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Rich James: Unrest festers in Lake GOP

Rich James

Rich James

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Updated: November 16, 2011 10:18AM



There apparently is a good bit of George Bush in Lake County Chairwoman Kim Krull.

They both seem to think it’s OK to break the rules if it suits their purpose.

And when you get caught, you blame it on someone else.

What Krull and the county Republican Central Committee did is in violation of state statute that governs the Indiana Gaming Commission.

The statute says an organization having a fundraiser with prizes valued under $1,000 has to apply for what it calls “an exemption.” It’s a simple process.

If the prizes are worth more than $1,000, the organization has to jump through hoops and spend some bucks to get approval to raise the money.

Krull lied about the prizes being valued under $1,000. And she got caught.

Rather than an administrative prosecution by the Gaming Commission, Krull agreed that the county party would pay a $500 fine and attend a Charity Gaming Seminar — which is like going to driving school if you get a speeding ticket.

The raffle winners were announced at the April 2 Lincoln Day Dinner.

Here’s the real kicker about the fundraiser:

Republicans didn’t buy those raffle tickets to win a television, a fancy phone or a three-night stay in Las Vegas.

Nope.

Folks bought those raffle tickets for the chance to win three guns.

Guns. Can you believe it? Lake County Republicans raffle guns. Lake County Democrats raffle fruitcakes.

A fellow I talked to this week said Krull had one of those gun raffles last year, too.

Yeah, and tickets sold like hotcakes. And who bought the lion’s share of them? The tea partiers. Just what that group needs is more guns.

After Krull got caught raffling guns worth more than $1,000 — and the party making a hefty profit — you’d think she might say, oops, and apologize. Sure.

So, what does Krull say?

“So they fined us basically because Joe Hero (a longtime Republican) kept complaining about it,” Krull said.

Sorry, Kim, you got fined because you broke the law. And you admitted it when you agreed to pay the penalty.

The only question remaining is whether this is the beginning of the end for Krull.

Word is that other complaints have been filed and a faction of the party ultimately would like to see the Republican State Central Committee remove Krull as party chair. That’s difficult to get done.

Short of that, the Krull opponents will have to beat her at the party convention in March 2013.

The precinct committeemen who will elect the new chairman in March 2013 will be elected in May 2012.

Krull has given her detractors ammunition — there goes that gun thing again — for the May 2012 election.

Krull has fired a few of her municipal chairmen and some precinct committeemen — largely because they didn’t kiss the ring.

Those who have been scorned are quietly working to get enough committeemen elected next year to defeat Krull in 2013.

And some people wonder why Democrats so easily continue to control Lake County.

Rich James’ column appears on Fridays.



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