Rich Miller

Rich Miller

Fight on the right in southern Illinois

Spread the love

.

By Rich Miller

.

“The woke left is coming after me for peeing on a tree during my college days,” state Rep. Adam Niemerg (R-Dietrich) told me not long ago.

I’ve told you about this race before. The 102nd Illinois House District is one of a handful of southeastern and southern Illinois Republican primaries that might slow or intensify the Republican Party’s rightward lunge. They’ve featured far-right candidates trying to fend off or battling with more mainstream Republicans. U.S. Rep. Mike Bost’s race against the much further-right Darren Bailey has been another.

Niemerg, an anti-union, anti-abortion, pro-gun Illinois Freedom Caucus stalwart, was responding at the time to an opposition report I’d seen about him. That research eventually found its way into a TV ad from an Illinois Education Association-funded group helping Niemerg’s Republican primary opponent Jim Acklin, a former school superintendent.

The ad is paid for by Illinois Working PAC, an independent expenditure committee which spent more than $100,000 on the race and received all of its funding from the IEA. The teachers union and other unions directly contributed another $120,000 to Acklin’s campaign. That gave Acklin almost twice the spending power as Rep. Niemerg.

RichMiller

Rich Miller

“Adam Niemerg sure talks a lot, but what is he not telling you?” the ad’s announcer asked. “Well, there’s the DUI Niemerg got, more than twice the limit. And how he pleaded guilty to obscene conduct.”

OK, let’s stop right there for a moment. Niemerg was busted in 2003 for DUI, speeding and possession/consumption of alcohol by a minor. He paid a fine and had to go to treatment. Then, on 4/20 (heh) of 2006, Niemerg was busted for obscene conduct. He pleaded guilty, paid a fine and was given 90 days supervision.

Niemerg has not addressed the claims via his own advertising, even though “obscene conduct” can conjure up quite a large number of scenarios. Also, a lot of homeless people charged with peeing on trees end up in a heap of legal trouble, so it’s not that funny to them. The anti-Niemerg ad is also being pushed hard online, and as of last Friday afternoon it had 232,000 YouTube views, which is more than twice the total population of a House district.

A group called American Action Fund, however, punched back on Niemerg’s behalf with social media ads on another topic. “Jim Acklin failed to act when complaints were filed against his friend and chose to blame the victim while superintendent. Acklin looked the other way and let a predator roam free in his school for years, now he wants to be your state rep. Our state rep. should stand up for us, not their buddy.”

The ad links to a 2016 news story (which was basically an opposition research report released when Acklin was running for a House seat) entitled, “In sexual misconduct suit, State Rep candidate said female student was responsible for relationship with teacher.” According to Facebook, the ad generated up to 40,000 impressions by last Friday.

Acklin brushed off the attack, noting that the lawsuit “was based on entirely false allegations,” and was, “so unfounded that it was ultimately dismissed with prejudice against the plaintiff, which means that I can never again be sued for that false allegation. I was exonerated because I handled the situation exactly as it should have been handled; I suspended and barred the employee involved from school property within minutes of learning of the allegations. The individual in question will never be able to teach in Illinois again because of the action I took.” But Acklin hasn’t specifically countered the claim that I can tell.

This has been, without a doubt, the meanest primary in Illinois this spring.

Let’s go back to the Acklin TV ad: “Niemerg voted to allow minors convicted of serious crimes to be paroled. And remember those Obama DACA aliens? Niemerg voted to allow them to become police officers. I guess with Adam Niemerg, it’s not what he says, but what he doesn’t say that’s important.”

Niemerg has denied that he voted to allow DACA recipients to become police officers. But he did vote for the bill when it applied to non-citizens. Niemerg and a few others voted “No” after it was amended to explicitly include DACA folks.

A recent Niemerg mailer features some rather incendiary quotes from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Chicago Teachers Union president Stacy Davis Gates and ties them to Acklin. “Jim Acklin is completely funded by the radical, left-wing extremists,” the mailer blares.

I’ll let you know how it plays out.

Rich Miller also publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, and CapitolFax.com.

Local News

New Trinity Christian men's basketball coach Jordan Mast led Antelope Valley to the NAIA Tournament this season. Photo courtesy of Trinity Christian College Department of Athletics

Trinity Christian College names new hoops coaches

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Trinity Christian officials were busy on April 11 ushering in new eras for its basketball programs. Trolls Athletic Director Wendy Reid announced that Jordan Mast is taking over the men’s basketball program, while Jasmine Porter has been named women’s hoops coach. Mast comes to the school in Palos Heights…

Reavis baseball coach Don Erickson rakes a soggy mound during a game against Evergreen Park on April 12. The longtime Rams coach is retiring after this season. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Reavis baseball coach and Hall of Famer Don Erickson to retire after season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent A deal is a deal. Longtime Reavis baseball coach Don Erickson has said he would retire after his son, Sam, graduates from high school, so he can watch Sam play in college. Erickson doesn’t get to many of his son’s high school games because Sam plays at Downers Grove…

The Worth Public Library, 6917 W. 111th St., has a free Seed Library available to patrons. (Supplied photo)

Worth Library offers seeds for free

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White A seed library collects and stores seeds and shares them with members of the community for free. Similar to a normal library, gardeners borrow seeds from the seed library at planting time. At the end of the growing seasons, they save seeds from the plants and return a portion of…

Oak Lawn Mayor Terry Vorderer joins Girl Scout Gold Award winners (from left) Maddie DeBleyzer, Aine Kelly and Lilly O'Dea during the village board meeting on Tuesday night. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Paisans Pizza eyes May opening in Oak Lawn

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle Paisans Pizzeria is a step closer to opening in Oak Lawn with the approval of a liquor license for the establishment that will be part of the Stony Creek Promenade. Plans for the restaurant were originally approved at an Oak Lawn Village Board meeting in March of 2022. Tom Phelan,…

Palos Park resident Nick Hoffman said his patience is wearing out with noise and parking problems caused by the Palos Islamic Center.

Palos Park residents, mosque reps discuss noise issues at council meeting

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva What could have been an explosive situation was actually quite civil. Some Palos Park residents were angry about loud activity and behavior of some members of the Palos Islamic Center the past two years and sounded off at the April 8 village council meeting. Fresh on their minds was noise…

The Obbie’s Pizza sign will remain a familiar sight on Archer Avenue. Taking time out for a photo are new owner John Caputi; his son, Giovanni; and Obbie’s longtime managers, Jim Triak and Jeff Twaragowski. (Photo by Cosmo Hadac)

Comings & Goings: Obbie’s Pizza to stay ‘unique and delicious’

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Tim Hadac Archer Avenue’s long-time king of pizzerias will continue to rule. Same recipes at Obbie’s Pizza, 6654 W. Archer. Same pizza and ingredients. Same pasta, broasted chicken, shrimp, perch, Italian beef/sausage/meatball sandwiches, sides and pop. Same seasoned, Middleby Marshall pizza oven built in 1947—the type of pizza oven every restaurant owner…

stickney health district logo

Stickney Public Health confirms measles case in Bedford Park

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Stickney Public Health District has confirmed that a person with measles related to the ongoing situation in the City of Chicago was at the Walmart Supercenter at 7050 S. Cicero Ave. in Bedford Park on Friday, March 22, roughly between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m. Anybody who…

Endless Summerfest in La Grange’s Gordon Park will not be held this year, sponsors have announced. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

La Grange cancels Endless Summerfest over higher costs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch It turns out the summer is not endless, at least not in La Grange. Endless Summerfest, a three-day event held the first weekend in August at Gordon Park for many years, will not be held this year. The cancelation was announced Tuesday in a joint new release from the La…

regional orland park police logo

Midlothian man arrested for Orland Park carjacking

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom wire reports The Orland Park Police Department announced the arrest of a suspect in a vehicular hijacking that occurred on the evening of April 3. Shawn Flores, a 44-year-old Midlothian resident, faces charges following his apprehension on April 4. The incident began when a male victim was forcibly removed from his vehicle…

big PoliceLights1

Blotter: Evergreen Park police issue scam alert

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe Evergreen Park Police Department is warning the public of an ongoing scam where a caller claims to be an Evergreen Park Police Officer, and instructs the individual to send money in order to avoid criminal charges. In some versions of this scam, the offenders tell individuals they missed a court date related…

Neighbors

New Trinity Christian men's basketball coach Jordan Mast led Antelope Valley to the NAIA Tournament this season. Photo courtesy of Trinity Christian College Department of Athletics

Trinity Christian College names new hoops coaches

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Trinity Christian officials were busy on April 11 ushering in new eras for its basketball programs. Trolls Athletic Director Wendy Reid announced that Jordan Mast is taking over the men’s basketball program, while Jasmine Porter has been named women’s hoops coach. Mast comes to the school in Palos Heights…

Reavis baseball coach Don Erickson rakes a soggy mound during a game against Evergreen Park on April 12. The longtime Rams coach is retiring after this season. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Reavis baseball coach and Hall of Famer Don Erickson to retire after season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent A deal is a deal. Longtime Reavis baseball coach Don Erickson has said he would retire after his son, Sam, graduates from high school, so he can watch Sam play in college. Erickson doesn’t get to many of his son’s high school games because Sam plays at Downers Grove…

The Worth Public Library, 6917 W. 111th St., has a free Seed Library available to patrons. (Supplied photo)

Worth Library offers seeds for free

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White A seed library collects and stores seeds and shares them with members of the community for free. Similar to a normal library, gardeners borrow seeds from the seed library at planting time. At the end of the growing seasons, they save seeds from the plants and return a portion of…

Oak Lawn Mayor Terry Vorderer joins Girl Scout Gold Award winners (from left) Maddie DeBleyzer, Aine Kelly and Lilly O'Dea during the village board meeting on Tuesday night. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Paisans Pizza eyes May opening in Oak Lawn

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle Paisans Pizzeria is a step closer to opening in Oak Lawn with the approval of a liquor license for the establishment that will be part of the Stony Creek Promenade. Plans for the restaurant were originally approved at an Oak Lawn Village Board meeting in March of 2022. Tom Phelan,…

Palos Park resident Nick Hoffman said his patience is wearing out with noise and parking problems caused by the Palos Islamic Center.

Palos Park residents, mosque reps discuss noise issues at council meeting

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva What could have been an explosive situation was actually quite civil. Some Palos Park residents were angry about loud activity and behavior of some members of the Palos Islamic Center the past two years and sounded off at the April 8 village council meeting. Fresh on their minds was noise…

The Obbie’s Pizza sign will remain a familiar sight on Archer Avenue. Taking time out for a photo are new owner John Caputi; his son, Giovanni; and Obbie’s longtime managers, Jim Triak and Jeff Twaragowski. (Photo by Cosmo Hadac)

Comings & Goings: Obbie’s Pizza to stay ‘unique and delicious’

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Tim Hadac Archer Avenue’s long-time king of pizzerias will continue to rule. Same recipes at Obbie’s Pizza, 6654 W. Archer. Same pizza and ingredients. Same pasta, broasted chicken, shrimp, perch, Italian beef/sausage/meatball sandwiches, sides and pop. Same seasoned, Middleby Marshall pizza oven built in 1947—the type of pizza oven every restaurant owner…

stickney health district logo

Stickney Public Health confirms measles case in Bedford Park

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Stickney Public Health District has confirmed that a person with measles related to the ongoing situation in the City of Chicago was at the Walmart Supercenter at 7050 S. Cicero Ave. in Bedford Park on Friday, March 22, roughly between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m. Anybody who…

Endless Summerfest in La Grange’s Gordon Park will not be held this year, sponsors have announced. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

La Grange cancels Endless Summerfest over higher costs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch It turns out the summer is not endless, at least not in La Grange. Endless Summerfest, a three-day event held the first weekend in August at Gordon Park for many years, will not be held this year. The cancelation was announced Tuesday in a joint new release from the La…

regional orland park police logo

Midlothian man arrested for Orland Park carjacking

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom wire reports The Orland Park Police Department announced the arrest of a suspect in a vehicular hijacking that occurred on the evening of April 3. Shawn Flores, a 44-year-old Midlothian resident, faces charges following his apprehension on April 4. The incident began when a male victim was forcibly removed from his vehicle…

big PoliceLights1

Blotter: Evergreen Park police issue scam alert

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe Evergreen Park Police Department is warning the public of an ongoing scam where a caller claims to be an Evergreen Park Police Officer, and instructs the individual to send money in order to avoid criminal charges. In some versions of this scam, the offenders tell individuals they missed a court date related…