Thursday, May 15, 2014

Musical Chairs of the Illinois State Republican Party.

HBO has "Game of Thrones." The Illinois Republican Party has "Game of Musical Chairs." Somehow that doesn't measure up. Both can be violent, bloody and very entertaining.

Jack Dorgan assumed the Chairmanship of the party in June of 2013. Dorgan's selection by the State Central Committee was not without controversy. Dorgan replaced Pat Brady, whose resignation was demanded by 8 members of the central committee after he came out in favor of same sex marriage six months after the disastrous November 2012 election. No one demanded his resignation over party performance during the election. Those demanding his resignation at the time claimed his position on same sex marriage but was one of many factors leading to demands for his resignation.

Almost no one bought that political spin.

The whole thing turned into a huge public soap opera that further damaged the recent Illinois Republican political brand.

During this all this drama, Dorgan was elected. Several political vampires were indignant over his election. The same vampires who were equally indignant over Brady, Andrew McKenna and Judy Baar Topinka. I've written about political vampires and political vampire groups in the past, and not in a complimentary way. Political vampires are not interested in Republicans winning elections. They need the party to remain broken so they can thrive and prosper. Republicans winning elections becomes harmful to political vampires, like sunshine, silver or wooden stakes, and reduces their visibility, relevance and dries up their fundraising appeals. I call them political vampires because they prey on Republican donors for funding, then turn around and attack the Republican Party.

Such vampires are doomed and out of business should the Illinois Republican Party actually fix itself.

Well, under Dorgan's watch, the party began the process of fixing itself. His low profile silenced the vampires. They stopped shouting but continued grumbling. Taking a half dead political organization and bringing it back to life was a tremendous achievement, worthy of reelection.

Worthy but not meant to be. Dorgan announced after the deadline to filing for reelection, that he would not seek a new term, and would remain an elected State Central Committeeman. Rumors are flying that he was pushed or eased out. Let's hope not.

Last month, there was a strong turnover of membership in the Illinois Republican State Central Committee. A strong majority of the 8 who signed a letter seeking Pat Brady's resignation are now gone. Some turnover was due to congressional redistricting, the rest was attributable to restless committeemen, who elect the membership of the Central Committee using Congressional District boundaries.

The whole system of electing the Illinois State Republican Party Central Committee is convoluted and beyond Byzantine, and as a Greek-American who normally takes pride in Greek influences in this country, I mean this as criticism. Adding to the confusion, in order to be elected Chairman, an application and paperwork had to be filed by Monday. Three candidates
filed their paperwork in a timely fashion, Jack Dorgan, Tim Schneider and Blair Garber.

Dorgan and Garber have since withdrawn, leaving Schneider last in the game of musical chairs. He will be elected Saturday through a weighted vote.

Champion News saved me a little homework on the weighted votes that will be cast on Saturday:

DistrictSCC MemberGOP BallotsWeighted Vote
18Michael Bigger96,46311.6%
15Robert Winchester80,3279.7%
6Brian Colgan79,2389.6%
16John McGlasson76,7789.3%
14Stanton Bond71,5858.6%
13Fred Floreth53,1946.4%
17Jan Weber48,1795.8%
11Roger Claar42,2805.1%
12Michael Neubert40,5214.9%
9Blair Garber39,6234.8%
8Ryan Higgins38,9354.7%
10Mark Shaw38,6864.7%
3Sean Morrison35,7024.3%
1Shaun Murphy24,0242.9%
5Jack Dorgan22,5642.7%
2Judy Diekelman21,2112.6%
7Carol Smith Donovan10,7951.3%
4Jay Reyes9,2721.1%

So how knowledgeable are you of Illinois Republican party? I include all political junkies of all political stripes. Even you political vampires.

It's pop quiz time!

How many chairmen of the Illinois Republican Party can you name that served since the start of the new millennium? The election of Schneider will be the 9th individual to hold that position since the year 2000, or roughly 14 years. This averages out to a term of one and a half years each. You need to name the other eight.

From 1960 to 2000, only four individuals held that position. That average is 10+ years each. No cheating please by surfing the internet for the answers! This is not a Common Core question.

Musical chair answers tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment