My Fellow Republicans and Conservatives,
Because I passionately believe that Chicago deserves a real two-party system, I announced in early November my intention to run for committeeman of Chicago’s 42nd ward. My goal is to become the Chairman of the Chicago Republican Party and – do what I say I am going to do – help build a real Republican Party in Chicago.
But is that what some Republican insiders really want? Apparently not.
Yesterday, David Walsh, threatened my family on behalf of the Smithburg campaign; Tom Smithburg announced his intention to run for 42nd ward committeeman AFTER my announcement; he is a recent college graduate. But Smithburg’s family gave about $10,000 to Rahm Emanuel’s mayoral campaign; which means, in Republican pay-to-play speak, I am supposed to step aside. And that is the problem. Some Republicans think it is acceptable to give $10,000 to Rahm Emanuel. Personally, I take the opposite view. That is one of the reasons that I challenged Smithburg’s petitions on Monday.
Walsh told me Wednesday that if I did not drop my petition challenge and get out of race that I would have to move my family to Nebraska because “every door will be closed to them.” That’s what you get for trying to run for Republican committeeman in Chicago? And challenging a Rahm guy named Smithburg, eh? My history clearly shows that I am not intimidated by rich, powerful people who think they can get what they want by threatening me. It isn’t going to happen.
Yesterday, sadly, marked the one year anniversary of Rahm Emanuel’s announcement of his bid to become Mayor of Chicago. It is also a painful reminder that Chicago is still a one-party town, a city without a politically conservative alternative to corruption and the status quo pay-to-play system that is in place.
Why, after all these years, do we still have a one party system in the City of Chicago? I’ll tell you why: Because some Republican leaders and organizers surrendered a long time ago. Or maybe their hearts weren’t really in it in the first place.
I have been a tireless conservative activist and advocate more than twenty years. But, for me, it hasn’t been just talk. I was the Executive Director of National Taxpayers United of Illinois; In 1994, I ran for Congress against former Black Panther Defense Minister Bobby Rush and exposed his $50,000 in back taxes and unpaid child support; In 2010, I ran for Illinois comptroller on a platform of uncovering the insider deals and received more than 157,000 votes; I aggressively challenged Rahm Emanuel’s candidacy for Mayor and recruited a strong mayoral candidate to oppose him. I write for national newspapers and magazines and have earned a reputation for taking politicians to task – from Bill Clinton to Rahm Emanuel to Dick Durbin– on-camera. There’s a lot more – but you get the idea.
It comes down to this: Will the Chicago GOP be lead by real Republicans or by surrogates for Rahm Emanuel?
I have been a conservative my entire life and I am not about to stop now. I believe that the Chicago Republican party should be a separate entity – not a subcommittee of the Democrat party. I believe that if you care about something – whether it is a place or a person – that means you are its caretaker. I have lived in Chicago’s 42nd ward for more than 10 years. I started my business here – an Emmy award-winning production house – and I met my wife here. And I plan to do the best I can to protect and strengthen my hometown – threat or no threat. Together, with faith and a lot of hard work, we can build a real Republican Party in the place where it most needs it. Chicago.
If you want to help build a real Republican Party in Illinois, please share this link with your friends, like our Fighting 42nd facebook page, and visit www.friendsofwilliamjkelly.com and make any donation you can – large or small.
William J. Kelly
Candidate, Republican Committeeman 42nd ward