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GOP must clean house
Chicago Sun Times ^ | 12-27-03 | Thomas Roeser

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.

TOPICS: Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: fitzgerald; gop; governor; illinois
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To: JustPiper
Illinois is the perfect example of what happens when RINOs take over. George Ryan and company have ruined the state GOP for at least a generation.
21 posted on 12/27/2003 11:24:34 AM PST by Holden Magroin
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To: KantianBurke
Perhaps the labeling of people as "bots" might have something to do with that split. Just a thought.
22 posted on 12/27/2003 11:26:28 AM PST by Miss Marple
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To: Miss Marple
Perhaps Republican is a misnomer for the Grand Old Party. I see so many of the GOP that seem to have no interest in perpetuating republican principles. Maybe the terms Rino's and bot's should be eliminated in favor of SR's and CR's. There should be truth in advertising maintained to distinguish between the socialist and conservative pubbies.
23 posted on 12/27/2003 12:07:23 PM PST by meenie (Remember the Alamo! Alamo! One more time. Alamo!!!)
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To: Vigilanteman
On the Republican side, investment banker Jack Ryan is the party's front-runner and has great potential in the general election. On the 'Rat side, there seem to be four top-tier candidates: state Controller Dan Hynes, invesment banker Blair Hull, ex-Chicago Superintendent of Schools Gerry Chico, and state Senator Barak Obama.
24 posted on 12/27/2003 12:08:35 PM PST by Clintonfatigued
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To: farmfriend
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.

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.

25 posted on 12/27/2003 12:11:21 PM PST by Kevin Curry
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To: JustPiper
There are a lot of Repub's I would not vote for. We have a governor here in Ohio who says he's a Repub, but acts like DemRepub. He's raised taxes, is anti-concealed carry and so on. I would NEVER vote for Gov. Taft again for any office!
26 posted on 12/27/2003 12:14:00 PM PST by vladog
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To: KantianBurke; carenot
"Italics" and "Behind the lines in CA" are the only two names I saved. Jackalopebreeder was banned, as was TLBSHOW, although I will admit Tod was a pain in the behind. The names were too numerous to remember. Many were long time Freepers not new disruptors. The more libertarian you are the better the chance of getting banned. The fact that you have not been warned or banned doesn't mean anything.

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.

27 posted on 12/27/2003 12:17:20 PM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: Kevin Curry
I did take several weeks off (voluntarily), however.

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.

28 posted on 12/27/2003 12:26:21 PM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: KantianBurke
"Freepmail me if its need to be kept under wraps."

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!!!

29 posted on 12/27/2003 1:34:48 PM PST by SierraWasp ("In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world..." John 16)
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To: JustPiper
The sooner , the better.
30 posted on 12/27/2003 1:59:48 PM PST by Sindarian (Love is the Law, Love under Will.)
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To: JustPiper
Fat chance. The Republicans in Illinois are more concerned with living it up than with furthering a conservative agenda. I'm afraid President Bush doesn't have a prayer of carrying the Land Of Lincoln next year.
31 posted on 12/27/2003 2:05:34 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: SierraWasp
My FRpage says what it does due to other posters having a proclivity of avoiding debate and flaming me by what was written inside it.

No offense but your screed was hardly intelligeble. Hence why I requested a clarification. No need to get snippy at me. Good day.
32 posted on 12/27/2003 2:44:23 PM PST by KantianBurke (Don't Tread on Me)
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To: JustPiper
I am not worried about the GOP in Illinois when I have to worry about GWB giving anmesty to Illegal Aliens.

Anyone else out there?

Where is Perot when you need him.
33 posted on 12/28/2003 3:03:54 AM PST by chicagolady (Jesus, Be my Magnificent Obsession)
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Cicero replaced one crook with another ;)
34 posted on 12/28/2003 3:17:42 AM PST by JustPiper (Bush+Ridge=TagTeam for Amnesty! Write-In Tom Tancredo in March!!!)
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To: eartotheground
Don't forget McCain ;)
35 posted on 12/28/2003 3:18:36 AM PST by JustPiper (Bush+Ridge=TagTeam for Amnesty! Write-In Tom Tancredo in March!!!)
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To: vladog
Then you should check out this thread -smiles-

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.

36 posted on 12/28/2003 3:24:32 AM PST by JustPiper (Bush+Ridge=TagTeam for Amnesty! Write-In Tom Tancredo in March!!!)
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To: goldstategop
President Bush doesn't have a prayer of carrying the Land Of Lincoln next year.

Our President will be losing many votes, but for different reasons. His policy on illegal immigration will be a major problem for him!

37 posted on 12/28/2003 3:26:31 AM PST by JustPiper (Bush+Ridge=TagTeam for Amnesty! Write-In Tom Tancredo in March!!!)
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To: chicagolady
I am not worried about the GOP in Illinois when I have to worry about GWB giving anmesty to Illegal Aliens.

Posts 36 & 37 Lady ;)

38 posted on 12/28/2003 3:27:40 AM PST by JustPiper (Bush+Ridge=TagTeam for Amnesty! Write-In Tom Tancredo in March!!!)
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Click to subscribe to Illinois4Bush04 –
A Yahoo Group for Illinois Supporters of
President Bush and Vice President Cheney

39 posted on 12/29/2003 1:33:26 PM PST by ethicalgop
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