Illinois is easily the worst state in the country to live in. The schools are bad, the taxes are high, the pension bomb is worse, jobs are the least, and more people are laving the sate than any other, all thanks to the Democrat Party. But Sangamon County board chairman Andy Van Meter is a perfect example of why the Republican Party has been unable to make a dent in the left’s power like the GOP has been able to do in every state surrounding it.
Sangamon County is smack in the middle of the oblong hell-hole that is Illinois. It is also home to the state capitol of Springfield. The only thing funny about Springfield is that it shares its name with the cartoon town of TV’s The Simpsons. Otherwise, it is a grim, jobless, poor place where politicians flit in to conduct the sort of business that continues to bankrupt the state and then flit back out again to go back home.
The lord of Sangamon’s Republican Party is long-time Republican Party operative Andy Van Meter who has held the position since the year 2000. The joke is that he was late to a county party planning session and was elected chairman before he got to the meeting. He was also elected to the Sangamon County Board in 1994.
Van Meter, whose father was a rich and powerful banker in Springfield until his death in 2015, is one of the area’s biggest inside men.
So, why hasn’t he led the Republican Party — especially at the state’s capital — to a new position of power even as the Democrat Party wallows in absolutely devastating failure?
Well, that is hard to say. I am sure he is a nice enough fellow, of course, but is he leading the party to greater prominence and power? Looks like “no” is the answer to that.
But one thing we know for sure, Van Meter gives thousands in campaign donations to Democrats. So, maybe that has something to do with his lack of drive to upset the apple cart?
We know this because a recent article in the area’s local newspaper casually revealed that Van Meter has donated ten thousand dollars to Democrats since 1999.
Here is how the Illinois Times put it:
Van Meter, a Republican, during the past two decades has contributed $8,750 to House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, and $2,700 to Democratic Majority, a political committee aimed at electing Democrats to the state House of Representatives.
Not being from Illinois, you would not know that House Speaker Michael Madigan — who has run the house since sometime in the early part of last century — is THE main boogey man in the state. He is responsible for totally destroying the state and is the perennial target of Republicans looking to unseat him… which they never come anywhere near doing.
And Van Meter donated to this guy?
Just as bad, he donated to the committee responsible to elect even more Democrats?
Just what sort of “Republican” is Van Meter, anyway?
Well, he’s an Illinois Republican, that’s what.
Meanwhile, the Democrats destroyed Indiana… and the Hoosier Republican Party surged back, not only to retake the state but to send its former Governor to the White House as Vice President.
To the north, Wisconsin was being sent to the cleaners by the Democrats for decades. And what happened? The Wisconsin Republican Party rose to take control and oust Democrats all over the place.
Republicans in Kentucky, Missouri, and Iowa also rose up from minority status to begin making a new state for themselves.
But in Illinois, the Republican Party loses MORE seats every election, both federally and state wide.
Maybe the Sangamon County GOP’s chief’s donating ten thousand dollars to the enemy is part of the reason why?
No wonder Illinois is such a basket case.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.