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Chicago, Illinois– In 1724, Catholics in Ireland were denied the right to vote. Prior to 1870, Black Americans were denied the right to vote. American women marched in the streets for decades for the right to vote. They engaged in civil disobedience and non-violent protest, demanding respect and equality. They were denied basic suffrage until 1920 when the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was finally passed.
In 2012, Illinois Republican voters still do not have the right to vote.
We do not have the right to vote for our own Republican leadership. Our leaders decide who are leaders are. They do it behind closed doors, in secret meetings. We have been denied our basic suffrage. We have been denied our right to vote. We are not equal under the law. We are second class citizens.
For years, a handful of tireless conservatives have been fighting to restore Republican voting rights with Senate Bill 600 (SB600), now known as SB35. Conservatives like Sen. Chris Lauzen have been on the forefront of this effort to restore “direct elections.”
SB35 has been passed in the Illinois Senate three times since 2005. But once the bill has gone to the house side, state GOP legislators have “stonewalled” every time.
“Direct elections” doesn’t call this what it really is; it is a denial of Illinois Republicans basic voting rights.
As Republicans and conservatives, we should be outraged at this denial of our rights. We should not have tolerated this when Judy Baar Topinka was Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. We should not have tolerated this when Andy McKenna was Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. And we should not tolerate it any further with Pat Brady, the current Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party.
But how did this happen and why?
In the late 1980s, Republicans right to vote was stripped from us in a power grab by Illinois GOP political bosses that wanted to ensure that they would not be held accountable for their actions.
Republican political bosses stripped Republicans of their right to vote because they wanted to “consolidate power.” They wanted “the ability to profit and make deals with Democrats free of worry that any State Party official would say a peep. Eliminating direct elections for the members of the Republican State Central Committee turned that governing board into a submission rubber stamp,” says Doug Ibendahl, a former general counsel with the Illinois GOP.
Ever since this power grab,Illinois has earned its national reputation for corruption. We have one-party rule. Effectively, there is no Republican Party in Illinois.
Former U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald once remarked about the collusion between Illinois Republicans and Democrats. He called it, “The Combine” i.e. that Illinois political class that’s not committed to any party; that simply want to make money off the taxpayers.
And money these corrupt Republicans have made. And power these corrupt Republicans have amassed.
Make no mistake about it: this is a Republican dictatorship, a tyranny of power. Judy Baar Topinka, Andy McKenna, and Pat Brady and their cronies have been and continue to be the problem. They will aggressively continue to fight against restoring the voting rights of Illinois Republican voters.
Later this week, Illinois Citizens for Ethics Reform will be issuing the first in a series of reports that outlines the corruption taking place within the Illinois Republican Party leadership.
But we have the opportunity to fight back.
Everyone who is reading this must pay attention now and act. If you are a conservative with a list, email them. If you are a tea party leader with an organization, get your group together. If you are a libertarian, call your friends and get them together to do this.
If you are truly committed to changing the status quo, here is your opportunity.
HOW TO TAKE BACK YOUR REPUBLICAN VOTING RIGHTS IN ILLINOIS:
1. Post this article and VOTING RIGHTS POSTER on your facebook page. Send the poster to your like-minded conservative friends. SPREAD THE WORD.
2. If you are planning on going to Chicago CPAC – don’t. It is highly unfortunate that they planned Chicago CPAC for the same weekend as the Illinois Republican State Convention.
3. Call your local GOP County Chairman. Here is a list of them from Republican News Watch. Scroll down and to the right you will see a list that says “Republican County organizations.” Find your county and click it. http://republicannewswatch.com/wp/?p=755
If you are from Cook County, call your Republican township or ward committeeman. Here is the list: http://cookrepublicanparty.com/leadership.aspx
4. Ask your County GOP Chairman (or if you are from Cook, your committeeman) to name you a delegate.
5. If you are denied the opportunity to become a delegate, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Once you are named a delegate, register as a delegate for the Illinois Republican Convention here: http://ilgopconvention.eventbrite.com/
7. When the vote for direct elections is called, vote to restore direct elections and the right for Illinois Republican voters to choose their leaders.
Let’s send a message to our corrupt Republicans officials in Illinois that we demand the right to vote and we demand it now. Before it is too late.