Month: December 2012

Curran Accepts Kelly’s Debate Challenge on Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Immigrants

William J. Kelly on-air at AM 560 WIND


WHAT:  William J. Kelly discusses the proposed legislation to permit 250,000 illegal aliens to receive state-issued driver’s licenses in Illinois at the Republican Assembly of Lake County’s January meeting. Sheriff Mark Curran has accepted Kelly’s challenge to debate him on the issue.

DATE:  January 10, 2012

TIME:  7:00 PM

PLACE:  Mundelein Comfort Inn, 517 Illinois 83  Mundelein, IL 60060


Kelly Responds to Sheriff Curran, Challenges to Him Debate on Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Aliens


Statement by William J. Kelly

Chicago, Illinois, December 17, 2012 – In a letter to the Illinois Review, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran accused me of “inaccuracies” concerning his support of Senate Bill 957, which allows 250,000 illegal immigrants to receive state-issued driver’s licenses. Since I am not in the habit of penning inaccuracies, I feel compelled to address his response. In January, I will be speaking to the Republican Assembly of Lake County on the issue of driver’s licenses for illegal aliens. I would like to challenge Sheriff Curran to come and debate me on this issue publicly at that time.

Let me say that I did not single out Sheriff Curran in my column for criticism. Curran, unlike other GOP leaders, changed his position on illegal immigration about a year or so ago. Other Illinois Republican leaders who supported this bill changed their position on illegal immigration…one day after the November election. This is what masquerades as “principle” these days.

Illinois politicians can spin it in any way they want; but everyone knows this bill is about politics, not policy. SB 957 was fast-tracked and Illinois Republicans leaders just hoped GOP primary voters wouldn’t notice the vote right before the holidays. They were wrong.

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) has been trying to get this legislation passed for a long time and they have targeted legislators who oppose them. Sensing the GOP blood in the water this election cycle, they moved quickly. The ICIRR recast itself as the “Highway Safety Coalition,” which has a nice, friendly ring to it. After all, who can be against “highway safety?”

But the public doesn’t know what is really taking place behind the scenes here. Greg Sullivan, Executive Director of the Illinois Sheriffs Association, was kind enough to offer a glimpse of how law enforcement really feels about this bad bill. Now we know have some idea why Illinois police chiefs have joined together to oppose the bill in Springfield.

In his response, Sheriff Curran named a handful of law enforcement officials who support this bill. ICIRR knew they needed the backing of law enforcement to market this bill to the public and to Springfield. But it is truly deceptive to say that Illinois law enforcement supports this bad bill – when the majority does not.

A few other key points. Curran repeated – almost verbatim – all the arguments in favor of the bill listed on the Highway Safety Coalition’s website. I am familiar – but not impressed – by any of them.

Yes, Illinois lawmakers plan to use “biometrics” like facial recognition to issue driver’s licenses but not fingerprint biometrics. Why not use fingerprinting if it can help and law enforcement wants it and trusts it? I think it is because the ICIRR’s membership doesn’t want it. But why is our state law being determined by illegal immigrants who don’t want to be fingerprinted?

Illinois, New Mexico, and other states have used biometrics in the identification process for years. But we still have driver’s license fraud in these states. Just this past June, nine people were arrested in a national driver’s license fraud ring in New Mexico involving the sale of hundreds of illegal licenses to foreigners in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Documents like rental agreements, utility bills, vehicle titles, and proof of insurance were forged to get the licenses.

This raises some serious questions about the use of passports and consular IDs to receive a TVDL in Illinois. In his response, Curran says that foreign governments have established “strong procedures for issuing these documents” and that “they have no interest in enabling fraud.” Really, these documents aren’t subject to fraud? How much cooperation has the U.S. received from the Mexican government on the issue of illegal immigration? I’m sorry, but I’m skeptical and the public should be too.

Curran’s last point is we need a “smart solution that allows cops to actually do their jobs and go after bad guys and (not good people just trying to go to work, school or church).” But more than 80,000 accidents a year are caused by these “good” illegal immigrants on their way to work, school, and church at a cost of $660 million to insured drivers. A smart solution isn’t a solution that panders; it’s a solution that works.

All we have heard from SB 957’s proponents in Springfield is that we – the people of Illinois – need to “trust them” on this bill. Illinois politicians tell us that they know what they are doing and there won’t be any fraud or abuse . But Illinois politicians haven’t earned our trust. Whether it is driver’s licenses and convicted Illinois governors or billions in unfunded pension liabilities, we have a broken system in Illinois.

And, somehow, I don’t think issuing driver’s licenses to 250,000 illegal immigrants is going to help.


The Illinois GOP’s Disgrace: Pat Brady Fails to Resign

Statement by William J. Kelly

r-PAT-BRADY-large570Chicago, Illinois – On Saturday, I called for conservatives to unite and attend the GOP State Central Committee meeting at the Bolingbrook Golf Club. The objective: freedom of speech. We were there to tell Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady to resign. Finally.

Did he?  He told me “no.”

During the meeting, Brady tried to pretend that we – Republicans – were all one big happy family but the anger and hostility in that room proved otherwise.

The GOP Chairman has accomplished much during his term: He has divided the Republican Party and attacked conservative candidates for office. He has ignored grassroots activists in favor of his own agenda. He is interested in advancing his little circle of power; he isn’t interested in helping the Illinois GOP.

Brady discussed all of the party’s accomplishments in fundraising and organizing. However, as much as he wanted to gloss things over, the elephant in the room was one he couldn’t miss: The Illinois GOP failed miserably in the 2012 elections.

Actually, failed is not the right word. The GOP was decimated. Destroyed. Obliterated.

And the responsibility squarely rests with Pat Brady, the GOP’s biggest failure. The party’s biggest disgrace of all.

In a GOP landslide election year in 2010, Brady bungled the governor’s race and Republicans lost any voice in the remap as a result. The statewide remap helped put House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate Leader John Cullerton on the path to veto-proof Democrat supermajorities in the state legislature. And the Illinois GOP we lost four congressional seats.

Brady also personally involved himself in GOP primaries. He managed the campaign to oppose Sen. Chris Lauzen for Kane County Chairman. He even meddled in my race for Chicago ward committeeman. He wanted to curry favor with the son of a big Republican donor (who also donates to Rahm Emanuel).

Brady couldn’t even win a Chicago ward committeeman race. How inept and silly can you be?

During the State Convention, he prevented delegates from participating and stopped a vote on direct elections, which would have returned voting power to GOP primary voters.

At Saturday’s meeting, many other organizers and Republican activists were present, infuriated at how the State Republican Party treated them in 2012.

In an act of disrespect for attendees, Brady wouldn’t let any non-committee person or candidate speak from the podium – but he made exceptions for Dan Proft and Jack Roeser.

He wanted to make sure he could take away the microphone quickly if need be.

Party hacks harassed people who were taking photos and video.

Censorship much?

Many called for Brady’s resignation outright. Others were very specific in their outrages.

Sherri Griffith, the Cook County candidate for Recorder of Deeds, lashed out asking why the state or Chicago GOP did not manage to get even one signature petition for her. Not one.

Lori Yokoyama, who ran for Cook County State’s Attorney, was furious: The GOP wants to cultivate women and minorities? But they left Yokoyama and Griffin to fend for themselves with no support or involvement of the party. Not even a press release.

Yokoyama’s point was well-taken: Brady now wants to do a poll of voters to see how the GOP can better appeal to women of color. Brady had his chance and he blew it.

I was proud of Carrie Miller of Patriots in Action. “We work for conservative candidates and then you destroy them,” she said to Brady. “You want to choose your people. You don’t want to hear from the grassroots!”  Attendees clapped vigorously in agreement.

About 10 other people wanted to speak but were prevented from doing so – including recent candidate Carl Segvich. GOP operatives pushed people out of the room, mumbling disrespectfully under their breath about attendees.

That’s the Illinois GOP: a party that has always had disrespect and disdain – maybe even hate – for its conservative base. The people who really do the work and get out the vote.

The Election of 2012 proved that the Illinois GOP may want conservative votes but they really don’t want us in the party.

The question is: What do we do now?