What Happened at the Illinois GOP Convention? Mostly Status Quo, But…

June 10, 2012 | Filed Under Aaron Schock, Adam Kinzinger, Bobby Schilling, Congress, Conservatives, Dan Patlak, Dan Rutherford, Democracy, Democrats/Leftists, Elections, GOP, Government, House of Representatives, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Joe Walsh, Judy Baar-Topinka, Liberals, Mitt Romney, Pat Brady, Peter Roskam, Politicians Illinois, President, Randy Hultgren, Republicans, SB600, Senate, State Central Committee, Steve Rauschenberger, Tom Cross, United Republican Fund, Warner Todd Huston | 1 Comment

-By Warner Todd Huston

The Illinois Republican Party held its 2012 Party Convention this weekend. On the docket was addressing some asked for rules changes and picking a slate of delegates to the GOP national convention to nominate Mitt Romney to carry the Party’s banner in the upcoming presidential election. My ultimate analysis is that this was a status quo convention, but signs show that the status quo might not be too long for this world.

Two things first, here. One, I have to state up front that I intended to be a delegate from my district at the Illinois GOP convention. I registered as such and was accepted by my man Tim Schneider of the Hanover Republicans, but forces outside of politics (in other words, real life) prevented me from participating to the fullest extent. Regardless, I wanted to let you know of my intentions upfront so that you can see that I am not just a disinterested bystander in this deal.

Two, if you want a blow-by-blow account of the many great speeches, see Cal Skinner’s report at McHenry County Blog. I will mention a few things, but won’t do the speech-by-speech analysis. Skinner covered that very well so I don’t feel the need to cover that ground again.

Rep. Aaron Schock plies the crowd after his address

Now, The single most controversial issue that was on the docket was the decision to initiate direct elections. For instance, there are many Republicans who want to change how the members of the State Central Committee are selected. Currently they are appointed by the committeemen but many voices in the party want to change that. They want these party leaders to stand for election (like the Democrats do, incidentally) instead of being appointed by the votes of the committeemen. This issue has been in debate throughout the state for several years already and I’ve covered that debate many times. (Check my out old coverage of SB600 using the search feature)

I am told that several attempts were made by various committeemen to get this issue its due during Friday’s Committee meetings. The issue failed in committee on Friday, but a spirited debate continued that afternoon, anyway. Ultimately, John Parrot of Congressional District 15 attempted to get the direct elections issue brought to the convention floor on Saturday for discussion and a vote as a separate issue. Instead party leaders decided to allow a “yea” or “nay” vote on Saturday.
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Illinois House Republican Newbies Disappoint

May 19, 2011 | Filed Under Elections, Ethics, GOP, Government, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Republicans, SB600, Tom Cross, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on

Illinois House Republican Newbies Disappoint

-By Doug Ibendahl

“Tom Cross has a brick on SB35.”

That’s a quote from State Senator Kirk Dillard from a few days ago. He simply stated what nearly all of you I’m sure already know.

It’s hardly some secret that Tom Cross – the House Minority Leader – is viciously opposed to the idea of regular Republicans having a voice again in their own party.

Now for the third time in six years, the direct election reform (now designated as Senate Bill 35) – has passed out of the Senate and over to the House. The most recent Senate passage was last month and this time the vote was unanimous. Even several Republican Senators who had been pressured by the old guard to vote “no” in 2009 are now waking up to the reality that our Illinois Republican Party needs an overhaul from the bottom and the top.

But in the Illinois House it’s different. Not a single Republican has stepped up so far to co-sponsor SB35 in the House this session. It’s really shameful.

It’s especially shameful where the 13 new GOP State Representatives are concerned (some won in November and some were appointed to fill vacancies post-November).

And by the way, I’ve talked to several of the freshmen, as well as with many of the longer serving GOP House members. I’ve not heard a single one voice an argument against SB35 – in fact many are clearly in favor of the bill and its reform. But their “support” is pretty meaningless if they won’t stand up…

Read the rest at

Important Information About Ill. GOP Reform Bill

April 26, 2011 | Filed Under Conservatives, Elections, GOP, Government, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Republicans, SB600, State Central Committee, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on

Important Information About Ill. GOP Reform Bill

-By Warner Todd Huston

Doug Ibendahl of has been a leading advocate of the current iteration of a bill that would give Illinois’ Republican voters the opportunity to actually vote in the leaders of their own party. It is currently called SB35 but has been for sometime identified as SB600.

SB35 would reverse the way the members of the Illinois Republican State Central Committee are placed on the governing body of the state party. Currently these folks are appointed to their positions by the affirmation of all the state’s local committeemen. The actual voters have no direct say. Curiously enough, the Democrats do have direct elections of their central committeemen but Republicans do not.

Recently a state representative contacted Mr. Ibendahl for some info about the bill. This is Ibendahl’s letter, which can be seen HERE.

Dear Representative,

I’m sure you must be as amazed as I am regarding the lengths a few selfish players will go to protect a corrupted system that’s been a disaster for Republicans and for our Party. It’s sad that a few are so obsessed with trying to make sure Republican voters have inferior rights compared to every Illinois Democrat.
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SB35 (SB600), Republican Vote Reform Unanimously Passes Ill. Senate

April 8, 2011 | Filed Under Conservatives, Elections, GOP, Government, House of Representatives, Illinois, Illinois State Government, SB600, Senate, State Central Committee, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on

SB35 (SB600), Republican Vote Reform Unanimously Passes Ill. Senate

-By Warner Todd Huston

Well, we’ve been talking about this bill for years here on the blog, but SB35 has unanimously passed the Illinois Senate.

SB35 was formerly SB600 and this bill provides for Republicans in Illinois to at last be allowed to vote for the members of their own State central Committee, the body that plans policy and runs the state Republican Party.

Currently the Republicans that run the party are not voted onto the state central committee by the state’s Republican voters (though Democrats do vote their committee members onto their own state central committee). The folks that are so instrumental in setting the agenda of the Illinois GOP are appointed by their fellows, not voted onto the committee by the voters.

SB35 will return the responsibility of filling the committee to the voters like it once was.
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Chris Lauzen: Direct Election of Republican State Central Committeemen

April 1, 2011 | Filed Under Chris Lauzen, Conservatives, Elections, GOP, Government, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Republicans, SB600, State Central Committee, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on

Chris Lauzen: Direct Election of Republican State Central Committeemen

From the office of State Senator Chris Lauzen (R, 25th District)…

“You Decide . . . .” That’s what SB35 (the old SB600) is all about.

If you think it’s “OK” for Republican State Central Committeemen to give thousands of dollars and serious support to Mayor Daley, Governor Blagojevich, and other Democrat politicians . . . if you think it makes any sense at all to have Jim Oberweis, who has spent more than $10,000,000 to lose five (5) major elections, advising Republicans about how to win political campaigns . . . and, if you think it is in any way appropriate for the Republican State Central Committee to threaten Republican precinct committeemen with punishment for not supporting every single Republican candidate on the ticket, no matter how corrupt or opposed to the Illinois Republican Party Platform they are . . . do not support fundamental reform and change. No need to read further.

SB35 provides for direct election of Republican State Central Committeemen. Proponents want the right to vote for their leaders just like Republicans had for more than fifty (50) years, before Governor Thompson and his allies took it away through legislation. We want what Democrat primary voters have continued to enjoy.

If Republicans were in good shape in Illinois, I would say it doesn’t make any difference how we elect our leaders. However, Democrats have been slaughtering us with nine (9) years of corrupt or incompetent Governors and nearly veto-proof majorities in the State House and Senate. This gross mismanagement has led to a staggering 67% personal income tax increase, a redefinition of marriage in homosexual “unions”, constant threats to our right to self-defense, the obvious bankruptcy of our state through crippling spending and debt, and now the protection of murderers, terrorists and rapists from the death penalty.
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Hey, Ill. Republicans: Want to Have a Say in Your Party? We Have chance To Do It

December 31, 2010 | Filed Under Chicago, Elections, GOP, Government, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Republicans, SB600, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on

Hey, Ill. Republicans: Want to Have a Say in Your Party? We Have chance To Do It

-By Warner Todd Huston

OK, Illinois Republicans, a great opportunity to return the Illinois GOP back to some accountability to YOU is at hand. The Illinois legislature is about to enter its own lame duck session that will run from January 3 to January 11. During this session we have a chance to get a law passed that has quite a lot of support. It is a law that will return the Illinois GOP’s planning committee to your hands via direct elections of its members.

We’ve talked about SB600 many times in the past, of course. This bill would change the way the Illinois State GOP fills the seats on its state central committee, the group responsible for planning the way the state party operates, arrives at its goals, and its assembles its policies. Currently central committee members are placed on the committee by a vote of the Republican ward chiefs, township bosses and committeemen throughout the state. SB600 would change that to provide for the actual voters to elect central committee members instead of allowing the party insiders to appoint them.
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SB600: Litmus Test for Party Reform (By Cedra Crenshaw)

December 7, 2010 | Filed Under Conservatives, Elections, GOP, Government, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Republicans, SB600, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on

SB600: Litmus Test for Party Reform (By Cedra Crenshaw)

-By Warner Todd Huston

In the 2010 midterms, Cedra Crenshaw made a splash as a great independent Republican candidate for the Illinois State Senate (43rd District). She was quickly confronted with the power of the Democratic Machine and made all too well aware of the limitations of the Illinois Republican Party.

Cedra recently wrote a great piece on SB600, a bill that would allow Republican voters to vote in their own leadership on the Illinois Republican State Committee (currently, insiders appoint these members and voters have no choice).
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SB600 Update: In Da House

November 29, 2010 | Filed Under Democracy, Democrats/Leftists, Elections, GOP, Government, House of Representatives, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Republicans, SB600, State Central Committee, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on

SB600 Update: In Da House

-By Warner Todd Huston

I have been a steady advocate for SB600 for the past year or so, now. SB600 would provide for Illinois Republicans to be able to elect their own state Republican committeemen by vote (as Illinois Democrats already do). Currently the people that guide the Illinois GOP are selected by other party operatives instead of the voters. Many feel, me included, this leads to a closed system of party bosses and insiders that is resistant to change and new ideas and is too far removed from the voters.

The bill passed the Senate earlier in the year and now needs a nod from the House of Representatives. If it doesn’t get passed by the House before January 12, 2011, then this bill is dead and would have to go through the entire process all over again to become law.

January 12 is coming very quickly, of course, and many might think it is too late to get this one done. But it’s not all bad news. If the bill is brought to a vote it will likely pass as it did in the Senate.
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SB600: Let Illinois GOP Voters Control Their Own Party, Not the Insiders and Bigwigs

May 7, 2010 | Filed Under Chicago, Conservatives, Democrats/Leftists, GOP, Government, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Republicans, SB600, State Government, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on

SB600: Let Illinois GOP Voters Control Their Own Party, Not the Insiders and Bigwigs

-By Warner Todd Huston

We’ve talked about SB600 many, many times here on the blog and with the end of the legislative session in our Springfield-based Capitol coming to an end, we need to make another push for this worthy bill.

SB600 would return to Illinois’ Republican voters the responsibility to again vote for their own members of the state central committee, a vote that was taken away from us by the good old boy network of the Illinois GOP powermen in the 1980s. As it stands today only GOP committeemen may vote for the members of the state central committee, the group that controls the agenda for the state party. This insider’s control of the central committee has taken away from the voters the right to affect what their own party does. SB600 would cancel this backroom dealing and again see state central committee members go before the voters to gain their positions.
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Call the neighbors and wake the kids, it’s SB600 time!

April 29, 2010 | Filed Under Cook County, Elections, GOP, Government, Illinois, Illinois State Government, SB600, State Government, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on

Call the neighbors and wake the kids, it’s SB600 time!

-By Doug Ibendahl, Republican News Watch

The Illinois General Assembly is tentatively scheduled to adjourn by May 7th (a week from this Friday). That’s an early date, and it may not happen, but that’s the goal.

It’s a good time to make another push for final passage of SB600. Recall the bill passed overwhelmingly in the State Senate last year. We still need House passage.
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Will County GOP Chief ‘Doesn’t Care’ About the Voters

March 16, 2010 | Filed Under Elections, GOP, Illinois, Illinois State Government, Republicans, SB600, State Government, Warner Todd Huston, Will County | Comments Off on

Will County GOP Chief ‘Doesn’t Care’ About the Voters

-By Warner Todd Huston

So, thanks to a decision in the 1970s the Republican voters of Illinois are not allowed to vote for their representatives on the GOP State Central Committee (although Ill. Democrat voters DO have that right). The folks that fill the body that guides the agenda and creates and applies to rules of the state party are appointed to their important seats by the elected GOP committeemen throughout the state. Why is that a problem? Let’s look t Will County to answer that question.

On March 7 I wrote about how the Will County GOP Chairman, Dick Kavanagh engineered the defeat of Central Committee candidate Cory Singer. As it happened big cheese Kavanagh didn’t like Singer and wanted his own, handpicked choice to fill the Will County seat on the GOP State Central Committee.

Kavanagh had a major stumbling block to his desire to put his choice, Bobbie Peterson, back on the board. It was this little thing we call “votes.” You see, Cory Singer had about 9,000 of them while Kavanagh’s buddy Peterson nay had 4,000.

So, to get his way, Kavanagh simply decided to steal the election by voting himself for all the committeemen of Will County that didn’t show up to the Party Convention. Presto Chango, Peterson won the “election” to the State Central Committee.
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