CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Rahm Backers Buying Influence in Illinois GOP

Chicago, Illinois, October 2, 2012An  article in Monday’s Chicago Tribune  reaffirmed a well-known political reality:  the Illinois Republican Party is for sale. The new buyers? Top contributors and advisers to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. In fact, Rahm’s donors have paid the down payment and the mortgage has already been drawn up.

But this is no ordinary mortgage: this is a political mortgage for the soul of a party and a movement.  

Isn’t that just what the doctor ordered in Illinois – a state party controlled by President Obama’s former White House Chief of Staff and his wealthy donors? Illinois conservative and tea party leaders must be thrilled.

This summer, Emanuel earned a not-so-special place in the hearts of pro-family voters after he tried to block the Chick-Fil-A restaurant chain’s city expansion after CEO Dan Cathy made statements in support of traditional marriage.

So what is behind this latest move to control the Illinois Republican Party and so-called conservative organizations?

In his report, Tribune reporter Rick Pearson describes how cheap Illinois Republican Party assets are being snapped up by “Republican” hedge fund managers.

But who are these “Republican” hedge fund managers really?

One of them is Anne Dias-Griffin, a former executive with George Soros Fund Management. The socialist billionaire Soros isn’t exactly known for his conservative philanthropy.

Her husband, Ken Griffin bundled more than $221,000 for Barack Obama after a visit to Griffin’s Chicago-based headquarters. Both contributed $200,000 to Rahm Emanuel’s mayoral campaign in 2010.

In early 2011, the Griffins began funneling tens of thousands of dollars to downstate organizations in Illinois, which then, in turn, gave the money to the Illinois Republican Party. The funds were unreported until conservative bloggers and members of the Illinois media began asking questions.

Chump change for wielding influence and power.

A search of the Illinois State Board of Election website reveals the Soros-linked Griffins also have been seeding political groups linked to the “right-leaning” Illinois Policy Institute, including the Illinois Opportunity Project and Liberty PAC, controlled by Dan Proft. Proft has deeply troubling money ties to Cicero’s Larry Dominick and Craig and Jeff Pesek, who control the Morton Grove school district.

The Peseks were caught on FBI surveillance tape in 2007 discussing a mob-ordered bombing of a Cicero business with their drug-dealer business partner.

Liberty PAC  supported Democrat or unknown candidates over conservative choices in the recent March primary.

The Illinois Policy Institute has had troubles of its own.

Conservative values much?

Another Republican money manager who is suddenly snapping up Illinois conservative assets is hedge fund manager Bruce Rauner, who is considering a GOP run for Illinois governor. Rauner’s firm’s purchase of SecurityLink from SBC Ameritech was one of the first big deals Rahm Emanuel put together after his sudden conversion to investment banker in the 1990s.  Emanuel had no previous investment experience. Rauner was placed by Emanuel on the board of World Business Chicago and currently serves as his advisor.

So what explains this flow of Democrat-linked money managers dabbling in Republican politics?

The answer is one that has plagued Illinois politics for decades: The Combine.

Former U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald coined the term more than a decade ago to describe that “Illinois political class that’s not committed to any party, that simply want to make money off the taxpayers.” In the 1990s, Fitzgerald fought the Combine and the Combine drove him out of Illinois. (Fitzgerald had his revenge: He was successful in getting Patrick Fitzgerald (no relation) appointed U.S. Attorney).

But now this next generation of “Combine” leaders is a bigger threat than ever before.

Will Illinois Republican and conservative leaders stand-up and cry foul? Will contributors finally be held to account for attempted influence-peddling in both political parties?

In other words, do values and principles still matter?

Illinois Republican and conservative voters will have a choice in November and beyond: What kind of Republican Party do you want?

The future of the Republican Party in Illinois just might depend on the answer.

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READ ABOUT SEN. PETER FITZGERALD AND THE COMBINE

TRIBUNE COLUMNIST JOHN KASS TALKS ABOUT THE COMBINE

READ MORE ABOUT CORRUPT CICERO

CICERO’S DOMINICK HIRES MORE THAN TWO DOZEN FAMILY MEMBERS

PROFT PALS CONNECTED TO CRIMINALS

SPEECH: PROFT ‘EVASIVE’ ON HIS OBAMA BUNDLERS, CICERO CROOKS

SEE THE NEW TV AD SPOT PREVIEW: “THE ILLINOIS GOP ISN’T BROKEN, IT’S FIXED”

KELLY: Conservatives finally waking up to Proft

CHICAGO, IL – Once again the ethically and morally-challenged Dan Proft was evasive when questioned publicly about his deep connections to crime-connected Cicero officials and top campaign bundlers to Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel.

Proft spoke before TAPROOT organization at the Naperville/Lisle Hilton Saturday. It was the same exact David Mamet speech he has given for the past 9 months; I’ve heard it at least three times. The same combination of questions and answers. The same boring platitudes. Nothing new.

Since I made it clear I would be attending the meeting to ask Proft questions, he came prepare to evade them:

1. Dan, why are all the things you say so different than what you actually do?

2. Why would anyone who calls themselves a reformer – especially a so-called conservative one – be in bed with crooked Cicero Larry Dominick and the mob-connected Pesek brothers?

3. Why would a so-called conservative reformer be in bed with top bundlers to Barack Obama (more than $238,000) and top donors to Rahm Emanuel ($200,000 in 2011)? Donors who worked for Soros Fund Management with a troubling history of funding both socialists and RINOs?

4. Why would he use that money support Democrats over conservative and tea party candidates in the recent Republican primary?

5. And why did he aggressively promote CPAC instead the Illinois GOP Convention at a critical time – when conservatives and tea party activists needed to demand direct elections and hold the Republican Party to account for their recent actions on passing ObamaCare, higher taxes, and gambling expansion?

As any member of TAPROOT who was present at the forum can attest, Proft’s smug evasiveness was glaringly apparent to the audience and it definitely did not help him.  Arrogance should never be mistaken for eloquence; that is the mistake Proft continues to make. The audience wanted him – for once – to just answer the questions.

Illinois conservatives – having been at the mercy of crooked Illinois Democrats – don’t find “corrupt conservatism” especially appealing.

William F. Buckley was a hero of mine; but Proft is no Buckley.

Buckley would not have been on the payroll of grotesque Cicero thugs like Larry Dominick.

He would not have been on the Morton School District payroll of crooked Jeff and Craig Pesek, Proft’s friends, who were caught on FBI surveillance tapes discussing a mob-ordered bombing of a Berwyn business with Mark Polchan, a key associate of convicted mobster Michael Sarno. Incidentally, the Peseks are business partners with admitted cocaine dealer Enrique “Henry” Rendon.

When I mentioned Proft’s relationship to Obama’s top campaign bundlers, he tried to level some strange put-down about there being a “William Kelly purity test.”  But would Ronald Reagan ever have taken money or given money to a Barack Obama or a Rahm Emanuel?

Sorry Dan, but it shouldn’t be too much to ask that people who represent themselves as “conservative reformers” not make their living through mob-connected Cicero thugs, assorted criminals, or  Obama bundlers. You’ve set the bar just a little too low.

Yes, Proft uses “conservative window-dressing” to advance himself. But who really knows if believes anything?

We are coming upon the most important election of our lifetime: an opportunity to defeat President Obama and his extreme left-wing progressive policies that threaten to fundamentally change America. An America we won’t be able to recognize.

But we are fighting an Illinois Republican Party that is, arguably, in collusion with corrupt Democrats. At its best, our party is ineffective. At worst, they are doing it on purpose. (See a preview of our new TV ad spot: “The Illinois Republican Party isn’t broken; it’s fixed”)

We are also fighting people who cast themselves as conservative reformers; but their actions speak more loudly than their false conservative words.

Illinois conservative and tea party organizations are finally waking up to Proft and his crooked associates and what he is doing through the web of political action committees being run through John Tillman, former Illinois GOP chief Andy McKenna, and the so-called “not-for-profit” Illinois Policy Institute.

The awakening for Illinois conservatives is a rude one – but then again so is Proft.

TAPROOT MEMBERS TO QUESTION “CICERO” DAN PROFT SATURDAY

William J. Kelly to attend this Saturday’s TAPROOT meeting

Chicago, IL-  Back in May, TAPROOT of Illinois, then headed by Dave Diersen, offered Dan Proft the opportunity in an open forum to answer some serious questions about his funding operations raised by Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform.

Questions that involve Proft’s long standing relationship with corrupt CICERO PRESIDENT LARRY DOMINICK, MOB-CONNECTED CRAIG PESEK, and Proft’s political shell groups – all funded by the same former campaign bundlers to BARACK OBAMA (more than $230,000) and top contributors to RAHM EMANUEL (more than $200,000 in 2011). The same donors who are linked to SOROS FUND MANAGEMENT.

These same contributors also gave $30,000 to help unseat REP. DON MANZULLO and have been named in a political contributions scheme being questioned by the Crain’s Chicago Business and the Springfield Journal Register.

But Dan Proft  did not want to answer those questions in an open forum and refused to come to TAPROOT – despite the fair forum Diersen offered him.

In order to prevent those uncomfortable questions from being asked, Jim McInerney engineered a takeover of TAPROOT and demoted Diersen from his leadership position in June.

According to Diersen, McInerney says his plan is to terminate the meetings, TAPROOT’s annual picnic and Christmas party – calling them a “waste of time.” To date, McInerney has even refused to reimburse Diersen his expenses paid on behalf of TAPROOT.

Now the “new” TAPROOT under McInerney will be meeting this Saturday at the Lisle/Naperville Hilton at 8AM and Dan Proft will be speaking.

 The meeting presents TAPROOT members an opportunity to ask the tough questions that deserve to be asked:

-          What is Proft’s relationship with Cicero president Larry Dominick and mob-connected Craig Pesek?

-          How did he get a public affairs contract with Dominick, a former police chief under convicted felon Betty Loren Maltese?

-          Did he have a public affairs contract with Craig Pesek, who was caught on FBI surveillance tapes last year discussing a mob-connected bombing? How did that contract come about?

-          Did he accept campaign contributions from Pesek?

-          Why did Proft help mob-connected Pesek get on the State Central Republican Committee?

-          Why did Proft run candidates against tea party candidates in the recent March primary? Why did he support candidates with Democrat voting records over Republican ones?

-          Why did Proft send bullying emails to tea party organizers who disinvited him from speaking at their organizations?

-          – Why is Proft’s Liberty PAC listed at addresses used by Illinois Policy Institute?

-          Why did Illinois Opportunity Project give $10,000 on March 12, 2012 to Proft for Governor and who made that decision?

-          Why did Illinois Opportunity Project give $20,000 to Proft’s Liberty PAC a week before the primary election in March 2012?

-          Is Proft a paid consultant to the Illinois Opportunity Project?

-          Why is Proft accepting donations from donors linked to George Soros who bundled $230,000 for Barack Obama and $200,000 to Rahm Emanuel in 2011?

-          Why are political action committees – committees that fund Proft’s Liberty PAC candidates – operating out of Illinois Policy Institute?

-          Since McInerney does not attend regular TAPROOT meetings, why did he engineer a takeover of the organization? What does he hope to gain?

-          Will he be reimbursing Dave Diersen his expenses?

These are just a few of the questions that deserve to be asked.  Concerned conservatives of TAPROOT have a unique opportunity this Saturday to get the facts.

Now,  TAPROOT OF ILLINOIS, it is up to you to do just that.