What's At Stake In Illinois

With less than a month left before the Illinois Primary on February 2nd, Patrick Hughes has released this TV ad:

While most of the politicos and pundits are focused on other races across the United States, Illinois has one of the first opportunities to place a conservative Republican on the ballot for the General Election.

With this ad, Hughes shows what is truly on the line in the upcoming Primaries and Generals.  We are fighting for Progressive versus Progressive-lite or Pelosi versus Pelosi-lite.  Tea Partiers like myself reject the idea that this is our only choice.  Many of the larger Tea Parties in Illinois, including the Joliet, Homer/Lockport, and Rockford Tea Parties, (along with some downstate Tea Parties including Effingham) have endorsed Hughes as their candidate to beat Rep. Mark Kirk and retake the Illinois US Senate seat from the same old, same old establishment characters.

Recently, We have seen the near revolt within the Republican Party in Florida has cost the Florida Republican Chairman Jim Greer his job because of his early endorsement of Gov. Crist while for the most part ignoring the Tea Party sentiment and Marco Rubio as a viable candidate – not to mention ignoring conservatives.  I would argue that a similar internal revolt is happening within the Illinois GOP which spells trouble in the General Election should Mark Kirk win the nomination in the Primary.

Yesterday, Michael Steele went on TV and essentially threw most of the Republican party under the bus.  He also went further by saying he’d join the Tea Parties.   While I would like to believe that this was a genuine sentiment, I wonder why now and why not prior to NY-23 or even earlier.  He went on to explain that if he wasn’t the head of the GOP, he’d “be out there with the Tea Partiers”.  If he is genuine, then more power to him, but actions speak louder than words.  As Chairman, he has a unique opportunity to direct the GOP in one direction or another.  If he really believed in the Tea Parties, then why come out now and claim to believe in what they stand for?  Call me a cynic, but I question his motives because of polls released showing the GOP trailing behind Democrats and Tea Parties in a mock election, the resignation of FL GOP Chairman Jim Greer, the recent defection of Parker Griffith from the Democrats, the increasing number of Democrats retiring from Congress, and finally, the prospects of picking up a good amount of seats in both Houses of Congress.

A few weeks ago, Mr. Erickson asked whether conservatives should take another look at Illinois.  With less than 28 days to go until Illinois votes on February 2nd, I hope conservatives do take another good long look at the Illinois US Senate race.  Time is running short and there is no time like the present!