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Today’s quotable: Ken Griffin

Friday, May 27, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Background is here if you need it. From Rick Pearson’s story on Gov. Pritzker’s new TV ad slamming Richard Irvin over his support from billionaire Ken Griffin

Griffin, who has feuded politically with the first-term Democratic governor, has given Irvin $45 million in his bid to win the GOP nomination for governor and the right to face Pritzker on June 28.

In an invective-filled statement Thursday, Griffin said the TV attacks show Pritzker fears facing Irvin in the fall.

“I don’t care about the governor’s pathetic attacks against me. I started one of the most important businesses in the world at the age of 21 right here in Chicago. And unlike J.B. Pritzker, I’ve endured real challenges and made real sacrifices in writing the success story of Citadel,” Griffin said.

“J.B. Pritzker was gifted a life of tremendous wealth. It’s disappointing that a man born with a silver spoon has accomplished so little, especially as governor. Pritzker’s policies have driven the largest crime wave in the history of Illinois,” Griffin said. “Richard is the exact opposite of J.B. and has already done more for the people of Illinois than silver spooned billionaire J.B. Pritzker ever will.”

Um, wow.

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87 Comments
  1. - well... - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:26 am:

    Fact check: True


  2. - SAP - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:27 am:

    Way to sugar-coat it Griff.


  3. - SWIL_Voter - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:28 am:

    Somebody sounds mad and scared


  4. - Flat Bed Ford - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:28 am:

    Griffin ain’t wrong


  5. - Give Me A Break - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:29 am:

    He sounds like an 7th grade Junior High girl talking about why her friend made the cheerleading team and she didn’t.


  6. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:30 am:

    -It’s disappointing that a man born with a silver spoon has accomplished so little-

    He did put his money where his mouth was and actually put himself up for Governor, and win. That’s something Mr. Griffin cannot say.


  7. - Hot Taeks - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:30 am:

    “Most important businesses in the world.” Yeah, I’m not so sure about that guy. Griffin is an empty suit just like his purchased politician Irvin.


  8. - Wonky Kong - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:30 am:

    Well it looks like the bear has indeed been poked. Mission accomplished?


  9. - hahaha - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:31 am:

    This is what Democrats in this state don’t really like to talk about - JB Pritzker is a man of incredible privilege who accomplished comparatively little given his born-on-third-base status before buying the Democratic party and the Governor’s mansion.


  10. - Paddyrollingstone - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:31 am:

    He doesn’t sound like a very happy person. JB, on the other hand, does.


  11. - Paddyrollingstone - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:33 am:

    hahaha - I don’t know, he seems to be a good husband and father, and for someone who lost both his parents before he graduated from high school, I think that counts for a lot.


  12. - Needs Deleted - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:34 am:

    When billionaires don’t like one another, they really don’t like one another.


  13. - Arsenal - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:34 am:

    Griffin never fails to take the bait.


  14. - jim - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:36 am:

    IF Griffin didn’t care, he wouldn’t be so angry. what he said is true, but he should have just ignored JB’s attacks because JB wants to make him the issue. JB hates big money in politics.


  15. - PoliSci for Life - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:36 am:

    Lol. Some of those high paid Citadel PR guys should probably tell their boss that these kind of scorched Earth insane statements don’t go over well in politics.

    Then again - Ken is used to being the bully. It must be hard when someone is willing to punch back.


  16. - Live Wire - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:37 am:

    It’s pretty obvious that the attacks bother him.

    “most important businesses in the world”. Quite an ego. What is the measure of most important in the world?


  17. - Perrid - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:37 am:

    LOL. Yeah, Griffin winning the lottery is SO much different from Pritzker. The luck came later in life, that’s all.


  18. - Baloneymous - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:37 am:

    Remind me again, where did Griff get married? Settle down Karen.


  19. - Grandson of Man - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:37 am:

    “In an invective-filled statement Thursday, Griffin said”

    What a surprise, the state’s richest person is among the most thin-skinned. This is the dude who says he is politically marginalized by thousandaires and poor people.

    Griffin caused more damage to Illinois with Rauner than any billionaires. What does he do when crime spikes? Substantially increase his gun investments. Griffin guns are flooding our streets and recovered in nearly a quarter of Chicago homicides. And now with the Texas massacre? Let’s see how he handles the inevitable pounding he will get, should Irvin advance.


  20. - Soccermom - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:38 am:

    Ok. Sure. Whatever.


  21. - Arsenal - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:43 am:

    ==Griffin ain’t wrong ==

    Of course he is.

    He thinks Citadel is one of the “most important companies in the world”. Bro, we’ve got a hundred other guys who can invest other people’s money in other people’s companies.

    He thinks JB Pritzker, who lost both his parents by the time he was 17, has not endured “real challenges”.

    He thinks JB Pritzker, who passed a capital program, legalized marijuana, protected abortion rights in IL, and lead IL to credit upgrades, is unaccomplished as a Governor.

    He thinks JB Pritzker’s policies lead to the spike in crime that every state, including the ones that did not duplicate JB Pritzker’s policies, is experiencing.

    And he thinks that Richard Irvin, who stood side by side with JB Pritzker on COVID mandates, on BLM, on minority health initiatives, and on and on, is the “Exact opposite” of him.

    Griffin was wrong on just about everything in that statement, and he comes off as unhinged, and frankly, as Irvin’s own polls show him not even able to get 1/3 of the Republican Party and conspicuously omits any head to head numbers with Pritzker, “JB Pritzker is only pointing out my corruption because I can beat him” is not really holding up as an excuse.


  22. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:48 am:

    Hard to see how the guy born on second base (executive father, family inherence, Harvard, etc.) is the best person to be hurling invectives at someone simply for being born on third base.


  23. - Henry Francis - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:49 am:

    For someone who has more money than anyone in the state and more than he or his family could ever spend, he sure does complain and whine a lot.


  24. - Arsenal - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:50 am:

    What’s really incredible here is that Griffin is entirely ancillary to that ad. You don’t need to know anything about him, and you don’t learn that much about him. He’s just the Chicago billionaire who gave Irvin a lot of money after Irvin pulled some strings for him. The ad is about Irvin, but since it mentioned Griffin’s name, Griff went on tilt.


  25. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:51 am:

    But, just so we are clear, this election isn’t about Ken Griffin.

    Maybe it comes from being surrounded by yes men, but some billionaires come off incredibly thin-skinned.


  26. - Proud Papa Bear - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:51 am:

    “I started one of the most important businesses in the world”
    Take that, Amazon.


  27. - SWSider - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:52 am:

    Pretty cool we have our own live action Spiderman pointing meme at the highest levels of state power.


  28. - Arsenal - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:54 am:

    ==But, just so we are clear, this election isn’t about Ken Griffin.==

    It’s really amazing how much Griffin wants to help JB Pritzker make Griffin an issue in this race.

    And I mean, maybe there’s some logic to that? Maybe it’s better for Irvin if folks focus on Griffin rather than some other issues.

    But I gotta assume that Irvin’s team winces every time Griffin grabs the microphone.


  29. - SWSider - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:54 am:

    Edit to add: The fact that our last 2 governor races have become competitions between some of the richest men in our state certainly warrants more attention from everyone.

    It doesn’t matter if it’s an R or D, this is unsustainable.


  30. - NorthsideNoMore - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:56 am:

    Well at least he didn’t say something about DCFS or Veterans homes.


  31. - Bruce( no not him) - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 9:58 am:

    My money is more important than your money. Everyone knows that.
    Anyone who can’t see that is obviously wrong.


  32. - Demoralized - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:00 am:

    Griffin sounds like a spoiled rotten little brat. He wanted to get into the political arena. Grow up and put your big boy pants on Ken.

    I really despise this guy’s attitude.


  33. - Jocko - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:01 am:

    “Griffin’s father was a project manager for General Electric. Griffin’s grandmother, Genevieve Huebsch Gratz, inherited an oil business, three farms, and a seed business.” (from Wikipedia)

    Those are some nice bootstraps to pull yourself up from.


  34. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:03 am:

    A hit dog will holler.

    Griffin making himself more of the story gives even more attention to the Griffin ads.

    Thanks for the in-kind contribution to JB’s campaign.


  35. - LOLOLOL - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:03 am:

    Pretty sure JB’s team is including Griffin because they know he’s thin skinned and this is going to be his response. He better sharpen up his insults because I’m sure there’s A LOT more to come for Kenny boy.


  36. - Lt Guv - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:04 am:

    What a phony and a hypocrite.


  37. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:05 am:

    Only thing missing from Griff’s hissy-

    “I was born a poor, black child…”


  38. - Immigrants Welcome - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:06 am:

    Ah yes - the most important business in the world is one that doubles down on gun manufacturers and is making a KILLING in the wake of yet another school shooting.


  39. - Sir Reel - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:09 am:

    “Accomplished so little?” Um, there’s a pandemic. Illinois stacks up very well compared to Republican led states. But I guess the only accomplishment Kenny cares about is cutting his taxes.


  40. - Banish Misfortune - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:09 am:

    I honestly did not know how Pritzker would do as governor. The record for ultra wealthy people doing well in government is not exactly great. But really Pritzker has been very good. I believe every day he tries to do good for the people of Illinois. He led us well through the pandemic and has a positive outlook. No one is perfect and he can be faulted in a number of administrative errors but I am proud to have him as governor.
    I am not aware of Griffin having done anything good for this state.


  41. - Club J - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:09 am:

    Yes Governor Pritzker was born into money. So what. He hasn’t just sat back and did nothing his whole life. Mr. Griffin can go on and on about the Governor. It all boils down to this. JB Pritzker had the backbone to run himself for Governor and WIN. Ken Griffin hasn’t or can’t do that. So Mr. Griffin needs to sit back down and stop acting like a child.


  42. - Sax - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:12 am:

    “I don’t care about the governor’s pathetic attacks against me,” says the man who goes on for many more sentences that prove he really does care.


  43. - 47th Ward - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:12 am:

    Griff is mad about crime in Chicago and blames the governor exclusively. It’s like he doesn’t know Chicago has a mayor, or what her name is, or who he should be directing his concerns to.

    Griff would’ve been better off if he paid Irvin to move into Chicago so he could run for the office he’s most qualified to hold, which seems to be the same office that is the most important to Griffin.


  44. - Tax the Rich - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:12 am:

    Ken Griffin clearly hates inherited money. Will he tell his own children to pound sand so they can pull themselves up from their bootstraps?


  45. - vern - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:15 am:

    If I were a billionaire I simply wouldn’t care about any of this. I’d barely know who my Governor is, to the extent that I “lived” in any single state. Even if JB has successfully passed the graduated income tax, it would in no way change Griffin’s standard of living. He’s about to spend hundreds of millions of a political campaign, and I don’t think he’s eating ramen and hamburger helper to make that happen. He won’t even notice the money is gone.

    The same goes for JB and Rauner before him. If having billions of dollars isn’t fulfilling them, I’ll gladly trade bank accounts. That’ll make them feel alive without bothering the entire state.

    You know who didn’t do any of this nonsense? MySpace Tom. We need more billionaires like him. Make your money, stop working, and enjoy your life.


  46. - PublicServant - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:15 am:

    Instead of hiding behind a fake republican like Irvin, why don’t you fight like a man. Kenny? Step up to the plate yourself, and run for governor. Come on Kenny, put yourself out there, and answer all the questions that we have for you. Show us your detailed policies on the problems Illinois has. If you can’t do that, then sit down and keep your trap shut, you insufferable brat.


  47. - Pundent - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:17 am:

    JB Pritzker sure occupies a lot of space in Ken Griffin’s head. I guess what they say is true, money doesn’t buy happiness. He’s the second coming of C. Montgomery Burns.


  48. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:17 am:

    “It’s disappointing that a man born with a silver spoon has accomplished so little, especially as governor.”

    The guy thought Bruce Rauner was a successful governor. Thank God, thank God JB Pritzker is a complete failure in the eyes of Ken Griffin.


  49. - The Dude Abides - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:17 am:

    A few years ago former Governor Edgar commented that “we’ve had bad luck with our Governors lately”. He was referring to Blago, Quinn and Rauner. Their legacies were mountains of debt and credit downgrades. For the first time in a while we have someone pulling us in the right direction again. Griffin wants someone he can control and is bankrolling Irvin. I’m going to take a pass on that. Whichever Republican survives the Primary is going to be in trouble in November.


  50. - Real - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:21 am:

    Vern, I agree. Unlike Pritzker, Griffin and Rauner are miserable and all their money is not enough to fulfill them. They are not fulfilled until they can make other people as miserable as them.


  51. - Amalia - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:22 am:

    envy much?


  52. - Pundent - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:23 am:

    The more I hear from Ken Griffin the more concerned I am about the empty vessel that is Richard Irvin. Griffin clearly has issues. Whatever they may be they are very personal to him. He sees Irvin as a way to exact some sort of a vendetta. I’m not sure what that means for the rest of us.


  53. - Excitable Boy - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:25 am:

    - I started one of the most important businesses in the world -

    Yes, whatever would humanity do without another hedge fund.

    You aren’t important, Ken, you just really think you are.


  54. - low level - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:27 am:

    ==I started one of the most important businesses in the world at the age of 21 right here in Chicago.==

    Well bullyhoo for you


  55. - walker - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:33 am:

    A lot of successful entrepreneurs believe their companies are “the most important…in the world.” In fact he has shown a lot of strengths and talents building Citadel, despite that stretch. The problem is trying to find any reason to believe Griff knows better how to run a government, which is quite a different kettle of fish. He’s playing the political game pretty well so far.


  56. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:35 am:

    This is a statement you can tell was written by the principal and not his comms flacks.


  57. - Phenomynous - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:37 am:

    I don’t think people understand the role Citadel Securities plays in market. They aren’t just some hedge fund lol


  58. - Flying Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:41 am:

    “Griffin clearly has issues”

    Employees collectively bargaining for higher wages and benefits are issues 1-100.


  59. - Sax - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:46 am:

    ==They aren’t just some hedge fund lol==

    Sure, but most important company in the world? Have you heard of Google? Facebook? Apple?


  60. - SAP - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:46 am:

    Hey Ken, for your reading pleasure:

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”


  61. - Excitable Boy - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:47 am:

    - I don’t think people understand the role Citadel Securities plays in market. They aren’t just some hedge fund lol -

    I don’t think you understand the role the market plays in human civilization. It doesn’t feed, clothe, or house anyone. Humanity would be just fine without it, lol


  62. - Google Is Your Friend - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:53 am:

    Ken Griffin is a silver spoon too. His family had at least three farms, a seed business, and a “large oil business.”

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-xpm-2010-07-11-ct-biz-0711-confidential-booms-20100710-story.html


  63. - Big Dipper - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:57 am:

    ==Griff is mad about crime in Chicago and blames the governor exclusively.==

    Except crime was worse in Chicago in the 90s but it didn’t stop him from deciding to base his company there. So his threats to leave ring hollow.


  64. - Google Is Your Friend - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 10:58 am:

    Silver Spoon Kenny G, Part II:

    “Griffin began successfully dabbling in trading bonds from his dorm room in the late 1980s while attending Harvard University (with an investment grubstake of $265,000 from his family and friends).”

    Wish someone would’ve dropped $250k+ on me in college so I could do hobbies!

    https://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/October-2005/Hedge-Fun/


  65. - Phenomynous - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 11:00 am:

    -It doesn’t feed, clothe, or house anyone. Humanity would be just fine without it, lol-

    Lol. Ok. Maybe not 100 years ago. But it is now a global economy and all of those goods and commodities that feed, clothe, and house are traded and speculated on in the market, and Citadel is sort of or facilitates a large quantity of those trades.


  66. - Pundent - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 11:03 am:

    =Griff is mad about crime in Chicago and blames the governor exclusively.=

    He’s mad about something, I’m just not sure it’s crime. I know that he was mad enough about unions to deprive the state of a budget. I think more than anything he’s mad that the governor and the rest of us don’t care much about whatever angers him. I see lots of narcissism from Ken Griffin. The guy must be a peach to work for.


  67. - Excitable Boy - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 11:05 am:

    - Citadel is sort of or facilitates a large quantity of those trades. -

    If Citadel closed its doors today, the world wouldn’t blink. If you think otherwise you’re a moron.


  68. - Roadrager - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 11:07 am:

    I am reminded of the wise words of the true philosopher for our time, @dril:

    “and another thing: im not mad. please dont put in the newspaper that i got mad.”


  69. - Bruce( no not him) - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 11:11 am:

    All I want is my taxes lowered to Zero. Is that too much to ask? Not really snark, pretty sure that’s what he wants.


  70. - Streator Curmudgeon - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 11:11 am:

    That’s the kind of rant that makes Griff’s PR people go into the restroom and run their heads into the wall


  71. - Baloneymous - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 11:14 am:

    Two weeks ago I figured Griffin was chewing out Irvin for his public gaffes. Now I’m not so sure that Irvin isn’t privately thinking ’shut up dude’ about Griffin. Griffin needs to check his ego, he’s not cut out for this. It’s only going to get worse for him if Irvin wins the primary.


  72. - Give Us Barabbas - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 11:25 am:

    “He seems nice”.

    Lol


  73. - Kenny Fact Check - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 11:33 am:

    Methinks Kenny boy doesn’t like getting called out for his role funding a creating the Ken Irvin puppet project.

    And fact check: false. I saw JB work to create the Chicago tech sector through founding 1871 and seeding countless organizations. His work led to creating tens of thousands of jobs, not to mention backing hundreds of entrepreneurs. The whole JB as dilettante who just sat back and counted his money is a whole lot of hooey.

    Fact check 2: Crime, while bad, still doesn’t remotely compare to the 80s and 90s. Not even in the same league.


  74. - Kenny Fact Check - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 11:35 am:

    Thanks, Teddy Roosevelt.

    “Hey Ken, for your reading pleasure:

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”


  75. - anon2 - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 11:45 am:

    If Griffin really objects to silver-spoon billionaires in general, and not just when their name is Pritzker, any chance he’d support jacking up the inheritance tax on billionaires so their offspring would not inherit such huge fortunes?


  76. - Skokie Man - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 11:49 am:

    Ken Griffin comes from a family that owned an oil business, three farms, and a seed business. His grandmother paid all of the bills for Ken to go to Harvard. His mother and grandmother were the principal investors when Ken started his business.

    So please… you self made bootstrapping man of the people… tell me again about political players born with a Silver Spoon?


  77. - Lincoln Lad - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 12:22 pm:

    Agree with Arsenal at 9:43… 100% on point. Thanks for the rebuttal. It’s pretty clear who the petulant child is, and it’s not JB.


  78. - Rabid - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 12:42 pm:

    griffin is making the election about him, validated JB’s ad


  79. - Thomas Paine - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 12:53 pm:

    Ken Griffin has failed as a husband, failed as a father, and as far as I can tell is completely friendless.

    From his statement it is easy to see why.

    His kids will never be worthy people in his eyes unless they build a multi-billion dollar company from the ground up.

    That’s probably why Griffin has taken the giving pledge, to give away all of his wealth instead of handing it to his kids.

    Oh, wait.


  80. - Glengarry - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 1:04 pm:

    Griffin is who I thought he was.


  81. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 1:06 pm:

    “Griffin is who I thought he was.”

    And we let him off the hook.


  82. - Over It - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 1:12 pm:

    JB will almost certainly win this battle in 2022, and probably get nominated for President in 2024. That’s when Griffin will win the war. DeSantis 2024.


  83. - Chicago 20 - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 1:17 pm:

    - “ Pritzker’s policies have driven the largest crime wave in the history of Illinois,” Griffin said.”

    And Griffin profited by helping to supply the guns for that crime wave.


  84. - MisterJayEm - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 2:30 pm:

    “all of those goods and commodities that feed, clothe, and house are traded and speculated on in the market”

    You sure you’re trying to argue for this, pal?

    – MrJM


  85. - Lincoln Lad - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 3:06 pm:

    Grif has likely realized he’s backed a losing horse, and he’s angry about it. I’d say run that ad a few more times.


  86. - Real - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 3:36 pm:

    Rauner and Griffin as billionaires complain how they have it so hard in Illinois that they always mention when they are moving. Two miserable billionaire that are so mad about unions and $15 min wages.


  87. - ANNON'IN - Friday, May 27, 22 @ 3:47 pm:

    Notice ‘Riffie does notcrebu the ad. But retelling of his grueling life of pushing the high speed buy/buttons is inspiring. Next will be his decision to spend a lawyer to ComEd to sign the shakeup DPA. A true patriot


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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