By Illinois Review
On May 20th, Illinois Republican Party Chairman Don Tracy spoke to a group of Republicans in Lake County where he publicly slammed his favorite target: the grassroots.
As a caller pointed out during a segment on Black and Right Radio – and who was at the event with Tracy earlier in the day, they recalled Tracy’s speech, saying,
“..he [Tracy] brought up the fact that everybody’s pointing at him, but he goes, ‘Where are the grassroots? We don’t need people sitting in their chairs’…but it’s people [grassroots] that just bi**h and moan constantly about how bad things are and are not election judges, are not walking doors for candidates and not supporting people…”
In early May, Tracy caught some of his fellow state central committee (SSC) members off guard when several of them received an email naming them to the new Endorsement Policy Committee, which Tracy will chair – paving the way for the chairman and the state party to officially endorse their preferred candidates in primary elections, in an apparent dig at the grassroots-base of the party.
In January, Tracy floated this idea during an interview with Bishop on Air, and blamed the top of the ticket – a grassroots candidate, for the midterm election losses in November – saying that the IL GOP needs to re-evaluate their primary election neutrality policy moving forward.
During the school board elections in April, Tracy and the IL GOP abandoned the grassroots base of the party – choosing instead to sit on the sidelines while Gov. JB Pritzker and the Democratic Party of Illinois spent $800,000 to support their far-left candidates and to viciously attack the conservative ones.
And where was Tracy? He was silent.
Tracy and the IL GOP even secretly supported a slate of anti-grassroots candidates during the April elections – approving mailers and allowing the other candidates to use the IL GOP postage discount to level attacks against the conservative slate – a perk unavailable to the grassroots candidates.
And the advisor to the anti-grassroots slate of candidates? John Fogarty – Tracy’s chief legal advisor and the general counsel to the Illinois Republican Party.
But on late Wednesday evening, Tracy sent out a fundraising email, invoking the grassroots and using the conservative base of the party as bait – urging donors to “please consider sending a donation…before midnight tonight.”
“Ever since I became Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, I’ve seen the tremendous impact that grassroots leadership and activism can have on elections…2023 has been a testament to the power that ordinary people can have in shaping their government, and it makes me optimistic for the future of our party and our conservative vision for Illinois.”
A conservative vision?
In October, Don Tracy and IL GOP leaders endorsed pro-choice, pro-same sex marriage, pro-transgender rights candidates who voted for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
And during that same month, Tracy and the IL GOP paid for a pro-choice mailer in support of anti-Trump Republican Greg Hart, who was running for DuPage County Board Chair.
Just the other day, Hart – a close friend and ally of Tracy, sent out a tweet calling President Donald Trump – the national leader of the grassroots movement, “not fit to be President.”
In the email, Tracy continues,
“We put such a huge emphasis on Congress and the White House that we sometimes forget about our local offices. Our city councils, judicial seats, school boards…matter just as much, and we intend to make inroads there!”
But too little, too late – and Illinois Review has reviewed emails sent to Tracy asking for the IL GOP to help during the school board election this past April. And what was Tracy’s response?
Tracy ignored the pleas for help from the grassroots – and now he wants to use them as bait to raise money.
The Illinois Republican Party website even highlights the party’s “commitment to our core ideals” – and that includes “The Right to Life.”
But it’s difficult for donors to fund Tracy’s conservative vision, when Tracy and the IL GOP continue to support candidates whose pro-choice, pro-same sex marriage, pro-transgender rights policies violate the party platform.
But what do you expect from a chairman who once ran as a Democrat, donates to Democrats and continues to support Democratic candidates?