Chicago, IL – This weekend’s Illinois Republican Convention was anything but red, white, and blue. Sadly, there were no surprises at the Illinois GOP Convention; it was exactly as I expected it to be: political hypocrisy dressed up with signs and a few balloons.
No democracy in sight.
GOP Chairman Pat Brady took the stage, his arms flailing about House Speaker Michael Madigan, bemoaning Democrat corruption responsible for pay-to-play politics and out-of-control pensions threatening to bankrupt the state.
“We are under the thumb of a controlling, vindictive, ethically challenged, self-serving leprechaun, and I mean no disrespect to leprechauns, Speaker Mike Madigan,” railed Brady with Minority Leader Tom Cross looking on.
Then Brady compared Madigan’s Illinois to a “Third-world republic likeVenezuela.”
Brady is angry that Madigan has spent his time in office using his political position to “get rich.” But Brady has a lot of nerve protesting corruption. Are Republican Party bosses in Illinois any different?
In an 11-7 “committee” decision on Friday, party hacks determined that delegates would not be permitted a floor vote on “direct elections” – a move that would have returned voting power to the Republican electorate. Illinois election law treats Republican and Democrat voters differently; Democrat voters elect their party leadership, Republican voters do not.
But the Platform and Resolutions Committee members were also appointed, not elected. And the people who appointed them to the committee were also not elected by Republican voters.
Why doesn’t the Illinois GOP want Republican voters to vote for their party leadership? What are they so afraid of?
My own race for National Committeeman is a good illustration of frustrated democracy: three candidates in the race and an appointed committee “recommends” only one candidate to the delegates for a “yes” or “no” vote. No choice of candidates. None.
Why vote? Is not a dictatorship run this way? The sham vote means absolutely nothing if the people aren’t given a choice.
True democracy is about victory and failure. Failure teaches important lessons about life. It teaches you what to do differently the next time.
But when government pre-selects a “winner” – like President Obama’s Solyndra – everyone fails. Artificially determining political outcomes breeds mediocrity. It guarantees failure. Appointing people – instead of electing them – is a guarantee of mediocrity and corruption. That is what the Illinois Republican Party has become. Mediocre at best, corrupt at its worst.
Other votes were taken but the floor delegates were ignored – including the vote for at-large delegates to the Republican National Convention. Despite a majority of “no” votes, the measure passed. “The “ayes” have it,” said a party boss. Conveniently, a roll call of votes was not taken.
Furious delegates are contending the convention was a sham – a dog-and-pony show – disrespectful to Republican voters and it was. Delegates to the Illinois Republican Convention forked over 50 bucks a head with the promise of voting participation. But the state GOP denied delegates any real voting power.
The Illinois GOP should give delegates their money back. False advertising is false advertising.
The money should be refunded in full. Plus any damages for pain and suffering incurred by being forced to listen to Pat Brady’s silly speech.