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RICH JAMES: Lake County GOP should invest here

RICH JAMES: Lake County GOP should invest here

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I don’t know how Lake County Republicans can get anyone to take them seriously.

The party has become a joke.

Its only real worth is raising money for Gov. Mike Pence — who doesn’t much care about Lake County — and other downstate Republicans.

The latest squabble is between county Chairman Dan Dernulc and his predecessor, Kim Krull.

Dernulc is crying to the county Election Board about Krull. And Krull is doing her best to tell the State Election Commission that Dernulc ought to be dumped.

It’s kind of like two kids running to mom to tattle on the other.

Dernulc wants the Election Board to fine Krull for allegedly failing to file a party financial report when she gave up the chairmanship a year ago.

Krull wants the State Election Commission to remove Dernulc from office for allegedly forming a “new” county GOP organization to avoid repaying an $18,525 loan to the family of former County Chairman John Curley.

Curley, who passed away in 2009, was among the finest local Republicans I’ve known over the past 40 years.

In terms of this family feud, Dernulc is wired on both ends. Schererville’s Dan Dumezich is state party treasurer. His lot in life is raising money for state Republicans.

While Dernulc holds the title, Dumezich runs the Lake County organization.

It’s not by chance that Dumezich’s wife, Dana, holds a lucrative position on the county election board.

As Republicans battle each other, they essentially give Democrats a pass.

If any of the rank-and-file Republicans care, they aren’t publicly saying anything. Where are the so-called party leaders like state Reps. Rick Niemeyer and Hal Slager and County Councilman Eldon Strong? Guess they are just busy hoping to get re-elected.

It’s a shame because the county needs a two-party system — not a token Republican here and another one there.

If ever there’s been a stage set for a minority party to make advances, it’s in Lake County.

But this inept GOP organization fails at every turn.

Instead of sending money downstate, Republicans would be wise to spend it at home.

Even though most elected Lake County Democrats are fine officials, have you ever seen a Republican billboard bemoaning the fact that the Democratic Party has had a corner on public corruption?

Have you ever seen Republicans come up with a platform for advancing Lake County?

Have you ever seen Republicans stand up against the NIMBYS (not in my back yard) in an effort to advance the county?

Have you ever seen rank-and-file Lake County Republicans stand up to the tea partiers in an effort to attract independents?

Have you ever seen Lake County Republicans stand for anything as opposed to being against everything?

I didn’t think so.

Lake County Republicans are like the Cubs. They are sometimes lovable, but usually losers.

Rich James has been writing about state and local government and politics for more than 30 years. Email him at The opinions are the writer’s.


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