend to be very rushed and not worry about what they’re driving over to cover the story.===

    Yep, that MSM again!

    Boy, - A Guy -, when you shill, you shill.

    Are you a Trump supporter, - A Guy -?

    I mean, blaming the media right out of the box, that’s Trump up and down…

  23. - @MisterJayEm - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 1:59 pm:

    ‘Having watched media operate in an “in and out” fashion, I’m left to wonder if they were among those who were careless.’

    Oh, for pity’s sake…

    Why don’t you just go all the way and blame Bernie Sanders for it?

    – MrJM

  24. - Barrett's Privateer - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 2:02 pm:

    Your title on this post accurately sums up my feelings on this presidential election cycle

  25. - CrazyHorse - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 2:05 pm:

    Trump responding to someone questioning why his supporters drove over graves and damaged headstones:

    “Who cares. They can’t vote can they?”

    Well, it’s Chicago so I wouldn’t be so sure. /s

  26. - Anon221 - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 2:07 pm:

    Ryan- the question now, regardless of the percentage of Trump supporters to protesters that parked there, is- What Will Trump Do(Say) in response to this incident? Anything? Nothing? Play the blame game, and lay it all on the protesters? There are some online who are blaming East Lawn Memorial Gardens for not closing off all entrances to the cemetery. I totally agree with you that this should never have happened. But Trump and his campaign organization need to acknowledge this incident and desecration, learn from it (without the bombast and finger-pointing), and make d**n sure it NEVER happens again.

  27. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 2:10 pm:

    ” If that’s not the case what is he doing, has he gone missing? Should someone do a wellness check?”

    Reads like the headlines on the disappearance of Richard Simmons. . .

  28. - Langhorne - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 2:11 pm:

    Mr Advance man didn’t prevent this? Didn’t correct it after it happened? He should be fired for the cemetery damage if nothing else. The damage would make a hell of a commercial, especially if any of the headstones have veterans markers

  29. - Norseman - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 2:16 pm:

    Trump’s big on throwing around money. They should pay for the damage.

  30. - Ryan - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 2:18 pm:

    Anon221 - Yes, that’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? I’m guessing he will either do nothing, or blame it on Bernie supporters. If was a stand-up guy, he should offer to pay for all damage that occurred. But, he’s not, so….

  31. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 2:20 pm:

    Never mind the trump campaign lack of organization on this… where was local law enforcement to stop these trespassers and property damage being done outside the event? pantagraph pictures identify both the sheriff and bloomington police choef there as they posed for gross thumbs up pictures with trump. maybe if they were doing their jobs instead of chasing after attention from a reality tv host they could have stopped this from happening.

  32. - Dr X - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 2:21 pm:

    Kent thought the deadline was April 15th.

  33. - Anon221 - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 2:21 pm:

    Listen to the Fire Chief’s interview-

  34. - Annoin' - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 2:24 pm:

    Radio whack jobs were blamin’ protestors not Trumpsters…guess we better dial down the radio and grab the Bloomin’ton Pantagraph

  35. - Anon221 - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 2:25 pm:

    hisgirlfriday- Are you familiar with the area in question? The cemetery is across 4 lanes of traffic on Rt 9. And, since there’s been increased “tensions” at Trump events, how much should local law enforcement have to “contribute” to security at these events? Listen to the podcast I posted. He is flaggergasted that people didn’t realize this is a cemetery. I mean, once you step out of your car, you would be able to SEE the grave markers!

  36. - Drumpf - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 2:37 pm:

    Kent Gray hates taxes too:

  37. - Wensicia - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 2:37 pm:

    Rauner: “Isn’t there some way we can blame this cemetery thing on Madigan?”

  38. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 2:43 pm:

    You put it on the tee for the Trump haters. Hope you got the score you were hoping for.

  39. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 2:58 pm:

    Kent Gray - the Harold Stassen of Illinois. Run, run, run, run, run,run, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose, lose. Loser.

  40. - Nearly Normal - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 3:02 pm:

    Update article on Pantagraph website:

  41. - JS Mill - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 3:35 pm:

    = “I personally think this was done by drivers from out of town. I don’t think our local citizens would do a thing like that. =

    This is the link to blame Madigan because everyone down here is a good God fearing Christian and would never do something like that. /s

  42. - Corner office - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 5:38 pm:

    I’d wager a weeks pay that it was Trump protesters who damaged that cemetery. We saw on Friday the quality of people there. And no one will report that.

  43. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 5:57 pm:

    And he still may win, beating out all the other campaign and government pros. Imagine what he will do as the nominee with a proper advance staff and campaign team.

  44. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 6:01 pm:

    Just that Trump enthusiasm we hear about in action.

    Trump supporters will drive over someone else’s grandma for him.

  45. - JakeCP - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 7:51 pm:

    Rich, I know you and We Ask America conducted a poll that showed Trump in the lead. My question to you is: What does Trump’s support look like in Cook County? Is the 20% of votes in Cook County still applicable to the GOP Primary? Or is it a different threshold. I would be curious to see how well Trump does in Chicago, especially since the Cook County GOP is recommending Kasich and some Chicago GOP Officials (like Chris Cleveland) are endorsing Cruz.

  46. - Anon221 - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 7:55 pm:

    A close-up shot of one of the grave markers that was driven over was that of a Marine, in answer to the question if any if the graves damaged were of veterans.

  47. - Gooner - Monday, Mar 14, 16 @ 7:57 pm:

    Friday at UIC was another sign of the problem.

    How does a national campaign not have the organization to pack that place with their own people?

    And then why blame police for the cancellation, when they should have known the police were going to deny it?

    Trump might have the organization to get 35% in a GOP primary, but unless he’s far better in other states, there is no way he gets 50% in a truly contested November contest.

  48. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Mar 15, 16 @ 4:47 am:

    ==I’d wager a weeks pay that it was Trump protesters who damaged that cemetery. We saw on Friday the quality of people there.==


    What “quality of people” is that, exactly?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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