CHICAGO - Now under new management, the Cook County Republican Party may be in for some interesting changes. Newly elected chairman Aaron Del Mar (33) is a Palatine Village Council member, a Palatine Township GOP Committeeman, and the owner of several entertainment-oriented businesses.
Del Mar's current enterprises include Chicago Casino & Poker Rentals and Adrenaline Sports Management, which are part of his Articulate Promotions. He also owns Aaron's Inflatables, Exquisite Jewelers, and Chicagoland Office Solutions. A previous Del Mar venture was Prime Chicago Nightlife, also a division of Articulate Promotions.
Del Mar's Chicago Casino & Poker Rentals provides casino equipment and gaming personnel for events like fundraisers, bachelor parties and birthday parties. According to the company's website, Del Mar's casino rental services are legal - even for minors - because the events do not distribute cash prizes. The website includes recommendations from parochial and private schools that have raised money with the company, and Del Mar recently advertised his event planning business in the Northwest Suburban Republican Lincoln Day Dinner ad book (below):
The Chicago Casino & Poker Rentals' website also shows additional services provided to fundraising events, including Las Vegas-like, "personable, professional and extremely interactive" show girls:
Del Mar's part ownership in the Palatine's Exquisite Jewelers on Rand Road made local headlines when the store was issued a cease and desist order by the banking division of the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. On December 9, 2011, "a representative of Exquisite Jewelers offered to loan an investigator...money in exchange for jewelry," -- an offer only licensed pawnbrokers are allowed to make. Del Mar told the media he owned just 15 percent of the business that he founded, and would urge the new owner to fire the employee that made the inappropriate offer.
Prime Chicago Nightlife is a former Del Mar company that published a series of online newsletters. As a division of Articulate Promotions, the company's newsletters featured a number of edgy photos -- some with Del Mar himself (below).
Illinois Review asked Chairman Del Mar how he, as a businessman focused on these particular entertainment venues, can effectively lead as chairman of the Cook County GOP, a political organization based on the Republican tradition of family values.
Del Mar promised IR an interview. If it takes place, we will carry his response in its entirety here.