Author Topic: Goodbye to our friend Chip Gerdes [Tea Party Patriot]  (Read 750 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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Goodbye to our friend Chip Gerdes [Tea Party Patriot]
« on: May 07, 2013, 12:28:17 AM »

Goodbye to our friend Chip Gerdes

Posted by Anne Sorock    Monday, May 6, 2013 at 6:00pm

Today we received news that Chip Gerdes, one of the patriots we don’t all know by name, but who works day in and day out to help our country, passed away. Legal Insurrection writers add their thoughts below.

Anne Sorock adds:

There are many characters fighting this war to restore freedom and an appreciation for American exceptionalism to our country; but there is no one like Chip.

Chip, who was one of the behind-the-scenes guys who do so much heavy lifting in politics, running campaigns, connecting media with stories, generally getting things done, was, like Andrew, larger than life. In fact it was through Chip that I first met Andrew.

Every time I saw him he would regale me with another inconceivable story from his work. It’s better to skim the surface of these stories — they were often successful and always mischievous.

It was Chip’s downtown apartment that many of us fighting the fight in Chicago would gather to be entertained by Chip, planning a “flotilla” up to Madison to catch up with the protesters, or arguing over where to go to dinner. We nearly always decided on the Chicago standby Greek Islands, Chip picking up the check no matter how big or small the group.

And it was through his magnetic personality that many of us who can sometimes lean overly ideological (myself foremost) were brought together, scolded for our zealousness, and generally reminded that sometimes you have to laugh through this war we’re in. Chip, charming and amiable where some of us are sharp-elbowed, was a warrior. And his role was vital to bringing cohesiveness to the grassroots army.

He leaves behind a wife and young daughter whom I had the pleasure of getting to know. I hope you will keep them in your thoughts and prayers as you reflect on the many types of warriors who are fighting today.

In honor of his alma mater that he loved so much, Roll Tide Roll.

Mandy Nagy adds:

There are so many great stories I could tell about Chip Gerdes, but not many I could tell publicly.  It’s true that he was a behind-the-scenes guy.  He was always getting his fingers into something, but always doing so with humor and a light-hearted spirit.

I first met Chip several years ago, when he decided to come out to the East Coast for one of the big labor union marches in NYC.  I’d already been planning on attending to cover it as a blogger.  But as Chip was wont to do, he preferred to make covering the event a little more fun.  I won’t go into all the details (there were no dirty tricks, though) – I’ll only say that it involved waving a Gadsen flag as parade marchers passed by.

The ensuing discussions from the crowd were remarkably civil and equally fascinating and enlightening.  I joined Chip in a discussion with a real-life communist academic who tried in earnest to convince us that the world be a much better place – if only the US would just submit to communism, it would work.  Really, it would.

Last year when our dear friend Andrew Breitbart passed away, I was in Chicago at the time.  I’ll never forget the early morning phone call I received from Chip.  “I don’t want to be alone today,” he said.  “Please come be with me.  Let’s get the gang together.”  And that we did.

I recall spending that entire day and evening with Chip and several of our other friends, sharing stories about Andrew and trying to keep ourselves distracted.  It was one of the most painful days of my life, yet oddly, also one of the most enjoyable.  We were surrounded by friends and love, and I often reflect on that day and wonder how I would have gotten through it without Chip and our friends there.

But that was Chip.  On the one hand, he was a jokester and a loud, boisterous personality – to the point that you sometimes wanted to shake him.  Yet at the same time, he was a big teddy bear that would engulf you in a hug when you needed it most.  He was a friend that I am thankful to have had in my life, albeit for far too short a time.

Chip’s passing has reminded me of one very important thing:  keep the ones you love in life close to you and remember to tell them how important they are to you.  You never know if you’ll have that chance to do so tomorrow.

Rest in peace, happy warrior.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Goodbye to our friend Chip Gerdes [Tea Party Patriot]
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2013, 12:32:23 AM »

Monday, May 06, 2013
Quincy political activist Chip Gerdes dies of heart attack

Chip Gerdes, Quincy-based political activist and friend/co-activist with Andrew Breitbart, died of a sudden heart attack Monday. Gerdes was a behind-the-scenes activist in congressional and state campaigns in both Illinois and Missouri. He leaves behind a widow and child.

The word is passing on the web. Gateway Pundit writes about work with Gerdes HERE. Oceander Loesch HERE. UPDATE: Missouri Congresswoman Ann Wagner read a tribute on the floor of the U.S. House Monday.

 Erick Erickson        ? @EWErickson

OMG, I just heard about @TookieW. I'm in shock. Oh how sad. Prayers for his family and loved ones.
8:50 AM - 6 May 2013

         Tony Katz @tonykatz

        @HatingBreitbart I feel sick. @TookieW

    Robert Stacy McCain @rsmccain

    @tonykatz Truly sad. @TookieW was beloved. Most people never heard of Chip, because he insisted on anonymity. R.I.P. @HatingBreitbart

 Michelle Malkin        ? @michellemalkin

R.I.P.==> RT @FranEaton: RIP Quincy political activist Chip Gerdes dies of heart attack  @TookieW #RIP
9:58 AM - 6 May 2013

 EdMorrissey @EdMorrissey

In my prayers today RT @FranEaton: RIP Quincy political activist Chip Gerdes dies of heart attack  @TookieW #RIP
9:31 AM - 6 May 2013

 Joel Pollak @joelpollak

Quincy political activist Chip Gerdes dies of heart attack  Very sad to lose a friend of @AndrewBreitbart and the team
10:07 AM - 6 May 2013

Adam Andrzejewski said...

God bless you,Chip. The man was a fighter with a big heart. He was extremely good to me- over delivered on every promise. A rare man in politics, he will be missed. Rest in peace
Reply Monday, May 06, 2013 at 11:53 AM
Ralph Sprovier said...

I had the pleasure of spilling more than one beer with Chip - Never has there been a bigger man who stood for our individual freedoms than he. His loud and voice-tress way made me feel like a Church mouse -hard to do! His large stature was only dwarfed by his passion for this country. Heaven just got a little louder - the Good Lord must of needed a warrior.
Reply Monday, May 06, 2013 at 04:07 PM

“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Online jmyrlefuller

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Re: Goodbye to our friend Chip Gerdes [Tea Party Patriot]
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2013, 06:28:48 PM »
Another premature death from a sudden heart attack... and this one isn't even high-profile. Beware, everyone. We are not safe.
Proud supporter of the Free Conservative Resistance • #NeitherTrumpNorHillary

Reminder: no party or candidate is entitled to my vote by default.
"Just because people in positions of authority are stupid, it doesn’t mean you have to go along with it." —Arlo Guthrie
"You can't fix stupid." —Ron White

Offline DCPatriot

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Re: Goodbye to our friend Chip Gerdes [Tea Party Patriot]
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2013, 11:16:05 PM »

Okay....we appreciate the nice biography about his work and contribution....but WHERE did it happen?

Was he home in bed?  Was he walking along the street coming from a Andrew?

"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

"If you want to change the world, go home and love your family".    ...Mother Teresa

"It's not the mountain before you, but the pebble in your shoe"      ....or something like that

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Goodbye to our friend Chip Gerdes [Tea Party Patriot]
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2013, 12:09:26 AM »

Chip Gerdes, Remembered

Posted on | May 6, 2013

    I could tell you some of the brilliant work @tookiew did for the conservative cause, but then I’d have to kill you. R.I.P. #RMFT

    — Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) May 6, 2013

The first rule of Chip Gerdes was, nobody talked about Chip Gerdes. In a world of political fame-junkies, nobody was so deliberately anonymous as the man whose Twitter handle was @TookieW.

That handle was, of course, an inside joke about Tookie Williams, one of the Left’s cop-killer heroes, and Chip Gerdes was in a sense a sort of inside joke: A shadowy behind-the-scenes operative who was well-known to all the people who really knew what was going on, but who made a point of being completely unknown to the larger world.

Today Chip is being fondly remembered by his friends who would never have dared to write his name in public while he was alive, lest they accidentally let slip the closely-guarded secret of his existence.

Chip was a “black ops” guy, a disciple of the legendary Republican operative Roger Stone. He was adept at research and organizing, but his specialty was the kind of no-fingerprints political trickery that some people have termed “ratfucking.” Knowing how Chip worked, you never trusted that any “coincidence” in politics was actually coincidental, because you realized that whatever mischief Chip did on the GOP side, there were professional ratfuckers doing the same kind of thing (and probably worse) on the Democrat side.

When the WeinerGate scandal broke, one of the first phone calls I made was to Chip Gerdes: “Did you do this?”

“No, swear to God, man — this is legit,” Chip said. “I mean, yeah, we all knew Anthony had this problem weeks ago, but it’s the real deal. Dude hit the wrong button trying to DM a meat-Tweet to this girl. I’d love to tell you it was us, but it wasn’t.”

The first time I remember meeting Chip was in California when I went to see Alabama play in the BCS title game in January 2010. Chip was hanging out with Breitbart’s colleague Mike Flynn and I actually crashed that night in their motel room near the beach. About a week later, I went to Massachusetts to cover the Scott Brown campaign and, while I was there, actually reported on something that (unknown to me) was one of Chip’s black-ops stunts.

That’s how good Chip was — he fooled me. Now that he’s gone, I suppose it might even be possible to believe in coincidences again.

You had to know the guy to really appreciate him. Jim Hoft pays tribute to a loyal friend, and Oceander Loesch attempts to convey a sense of who Chip was and what Chip did:

Most people couldn’t fathom all that he contributed to our movement. They simply don’t know. They don’t know how many victories he helped win for conservatives. They don’t know how he pitched in with fundraising behind the scenes. How he worked to turn blue districts red. How he encouraged and supported the next generation of conservatives. He always answered his phone. He always had a plan. He always had advice, most often given in his fast pitch with a cigarette perched on his lip. . . . He was the biggest Bama fan I knew. He was a family man. He was a diabolical genius.

“The biggest Bama fan I knew”? My feelings are slightly hurt, but I’m not in a mood to argue. Not today. #RollTide. #RMFT.

Chip Gerdes, R.I.P.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Goodbye to our friend Chip Gerdes [Tea Party Patriot]
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2013, 12:10:51 AM »
 SoCalChick • a day ago

Chip was blasting instructions into my ear via cell phone one gray postElection day morning in Chicago at the Cicero warehouse where ballots were counted. It was 2010, I had been brought in to knock out a GOTV effort for the Joe Walsh campaign. We won days later, but it was tense for a few days. A few weeks earlier, Chip hooked my up with a premiere GOP legal team effort in Chicago which enabled me to set up roaming legal teams for the Joe Walsh campaign. Chip was larger than life and unlike alot of people I've met in politics - he was no armchair hero - he was the real deal.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Goodbye to our friend Chip Gerdes [Tea Party Patriot]
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2013, 12:12:58 AM »

Chip Gerdes, a Great Loss for the Breitbart Family

by Larry Solov 6 May 2013

We at Breitbart News are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Chip Gerdes. Chip was and always will be a special part of the Breitbart News family; yes, we worked together closely behind-the-scenes on a lot of the big stories you’ve read here on

Chip’s contributions not just to our site, but to the political landscape both in Illinois and on a national level, not to mention his integral role in the grassroots and Tea Party movements, will not be forgotten. They came from the heart – a heart with an unlimited capacity for love and loyalty and the source of endless passion and drive to fight for the narrative of this country.

Chip was as clever as he was mischievous – in the good way. And funny. As sad as I am today, I cannot stop laughing thinking about the absurdly hysterical moments we shared – too many to recount.

Chip was also a giver – both personally and professionally. Andrew and I were always thinking of ways to “repay” him. From the silver and maroon, old school Run-DMC Adidas kicks we sent him, to the time Andrew and I took him to see his beloved Alabama play in the Rose Bowl – Roll Tide! For that game, we scraped together the cash to rent a stretch, white Hummer limo, complete with fake electric fireplace and aquarium inside. Why? Because it was so over the top – like Chip could be – and nothing less would have seemed right.

Today, the world lost another good man, and another fighter. We mourn his loss and pray for God to bring peace and healing to the family he leaves behind and who are at the forefront of our thoughts and prayers.

Chip, like Andrew and I, was adopted. As long as I can remember, he would ask us, or our good friends Jon Kahn, Jeremy Segal, and Jordan Liebermann, to please, please let him be “an honorary member of the Tribe.” He said it so damn often, I began to think he was serious. In that spirit, I offer the following English transliteration of Kaddish:

    Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon; and say, Amen.

    May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.

    Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.

    May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

    He who creates peace in His celestial heights, may He create peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Goodbye to our friend Chip Gerdes [Tea Party Patriot]
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2013, 12:15:39 AM »

Remembering Chip Gerdes: Political Activist Who Broke All the Rules

by Matthew Boyle 7 May 2013

I first met Chip Gerdes at CPAC in 2011, and the two of us struck up one hell of a relationship from there.

Chip was eager, like a bulldog, to get the truth out about the left and stop big government. We’d spend hours on the phone chatting about whatever was going on at any given moment in the news or in our lives.

Chip acted almost like a spiritual guide to the world of politics and journalism for me, and spent unbelievable amounts of time talking with me and giving me advice. Sometimes his wife would get mad at him for talking to me so late at night or so frequently, and he’d have to jump off the phone and call me back later.

The reason Chip was such a beloved political activist--believe me, the term “beloved” and “political activist” rarely go hand in hand and Chip is the only exception I can think of--is that he actually cared about the fights he got involved in. Chip didn’t do it for money, he didn’t do it for fame and he didn’t do it to be a part of the club of political elites. Chip fought on the front lines of politics because he was needed there.

He was an aggressive activist; nobody ever wanted to be in his crosshairs. Most who ended up there did not make it out without serious political damage. Chip was a one-man wrecking ball. But his impact on the conservative movement and on the national political sphere was immeasurable. Chip made a difference. He held politicians’ feet to the fire, and did so with a jubilant finesse that only he could master.

Chip’s style was different than most activists. Many political figures work through other staffers, or don’t pursue certain issues or stories that would be considered by the mainstream media controversial. Chip went straight for the flames. He would contact reporters, lawmakers, other activists and political figures himself, and he was smart and clever enough to know how to maneuver through each of these people. He never feared a controversial headline or a risky topic, either.

Chip’s style broke the unwritten rules of political activists. He spoke the truth, and did not back down from a fight. That’s why he was so effective, and so beloved.

More importantly, though, Chip was a friend who provided invaluable life lesson advice for me on so many occasions I don’t know if I ever would have been able to repay him. I have so many Chip stories I couldn’t begin to write them all down. He was funny, and a goofball. He was the life of the party at every party. He was always genuinely excited to be there.

Today, America lost a patriot, the conservative movement lost a heroic fighter and we all lost a friend. I’m going to miss you, Chip.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Goodbye to our friend Chip Gerdes [Tea Party Patriot]
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2013, 12:17:45 AM »

Remembering Chip Gerdes

    Posted by Judson Phillips on May 6, 2013 at 3:12pm in Tea Party Nation Forum

The incredible blogger Robert Stacy McCain says, “The first rule of Chip Gerdes was, nobody talked about Chip Gerdes.”

Chip Gerdes was the most incredible patriot you probably never heard of.

Chip passed away this morning from a heart attack.

Those of us who knew Chip were the fortunate ones.

Chip was a master of the black arts of political intrigue. Chip not only did not seek fame and the lime light, he ran like hell from it.

I met Chip as we were gearing up for the First National Tea Party Convention. There were groups on the left who were bound and determined to make the convention fail. Chip was one of the amazing patriots who came out of nowhere to make sure this did not happen.

Chip was described on Breitbart earlier today as being an Alinsky for the good guys. That is an understatement if anything. Chip in some ways was a one man Seal Team 6 for the conservative movement. He knew the black arts of political intrigue and more importantly, he knew how to get things done in a way that no one knew he did it or at least no one could prove it.

As we led up to the convention Chip did several things to help. I know he did things to help, I just don't know what they were. He did not ask him if he could, tell me he was nor ask for thanks afterwards.

That was Chip.

He was totally unafraid.

He was cut from the same mold as Andrew Breitbart but in someways he was the anti-Breitbart since he never wanted anyone to know what he was doing.

Chip was always the funniest guy around. He was the kind of guy you wanted to hang around with and if it was a political fight, he was the guy you wanted on your side. He was not shy about telling what he would do to liberal politicians. He had a description for what he would do to them that was illegal, immoral, anatomically impossible and absolutely hysterical.

Chip would occassionally call me and when he did, I dropped what I was doing to take his call. One time I made the mistake of mentioning his name in a blog.

Rule One: No one ever talks about Chip. Except now.

Like Andrew Breitbart, Chip had an amazing understanding of how social media works.

Like Andrew Breitbart, Chip was taken too soon.

RIP my friend. Roll Tide!
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

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