Skip to comments.GOP must clean house
Posted on 12/27/2003 8:34:52 AM PST by JustPiper
A test: Who's the only statewide Republican to emerge from the George Ryan scandals with his stature enhanced? Remember the media commentators and hacks from both parties who railed at him for insisting on his right to name an independent prosecutor as U.S. attorney for Illinois' northern district? Remember how his fellow GOP-ers groaned when he suggested that Ryan resign? Recall when he filibustered -- against making the Lincoln museum in Springfield a patronage dump, causing a very powerful Washington figure to grumble? Recollect the boos and jeers from big business and big labor when he opposed the jobs-and-contracts plunder in the unneeded O'Hare expansion?
You know the answer: Sen. Peter Fitzgerald. While some cooperation between Republicans and Democrats was always requisite in Illinois, deals bloomed into an elephant-headed donkey under Gov. Richard Ogilvie and succeeding GOP administrations. When alleged Ryan corruption loomed, only Fitzgerald had the courage to challenge gubernatorial arrogance. But then came the payback. Unseen but highly placed Republican sources in Washington, Springfield and Chicago began passing the word that Fitzgerald was political poison. Insulting media ''profiles'' appeared. Candidates were recruited to run against him; there would be a contributors strike in the GOP. Wisely, Fitzgerald declined to run because he would have to spend much of his own resources -- plus many weeks on the road -- to win re-election.
Now, all has changed. George Ryan has been hit with a multi-count indictment; he pronounces himself innocent, but the frenzied survivors are scurrying away from him. They plead to be thought of as an honest party in 2004. But most aren't honest enough to admit that Fitzgerald was proven right. But more about Fitzgerald later.
If the Illinois Republican Party is to save itself from wholesale defeat in 2004 -- and have a fighting chance of carrying President Bush in the state -- it is essential that it undergo a sandblasting at the top. The Republican candidates for the Senate -- all honorable men -- should insist on it.
The first power-broker to go should be Robert Kjellander, the party's national committeeman and chairman of Bush's re-election campaign for the Great Lakes region. He was one of two lead underwriters of $10 billion in state bond sales under Gov. Blagojevich and made $803,133 in commission this summer from Bear Stearns. In fairness, no blame or opprobrium should go to Blagojevich, who didn't pick Kjellander, but when a so-called key GOP strategist gets a big financial windfall for bonds issued under a Democratic administration, he should either give up his party posts or the commission. Don't expect him to fork over the money. Kjellander's huge stake in Blagojevich's policies is vestigial Illinois politics. It will harm Bush. He should go.
Next to go should be the Republican state chairman, Judy Baar Topinka. I don't fault her as the liberal she surely has become in social policy, taking positions not shared by the party platform. But in an interview with me on my WLS radio show shortly after she became party chairman -- and before Fitzgerald decided not to run -- she repeatedly stonewalled endorsing the senator for re-election -- the first time in memory that a state chairman refused to endorse for re-election her party's senator, who had impeccable ethical credentials. Waffling, Topinka said she would support him as an individual and as Riverside committeeman -- but as state chairman she couldn't bring herself to say the words. After that debacle, she clarified, saying finally that as chairman she would endorse him, but it was clear that somebody was pulling her wires. She should go. She's got enough to do as treasurer, and as she yearns to run for governor in 2006, she shouldn't be subsidizing her personal politics in the party's top post.
Now, back to Fitzgerald. At 43, his best years are ahead of him. If the GOP is honest about reforming itself, it should beg him to run for governor in 2006. He can do it and yet stay close to his family. Governor is the job he can do superbly, based on his experience as a reformer state senator, a crusading U.S. senator. He'd be a reformer governor who would shake a state's power structure so vigorously that the last remaining Republicrat rodents would run for cover. Where did I read that before? Oh yes, Theodore Roosevelt was his name. Give Fitzgerald two terms in Springfield to do the job and the old elephant-headed donkey (or donkey-headed pachyderm) wouldn't be the same. Nor would we.
Just get ready to listen to the importuning that he seek the presidency of a nation that would gladly welcome his service.
On 11-11-03 I received a three page letter from Fitzgerald on my number one issue-Immigration and I tell you he would get my vote for Governor. But, BUT, can Blago be only a one term governor with the Machine behind him?
NEWS FLASH! Pat O'Malley will be next governor of Illinois.
We should draft Fitz for senate re-run!
Any inside word on who is going to replace Fitz in the Senate?
If one dares mention RINO's or (gasp) CINO's or "Considerate Conservatism" instead of "Compassionate Conservatism" one get's immediately flamed anymore by a "Posse" and badgered by the "Victory at ANY Price" crowd at every turn!!!
So, not wanting to be "marginalized" as a hopless loser on the verge of being struck down by a "ZOT," and preferring to be a "live chicken" as opposed to a "dead duck," I've decided to become a stealth "straight and narrow" "Constitutional Conservative" by hiding my light under the proverbial "bushel!"
The old saying, "Bend or Break," or "Change or Die" which was once lauched at me as I challenged a liberal leftist green-gang elected official has finally come true for me on a "conservative" web-site!!!
I spent far too much time yesterday defending an arch conservative radio talk show host on this site from spurious allegations and suppositions! I don't want to think these FReepers want to help destroy serious conservatism, but I'm truly beginning to wonder when I see mainstream conservatism be bombarded with a "full court press" by another blooming "Posse!"
So I'm gonna hafta kinda pull over to the side of this road a little and wait to see what's happenin here because it's truly bizzare!!! Have "They" finally found a way to infect our conservative family with potentially destructive divisiveness? Am I over reacting and alone in my concerns?
Dissent and debate can be good and I enjoy it as much as anyone, but what I am beginning to see on here has a real "Political Correctness" dismissiveness to it!!! Nobody likes to get "dissed" including me, unless I sense I have to. It may not ever reach that point as I don't "have to" even be here in the first place, for that matter.
I truly miss the FR fellowship I felt on a much broader scale up to around the time of the CA Recall election. It's been slipping away, ever since and even being driven away now, by some, IMO. Maybe I shouldn't worry about it, but it does bother me.
No you are not. It has been my pet gripe around here for some time. I hate to say it but "it" slides down hill.
SierraWasp is very plain spoken to them who care to listen.
During the height of the Arnold v. McClintock threads and on thread discussing Bush policies, it was quite common for McClintock people (or people complaining about some of Bush's decisions) to get banned. Yet at the same time, Arnold people could say anything and not get banned or even have posts pulled. I read many of the posts that were pulled and could see nothing in them that violated FR rules. The "bots" as we call them are notorious for bating then hitting abuse when you respond. This is why SierraWasp says he will pull to the side of the road. He is saying that he will hold his tongue rather than risk getting banned. I will do no such thing. I stayed off the political threads and stick to property rights for the most part. I don't get involved in the debate but I will speak my mind and banning me will only lend credence to the truth of what I say.