HOMER GLEN - Homer Glen resident Steve Balich has never been shy about sharing his political views on his Will County News website - dating back to when he and a handful of others started the Homer/Lockport Township Tea Party seven years ago, then throughout his 2014 campaign for Will County Board member and continuing today.
"I'm on the front page of the local paper, there are people calling on me to apologize again and resign as a county board member," Balich told Illinois Review. "All because I hold the opinion that women should be respected, not disrespected."
As a Tea Party devotee and county board member, Balich has been persistent in defending his constituents' wallets against tax hikes and their privacy from government intrusion. He asserts local control over bigger government, Second Amendment rights and protection of the unborn. His views were embraced by a majority of Will County voters, and now their county board boasts a conservative Republican majority.
Balich has used his Will County News website to bring those issues to his readers' attention for years.
But one post published shortly after the Women's March in D.C. charged up local feminists that are now calling for Balich's resignation and working to undermine his efforts to fundraise for his upcoming re-election campaign.
The statement which all the ruckus is about was found in a WIND radio personality Dan Proft commentary which read, "And so Trump's unity-signaling inaugural address was quickly followed by a protest march of grumpy old women and their wives to which Susan B. Anthony would not have been welcome."
Balich shared Proft's commentary with his Will County News readers.
Soon after, several women angry about that comment began calling other board members and showed up at a Will County Board meeting. Some called for an apology, others for Balich's resignation. Balich apologized, but did not resign.
That wasn't enough.
The women turned up the heat and threatened a protest at a local restaurant where Balich scheduled a campaign fundraiser February 23. The restaurant said they didn't want to be involved in a controversy, so they cancelled the event.
The Chicago Tribune's local outlet Southtown featured Balich's fundraiser cancellation on the front page Sunday.
In the meantime, Balich apologized to the board for the controversy and removed the op-ed from his website.
"It was not my opinion. It was written as satire," was quoted in the Southtown saying of the comments. "I am sorry if I offended anyone. It's not my intent to hurt anyone."
But he remained appalled by what he saw at the coinciding Women's March in Chicago.
"If you look at the photos of what those women dressed up as, and how disrespectful they were of themselves dressing up to look like [women's body parts], I still think it was wrong," Balich told Illinois Review. "I'm of the school that thinks women should be treasured, not disrespected."
The Homer/Lockport Tea Party group is rallying around Balich. They sent out an email over the weekend urging support.
As we all have been experiencing since the election of Donald Trump the left has become unhinged to the point where they must destroy anyone that does not agree with their point of view. It saddens us to let everyone know that Steve Balich has been under attack by the Women's March on Washington Group which is basically anti-Trump group. For more on this group go to www.womensmarch.com/principles.
The attacks began on Steve when he pointed out the vulgar and lewd behavior that took place at the women’s march last month. An example of the vulgar behavior from these marches is below.
These attacks on Steve have ranged from asking for Steve’s resignation from the county board, to threats of picketing county board meetings and picketing his upcoming fundraiser. This group even called the restaurant for Steve fundraiser and intimidated the owner into canceling Steve’s fundraiser.
Please don’t let the left get away with these Alinsky tactics. We are asking that you consider supporting Steve financially at his GoFund Me Page https://www.gofundme.com/sbalich,since his fundraiser got canceled. And that we show our support for Steve by calling the Will County Board 815-740-4602 CountyBoard @Willcountyillinois.com and let Mullet’s 708-645-7000 know that we support Steve.
Let's push back and not let the left drowned out our voices and silence our right to free speech.
The Homer/Lockport Tea Party
Balich says he will not fold and resign in response to the women's demands. He expects to face an intense primary for his board seat next February, and hopes like-minded folks help him raise needed campaign funds at his GoFund Me page.
"I'm planning to keep working for the people in my district," Balich said. "But I'll admit, this whole thing has been pretty disturbing."