Tag: direct elections


If you are a Republican voter in Illinois, read on to join the lawsuit. 


Chicago, IL – GOP activists say they will file a legal challenge to the Illinois Election Code, contending it violates the equal protection of Republican voters and denies them the right to vote for their party leadership.

“Illinois election law treats Republican and Democrat voters differently,” says longtime GOP activist William J. Kelly. “Why is that Democrat primary voters directly elect their party leadership, but Republican voters do not? With this lawsuit, we are going to challenge the constitutionality of that law.”

Under 10 ILCS 5/7-8, the Illinois Republican Party is currently run by a 19-member State Central Committee, one member from each ofIllinois’ congressional districts – none of whom are directly elected.

But Kelly says that, in the late 1980s, two party bosses, Republican Gov. James Thompson and party chair Al Jourdan engineered a sudden change to the Illinois election code to consolidate their power, stripping GOP voters of the right to vote for their party leadership.  Illinois Republicans had that right for more than a century.

Conservatives argue that this has resulted in a lack of any accountability to GOP primary voters and party corruption.

To date, state GOP bosses have successfully thwarted any attempt to return to direct elections both legislatively with the passage of SB600 and SB35 and, most recently, at the Illinois Republican Convention.

At the Illinois Republican convention last week, state GOP leaders in an unelected 11-7 committee decision determined that delegates would not be permitted a floor vote on “direct elections” – a move that would have restored voting rights to the Republican electorate.

Kelly points out that convention rules are determined by unelected party representatives and committee members are also appointed by unelected party officials – which bolsters the legal argument to restore equal treatment of Republican voters in the political process.

Republican voters have also complained that they were denied delegate credentials and conservatives are now questioning the validity of the convention proceedings in general.

“In 1724, Catholics inIrelandwere 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,” says Kelly. “But in 2012, Illinois Republicans do not have the right to vote for their party leadership.

Kelly was involved with another federal legal challenge to voting rights. In 1995, his political action committee filed a lawsuit against the First and Fourth Congressional Districts, charging that they were gerrymandered and unconstitutional and reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We lost 6-3 in that decision,” said Kelly of that suit. “But we fought.  Hopefully, we will have better luck this time around. The law is definitely on our side.”

If you are a Republican voter and would like to join the class action lawsuit, email williamjpkelly@gmail.com.


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.



Anger over IL GOP’s Attempt to “Bamboozle” Delegates


Chicago, Illinois – The Illinois Republican State Convention begins this Friday, June 8 at the Tinley ParkConvention Center. But activists are already worried that corrupt practices will threaten to undermine the voting rights of registered Republican delegates.

Scores and scores of Illinois Republican voters have complained that they are being denied the opportunity to be a delegate at this year’s convention. After multiple requests, the Illinois Republican Party has yet to release the official list of delegates attending the convention.

The corrupt practices have angered activists and voters alike and officials are fearful that delegates will fight back on the convention floor on Friday and Saturday.

“The Illinois Republican Convention is a historic opportunity for GOP delegates to vote on critical issues like ‘direct elections,’” says William J. Kelly, longtime taxpayer watchdog and candidate for Republican National Committeeman. “But, already, some leaders in the State Central Republican Committee are engaging in dirty backhanded tactics that threaten both the spirit and principles of what the party was founded on.”

Even former Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, long held in esteem for his ethics, has himself urged a return to direct elections in Illinois.

But there is a new sense of urgency in the fight for direct elections.

Last week, Illinois Republican leaders voted for early passage of ObamaCare, gambling expansion, tax increases, and no pension reform. Without direct elections, Illinois GOP leaders can continue to vote for legislation without fear of reprisal from Republican voters.

However, the real question is how will delegates to the convention react? Will Illinois conservative and Tea Party organizations fight back? Or will they attend CPAC Chicago instead?

On Friday and Saturday, convention delegates, in theory, will also vote on candidates for Republican National Committeeman and whether or not to maintain the conservative planks in the party platform.

Currently, there are three candidates for Republican National Committeeman – they include: Rich Williamson, Alexander “Sandy” Stuart, and broadcaster William J. Kelly.  Rich Williamson is the current National Republican Committeeman and Alexander “Sandy” Stuart, a fundraiser for the Illinois GOP, is currently under fire for questions surrounding a downstate fundraising scheme with campaign bundlers to Barack Obama.

But corrupt practices threaten to undermine that voting process as well.

In an email to the candidates, Deb Detmers, Chairman of the selection committee, said that it is the committee’s goal to supply the delegates with one choice for national committeeman.

  “In the spirit of true democracy, shouldn’t the delegates know the names of all the candidates for Republican National Committeeman?” says Kelly. “I think the committee will attempt to bamboozle the delegates by submitting to them only one name for consideration.”

After Kelly requested a list of the selection committee members, Detmers again lashed out at him Friday afternoon.

“After I asked her for the list on the phone, she [Detmers] accused me of questioning her integrity and hung up,” says Kelly. “I may not have questioned Detmers’ integrity – but the federal government already has.”

Previously, Detmers was the Finance Director for former convicted Gov. George Ryan, currently serving a 6 ½ year prison term on federal corruption charges. She was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony at trial. She admitted under oath that she took taxpayer money while serving as Ryan’s political director and that she was aware of Ryan’s “aggressive fundraising” tactics but said “I didn’t do anything.”

The Illinois State Central Republican Committee has a fine history replete with corrupt leaders. GOP Chair Pat Brady took over the role of National Republican Committeeman from Bob Kjellander, who was named as “Individual A” in the guilty plea agreement of former Blagojevich aide Lon Monk that he conspired to kickback $500,000 to convicted felon Antonin “Tony” Rezko.

Again, Brady was one of those candidates “recommended” to convention delegates by the “selection committee.” He was also the only candidate in the running when Andy McKenna suddenly announced he was resigning for GOP Party Chair.

Kelly is calling on all delegates to vote “no” if they receive a ballot that does not contain his name. This will force the committee to include all three candidates for National Republican Committeeman on the ballot – not just the selection committee’s handpicked candidate.

The three candidates for National Republican Committeeman will also be speaking to the committee on Friday at 12:30 p.m. “We want all delegates to attend and hear all three candidates speak and make their own decisions. They have a right to know and a right to vote for the candidate of their choice,” says Kelly.

Delegates should plan to attend the Illinois GOP convention on Friday, June 8, and Saturday, June 9, and to stay the day to influence the rule-making process on direct elections, the Republican National Committeeman race, and the language of the party platform.


Hoffman Estates,Illinois, May 20, 2012 – The Illinois Center Right Coalition, a conservative group, has endorsed broadcaster and longtime taxpayer watchdog William J. Kelly for Republican National Committeeman from Illinois.

Also in the race are Rich Williamson, the current Republican National Committeeman, and Alexander “Sandy” Stuart, who serves as treasurer for the Illinois Republican Party.

“We need leaders with passion and commitment to the conservative platform of the Republican Party.” says Illinois Center Right Coalition Chairman Frank Napolitano. “As a longtime taxpayer advocate, William J. Kelly has never shied away from taking the courageous stands. He is outspoken on defending the conservative planks in the party platform and the Republican Party needs that more than ever before. That is why the Illinois Center Right Coalition is proud to endorse Kelly for the post of National Republican Committeeman.”

“I’m very proud to have the endorsement of the Illinois Center Right Coalition, an organization that has always exhibited a principled dedication to conservative ideals,” says Kelly. “I will do my best to run a campaign that will honor this great organization and other conservative and Republican organizations acrossIllinois.”

“It is time to free the Illinois Republican Party of the influences of donors that play both sides of the political fence,” remarked Kelly about why he is running for National Republican Committeeman. “We cannot be the party of Reagan, if we are the party influenced and funded by major bundlers to Barack Obama and top contributors to Rahm Emanuel. It is time to give the Illinois Republican Party back to the people – the way it should be.

Kelly is President and founder of an Emmy award-winning TV production house. Formerly, the Executive Director of National Taxpayers United of Illinois, Kelly currently writes for national publications including the Communities at the Washington Times, the American Spectator, and Breitbart.com. He is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago and theRomeCenterinItalyand received a B.A. in political science. He is a native ofChicago’s South side and now lives with his wife, Laura, in the downtownChicagoneighborhood of Streeterville.



Illinois Republicans: Become a delegate and take back your voting rights at the Illinois State Republican on June 8th and 9th.

For more information, read on!

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.


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 williamjpkelly@gmail.com.

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.