UPDATE x1: Richard Chapman has finally provided IR a rather vague response, writing,"I had absolutely nothing to do with the above communications that were mailed to voters in the Illinois 97th District. My group has been instructed by me not to take part in any smear tactics. We might state facts that we are certain about pertaining to financial donations, because we believe the money trail might be important. In this case, we would not do it this way, no matter what."
Chapman would not specify who his "group" is, or if he's spoken with the IBEW regarding the use of their postal permit.
JOLIET - While Republicans try to avoid public policy issues like abortion and gay marriage, the other side seems obsessed with them, using them as weapons in the 97th GOP Illinois House race.
Sparks are flying after two abortion-themed mailers hit district mailboxes on Saturday. Both mailers were aimed at real estate broker Mark Batinick, who is running against teachers union activist Amanda Mancke and Shorewood Mayor Rick Chapman to replace the pro-abortion GOP State Representative Tom Cross.
The mail pieces, which were sent on behalf of Mancke and Chapman, targeted Batinick as both pro-life and pro-abortion. The pro-abortion Personal PAC mailer sent on behalf of Mancke accused Batinick of being anti-woman by being pro-life, while the mailer sent on behalf of Chapman accuses Batinick of being anti-family by being pro-abortion.
Batinick, who has been endorsed by the Illinois Federation for Right to Life PAC, told Illinois Review, "This is frustrating. The deception and lies are everywhere."
According to records, Personal PAC has spent $10,000 in mailings for Mancke, and has given her an additional $10,000 in cash - more than any other Republican in the 2014 primary.
One of Personal PAC's mailers (below) features a photo-shopped graphic with Batinick - a real estate businessman - donning a lab coat, appearing to be performing a gynecological exam, implying Batinick as anti-women.
The second mailing, which claims Batinick has "sold out" the pro-life movement, is raising legal concerns both about how the mailing was funded, and where it originated.
Though required by law, the mailer has absolutely no disclaimer indicating who sent it. The return address is that of Batinick's opponent, Shorewood Mayor Rick Chapman. (below) And it was mailed using the postage permit of the Illinois Brotherhood of Election Workers (IBEW) Local 21. (below)
Mayor Chapman refused to comment when asked if the mailer was his, or if he knew anything about it.
Chapman's Illinois State Board of Elections records show he's raised less than $5,000 for his State House race, and the IBEW has not filed an in-kind contribution for the Chapman campaign.