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*** UPDATED x1 - Kirk defends Brady *** Push intensifies to oust GOP chairman

Friday, Jan 11, 2013

* I did a bit of checking and the vote appears to be close right now, but it may not be a done deal yet

Illinois Review has learned that the Illinois Republican Party’s State Central Committee may very well have the votes needed to force Chairman Pat Brady’s resignation. We’re told that the SCC is working out a plan for IL GOP Vice Chairman Carol Donovan to step in as the interim chairman, and will oversee a deliberate, thoughtful process to pick the next permanent party chair.

Insiders are frustrated that Chairman Brady’s calls to GOP state senators in support of gay marriage have distracted from discussions about the state’s fiscal and pension crisis.

Three-fifths of the State Central Committee’s weighted votes are needed to oust a sitting chairman. Several 2012 Platform Committee members, one GOP lawmaker and the Grundy County GOP have called for Brady’s resignation.

It only takes 25 percent of the central committee’s weighted vote to call a special meeting, so this could play out pretty quickly.

The biggest problem for Chairman Brady is that there are a lot of other issues out there. Last year’s election was not a success, to say the least. He’s made some enemies on the central committee, to say the least.

But if he is ousted, the media will undoubtedly play up the gay marriage angle, and the GOP will go right down the public opinion path that Brady was trying to avoid when he pushed for gay marriage.

*** UPDATE *** Sen. Kirk steps up for Chairman Brady

He has at least one huge ally: U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk. Says Mr. Kirk’s office in a statement, “Senator Kirk has full confidence in Pat Brady’s leadership as chairman of the Illinois Republican Party and looks forward to working with him to elect Republicans in 2014.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - The Captain - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 11:33 am:

    This would never happen on the Democratic side, the parliamentarian would quickly outmaneuver the rebels.

  2. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 11:36 am:

    Does this party ever want to win back the Governorship?

  3. - TwoFeetThick - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 11:38 am:

    Brady says something reasonable, doesn’t incoherently blame Madigan, and the GOP starts taking steps to kick him out. I’m glad they are learning why they keep getting trounced in elections and how to turn things around. Onward, Whigs!

  4. - GOP - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 11:41 am:

    What a huge PR blunder his ouster would be by the party. Please do not do this!

  5. - Fight for the Jerry Clarke - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    This seems to be little more than an opportunistic gambit to take out a weak chairman and put him in with someone favorable. I’m hearing that Jerry Clarke is the ringleaders here in wants to take over as Chairman. What a disaster.

  6. - LincolnLounger - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 11:50 am:

    Talk about tin-eared.

  7. - OneMan - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 11:55 am:

    The thing is there are good reasons to get a new chair, this is not one of them.

  8. - dupage dan - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 11:56 am:

    === Insiders are frustrated that Chairman Brady’s calls to GOP state senators in support of gay marriage have distracted from discussions about the state’s fiscal and pension crisis ===

    I wonder if Brady was looking at the tea leaves and determining that many people in this state could consider voting GOP but for these types of issues. Get enough republicans to agree that passing a same sex marriage bill will not destroy the traditional family values they hold dear could lessen the fears of folks who view the GOP as dangerous. IOW, more libertarian. Fiscal hawks and neutral on social mores.

  9. - Ahoy! - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 11:57 am:

    It would be a very bad idea to oust him right now. They could have done it right after the election and no one would blame them. If they do it now with all the public comments regarding the gay marriage issue, they will look very bad, maybe not to conservatives, but to about everyone else. If they want him ousted, they should let the dust settle a little bit and do it for the legitimate reasons.

    Right wing conservatives need to ask themselves if they really want to drag the Republican Party into being irrelevant in politics.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 11:59 am:

    I will say this;

    Pat Brady should think about how much he wants to lead the ILGOP, if the State Central Committee comes close to removing him, if they can’t remove him.

    Maybe heading this off at the Pass might be wise.

    What does Pat Brady gain if he stays? If over half, and not 3/5 want you to go, what is the reason to stay?

    Further, Cross and Radogno seem to take no blame in their disasters, have taken no PUBLIC changes of SIGNIFICANCE in their blowout losses, so Pat Brady is going to be the only “casualty”?

    Will Cross or Radogno stand up for Pat Brady? What is the dynamic of this, and if this is the beginning, what are we saying when the “Right Wing” is forcing the hand, when we in the GOP need more voters who maybe more moderate?

    Think about who can do the job, line them up, then think about dumping Pat Brady, because, honestly, weeks have passed and NOW you want to force the issue?

    It’s like the Bears firing Lovie Smith. Last game Sunday. Fired Monday. Point being, it’s taken this long for a groundswell, or for Pat Brady to think a change may be in order? I 100% understand there are protocols, and Committee meetings, but what was going to change even a week later? What reviews needed to be made? The congressional seats that were lost? Learning that Super-Majorities in both Chambers here in IL is bad?

    Someone, of a Major Significance, has to wear the jacket, and that should include more than one person.

    Make no mistake, Tom Cross and Christine Radogno, I am like a great deal in the GOP wondering what the heck is going to change with you both retaining Leadership after being Veto-Proofed and making YOUR Caucuses…Irrelevent! What more do you have to know about your Political Aparati? Are you blaming the Map and a bad year… still?? Sure seems like you are.

    Pat Brady needs to go, but not at the pitchforks and torches of the Far Right, just as Pat Brady should not be saved solely by the Guardians of the Moderate. Pat Brady needs to go so we in the ILGOP will do what needs to be done in Cook, in the Precincts, in our Message and it’s delivery, in our Candidate Recruitment, and to make all that worth while, in a true and honest GOTV not based on a phone call and a voice message.

    Then let the changes begin, and not end, with Pat Brady.

    I am going to wait … and watch.

  11. - under seige - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 12:01 pm:

    I was just about ready to vote for a GOP governor next time - but maybe not now. So many hold on to a very - no..very very rapidly changing mindset to the issue of same sex unions/marriage. There is a new article out today how mainstream and very conservative religious believers’ position on the issue has once again changed - with a more accepting it.

  12. - Oh, please - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 12:01 pm:

    Never have so many fought over so little! Why doesn’t the committee spend some time figuring out how to get their act together and actually win some races!!!

  13. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 12:03 pm:

    Glad to see the IL GOP fighting to remain nearly irrelevant. To think, all this time I thought it was Brady leading the fight. Now it looks like maybe he just knew the potential consequences of attempting to get the party closer to popular opinion on certain issues.

  14. - TwoFeetThick - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 12:13 pm:


    You make a great point, I was wondering that too.

  15. - just sayin' - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 12:15 pm:

    This is not about gay marriage. Brady has been a disaster as chairman. He doesn’t know how to win elections or grow a party. Simple as that.

    The fact that Brady has made a disaster of the gay marriage issue is just one more reason why he should go, but it’s far from the main one or the only one. Brady can be for gay marriage, that’s all well and good. But he hurt the party by working on the sly to lobby for the bill without being transparent or telling his constituents what he was doing.

    Brady is done because no one trusts him anymore. That’s got nothing to do with his stand on gay marriage. But I do agree that some reporters will take the lazy route on this (and I don’t mean CapitolFax).

  16. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 12:20 pm:

    It’s funny. You would think that the ILGOP’s dismal performance would make Pat Brady indefensible, but things have certainly changed. You don’t think that was part of the reason he did that, right? I mean he might have known he was vulnerable to an ousting, but by publicly backing gay marriage, it’s almost impossible for him to be fired without being a pretty significant stain on the party.

  17. - John Galt - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 12:24 pm:

    It’s folly on his part for not anticipating this. In the midst of a major pension crisis where the GOP should be all over this with criticism and offering proactive alternative solutions, the circular firing squad over social issues starts to form.

    I can see Brady’s initial intent–to take the “GOP are just social conservatives” argument off the table by proactively coming out for gay marriage. The theory being that if he takes that off the table, then it will be harder for liberals to demagogue the GOP when it argues for pension, budget, regulatory, and tax reforms.

    But that’s a bit like an ill-advised effort to try to stamp out some burning paper, but then inadvertently spreading it around and catching your leg on fire as well. Now, instead of taking it off the table, he’s made it front and center, and has accomplished the exact opposite of what he wanted to do.

    I’m trying to think of a parallel on the Left here in Illinois, but off the top of my head I can’t think of anything recent. Usually the Democratic establishment lines up and advocates everything the activist wing wants–gay rights, gun control, favorable labor union laws (although this one is temporarily destabalizing), enviornmental restrictions, abortion rights, etc. Because of the left-of-center zeitgeist of the media and of Chicago/Cook County generally, most of the time the Democratic establishment doesn’t get “punished” for going too far Left. Plus the GOP isn’t strong in Chicago/Cook County to force them to tac center anyway. Even when totally liberal measures get squashed in the legislature, it isn’t like liberal activists bolt from the party, threaten to stay home, or leave the state in droves. They know that they get 85% of what they want most of the time, even on the social issues, so they stay. They have some strategic patience and an OK relationship with their party.

    Not so w/ the GOP side in Illinois. Instead, if the GOP tries to throw a bone to their activist base, they get lambasted as extreme by the media & a well organized statewide party, and get criticized by their own activist base for not doing more faster. Basically, the activist wing of the ILGOP is big enough to hobble it via circular firing squads, but not strong enough to take it over and/or significantly help it proactively across the finish line.

    Of course, the argument the ILGOP is always having is a chicken vs. egg debate. Moderate & risk losing even more of the base to apathy or migration loss, or hold truer to limited government principles, weather the media firestorm, but fire up their base like Walker did in Wisconsin. It’s a debate as old as time, but the ILGOP seems to be constantly caught in limbo. I also think the IL Dems do a much better job of picking wedge issues that will fracture the GOP. If the ILGOP were more proactive, for example, in picking an issue that would fracture the Democrats between—say—environmentalist social liberals and the traditional union blue collar types–they’d have more headway. But the ILGOP is constantly reactive, not proactive. Bottom line is Brady took the bait on one of the wedge issues for the GOP rather than engineering a working counter-argument on some other issue with more ideal GOP footing.

    The flip side of all of this is true for the Democratic parties in deeper red states I presume.

  18. - just sayin' - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 12:43 pm:

    Brady doesn’t give a hoot about whether gay folks should be allowed to get married. Or at least this is all brand new what he’s saying now. But he knew he was already on the outs and he’s just trying to use this issue to save his skin by distracting from his failure as chair. Don’t be duped.

    The gop platform plank on marriage is essentially the same position even Barack Obama had just a year or so ago. Hard to say that’s a crazy position.

    The gop’s position on gay marriage had ZERO to do with the IL GOP’s miserable failure in November. But obviously Brady has a selfish reason to try and rewrite history.

  19. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 1:01 pm:

    These are sad developments to say the least. Gags Brady is a vital part of the GOPie effort in IL
    He must be saved. How else will Aaron Shock get ahead in 2014?
    All clear thinking people of all parties should shut this lynching down. Now
    Fire. Aim, Ready

  20. - Not It - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 2:03 pm:

    The committee is concerned with elected conservative purists; Pat Brady is concerned with winning elections.

  21. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 2:09 pm:

    Not that I agree or disagree, but someone who saw this post earlier blurted out “And so who is going to defend Kirk at this point?”

    Still trying to figure out what he meant.

  22. - OneMan - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 2:44 pm:

    The committee is concerned with elected conservative purists; Pat Brady is concerned with winning elections.

    Ummm, not sure if I agree with the second part of that. The reason in part related to when Brady sticks himself in open GOP primaries…

    See the Kane County Board Chairman when he decided to support one of the candidates explicitly and it turned out to be a bad idea. (Political Pro-Tip: Do not have e-mails in your government e-mail account or on your government device where people in your campaign mock how the other guys wife dresses)

    But when you are state party chair, regardless of how much you dislike someone, you don’t get into the primary. Especially when the guy is locally popular. You end up looking like an out of touch tool and just empower him to say he is the ‘anti-establishment’ candidate as well end up leading to wholesale county party leadership changes.

  23. - walkinfool - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 2:48 pm:

    We all could use a stronger GOP and GOP chair in Illinois.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 3:22 pm:

    ===The committee is concerned with elected conservative purists; Pat Brady is concerned with winning elections.===

    You OWE me a computer screen!!

    Pat Brady and winning elections do NOT go together.

  25. - jc - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 3:52 pm:

    it is the goal of every republican in this state to assuage the concerns of the golden horseshoe word processor oswego willy. why don’t you lead by example and go walk a precinct.

  26. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 4:38 pm:

    - jc -

    Do you know if I haven’t?

    Just asking.

    With kindest personal regards, I remain.

    Sincerely yours,

    Oswego Willy

  27. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 11, 13 @ 4:43 pm:

    ===I’m hearing that Jerry Clarke is the ringleaders here in wants to take over as Chairman.===

    That would be the choice of Speaker Madigan, like Pat Brady. Heck, it IS the “Jerry Clarke Map” that all the ILGOP complains about. This move might make sense… for the Dems.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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