Yesterday, Illinois Review ran a piece by Warner Todd Huston entitled "A Spate of Pro and Anti William Kelly News Making the Rounds."
In his article, Huston questioned why Kelly - an outspoken critic of State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka - had recently accepted $20,000 from Topinka. According to the State Board of Elections, the money was transferred from Topinka's committee to Kelly's production company.
When queried about the money, Kelly told IR that his political enemies had made it "virtually impossible" for him "to make a living" and that he reserves "the right to make a modest, honest income with a production company that does, from time-to-time, accept paying clients." According to Kelly, Topinka's team hired his company to do video production.
Today, Kelly responded in full to Huston's piece, writing to IR:
"I have been an outspoken conservative activist for more than 20 years. Some people call themselves conservative because they post on Facebook. I have acted – usually at great personal cost.
For decades, I have also been personally and professionally attacked by people just like Rahm’s political ally Bruce Rauner. This has directly impacted me, my family, and my business.
For example, in 2010, Jack Roeser, who I had known for 20 years, threatened to destroy me if I didn’t get out of the comptroller’s race. In 2012, when I announced my candidacy to be committeeman of the 42nd ward/Chicago GOP Chairman against Rahm Emanuel's family friend Tom Smithburg, I was told by Smithburg's campaign manager, David Walsh, that "every door to me and my family in Illinois would be closed" if I did not get out of the race.
But, of course, I already knew that because after I questioned Rahm Emanuel about his residency status in his campaign for mayor one year earlier, I lost my time slot on AM 560 WIND radio. These threats have also impacted my production company, which produces programs like, “America’s Instant Townhall,” a program which has been directly affected.
I have been forced to limit my political commentary to a column that I contribute to an out-of-state newspaper because of my opposition to people like Rahm's political ally Bruce Rauner. Many others have continued to act on similar financial threats against me and my family. And it isn’t just Democrats who have targeted my business, it’s so-called Republicans too.
But, unlike some Republican officials and activists, who are publicly supporting Bruce Rauner, I am not supporting any candidate for any public office.
However, I do reserve the right to make a modest, honest income with a production company that does, from time-to-time, accept paying clients. I have a right to run a business like everyone else and in Illinois that business offers basic services to anyone who can pay for them. I make no apologies for that - especially after the targeting of my company.
Now for the hypocrites: For decades, Bruce Rauner has given hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to Democrats and made millions in dollars from union pension fees and conservative leaders are looking the other way. Over the last five years, Illinois Policy Institute (John Tillman, Dan Proft) has taken more than $500K from Bruce Rauner and hundreds of thousands more from Rahm donors and Obama bundlers like Ken and Anne Griffin, who are also major supporters of Rauner's campaign. And I won’t even get into Illinois Policy Institute’s Elizabeth Christie’s involvement as co-finance chair of Rauner’s campaign or the money Proft has received from Larry Dominick in Cicero and the criminally-connected Jeff Pesek for years.
A Roeser employee says that Jack Roeser and his editor, Champion News’ Lennie Jarratt are also being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote Rahm’s political ally Rauner. According to the Board of Elections, Rauner gave Roeser $30,000 in 2012 alone. (Incidentally, Warner Todd Huston has also admitted taking advertising money from Jack Roeser for his website thus, the article attacking me but not any of Rauner's "conservative" supporters. Over the years, he has attacked me for various reasons and has actually been forced to make corrections to his statements).
In 2012, Adam Andrzejewski took $20,000 from Rauner (also at the Board of Elections website) and then donated directly to pro-abortion candidates. In 2012, Joe Walsh took thousands of dollars from Bruce Rauner’s finance chairman Ron Gidwitz (see the FEC website) and recently stood on a stage promoting Rauner with a townhall and now you know why.
See these links for background:
I wish there were real conservative donors and businessmen in Illinois. But, sadly, they are nowhere to be found. If you do find a few, let me know where they are. But I will not be lectured by the army of Ephialtes-traitors and internet trolls that have beaten a path for Bruce Rauner to follow."
We'll bring you any updates we get on the ongoing saga.