Diary

Update: Unelected Ill. GOP Committeemen Stall Effort for Free Elections

And the effort to prevent the people’s vote by Republican insiders jealous of their unaccountable positions rolls ever onward in Illinois, the most corrupt state in the union.

Earlier in the week I wrote about the regrettable system in Illinois that governs the selection of members of the central committee of the Illinois Republican Party, the group that runs the state party. I reported on the singular fact that the rank and file membership of the GOP cannot elect their leaders and that these committee members, the people that plan every move the party makes, are selected by back room deal making among local committeemen, ward bosses and precinct captains, etc.

The thing that galls me the most about this policy of secret deals and back room arm twisting is that not only does this system cut out any ability of the voters to chose who will lead them, but that in the most corrupt state of the union, the most corrupt party in the union — that would be the Illinois state Democrat Party — does allow its voters to chose the party leaders!

So, the thoroughly corrupt Democrats allow their voters to chose who will lead the party, but the Republicans don’t! The Republicans stand against free and open elections.

And now the party leaders have done it again. Previously I mentioned that this week SB600, a bill that would revert the system to one of an open election instead of closed selection for party leaders, was to come up for debate in the state house. Well, that day came and went and once again these selected leaders buried the bill and refused to discuss it. Again these party bigwigs have shown their desire to prevent elections.

Now, I suppose one might understand why these particular folks might not want to stand for election by their peers. After all, they don’t have the most defendable track record. Let’s have a small review of some of the wonderful work they are responsible for, shall we?

The central committee members are responsible for:

  • Supporting a corrupt Sec. Of State as candidate for Gov. (George Ryan), one that later ended up in prison
  • Allowing a viable Senate candidate to be eliminated over a divorce (Jack Ryan)
  • Picking a non-resident that has never had any connection with the state to take up that candidacy (Alan Keyes)
  • Then not vigorously supporting Keyes, the very candidate they selected — some even refusing to support him
  • Giving Barack Obama the opening to win a Senate seat and thus the presidency
  • Choosing a second gubernatorial candidate associated to all the worst scandals in recent GOP history and allowing four candidates to run for Gov. in the primaries that resulted in this pick
  • Losing every single state wide office once held by Republicans to the Democrats

And I want to stress here that we have the Illinois GOP to thank for having a President Obama! It is they that thoroughly botched the election that sent Obama to the Senate.

Great track record guys. No WONDER you want to avoid elections.

And this is not to mention all the close financial ties that these same people have to the Democrats. We don’t even HAVE room to get into the intertwined business relationships that many of these people have to high ranking Democrats. The Ill. GOP isn’t called “The Combine” over their incestuous connections to Democrat Party officials for nothing.

I spoke to Senator Chris Lauzen (R-Aurora) on the phone the day after SB600 was again put off to a later time. Senator Lauzen graciously offered no blame and indulged in no grumbling. He was resigned that these back room deals would happen but expressed his desire to keep at it.

Now, let me say a few words about the man that leads the Illinois GOP — and I stress that this is my opinion, none of this came from Senator Lauzen who couldn’t have been more business-like and professional in our conversation on this subject.

Andy McKenna is the current leader of the Illinois GOP and he issued a press release to prevent the debate (one that was not sent to Republican groups that do not support McKenna, oddly enough — he’s as much for open information as he is open elections, apparently).

It begins by scolding anyone interested in electing party leaders for wanting to be “like” Democrats and attacking Senator Lauzen as having a “personal agenda.” This tactic of personal destruction led by our supposed party leader against a Senator of his own party is disgusting enough, but using the slipshod “logic” that anything we enact would have to be an exact copy of Democrat corruption is merely a childish attempt to defeat a bill that would find HIM eventually dispensed with.

You want a “personal agenda” Mr. Party leader McKenna? How about that “personal agenda” that would support your desire to torpedo an election process that you KNOW would get you voted OUT of your position? This effort to silence the voice of Illinois Republicans in favor of a secret selection process smacks of CYA (cover yer But).

I would also like to point out that Andy McKenna has been jumping in front of every microphone and TV camera he can find to push the idea of a special election for Obama’s Senate seat, even though our state process is to have the Gov. make the choice. So, why does McKenna want elections for Senator, but not for his position? Seems sort of odd, doesn’t it?

Lastly, it should be remembered that this current system itself was a change. Several decades ago the system was changed to the back room dealer style we now have. And since that change the party has done worse and worse, gotten more unaccountable than ever to the voters, gotten more intertwined with Democrats, gotten more corrupt and lost every single state wide office to boot. For those like McKenna that fear it could get worse… well, I just don’t see how it could get worse.

In any case, if we are lucky, the voice of the people will be heard if the debate on this bill is joined next week.

Here is the twisted logic of Mr. Andy McKenna in his press release:

Press Release from the Illinois Republican Party:

Important Reasons Christine Radogno and Senate Republicans Should Oppose The Lauzen Bill

1. The Lauzen Bill will change Republican Party elections to match those currently conducted by the Illinois Democratic Party. Currently, Illinois Republicans, like 45 other states, allow the grassroots of the Party to elect its leaders. Look at the make up of the Illinois Democratic Party, and you will see that it is comprised of Chicago Machine politicians and Party insiders. Illinois Democrats, led by Chairman Mike Madigan, don’t conduct open meetings, elect their leaders in secret and ARE THE SAME LEADERS who endorsed Blagojevich, drove Illinois $9 billion into debt and allowed the appointment of Roland Burris – click here and you will see: http://link.gop.com?42-1758-5145-210256-29945

2. An overwhelming majority of grassroots Republicans already defeated the Lauzen Bill at the 2008 Party Convention in Decatur. Senator Lauzen was motivated by a personal agenda and was afforded every opportunity to make his case. The Illinois Republican Party called for a vote that Senator Lauzen himself failed to attend, and the resolution was crushed:

78% Opposed Lauzen Bill – 22% Supported Lauzen Bill

Grassroots Republicans in all 102 counties across the state were given the choice of how our Party conducts elections and their choice was clear – if Republicans in the Senate choose to support the Lauzen Bill now, they undo the will of the same dedicated volunteers who elected them. It would be a dangerous precedent for our Republican Party if a single elected official like Senator Lauzen can force a legislative solution to change a process he didn’t like – particularly when Lauzen’s solution is copying the Democratic Party of Blagojevich.

3. Only four State Republican Parties conduct elections in a manner similar to the Lauzen Bill. In two of these four states, the cost of Party elections is astronomical. This is certainly not the time for Illinois Republicans, who are already outspent by Democrats, to drain valuable resources for 19 additional campaigns. Furthermore, because Illinois has open primaries and no formal Party registration, Democrats in the City of Chicago could elect Democrats to the Illinois Republican Party State Central Committee.

Why has a Democrat signed on to be the Chief-Sponsor of the Lauzen Bill in the Illinois House of Representatives? Senator Lauzen worked behind the scenes to secure a Democrat sponsor because he knew NO REPUBLICAN IN THE HOUSE would pass this bill. Understand, this action gives Mike Madigan and House Democrats the power to decide how the Republican Party conducts its elections.

4. Illinois Republicans have the greatest opportunity to win elections in a decade. Now is not the time to drain resources or focus from that effort. Republicans already overwhelming defeated the Lauzen Bill at Convention – instead of copying Rod Blagojevich’s Democratic Party, Republicans should be defeating them.

In my opinion, this party has broken down. It has become utter feckless. I don’t see that this change presenting the people with the opportunity to vote in their own leaders could make anything any worse. It would be a return to how it was, not any “new” idea. And, lastly, for those that disingenuously say that the legislature should not be getting involved in party politics and saying so to defeat this effort ignores the fact that the legislature already is involved because this bill alters already existing codes, it does not create new ones.