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*** UPDATED x1 *** K3 Democrats remove offensive post, but won’t apologize

Tuesday, Jul 23, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Proft got the ball rolling…

* About an hour later, legislators began receiving this inquiry from one of Proft’s papers…


This is Hoang again, assignment editor for LGIS. I’m reaching out regarding the controversial picture Kankakee County democrats posted this late last week:

We’d like to get your thoughts on this.


1) Wha do you think about the image comparing MAGA to KKK?

2) What are your thoughts on the divisiveness of the current political landscape? Can we escape this toxic rhetoric?

3) Isn’t this an expression of free speech? how does it differ from other expression of speech?

Those are all the questions I have for you. If you would prefer to conduct a phone interview, we can set up a time for me or another reporter to call you.

The unique email address above - though it looks strange - directly relays your response to our editorial system. When you hit “reply” to this email, your message will be sent directly to me.

If you have any questions please let me know.

Thank you.

* Craig tweeted it out…

* Greg picked it up

A day after a GOP group caught heat for a faux poster dubbing four Democratic congresswoman “The Jihad Squad,” the Kankakee County Democratic chairman conceded he posted a now-withdrawn image likening a support of President Donald Trump to membership in the Ku Klux Klan.

In a phone interview, Chairman John Willard defended the picture of someone wearing a Klan-style peaked hat—dyed red and with a spin on Trump’s patented slogan, but here reading “Make America hate again.” To the side of the image, the posts reads: “What’s the difference between a Klan hood and a MAGA hat? The Klan hood was made in America.” […]

A screenshot of the image was forwarded to me by a Republican operative. I phoned Willard to see if it was legit, and he said he had posted the image on July 19 but the post was taken down a day or two later by a member of his organization who works as a web administrator and “said it wasn’t in good taste.”

Willard said he posted the image because, “for me, it’s all about the hypocrisy of this president. He says he’s going to make America great, and then did what he did to these four congresswomen. . . .If he’s going to really make America great, don’t make your stuff overseas,” Willard added, referring to reports that some MAGA hats are produced in foreign countries.

In fact, official MAGA hats are made in a California factory by a mostly Latino workforce, though some knockoff hats reportedly come from China.


People are so goofy. But, hey, at least they had enough sense to take it down before somebody demanded it.

* Or did they?

The social media posts by the Democrats and Republicans represent the increasing political polarization over issues of race, immigration rights and ideology that have been fueled by Trump’s recent comments. The post by the Kankakee County Democratic organization, which appeared to have been posted after 5:30 p.m. on Monday based on the Twitter feed, followed a weekend Facebook controversy for the Illinois Republican County Chairmen’s Association.

* The governor stepped in…

Missing a K, dude.

* And then the Sun-Times added to the story

A representative from the Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association did not respond to a request for comment Monday night. […]

Willard said he posted the image but deleted it July 19 — the same day that the Republican County Chairmen’s Association of Illinois shared a bogus movie poster on its Facebook page that depicted four Democratic congresswomen of color as “The Jihad Squad.”

I haven’t looked, but I’m betting lots of county party Facebook pages are nightmares just waiting to be discovered. Do better.

* Fox Chicago

“Internet memes that’ve been posted by both parties on different partisan websites highlight something that I think most people in this state understand. Both political parties are run by a bunch of knuckleheads,” said Dan Proft, talk show host of AM-560 The Answer.

* Tribune

Democratic state Sen. Toi Hutchinson of Olympia Fields who also is president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, said “no one should be clutching their pearls” as if they haven’t seen such memes played out on both sides across the nation.

“It should make us all take a hard look at the power of social media to incite division and hate in our country,” Hutchinson said. “We should insist on doing better because I for one am tired of this.”

* Kankakee Daily Journal

In a statement, Kankakee County Republican Chairman Jeff Keast said the local Democratic Party has become “a radical, left-wing, fringe party.”

“Comparing President Trump and his supporters to a white supremacist hate group that systemically engaged in terror and murder is absurd,” Keast said. “Democrat officials in our county must call out and reject such extreme rhetoric. While I appreciate that the county Democrats have since deleted their Facebook post, I believe they must apologize for their actions. They have gone too far.” […]

[John Willard, chairman of the Kankakee County Democratic Party] said his organization would not apologize for the local post, saying the demand for one is part of a political strategy.

“This whole thing was initiated by Trump, when he told four minorities to go back where they came from,” Willard said. “We are not in line with what the president instigated. It’s nonsense. It’s unbecoming of the United States.”

*** UPDATE *** Kankakee County Republican Central Committee Chairman Jeff Keast…

John Willard is so extreme and out of touch with his own county, that even far Left Democrats like JB Pritzker are saying he lacks ‘civility’ and are calling him out. It’s far past time for local elected Democrats to follow Pritzker’s lead and speak out against Willard. It’s clear that John Willard must resign as Chairman of the Kankakee Democrats. Our county deserves party leaders who are respectul in their disagreement. Willard has proven he is incapable of that.

…Adding… Wise advice…


  1. - Nuke the Whales - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 9:49 am:

    Both-sideism at its finest.

  2. - SWIL Voter - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 9:50 am:

    They should have left the accurate and good post up

  3. - brickle - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 9:51 am:

    Nothing to apologize for

  4. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 9:52 am:

    “I haven’t looked, but I’m betting lots of county party Facebook pages are nightmares just waiting to be discovered.”

    This will not be a fun can of worms to be opened, especially once people start looking at board member/party committee members personal pages…not to mention the unofficial party/tea party FB groups that exist around all of these counties.

  5. - Naperville - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 9:54 am:

    JB, this isn’t what I knocked doors for you for.

  6. - SWIL Voter - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 9:54 am:

    This is a perfect encapsulation of our “both sides” obsessed media. It’s a bigger and more serious controversy to accurately call racists racist than it is for them to actually be racist. And just endless benefit of the doubt for habitually bad faith actors. Does anybody on planet earth believe Dan Proft cares one whit about toxic political rhetoric?

  7. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 9:54 am:

    It’s wrong because it attacks Trump supporters. Stick with going after the president, who’s a figurehead, there to take the heat (see Truman’s quote on heat/kitchen). Trump is an obvious racist, constantly attacking people of color but not whites who do bad things: racists, antisemites, mass murderers, etc.

  8. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 9:54 am:

    Ugly knows no boundaries.
    If this is a fight to win the hearts of African American voters; both of these examples have failed miserably.

  9. - Robert the 1st - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 9:55 am:

    The open-minded, nonpartisan, objective posters didn’t disappoint.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 9:57 am:

    The Post is wrong, I wholly reject everything it’s saying.

    The premise that the red hats are the new wardrobe has been floated about, even commented on, and if that is what this is trying to do…

    … as a party, as an organization, it’s best to point out instances, direct instances, than decide to have a post that is offensive, arbitrarily, because… well, just because.

    It’s wholly wrong.

  11. - SWIL Voter - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 9:58 am:

    90% approval among Republicans

  12. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 10:04 am:

    ===90% approval among Republicans===

    Has the percentage of self-identified Republicans gone up of down? Is the pool now smaller, angrier, whiter, more rural?

    Purity of party should scare *any* party looking to grow.

  13. - Jocko - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 10:05 am:

    Whataboutism at its finest. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fox News runs this every hour on the hour.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 10:07 am:

    ===Does anybody on planet earth believe Dan Proft cares one whit about toxic political rhetoric?===

    It’s Proft’s bread and butter. The whole point of the Proft brand is to be as toxic as he can, while pretending to be one “building”, not tearing things apart.

    Grifters are indeed gonna grift.

  15. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 10:11 am:

    Oh good grief. Asking the childish of both parties to stop is clearly a waste of time these days.

  16. - lakeside - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 10:11 am:

    Good job guys. Now it’s going to be a ‘both sides are doing it’ thing when the other meme was clearly violent and hateful. Go knock on doors.

  17. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 10:19 am:

    ===Go knock on doors===

    Exactly right. This sort of stuff is lazy. Get off your duffs and work.

  18. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 10:20 am:

    It was sickening when Clinton disparaged Trump supporters. It’s not the place for a presidential candidate or political party to do that. Stick with attacking Trump, who is using racism as a strategy—like Pritzker does.

  19. - Beth - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 10:23 am:

    Typical hypocrit

  20. - SWIL Voter - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    Speaking of knocking doors, I had a Trump voter tell me the other day he voted for Trump because “the blacks are out of control.” Had one in the fall tell me he was a Democrat until “Obama flooded the streets with Mexicans and his Muslim terrorist buddies.” But we credulous and discerning political observers know there’s no connection between the hat, the movement, the conservative media environment and these prevalent beliefs. Nope

  21. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 10:26 am:

    Pretty sad state of affairs.

    I don’t think all Trumpers are racists, but strictly on principal I wouldn’t respond to a troll like proft. I would never give him what he craves, which is relevance.

    =The open-minded, nonpartisan, objective posters didn’t disappoint.=

    I see the usual victims are out, maybe you and proft can get together and form a radical right-wing pity committee. That way you won’t be so lonely.

  22. - Yonder Come Day - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    === Exactly right. This sort of stuff is lazy. Get off your duffs and work.===

    This is exactly why I read Rich Miller’s stuff. Once again Rich is on point. Thank you Rich!!!

  23. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 10:35 am:

    I really hate it when my party interrupts the proper focus and outrage on the racist actions of the president. When your opponent is hurting himself, stay out of the way.

    And yea, the meme is just stupid (as are most memes). Don’t do it.

  24. - efudd - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 10:44 am:

    It’s a mystery voter turnout is low.

    “No one ever regretted say, ‘Wait a minute.’”-Sam Rayburn

  25. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 10:45 am:

    Offensive and inaccurate-great job Kankakee County Democrats

  26. - Ike - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 10:56 am:

    Democrats have to be smarter than this to win more elections. Why double down on this stupidity, when they could have had the political high ground?

  27. - efudd - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 10:57 am:

    “Every time I think I’m a Republican, they do something greedy. Then, every time I think I’m a Democrat, they do something stupid.”-Jay Leno

  28. - Not a Billionaire - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 11:04 am:

    Based on exit polls Republican identification fell from 36 to 33 . Doesn’t seem big but it was a change of 40 seats from 14 to 18. Answer to OW qeuestion.

  29. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 11:15 am:

    === Go knock on doors ===

    And focus on messages on uniting America and polies that improve our lives.

  30. - Anon312 - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    So noble of Proft to paper over racism with a tired “media are hypocrites” trope.

  31. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 12:23 pm:

    Did you ever see an old dry country barn go up in flames…it only takes one match…and once lit…impossible to extinguish…nothing but ashes remain.

    We had better all back up and smell the smoke…in time to prevent a disaster no sane person wants.

    Apocalyptic?…probably…an actual concern?…given our history…I’m afraid so.

  32. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 12:58 pm:

    “even far left Democrats like JB Pritzker”

    Even people who wear MAGA hats know how ridiculous that sounds.

  33. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 2:25 pm:

    - PrairieDog - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 2:07 pm:

    Accusations of “racism” have essentially deprived that term of any real meaning beyond something the accuser doesn’t like.

    No, it hasn’t…not if you are the object of that racism.

  34. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 2:25 pm:

    - PrairieDog - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 2:07 pm:

    Accusations of “racism” have essentially deprived that term of any real meaning beyond something the accuser doesn’t like.

    No, it hasn’t…not if you are the object of that racism.

  35. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 2:27 pm:

    …that’s me @2:25

  36. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 2:29 pm:

    “Our county deserves party leaders who are respectul in their disagreement. Willard has proven he is incapable of that.”

    I guess your standards on that don’t apply to the standard bearer of your party, Donald J. Trump. Hypocrisy much?

  37. - Token Conservative - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 10:26 pm:

    - SWIL Voter - Tuesday, Jul 23, 19 @ 9:50 am:

    They should have left the accurate and good post up

    Nope, no problems with rhetoric on the left. Nothing to see here.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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