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March GOP State Central Committee Meeting Now Virtual: Is Don Tracy Afraid of the Grassroots or the Spread of COVID-19?

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wears two masks on October 13, 2020. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

By Illinois Review

The Illinois Republican State Central Committee, the governing board of the Republican party, meets once a quarter at various locations across Illinois, and in August on Republican Day during the Illinois State Fair.

The last SSC meeting was in December in Bolingbrook where the IL GOP spent several hours disrespecting the grassroots – and at one point during the meeting, Vince Kolber, chairman of the finance committee, questioned why anyone from the conservative grassroots base of the party was there who hadn’t donated to the IL GOP.

In other words, if you don’t donate to the party, then your voice doesn’t matter.

But interestingly enough, Illinois Review discovered that a majority of Kolber’s colleagues on the SSC don’t donate to the IL GOP either.

And while serving as a senior leader of the IL GOP and not donating a penny to the organization is certainly a bad optic – it’s not nearly as bad as Don Tracy donating to a Democratic candidate endorsed by liberal US Sen. Dick Durbin and US Rep. Cherie Bustos, a friend and ally of former Democratic US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, just months before his election as chairman of the Republican Party of Illinois.

But this should come as no surprise because after all, Tracy did run in the 2002 Illinois Primary as a Democrat. And in 2020, during the height of the pandemic, Tracy’s family-owned business, Dot Foods, where he is an owner, donated to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

And just last week, Illinois Review has learned that at the same time Dot Foods owners were donating to Biden in 2020, they were simultaneously launching a #WhyIMask campaign, and encouraging employees to submit photos wearing a mask.

Dot Foods launches a #WhyIMask campaign during the pandemic. The family-owned business is owned by twelve siblings, including IL GOP chairman Don Tracy. (Facebook/Dot Foods Careers)

In one Facebook post, the official Dot Foods Careers page encourages employees to submit photos, asking,

“We’d love to know who you wear a mask for!”

The post also encourages employees to submit their photos to the email address “thankyou@dotfoods.com,” along with a “photo of you wearing your mask OR a photo of you with the people you wear a mask for.”

The post also encourages employees to write “a sentence or two about why you wear a mask.”

The next SSC meeting was scheduled for this month in Springfield, but Illinois Review has recently learned that the in-person February meeting has been rescheduled for March – and this next meeting is virtual.

Tracy, who serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the SSC and presides over SSC meetings, if asked, will tell you that there were “scheduling conflicts” – and that’s why the meeting was pushed back a month and is virtual instead of in-person.

But perhaps, Tracy is afraid of the conservative grassroots base of the party showing up at the next in-person meeting, and that’s why it’s virtual.

Or the most probable scenario – Tracy is afraid of the grassroots showing up in-person and spreading COVID-19 – and that’s why he prefers a virtual meeting instead.

It’s not accidental that Tracy’s decision to host a virtual meeting coincides with Gov. JB Pritzker’s latest COVID-19 emergency order.

On February 3rd, Gov. Pritzker extended his COVID-19 emergency powers and issued his 39th Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation, declaring that the State of Illinois is still a “disaster area” and that Illinois is still in the midst of a “public health emergency.”

Gov. JB Pritzker’s latest COVID-19 Emergency Order signed on Feb. 3, 2023.

The emergency order encourages Illinoisans to “socially distance” and to continue wearing “face coverings” to slow the spread of the virus.

“WHEREAS, social distancing, face coverings, and other public health precautions have proven to be critical in slowing and stopping the spread of COVID-19, especially when community spread of the disease is high…”

The proclamation also encourages minimizing physical contact with the unvaccinated – actions “critical” to slowing the spread of the virus.

“WHEREAS public health guidance advises that minimizing physical interactions between people who are not fully vaccinated and who do not reside in the same household is critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19…”

The proclamation is in effect until March 4, 2023.

In January, Illinois Review uncovered a Facebook thread from a year ago, where Chicago GOP chairman Stephen Boulton – a close friend and advisor to Tracy, offers some shocking admissions when it comes to the unvaccinated population, writing,

“I find it unfathomable that people are risking their lives to dodge two little shots….Now a lot of people are going to die for nothing but ‘principle’ grounded in ignorance – or, even worse, politics.”

Boulton also borrowed a line from Joe Biden and the Democrats by blaming the unvaccinated, saying,

“We have people who won’t get the vaccine, creating the problem now.”

Boulton also believes that if an unvaccinated person gets sick – you pay for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential hospital costs out of your own pocket – don’t make the insurers or the vaccinated pay for your bill.

Boulton also strongly believes and complained “that fortunes in avoidable hospital medical expenses are being wasted on saving people who shouldn’t be in those ICUs..”

In other words, saving the life of an unvaccinated human being is “wasteful spending.”

Chicago GOP chairman Stephen Boulton, a close friend and advisor to IL GOP chairman Don Tracy, commenting on Facebook about hospitals wasting money saving the life of an unvaccinated person.

If Boulton is advising Tracy, then it’s no surprise that Tracy prefers a virtual meeting next month. It’s also consistent with Tracy’s actions over the last few years – including the actions of his company where he is an owner.

And Tracy has yet to condemn Boulton for his comments attacking the unvaccinated. He remains silent on the issue when asked for a comment.

But perhaps at the virtual meeting next month, Tracy can recommend a #WhyIMask campaign funded by the IL GOP. And perhaps his best friend Boulton can serve as the chair of that campaign.

With so much at stake, and school board races just around the corner – the responsibilities demand an in-person meeting. But it appears that Tracy is more concerned with stopping the spread of COVID than he is stopping the spread of socialist, Democratic policies.


  1. An official DISASTER NOTICE should be issued about the Republican Party state leadership. What a disgrace with this group of bunglers. From experience, I know all the “problems” which can arise in videoconferencing andwith the newest gadget, the “Owl.”

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