This is a critical time for the Illinois Republican Party. On March 9th, a special closed door meeting of the State Central Committee will decide Brady’s fate. Will GOP voters have a skillful, principled leader who is capable of winning elections? Or will we have another Pat Brady?
Chicago Sun Times columnist Carol Marin remarked in recent editorial about how important she believes it is to keep Pat Brady and save the Illinois Republican Party. I think that this is the first time a liberal reporter like Marin has expressed concern for the Illinois GOP. I can’t really say that I’m touched.
I have been calling on Pat Brady to go since 2010. He is a study in failure. He has bragged publicly about raising record amounts of money but where did the money go? He has lost election after election. Brady’s lack of leadership cost us the governor’s race in 2010 in a landslide Republican election year. That loss resulted in the Democrats having full control over the statewide remap. Now the Democrats have supermajorities in both Illinois houses. Gee, thanks Pat.
Grassroots leaders say Brady has targeted conservative candidates for defeat. In an egotistical power grab, he managed the campaign against longtime conservative Sen. Chris Lauzen. In my own 2012 race to become Chicago GOP chairman, he supported my opponent, whose family gives tens of thousands of dollars to Democrats like Rahm Emanuel.
The last straw for many conservatives came when Brady, in his official capacity as chairman, announced his opposition to the GOP platform on same sex marriage and lobbied GOP officials to vote for that disingenuous bill.
The Illinois GOP Chairman is supposed to represent Republican voters in Illinois. Not Barack Obama or Rahm Emanuel. He is supposed to support the GOP platform – not the Democrat platform.
Of course, Pat Brady must be fired. He is the worst Illinois GOP Chairman we have ever had. But the last thing we need is another Pat Brady.
So how do we prevent another Pat Brady from taking on the reigns?
We need to demand an open process in the selection and appointment of a new GOP Chairman. The State Central Committee must invite all candidates to speak. They should involve the grassroots – something Pat Brady has refused to do. They should allow voters, activists, and committeeman to participate.
I’ve heard some people promote 10th district committeeman Mark Shaw for interim chairman. But has Shaw even been vetted? Some say he skipped surveys by conservative groups in the last election. In his Daily Herald survey, he says that he has been arrested for DUI.
We don’t need an interim chairman. We need transparency and honesty and an effort to restore trust.
Pat Brady was appointed Illinois GOP Chairman without competition in a secret process by Andy McKenna. He was handpicked by Bob Kjellander to be national GOP committeeman – the same Kjellander who profited from insider deals with Blagojevich and Tony Rezko.
This lack of transparency – this is the problem.
What do I want in an Illinois GOP Chairman? What I want is someone that would do what I would do as chairman.
The new Illinois GOP chairman should be someone who has a long history as a principled conservative leader with a fierce dedication to GOP party principles. Someone who helps conservative candidates for office – not destroys them to advance his or her personal agenda.
The new Illinois GOP chairman should be someone with a track record of honesty and ethics; someone who is not tied to corrupt insider deals or suspicious no-bid contracts. It should be someone who only roots for one team – the Republicans – and not someone who takes money from Rahm Emanuel’s top donors. It should be someone who isn’t afraid to take on Rahm – just as I did when I challenged his petitions for mayor. It should be someone who is media savvy and capable of beating the biased mainstream media at their own game. It should be someone who understands elections and how to win them.
Let’s not let those millions of dollars go to waste ever again. Let’s make sure we get this right this time. We can’t let another Pat Brady spoil 2014 and beyond.