The cover of the West Cook News, a new eight-page weekly ‘newspaper’ that conservative Super PAC Liberty Principles has been mailing to voters in the 7th District. Liberty Principles has thrown its support behind challenger Chris Harris, who is running against incumbant 7th District state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch in the upcoming March 15 Democratic Primary election. | Cook County Chronicle
Sunday, February 21, 2016 || Originally Published: Cook County Chronicle || 2/18/16 || By Jean Lotus
A new eight-page weekly newspaper hit select mailboxes in Proviso Township Thursday featuring a front-page story on the 7th Dist. State Rep challenger Chris Harris and an editorial blasting incumbent Emanuel “Chris” Welch.
The paper, West Cook News, and its corresponding website, is one of six new papers created by conservative Chicago talk-show host Dan Proft’s Liberty Principles Super PAC. The papers are produced in partnership with River Forest media entrepreneur Brian Timpone, founder of BlockShopper and the former Journatic, LLC– now called LocalLabs, LLC.
These are not just election mailers, their financier says, they are bona fide local papers that will continue after the elections.
“Our intention is to keep the papers rolling and to build more,” Proft said.
The papers are delivered through the mail to registered voters, and are “dropped off in different locations, like grocery stores and libraries,” Proft said.
Liberty Principles Super PAC declared $85,000 in donations to Newsinator, LLC, a company also owned by Timpone. According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, the donation supports six candidates in the March 15 primary, all Republicans except Harris.
Other candidates were Dan McConchie (R-26th State Sen.), Reggie Phillips (R-110th State Rep.), Brandi McGuire (R-72nd State Rep.), Paul Schimpf (R-58th State Sen.) and Allen Skillicorn (R-66th State Rep.).
Super PAC rules prohibit direct donations to candidates, but PACs can buy advertising or services that support or oppose candidates.
As for candidate Harris, he said he found the new paper “Quite well-done and very informative.”
“There’s absolutely a need for a news source here,” Harris added. “People are starved for information since the Proviso Herald went away.”
Welch said in an email he had heard about the newspapers.
“Similar attacks … have been sent by Liberty Principles PAC in other areas,” Welch said. “The support Chris Harris is receiving from right-wing supporters of Gov. Bruce Rauner concerns me. I believe that my district needs someone who is committed to standing up for them and not the dangerous agenda being pushed by Gov. Rauner and his allies.”
As the newspaper industry continues to evolve, politicians are finding small newspapers a good way to reach voters. In Cook County, State Sen. Steve Landek (R-12th), who is also Mayor of Bridgeview, co-owns Southwest Community Publishing Co., which publishes the Des Plaines Valley News, Clear-Ridge Reporter, Southwest News-Herald and the former Palos-based Regional News and Reporter.
To read more, click here. VFP
Sun-Times endorses Welch for state rep
[THE VILLAGE FREE PRESS] On Feb. 18, the Chicago Sun-Times released its endorsements of candidates running for state representative in the upcoming March 15 primary election. For the 7th District, the Sun-Times endorsed Emanuel “Chris” Welch for reelection. Welch is facing challenger Chris Harris, a former Forest Park commissioner.
In its endorsement explanation, the paper wrote:
“Two-term state Rep. Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch, of Hillside, a former Proviso High School District 209 president, has been criticized for insider politics. But Democratic challenger Chris Harris, a former Forest Park village commissioner who lost a mayoral run last April, strikes us as too bellicose to be an acceptable alternative. Welch gets our endorsement, without enthusiasm. In 2012, Pioneer Press reported Welch had at least 19 close friends and relatives in jobs in the school district, where he then was school board president. Also in 2012, the district had to cough up $400,000 to settle a defamation lawsuit over anonymous blog posts traced to Welch’s computer. But it’s hard to see how the thinly experienced Harris, who repeatedly referred to Welch as a “shill” for House Speaker Michael Madigan and special interests during an interview with the Sun-Times Editorial Board, could build the rapport with fellow legislators necessary to help the 7th District, which includes all or part of Bellwood, Berkeley, Broadview, Forest Park, Hillside, La Grange Park, Maywood, River Forest, Westchester, Melrose Park, Western Springs and Northlake.”