We’ve heard the stories from other school districts – no Musical Chairs, no Duck Duck Goose, no Tag, etc. Why? Because these games are inherently unfair or somebody might feel left out.
I live in one of the most conservative areas in Illinois – Effingham County. Fox News once said that Effingham County is the “base of the base of the Illinois Republican Party”. So you can imagine my surprise when I heard what took place at Effingham Junior High School this past week.
My girlfriend’s granddaughter was running for 8th Grade class President at EJHS & therefore, there would be an election by her peers. My future granddaughter was ready to campaign & was excited at the prospect of winning class President. She even spent her own time after school designing homemade campaign fliers.
Then she went to school.
When she went to the EJHS Office to get her fliers approved so she could hang them in the hallways, she was informed by the secretary that her campaign fliers were not going to be approved. Of course, she was upset by this because she had spent so much time making her posters.
When she got home, her mother called the school to find out why her daughter’s homemade campaign fliers were not approved. The answer? “Because it would make it unfair for the other candidates”. She was also informed that all campaign posters are supposed to be done using computers to make it fair.
First, isn’t making students do the work on computers inherently unfair? Not every student has a computer at home & if they do the work at school not every student has the same computer & creative skills to make a campaign poster that would look like everyone else.
Second, what is more inherently unfair than elections, whether in life or in school? Somebody has to lose & somebody has to win. In life, some candidates have a bunch of money, others do not. Some candidates have a grassroots effort in place & others do not. So why make elections fair in school? What possible lesson can you teach a kid if you level the playing field for a school election?!
Life is unfair & life’s outcomes are unfair. Yet our schools are teaching our kids that life IS fair & outcomes should be as fair as possible. That’s not how society works. That’s not how our economy works. That’s not how the workplace works. And it sure isn’t how elections work.
I’m ecstatic that my future granddaughter won her election but the ends don’t justify the means. She should have been able to campaign as she saw fit within normal school rules. The same goes for the other kids who ran for school office.
Why get bent out of shape over such a trivial thing when she won? Because “rules” like this are wussifying our kids to the reality of life & cuts down on any creativity or imagination they might have – the later an important skill to have in the workplace. This time it’ll be making school elections fair. Next time it’ll be getting rid of games that produce a clear winner & loser. Then it’ll be nobody gets an F on anything. Slippery slope my friends. Always, always be mindful of the future.
Every debate has a winner & a loser. One side prevails as another does not. This concept also applies to the gay marriage bill in front of the Illinois General Assembly. Greg Hinz at Crain’s Chicago Business points out that lawmakers are just a few votes shy of passage of gay marriage in the Illinois House. Hinz puts the number between 55 -57 votes in favor, just short of the 60 needed. A few months ago, I was informed that the Illinois House was at least 12 votes short of passage – so the opposition in the Illinois House is starting to falter. So who will be a winner & who will be a loser if gay marriage passes the Illinois House & is eventually passed on to Gov. Quinn to sign?
Winner – Dan Rutherford – Rutherford, if you recall, was the lone Republican Illinois Senator to vote in favor of civil unions during the lame duck session of the General Assembly in 2010 before taking office as Illinois Treasurer. If gay marriage is approved, then Rutherford is provided some cover for his vote & any opposition he faces in the primary will have lost a campaign issue against Rutherford.
Loser – Bruce Rauner – As a social liberal, Rauner was counting on pulling in the moderate & liberal votes in the Republican Primary for Governor. If gay marriage passes, then that issue is largely off the table which allows any of Rauner’s opponents to focus on his other social liberal stances be it gun control or Rauner’s pro-choice beliefs – both important issues to Republican Primary voters who generally trend conservative.
Winner – Pat Brady – The Captain always goes down with the ship. Brady put his reputation on the line by openly advocating for gay marriage passage earning him the ire of conservatives, including myself. Brady’s support of gay marriage, which violates the Illinois Republican Party platform, has paved the way for his resignation sometime in the future but Brady will find comfort with the other social liberal Republicans in the Loop & Beltway circles. Even after Brady decides to resign, I’m not sure we have heard the last of him (see Andy McKenna).
Winner – Gov. Pat Quinn – As a very unpopular incumbent Governor, Pat Quinn needs all the “good” press he can get going into what seems to be a very difficult potential Democrat Primary. Quinn will be able to show his liberal colors & appease some, but definitely not all, his critics on social issues. Quinn’s victory lap will be short lived however as SB1 will once again pit Quinn against the unions he double –crossed after he was reelected.
Loser – Lisa Madigan – The current Illinois Attorney General, wannabe Democrat Governor candidate, will have lost a campaign issue just as Bruce Rauner will have lost one against his nearest opponent. Quinn will be able to say that he actually did something about gay marriage whereas Lisa Madigan merely sat on the sidelines cheering him on. She also loses a campaign issue in the General Election if Rutherford (assuming it’s basically a Rutherford/Rauner two way battle) wins the Republican Primary. But she still carries the Madigan last name…which is & always shall be a loser in my book.
Winner – Trial Lawyers – Once again, trial lawyers win. How? Because of all the discrimination lawsuits that will follow after passage of gay marriage in Illinois. Florists, wedding reception halls & other businesses have been sued by gay “couples” because those businesses refused to offer their services to them as we have seen in other states that passed gay marriage. It’s only a matter of time before a lawsuit against churches denying services to gay “couples” also happens, despite assurances by gay marriage supporters/sponsors in the General Assembly that houses of worship are exempt from the gay marriage law.
Loser – Illinois residents – Once again, the Democrats in the General Assembly have decided to focus on the real issues like medicinal marijuana & gay marriage versus handling the soft, unimportant issues like pension reform, budget deficits, faltering state credit ratings, high unemployment, anti-business regulations/policies & taxes. Priorities, priorities.
Loser – Conservatism in Illinois – Conservatives will have failed to pressure a handful of Republicans actually left in office in the Illinois House from breaking the ranks & joining the Democrats in voting for gay marriage. Conservatives were thwarted from getting the required votes to oust Pat Brady as Illinois Republican Party Chair – surprisingly with help from other conservatives either tacitly or openly. Even medicinal marijuana passed with barely a whimper. Not only does the Illinois Republican Party need to do some soul searching over this summer but conservatives must also do the same.
Winner – Senator Mark Kirk – Kirk has successfully thrown away any semblance of conservatism that he barely showed when he ran in 2010. Putting Mark Kirk’s recent anti-gun, pro-immigration reform posturing aside, Kirk has openly supported Pat Brady & passage of gay marriage in Illinois. Kirk has shown himself, as the highest office holding Republican in Illinois, to be a force within the Illinois Republican Party. Kirk will enjoy many of the same campaign benefits in 2016 that Rutherford will enjoy in 2014.
Push – State Sen. Jason Barrickman & other Republican pro-gay marriage votes – I’m calling it push for right now for Barrickman, et. al. Time will only tell if there will be backlash against the Republicans that vote or voted for gay marriage. Barrickman is already doing damage control & others will be watching closely for any fallout from his decision. Some Republicans that vote for gay marriage might even find themselves with primary challengers. 2014 is a long time way still but in the world of politics 2014 might as well be tomorrow.
Losers – Dillard, Brady & Co. – Running to the right of anyone in the Republican Primary for Governor to win conservatives will be that much harder. Gay marriage isn’t like the abortion issue where laws can be passed to rollback or restrict abortions. Once gay marriage is passed, the other candidates that might jump in can certain say they are opposed to gay marriage but any hopes of overturning it or restricting will be solely in the wheelhouse of the Illinois Supreme Court – which leans liberal. Anti-gay marriage will be a rallying cry, but it’ll be as effective as Bruce Rauner calling for Illinois to be Right to Work state.
Winner – The Slippery Slope – Pandora’s Box will be opened if you will. It is only a matter of time before polygamy is approved, which support for such action has already begun. It’s also only a matter of time before religious organizations lose their non-profit, tax-exempt status because they will be openly “discriminating” against gay “couples” by refusing to engage in marrying gay “couples”. In a state as broke financially as Illinois, removing the tax-exempt status would fill the Illinois coffers, not unlike how Henry VIII figured out when he broke from the Catholic Church & founded the Church of England.
I’m not sure how any self-respecting conservative can support Bruce Rauner to win the Republican nomination for Illinois Governor.
Given Rauner’s past, as detailed in Sam Pierce’s article at Illinois Review where Pierce outlines Bruce Rauner and/or his wife’s contributions to Democrats & pro-choice PACs before seeing the light & becoming Republican, it’s already a stretch as to why any Republican would back Rauner. But then I remember this is the Illinois Republican Party we are talking about here.
With same sex-marriage being debated in the Illinois General Assembly & being heard in front of the US Supreme Court AND being a supposed candidate for office, you would think Bruce Rauner would have an opinion on the subject. But here, instead of taking a stand, he punts while on WLS:
Cohn: This has been an important topic that’s being discussed all around the country right now – gay marriage. Where do you stand on gay marriage?
Rauner: Gay marriage is, it’s an important issue. I think it’s best decided by the voters. Frankly either voter referendum or whatever format voters think makes sense. I think the voters should decide that issue.
Cohn: You don’t have a personal feeling about gay marriage?
Rauner: I really don’t. I think it’s best done by the voters. By society should accept it when the time is right for them. […]
I believe the voters should decide on gay marriage. That’s not lacking leadership, that’s saying voters decide. If, for example, the legislature passes gay marriage, I’m not gonna fight to reverse it. If they don’t pass it, I’m not gonna advocate for it. At the right time, the voters will make their views known. I think that’s a good outcome.
Rich Miller at Capitolfax.com, where the above insert was taken from, correctly points out a huge error in Rauner’s thinking:
* This whole idea that gay marriage ought to be decided via referendum, when Illinois has no binding referendum provisions, is basically just a dodge.
In addition to everything so far, & given Rauner’s extensive history with Mayor Rahm – they’re BFFs if you didn’t already know – how can any conservative trust or support Rauner?
That was a question on my mind since digging a little into who Bruce Rauner is when I first heard his name tossed around. Honestly, I hadn’t heard of him before this year. After what I have seen, I’m left scratching my head about a few things.
Speaking locally, I can’t fathom why a businessman from a local staunch pro-life, pro-traditional marriage conservative Republican family like Jim Schultz would back Rauner, let alone be on Rauner’s exploratory committee.
Speaking personally, I can’t fathom why For the Good of Illinois employees & supporters - stalwart conservatives - would be ushering Bruce Rauner around at our Lincoln Day Dinner. Whether these ushers were doing so by order or by their own free will, only they know. Let me tell you from experience when I met him, Rauner knows he’s above you on the socio-economic scale & he makes you feel it.
I’m not sure why the Illinois Republican Party would think someone with liberal leanings/friends/donations would make the idea GOP Governor candidate?
I’m not sure why conservatives or the Illinois Republican Party thinks Illinois needs its own version of Mayor Bloomberg in our Governor’s mansion.
Furthermore, I’m not sure why the Illinois Republican Party would think that a very rich guy would appeal to voters because as we all know, that worked out so well for Romney in this state.
Of course those last three were sarcasm.
The whole Bruce Rauner candidacy support structure smells like the mechanization from The Machine that foisted Sen. Mark Kirk upon us.
In my last post, I discussed how I believe Illinois is a petri dish, or a test case, for the liberalization of the Republican Party as a whole. The liberal Bruce Rauner’s ascendancy in the eyes of some of Illinois’ largest Republican power brokers is just more evidence of conservatives being shunned like some kind of bastard child in favor of liberalizing the Illinois GOP.
Given everything I have detailed above & previously, I cannot for the life of me understand how any conservative could back Bruce Rauner or why any Republican should either for that matter. And of course, if Bruce Rauner wins the nomination & loses in the general election, it will be the fault of us backwards, stubborn conservatives who didn’t support Rauner enough. C’est la vie.
For further reading on the subject of Bruce Rauner, check out William Kelly’s post about Rauner’s billionaire collection.
Shortly after the Romney/Ryan defeat in November, Republicans & pundits started the public & private autopsy of what went wrong. The insider conclusion? Republicans aren’t liberal enough.
Then Karl Rove started his anti-conservative PAC to make sure conservatives don’t find their way onto the ballot, especially in high-profile races.
To complicate matters, the Supreme Court is debating whether the Defense of Marriage Act is Constitutional.
Adding fuel to that fire is Sen. Mark Kirk stating he supports gay marriage. This is the same Mark Kirk that has been campaigning behind the scenes to help keep Pat Brady’s job as IL Republican Party Chair.
Is the Republican party in the fits of an intraparty civil war? The quick answer is no. The long answer is below.
I don’t believe there is a civil war within the Republican Party…yet. It’s coming though. We are seeing the first signs of a rift within the party & I believe the first sign of this rift is the gay marriage issue.
The national Republican Party I believe wants to go a different direction than the rank & file Republicans, especially conservative Republicans. I believe that Illinois is the petri dish for the test case of a “new” Republican Party. The RNC will then use the results of their test case here in Illinois, learn from the mistakes, adjust & then import the program for liberalizing the Republican Party into the other states. What does mean for deep red states? It means the RNC will get to you eventually.
The evidence is right in front of us. Who sits is a committeeman on the RNC? Illinois Republican Chair Pat Brady – who has opening advocated for gay marriage.
We then filter down further & see the highest Republican elected official in Illinois – Mark Kirk – also support gay marriage. The case for liberalizing the Republican Party in Illinois gets bigger.
The final piece of the petri dish puzzle is our supposed “conservative” Illinois Republican Representatives in the US House – Shimkus, Davis, Schock & Kinzinger – staying absolutely silent on Pat Brady & now Mark Kirk. Where are these supposed champions of conservatism? Nowhere. When will they fight for the party as a whole? Probably never. So it’s up to us.
Conservatives in Illinois had better make their presence known & they had better be loud about it. Conservatives must confront their Republican office holders & press them on why they are not fighting against the liberalization of the Republican Party in Illinois, let alone nationally. Most importantly, conservatives had better make their voices heard by voting – especially in the primaries.
If conservatives don’t stand up and fight, then you will see a serious split in the Republican Party. I believe the state & national leaders of the Republican Party are playing with fire. In their eyes, they think they are appealing to more voters. In reality, they are alienating many within the Republican Party at the expense of political expediency.
What happens when Republican voters feel alienated? They don’t contribute to candidates or the party. They don’t show up to vote. They are more open to third parties.
When it’s all said & done, there is one thing you must keep in mind. Many of the pundits & consultants hail from the pre-Reagan Revolution days or the “compassionate conservatism” George W Bush days. To these insiders, Reagan represented a speed bump in the liberalization of the Republican Party. Why else are we to be reminded more & more these days that “Reagan is dead”? Why else would this Republican intelligentsia want to purge conservatives from policy making? If these same people think the Democratic Party has gone so far to the left & the “new” Republican Party will fill the void by disheartened Democratic Party voters, they are seriously mistaken.
It’s really is sad that we conservatives must waste so much time & energy fighting the liberal agenda within the Republican Party when that same effort could be used to defeat the far-left liberal agenda of the Democratic Party. We lose so many good conservatives because of this fight. They tire of the endless two-front battle. They tire of a seeming deaf leadership. They tire of living in a state that punishes success while rewarding failure. Who can blame them?
Budgets are tight everywhere. Your family or yourself have tightened belts as gas prices continue to climb, grocery prices rise & the overall cost of living increases. While you and yours’ costs have gone up, income has stayed the same or hasn’t kept up with the increases. As a result, you trim a bit here, trim a bit there to make sure the money stretches out.
Government doesn’t work or operate in the same manner you or your family does, especially regarding their budgets – not that they shouldn’t try though. The costs of government are going up just like your costs of living have. The largest difference between government & you is where you have had to cut your household budget to keep up with incoming revenue; government for the most part has not done the same.
But then again, governments can always raise taxes for more revenues whereas you cannot. This is a huge problem…especially at the local level & this does not get enough attention.
School districts have been hit hard by the state of Illinois’ budget problems. Many school districts are facing deficits in their budgets because the state has not paid districts or has cut funding to districts outright. School districts have done some cuts but many of the cuts districts have made are merely surface cuts & have not fixed the problem at large.
However, further cuts that school districts have proposed fall along President Obama’s sequestration mantra of “make them feel the pain”.
School districts must get creative in their budgeting. School boards & the teacher unions toss around scary phrases like “increasing class size” to indicate that they will have to lay off teachers meaning a higher student to teacher ratio. This kind of talk gets parents riled up who then demand their school board to “do something” despite mixed studies about whether increasing class size effects education achievement.
School districts have enormous taxing power & receive money from a multitude of sources from federal grants, state funding, local property taxes, etc. Look at your property tax bill & see what the breakdown of what your property taxes go towards. Much of your property taxes I would bet go to education whether it’s your local school district or whether it’s your local colleges or universities. Think about all the ways you are taxed or provide money for schools. Federal taxes fund federal grants. State income tax. Property tax. Individual school “fees” for athletics, band, etc. Fundraisers and more.
The newest argument gaining momentum for revenues to fund school districts involves increasing a county’s sales tax to help offset the state’s cuts to public education. Even if this additional tax were to be put into place, what happens when the state pushes teacher pensions onto the local communities resulting in even further budgeting problems? The issues with a county sales tax increase don’t start or end there.
First, as a close friend of mine stated, “raising taxes is a fix for a symptom, not a fix the actual cause”. Raising the sales tax doesn’t address the issue that many school district budgets are still bloated despite the cries & moans of school boards & the teacher unions about cuts. Ask yourself, how much money is eaten up by your district’s Superintendent & administration? How much money is spent on needless things like new basketball goals that light up when time hits zero on the scoreboard? In southern Illinois, two things reign supreme in school districts – administrators & sports. School boards are elected & many don’t want to make the tough decisions. Why not raise property taxes? Because that action is directly felt by the community at large & would be widely unpopular whereas a sales tax is felt indirectly.
Second, an increase in sales tax to our school districts, at least in my county, is a redistributive tax on my city. My city is at the crossroads of I57/70 & accounts for about 85% of the local sales tax generated. The notion behind this proposed sales tax increase is the school sales tax would be collected and distributed according to school population/size. In my community, my city would contribute the most by far to the sales tax pool yet only receive roughly 52% of the funds. The other 48% of the funds would be filtered to the area county school districts.
Third, sales tax revenue is not a revenue stream that is constant or that always increases. In fact, our city’s sales taxes are generally flat over this time last year & were actually down last year as a whole. School districts think that increasing the sales tax is the cash cow they have been waiting for but in reality, it won’t be & is only a temporary fix to a much larger problem.
There is some good news though. Many community leaders, local elected officials & business owners are opposed to increasing the sales tax & getting such an increased passed by public vote will be difficult if not impossible.
The time has come for school districts to consider consolidation of smaller districts. Neither the school districts nor the people that live within them can sustain the budgets to run these schools. Will our children’s education be hurt by consolidation? No, outside maybe a longer bus ride in the morning & afternoon. However, cuts should not all be focused on classrooms or activities. In our county, the county schools districts have 800 less students in them than 10 years ago yet our county school districts have the same amount, if not more administrators for those districts than 10 years ago. Big problem in my eyes.
Asking people to continue to fund an often bloated government whether local, state or federal is wrong. To fund that bloated government on the backs of the people working harder just to get by these days – directly or indirectly – is even more wrong. We cannot tax our way to prosperity. We cannot tax our way to balanced budgets. We cannot tax our way to fixing a broken system of public education funding.
“Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely…”
At some point, we have heard this phrase in our lives. The quote is a warning to anyone that giving someone too much power can corrupt even the most pure intentioned. The quote is also a warning to those who hold power to not allow themselves to lose sight of why they were given power.
Which brings me to the 2nd Congressional District where Paul McKinley – Republican – was the unlikely, unwanted (even by the IL GOP) winner of the special primary to replace the soon-to-be convict Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
Paul McKinley is running on a campaign theme of “The Machine”. “The Machine” is mostly aimed at the Democratic Party 60 year stranglehold on the 2nd Congressional District. McKinley has been trying to highlight the abysmal state of the 2nd Congressional under the 60 year reign of Democrats in that district. I hope he wins.
But what happens when “The Machine” extends to your Congressional district not in party, but in the form of a Congressman – in particular Congressman John Shimkus? What do you do when you are a conservative essentially being held hostage by a Republican who claims to be conservative? What do you do?
- What do you do when Congressman Shimkus votes for Continuing Resolutions that include funding for Obamacare?
- What do you do when Congressman Shimkus continues to support President Obama’s Executive Order 13502 requiring project labor agreements for federal construction contracts?
- What do you do when Congressman Shimkus’ only real accomplishments in Congress in 10+ years has been sponsoring congratulatory resolutions congratulating former Soviet Bloc nations of accomplishing something?
- What do you do when Congressman Shimkus refuses to answer questions from his constituents? i.e. Why is DHS buying ammo when local PD are struggling to find ammo to buy?
- What do you do when Congressman Shimkus never meets his constituents in an open forum, but only behind closed doors often times without media present?
- What do you do when Congressman Shimkus supports increasing subsidies for the ethanol industry?
- What do you do when Congressman Shimkus is sponsoring a bill that is like Obamacare, only for the auto industry? See the Open Fuel Standard Act which nearly makes permanent ethanol subsidies by forcing the auto industry to have vehicles run various fuel mixes.
So what happens when “The Machine” Congressman Shimkus goes further than not supporting conservative principles, despite his insistence that he is a conservative? What happens when “The Machine” Congressman Shimkus starts influencing the operations of his party on a state level? What do you do?
- What do you do when Congressman Shimkus used his influence to get his former aide Rodney Davis appointed to the neighboring Congressional seat ballot after Tim Johnson’s resignation?
- What do you do when Congressman Shimkus used his influence to get his paid staffer Deb Detmers elected to the IL GOP State Central Committee?
- What do you do when Congressman Shimkus then uses his influence over his connections to the State Central Committee to have Deb Detmers pull her vote for forcing IL GOP Chair Pat Brady to resign?
Finally, what do you do when no Republican or Democrat has been able to even challenge Congressman Shimkus in either a primary or general? What do you do when Congressman Shimkus has $860,000 cash on hand banked up to defend any such challenge?
The left & the media have seemingly forever labeled the Republican Party as the party of rich old white guys. These same liberals their allies also claim the Republican Party is waging a war on women, war on children, war on the elderly, war on fill-in-the-blank.
Given the current economic & governmental situations, the Republicans should adopt the left’s previous arguments against them & use those same arguments against the Democratic Party.
For example, an argument made under previous Republican administrations was the “widening gap between rich & poor ”. Seeing the NYSE hit record 14,000 point territory while a record number of people are on food stamps, the Republicans should be the ones touting about how there is a widening gap between the rich & the poor – and it’s all because of this administration’s policies.
Another example is the left’s constant barrage of claiming the Republicans don’t care about minorities. Yet two of the most outspoken rising stars within the Republican Party are Ted Cruz & Marco Rubio. Even here, the Republicans should turn the left’s arguments against them. Minority unemployment is ridiculously high within the Hispanic (9.6%) & African-American (13.8%) communities. The numbers are even worse when looking at localized urban centers like Detroit – and it’s all because of this administration’s policies.
The Democratic Party has traditionally positioned itself as the “party of the working man” while painting the Republicans as the party of the greedy businessman. They have also traditionally said the Republicans are the party of “Big Business”. The Republicans should be turning these arguments against the Democratic Party as well! Which “Big Business” companies have aligned themselves with the Democratic Party are getting huge tax returns (Facebook) or pay no taxes (GE)? Meanwhile, the Democrats pushed for & got that long sought after tax increase on the rich this past January. Correction. The Democrats pushed for & got that long lied about, never going to happen middle class tax increase affecting 77% of workers – and it’s all because of this administration’s policies.
Obamacare must be fought & repealed as Paul Ryan recently stated. The left is still trying to sell the socialist nationalization of the healthcare industry to the voters. What will make the Republican’s case even stronger for the curbing & eventual repeal of Obamacare? The fact that over the next year, we will become a part-time nation. Employers will cut back to 28 or less hours & drop their healthcare plans altogether. Workers will earn less & will be forced take second jobs or find new ones – if possible. It’s already happening in my community. Ultimately, these involuntary part-time workers will have to change their lifestyles which will drive public opinion against Obamacare & also give fuel to repealing Obamacare completely. Driving public opinion against Obamacare will also be the fine (tax!) at tax time next year because people didn’t purchase healthcare. I’d love to be a fly on the wall at H&R Block next year when people find out they owe the government money versus getting money back. The argument should be made that Republicans will protect the American worker from government destroying their livelihoods & therefore repeal of Obamacare is necessary because it is the Republicans that are the true champions of the working class.
These are just a few examples. I’m positive there is more.
If there is one thing the Republicans have been really bad at, it is messaging. The Republicans need to broadcast these argument reversals far & wide & as often as possible. The media lapdogs of the left will decry it & do their best to prove it wrong . Watching Chris Matthews’ foam at the mouth would be worth it all. But the genius of it all is that try as the left might to discredit these arguments…they can’t.
The other side of the messaging overhaul must be different messengers! John McCain & Lindsey Graham are the very crusty old white guys (and squishes that drive conservatives nuts) that are the poster child for everything the left says about the Republicans. We must have people – young, rising stars – step up to be the spokesmen for the Republican Party. The Republicans must have people like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mario Rubio, Tim Scott, Mike Lee & others as the face of this new Republican message. These individuals all understand what is at stake. While John McCain & Lindsey Graham were dining on what I am sure was an exquisite high priced meal with President Obama, many of the aforementioned were on the floor of the Senate fighting for our liberties. I want fighters, not squishy diners.
Finally, Republicans – and what few allies they have in the media – must get rid of the old guard consultants, pundits & cheerleaders that are extensions of the old John McCain/Lindsey Graham Republican Party. To be exact, people like Karl Rove. People who have made a small mint providing advice & “leadership” to the Republican Party and the Republican intelligentsia. There are numerous younger, more articulate commentators, pundits, bloggers, etc. that could wipe the floor with a host of issues yet are forced to sit on the back bench or are lost in the noise of group think Republicans in the media. These new guard conservative pundits/consultants & young rising stars in the Republican caucus in Congress are all very fluent in social media as well. The battle must be fought online, not only on the airwaves.
The time to implement this change of messaging is now, not later. Despite polling numbers still somewhat bad for Congressional Republicans, the latest McClatchy-Marist poll suggests a beginning of a trend away from the President & tightening numbers – including 18% undecided – on who to blame in Congress. Republicans need to seize the opportunity before them & begin to imprint in voter’s minds now that Americans are definitely not better off today than they were last year…or 5 years ago – and it’s all because of this administration’s policies.
By: Brian Milleville
Illinois Conservatives Leadership Member
It’s Lincoln Day Dinner season in Illinois!
Republican candidates for office will be fanning out across the state, giving speeches, shaking hands & trying to convince the faithful that Republicans should vote for them in the all too soon primary. Some of those making the circuit are old hats & there are a few new faces as well. Let’s take a brief look at some of the candidates that might or might not run for various statewide offices.
Bruce Rauner for Governor – Successful businessman who idolizes what Scott Walker has done to the unions in Wisconsin. I can’t fault his success. I can fault his ties to Mayor Rahm and his & his wife’s past campaign donations to Democrat candidates, campaigns & PACs as pointed out by Illinois Review contributor Sam Pierce. Rauner’s stances on social issues are supposedly in question as well, but opportunities for Rauner to explain those will be forthcoming over the next few months.
Kirk Dillard for Governor – Ran in 2010 & lost to Bill Brady by the narrowest of margins. Dillard does have pretty good conservative credentials & has a name presence in the suburbs – a key voting demographic. Dillard does have some problems though. He ran before & lost & convincing voters that he can get the job done this time will be tougher than last time. Also, must deal with a divided downstate voters as multiple downstate candidates could enter the race.
Dan Rutherford for Governor– He won bigger than Gov. Pat Quinn & did better than expected within Chicago itself when he ran & won for IL State Treasurer. He has statewide name recognition & has a statewide campaign framework in place from his last campaign. However, Rutherford was the only Republican to vote in favor of civil unions during the lame duck session of the IL GA in 2010 which many conservatives still remember & conservatives are the ones that generally turnout in numbers during primaries.
Bill Brady for Governor – Shortly after his loss to Gov. Pat Quinn in 2010, he notified his campaign supporters to “save the signs” indicating then & there that he planned a third shot at winning the Governor’s mansion. Unfortunately, Brady’s time has come & gone & many of those that went to the mat for him remember his far from stellar debate performances, lack of campaigning in Chicago & overall lack of campaign defense against him by Personal PAC & others in the final week of the campaign.
Joe Walsh for Governor – Firebrand conservative who has many Tea Partiers excited about a possible run. Walsh’s words have gotten him in trouble in the past & could hurt him in the long run. Plus, he was only a one term Representative & lost in his first re-election try. Staying power & statewide appeal will be his biggest criticisms to fight, not his conservatism.
Aaron Schock for Governor – A once rising star in the Republican Party, Schock – even in 2010 – was considered to be the next candidate for Governor. Two years is 10 lifetimes in politics & now Schock faces a media blitzkrieg from Bruce Rauner & conservatives alike. Schock has earned the ire of others because he seems to be one of the Anointed Ones by the Illinois Republican leadership. Schock will have a hard time convincing Republican voters he can win if a pre-emptive strike by Rauner has already damaged his chances for winning the nomination for Governor.
Adam Andrzejewski for Treasurer – Don’t yell at me about not putting him in the Governor race column because sources I trust have indicated that he will be running for Treasurer as soon as Rutherford announces for Governor. If I’m wrong so be it. Andzejewski was a successful businessman & new comer during the Governor’s race in 2010. He did surprisingly well downstate where his conservative anti-Chicago, anti-government message met receptive ears. Andzejewski has been active since his run with For the Good of Illinois & therefore maintains a decent name ID. Andzejewski’s biggest hurdle will be convincing voters not in downstate Illinois to vote for him though if nobody with higher name ID enters the race against him, he should sail through the primary.
I’ve heard other names tossed about for Governor like Dan Duffy, Jason Plummer & a few others. I didn’t include them in this initial list because I haven’t heard anything else out of those other potential candidates regarding their possible runs. The same goes for other Treasurer candidates, though Andzejewski has been the only name I’ve heard for that office. As far as Senate, Comptroller, Lt. Governor & Attorney General , I have not heard any names for those offices.
The main point of this article is to point out both some positives & negatives of potential Republican candidates for statewide office in 2014. I know some of you support one person over another or are not satisfied with any of the candidates mentioned. That’s completely understandable. Each candidate has their problems, each candidate has issues they must overcome to win Republican voters. I also understand it’s quickly becoming primary season in Illinois & the long knives will be coming out as Republicans trash Republicans, conservatives argue their candidate is more conservative than the next & candidates trash candidates. Such is politics – there is no way around it.
As the campaign season begins to get into full swing & more people announce/explore, I plan on writing follow-ups to this article.
By: Brian Milleville
Illinois Conservatives Leadership Member
In 2010 State Senator Kirk Dillard (R-24) lost the Republican nomination by just 193 votes to State Senator Bill Brady (R-44). In 2014, both will battle it out again for the GOP nomination.
This upcoming election is much different though. In 2010, Dillard, a DuPage County resident, faced three other DuPage County residents: Adam Andrzejewski, Jim Ryan, and Bob Schillerstrom (who dropped out, but whose name appeared on the ballot). In fact, Kirk Dillard did not even win DuPage County, Jim Ryan did. Dillard beat Brady in the 6 counties that encompass the Chicago area by an 81,271 – 23,579 vote count. However that was not quite enough to beat Brady who had run up a big lead by winning 77 downstate counties.
How is 2014 different? It appears that fewer candidates from the DuPage County region are going to run. It also appears that more central Illinois candidates are going to run. In 2010, Bill Brady was the only downstate candidate, but in 2014 he will not be. Already, State Treasurer Dan Rutherford from Pontiac has made an unofficial announcement at a recent Lincoln Day dinner that he will join the race. Also rumored to be joining the race is central Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock. If Brady, Schock, and Rutherford split the vote in downstate Illinois, look for Dillard or someone from the suburbs to capitalize.
The wildcard in the race, however, is if former suburban Congressman Joe Walsh, or Chicago-area businessman Bruce Rauner decide to run for Governor. This would give Dillard slightly more competition in the suburbs. However with at least three candidates splitting the vote in the downstate counties, and more votes being available near Chicago, you have to be feeling pretty good about yourself if you’re a suburban Republican candidate.
Wait, what? Yes, actually this headline is not a typo.
We all know that Illinois has been a blue-team-run state for decades. We’ve seen the devastating
results of one-party control throughout our state, in our counties, and on our streets. Our state’s
government is riddled with corruption, residents and businesses are squeezed with extremely high
taxes, infrastructure is crumbling everywhere you look, businesses are fleeing Illinois for more friendly
states, and last but not least, the state’s crippling debt.
So, wouldn’t it be nice for the Grand Ole Party of Illinois to make an effort to fix this by promoting
conservative values? And wouldn’t it be nice if they backed and supported conservative candidates and
got them on ballots in elections across all of Illinois? You would think that should be a real no-brainer,
wouldn’t you? After all, GOP leaders are conservatives, right? Well, when it comes to Illinois, not so
Pat Brady is the Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. Top dog. Or more appropriately: top donkey.
This year, Brady threw Republican support behind legislation that led to a new law that gives drivers
licenses to illegal aliens. He then also spoke up in support of redefining marriage in Illinois to accept
homosexual unions. Uh, what, Mr. Brady? Since when are Republicans liberal?
Brady then goes on to say that social issues have clouded the good Republican message. Really, Mr.
Brady? Are you serious? It seems like YOU have clouded the good Republican message by surrendering
to the liberal agenda in Springfield. You are the one pushing the liberal values and claiming to be a
Republican in the same breath. Brady really needs to realize is that he is actually supposed to be in
charge of promoting conservative values in Illinois, not overlooking and destroying them. I would
suggest that maybe he should take another glimpse at his job description.
Brady is horrifically misinformed about people in Illinois. Not just conservatives, but everyone. Polls
suggested wide-spread disgust towards re-defining marriage, with some of the most vocal opponents
coming from minority religious leadership. Brady is also terribly misguided in thinking that more
centralist candidates have a better shot at winning elections.
So how does the Republican Party win more elections? Does the GOP become more “central” as a party
to win more support? Well, we’ve seen how that works out. Not only does it not work, but it backfires
tremendously. Every time the Republican Party gets behind a candidate that is central rather than
conservative, they lose. Why? Because there becomes little difference between the Democrat candidate
and the Republican candidate that voters see no difference. They decide it doesn’t matter, and don’t
vote. This is especially true with conservative voters: a centralist candidate keeps them at home on
No, the answer is to support real, tried and true conservative candidates and get them on the ballot.
This brings out the voters, because now they can tell the candidates apart again. The Republican
platform doesn’t need to change, but the Republican Party needs to back conservatives again.
Conservative voters will line up around the block to support a true conservative candidate on election
day, and it usually pays off.
Brady takes the problem with the Illinois Republican Party a step further and blames it on social
conservatives. And he will even routinely shut real conservatives out of state committees and
Republican leadership positions. All while giving Republicans in Illinois less of a voice as to who should
be involved in running the GOP in our state.
There are thousands of conservative men and women in Illinois that want to fight for their Republican
Party. But ILGOP won’t let them. Many people have reached out to local or county Republican
organization leadership in Illinois that want to be involved (myself included) only to have their message
fall on deaf ears.
How do we begin to spread conservative values in Illinois and grow the Republican Party if leadership
won’t do their jobs? How does this happen when GOP leaders won’t even make an attempt to put
candidates on the ballot? How does this begin to change when the Republican Party gives less and less
choice to the people of Illinois? We have all seen way too many blank spaces on the Republican side of
Well, we are tired of it. There are hundreds of thousands of conservatives all over Illinois that want their
voice heard, and they want it heard now. There are conservatives out there from every background
and in every corner, nook, and cranny of this once-great state wanting to get up and be acknowledged.
There is an abundance of great future conservative leaders across Illinois that need to be recognized and
put in positions to advance the Republican Party and its conservative values.
So I’m looking at you, Pat Brady. You’re in the position to do something about this mess. You could fix
this if you wanted to. Yet you act like you don’t want to; you act like you want the Democrats to win.
You are like cancer, slowly devouring the GOP in Illinois from the inside. Enough already; we know you
have heard us calling for your resignation, so it is time. Get out, or we will force you out.
I’m also looking at you, County GOP leaders. Make yourself known and make yourself available to
current and future conservative leaders in your county. Find those great conservative candidates in
your precincts and get them on the ballot. Any race, any election; just get conservative leaders on the
ballot. If you can’t do that, step aside and let someone who can take over. Or maybe you, too, should be
Finally, I’m looking at you, dear reader of this article. Being here looking at these words means there is
something inside you that supports conservatism and wants this state to change. You can be the voice
of the Republican resurgence in Illinois. You know someone who would be a great conservative leader in
Illinois, or maybe it’s even yourself. So go ahead and get started, we need you, and we need you now.
Let’s turn Illinois purple. Surely this is not a pipe dream.
By: Tim DeYoung
From: South Holland, IL