Metro-East News

To beat Romanik, county Democrats use mailers invoking Reagan, Trump

One side of the flyer assailing Bob Romanik.
One side of the flyer assailing Bob Romanik.

The St. Clair County Democratic Central Committee, for decades the dominant party in county politics, has produced a full-color mailer sent to thousands of households extolling the virtues of a president — but not a Democrat.

On one side of the mailer is a photo of Republican Ronald Reagan next to the words, “A Hero. A Patriot. A Statesman.”

On the flip side is a photo of Republican state representative candidate from the 114th District Bob Romanik, wearing a red, white and blue “Uncle Sam” suit. Beside the photo of Romanik, a radio talk show host, is a tersely-worded message urging voters not to vote for Romanik or any of 10 county office Republican candidates he supports in the November election. The photo is below a headline that says “A buffoon.”

“In St. Clair County, (the) Republican Party is in danger. Bob Romanik — the foul-mouthed, bigoted, sleaze jock — has used his ill-gotten money to hijack the party and replace it with his Freedom Coalition,” the Democrat Party’s political flyer states. “It’s time for St. Clair County Republicans to take their party back by rejecting Bob Romanik and his followers.”

Romanik said he welcomes the mailer and plans to use the photo of himself in his Uncle Sam suit in his own political literature.

“I want to thank them for their desperate action,” Romanik said. “This will just mean more votes for us...This shows that the Democrats are just trying to manipulate people like they always have. They are vulgar people.”

The mailer is the county Democratic political machine’s response to months of Freedom Coalition political action and often vulgar commentary from Romanik on his radio show, where he refers to himself as “The Grim Reaper of Radio.” He has posted billboards in Belleville and East St. Louis mocking county Democrat boss Bob Sprague, a Belleville attorney, with the bodies of infants clad in diapers.

Sprague could not be reached for comment.

On Thursday, Romanik loaned his political committee $1 million, bringing the amount of total funding available in his campaign fund to $1,125,000, according to state campaign disclosure records. Election rules allow whatever remains unused from the $1 million loan to be reclaimed for personal use by Romanik.

“This money is not just for me,” Romanik said, “it’s for anybody running against any candidate backed by the culture of corruption.” Romanik, on his radio show, often refers to the local Democrat party as a culture of corrueption.

This money is not just for me, it’s for anybody running against any candidate backed by the culture of corruption.

Bob Romanik, who has loaned $1 million to his political campaign

Another mailer sent by the county Democratic committee shows Romanik with a hair style meant to resemble Donald Trump beside the headline “Trumped by Romanik.” Like the Reagan mailer, it denounces Romanik as a candidate and urges voters to vote against candidates he supports in East St. Louis, mostly for precinct committeeman positions.

“This was a completely racist move by Bob Sprague and the Democratic culture of corruption,” said Romanik, “They know Trump is not well thought of in the black community. And they mailed this out only to people below the hill in East St. Louis and other black communities... He (Sprague) has used racially divisive false propaganda because he and his band of political mobsters have never, ever been threatened to be exposed and run out of their corrupt offices in over 50 years.”

Romanik faces East St. Louis councilwoman and Democrat Latoya Greenwood in November. Greenwood, a director of human resources for East St. Louis School District 189, so far has no money in her campaign fund. Greenwood could not be reached for comment.

The House district currently is represented by Rep. Eddie Lee Jackson, D-East St. Louis, who is not seeking re-election.