* From the Journal & Topics newspaper…
A print publication that’s financially supported by some of Illinois’ most deep-pocketed Republicans has made its way to the mailboxes of some Northwest suburban homeowners, including residents from Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Elk Grove Village, and Wheeling, three months before this November’s general election.
The North Cook News, a four- to- eight-page publication printed on newsprint, contains articles related to Illinois politics and advocates for or against certain candidates. For example, in its early July issue, it featured a front page photo of Democrat State Rep. Michelle Mussman, with the headline and text stating that she favors sending funds to Chicago schools rather than to suburban schools. Mussman serves portions of Elk Grove Village and Schaumburg. In early March, a front page of a newspaper published by the company featured a large copy of an official police report on domestic battery accusations against West suburban Democrat Chris Welch.
The North Cook News is one of at least 10 to 15 “newspapers” funded by the conservative political action committee Liberty Principles PAC headed by former GOP governor candidate and now radio talk show host Dan Proft. Liberty Principles has strong financial backing from Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and real estate tycoon Sam Zell. The PAC became heavily involved in the 55th District state representative campaign in 2013 when Des Plaines resident Marty Moylan and Park Ridge Republican Mel Thillens faced off. Much of Liberty’s support came in the form of printing and distributing expensive campaign literature criticizing Moylan, the eventual winner and current incumbent.
Dan Gott, a Des Plaines resident and challenger to Moylan in this fall’s election, told the Journal & Topics Media Group this week that he has published many articles in the North Cook News in recent weeks. When asked whether he was invited to submit articles about his campaign to the publication Gott replied, “I’d rather not say. That’s personal.”
*** UPDATE *** From Dan Proft…
First, papers are neither funded by Rauner nor Zell.
Second, no candidates have been or will be invited to “submit” articles about their campaigns.