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HomeIllinois NewsUPDATE X1: IPA confirms PAC-linked newspapers neither requested nor qualified for membership

UPDATE X1: IPA confirms PAC-linked newspapers neither requested nor qualified for membership




UPDATE 1x – Illinois Press Association President Dennis De Rossett told Illinois Review Monday afternoon that they had been approached by candidates and local newspapers about the Liberty Principles PAC newspapers, but none of the newspapers themselves had applied for membership.

"In order to be eligible to be members of the Illinois Press Association, the newspaper has to meet a list of critieria. The Liberty Principles PAC has to have been published for 52 consecutive weeks before applying," DeRossett said. "We know they have not been in existence for a year, and we do not know whether they have maintained consecutive weekly publication since they started. Those qualifying for membership also must maintain 50 consecutive weeks after being accepted."  

"We have not spoken with anyone from Liberty Principles PAC nor any of the newspapers listed," he said. 

CHICAGO – Radio talk show host Dan Proft's line of Liberty Principles PAC campaign literature that appears in mailboxes as newspapers was rejected has not applied for recognition by the Illinois Press Association last week.

The IPA warns readers to become as "news literate" as possible and "question the legitimacy and intent" of the news source.

"The Illinois Press Association has been approached about the regional 'newspapers' which have been introduced to Illinois voters this election cycle. Obviously, the IPA respects the First Amendment protections of freedom of speech and freedom of the press which allows each of us the right to speak freely, and publish newspapers or newsletters if we wish. While imitation is the highest form of flattery, the IPA cautions readers to become as news literate as possible; that is, to try to determine the source behind the news and information they receive and to question the legitimacy, integrity and intent of both the source and the message," the group's board of directors posted on their website. 

"Technology has significantly lowered the barrier for entry into publishing-for both print and digital, making it extremely difficult to distinguish between legitimate news and political propaganda. News and information shape the decisions we make every day and the importance of news literacy is becoming more and more important each day. People are continually inundated with messages from this growing number of platforms and it is often unclear as to the source or the integrity of the message or the platform."

The campaign literature that is published to look like newspapers covers mostly politics in areas that coordinate with campaign races upon which the Liberty Principles PAC focused in either the primary or the upcoming general election. The news stories favor Governor Rauner and his Turnaround Illinois agenda, as well as the candidates endorsed by Liberty Principles PAC.

And there's a key reason why the stories favor Governor Rauner – he and Rauner supporter Dick Uhlein each wrote million dollar plus checks to Liberty Principles PAC in June:

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Liberty Principles PAC is acknowledged as being the source of funding on several of the news group's coordinating websites, and Locality Labs, Inc is owned by longtime Proft business associate Brian Timpone:

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Other Locality Labs, Inc.-affiliated news sources, including the Chambana Sun, DuPage Policy Journal, Kankakee Times, Lake County Gazette, Metro East Sun, North Cook News, Sangamon Sun, SW Illinois News, West Central Reporter, were also rejected have not applied for membership by the Illinois Press Association.

Full disclosure: Illinois Review editor Fran Eaton worked for Dan Proft and Brian Timpone's Illinois Leader during the two years of that publication's existence from 2002 to 2004. 


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