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Republican Day coverage roundup

Friday, Aug 20, 2021

* Center Square

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Don Tracy said Thursday during Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair that the Democratic Party in Illinois is making the state “woke and weak” and the state is falling behind many states run by Republican governors. He called Gov. J.B. Pritzker a “king.”

One of his main goals was plastered on campaign signs throughout the GOP event.

“You wanna know what my biggest priority is in 2022, if you haven’t guessed, look at the banner, let’s fire Pritzker,” Tracy said.

* SJ-R

As expected, Illinois Republicans spent the majority of their Thursday rally at the Illinois State Fair attacking Gov. JB Pritzker, a Democrat, with the rally’s emcee resorting to criticism of Pritzker’s weight.

Though the rally didn’t feature any of the three Republican candidates confirmed to be running for governor, Grand Old Party lawmakers and committee members attacked the governor during their Republicans Day rally for his executive orders during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, among other issues.

Republicans also called on Pritzker to veto a controversial ethics bill passed by the Illinois General Assembly this spring that Republicans have argued does not do enough to address corruption in state politics. […]

“Illinois Republicans have more enthusiasm than I’ve seen at this state fair in a very long time,” said U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, beckoning to the couple hundred attendees at the Director’s Lawn. “And I want (the media) to report on it, too.”

Just saying that meant Davis got his desired reporting into the SJ-R and elsewhere. But the quote didn’t really match the reality. Most folks were far away from the stage and talking amongst themselves throughout the program. The few folks up front were beaten down by the sun, heat and humidity and were relatively sedate as a result. It wasn’t much different than the previous day’s Democratic rally…

* Capitol News Illinois

“I’ve spent a lot of time in blue states this year and I like what I’ve seen,” RNC Co-Chairman Tommy Hicks, of Texas, said at the rally. “I’ve been in the state of Washington, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey and now Illinois. Every event is packed. The excitement is real. And the enthusiasm is firmly on the Republican side.”

* Brenden Moore

But throughout the day, which began with a joint meeting of the Illinois GOP State Central Committee and Illinois Republican County Chairs Association in downtown Springfield before the festivities moved to the fairgrounds in the afternoon, it was clear that internal divisions remain between conservatives and moderates on how the party wins back the voters it needs to win statewide again. […]

[Kirk Dillard], the chairman of the Chicago Regional Transportation Authority, said he’s “not looking to run for governor,” but has been approached by some business leaders about the prospect.

“If the election were held today, I think JB Pritzker would win against the current field,” Dillard said, speaking with reporters after the rally. “But it’s early, and I’m here as an observer just to see what what these candidates are like, but I worry that the Republicans, if they run somebody, they’ll run somebody that’s unelectable. And you’ll want to win the general election and govern when you get there.”

Some of these concerns were on display Thursday, with Bailey, a supporter of former President Donald Trump, refusing to say whether President Joe Biden legally won the 2020 election.

* Amanda Vinicky

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood of the Peoria-area laid out his vision for what would happen in Washington if the White House and Congress were in GOP hands:

Ban race theory, implement patriotic education to teach children to “love American,” continue building a wall at the Southern U.S. border and hire 100,000 police officers “to support law and order.”

“And we have an obligation to go after big tech,” he said. ‘How ironic is it that the leader of the Taliban has a Twitter account and President Trump doesn’t? Absolutely irresponsible to let these tech companies continue what they’re doing.”

Local control for masks, but Orwellian federal teaching mandates on history and social studies classes. Gotcha.

* Back to CNI

Among them is Paul Schimpf, a former GOP state senator from Waterloo who is one of the three announced Republican candidates for governor. He was the Republican nominee for attorney general in 2014.

Speaking to reporters at an event earlier in the day, Schimpf recalled his 2016 Illinois Senate race against former Democratic Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon.

“We won that race by almost 22 points, and the reason we won that race is because we talked about the issues that unite us,” he said. “And we also ran a campaign where it wasn’t toxic. The people of Illinois are tired, really, of toxic politics I think at this point.”

* Hannah Meisel

Many speeches Thursday criticized Pritzker’s latest mask mandate for schools, implemented earlier this month after COVID’s more transmissible Delta variant set off an uptick in new cases and hospitalizations in Illinois, and has also filled up hospitals and children’s ICU beds in other states. Appeals to the crowd steered clear of vaccine talk, but earlier in the day, the candidates addressed that issue with reporters.

Schimpf is the only candidate who has gotten his COVID shots, though he said he isn’t in favor of government mandates for the vaccine. Bailey refused to say whether he is vaccinated, incorrectly claiming HIPAA laws protect him from having to answer. Earlier this summer, he told a closed-door crowd of Republicans he was not vaccinated.

Rabine repeated falsehoods about the vaccine killing “thousands of people” and contended that because he already had COVID, he believed getting the vaccine would weaken his natural immunity, which is not true.

“The CDC can say what they want,” Rabine replied when told the Centers for Disease Control has advised the opposite. “I listen to scientists all over the world…We shouldn’t demand a vaccine in anybody, in my opinion. It’s my body. It’s my choice.”

* Tribune

“This is a do-or-die election,” GOP Co-chair Mark Shaw of Lake County said of the 2022 races. “You can’t beat somebody with nobody on the ballot. We have to have candidates everywhere up and down the ballot for everything from governor to dogcatcher.”

While seeking to recapture areas where it once dominated, the state GOP is burdened by candidates who take hard-right stands on issues that have divided the state and nation. Republican candidates for governor include hopefuls who won’t say if they think Biden legally defeated President Donald Trump, won’t reveal their COVID-19 vaccination status and won’t back down from repeating misinformation that the vaccine has caused deaths.

The misinformation on COVID-19 carried over to Illinois history on Thursday. Shaw touted Republican events at the upcoming DuQuoin State Fair and referred to the Southern Illinois town as “a former state capitol of Illinois.” Kaskaskia, Vandalia and Springfield, but not DuQuoin, have served as Illinois’ seat of government.

There was a time in this state when a geography flub like that would be news.

* Rachel Hinton

Others addressing the party at the hotel included state Rep. Tom Demmer, a Dixon Republican who said he’s still “exploring” a run for Illinois secretary of state, and state Rep. Dan Brady of Bloomington, who may also seek the party’s nomination to succeed outgoing Democrat Jesse White.

Republicans who’ve said they want a shot at the top of the ticket include Bobby Piton, a portfolio manager who bills himself as a “Conservative Patriot committed to preserving our Freedom and Republic,” and Allison Salinas, whose Facebook page says she stands up “for the unborn, backing our 2nd Amendment and standing up for our law enforcement agencies.”

Others include Peggy Hubbard, a Navy veteran and former police officer, and Tim Arview, who bills himself as a “conservative Republican” on his Facebook page.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments
  1. - 47th Ward - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 10:44 am:

    If you close your eyes and listen, Rodney Davis sounds almost exactly like Jim Edgar. Of course, the similarity ends pretty much there, but if Dillard plays his cards right, and Davis runs for Governor, Kirk might have a shot at getting his old job back.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 10:57 am:

    Arguably a huge flop of a day.

    The buzz seemed to be about the emcee and bud affinity for alleged 1950 comedy sets.

    I wrote this yesterday, and after a sleep it still seems where I’m at;

    To the day;

    What has been seemingly given as “Republican Day” is turning out to be a day where comedic malpractice to political posturing set a tone where even the later speakers couldn’t find a path to expand the party or seem more viable outside the base it was pandering to, and words of an echo chamber of anger that was under a bright blue sky.

    You need to point out, and on a day like this it should be an obvious…

    …what was the pitch, what was the common thread…

    …what was the rallying to build bigger and better and use today to begin a crawling out of the bottom.

    Where was that?

    Here’s what I took away;

    * Don’t alienate Trumpkins

    * Cruel and vile is still the feature, not the bug

    * Davis goes publicly wishy-washy with his office shopping

    * Mary Miller can hold back what she’s thinking it appears

    * Tracy, Durkin, McConchie… who is steering this… thing?

    I saw no Reset, Regroup, Recruit.

    I did see Reruns, Returns, and Reductions

    I dunno… was it a good day?

    I’d add, and “to the post”, for today…

    Dillard would be better suited for a run at Alexi and all the jobs and building that could mean… at a fraction of the cost. ($150 million for a gubernatorial run… $30 million or so for SoS)

    The thing about Davis… never has a self-serving pol attempt to be everything they are not in a climate of identity politics… even… even going so far as to say he doesn’t subscribe to such political sorting. What a crock, as he fundraised off others being removed from the 1/6 commission as an affront *on him*… identity politics.

    That’s my thoughts…

    (Voice Over) “.. and in the end, the ILGOP yesterday decided that being vile and gross … and not disavowing the comedian or his jokes… is still being on brand… a brand rutterless and without a statewide winning game plan”


  3. - DuPage Saint - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 10:58 am:

    They want candidates for every position from Governor to dog catcher. Yet they cannot even get enough foot soldiers to fill up all those folding chairs in front of the stage. They should have said that they were being careful and were social distancing but I don’t think that would play to the crowd or really the group


  4. - Norseman - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 10:59 am:

    GOP book burning parties are just not the same since e-books became a thing.

    === Ban race theory, implement patriotic education to teach children to “love American,” ===

    LaHood speaking to the GOP fear of discussing ideas. Indoctrination is preferred since they don’t have ideas.


  5. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 10:59 am:

    Legit question here: Why is being “woke” bad? What is wrong with helping minorities or people who have been discriminated against?

    Also, does teaching students to “love America” mean we stop teaching about slavery, the Trail of Tears, or Jim Crow laws? Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it.


  6. - NIU Grad - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 11:00 am:

    “Shaw touted Republican events at the upcoming DuQuoin State Fair and referred to the Southern Illinois town as “a former state capitol of Illinois.””

    I was rolling my eyes at Republican quotes throughout these stories, but that caused me to bang my head on my desk.


  7. - Steve Polite - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 11:03 am:

    “state is falling behind many states run by Republican governors”
    “criticized Pritzker’s latest mask mandate for schools”

    Translation: “We’re losing the race to fill up childrens hospitals with Covid patients.”


  8. - JS Mill - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 11:03 am:

    Shorter Darrin LaHood:

    Our indoctrination is good, yours is bad

    Our mandates are good, yours are bad

    Local control good, unless it disagrees with what we want.

    I think that covers the essentials of the empty shirt congressman.


  9. - Commissar Gritty - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 11:09 am:

    We’re falling behind on having over populated ICU beds, we’re falling behind on scientific illiteracy, and we’re falling behind on electable Republicans. That is a sacrifice I am willing to mame.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 11:13 am:

    The reason, for me, that LaHood’s own ridiculousness (including the worry about Trump’s twitter?) isn’t that it seems like a plan… it’s that his ridiculousness will not expand or build a party.

    Someone needs to tell LaHood… “the sheeple that think like that are already republicans in the Trump era. In Illinois ya need to expand off that”

    LaHood’s manifesto won’t build a party here. Nope.


  11. - Southern - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 11:16 am:

    I’m sure Palazzolo will be in big trouble with GOP leadership. They will find it inexcusable and unconscionable that he didn’t use the opportunity to also make fun of people with developmental impairments, minorities, gays, etc.


  12. - Publius - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 11:19 am:

    Sounds like Groundhogs Day there. Seems like they will become a minority party and only represent the parts of the state contracting the most.


  13. - G'Kar - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 11:34 am:

    ==“This is a do-or-die election,” GOP Co-chair Mark Shaw of Lake County said of the 2022 races.==

    Based on the announced candidates and comments by people like LaHood, it looks like the GOP is going to die, not do in 2022.


  14. - Pundent - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 11:35 am:

    =You can’t beat somebody with nobody on the ballot.=

    And yet when it came to potential candidates that would run for governor “nobody” was on the stage. And when it came to people the ILGOP would hope to turn out for the next election “nobody” was in the audience.

    The message is “fire Pritzker” but there’s “nobody” capable of doing that and “nobody” lining up to vote for them.


  15. - LakeCo - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 11:36 am:

    Did Rabine really say “It’s my body, it’s my choice”????


  16. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 12:14 pm:

    ===Most folks were far away from the stage and talking amongst themselves throughout the program. The few folks up front were beaten down by the sun, heat and humidity and were relatively sedate as a result. It wasn’t much different than the previous day’s Democratic rally===

    I think this is a pretty difficult event to pull off as an excellent campaign event from the standpoint of either party, especially since food is served and continues to be served during the program and it is very easy to ignore the stage to talk to others.


  17. - Sir Reel - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 12:40 pm:

    Boy these Republicans are deep. Thoughtful, respectful, articulate, demonstrating a grasp of the issues and a plan to address them…oh wait, I’m thinking of someone else.


  18. - Out West - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 2:26 pm:

    Darrin- doesn’t say much for Trump when the Tban have an active account maybe they don’t lie like your boy Trump.


  19. - Manchester - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 2:31 pm:

    What a bunch of empty suits. Their only agenda is to fire Pritzker. They haven’t had an original idea in decades. It’s just more of the stuff that our people don’t want - racist, anti-gay, anti-women, anti-immigrant. What a sad deluded group.


  20. - Out West - Friday, Aug 20, 21 @ 3:58 pm:

    Manchester thats all a bunch of old white guys can come up with..


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