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Ron Gidwitz blows up, blasts GOP conservative bloc for 'destroying any chance ... party has in 2014'

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gopfake-CST-051013.jpgSome of the possible candidates for the Illinois GOP chairman job include (top row) Joe Walsh, Lori Yokoyama, Ron Sandack, (bottom row) Don Tracy, Tim Schneider, Mark Shaw.

**(Updated with Ron Gidwitz and Jim Oberweis)**

A livid Ron Gidwitz called out the conservative faction of the party's central committee on Thursday, telling the Sun-Times its ousting of Illinois Republican Party Chairman and lack of preparation to deal with the fallout has put a poor face on the party, "destroying" the embattled GOP's chances in next year's election.

"The state central committee -- a faction of the state central committee -- is destroying any chance that the Republican party has in 2014," an angered Gidwitz told the Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday. "I mean, how stupid is this! The lack of thoughtful, leadership ... The state central committee is responsible for the leadership of our party. To push out the party chairman with no plan for a replacement -- it is absurd. And with no thought to the consequences of their behavior.
They all know how I feel because I told them."

Gidwitz is typically one of the leading Republican cheerleaders in the state and is a major player in national and statewide politics, hosting a variety of fund-raisers, including for presidential nominees.

"They're making the central committee irrelevant. The uncalled for attacks on Pat Brady and the lack of preparation once they started attacking Pat Brady, with no expectation, no strategy to replace him with a capable, respected individual," Gidwitz said. "They are fundamentally creating an irrelevancy for the state party."

Gidwitz blew up after the Sun-Times contacted him with a working list of possible replacements to Brady.

Brady had called on female leadership to revive embattled Illinois Republicans, but so far just one woman made the cut of contenders lining up to take the helm.

Someone who did make the list was Tea Party ex-Congressman Joe Walsh, which is sure to ignite some kind of feud as well as Illinois state Rep. Ron Sandack - a suburban Republican who supports gay marriage -- the issue that the conservative bloc of the party used as a way to oust Brady in the first place.

The Republican State Central Committee held an hour-long conference call last night and came back with these names as finalists. The list may grow before Friday's deadline, with a handful of people who were nominated but could not be confirmed as interested. In all, 30 people were nominated and the nominations included other women -- but numerous nominees said they were not interested.

The architect behind Brady's ousting and a GOP conservative, state Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove), said there is a plan and it's underway. That is, airing out the committee's nominees and suggestions and coming up with a person who can find some middle ground.

"First of all, I think Ron is a very competent individual. He was one of the people I talked to to suggest being a party chairman. To say that there's not a plan, if he said that, he's just not aware of what's going on. There's a plan in place, and it's being executed as we speak," Oberweis told the Sun-Times Thursday. "Let me say for the record, I think it would be wrong, if by a plan you mean we should go out and decide on a replacement before the current chairman, before he steps down, I believe that would be wrong."
Oberweis said a more Democratic process is underway "rather than three people" deciding in a room.
"I believe that a very sound process is underway," Oberweis said. And, looking forward: "We want to find a candidate who does appeal to both the conservatives and the liberals within the party and who will be a uniter who will bring those people together rather than a divider who would cause conflict."

The nine:



  • Jack Dorgan from the Northwest suburbs.

  • Angel Garcia from Cook County -- President of Chicago Young Republicans

  • Jim Nalepa

  • State Rep. Ron Sandack.

  • Cook County Commissioner Tim Schneider

  • Mark Shaw Lake County lawyer active in politics up North.

  • Don Tracy brother-in-law to Jil Tracy, a state rep from Quincy.

  • Joe Walsh one-term suburban Tea Party Congressman

  • Lori Yokoyama - failed Cook County State's Attorney candidate.


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31 Comments

That a loser such as Joe Walsh would be on the list says more about the current state of the Republican party in Illinois than anything else.

I'm surprised they haven't brought Alan Keyes back into the state to take over the party.

Individuals, like me, who lean Republican will never support those who demand purity from the far right of the Republican party. We are looking for sane indviduals wo have positions that will attract independents and moderate Democrats not those who have no position of compromise to their demands.

Angel Garcia is also the president of the Chicago Young Republicans

Boy the Republican Party continues to be in trouble - now there are 3 of the folks who are actually Democrats (Tracy, Sandack & Schneider) and are finialists to be the Republican Chair. How sad. If anything give it to Rutherford - yes we know is a very long time supporter of gay rights - hmm wonder why - but at least he's a Republican - holds Statewide office and can fundraise.

Who cares what Gidwitz thinks! The Republican party is not suppose to be Democrat light. If he feels that way, he should become a Democrat ;that's if the Dems let this mush mouth become one.

Are you a Republican? If not then you should not be concerned where the party is headed.
As for mush mouth Gidwitz, he should become a Democrat if he's disenchanted with the Republican party; that's if they would accept him into the party. The Republican party is not suppose to be Democrat light.

It's ironic that the conservative members of the Republican party are always the ones who are asked to violate their principles for the sake of placating those on the other side, for the sake of "unity," presumably to win elections. Imagine the reaction in Democrat circles if they were to be asked to accept the prolife sentiments of some in their party, and that they broaden their party platform to include prolife candidates. Fat chance.

If the party actually wants get something done, they should put up Dan Proft.

What is a moderate independent? Are you for Obamacare? What about abortion, Gun control? Are you in-favor of higher taxes? How about deficit spending? What about paying off the deficit in about 10-15 years? How about welfare reform ? If you take the position of the Dems on these issues then you are a Democrat. It's that simple

What about ex State Senator Steve Rauschenberger? He is well liked and respected by moderates and conservatives alike.

Jason Plumber is the future of the Illinois Republican Party

-- MrJM

My questions are:

1) Who would be, which of them are willing to support the platform, whatever it is? It's like hiring a CEO for a company, then having them go out and tout someone else's product because they think it is better.

My problem with Pat Brady wasn't his support for SSM, but rather than he never even bothered to try to influence the platform, yet was unwilling to support it. If you can't support the platform, and don't work constructively from within to change it, perhaps you shouldn't be chairman.

2) Who will pledge to remain neutral in primaries?

The GOP doesn't have an office in Chicago, they have no staff, the party is broke. the chairmans job is to raise money Pat Brady sucked at it! To make things worse he took sides in primary races, he went to the press while the General Assembly was debating Homosexual Marriage and endorsed the Democrat bill. He attacked people who said he was going against the party platform and openly attacked the State Central Committee. He was MIA for months at a time missing party events, I could go on and on. The MSM and moderates are saying we as a party have to move to middle or we will lose like the last two Presidential elections . Bit when you look at the numbers you see it is because we stand for nothing and have no Grassroots operation and GOTV efforts as the reason we lose be low is a synopsis of recently released data from the census

"In 2012, the number of blacks who voted rose by 1.7 million. Hispanics added 1.4 million and Asian voters increased by 550,000.

Meanwhile, even though the white population is slowly increasing, the number of white voters dropped by 2 million – the first drop in absolute terms for any race or ethnic group since 1996.

By age, youth enthusiasm for voting fizzled in 2012.

About 41 percent of voters age 18-24 cast ballots in November, down 7 percentage points from 2008. The drop was greatest among whites, whose turnout fell from 49 percent to 42 percent. But young black voters also saw big declines, from 55 percent in 2008 to 49 percent. That’s compared with a decline among young Hispanics from 39 percent to 34 percent.

The only subgroups showing increases in voter turnout were among blacks ages 45 to 64 as well as those 65 and older.

“Blacks have been voting at higher rates, and the Hispanic and Asian populations are growing rapidly, yielding a more diverse electorate,” said Thom File, a census sociologist who wrote the voting analysis. “Over the last five presidential elections, the share of voters who were racial or ethnic minorities rose from just over 1 in 6 in 1996 to more than 1 in 4 in 2012.”

Analyses by Brookings Institution demographer William H. Frey show that Republican Mitt Romney would have barely won the presidency if whites and other race groups had turned out at the same rates as they did in 2004, when black turnout was below its current historic levels. But if Democrats can replicate 2012 turnout rates in 2016,
they would win the presidency, given current population trends, Frey said.

So as you see it is the GOP base staying home that is the reason the GOP lost the last 2 presidential elections and why did they stay home? Because they lost their voice and had nobody speaking for them!

Gidwitz is a hot-headed tyrant.

  • He was a tyrant when attempting to run the City Colleges (political crony appointment).
  • He was a tyrant as Chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education (political crony appointment).
  • He was a tyrant while running Helene Curtis (Daddy's money).
  • He ran a dismal campaign for governor getting less than 11% of the primary vote despite spending millions of Daddy's money. Further, his TV ads were formally rebuked by the Illinois Republican Party for violating the Party's Code of Conduct.
  • He is on the Board of Directors of the Field Museum which is in financial turmoil having run massive deficits for years.
  • He is a slum lord. Check out Evergreen Terrace in Joliet.
  • He has been a Republican cocktail-party insider for decades, all the while the party has careened into irrelevance.
  • He "blows up" in interviews.

Oberweis is no prize either, but his importance and influence has been grossly inflated by the media pursuing their own agenda.

The Illinois Republican party is an organziational disaster. In 2012 it lost elections that should have been won, including a number of "moderates." That is why Brady needed to go. And that is why YOU need to go, Ronnie. Find a nice condo in Boca and let we the grass roots go about the business of rebuilding the party.

The reason the GOP lost the last 2 presidential elections: McCain and Romney.

isn't that what I said?

Mike Madiigan put together a pretty good list.

Angel Garcia, you must be joking? The viral video clown mocked nationally for his viral video spoof with the CYRs "Call me Maybe?" If gay marriage is an issue, then it is not a good one for Garcia who has his CYRs go half-naked to the Chicago Gay Pride Parade every year, holding up signs for same sex union on floats for the Chicago GOP. Hypocrisy much? The executive director of the Chicago GOP is the president of the Log Cabin Republicans. None if this passes the smell test - in fact, it stinks.

Republicans in Blue states need to realize the anti-gay marriage anti-choice agenda does not fly in these states, Democrats actually pick moderates in Conservative states to run and they win. There is zero diversity in the Republican party both in color and in views.

Thanks Joe Walsh for being an inspiration for my generation. You really care more about us than any election. Good luck and god speed.

Jack, it appears you are a DEM light... all the social issues mean NOTHING... except to THOSE who want to give people things, buy their vote, while covering up the fact we are BROKE... the only ONE issue voters are the DEMS and DEMS light... true conservatives are focused like a beacon in the night on FISCAL issues.. the rest are open for discussion... PLEASE lets quit dancing around with social issues clouding the fact, I'll say it again... WE ARE BROKE...

The Democrats should be thrilled with any of the names on this list. Big sigh of relief after losing Pat Brady, the most useful GOP Chair for the Democrats in history.

BTW, why hasn't Jim Oberweis also resinged? He pledged to give up his seat on the state central committee once he was sworn in as state senator. He said no person should have both. At least that's what he promised when he was running for state senator.

Guess Oberweis is just as bad as Pat Brady.

It is amazing. People who believe in freedom, free markets limited government and family values are demonized as racist, sexist, and homophobes. The lying liber left and the media have done an excellent job of manipulating the public discourse so you can't have a reasonable discussion of the issues without being called a racist, anti gay, or anti this or that. People can live their lives here in the United States any way they want as long as they aren't doing harm to others or doing something that is illegal. But the left isn't satisfied with just doing that, they have to shove their "values" down the throat of the entire country. If there is a need to help gay people live together and have the same rights as married people, fine lets do that, but don't call it marriage. That is ridiculous. Call it whatever you want it to be, but it isn't marriage. But NOOOOOOOOO, a few extremist activists won't settle for that because that is "different". We all have to be the same. Lenin/Stalin anyone?

Joe Walsh is who the Illinois Republican Party needs right now. He is someone who will stand up and fight for conservative causes and candidates. I would get back involved and, maybe, even donate to the ILGOP again if Walsh were at the helm.

Go Joe!

I totally agree. I'm so tired of these RINO's in IL. They have ruined the Republican name. We will not compromise our positions for independents. We're conservative and proud of it!! I say vote for Joe Walsh! He won't take crap from any of those lib's in Springfield or Chicago. He's the only one who will stand up to them!

It's a shame we as Republicans did not have our ducks in a row . Schneider has one of the keenest minds in the State but are we smart enough to enlist him?
Our history suggests not. Too bad.

People who "lean" Republican and pretend to be independent will never vote Republican since there is a Democrat Party that strokes them better. These individuals are irrelevant and should not be listened to. If the Republicans want to win they must hold to their principles and explain their principles and stop pandering to the mushy middle that pretend to be persuadable but in the end always votes Democrat. The party cannot be built on shifting sand.

Joe Walsh - We have political institutionalized corruption here in Ill-annoy between the Dems and Dem not so lites(Repubs?) We need a Joe Walsh help make the words Conservative and Republican mean the same again here.

We want a true republican...no more rinos or dem lites.....we ARE against abortion & homosexuality, WE ARE FOR limited government, family values and morals. We are not compromising our beliefs...they can call us all the names they want,

Gidwitz is just flat out wrong. He can take his ball and go home if he wants. Brady’s ousting was not over gay marriage, that is purely his spin. Oberweiss was not an architect, the grass roots could see Brady’s divisiveness and failure and rose up on their own. Jim joined that movement and lead the final job in in the committee. This party has moderated for decades and where has it gotten us? Nowhere. What is moderating anyway? Not following the principles of the party? The party platform are conservative principles. Conservative principles are not extreme or far right, whatever that is. They are principles. You cannot compromise your principles, or else you have none! You win by sticking to your principles and convincing others that they are right and just. We don't need jellyfish who stand for nothing.

Give Joe Walsh a turn at bat....let him speak the truth about our values.

Yes he an be a little rough around the edges...I'd rather have a unpolished diamond with loads of potential than a fake gem that looks great, on the outside, until you look at it closely and realize it's a fake and you have been fooled.

We need a fighter..not a lapdog!!!

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