Local GOP chairman apologizes for Obama-donkey comment

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

Winnebago County Republican Committee Chairman Jim Thompson issued an apology Tuesday, April 29, for what has been reported as a disparaging remark about President Barack Obama (D).

The remark was included in a weekly e-mail newsletter Thompson, known for open criticism of the Democratic Party, sends to subscribers. 

While Thompson urged State Rep. Chuck Jefferson, D-Rockford, to step down, he did not mention the president by name other than a quip about Obama library funding. He also penned a clear disapproval of Obamacare that precedes a rant about a hybrid animal–a cross between a zebra and donkey.

“Media update for the week: saw on the news this week the offspring of a donkey and a zebra, black and white legs, rest all donkey,” Thompson wrote. “Not sure why this is news: now if we can teach him to read a teleprompter, we could have two living creatures the media will fawn over that is part white part black and all a**!”

Thompson posted an apology to TalkingPointsMemo.comafter the site obtained a copy of the newsletter.

“I would like to offer my sincere apology to those who were offended, and I regret including this item in the newsletter,” Thompson posted Tuesday. “In the future, it most certainly won’t happen again.”

While no Republicans, including Thompson, were available for comment, local Democrats responded Wednesday.

“I was extremely disappointed to learn that Winnebago County Republican Chairman Jim Thompson stooped to the same racially insensitive level of NBA owner Donald Sterling and the racist ranting rancher from Nevada, Cliven Bundy,” Democratic Chairman Charles Laskonis said in a statement.

Laskonis also called for Thompson to apologize to the people of Winnebago County.

“I think he owes an apology to all of the citizens that reside in Winnebago County,” Laskonis added. “I am proud to work with local community groups, party members, and citizens that are sick and tired of this disguised racist talk, and outright racist talk, that many prominent Republicans around the country are spewing.”

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