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GOP lawmakers representing McHenry County react to 'Jihad Squad' post

Local GOP lawmakers had mixed reactions to a now-removed post on the Illinois Republican County Chairmen’s Association’s Facebook page referring to four minority Democratic congresswomen as the “Jihad Squad.”

The post, which was removed Sunday, featured an image of a fake movie poster depicting U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar-D-Minn., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. – who have been the source of recent criticism from President Donald Trump – as the “Jihad Squad” with the subtitles, “Political jihad is their game” and “if you don’t agree with their ideology, you’re racist.”

Lake County GOP Chairman Mark Shaw said on Facebook that he did not authorize the post and the approval process posts go through is being reevaluated. Shaw also said Sunday that the post was deleted.

State Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, called the post “outrageous” and called on Republican Party officials to publicly disclose who posted it in a statement Monday to the Northwest Herald.

“We need to focus on the issues, not unfair personal attacks,” McSweeney said. “I will continue to strongly oppose the socialist policies of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and the anti-Semitic remarks of Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib.”

State Sen. Don DeWitte, R-St. Charles, told the Northwest Herald that he shared the stance of Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, who tweeted that this type of post has no place in today’s political discourse and he was pleased to see it taken down.

Brady said that he remained hopeful each party can debate political differences in a respectful manner.

State Rep. Allen Skillicorn, R-East Dundee, had a different response.

“I find it ironic that quite a few people in the Democratic Party hurl the term ‘racist’ at ideological opponents when they lose an argument,” Skillicorn said. “This devalues real racism and further tears our nation apart.”

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