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HomeIllinois NewsIL GOP Weaponized Postage Discount to Attack Conservative Candidates During Primary

IL GOP Weaponized Postage Discount to Attack Conservative Candidates During Primary



By Illinois Review

Last February, IL GOP chairman Don Tracy was under pressure to respond to rumors swirling around conservative political circles about the Richard Irvin for governor campaign taking over the IL GOP.

“The Illinois Republican Party has been neutral and will always be neutral in the GOP primary for governor. Any accusation that we are coordinating with a particular campaign is absolutely false and I find it personally offensive to suggest otherwise.”

But Illinois Review would prove eight months later that Tracy’s statement denying that the IL GOP was colluding with the Irvin campaign, was a total lie.

In exclusive audio recently obtained by Illinois Review, Tracy admitted during a July meeting with conservative leaders that the Irvin campaign for governor was allowed to use the IL GOP postage discount for mailers – a perk not afforded to other candidates for governor during the primary.

Tracy acknowledges use of the postage discount in the recording, but says the IL GOP was taking its “direction from the House Caucus and the Senate Caucus.”

In other words, House GOP Minority Leader Jim Durkin and Senate GOP Minority Leader Dan McConchie controlled who could use the party’s non-profit postage discount for mailers, and Tracy simply followed their lead.

Illinois Review doesn’t accept that assertion, given that, while Durkin and McConchie were leaders of their caucuses, Tracy was the leader of the party – and therefore, the one ultimately in charge of the postage discount.

After all, the “non-profit” postage discount is a perk afforded to the IL GOP for official business – and no one else.

And while senior IL GOP leaders deny usage of the postage discount in support of Irvin, no one is willing to provide evidence to prove otherwise.

And that is why Illinois Review has publicly called for the US Postal Service to audit the IL GOP, again – a suggestion that has senior IL GOP officials irate and in panic mode, according to several sources over the weekend.

But in addition to undeniable evidence of the IL GOP colluding with the Irvin campaign during the primary, Illinois Review has learned some other disturbing information: the IL GOP was weaponizing their postage discount to attack conservative candidates during the primary.

And in some cases, the IL GOP was taking sides in open primaries and mailing vicious mailers attacking conservative Republican grassroots opponents on behalf of their preferred establishment-backed candidates.

Last week, Illinois Review reported that the IL GOP’s postage discount was applied to a mailer sent out on behalf of IL Republican State Rep. Tim Butler’s campaign, attacking his fellow Republican grassroots primary opponent Kent Gray – who was challenging Butler in the IL House Dist. 95 Republican primary race.

Butler was a close ally of Durkin, and in 2019, Durkin appointed Butler Assistant House Minority Leader. He was reappointed in 2021.

Kent Gray, an attorney, was Multi-State Director in Illinois and Missouri for Donald J. Trump for President in 2015, and in 2020, he was co-chairman of the Illinois Trump Finance Committee. Gray had the support of conservative grassroots leaders, including State Sen. Darren Bailey – an opponent of Irvin in the IL primary for governor.

But since the publication of that article, many more candidates have come forward with similar stories of the IL GOP abusing the postage discount in favor of their preferred candidates in the primary.

Illinois Review also has reason to believe that Bailey’s endorsement list became a “hit list” for the IL GOP, where they targeted 7 of the 10 candidates that he endorsed during the primary with negative mailers “Paid for by the Illinois Republican Party” on behalf of their preferred, GOP establishment-backed candidates.

Illinois Review has learned that the IL GOP establishment went after all but three on Bailey’s endorsement list: Scott Greene (86th House Dist.), Kevin Schmidt (114th House Dist.) and US Rep. Mary Miller, during the 2022 Illinois Primary.

Don Debolt, a Republican conservative grassroots candidate backed by Bailey, was running for State Senate in the 54th District primary against incumbent Republican Sen. Steve McClure, who in 2021 was appointed Assistant Republican Leader for the Senate Republican Caucus and Assistant Floor Leader by then Senate GOP Minority Leader Dan McConchie.

The mailer, sent out in support of McClure, and “Paid for by the Illinois Republican Party,” called Debolt a “liar,” for challenging McClure’s record as an Illinois Senate GOP leader.

A copy of a mailer “Paid for by the Illinois Republican Party” attacking Republican conservative grassroots candidate Don Debolt during the 2022 Illinois Primary.

So much for Tracy reminding Republicans about obeying Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican,” when his own organization is viciously attacking conservative Republicans during the primary.

In the 93rd House District primary race, Travis Weaver – a conservative, grassroots Republican candidate backed by Bailey was running against incumbent Republican State Rep. Mark Luft, who was backed by Durkin.

The mailer, “Paid for by the Illinois Republican Party” attacked Weaver, calling him a “Chicago liberal” and accusing him, saying that “he is not a Republican..he’s not one of us.” The attack mailer also photoshopped a photo of Weaver with disgraced former Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan.

A copy of a mailer “Paid for by the Illinois Republican Party” attacking Republican conservative grassroots candidate Travis Weaver and linking him to disgraced Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan during the 2022 Illinois Primary.

Another mailer deliberately deceived voters by photoshopping a picture of Weaver and Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker, saying he “shares the same insider circles as JB Pritzker and Mike Madigan.” The same mailer also proclaimed that Weaver is “not a real Republican…he’s not one of us.”

A copy of a mailer attacking Republican conservative grassroots candidate Travis Weaver during the 2022 Illinois Primary, using a fake photo with Democrat Gov. JB Pritzker during the 2022 Illinois Primary.

Weaver followed up proving that the photo with Pritzker was photoshopped, and a total lie to trick Republican voters.

Republican conservative grassroots candidate Travis Weaver proves that the photo used in an attack mailer is fake, during the 2022 Illinois Primary.

So much for Tracy reminding Republicans about obeying Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican,” when his own organization is viciously attacking conservative Republicans during the primary.

In the 87h House District primary race – a brand new district this past cycle, Illinois Review has learned that senior IL GOP leaders got involved in an open primary, backing former Tazwell County Treasurer Mary Burress over conservative grassroots candidate Dr. Bill Hauter.

Both Durkin and a PAC run by GOP State Rep. Avery Bourne, who was Irvin’s statewide running mate, donated to Burress.

And during the primary, Burress pledged to publicly support Durkin as House GOP leader. Hauter did not.

It’s problematic for IL GOP leaders to get involved in Republican primary races – essentially putting their thumb on the scale to tip the balance in favor of their preferred candidate. The preferential treatment angered many Republicans, including Jeanne Ives, who in June posted on her Facebook page,

“Why are a bunch of DuPage Republicans and the Chicagoland Unions getting involved in an Open Primary race a hundred miles away in Central Illinois?

This is a safe Republican district, so the winner in the Primary will more than likely win the General. Note to Republicans in HD 87 – Select a representative that will represent you and not just establishment party “leaders.” In this safe Republican seat, you deserve someone who will speak up for your district and not fall in line behind tax increases and bad budgets like Durkin and Avery both did.”

In addition to Weaver, Gray, Debolt, and Hauter, Illinois Review is aware of the IL GOP going after three more conservative candidates during the primary – all backed by Bailey: Jed Davis (75th House Dist.), Jennifer Korte (112th House Dist.) and Win Stoller (37th Senate Dist.).

If there was ever a case for the removal of Don Tracy as chairman of the Republican Party of Illinois – this is it. Under his watch, the IL GOP not only offered postage discounts to their preferred primary candidates, but they put their name on mailers viciously attacking conservative Republican candidates.

This is unacceptable and Illinois Review is calling on the Republican State Central Committee to remove Tracy as chairman. What other evidence do you need? And any Republican SSC member that does not call for Tracy’s removal – then they are proving that they are part of the problem.

What say you,

Tim Ozinga, 1st. Dist.
Judy Diekelman, 2nd Dist.
Jeanne Ives, 3rd Dist.
Jay Reyes, 4th Dist.
Aaron Del Mar, 5th Dist.
Sean Morrison, 6th Dist.
Mark Hosty, 7th Dist.
Dean White, 8th Dist.
Joan Lasonde, 9th Dist.
Mark Shaw, 10th Dist.
Laura Pollastrini, 11th Dist.
Rhonda Belford, 12th Dist.
Tim Butler, 13th Dist.
Larry Smith, 14th Dist.
Jason Plummer, 15th Dist.
Jan Weber, 16th Dist.
Chad Weaver, 17th Dist.

It’s no wonder Republicans can’t win in Illinois – the IL GOP is too busy attacking fellow Republicans instead of the Democrats. Now it’s up to the State Central Committee to decide.

The choice is yours – who’s side are you on?


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  1. Absolutely Astounding! Tim Butler who is IN-LIKE-FLINT with the Sangamon County GOP , Uses the mailer benefit of the Illinois GOP, is also a State Rep who voted for the GAS TAX HIKE. State Rep TIM BUTLER is also THE FACE of the ILLINOIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY ETHICS COMMITTEE! Ethics for THEE, but not for ME! How Ethical is that TIMMY?
    State Rep Tim Butler points the finger at People he does not like in the REPUBLICAN PARTY, but IGNORES BIG HUGE CRIMES of REPUBLICANS HE LIKES! Example? State Senator BILL BRADY his buddy ..
    State senator helped set up bad loan
    “The truth was not told”
    By Bruce Rushton

    State Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, helped talk a physician into making a $1 million loan in 2010 while he was running for governor, according to a court ruling entered Tuesday in Springfield by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Mary Gorman.
    The money loaned to Robert Brady, one of the senator’s brothers, was never repaid. Gorman ruled that the loan made to bail out a construction company owned by the senator and two brothers was made under false pretenses and so the obligation cannot be discharged via bankruptcy.

    Here is Tim Butler’s interview on Springfield, Illinois Radio. His EXIT INTERVIEW. He pretty much BLAMES TRUMP and DARREN BAILEY for all the REPUBLICAN losses