Kelly Calls Out Durbin on Crime Summit, Constitution Remarks

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Chicago, Illinois, May 27, 2013 – Chicago businessman and political columnist William J. Kelly has released the following statement in reaction to Sen. Dick Durbin’s crime summit scheduled for in Rockford, Illinois Tuesday morning:

“I have long been considering moving my business to Rockford and have been looking at properties to invest in. But what I do next depends on what I hear at Sen. Durbin’s crime summit on Tuesday.”

“Chicago’s crime problem is out-of-control and it has been for a long time. Misguided laws have prevented law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves in the worst crime-ridden areas. We reward repeat offenders with slap-on-the-wrist sentences and early release. Now we see Chicago’s crime problem spreading to the suburbs – and here in Rockford, Illinois. It is the same Chicago thinking and the same Illinois politicians like Sen. Durbin that are to blame.”

Earlier this month, more than 250 concerned residents packed a crime forum on Rockford’s northeast side.

Kelly, who is considering whether to run for the U.S. Senate, says he is also very troubled by Sen. Durbin’s involvement the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups and the Senator’s statements this weekend questioning whether news bloggers are entitled to constitutional protection.

“For Sen. Durbin to question the First Amendment freedoms guaranteed to all Americans, raises troubling questions about whether he has any knowledge or respect for the U.S. Constitution at all.”

William J. Kelly is the founder and President of an Emmy award-winning TV production house with offices in Chicago. Previously, he was the Executive Director of the National Taxpayers United of Illinois, an affiliate of the National Taxpayers Union.  He is a former statewide 2010 candidate for Illinois comptroller.

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Illinois Policy Institute Caught Tweeting “Hate” Piece Against William Kelly

Capture of Illinois Policy Institute's Direct Message on Twitter

Capture of Illinois Policy Institute’s Direct Message on Twitter

Chicago, Illinois, May 9, 2013 – So how has the Illinois Policy Institute used its 501c3 tax-exempt status lately? To inform and debate Illinois’ broken pension system? No. To pontificate about educational choice and reform? No. To use its official Twitter account to message personal attack pieces against yours truly to its “followers?” To manufacture the hateful attacks in the first place?

The answer is “yes” and “yes.”

The poorly-written attack piece, “How Do You Solve a Problem Like William Kelly” was posted by John Dyslin, a staffer for Commissioner Dan Patlak at the Cook County Board of Review, and appeared in an unregulated sign-up blog online. Yesterday, the Illinois Policy Institute was caught private messaging the piece on Twitter shortly after the hate piece went “live.” Some of the messages were forwarded to me.

Other than a comparison of me to Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music,” (weird), the piece was all hate-based vitriol, misleading and false statements, and made-up things I never said. Dyslin’s writing would never pass journalistic muster – in a newsroom you can’t make-up quotes to fit your story. Hate pieces are like that.

Illinois Policy Institute has long portrayed itself as an organization above the fray. But the reality is that it has a history of attacking people behind-the-scenes. John Tillman, Dan Proft, and others in the Illinois GOP political establishment have attacked real conservatives for years. Moreover, they have misused some tea party leaders to help them attack good people. They view the tea parties as something they can control for their own political purposes.

But this time, IPI has publicly been caught in the act of sowing personal attacks. Illinois Policy Institute donors, you have been put on notice about how this organization and its leaders really conduct themselves when they believe no one is looking. It’s reputation is now forever tarnished. Whatever credibility it had, is gone.

So how did this latest round start?

For the past week, Illinois Policy Institute has been furious over a blog I wrote in Chicago Now about the financial interests of key staff in the virtual charter school plan – a plan that could extract $16 million in local tax dollars. Yes, that’s $16 million in Illinois tax dollars that IPI’s staff would control.

Illinois Policy Institute has been asking its subscribers to oppose the new bill that would put a one year moratorium on virtual charter schools – and yet it has never disclosed to them its financial interest in the charter plan. That’s why I wrote the blog.

So, steaming over my column, Illinois Policy Institute sent a threatening email to Chicago Now demanding the blog be taken down. The organization also pressured a tea party group into disinviting me from speaking last weekend. After all, that’s the role of a tax-exempt non-profit i.e. to censor conservative columnists and prevent them from speaking at tea party rallies.

Illinois Policy Institute’s John Tillman and Dan Proft are also livid because I was responsible for helping to upset the rotten applecart known as former GOP Chairman Pat Brady, who resigned Monday.  You see Brady, who was appointed by Illinois Policy Institute board member and fundraiser Andy McKenna, is a key Tillman-Proft ally.

It doesn’t bother me that the Illinois Policy Institute is mourning Pat Brady. He deserved to go. I’m glad I made sure he did. Brady’s resignation must have been the final straw for Tillman and Proft.

In all of this, a serious issue is Illinois Policy Institute’s relationship with John Dyslin. Dyslin lists in his bio that he is a “Liberty Leader” for the Illinois Policy Institute. So did Illinois Policy Institute direct him to write the personal attack piece so they could promote it to their lists? That’s a pretty safe bet and it is a misuse of their 501c3 tax-exempt status.

Dyslin has written other personal attack pieces against me whenever I have dared criticize Illinois Policy Institute’s operations – again likely at IPI’s direction.

According to For the Good of Illinois’ Open the Books Portal, Dyslin’s day job is as a $46,000 a year staffer at the Cook County Board of Review. For months, I’ve seen Dyslin’s posts on Facebook and Twitter during the day when he is supposed to be working on behalf of Cook County taxpayers. Commissioner Patlak should definitely conduct an internal investigation on Mr. Dyslin’s internet “activities” and release the results to the public.

Like many, I have my detractors. But I can also tell you that for years, before I ever penned a word of criticism, I reached out to work with every single one of them over and over again. My hand was bit off every time. I can tell you that all of them have taken aim at me first and always from behind – a cowardly form of attack. I attack from the front and out in the open. I criticize what they “do.” They attack me “personally.” They scream that “I burn bridges.” I will tell you that they burned them first. There weren’t any bridges left to burn.

Dyslin has posted on Facebook that John Tillman, Dan Proft, Jack Roeser, and Sheriff Mark Curran have been in contact with him regarding the article.

What these “detractors” don’t like is that when they attack me, I fight back. What these “detractors” don’t like is that I have shined a spotlight on their bad or unethical behavior. Here’s a solution for them: stop doing bad, unethical things.

I have been an ardent conservative and anti-tax activist for more than 20 years. I have confronted corrupt liberal Democrats at every turn. I also haven’t been afraid to call out corrupt members of my own party. In all of that time, I have never hesitated to put myself, my reputation, and my safety on the line. It didn’t scare me to challenge Rep. Bobby Rush for Congress back in 1994, to challenge Rahm Emanuel or his petitions for mayor on the basis of residency in 2011, and I am sure as hell not scared of the ethically-challenged Illinois Policy Institute.

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William J. Kelly is a conservative columnist with national publications including the Washington Times Communities and the American Spectator. He is the founder of an Emmy award-winning TV production house with offices in Chicago. For more information about William Kelly, watch the “Conservative in Chicago.”

KELLY TO MAKE UPDATED CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCEMENT ON APRIL 13

Bill_headshot_1Chicago, Illinois, March 19, 2013 - On April 13, Republican William J. Kelly will make an updated announcement about his plans for the 2014 election season. In 2010, Kelly ran for Illinois comptroller, coming in second in a three-way race.

“It is no mystery that I have been exploring another bid for Illinois comptroller in 2014,” Kelly says. “On April 13, I will give my supporters an update about my intentions.”

Kelly says he would take on Topinka again in 2014. “After four more years of Topinka, Illinois is worse – not better off. The state’s fiscal situation has grown dire. Illinois has been downgraded again and again. Our pension system is in crisis. And Topinka shares a big part of the blame.”

Kelly points out that Topinka, as a state legislator, regularly supported budgets that skipped pension payments. She served three terms as state treasurer and supported the ill-conceived 1994 pension ramp-up bill. She still maintains one of the highest political pensions in Illinois, having pocked hundreds of thousands of dollars, and has defended the gold-plated pensions of state bureaucrats.

“I have run against Topinka before and I can do it again,” Kelly says.

Kelly says that he continues to be disappointed with the Illinois GOP leadership, who along with Topinka, recently supported a law to give state drivers licenses to 250,000 illegal immigrants. The Illinois Association of Police Chiefs and all but three Illinois sheriffs opposed the law. Kelly’s organization, Safer Families Coalition, led opposition to the law.  He says he is also concerned about top donors and advisers to Rahm Emanuel buying influence within the Illinois GOP. 

Kelly says that his updated announcement will be based on whether Pat Brady is forced to resign his Illinois GOP chairmanship. He has called for Republicans to rally on April 13 at the Republican State Central Committee meeting in Chicago, which will decide Brady’s fate.

“The Illinois GOP needs new leadership now. That is why I have been leading the charge to replace Pat Brady since 2010,” Kelly says. “We need leadership that knows how to win elections and not lose them. We need a GOP that offers real change to the people of Illinois and not the corrupt politics of the past and present. We have an opportunity to rebuild the Illinois GOP and the time to do that is now.”

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KELLY: CURRAN NOT TRUTHFUL ABOUT “DEBATE” ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

On January 10th, Sheriff Mark Curran clearly lost a debate with me regarding his support for driver’s licenses for illegal aliens. In a strange twist, he tried to cover-up the fact that he lost the debate by saying it wasn’t a “debate.”

This so-called “controversy” is absurd. It is like saying that Notre Dame didn’t lose to Alabama because it wasn’t a football game. Only a Democrat would try to spin that the event wasn’t “supposed to be a debate.”

I shouldn’t be surprised – Curran, until recently, was a Democrat.  He told “Frontline” last year that America has “lured” illegal aliens here under false pretenses, that “there is no rule of law” and that he “thinks the Democrat Party is right on many issues.” Curran has spoken about this driver’s license issue for months and testified on behalf of the bill – the only member of law enforcement to do so. For him and a few of his friends to suggest that he wasn’t “prepared” to debate is also absurd.

Curran had been criticizing me in the Illinois Review so I challenged Sheriff Curran to a debate at the RALC on January 10th back in December.  The challenge was sent out as press release, posted extensively in social media, listed on GOP USA’s calendar, etc.     The sheriff sent me an email accepting this specific debate challenge two days later.

The email stated:

Hi Bill, regardless of differences on this issue (driver certificates), I do respect you and did not speak bad of you at Libertyville Township meeting. You do a lot of great things for the party and I will debate you on the drivers’ certificates anytime.

Mark Curran's email to me accepting the debate challenge at the RALC meeting on January 10th

Mark Curran’s email to me accepting the debate challenge at the RALC meeting on January 10th

I told Ray True that Curran had accepted the debate. Sheriff Curran contacted RALC to say that he was coming and Ray and I discussed the debate on a number of occasions. In fact, Ray was looking forward to moderating the debate “PBS” style and said he would try to get two podiums because he only had one.

Now if the Sheriff wants to engage in revisionist history – that is his prerogative as untruthful as it may be. Or maybe he has a selective memory. If that is the case, he should get that checked out.

I wasn’t going to argue the absurdity of the debate-discussion “controversy” at the meeting. But the video reveals the truth: that a debate was intended and expected – until Curran decided differently at the end of the event.

The full video and my rebuttal to Curran’s remarks and stated inaccuracies about this bad bill are available here. 

Unfortunately, this is what Democrats do – they attempt to divide and conquer conservatives by distracting us from the real issues: in this case, that the sheriff broke an oath of office to defend the Constitution and our laws to side with the pro-amnesty open borders coalition and support a law that encourages lawbreakers to come to our state.

At the RALC meeting, I saw and heard the outrage against another former Democrat-turned-Republican named Pat Brady after he refused to support the GOP party platform on gay marriage. Brady is now being called upon to resign or be fired. It is about time. But supporting and encouraging illegal immigration is also against the GOP party platform. Many Republicans are just as outraged about this violation of the GOP party platform as they are about Pat Brady and I am one of them.

Mark, in your email response to me, you said you would debate me on the “driver’s certificates anytime.”

Mark, name the time.

KELLY ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE FOR ILLINOIS COMPTROLLER

Chicago, Illinois, November 10, 2012 – William J. Kelly has announced the formation of an exploratory committee for Illinois comptroller for the 2014 elections. Kelly, who ran previously for the office, made his announcement today at the Illinois Center Right Coalition.

Kelly has issued the following statement:

Today, in wake of Tuesday’s election bloodbath – local, state, and national – Republicans need to start organizing for 2014. Some people will say it is too early – I say, hopefully, it is not already too late. Many have asked me: What do we do now? First, I’ve called for Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady to resign for his failures in 2010 and 2012. Earlier this year, we called for direct elections at the Illinois State GOP Convention and now are in the process of filing a lawsuit to return, to Republican voters, the right to vote for their party leadership. Leadership needs to be accountable to the people and that is what direct elections will accomplish. Finally, we will be developing a slate of candidates from top to bottom – from the U.S. Senate on down.

To that end, I am announcing the formation of my exploratory committee to run for Illinois Comptroller. I ran for comptroller in 2010 against Judy Baar Topinka to use the office as a check on the out-of-control spending in Springfield. Two years into Topinka’s rein as comptroller – we are still not better off. We do not have less spending. We do not have lower taxes. We do not have more accountability or transparency. We haven’t been upgraded. We’ve been downgraded – twice.

In this formative stage, I intend to go around the entire state of Illinois for the next two years and meet with and listen to any group that is sincere about reforming the state of Illinois. If my candidacy is in the voters’ best interests, I pledge to be the most accessible candidate and the most transparent comptroller in the history of Illinois.

The slate of candidates that I support in 2014 will be developed in conjunction with proven statewide leaders and organizations. Together, we will them give them candidate training, handle their media, fundraising, aid them in their petition initiatives, and travel with them through the state to ensure their voices are heard and are known to the GOP primary voters.

Like many others, I was deeply disappointed – but not surprised – at Tuesday’s election results. The Illinois GOP has been a fractured party of political insiders for too long. Together, real Republican leaders and organizers have the opportunity to change that in 2012 in beyond.

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A longtime taxpayer watchdog, William J. Kelly is a conservative columnist with national and DC publications. He is the Chairman of FreeCapitalismNow.com, a non-profit organization dedicated to free market principles. A lifelong resident of Illinois, he is the founder and principal of an Emmy award-winning TV production house in Chicago.

OFFICIALS FEAR: FLOOR FIGHT AT IL GOP CONVENTION

Anger over IL GOP’s Attempt to “Bamboozle” Delegates

ACTION ALERT: ILLINOIS GOP CONVENTION – JUNE 8 and 9th

Chicago, Illinois – The Illinois Republican State Convention begins this Friday, June 8 at the Tinley ParkConvention Center. But activists are already worried that corrupt practices will threaten to undermine the voting rights of registered Republican delegates.

Scores and scores of Illinois Republican voters have complained that they are being denied the opportunity to be a delegate at this year’s convention. After multiple requests, the Illinois Republican Party has yet to release the official list of delegates attending the convention.

The corrupt practices have angered activists and voters alike and officials are fearful that delegates will fight back on the convention floor on Friday and Saturday.

“The Illinois Republican Convention is a historic opportunity for GOP delegates to vote on critical issues like ‘direct elections,’” says William J. Kelly, longtime taxpayer watchdog and candidate for Republican National Committeeman. “But, already, some leaders in the State Central Republican Committee are engaging in dirty backhanded tactics that threaten both the spirit and principles of what the party was founded on.”

Even former Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, long held in esteem for his ethics, has himself urged a return to direct elections in Illinois.

But there is a new sense of urgency in the fight for direct elections.

Last week, Illinois Republican leaders voted for early passage of ObamaCare, gambling expansion, tax increases, and no pension reform. Without direct elections, Illinois GOP leaders can continue to vote for legislation without fear of reprisal from Republican voters.

However, the real question is how will delegates to the convention react? Will Illinois conservative and Tea Party organizations fight back? Or will they attend CPAC Chicago instead?

On Friday and Saturday, convention delegates, in theory, will also vote on candidates for Republican National Committeeman and whether or not to maintain the conservative planks in the party platform.

Currently, there are three candidates for Republican National Committeeman – they include: Rich Williamson, Alexander “Sandy” Stuart, and broadcaster William J. Kelly.  Rich Williamson is the current National Republican Committeeman and Alexander “Sandy” Stuart, a fundraiser for the Illinois GOP, is currently under fire for questions surrounding a downstate fundraising scheme with campaign bundlers to Barack Obama.

But corrupt practices threaten to undermine that voting process as well.

In an email to the candidates, Deb Detmers, Chairman of the selection committee, said that it is the committee’s goal to supply the delegates with one choice for national committeeman.

  “In the spirit of true democracy, shouldn’t the delegates know the names of all the candidates for Republican National Committeeman?” says Kelly. “I think the committee will attempt to bamboozle the delegates by submitting to them only one name for consideration.”

After Kelly requested a list of the selection committee members, Detmers again lashed out at him Friday afternoon.

“After I asked her for the list on the phone, she [Detmers] accused me of questioning her integrity and hung up,” says Kelly. “I may not have questioned Detmers’ integrity – but the federal government already has.”

Previously, Detmers was the Finance Director for former convicted Gov. George Ryan, currently serving a 6 ½ year prison term on federal corruption charges. She was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony at trial. She admitted under oath that she took taxpayer money while serving as Ryan’s political director and that she was aware of Ryan’s “aggressive fundraising” tactics but said “I didn’t do anything.”

The Illinois State Central Republican Committee has a fine history replete with corrupt leaders. GOP Chair Pat Brady took over the role of National Republican Committeeman from Bob Kjellander, who was named as “Individual A” in the guilty plea agreement of former Blagojevich aide Lon Monk that he conspired to kickback $500,000 to convicted felon Antonin “Tony” Rezko.

Again, Brady was one of those candidates “recommended” to convention delegates by the “selection committee.” He was also the only candidate in the running when Andy McKenna suddenly announced he was resigning for GOP Party Chair.

Kelly is calling on all delegates to vote “no” if they receive a ballot that does not contain his name. This will force the committee to include all three candidates for National Republican Committeeman on the ballot – not just the selection committee’s handpicked candidate.

The three candidates for National Republican Committeeman will also be speaking to the committee on Friday at 12:30 p.m. “We want all delegates to attend and hear all three candidates speak and make their own decisions. They have a right to know and a right to vote for the candidate of their choice,” says Kelly.

Delegates should plan to attend the Illinois GOP convention on Friday, June 8, and Saturday, June 9, and to stay the day to influence the rule-making process on direct elections, the Republican National Committeeman race, and the language of the party platform.