Governor JB Pritzker has bailed out of a candidate forum that was to be hosted by the Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago newspaper, after its parent company printed campaign mailers critical of his policies that were sent to Illinois residents and paid for by a conservative PAC.
Days after some outlets reported the Illinois Governor race is beginning to tighten, the 'JB for Governor' campaign on Thursday sent a letter to Paddock Publications, the parent company of suburban newspaper the Daily Herald, stating the Governor would no longer participate in a scheduled candidate forum that was to be hosted by the Daily Herald and Illinois Associated Press Media Editors due to their parent company's acceptance of a printing job paid for by a Conservative PAC and issued by a publication network run by former Republican operatives - Local Government Information Services (LGIS).
The Pritzker campaign further alleged that Paddock Publications lent its bulk mail permit to LGIS, that was first reported in the Northwest Herald, another suburban news outlet published by Shaw Local News Network.
At issue is LGIS operates approximately 34 publications across Illinois, and they've recently sent mailers critical of the Pritzker administration to Illinois residents that have the look of newspapers. The state of Illinois has guidelines for what qualifies as a newspaper for the purpose of publishing legal notices, etc., and state law requires that a newspaper must print at least once per week, for at least 50 weeks per year and for at least one year to qualify as a newspaper in the state. LGIS' publications do not print regularly, nor does it produce 50 issues per year.
LGIS is run by its president Brian Timpone, a former Republican spokesperson, and the organization has had a strong relationship with popular Conservative commentator Dan Proft, who hosts a morning talk radio show on local AM560. Proft is on LGIS' board of directors and has frequently discussed his involvement with the organization on his morning show.
Proft, who is also the president of the People Who Play By The Rules Political Action Committee, has received separate criticism for that organization's recent Chicago-area television advertisements highlighting crime in the Chicago area. Though the crimes highlighted in the ads did indeed occur, his opponents have criticized the ads as exploitative.
Doug Ray, the chairman, publisher and CEO of Paddock Publications Inc., also released a statement in response to the Governor's campaign saying, in part, "...Paddock Publications has made the decision to cancel commercial printing jobs with LGIS. As an independent newspaper publisher, we want no part of the flame-throwing accusations taking place between Gov. JB Pritzker and LGIS."
Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Republican nominee for Governor, Darren Bailey, were scheduled to particpate in a joint Q&A meeting with Daily Herald editors. Now that Paddock Publications has agreed to cancel the printing of LGIS mailers, a Pritzker campaign spokeswoman told political blog Capitol Fax that the campaign is now "reconsidering the governor's participation in the forum."
After the printing deal was canceled Thursday by Paddock Publications, Dan Proft released a sequence of his own statements regarding the drama, which you can read below.
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Notes & References
Flannery, Mike. “Race for Illinois Governor between Pritzker, Bailey Closer than 4 Years Ago, New Poll Shows.” FOX 32 Chicago. FOX 32 Chicago, September 20, 2022. https://www.fox32chicago.com/news/new-poll-shows-pritzker-bailey-in-tight-race-for-illinois-governor. ↩︎
Norman, James. “Publications with Look of Newspapers Containing Politically Charged Articles Being Mailed out across State.” Shaw Local. Shaw Local, September 17, 2022. https://www.shawlocal.com/news/state/2022/09/17/publications-with-look-of-newspapers-containing-politically-charged-articles-being-mailed-out-across-state/. ↩︎
“About Us.” IllinoisPress > Home. Accessed September 23, 2022. https://www.illinoispress.org/AboutUs/Membership/ApplyforMembership.aspx. ↩︎
“Chicago's Morning Answer.” AM 560 The ANSWER. Accessed September 23, 2022. https://560theanswer.com/radioshow/chicagos-morning-answer. ↩︎
“Political Action Committees (Pacs).” FEC.gov. Accessed September 23, 2022. https://www.fec.gov/press/resources-journalists/political-action-committees-pacs/. ↩︎
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