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HomeIllinois NewsIrvin/Bourne campaign accused of busing in Lake County straw poll votes

Irvin/Bourne campaign accused of busing in Lake County straw poll votes



IL GOP gubernatorial candidate Richard Irvin bused in elderly group to win straw poll

LAKE COUNTY – Lake County Republican Central Committee chairman Mark Shaw sent out a press release Saturday night April 23 to announce the winner of the group's 2022 Illinois Republican Party gubernatorial primary straw poll held earlier in the day.

Shaw said that no one in the gubernatorial primary race attracted 40% or more of the Lake County Republicans' votes – neither Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin over state Senator Darren Bailey. former state Senator Paul Schimpf, entrepreneur Jesse Sullivan, businessman Gary Rabine or attorney Max Solomon. 

Shaw didn't mention, however, that Mayor Irvin's campaign had boldly and publicly played with the system by bringing in a group of elderly Indian voters that skewed the straw poll vote. Videos of the Irvin/Bourne campaign's antics circulated via other candidates' campaigns, showing the senior aged bused-in group standing in line to place their reportedly pre-filled out ballots in the LCRCC's polling box, and then leaving immediately after placing those votes.

None of that was mentioned in Shaw's release. As shown in a Tweet by Gabe Guidarini – a Jesse Sullivan campaign volunteer and American Populist Union Coalition Manager:

“Although Richard Irvin came out on top today, no candidate received a majority of the vote or even cracked 40%, so it appears to still be a race that is wide open depending on who has the best message, who has the best campaign team, who gathers the most support and who raises the most funds to get their message across to the GOP base,” said Shaw.

Richard Irvin received 144 votes (39%); Jesse Sullivan and Darren Bailey tied with 76 votes each (21%); Gary Rabine with 63 votes (17%); Paul Schimpf at 16 votes (1%) and no report on Max Solomon's votes.         

“The Republican Party needs to take a strong stand to promote the strongest conservative candidates in the primary election so that we get a head start on defeating the increasingly radical Democratic candidates that are being slated,” said LCRCC Chairman Mark Shaw.  “If what we read in the headlines every day is even close to being accurate, the intense pressure of law enforcement public corruption investigations focusing on the activities of Mike Madigan, coupled with the crime wave causing legislation passed by Democrats in Springfield last year, has moderate independent voters finally realizing the Democrats need to go.”

But will the Republican Party vote to put into power a candidate that had to reach out, strategize and bus in votes from seemingly unknowing and uninformed voters? 

And will the Illinois Republican Party encourage future all out attacks with misleading comments, if not outright blatant lies, about fellow conservative Republicans by nominating that candidate and his tactics to represent the ILGOP in 2022? 

And if the Irvin/Bourne campaign is successful in winning the nomination, will the IL GOP conservative voter base be bullied once again by former Rauner political consultants to "get in line" and support their political tactics to elect a Republican as governor in 2022?  

And does any of this matter – or is the big emphasis to defeat Pritzker in 2022? Can someone who's played dirty tricks like these motivate Republicans and moderate independents to oust Pritzker? 

More to come on this topic from Illinois Review … 


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  1. There are issues brought up on how the voting was conducted. There are questions of election integrity which remain unanswered. At the very least, many are saying possibly the appearance of impropriety
    I might had attended but assumed since I don’t live in lake county that I could not vote. One question, was everybody who voted a lake county resident and a registered voter.
    Last night, the Irvin campaign paid for a billboard truck to park in front of the venue in Saint Charies where Darren Bailey had a rally attended by 500 Bailey supporters. The Billboard spread misinformation showing a fake picture of Bailey standing with Obama & Biden. The Irvin team and their surrogates seem to be using old school chicago democrat campaign shenanigans to try to win the primary,
    I’m ashamed at the Irvin team and everybody involved including the 60 surrogates who endorsed. This is my opinion, not the opinion of anybody rise or illinois review,
    Here is another article with more details from another news group.

  2. I find it interesting that Steve Anderson is now defending what the Irvin campaign did. This is the same Steve Anderson, whom I got into heated arguments years ago about whether or not Bruce Rauner made Illinois into a sanctuary state. The Rauner team circled the wagons and screamed over and over that “The TRUST Act is not a sanctuary state bill”. They all stood behind Rauner until Rauner failed to put in the effort and money to defeat Pritzker. Rauner lost the election, and SB31 did stop federal ICE agents from communicating with local police. My point is not so much about SB31, but that the hard core Rauner supporters will believe anything that Mike “Z” tells them to believe.
    And here we go again. Mike “Z” got hold of Griffin’s millions and his minions are telling us that Irvin is the bomb. He can cheat, lie and steal all he wants. The Irvin supporters will tell us that none of it matters, so long as we can beat Pritzker.
    I’d like to ask Steve Anderson and all those who endorse Irvin. Is defeating Pritzker all that matters? Lie, cheat, steal, so long as we beat Pritzker.

  3. Irvin is a complete and total scum bag, from his sexual harassment of women (no means no Richard), his exchange of legal reorientation for sex, to his out and out lying about his voting record, his criminal ties, Irvin is truly a product of a corrupt state.

  4. A Republican campaign that concentrated on getting out the vote? Is that the complaint here? Nice to see a segment of our party actually concentrating on getting out the vote. Now if the party United and concentrated on acting like a political party and get out the vote we can end the Democratic dominance which steamrolled us with liberal nonsense and an average of $2,600 per person in higher taxes and fees in the past two years, and tried to amend the State Constitution to raise income taxes even higher.
    Just saying!

  5. Were the people “bussed in” to the Lake County straw poll residents of Lake County, or not?
    If NOT, is that, or is that NOT, “cheating?”
    Who is running Irvin’s campaign? As I understand it, Irvin has
    a Democrat voting record, so can I assume his campaign is being run “Democrat-style?”
    And perhaps, being run BY Democrats?
    And also, maybe it’s time for Steve Anderson to be GONE from true GOP ranks.

  6. The unwritten but well understood rules of a straw poll are that people vote for whom they think is the best candidate. It is expected that the voters make their own decision. Irvin did not bus in supporters, nor did he try to make an impression on these individuals. They were handed pre-filled out ballots for a candidate they did not know in a straw poll for which they knew not the process. If you choose not to see the cheating then how in the world do you expect the Democrats to play fair in November. If you don’t expect integrity in our own party then how can you expect it at all.

  7. Yawn. Leave it to Louis G Atsaves, a member of the failed old political class of the failed old IL GOP, to deliver another one of his dishonest, tedious lectures essentially saying that since he and his fellow failures have done such a horrible job against the Democrats, we all just need to shut up and unite around career Democrat Richard Irvin who is still acting like the career Democrat he truly is. No thanks.

  8. I have always taken a dim view of straw polls as many organizations use these events as opportunities to sell annual memberships with no questions being asked. You have to pay in order to vote, so Irvin won the old fashioned way by buying the straw poll victory.

  9. The woke cancel culture of the GOP is calling me a failure? The same group that pushed so many unelectable candidates and now are all cranky over their spectacular failures? Wonder why cancel Laura that the Democrats are spending money on ads pushing Bailey or pushing an anti-Irvin message?
    Do better. They want to win. You clearly don’t. I follow the Reagan 80% rule that won elections, caused Democrats to vote Republican and turned this country around. You prefer failure, not me.