Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Irvin, who threatened to crack down on Aurora businesses for not enforcing mask mandates, now says “I’ve always been opposed to mandates”
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Irvin, who threatened to crack down on Aurora businesses for not enforcing mask mandates, now says “I’ve always been opposed to mandates”

Thursday, Feb 10, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Tom Miller (no relation that I know of) at WJPF interviewed Richard Irvin this morning

Q: What do you think of the governor’s comments involving masking yesterday?

A: I’ve always been opposed to mandates. And it seems like only a few days ago the governor was talking about, we got to continue to keeping masks for science now, and all of a sudden he’s decided, okay, we’re going to remove the masks. So he’s making his decisions based on politics. Everything he’s doing is gimmicks for an election year.

* DGA…

Richard Irvin has flip-flopped and contradicted himself on almost every issue since launching his campaign — and now he’s been caught trying to rewrite his record on COVID-19 and mandates.

Irvin has leaned into anti-science talking points since declaring his candidacy in the Illinois GOP primary, hypocritically accusing Gov. Pritzker of inconsistency and claiming in an interview this morning that he has always stood against COVID mandates.

But Irvin’s own words contradict his recent lies. Just two years ago, he called Gov. JB Pritzker’s mitigation efforts “logical.” “I fully support his decision and encourage all Aurorans to abide by this new mandate,” Irvin wrote in a March 20, 2020 Facebook post.

In July of 2020, he implored Aurorans to wear masks, and in September of 2020, he threatened to crack down on businesses that didn’t enforce mask-wearing.

This isn’t the first time Irvin has tried to distance himself from his repeated praise of Gov. Pritzker. As a DGA video highlights, Irvin once lauded Gov. Pritzker as “a great friend, a great leader, who has guided our state with professionalism and compassion throughout this entire pandemic.”

“Richard Irvin’s views on COVID safety measures are based on what’s politically convenient,” said DGA Senior Communications Advisor Christina Amestoy. “Irvin has flip-flopped and failed to answer questions on almost every issue that Illinoisans care about — from Donald Trump to abortion to the pandemic. Irvin even praised Gov. Pritzker, the man he’s now trying to run against. If Irvin doesn’t even know what he stands for, why should anyone vote for him?”

* From that September of 2020 story

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Illinois, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin said Wednesday he is cracking down on businesses that are not enforcing the wearing of face masks. […]

He warned of COVID-fatigue, especially as we enter the Labor Day Weekend. In recent days health officials, both local and national have been keen to make the point that, unlike the start of the pandemic back in March, some of the biggest drivers of infection now are in smaller family and neighborhood gatherings where people let down their guard.

“Aurora has entered a new month and a new season. It is imperative that we all must recommit to doing what is necessary to fight COVID-19,” Mayor Irvin said. “Clearly, it is not over.”

Mayor Irvin also issued a stern warning to businesses that continue to defy the mask mandate, allowing customers to enter without one, saying that while no fines have been issued yet, he will not hesitate to impose restrictions on those who do not comply.

* From those July remarks

It has been a whirlwind complete with ebbs and flows and highs and lows as we all learn to navigate our new normal, react and respond quickly and pivot at a moment’s notice and then pivot again at the next moment.

Apparently, pivoting to deal with rapidly changing conditions, like fast-dropping hospitalization rates after a bizarre and fast-moving variant tore through the state, is no longer acceptable.

* Also from Irvin’s July press conference

Yesterday on Wednesday, July 15, Governor JB Pritzker announced the state’s new action plan to combat the resurgence of COVID-19 through a series of mitigation efforts. The governor called me on Tuesday evening to explain to me his plan for the state. But none of us want to take steps back. I understand his concern, and pledge the support of Aurora to do our part to help in the statewide effort. […]

I fully support the governor’s decision to expand the state to 11 EMS regions and to better group our areas accordingly. Now we can really ramp up our efforts to do our part to keep our region below all the baseline measures that would force our region to become more restrictive. […]

We know masks are effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19. You’re not just wearing a mask for you, you’re wearing it for everyone else you may come in contact with. […]

And we all did, me as mayor and him as governor, the best that we possibly could to address the situation as it unfolded in front of us. You know, looking at hindsight we say is 2020. There’s a lot of things we could have done to make our circumstances better, probably here in Aurora and statewide, absolutely countrywide.


  1. - Roadrager - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 2:54 pm:

    The problem with courting the goldfish vote is that they so often forget to show up at the polls.

  2. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:01 pm:

    This guy is going nowhere but I hate to say it he is the best the GOP has right now

  3. - OneMan - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:02 pm:

    Aurora was always kind of at the forefront of restrictions especially early on. Not sure where this ‘always against mandates’ stuff is from.

  4. - Bruce( no not him) - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:02 pm:

    From one of the articles above === he will not hesitate to impose restrictions on those who do not comply.===
    Yeah, but that was a long time ago. I didn’t really mean it.
    What I say now is the real me.

  5. - Arsenal - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:07 pm:

    ==This guy is going nowhere but I hate to say it he is the best the GOP has right now ==

    I still think he has a good chance, but man he’s quickly getting exposed as a serial flip flopper.

  6. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:08 pm:

    ===a serial flip flopper===

    I think it’s worse than that. When you actively promoted mitigation mandates and now say you never did, that ain’t mere flip-flopping.

  7. - sal-says - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:14 pm:

    Do pols ever wonder why voters are sick of politics ?

    No convictions, just spew whatever ‘works’ at an instant in time.

  8. - Lincoln Lad - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:14 pm:

    Time for Ken Griffin to recognize what he’s got, and save his money.

  9. - Fixer - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:14 pm:

    When it’s as easy as it is today to expose someone’s lies with their own words, one would think that politicians would be smarter than this. Yet, here we are, with another lie from Irvin that is easily disproved by a simple Google search.

    Someone isn’t ready for prime time.

  10. - So_Ill - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:15 pm:

    This guy is an absolute disaster. Does he really think he can get away with this stuff?

  11. - Roadrager - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:17 pm:

    ==This guy is an absolute disaster. Does he really think he can get away with this stuff?==

    He is in a constant search for The Phrase That Pays, and is convinced this will all go just fine if he locates it.

  12. - Rudy’s teeth - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:21 pm:

    Richard Irwin’s statements regarding his position on mitigation and masks from 2020 contradicts his current narrative. The difference. Irwin is now a candidate for governor.

    With this flip-flop, am not confident as to his ability to hold the position of governor. Did he not realize that there is a record of previous statements? It’s like testimony. It exists.

  13. - Norseman - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:24 pm:

    Believe me then when enforcing mandates wasn’t popular with most businesses or believe me now that I’ve sold my soul to a billionaire?

  14. - Arsenal - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:26 pm:

    ==I think it’s worse than that. When you actively promoted mitigation mandates and now say you never did, that ain’t mere flip-flopping. ==

    You’re probably right, but 2004 was the first election I ever worked, so it’s hard for me to consider a worse epithet than “flip flopper”, lol.

    “Liar” comes to mind, of course.

  15. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:26 pm:

    The thing to know about humans?…if they’ve done it before they’ll do it again.

  16. - Arsenal - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:30 pm:

    The other thing is, it would’ve been easy to say, “Cases are plumetting, lots of people have the vaccines, and we have treatments that work even if you get covid, so we don’t need mandates now.” You get to the same position without lying about your own record.

    At some point, you gotta question this guy’s political instincts.

  17. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:33 pm:

    Does he plan to issue refunds for any fines that might have been issued to local Aurora businesses? If they got fined they are likely GOP primary voters after all… they just don’t like mandates either.

  18. - Rudy’s teeth - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:34 pm:

    Are there any sharp knives in the Republican party’s silver chest?

  19. - frustrated GOP - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:34 pm:

    He quit “got fired” from the State’s atty’s office because he didn’t want to leave the new office setup in Aurora to work with police on crime. He didn’t want to leave his city of Aurora unprotected to move in rotation back to the County Court house. His next job: criminal defense in the city he wanted to protect from his now new clients.

    mask mandate, no-mask mandate. That’s easy stuff. he’s been changing tunes for a few decades.

  20. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:37 pm:

    Arsenal is exactly right.

  21. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:39 pm:

    This stood out for me: “The governor called me on Tuesday evening to explain to me his plan for the state”

    That’s extraordinary.

  22. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:40 pm:

    I sure hope he doesn’t lie to judges.

  23. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:40 pm:

    Sorry, 3:40 was me.

  24. - Lincoln Lad - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 3:58 pm:

    Those of us reading the blog realize the contradictions and clear failing in his messaging. Downstate voters, kind of important in a Republican primary, are not likely to be getting all the information we have and may not see his conteadictions. They are hearing what they want to hear - and in that context, why wouldn’t he do it. His GOP competition needs to broadcast who he is to the GOP voters.

  25. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 4:04 pm:

    Lot of great comments. It’s a head scratcher.

    For me it’s “simple”

    This Irvin Crew is used to an empty vessel candidate that you can put in costume, change how they talk, say one thing somewhere, another thing someplace else.

    You think I’m knocking them. I’m not. That was what won last time with an outsider.

    Irvin just has too many things on the record, in the actual governing, of a city, the politics within all that governing, and the good instincts Irvin had used to win his second term (very easily) are now being thwarted because a narrative usually saved for an empty vessel type is making the Crew and Irvin have to answer for things folks can’t forget… it’s his record, a record he ran on, touted, and won with not long ago.

    It’s disingenuous because you can’t rewrite what made Irvin your choice, for starters, and you can’t deny what was said or done, as you try to close up holes.

    I’m fascinated how they are gonna roll this.

  26. - MyTwoCents - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 4:15 pm:

    At this point the probable 2 leading GOP candidates are looking like they have some major flaws. Everybody knows Bailey’s issues but Irvin is not ready for primetime. The negative ads write themselves, either in the primary or the general. This is such a rookie mistake and so easily avoidable.

  27. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 4:16 pm:

    Translation. Irvin was for it before he was against it. Wish he would have continued being for it.

  28. - Real - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 4:17 pm:

    It’s worse than I thought for Ken Dunkin 2.0.

  29. - Bourbon Street - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 4:18 pm:

    Irvin’s inability to read the room is astounding. Setting aside Irvin’s “change of position” (to put it politely), 75% of the total population of Illinois has received at least one shot of the vaccine, so how does he think this kind of talk wins the general (even if he survives the primary)?

  30. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 4:21 pm:

    Nobody has brought up the little dig at Trump at the end? lol

  31. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 4:21 pm:

    “This isn’t the first time Irvin has tried to distance himself from his repeated praise of Gov. Pritzker.”

    Irvin looks like an empty shell allowing himself to be filled with right wing talking points and be groomed for big Griffin bucks. Too bad he’s willing to damage his brand for campaign funding from someone who fully carries the destructive Rauner legacy.

  32. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 4:22 pm:

    ===…so how does he think this kind of talk wins the general===

    Crime, Economy, Biden headwinds for Pritzker

    That’s their play.

    Praying that abortion, Trump, insurrection types don’t ruin all that too.

    Wishing away Covid or betting on “angry covid” folks is the GOP base, just hoping no one calls him in hypocrisy(?)

  33. - MisterJayEm - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 4:33 pm:

    I’m starting to think this Irvin guy might not be on the up ‘n’ up…

    – MrJM

  34. - Huh? - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 4:36 pm:

    That was this. This is now. I have to pander to the base.

  35. - Proud Sucker - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 4:38 pm:

    “Nobody has brought up the little dig at Trump at the end? lol”

    ‘Absolutely Countrywide’, might make a nifty bumper sticker.

  36. - Arsenal - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 4:39 pm:

    ==At this point the probable 2 leading GOP candidates are looking like they have some major flaws.==

    This is a structural thing. When you lose as many elections as ILGOP has, you just don’t have a huge talent pool to draw from.

  37. - Bourbon Street - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 4:50 pm:

    I should have been more specific, OW. By “this kind of talk” I meant the blather (to put it politely) coming out of Irvin’s mouth about COVID-19 protocols. I agree with you about the ILGOP playbook, including their “wishing away Covid or betting on ‘angry covid folks’”. Not sure how he thinks that no one is going to notice his-ahem-new found beliefs on mandates.

  38. - King Louis XVI - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 4:56 pm:

    –At some point, you gotta question this guy’s political instincts.–

    … and question the talent and due diligence of ’superstar’ consultant Mike Z. He and his pricey crew are putting out this stuff in the their candidate’s name. Malpractice.

  39. - frustrated GOP - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 4:59 pm:

    So does this mean that Aurora will no longer be enforcing mask mandates on restaurants?

  40. - Pundent - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 5:04 pm:

    The Irvin campaign, aided by the old Rauner crew, seems to be running the same playbook. Although this time they’ve substituted the the corruption theme for crime. But they seemed to have failed to grasp the disadvantages that Irvin brings. Namely that he’s a criminal defense attorney and has a track record as mayor. There’s nothing inherently wrong with either experience, but is has defined his candidacy in ways that Rauner didn’t have to contend with. It would seem that some major adjustments are needed given his early stumbles.

  41. - Chicago Blue - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 5:07 pm:

    Irvin clearly isn’t ready for prime time. Let’s see if Griffin’s $100 million can get people to see past his inadequacies.

  42. - Long time Independent - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 5:34 pm:

    At the rate of weekly mistakes Irvin is making Griffin might rethink spending all that money on this apparent mistake at just let Z and the gang get the primary winner over the top if possible.

  43. - Proud Papa Bear - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 5:42 pm:

    We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

  44. - MG85 - Thursday, Feb 10, 22 @ 8:25 pm:

    Rule number of oppo research: when conducting election oppo research the first candidate you conduct said research is on yourself.

    It helps to prepare and avoid stuff like this. KCG may wanna chip in a few more million to help Irvin find his sea legs.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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