Richard Grabowski, a Hometown resident and 3rd Congressional District candidate, released a blistering press release on Wednesday night charging that his main challenger for the Republican primary nomination to challenge Democratic incumbent Dan Lipinski, Jim Falvey, is a “fraud” and a “Democrat in Republican clothing.”
Grabowski’s charges stem from a Cook County Clerk report showing that in the past nine primary elections, Falvey of Western Springs has drawn a Democratic ballot six times and a Republican ballot only twice, in 1996 and 2006. (Falvey did not cast a primary vote in 2010.)
“If the man is going to run as a conservative Republican and make the claims to be a conservative Republican … then why would he have that many other times have pulled a Democratic ballot?” Grabowski asked.
“I don’t see that as being true to the party itself. … Maybe he’s a conservative Democrat. It’s possible. But I can’t see him having actually been a true conservative Republican.”
Additionally, Grabowski questioned Falvey’s geographic proximity to Lipinski (both are Western Springs residents), the supposed long-time ignorance of township committeemen to Falvey’s campaign and the campaign’s filing on the last day of eligibility.
He also said Falvey’s stated positions are suspiciously overly-close to his own.
“I would put things on my website even and all of a sudden, wow, he was talking those same talking points. … That’s what sparked me to go and start searching a little deeper,” Grabowski said. “I feel that there is an attempt to actually take me off the ballot very easily using the votes of the people for two other candidates who wouldn’t normally be on the ballot.”
(The other GOP candidate, Arthur Jones, is disowned by the GOP and taken seriously by few. Jones is a self-professed neo-Nazi who believes .)
Both Grabowski and Falvey admit this charge comes as Falvey has picked up a number of key conservative endorsements, including that of the Republican Organization of Lyons Township. The Falvey campaign said that revelations of more endorsements would come next week.
In a response, Falvey wrote in an e-mail that Grabowski “is getting a bit desperate” and that “with only four weeks left in the election this is the time where losing candidates start throwing around baseless accusations, and that’s exactly what my opponent is doing.”
Falvey’s campaign pointed to their candidate’s roots as a member of Republican Congressman Fred Upton’s staff, as well as his Republican donations and endorsements and self-pronounced general-election Republican votes, as evidence of his “mainstream conservative values.”
Responding to Grabowski’s findings about his voting record, Falvey explained that he, like many conservatives in the 3rd District, only drew Democratic ballots for years in order to cast in favor of the most-conservative Democrat, seeing no strong Republicans emerging to merit a primary vote.
“The Republican Party has not only not done a good job, they’ve done a horrible job at fielding candidates in these [3rd District] races and making them competitive,” said Falvey spokesman Collin Corbett. “There are a lot of hard-working Republicans, but the leadership hasn’t been there and the candidates haven’t been there to put up a fight. … That’s why Jim’s running. He’s running because there was not a good candidate to run against Congressman Lipinski.”
As in with Patch, Falvey said he would not attack a fellow Republican, and stated that he would remain focused on the general election against Congressman Lipinski. (In his release, Grabowski said he would not attack a Republican either, but no longer believed Falvey was a true Republican.)
Corbett, however, called the claim “a whole different low.”
“They’re empty accusations, and to be honest, to call somebody a shill for another party without any facts at all—I wouldn’t do that,” the Falvey spokesman said.