ADVANCE PREVIEW: William J. Kelly’s speech at Illinois GOP Convention

From William J. Kelly’s campaign for Republican National Committeeman…

Chicago, Illinois, June 8, 2012 – Here is an advance copy of William J. Kelly’s speech today at the Illinois Republican Convention:

As a candidate for statewide office in 2010, I have traveled all over the state of Illinois. I have spoken to real Republicans.

I know what they are thinking.

And as National Republican Committeeman I pledge to go to wherever two or more Republicans are meeting and give them the speech that Illinois’ best days are still ahead.

But right now is not the time to give that speech. Rarely in life do we say what we really mean because we are afraid of what we might lose.

But we have lost too much already. And we are on the brink of losing it all. So before it is too late, this is what you need to hear.

The Illinois Republican Party is a joke and the only way to fix is to give it back to the people.

As National Republican Committeeman, I will enthusiastically support direct elections of State Republican Party leaders. This will bring accountability to our party once more.

How can we continue to deny Republican primary voters the basic right to vote? How can they trust their party when the party doesn’t trust them?

No one on the selection committee here was elected by ANYBODY. And everyone here was ALSO appointed by someone who was ALSO not elected by ANYBODY. Isn’t there something wrong with that?

Now I understand that you have been charged to produce one name to the delegates for National Republican Committeeman.

And you probably have already been told who that one name should be with the hope that the delegates will vote for that one name.

And voila – we will have four more years of insider mediocrity at best. Corruption at worst.

What I am asking is for you – in the truth spirit of the principles that made our party great. In the true spirit of trusting the people.

Make your report all three of our names. Rank us if it will make you feel better.

Sandy Stuart 98%,
Rich Williamson – 96%
William Kelly – 1%

Whatever – be my guest.

But do this. Be the heroes of this convention. Maybe your brother, the committeeman, is going be mad at you. Maybe your finance chairman there in Lake County is going be mad at you.

But be a hero – right now. Throw all three names to the convention floor and let the delegates decide.

Let the people decide.

Why even invite delegates to the convention if you are not going to let them vote for anything? Or preselect a candidate for them? Or deny them the right to vote for direct elections? Why even have delegates? Why call them delegates – why not call them observers? And why has the party denied so many Illinois Republicans the opportunity to become delegates?

I’m calling on my two opponents to agree. Sandy and Rich, are you willing to let all three names go to the delegates and let the people decide?

As National Republican Committeeman, I will also focus my efforts reshaping our party’s fundraising strategy.

We need to renew voters’ faith in our party in order to bring in new donors. Not the same ONE Obama bundler and top contributor to Rahm Emanuel that wants to buy influence in the Illinois Republican Party. I will help refocus our party’s efforts on ethical fundraising, not schemes that raise the specter of financial impropriety.

If you don’t think the people see through all of this you are wrong. That is why we don’t have new donors or volunteers. The people know that these Obama bundlers and insiders are calling the shots.

Just last week, they saw Illinois GOP leaders voting against the Republican Party platform – at least the party platform that was intact when I walked into this room – the platform that is against ObamaCare, higher taxes, and gambling expansion.

Sandy and Rich, would you be willing to return these tainted contributions and give our party a fresh start with the voters?

People often ask: What would Reagan do? I can definitely tell you that Ronald Reagan would not give or receive money from a campaign bundler to Barack Obama.

It is time to give the Illinois Republican Party back to the people.

Restore direct elections. Retain the conservative planks in the party platform. Stand up against Republican leaders who vote against the party platform – who violate the trust of voters. And give the delegates a choice for Republican National Committeeman – not just the name of one party insider. Trust the delegates – after all – they paid their $50 bucks to attend this convention. That is the least that you can do.

I’ve told the truth that is all that I can do. I have a clear conscience. We all say that 2012 is the most important election and we will say the same about 2014 and 2016.

But whether or not we will truly be successful in these elections will depend on the Illinois Republican Party and what you decide to do in this room today.

Thank you.

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Kelly Releases Statement, Platform for Bid for National Republican Committeeman

Statement from William J. Kelly:

The political road we choose as Republicans is more critical to the future of our State and country than ever before.  That is why we need good, principled leaders to choose the right road and to march down it without looking back.

That is why I am running for National Republican Committeeman.

The Illinois Republican Party is at a crossroads and it has been at one for some time: Are we the party that conspires with corrupt Democrat politicians and inIllinoisor the Party that former President Ronald Reagan would have been proud to call his philosophical home?

Are we the party that truly represents conservative principles, honest government, entrepreneurism, and individual liberty? Or are we the party that cuts deals with Democrats to ravage taxpayers, votes for gambling expansion, and Obamacare when we think voters are not looking i.e. before Memorial Day weekend?

Further, are we the party that defends the Republican Party platform or purposely remains mute when it is violated? Are we the party that is beholden to Republican primary voters or major donors who play both sides of the political fence waiting for the winds of self-interest to shift?

In other words, does the Illinois Republican Party stand for something? Or does it stand for nothing?

For any candidate running in earnest to represent the State ofIllinoisas National Republican Committeeman, there should not be a moment’s hesitation about where his or her true Republican loyalties lie.

As National Republican Committeeman representing Illinois in the Republican National Committee, there will be no doubt of my Republican loyalties and I make this promise: that I will fiercely defend the Republican Party platform from anyone so cowardly, deceptive, and selfish enough in our party to work against it.

As a teenager onChicago’s Southside, a place bereft of Republican influences, I was inspired by the bold vision of Ronald Reagan.

In 1993, after Bill Clinton had me removed from a townhall meeting for asking him about his broken promise of a middle class tax cut, the die was cast: I was a Republican for life.

In 1994 as part of Newt Gingrich’s Republican revolution, I ran against former Black Panther Defense Minister Rep. Bobby Rush and exposed his $50,000 in back taxes, unpaid child support, and parking tickets.

In 1995, I filed a federal lawsuit against the first and fourth Congressional districts charging that they were gerrymandered and unconstitutional. 43rd ward Republican committeeman Chris Cleveland was an expert in that suit which made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. We lost 6-3 but we…fought.

Since then, for me, the battle for honest government – Republican government, conservative government – has never ended and never will.

So what will I do as Republican National Committeeman? Here’s my multi-point platform and vision:

1. As National Republican Committeeman, I will focus my efforts on coalition building, good will campaigns, and reshape our party’s fundraising strategy. We will focus on building donor relations with Republicans and conservatives –instead of major campaign bundlers for Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel.

2. I will help refocus our party’s efforts on ethical fundraising, not schemes that raise the specter of financial impropriety or smack of “political money laundering” to evade campaign finance limits.

3. I will fight to ensure that the Illinois Republican Party becomes a big tent party – big enough to include conservative candidates and free market Republicans once again.

4. I will support SB35 which calls for direct elections of State Republican Party leaders on the State Central Committee. This will bring accountability to our party and restoreIllinoisto a two party political system once more.

5. I will call on current Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady to resign from his position. It is my opinion and those of many other Republicans that he has injured the Party’s efforts inIllinoisthrough his: election losses, loss of remap control, schemes that have called into question to party’s finances, and direct interference in Republican primary campaigns.

6. Finally, I will defend the Republican Party platform at all costs, call out, and put public pressure on those Republican candidates and leaders that work against it.

I am speaking to every Republican now; I urge everyone to attend the Illinois Republican Convention on June 8th AND 9th inTinley Park.  June 8th is when the committee makes the real decisions about the party’s platform and future leadership. June 9th is when the voting takes place. Ask your county chairman if you can attend as a delegate so that you can vote at the convention. But even if you are not a delegate, attend as a voter so that you can see what is happening in your party.

On June 9th, there will be a floor vote called. If there is any name offered to you for National Committeeman other than “William J. Kelly,” please vote “NO.” As a delegate, you can demand that the National Committeeman Selection Committee reconvene and include my name as a candidate.

In short, I am calling on you – the Republican delegates to the Illinois Republican Convention – to demand real reform on June 8th and 9th by demanding the right to vote for me, William J. Kelly, for National Republican Committeeman.

My current opponents are two party insiders – one, Rich Williamson, the current Republican National Committeeman and Sandy Stuart, who is in charge of fundraising for the Illinois Republican Party and involved the party in some serious fundraising questions this year.

If I am elected your Republican National Committeeman, I will act on behalf of the Republican primary voters and their interests – not the interests of insiders. I will work to give the Illinois Republican Party back to the people – right where it belongs.

William J. Kelly