Illinois Republican War Of The Roses. More Illinois GOP infighting!
Attacks on Grassroots by Grassroots when will this end?
May 19, 2023
Val Ojeda, Writer
The Illinois Republican Party has become the modern-day War of the Roses. This has become a fight for the keys to the kingdom. In this case, it's for who will lead the Conservatives of this state. The grassroots or the moderates, aka RINOs.
As many of you know by now where my loyalties are. I'm 100% grassroots. I'm as far right as you can get, being a Trump supporter from the very beginning. Furthermore, I chose not to associate with any “Republican” that is a moderate that is beginning to adopt liberal ideologies, including becoming pro-choice to “win” races. Likewise, I would rather continue to lose races and support life than to ever support abortion. Yet, there are some in the party that feel this is the direction that we are heading in.To become "unified" adopting liberal policies.
The Illinois Republican Party already set this stage in adopting this modernism philosophy going back to Governor Jim Edgar. For 26 years, beginning in 1997 to 2003, Illinois enjoyed conservative leadership with a Republican Governor, but soon that was to change after Jim Thompson left office and Edgar was elected.
It was Edgar that first adopted the moderate liberal ideology, working with Democrats in raising taxes and pushing union rights. He forever damaged Illinois even worse than than Governor we have now. After leaving office, he collected three public pensions with no shame, over $300,000 worth of your tax money while already a millionaire.
Then we elected George Ryan, maybe the worst Governor we ever had that contributed to the crime problem we have now by abolishing the death penalty. Just to save his ass from investigation he decided to heal to the Democrats by getting rid of the very tool the Police needed to deter crime and close cases. He, too, worked with Democrats to salvage his power and was later indicted and sentenced to federal prison. How nice!
Next, to another pride and joy is Bruce Rauner. He ran as a Republican to defeat Democrat Governor Quinn, only to leave office as a Democrat. Being married to his wife, Dianna, a Democrat Liberal activist, this alone could have told you the character of the man.
Yet, this is another “Republican” Governor that, instead of sticking to his guns by promoting our conservative beliefs, decided to work with Democrats. Rauner gave illegal aliens amnesty and even offered them driver's licenses. Of course, who cannot forget him protecting abortion rights?
As he signed these bills into law, Evelyn Sanguinetti, his Lt. Governor, stood right behind him supporting his actions. Disgraceful. Later, Rauner also refused to support the Republican nominee for President in 2016, Donald Trump, not even speaking his name in public. Later, it was discovered he chose not to support Trump because he supported Hillary Clinton instead. He figured she would be more beneficial to Illinois with her leadership. How pathetic.
After Rauner left office, this brand of moderate liberal conservatism continued with the Illinois Republican Party. First with Tim Schneider, the Illinois GOP Chairman from 2014 to 2021. Schneider resigned after failing to produce, turning the keys over to Don Tracy, a businessman/lawyer who ran as a Democrat and has donated to Democrats. The Illinois GOP appointed Tracy for his fundraising abilities but offered no plan to win back our state with the Governorship up for grabs including the GA in 2022.
With Tracy as “leader” he was advised by the minority leaders in the Illinois House and Senate. Sen. Dan McConchie was the leader of the GOP Senate Caucus, while Rep. Jim Durkin was the leader of the House GOP Caucus. Because both were "cemented" in the GA overseeing the super minority they felt they were the real shot callers in the party.
Both minority leaders worked actively against Trump in his 2020 re-election, as they were on the payroll of the Joe Biden campaign for President. Later it was discovered by this writer that in the midterm elections it the official policy of the House Republican Majority and the Senate Republican Organization was to lock out any grassroots candidate from financial help if these candidates were Trump supporters or were pro-life. Later if they were discovered to have supported Bailey for Governor they were excommunicated from their organizations.
The rest is history as these two individuals promoted not only Biden for President but also supported and endorsed Richard Irvin for Illinois Governor, a Democrat in Republican clothing. Tracy, as of recently stated he received guidance from these two because he had no choice, both who are no longer minority leaders in either House. Gone.
Durkin resigned his position as leader after devastating losses under his watch, and later he resigned his seat in disgrace. McConchie resigned his position as minority leader after his devastating losses on the Senate side but decided to hold onto power by not resigning his seat.
The GA actually gained five more seats to their already super majority in Springfield. So embarrassing was this takeover that these 5 Democrats had to be seated in the Republican side in the chamber because the Democrats ran out of desk seating. Wow!
As a matter of fact deputy minority leaders lost their races to Democrats as well. I guess they didn't take their jobs seriously.
As these events transpired in November and December, the candidates that suffered campaign losses and the grassroots Republicans who supported them found out they were abandoned because they were identified as “extremists” for supporting President Trump, Darren Bailey and Devore. Both Bailey and Devore were running for statewide offices, winning their primaries against candidates supported by the Illinois GOP leadership.
In December, the Illinois Republican State Central Committee assembled in Bolingbrook to discuss party business. Several hundred grassroots conservatives assembled to express their displeasure with the party decisions, demanding Chairman Tracy's dismissal. After hours of testimony from Republicans that traveled hours just to attend, no action was taken. The committee chose to stand with its Chairman Tracy.
The Republican Party on that Day was broken in two. The infighting has expanded. I've seen it first hand. Beginning in Chicago, Cook County, Lake County, then in DuPage County. These GOP organizations became front organizations for the Democratic Party. Not only with devastating losses in elections but with GOP leadership going Blue as well.
On social media I was beginning to see “Republicans” that are supporting Democrat Robert Kennedy Jr. just because he is anti-vax...... really? Yet, he is the most pro-abortion liberal candidate out there.
During the midterm campaigns, we had Republicans ENDORSING Democrat candidates over Republicans. No wonder GOP voter turnout during the midterms general election was only 20% because Republicans were disgusted with Republicans. They would rather sit on their hands than ever vote again.
During the School board race elections on April 4th, we saw that same effect. Only 21% voter turnout. In Will County, it was only 15%. Where did everyone go? Why isn't anyone voting? What happened to last year's “Redwave"? It was a Red ripple instead.
Prior to the April 4th Consolidated elections, this publication was the only resource Republicans had in Illinois to find out who were the Republicans running in these "non-partisan" races. After Governor Pritzker dumped 1 million to expose Extremist Republican candidates using a website that they created, the gloves came off.
I published GOP candidates information with the help of many others and published a hotline phone number which we were taking over 300 calls a day at one point from GOP voters asking for voting information. Many of these conservatives expressed their displeasure with the party and stated if it was worth it to even vote anymore. We encouraged them to vote, by gathering emails and phone numbers along with GOP organizations that wanted to “fight back”
The rank and file in the Illinois GOP are desperate for leadership, but only from ones that support our conservative beliefs. We shall not conform to these modern ideologies that are being sold to the leadership we have now from a bunch of political science major college students that want to sell to us a bill of goods that this should be the direction of the "New" Republican Party that "Adopts" Democrat methods to cater to the woke crowd and LGBTQ to fit in with the New World Order. We will not do it. Never!
The Illinois Republican Party base is looking for leadership that will carry the banner of freedom. To fight for the Constitution. To protect our 2nd Amendment rights. To be the voice of true conservatism and to protect life. Does that sound familiar? President Trump is doing just that. Like it or not, he is the face of the Republican Party. Polls have him at 65% to be our next President, many love him and Will support him. Yet, the Illinois GOP moderates who are but 5% of our base hate him. However this 5% are the ones in power.
But who will be the Donald Trump of the Illinois Republicans brushing aside this 5%? It doesn't necessarily mean an individual has to become the Illinois GOP Chairman. It doesn't mean you have to be the minority leader in the Illinois House and Senate. You don't even need to be a precinct committeeman.
It starts with the individual who has become fed up with the system who wants to create true change. I myself have become fed up with the Country Club elites. The so-called “Republicans” that gather at events to take pictures of themselves for “look at me, I'm important” photos to post on Facebook but would never support a GOP candidate knocking on doors or donate even $5.00 to buy a freaking campaign sign to help the cause.
Instead, we have a generation of keyboard warriors that, instead of developing Facebook pages or groups to build the party or individual candidates or organizations, they have become gossip groups. How pathetic it is when I get messages or calls from individuals that get attacked for expressing a mere opinion. Then I have to come to their defense. At times, it is not nice for what I have to do.
In one case it was because a senior citizen stated she was supporting Trump for President. This hateful individual called her out as "uneducated and informed" as Ron Desantis is going to be the choice for Illinois Republicans. Then this detached from society unhinged person attacks this senior attacking the appearance of her grand-child…..really. Is this who we are?
I may not be perfect, but at least I can tell you I'm a defender of the weak and those who cannot defend themselves. As a former member of the military and law enforcement, I've been trained to do just that. So, when I hear stories like this that are not coming from Democrats but REPUBLICANS it really makes my blood boil.
For those that have known people who attacked me before, it never came out well for them. Not only do I come after them, I come after their families, friends, and pets. Their jobs or how they make money are not safe, either. Facebook pages and websites popping up on the World Wide Web exposing them for life. I'm a believer in Christ and the bible. Always remember the parable " He that is without sin, then you then cast the first stone"
In other words, if you are going to come after me, you better perfect your damn self because hell is coming your way tenfold. You will never sleep in comfort again.
But yet, this has become of the Illinois GOP. Infighting. And the Democrats are laughing at us. I know after they won 74% of the School board races that they are really laughing at the fact that we are too busy fighting among ourselves than planning a way to defeat them in 2024.
But now I question why we cannot deliver that fighting to the Democratic agenda. Nope because the Illinois Republicans refuse to play offensively instead we are constantly playing defense. Like a gazelle laying out in the open waiting to be eaten by the Democratic tiger. No fight unless you're another Republican.
We are just 18 months away from the Presidential election and Illinois House and Senate races and have the ability to make a difference, but no, we are playing "Johnny Two Dicks"...... if you have one dick I have to have two. Always trying to up somebody! Republicans are always famous for trying to out do each other out of jealousy.
So, Saturday the Illinois GOP, at no surprise, had their meeting in Edwardsville, just south of Springfield and north of East St. Louis. But why? Is it because they wanted no repeat of December's meeting in Bolingbrook? No audience then no complaints of course.
The rules set out with only one question allowed from each Congressional district from an individual that pre-registered with the committee. Not fair!
The meeting had absolutely no grassroots in attendance, by no surprise. The surprise was the vote of no confidence for Chairman Tracy's continued leadership. As you know, I have demanded his resignation for over two years and now this is finally coming true.
The vote was for 17 of the State Central Committee members to be unanimous in the vote to push forward this vote of no confidence to pressure a resignation or possible removal.
However, it never came fourth. As it was reported later that the vote of no confidence never came true, instead it was a continuance of the Chairmanship of Don Tracy. There were a few members who voted to keep Tracy in his post, but the question is why?
Like you, I was upset because, like a sports team, if a football coach does not make plays to win games or deliver championships, you replace the coach. But what was the case in this vote of no confidence and its results?
So, I began my investigation. Like many of you, I read the article in the Illinois Review. To my surprise, Larry Smith, the State Central Committeeman in the 14th District, was one of those that voted to have confidence in Chairman Tracy. But why did he vote the way he did.
Let's examine who Larry Smith is. I reached out to Larry by calling for an explanation of these events on Saturday. Because just like you, I wanted answers. I was upset.
I asked Larry Smith Sunday night as he took my call and interviewed him about what transpired on Saturday up to the vote of no confidence.
He explained the creation of the Grassroots Task Force established by the Illinois GOP but at his behest. He was the one that came up with the idea to develop this coalition to join forces with the grassroots so they can have a voice in the committee. Tracy Green lit the idea with 100% support to offer a different strategy from the failed one they had before.
He began to tell me after I asked him why he voted to keep Tracy. "Val, I supported Don Tracy because his heart is in the right place. Don Tracy has listened, considered and almost always acted on everything I brought to him. He's the first guy I've seen to actually respect the need to embrace the grassroots, engage them, listen to them and find ways to work with them." "What Chairman have you ever heard say something like that?"
He E-mailed me this statement:
Smith continued to say "He explained to me he himself understood the faults that were instituted last year by mistakes that were made by bad advice and consultations."
He further stated: "Tracy admitted he was no political strategist but was seeking consultation to win back Illinois but later found out that this advisement was ineffective, leading to losses in the 2022 midterm elections"
Ending with "However, it was determined that it was time to identify what was the reason that we lost those races and to gain input from the Grassroots Republicans that appeared at the Illinois GOP meeting to make a difference in future races"
I can tell you right now that the grassroots have a plan to promote the right candidates for 2024, but it begins with people. As a political consultant, I have felt the pain of losses in 2022 and 2024 because of ineffective support. The "leaders" that be left my candidates to hang without funds or support.
So, of course I want action, but are we going to attack this individual Larry Smith after I found out through him and others what he's been doing to promote grassroots Conservatism in Illinois along with his wife Beth? His wife Beth is a great Patriot and elected official that Is admired throughout the state, now she is suffering from vicious attacks on social media through the gossip pipeline. All because not once did anyone pick up the phone like I did to verify.
I can tell you that Larry Smith is no sell out or RINO. He's always been a great Republican. I'm not talking about not just recently but for years! I not only interviewed him but many others that support him trying to find out his character. After decades of his support of the Republican Party, including President Trump at his age he keeps fighting.
Everyone has an opinion or a basis to support a cause for whatever, maybe. But after speaking to Larry Smith's supporters that locked in that he is beyond a sellout or RINO, maybe we should evaluate what they have been doing.
Smith is the Chairman of the LaSalle County State Central committee. They have a record of gathering hundreds for their meetings in support of candidates, raising money and conducting walking support of neighborhoods to promote Grassroots candidates that supported Bailey and Devore. Not once did they ever support Richard Irvin?
Larry and his wife Beth are a part of YANA that Tom Devore as of recently spoke at. Just this week, Jeanne Ives was a guest speaker at. If you look at pictures posted on social media, they are supporters of President Trump for his run for 2024. They are 100% 2A.
Larry had to explain to me that he received many calls from Republicans demanding an explanation for his vote, but I have to ask you why many haven't called him to thank him for his work to support the grassroots in Illinois beyond what the Illinois GOP authorized for a Grassroots Task Force?
So should Illinois Republicans continue to damn him for his opinion beyond what he has been doing to promote the conservative Republican beliefs that we hold so dear to us? Should we rid him of our party because of gossip that is floating around social media from those that want to break down instead of building?
I'm the first one in this party to end anyone and their reputation if they go against the very principles of the grassroots ideals that we hold that are important to us. But I cannot allow anyone to attack a great Republican such as Larry Smith or his wife Beth because he voiced an opinion or cast a vote for what I may not agree with either. But he is still one of us.
This man and his wife, Beth, not once supported abortion. As a matter of fact, they raised through YANA funds to support a pro-life movement effort to save the babies. They both support Donald Trump. They both support the Constitution and our conservative beliefs. Furthermore, they are not RINOs or Democrats. Likewise, they are 100% Republican Grassroots Republicans. I stand with them.
So, who are we to say otherwise? Are we Gods? Are we perfect? After interviewing 11 people that can testify to Larry's character, who can bring evidence to state that he is what is being slandered upon on social media. It's better to know the facts than the details before offering opinions about these great American Patriots such Larry and his wife.
Right now as I write this I'm defending close friends and Patriots such as Jeff Regnier and other patriots that are being attacked by Joe Biden and the Democrats and I have been attacked by this government for defending them just to discover great Republicans are being attacked from within this party over gossip and other lies. This is bullshit romper room games. We are better than this.
I get it. People are upset about the results of the meeting on Saturday, but I'll be damned if a good man's character and his life's work is to be attacked over an opinion. I don't support Tracy in any way, but in no way should we shut out two great Patriots like Larry and his wife over what is said to be "popular" on social media. These are things that the elites want us to do to break down what we have, and become nothing, to continue the infighting so we cannot defeat the Democrats.
Now I ask you who will be next? The next grassroots candidate or organization. Because I can tell you this, if it's me I'll be ready to hit back with everything I have. I'm not the other guy. But why should we be playing defense instead of offense?
We should be playing offense against the real enemy, the Democrats, who are making fools of us!
I stand with the grassroots. The real conservatives. The Trump supporters. I also stand with any conservative that supports the same causes we believe in.
Larry Smith made his statement. Larry is ready to go even beyond to explain his plan to promote a Republican Party that supports the grassroots movement to go beyond whatever mistakes the Illinois GOP has made these past elections including the moderate movement created under Jim Edgar and beyond.
Illinois has such potential. It's the conservatives that built Illinois. The land of Lincoln. As Republicans, we have the ability in these trying times that the Biden Administration brought to us, in the form of failure, to produce change for this great nation and amongst ourselves.
To contribute to this change to deliver after all, our state's 17 electoral votes to President Trump in 2024, only if we come together to make this happen.
We also need to begin to recruit candidates for the Illinois House and Senate for 2024. Let me ask you this. What Conservative in their right mind would want to run after seeing all this infighting in our party? The hate and disorganization. Well we better correct this situation now before it's too late.
We have 18 months to deliver wins for this Republican Party for the sake of the future of this state and country. So shall we continue this War of the Roses or assemble together to defeat the Democratic party instead of each other?
We do this for our future generations, not us.
*Larry Smith will be a guest on the “Black and Right” show with host John Anthony tomorrow. Tune in to listen.