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.
I dunno. I was and still am pro-McClintock, pulled no punches, and was as vicious as anyone in my denunciation of Schwarzenfraud. I didn't get banned or even warned.
I did take several weeks off (voluntarily), however.
If you want a better list on who was banned, just go visit Liberty Post. I think most went over there. There was a thread on "what ever happened to...." freepers but it has been pulled. Even freeper Sabertooth got banned briefly but was quickly brought back. Freeper Comwatch has been banned several times just for complaining that his breaking news stuff (and it was breaking news) was pulled from the breaking news side bar.
I too took off several weeks. Carry_Okie and others survived as well. Not all the McClintock people were banned. JR even said he was for McClintock. But of the banning I saw during that time, all were McClintock people. I complained directly to management but got nowhere. It was common for Arnold people to say how vicious the McClintock people were, yet all the viciousness I saw came from their side. They would ping the posse and start in with personal attacks, calling anyone who was a McClintock supporter liberal or worse. They would hit abuse repeatedly and soon the McClintock supporter being attacked would be the one banned. It was well known among my friends and posted to the open forum that I was on strike because of the banning.
Why? Even you, the master debater wouldn't ever go to the FR postoffice to read it, right?
From your FR homepage:"Also don't bother sending FRmail. I make it a point to not read them and simply delete whatever comes into my box.If you have something to say, do it out in the open rather than using it as a vehicle to avoid the mods."
When are you just plain honest as opposed to perfection in honesty? You don't need to respond to my concern if you aren't concerned about it, or can't even figure out what I'm typing about. If you're oblivious to the whole situation, then there's absolutely no reason to take up band width drawing you pictures.
To be perfectly honest I feel THAT is the case!!!
Immigration Reform Considered After Ridge Hints at Amnesty -WASHINGTON President Bush is meeting next month with Mexican President Vicente Fox at the Summit of the Americas (search) in Monterrey, Mexico, where immigration reforms stymied after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks are sure to be on the agenda. - Mexico is looking for the United States to ease restrictions on the entry of unskilled workers and on visas for family members of legal immigrants. Bush had made the reforms a top policy priority before the terror attacks, but the objectives were deferred in the wake of national security following Sept. 11. - But recent statements by Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge have breathed new life into the dormant discussions. Earlier this month, Ridge suggested that illegal aliens in America be legalized in some way.
Our President will be losing many votes, but for different reasons. His policy on illegal immigration will be a major problem for him!
Posts 36 & 37 Lady ;)