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GOP State Central Committee’s Donation Problem: Most Don’t Donate to the IL GOP, Despite Kolber Belittling Grassroots

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Peter Dazeley / The Image Bank via Getty Images

By Illinois Review

The IL GOP establishment has a message for the grassroots: if you don’t donate to the party, then your voice doesn’t matter.

And this obsession with money has played out over the last several weeks in public comments for all to see and hear.

Consider Leslie Munger, a two-time failed establishment candidate who’s never won an election, who said,

“I’m struck by the number of people who have never run for office, never run a campaign, never canvassed thousands of doors, never raised millions of dollars to support Republican political efforts, and/or never contributed substantial funds to the ILGOP or a specific candidate are now the loudest voices complaining about the results of this election.”

Munger then finished her sentence with,

“I have done all of the above.”

Or former state central committee member Lynn O’Brien, who endorsed the Richard Irvin for Governor campaign, publicly commenting on a recent Facebook post writing,

“We can’t or shouldn’t complain if we haven’t given money…”

But the most shocking comment goes to senior IL GOP official and chairman of the finance committee – who provided the financial update during Saturday’s state central committee meeting, Vince Kolber, a multi-millionaire businessman – who’s registered to vote in Illinois and Wisconsin, and asked a pompous question to a room full of hardworking grassroots conservatives,

“I assume all of you have donated to the IL GOP?”

And when the room yelled back,

“No!”

He replied,

“No? Then what are you doing here?”

The belittling, arrogant and out-of-touch comment drew an immediate reaction from the crowd, still stunned that a GOP leader would say something so offensive to a room full of hardworking, grassroots patriots – many of whom had driven hours, just for their voices to be heard.

And judging by the negative reaction from the crowd, state central committee member and ally of Kolber, Jeanne Ives, jumped up from her seat in defense of Kolber, screaming,

“Vince is not your problem! This man gave me $750,000 when I ran against Gov. Bruce Rauner!”

Again, reiterating the point that the establishment makes every time – that only money matters – and if you donate to the party, then you can say whatever you want.

But Illinois Review recently has learned that 8 of the 17, or 48% of the state central committee members have not made any donation to the IL GOP.

That’s worth repeating again.

48% of the state central committee members have not donated to the organization (IL GOP) for which they serve on the governing body.

Here are some of those members, but not all of them.

Judy Diekelman, District 2;
Jeanne Ives, District 3;
Jesus “Jay” Reyes, District 4;
Joan Lasonde, District 9, who served as the unofficial “timekeeper” at the SCC meeting last Saturday, yelling “Time!” at the 90-second mark, but only when grassroots conservatives spoke;
Laura Pollastrini, District 11, who recently took over as Treasurer from Vince Kolber;
Larry Smith, District 14;
Jan Weber, District 16; and
Chad Weaver, District 17.

An “Honorable Mention” goes out to Mark Hosty.

Mark gave $200 on March 12, 2022, but it was a transfer from “Committee to Elect Mark Hosty.” In other words, he donated other people’s money to the IL GOP – the money did not come directly from his personal bank account.

This discovery by Illinois Review makes state central committee member Jeanne Ives’ defense of Vince Kolber at last Saturday’s meeting, all the more shocking.

The words of Matthew 7:5, “First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye,” comes to mind.

And as for Mr. Kolber – instead of addressing his belittling comments to the more than 200 grassroots conservatives in the room at last Saturday’s meeting, perhaps he should have faced his fellow state central committee members (48% of them) instead, and asked,

“What are you doing here?”

2 COMMENTS

  1. “Vince Kolber, a multi-millionaire businessman – who’s registered to vote in Illinois and Wisconsin.” Does each of the states allow for multiple voter registrations? Illinois permits only single voter registration within the state. Perhaps entrenched politicians feel privileged. Lasonde’s predecessor as 9th State Central Committeeman, Charlene Foss-Eggermann, apparently moved out of Illinois while still maintaining her august state position, which included being State Vice Chairman. Shhhhhhsh. Everybody’s mum on her. Shhhhhhsh. Lasonde’s deputy state committeeman is James Stinson who replaced Foss-Fggermann as Maine Township Republican Committeeman. Small world. Shhhhhhsh.

    Leslie Munger canvassed THOUSANDS OF DOORS???? And “raised millions of dollars to support Republican political efforts.” Thousands of doors while an active executive at Helen Curtis cosmetics firm for Ron Gidwitz (married to the daughter of James Kemper, founder of Kemper Insurance). I’d like to know their operational definitions for their respective actions. Are they no different than braggadocious, pompous legislators who blatther “I helped pass this bill” and “I co-sponsored the legislation?” All they are doing is riding someone else’s coattails, and not very credibly, nor perhaps even honestly. For all such behavior, we grassrooters are expected to send our money, and campaign for them in cold weather.

    Ives and Lasonde wanted everyone in the Western Hemisphere to donate to THEIR campaigns.Then there is Richard Porter (apparently married into the family of accounting giant Arthur E. Anderson). Some years ago Lasonde and her handler Porter created some “Republican” group and asked for donations, but nothing seems to be ever again heard about the group. Nevertheless, Porter poses as a political philosopher, see his https://www.floridadaily.com/richard-porter-opinion-be-who-you-are-republicans/

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