By Illinois Review
Embattled IL GOP chair Don Tracy is using the few allies he has left to fight back against the tsunami wave of support from the grassroots, who are calling for his resignation following embarrassing losses during the midterm election and new revelations that his family-owned business, Dot Foods, where he is an owner, donated to Joe Biden in 2020 during the height of the pandemic and lockdowns.
As the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board pointed out in a Nov. 11 editorial,
“Republicans lost every state constitutional office – governor, attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller and treasurer – and 14 of 17 congressional seats. In the General Assembly, not only did the GOP fail to gain any ground on Democrats’ supermajority, Democrats notched a record number of seats in the Illinois House. And in the Illinois Supreme Court, where Republicans had an opportunity to gain two seats…they came up short. Democrats now have a comfortable 5-2 edge in the state’s high court.”
In a Facebook post on Tuesday evening, GOP national committeemen and co-chairman of the Richard Irvin for governor campaign, Richard Porter defended Tracy, writing, “Don Tracy in particular made strides in building our party since he took over in 2021.”
Porter also highlighted Tracy’s ability to fundraise – a point that the establishment loves making.
However, as reported in a previous article titled, “IL GOP Establishment to Grassroots: Only Rich, Donor Voices Matter, the GOP measures the quality of a Republican only by how much money they donate or raise. Leslie Munger, a GOP establishment and two-time failed candidate who’s never won an election makes this point clear in a comment on the Illinois Review website, writing:
“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.”
But Porter wasn’t finished praising Tracy, saying,
“No one wants to win more than me. And if I thought for a second that firing Don would open the door to victory, I would fire his a** in a NY minute. Instead, every time I speak to or see Don, I say “thanks for what you’re doing!”
But Porter saved his best for last, writing that “the biggest problem confronting our party now is divisiveness.”
Porter goes on to say, “We have all sorts of otherwise good people that spend more energy attacking other Republicans than they do trying to persuade Independents and Democrats to vote for us.”
But Porter forgets the divisiveness of the Richard Irvin for governor campaign, where he served as an advisor and co-chairman.
Not only was Irvin a Democrat running for governor as a Republican, but he also supported JB Pritzker, and spent years praising him.
Irvin also spent a great deal of time attacking fellow Republicans, including Republican grassroots candidate Darren Bailey.
“Darren Bailey’s candidacy is so weak, he needs JB Pritzker to do his dirty work,” said the Irvin campaign.
“A vote for Darren Bailey is a vote for JB Pritzker,” said Irvin in another interview.
Irvin even attacked GOP candidate for governor Jesse Sullivan’s civilian service in Afghanistan, leading veterans to respond by calling Irvin’s comments a “disgrace.”
In the end, Porter and his candidate Irvin would lose the primary badly — blowing $50 million and losing to Bailey by 42 points.
But the grassroots, conservative base of the Republican party shouldn’t be surprised with the establishment supporting the Irvin campaign, and why they’re fighting back so hard to protect Tracy. After all, consider the following:
Richard Irvin pulled Democratic ballots in 2014, 2016 and in 2020 — and spoke at a Black Lives Matter rally in 2020, yelling, “I can’t breathe!”
Don Tracy ran as a Democrat in 2002, and his family-owned business, where he is an owner, donated to Joe Biden in 2020 during the height of the pandemic.
And Richard Porter is a senior partner at Kirkland & Ellis, a large Chicago law firm that represents Pritzker family interests, including Pritzker Private Capital.
No wonder Republicans can’t win in Illinois – there are too many connections to Democrats.
The next State Central Committee meeting is December 10th at 10:00 am at the Bolingbrook Golf Club in Bolingbrook where grassroots activists are encouraged to attend and speak.
Can we all just pull our REPUBLICAN registration and more forward as Independents’?
Totally disagree with the article. In a state that Trump lost twice by 1 MILLION votes, Irvin had the only chance to win. He also would have got more votes in the suburbs and collar counties down ballot as well. Bailey was the worst candidate possible. A downstate farmer with a southern accent calling Chicago a Hellhole every chance he got and people are wondering why he lost? His campaign commercials were in front of his grain bins and we are surprised that no one from the city, suburbs, and collars didn’t relate to him? I had a pre-election bet that he would only get 39% of the vote. I lost, he got 42%. If we pick a similar type candidate I will win next time. I am super conservative but I believe that we need to run moderate candidates state wide to start swinging the pendulum our way first then we can get to more conservative candidates. Until we face reality that we are in the SUPER minority and if we keep putting up Bailey like candidates, we will continue to lose. And I want to win. The Illinois Review under its new owners is completely going in the wrong way.
As a point of information, while our Editorial Board has taken no position on Bailey’s candidacy, we have published several op-eds concerning the matter. See, i.e., https://www.illinoisreview.com/illinoisreview/2022/11/vargas-time-for-illinois-failed-political-consultants-to-close-up-shop.html
Who sits on the Illinois Review editorial board? Second request….
Second time, what makes you think you’re entitled to demand anything as a guest?
Da Mayor opines about the Bailey candidacy : “If we pick a similar type candidate I will win (a bet) next time.” Oh. The meaning of “Downstate” is a political term, not necessarily a geographic one, which means “outside Cook County.” What did Irvin have to promise to get the big time support he mustered? CUI BONO? With the political stench in the air created by Irvin and his Porter handlers, I can only affirm, I CAN’T BREATHE.
The Illinois Republican Party and Richard Porter chose Richard Irvin in direct and blatant opposition to the Illinois Republican Party Platform and betrayed all the Rank and File Republicans in Illinois. We voted in the Platform and THAT PLATFORM is what we signed up for and it is what Unites us all …..For that BETRAYAL, Richard Porter needs to resign.
Yes! Porter has to go. Nunca!
The GOP must learn from the DNC on what it takes to win in Illinois, and other states. I think, every common citizen in Illinois believes Illinois’ elections are rigged. I say, do whatever the DNC is doing, to “win” elections. If we don’t, the GOP may as well move to Florida.
The leaders of the Illinois GOP are treacherous traitors and barley disguised liberals and Democrats who have now been outed for who they truly are.
Darren Bailey was a great grassroots conservative candidate who actually campaigned across the entire state of Illinois and made himself easily accessible to every regular citizen in Illinois regardless of how wealthy or powerful they were or what demographic they belonged to.
Bailey had traditional conservative beliefs and policies, but both the RINOs and Democrats falsely portrayed him as some sort of radical, conservative zealot and constantly and falsely said that he was unelectable statewide because he wouldn’t appeal to moderate voters in the Chicago area.
The RINOs propped up Richard Irvin who was and still is a liberal Democrat of ill repute and claimed that Irvin would be more electable as the Republican gubernatorial candidate as he would somehow better appeal to moderate voters in the Chicago area.
Irvin was in reality completely unelectable. As a liberal, he wouldn’t appeal to conservative voters, and liberal voters would naturally prefer to vote for Pritzker.
Irvin would have only appealed to a small number of moderates who didn’t like Pritzker or conservative policies. He also would have garnered votes form the RINOs who feel compelled to always vote for the Republican candidate in the general election.
Grassroots conservatives would have been reluctant to vote for Irvin, but some may have reluctantly voted for him anyway as the lesser of two evils.
If Irvin had won the gubernatorial election, he would have suffered from a lack of political capital as a result of not truly having a base of voters to support him.
His support would have been nearly solely from the relatively small number of RINOs and GOP party insiders. Most grassroots conservatives would not truly support him.
Former Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner also suffered from a similar lack of political capital that hurt him tremendously when he tried to negotiate the state budget with former Illinois Speaker Mike Madigan.
If Rauner had had a large base of supporters, as Bailey does, he would have had more political clout in negotiating with Madigan.
Bailey got less votes than Rauner
Bailey also wasn’t a billionaire, or the sitting governor. You’re point?