Quick Hits – A Nazi salute? That’s exactly the Kendall County GOP!

I gotta tell ya, given this perpetually expanding truth is stranger than fiction thing, I’m feeling more and more like Rod Serling every day (cue ‘The Twilight Zone’ music). But if the strange stories keep coming my way, then I’ll keep covering them, and this one’s a real doozy!

As 14th District Congresswoman Lauren Underwood and her posse were walking by the Kendall County Republican’s float prior to Sunday’s Oswego PrairieFest parade, one of the GOP float folks raised his arm in a Nazi salute and shouted “Sieg heil!”

Please take some time to truly take that in.

This individual felt comfortable enough to perpetrate what amounts to a hate crime against a sitting black Congresswoman in front of all the Kendall County Republican officials, all the GOP regulars, all of his friends, and anyone who happened to be watching a major County festival’s proceedings.

I could end this column right here because that last paragraph really says it all, but there are a few more things I’d like to point out.

Kendall County Republicans

In her Twitter condemnation of the act, Underwood said her district is “one that values civility and tolerance.” Hmmmmm! Perhaps we’re talking about a parallel universe here because to say that ain’t been my 14th District experience would be the most massive of understatements.

To their credit, former Kendall Republican Chairman, James Marter, and current Chairman, Joseph Gillespie, quickly posted a Facebook apology explaining this volunteer will no longer be affiliated with the party.

Though it was gracious of her to say so, Underwood advisor Ronnie Chao added, “This kind of hate speech is not what the Illinois 14th has ever been about.” Oh! I beg to differ! after 13 years of covering the Collar Counties, I can unequivocally tell you this is exactly what Kendall County and the Kendall County Republican Party are all about.

Please allow me to explain.

Despite being the fastest growing county in the U.S. from 2000 to 2009, it remains 84 percent white, and that kind of “demographic” takes a concerted latent effort. That Caucasian percentage is significantly more Caucasian than Will, Kane, Lake, and DuPage Counties. Only McHenry County is whiter, and they have the same problem – short of a Nazi salute, however.

So, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that, while those generally Republican Kane, Will, Lake, and particularly DuPage County voters destroyed Trump in 2016, Kendall County wholeheartedly supported a mendacious white supremacist sympathizer.

And the Kendall County GOP is even worse!

It starts with attorney Dallas Ingemunson and disgraced former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, forming what some people referred to as “The Combine” around the turn of the century. Basically, anyone with political aspirations in Kendall or the surrounding counties had to secure their “blessing” or electoral defeat would be swift and sure. This was particularly true of judicial candidates.

But if you weren’t white and male, no such benediction would be forthcoming. When a very young former Democratic State Rep Linda Chapa LaVia approached them to run as a Republican, Ingemunson told her to go back to Texas. ‘The Combine’ finally did “embrace” white women, but only when they could control the candidate. State Senator and Kane County Chairman Karen McConnaughay is a perfect example.

Though some things have changed, the current Kendall County Board is as white as it gets.

To add even more to the intolerance frivolity, in 2011 the Kendall County Republicans invited racist thug and Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio to headline their main fundraiser. That just screams “inclusion,” doesn’t it? Though you really do have to give them a lot credit for abandoning all pretense whatsoever.

The Combine had vastly faded by the time Hastert went to prison, but during their heyday, the eminently white Kendall County Sheriff’s Office was more than happy to “enforce” the status quo. I know of one counter-political operative who was regularly harassed and I met with a black deputy who resigned partly as a result of a “lack of acceptance” on the part of his peers.

He went to become a State Rep, too.

If you doubt me, I would encourage you to visit the Kendall County Republican’s Facebook page where all manner of racist propaganda is proudly on display, particularly in the associated photographs. Apparently, a Nazi salute is where they finally draw the line. Not to mention there isn’t a single minority depicted in the thousands of those photographs.

So, am I surprised a Kendall County Republican Party volunteer flashed a Nazi salute and shouted “Sieg heil” to a black Congresswoman from a GOP float before a Sunday parade at a busy festival? Not in the least! The only thing that surprises me is that it doesn’t happen more often.

9 thoughts on “Quick Hits – A Nazi salute? That’s exactly the Kendall County GOP!

  1. Actually that Seig Heil salute made no sense. Was he trying to imply she is a Nazi and he is saluting her? Or that he is a Nazi and that is how he greets his superiors?
    He is s moron
    And I always love stories about people who want to help and are told they don’t belong and come back to haunt the old boy network. Pate Philip did not want Hastert in beginning. He thought since he was a teacher he would be too liberal but Dallas talked Pate into it

  2. I stopped reading your scoop after your reasoning pointed its finger to race.

    • Anne,

      Of course, I never force anyone to read any of my stuff, but especially considering the recipient of the Nazi salute, how can you not bring race into it?

  3. The Liberal left-wing group “Antifa’ is no different than the Nazi’s ‘Brown Shirts’ that burned books and shouted down any opposition….they now roam our colleges .
    The Kendall County Democrats closed their doors and ceased to exist.!

  4. Jeff, this is definitely an article one needs to read and digest what you said over a period of hours before responding. You hit some good points, and you missed some, too. Let’s start with a key miss, the individual who did the gesture was not “riding” on the Republican Party float. The gesture came from a walker who volunteered to participate in the parade who was near the Republican Party float when their disgusting act took place. James Marter clearly said it was a walker, and ShawMedia said they were wearing a James Marter for Congress t-shirt.

    And while you praised both Marter and Kendall County Republican Chairman Joe Gillespie, remember something Gillespie said in his public apology: “However this gesture was intended, behavior such as this and the ideology associated with the gesture has no place in the Republican Party.” No political candidate “vets” volunteers who come to a parade. In no way am I condoning the individual’s action. There is no manifest or latent belief in the ideology the Nazis represented among the Kendall County Republicans. I did as you said and I did not see what you saw at the Kendall GOP’s Facebook page. “Hate Crime”? Don’t you think law enforcement would be all over this, though I initially thought the same thing too?

    The 14th congressional district is changing, and has come a long way from the Dallas Ingemunson/Denny Hastert days, as you said. The state central committeeman for the 14th is a woman, Hampshire’s Laura Pollastrini. And look whom she appointed to be the Deputy State Central Committeeman, who had to be a man: http://mchenrycountyblog.com/2019/05/28/chuck-wheeler-selected-at-deputy-14th-district-state-central-committeeman

    Nothing white-and-male in the 14th’s representation at the Illinois Republican Party. She chose the best man for the job.

    But the core issue your article said, Nazism aside, is the culture of “The Combine”. To be more specific, the “Bipartisan Combine”, as John Kass wrote about for years. The Combine gave Illinois Denny Hastert, Rod Blagojevich, Barack Obama, Ed Burke and many others including Toni Preckwinkle, the Daleys, Susana Mendoza, Gery Chico, etc. You remember how that Combine tried to completely destroy Chris Lauzen back in 2008? It drove Peter Fitzgerald out of Illinois completely after 1 term in the U.S. Senate, but his legacy helped bring about the decline of the Combine through U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

    Not all bipartisanship is good, and given the Republicans running for the congressional nomination in the 14th next year, candidate Jim Oberweis’ hanging on to the Hastert legacy dumbfounds me. Go to Oberweis’ website (Jim2020.com) and look at the bio picture. Go to his Facebook pages, and look at his profile picture, which also is his avatar. Now look where that picture was taken, from mid December of 2007, and who he’s standing next to in that picture:

    https://images.app.goo.gl/QLRbtdYz2Dv1Ejeo7

    Removing Hastert’s half of the image but using that pic doesn’t cut it, let alone passing off an 11 1/2 years old picture as the true representation of how you appear now. Why Jim Oberweis still, after Denny Hastert has been totally disgraced, hangs on to that Hastert reminder is a mystery to me.

    As your soon-to-be released book points out, candidate Jim Oberweis needs people around him to tell him the truth, and that means dumping that picture he took with Hastart in its entirety permanently.

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