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Republicans Gather In Terre Haute For Stories of Illinois Past Presidents

Two Henderson County men were given tributes March 2nd who were missed, this year, at the table of the Annual Lincoln Day Dinner in Terre Haute, held by Henderson County Republicans.

County States Attorney Scott McClintock told how he remembered the late Larry Anderson, of Gladstone, (former Henderson County Republicans' Chair), never missing an event held by Republicans. He always was working hard to promote the conservative values Republicans hold dear.

Anderson's hard work and constant efforts in politics will be missed.

McClintock also honored Curt Eisenmayer who is recovering from a severe fall that has left him with a long rehabilitation process at Oak Lane Nursing home. His long and active service in the county, on so many levels, (presently the county board) has been a great contribution to the Republican party and the residents of Henderson County. Many commented how Curt's service has been a constant and is a legend in Henderson County.

McClintock gave his thanks and wished Eisenmayer a happy birthday March 7th and a speedy recovery as he celebrates his 90th.

Chairman Bill Knupp gave several introductions of guests present including past and present elected officials.

Newly elected Ill. State Representative Randy Frese updated the Lincoln Day crowd on the goings on in Springfield.

Randy is a midwestern boy with a stellar record, served in Quincy as Adams County Circuit Clerk for the past two terms. His reputation for integrity, professionalism, and service are the foundation of his success. Randy has demonstrated these values in his roles as a husband, father, small businessman, elected official, and civic leader. Raised on his family's farm, Randy continued on to earn his Bachelor of Sciences in Applied Sciences/Agriculture at Western Illinois University.

After graduating from WIU, Randy learned about business traveling West Central Illinois. Based out of Macomb, he was first a sales and service representative for White Farm Equipment, and then he worked as an industrial minerals salesman.

He soon returned to Adams County and began developing a series of entrepreneurial small businesses. Throughout his years as a small business owner Randy employed hundreds of individuals in the western Illinois region.

He knows what it is to make the hard decisions of a small business owner, he knows how to maintain a budget and follow a plan, and he is able to relate and work with those who bring small business opportunities to western Illinois.

Frese said he is excited to be working along side Governor Bruce Rauner to move Illinois up the ladder in attracting business back to Illinois and bringing the finances back in order.

Already, Frese said: Governor Rauner will be living in the Governor's home in Springfield, and Rauner gave his inaugural address, on time! He passed a budget for the first time in 12-16 years that is under the income projected to be received of $32 billion, with projected expenses of $31.5 billion.

Governor Rauner is working on issues of tort reform and workers compensation reform to encourage manufacturers to build in Illinois which will increase Illinois state income.

Frese reminded that with 47 Republicans in the house and 71 democrats and the need for 60% plus vote, they have their work cut out for them with Michael Madigan, Majority leader.

Frese said, "It will be interesting to see, Madigan has been pretty cordial with the governor."

Frese mentioned there are a lot of cuts in the budget and it has been pro-rated across the board. "He's not picking any favorites but keeping it fair across the board while staying true to funding Education. Frese said Illinois' commitment for funding K-12 education will remain untouched at 95% funding.

Frese told Henderson County Republicans he would work for what they wanted in the district when they discussed townships combining or not combining in smaller areas to save costs. There is 11 townships in Henderson County and it was felt by one Twp. Treasurer that it "couldn't be reduced to 6, maybe 9."

Frese talked about how passionate he was about veterans, although he hadn't served himself, his brother was killed in Vietnam and he recalls the tragic day they came to the door to report the news.

He said he will work hard on his appointed committees of Agriculture, Human Services, Small Business, Business Growth and Development.

In conclusion, Frese said he believed Governor Rauner will live within the means of the budget and create a level playing field to attract business. He said anyone wanting Frese's electronic newsletter emailed to them on his WEEK IN REVIEW can do so by emailing

Frese left for the evening to return to Springfield. Before he left, he said, "I worked hard to get elected in the district, and I will work hard to earn the respect of the voters at Springfield." Frese said he appreciated the ability to serve.

As an elected leader, Randy established a strong record of efficient and effective public service in eight years as the Adams County Circuit Clerk.

He has streamlined operations, repaired flawed administrative practices, expanded the use of technology to make information more readily available and usable, held the line on budget growth, and maintained a constituent-centered service model.

Randy made it his priority to properly utilize his budget in the most effective way possible, while constantly increasing constituent service standards.

Joe Alexander Speaks on History of Our Illinois Presidents

Guest Speaker for the evening was Joe Alexander of Bloomington, graduate of the University of Illinois, Champaign.

Alexander, is an aspiring public speaker who has a major in history and offered a brief note on Illinois's claimed Presidents: Abraham Lincoln, General Ulysses S Grant, Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan who had all lived in Illinois, noting this year was the 150th anniversary of the shooting of Abraham Lincoln. After giving a brief connection of each President's connections in Illinois, Alexander said, it was President Ronald Reagan who was the only one of the four presidents actually born in Illinois.

The majority of Alexander's entertaining and passionate stories were of 40th President, Ronald Reagan.



Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois, to Edward "Jack" Reagan (1883-1941), a shoe salesman, and Nelle Wilson Reagan (1883-1962). The family, which included older son Neil Reagan (1908-1996), resided in an apartment that lacked indoor plumbing and running water and was located along the small town's main street.

Reagan's father nicknamed him Dutch as a baby, saying he resembled "a fat little Dutchman."

Alexander took the audience from his life as son of an alcoholic father who moved around a lot and at the age of 9 ended up in Dixon.

He was a lifeguard, member of the Disciples of Christ Church, member of the swim team, washed dishes, played baseball. In 1928 he went to Eureka College and graduated with 2 degrees in economics during the middle of the depression in 1932. He applied for work in the Montgomery Ward Store in Dixon and didn't get it and hitched hiked to Chicago looking for a radio job.

Someone pulled "Dutch" aside and he began announcing big 10 bb in Des Moines, IA with instructions "Don't talk about any controversial topics". He then announced for the Chicago Cubs broadcasting and he was very optimistic.

Alexander went on taking the audience through Reagan's journeys to California when the Cubs went to Southern California for the first time for spring training and he went into Warner Bros. Studio for a test screen which landed him 50 films. He married Jane Wyman, they lost a girl at 31 weeks old, Christine, in 1946, and ultimately the marriage ended in an upsetting divorce.

His film industry "petered out in the 50s'" Alexander said.

He went to Las Vegas, because first President of the Union for the Actors' Guile, became spokes person for General Electric.

He grew up Democratic but Reagan said, "I didn't leave them, they left me."

After G.E. let Reagan go, he became a spokesperson for Barry Goldwater, at the National Republican Convention, who was tough on the military, and on Vietnam.

Reagan than ran for Governor of California and won defeating long standing Emond Brown in 1966 by millions of votes.

Without the support of Republicans, Reagan went on to run in 1976 for the Presidental nomination where Republicans rallied around the support of Gerald Ford, but Ford lost to Jimmy Carter in the General Election.

Although press and friends were telling Reagan that he was too old, he didn't listen and he ran for the U.S. President and was elected.

Ronald Reagan was sworn into office on January 20, 1981. In his inaugural address, Reagan famously said of America's then-troubled economy, "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem."

Just over two months after his inauguration, on March 30, 1981, Reagan survived an assassination attempt by John Hinckley Jr. (1955-), a man with a history of psychiatric problems, outside a hotel in Washington, D.C. The gunman's bullet pierced one of the president's lungs and narrowly missed his heart. Reagan, known for his good-natured humor, later told his wife, "Honey, I forgot to duck." Within several weeks of the shooting, Reagan was back at work.

On the domestic front, President Ronald Reagan implemented policies to reduce the federal government's reach into the daily lives and pocketbooks of Americans, including tax cuts intended to spur growth (known as Reaganomics).

He also advocated for increases in military spending, reductions in certain social programs and measures to deregulate business.

By 1983, the nation's economy had started to recover and enter a period of prosperity that would extend through the rest of Reagan's presidency.