Gannett takes over printing GOP insider Dan Proft’s controversial political publications

Gannett spokesperson declined to give details on business arrangement

The Local Government Information Services publications, including the McHenry Times, the Kane County Reporter and the DuPage Policy Journal, have been direct mailed to homes across the Chicago region.

Gannett, the largest newspaper publisher in the United States, has taken on as a client a group of controversial conservative publications run by Republican insider Dan Proft, a few weeks after the publications lost their previous printing deal.

Local Government Information Services, which distributes roughly three dozen publications online and several by mail, will continue to print a number of its publications through Gannett. Specifics of the agreement were not disclosed.

Gannett confirmed in a statement to Shaw Local News Network on Tuesday that LGIS is a client, but declined to specify any details of the agreement, including which papers are being printed and at what volume. Gannett publishes the Rockford Register-Star, the State Journal-Register in Springfield and the Journal Star in Peoria, among other small newspapers in Illinois.

“We do not discuss our clients and have no further comment,” a Gannett spokesperson wrote in an email.

Proft, a radio talk show host and former GOP gubernatorial candidate, has been listed as the principal of LGIS’ board of directors in state documents. He, along with Brian Timpone, president of LGIS, did not answer requests for information on the business deal.

The papers themselves have drawn attention for being politically charged, yet maintaining the look of newspapers. Some, including those who have been quoted in the publications, have likened them to an alternative viewpoint and just as legitimate as other papers.

Others, including Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker, have labeled them racist and fraudulent in terms of their news coverage.

Postage permits printed on some recent LGIS publications also show The Mail House Inc., out of Mount Prospect, sent some out, a USPS spokesman wrote in an email. An official with The Mail House Inc. on Tuesday said they had no comment.

Paddock Publications, which operates and prints the Daily Herald, canceled its publishing deal with LGIS last month.

Pritzker threatened to pull out of a scheduled interview with Republican state Sen. Darren Bailey of Xenia and the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors — involving the Daily Herald and several other publications — after the business arrangement between Paddock and LGIS surfaced.

Paddock later announced it was canceling the deal with LGIS. Pritzker the next day said he agreed to participate in the Sept. 30 interview.

Proft, who is also president of the People Who Play By The Rules Political Action Committee, afterward announced his publications had a new printer whose identity he did not disclose.

He compared Pritzker to a king seeking to stop speech with which he disagreed.

James Norman

James T. Norman

James also goes by Jake and became a journalist to pursue a love of writing. He originally joined the ranks to be involved with football, but over time fell in love with community reporting and explaining policies. You can catch him at his computer or your local meeting.