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Quote of the day

Friday, Nov 9, 2012

* You may have noticed that I haven’t picked on Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady this week, despite his party’s big losses. One reason for that is, unlike the Democrats’ top guy, the Republican chairman is rather powerless. The losses cannot really be blamed on him.

Yes, his “Fire Madigan” mantra failed miserably. But lots of commenters have already dinged the guy for that. It didn’t work. At all. Speaker Madigan and President Cullerton picked up almost every seat they targeted, and then some. And while the new map put Democrats in play, it didn’t explain some outcomes, like Sam Yingling’s huge upset win against GOP Rep. Sandy Cole up in Lake County.

I’ve talked with Pat Brady many times over the years. He’s not a bad guy at all. And I was told that he offered to resign on election night because somebody, somewhere ought to man up and fall on his sword. I respect that.

I also respect this comment he gave to WBEZ

Part of Republicans’ brutal losses can be chalked up to the once-a-decade redistricting process, during which Democrats redrew political boundaries to their favor, Brady said.

But he also said Tuesday’s losses demonstrate that Illinois Republicans have a larger image problem.

“You can’t whine about the map. The map’s the map,” Brady said. “We need to take a cold, hard look at what happened, face the realities and do better, which we will.” [Emphasis added.]

* One of those realities the party needs to face is that making robocalls and even in-person calls hasn’t worked all that well. In 2010, the party claimed to have made 4 million calls to voters, urging them to cast their ballots for Republican candidates. This year, the party made the same claim about the same 4 million calls.

Our beloved Oswego Willy loves to talk about how the Republicans in this state can’t seem to get any sort of ground game going. For instance, here’s a comment from today about the 2010 campaign…

ILGOP needs to do the following:

Find more GOP voters in Cook, as simple as 4 more KNOWN votes per precinct in Chicago and Cook, given that “known” GOP voters and NOT voting, literally VOTING at a 100% turnout. (2034 Pcts in the City, 1673 Suburban Cook), that gets you 14,800 … Brady lost by just over 19,400, you now need to find 4,600 votes … in the entire state.

4 votes …4 voters … 2 houses of a couple that has a recorded GOP history and they didn’t vote … at all. Remember, not AGAINST Brady’s conservative views, they didn’t vote.

4 votes, and then the collars and the rest of the state should be ably to find the 5,000 to easily get over.

If you have a strong GOTV and Field Operation.

* As a group, Republicans just don’t walk many precincts. Some do, but not most. Still, focusing very hard on a smaller number of people could definitely help. And that can be done over the phone, and in mail, and in an efficient and aggressive vote-by-mail campaign.

It won’t solve all the party’s many, many problems. And it won’t insulate the GOP from the national freak show. But it would be a good start.

* Also, I mentioned this yesterday, but the party chairman cannot be timid about calling out the flakes. Chairman Brady could have helped insulate people like Bob Dold by publicly taking that goofball Joe Walsh to the woodshed after Walsh’s infamous “no exceptions” press conference. The far Right might’ve blown up, but it’s not like they’re in danger of voting Democratic.

Brady says he’s putting together an “after action” report. A realistic and effective GOTV program needs to be a big part of that. But he also needs to be willing to be a referee within his own party.

* Any other ideas?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:40 pm:

    Appreciate the cite, Rich.

    Gimme a minute, I do want to go a bit deeper, but I want to make sure I do it clearly.


  2. - wndycty - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:44 pm:

    While the Republican party needs to tone down the rhetoric that turns off women, people of color and their allies the GOP also has a policy problem.

    How is the party going to become more diversified/grow and look like Illinois/the US as long as it advances policies that drive away diverse groups of people?

  3. - Ahoy! - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:50 pm:

    Brady should resign, not because he’s a bad guy and not necessarily because the State GOP did not horrible on election night. The Illinois Republican Party simply needs new blood at every level. Brady should resign along with Cross and Rodogno (as long as people like McCarter aren’t there to replace them, if McCarter is the only person running, Rodogno needs to put up a fight). The simple fact is the party is extremely stale, they have no ideas and they need fresh blood to bring more excitement.

    Additionally, they need data junkies, young tech nerds and new ideas that transcend party line talking points. They don’t need to just call out the nut balls like Walsh, they need an active recruitment of better candidates, precinct committeemen, donors and volunteers. An analogy for analogy’s sake, they don’t need to paint the living room a different color, they need to rehab and modernize the entire house, it’s like they still have knob and tube wiring, leaking plumbing fixtures and bad wall paper.

  4. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:53 pm:

    Knock off the Victim rhetoric, that somehow the country is full of moochers (especially black and Hispanic moochers).

    The fact is, even the worst of times, the great majority of all races work and sweat it every day. And poverty is a full-time job, too.

    The number of families on welfare has declined dramatically since 1996. Ain’t it’s no sweet ride to begin with.

    Stop with the racial stuff about the poor. Among families on welfare, 31.2% are white, 33.3% black and 28.8% are Hispanic. That’s about 6% of the population.

    And stop worrying so much about the gays. They don’t want to peak in your bedroom, and you shouldn’t peak in theirs.

    Heterosexual marriage among Americans and Western Europeans was pretty rocky long before gays voiced up, loudly, that they would like to get married, no matter what the bishops say.

    Nobody’s out to get you, not the poor and gays, anyway.

    So maybe no more proposals for urine tests for those on public assistance? Rubs me raw.

    And try to not let the knuckle-draggers act like their ob-gyns.

  5. - just sayin' - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:55 pm:

    “And I was told that he offered to resign on election night because somebody, somewhere ought to man up and fall on his sword. I respect that.”

    But he didn’t do it did he. Sheesh for crying out loud. An “offer” made to who exactly? Meaningless.

    Rich, you obviously see a different Pat Brady than regular Republicans see. He wants you to like him because of your considerable influence. Shocker.

    Rich, if the Sox had a wipeout season like the IL GOP just had, I think you would be calling for some heads. Just sayin’. Besides it’s not like Brady was working hard and doing a good job, and just failed. The state gop has been dead under his tenure. Sure he makes unsubstantiated claims about all the phone calls made and some gullible reporters believe it, but any Republican in the trenches will tell you the volunteer energy has been as nonexistent as it’s ever been. Pat Brady had no plan beyond an obsessive dislike of Madigan. He’s not party chairman material.

  6. - David Ormsby - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 1:55 pm:

    Perhaps if Brady took “a cold, hard look” at his goofy “Fire Madigan” message and polling data – before – it infected House campaigns, that may served the interests of House candidates more than “a cold, hark look” – after – a wipe out.

  7. - OneMan - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:07 pm:

    Stay the heck out of open primaries Pat, I know you don’t like Lauzen, hell every Republican in Kane County with a level of involvement knew that. But once you got involved it completely fed the ‘establishment is out to get me’ narrative.

  8. - Easy - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:14 pm:

    Gotv is turning out people who have committed to supporting your candidate. The GOP problem isn’t gotv–it’s pretty likely they turned out the voters who committed to GOP candidates. The problem is there aren’t enough GOP and Indy voters to win an election. When your national message is offensive to women and Latinos, it makes gotv really easy. Just find the old white males.

  9. - mokenavince - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:20 pm:

    As a Goldwater Republican we had 28% of the vote,
    as a party.Sadly we made gains won a few elections with middle of the road candidates,and then bam Rush took us way Right and here we are back at today at 28%. With candidates who sign pledges not to raise taxes and God knows what else.
    Is it that important to win an election at the wem of a stand up comedien. We can do better.

  10. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:21 pm:

    For the ILGOP, the problem is organization and ideology. Organizationally, the party is weak and not cohesive. Ideologically, the party purposefully alienates hard working Americans who aren’t “traditional,” also known as straight and caucasian.

  11. - In 630 - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:28 pm:

    Stay out of the way on gay marriage and drop the weird anti-contraception stuff the culture warrior types push, marginalize anti-immigrant rhetoric.

  12. - thechampaignlife - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:30 pm:

    Unfortunately for Republicans, the downward spiral feeds on itself. Moderates get rejected by extremists in the primary which disenfranchises moderate voters. This cycle repeats until moderates are pushed out of running or voting entirely and nothing is left but the extremists. It’s not unlike a smaller city that loses a major employer and, as the population and revenues decline, taxes increase to support infrastructure and debts which were incurred during boom times and these taxes drive away even more people and businesses.

  13. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 2:37 pm:

    Couple of points to start this off…

    I want to be clear that I am not advocating the “Army of Precinct workers!” “Rabid Republicans, who run every precinct, towing the line of the ILGOP.”

    Stop. Just stop.

    It has been mention so many times, the percentage of the vote and the RAW vote totals needed in Cook or in the Collars to Offset Cook, and the raw votes and percentages needed outside Cook and the collar counties.

    OK, all those numbers are important, and critical. Those numbers and percentages bake into a winning cake.

    What I have been advocating, and what I also fault is the fact that I would like to see actual voter contact, and not the 4 million calls that have no follow up, leading to votes.

    The Bill Brady collapse, for me on a “vote total / number” aspect goes back to 4 votes in Cook and Chicago.

    “Look at Brady, how can he get nearly 20,000 votes being so Conservative?”

    Did we, as a party, vote 100% of the Republicans we know are with us? Did we get every single known one? Not newly found ones … existing ones.

    That is the secret, in my opinion.

    While the known GOP identified voters is undesputably declining, the issue for me is how many people do we individually know did not vote and would have for our GOP?

    We in the GOP call upon everyone for “Personal Responsibilty”. Should we not hold each other to that in getting our voters to the polls? It is amazing to me, when you get a universe of resistered voters, then you break them down who voted in the Primary and ID themselves a an “R”, and low and behold, there may be as many as 10 in every precinct that didn’t vote for any number of reasons. Sick. Travel. Forgot. Worked late.

    So, I have said:

    * Voting EXISTING known identified Republicans at a more higer and acceptable rate of returm.
    * “Personal Responsibility” to get people you KNOW as a Republican to Vote, bring 1 more with you.

    I am giving the highlights, not the details, because, (1) who in their right mind is going to listen to me, (2) those two Dot points are your starting points, (3) I am sure Rich does not want this post turning into a 27 point Field Operations Study Guide.

    I will leave the field “Stuff” there, and respond if need be, or called upon, on the details as they may creep up.

    To the direction of the Caucuses, and the Party…

    I am all about the 30/60/Mansion. I am not recreating the wheel, heck, I am sure someone(s) had this idea dozens and dozens of times. My point is that is the focus.

    Forget Madigan. Forget the Moderate mantra. Forget the Conservative idealogue.

    The Caucuses need to study the 1996 Madigan playbook in the South Subrubs. Period. I can not lay out every aspect better than the complete process of how Madigan got those seats back.

    Learn it, Reverse it.

    If anyone wants to say the ILDems in either chamber are Cookie-Cutter, than please make that case, because I don’t see that at all.

    We in the ILGOP need to realize the 80% Reagan Rule has to live, or we eill die, and guess what, we ain’t healthy right now. At 80% of agreement, are you telling me we can’t control an agenda?

    So my second points:

    * Study 1996 Madigan - South Suburbs, Reverse it.
    * Actually live the Reagan Rule of 80%


    Where the Dems get us, is after the Primary, they fall in line. “If they are a Dem, I am with them. They won.”

    Have you seen the pictures or video of the “Unity Breakfast” after the GOP Primaries. Yikes!

    We have to get the Rank and File, Conservatives, Moderates, everyone to buy in that, “Look, I agree that 80% is better than 0%. We need 30/60 Mansion, it needs to be about US, it need to be about all of uf Republicans supporting each other.”

    That is the biggest hurdle.

    So …

    * “Unity mean Unity. We must Rally for Each Other (or some other thing, I can’t keep coming up with slogans, Geez!)

    Iam available for Birthdays, Graduations … or so you can fall asleep easier by listening to me.

    Just the Dot Points … but hope these make some think … or help some sleep.

    With respect to my GOP,

    Oswego Willy

  14. - Hacks - Friday, Nov 9, 12 @ 6:19 pm:

    Pat Brady made an incredible amount of enemies within the Republican Party. He made 2 huge errors.

    First, he alienated the big money guys who pool their money to run things. He told the ILGOP executive finance committee to shut up and give him the money, he was chairman. The McKenna-Fahner circle doesn’t work this way. They froze him out financially. Notice any big donations only happened once. Roeser was the only big money left. Not good.

    Second, he endorsed county chairmen, committeemen, and candidates in the primaries. This is a terrible idea for a state party chairman because he is alienating the other half of the party.

    The ILGOP no longer has any staff or office under Brady. They pay one guy part-time and camp at Sen. Kirk’s office. He’ll only stay if Kirk wants him to stay, but all he has is a big mouth.

    The ILGOP needs a McKenna/Fahner guy who can bring back the money and re-establish a functioning party. This frat-boy, big-mouth, no-stick nonsense doesn’t work. Brady has nothing but self-inflicted huge failures. His lack of building a working party, lost Bill Brady the Gov. race and the subsequent re-map.

    Also, none of the old State Party employees should be re-hired. Old money and new blood.

    But frankly, what SANE person would want to be in office in Illinois anymore? I would rather move to Indiana than be Governor of Illinois.

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