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Cross hit over basically nothing

Friday, Dec 13, 2013

* Meh

A $4,800 contribution to the Cross for Treasurer campaign from Chicago gay rights activist Clark Pellett is raising questions about Cross’ critical vote last month to legalize gay marriage. Up until the day of the vote, Cross’ staff consistently assured conservatives that Cross would be a solid “no” vote.

Pellett, who is in a same-sex relationship with Chicago’s Robert Kohl, is credited with having a leadership role in passing Illinois’ gay marriage law. For years, Pellett was active in the Republican Party as Chicago GOP’s chairman. He has also donated to Cross’ political campaigns over the years.

Pellett’s check, reported to the Illinois State Board of Elections Thursday, brought Cross’ gay marriage vote back into the spotlight because his support for the measure was unexpected, and the bill narrowly passed with one vote more than needed.

“We were surprised when Cross voted yes,” Illinois Family Action’s David E. Smith told Illinois Review. “He lied to us. Absolutely, he lied.”

“Had the three Republicans that voted for gay marriage held firm to the party platform, we’d still be fighting the issue in Springfield,” Smith said.

Cross is pro-choice, voted for medical marijuana, supported the (renewed) Equal Rights Amendment and backed stem cell research. His vote shouldn’t have been a huge surprise.

And, yes, the fact that Cross’ vote will help him raise money in the gay community is most definitely a plus. It was simply good politics in a state like this. His Democratic opponent was a prominent supporter, so Cross took a big issue off the table that allows him to tap into money that wouldn’t have been there otherwise.

But just one contribution so far? C’mon. If anything, that ought to be a disappointment for Cross’ campaign.

* Also, party platforms are only important to some of the people who write them. They aren’t statutes. And they shouldn’t be used to keep the party small and exclusive, especially in a state dominated by Democrats.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Liberty First - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 10:40 am:

    So we are to believe the problem with the Republican party is they are too conservative when this guy was their leader?

  2. - Pete - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 10:41 am:

    Also, party platforms are only important to some of the people who write them. They aren’t statutes. And they shouldn’t be used to keep the party small and exclusive, especially in a state dominated by Democrats. -

    So maybe the State of Illinois should drop party politics and require all politicians to run as independents. More signatures, no primaries (BIG COST SAVINGS). This could also give the voters an opportunity to really look at the candidates with Unions and Corporations focused on individual platforms.

    The current 2 party system isn’t providing real choices with the Gerrymandering of districts.

    Just a thought.

  3. - wordslinger - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 10:46 am:

    Party platform committees are playgrounds for the activists. You’re elected by your constituents and answer to them. We don’t have a parliamentary system.

  4. - Robert the Bruce - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 10:51 am:

    I’m 100% glad that Cross voted the way he did.

    And these religious right organizations that use the word “Family” in them - I find them disgusting.

    But “Up until the day of the vote, Cross’ staff consistently assured conservatives that Cross would be a solid “no” vote.” - how often does this happen, that staff assures one group that a legislator is a solid vote on one side, and then, the very next day, the legislator votes the other way? (instead of being non-committal or non-responsive to the group). I think I’d be mad too if I were a social conservative group.

    Of course, if I were a social conservative group, being mad would be nothing new.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 10:55 am:

    ===But just one contribution so far? C’mon. If anything, that ought to be a disappointment for Cross’ campaign.===

    If anything, that is the most disappointing thing about this thus far.

    Sandack, Sullivan and Cross. Do not forget them.

    To the Post,

    Patterns and contribution histories, being either the contributor or the benefactor is what is at play, not one … remember we are talking ONE … contribution of $4,800 indicates anything than a check being cashed.

    The politics is exactly as it should be. Sen Frerichs, in his excitement of going to the “big Kids Table”, running statewide and all, and we are all excited for Sen. Frerichs, ok, the politics of Frerichs making this an issue, and basically daring Cross to vote against it “was what it was”. Cross defused the excitable Frerichs and left Frerichs with the, “yeah, well, he thought about voting no!” as a possible play after the vote.

    As for the “Planks”, geez Louise, how much is My Party going to shrink at the hands of these planks? The ILGOP is not a religion, no matter how the zealots want the ILGOP to be one, or how much the Slytherins “Require” the following of the Planks to be a religious experience.

    Politics, good or even great politics, is the art of getting the most you can get for your stance, while giving the least you feel you can give, while making sure all get a victory and the public is served.

    That’s it.

    Nothing is absolute in the world of politics, and those thinking everyting is unbendable, then you are going to find that phone booth awfully lonely.

    Let’s be clear. Let’s say you are against SSM. If tom Cross is for SSM, and voted in the positive, does that make you, and your belief more Republican, or make Tom Cross not a Republican at all?

    It is absolutely one thing to be a “One Issue” voter. I totally get that. Pick an issue; guns, SSM, Budget/Pensions. Be that one issue voter. However to claim someone against your view is not a Republican, when you take out that handy-dandy score card and as you go down the list, time and time again that Pol is with you, how can you say that the Plank is the Litmus Test?

    You should not be afraid of supposed members of your party who claim to be “Solid” members, yet use the “One Issue” ideal as a …Litmus Test. It is completely against the idea of inclusion, and defeats the purpose of competeing ideas to strengthen the view to the voters, “Hey, we welcome all thinking, but we think you are going to agree with us a vast majority of the time too.”

    Not a good bumper sticker, I grant you, but try to explain to former Republicans who now say they are Conservative Democrats or an Indie that what they see, and what the Talking Heads or Dopey newspaper posters portray us all to be, is not who we all are as a Party.

    We now have Jim Oberweis wanting to lead My Party’s ticket, against Sen. Durbin. A admitted Litmus Tester who requires the Planks followed, including SSM, but not really all about SSM, except when seriving Political Ice Cream.

    Are we as a Party ready to have that be the “face” of the 2014 ILGOP statewide ticket, and the “face” voters will think about all the way down to the General Assembly?

    Perception is reality, when those wanting the image to be “exotic” and promote intolerance as a calling card. A check for $4,800 is not destroying the ILGOP, but the perception that is wanted, is that by taking that one check, the Planks are eroding below are feet, and the Non-Slytherins are failing the tests of the Pure.

    Wake up. We are in the Super-Minorities in the GA, we are down Congrsssional seats, we are divided for a “soul” a political party does not require, and a check …continues to fuel the fire.

    Are you a “One Issue” voter requiring Purity for all issues to advance your one, or are you willing to look at the entire painting, and see the beauty of something that has a larger pallet then you may even expect.

    So, which are you?

  6. - RNUG - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 11:12 am:


    This time around I probably will be a one issue voter … and that issue will be the pensions. If a pol voted to reduce my pension, I won’t be contributing or voting for them.

    And from talking to a lot of other retirees, I think there will be about 20% of the voters on the same page.

  7. - A guy... - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 11:14 am:

    A regular contributor of his comes up with another $4800. So what? He won’t win or lose because of this contribution. If he voted against SSM, he probably would not have gotten the dough. There may or may not be the same amount or more he hasn’t gotten because of the vote. Who knows? That’s the way it works. Most contributions are to support and reward you for what you’ve already done. If you give money with the assurance the money alone will a person’s mind, I’m pretty sure almost anyone can be outbid, and I’m not sure that’s the way you want the system to work.

  8. - Loop Lady - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 11:19 am:

    Make no mistake that if the contribution had come from anyone else on any other matter, it would have been completely ignored…good for Cross …this is nothing but bigotry and sour grapes by tea party related GOPs in the legislature…you lost, now go away and leave the peace and goodwill to the folks who truly care for their fellow man and do not judge them….

  9. - a drop in - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 11:21 am:

    Anybody know if this is a true statement?

    “Up until the day of the vote, Cross’ staff consistently assured conservatives that Cross would be a solid “no” vote.”

  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 11:22 am:

    - RNUG -,

    I can’t fault you for that, not one bit.

    The fact you even recognize that is helpful.

    The issue is not the one issue voter as a stand-alone voter, the issue is then saying that MY one issue defines wether you are a Republican or not, and the Plank says I can do that.

    Big difference.

    Issues make campaigns, otherwise there would be no reason to have campaigns. Deciding that your ONE issue is the defingin issue or a “no way” issue to be considered a Republican is the best way to stay irrelevent.

  11. - Obama's Puppy - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 11:32 am:

    Tom Cross is what he is, ask anyone south of I-80 that was in his caucus after hours.

  12. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 11:41 am:

    OW and RNUG, agree with you both. A one issue voter, especially a one-timer like many of us pension theft victims may be, is not necessarily a resident of the Slytherin House.

    What is starting to intrigue/scare me is the thought that there will be enough folks that say absolutely no way to PQ and in slides Baron von Carhartt. Long shot but stranger things have happened.

  13. - walkinfool - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 11:50 am:

    Steadfastly lying to a supporter is not “nothing.”

    On the other hand, this vote by Cross should have been expected by any but the most myopic lobbyist or advocate.

    What a caucus leader says and does to meet the responsibilities of that role, are often different from what he would say and do as an individual legislator. True for both sides.

    Cross has proven to be the adult vs. Frerichs, in the campaign so far.

  14. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 12:23 pm:

    =Cross has proven to be the adult vs. Frerichs, in the campaign so far=

    I have to agree and it makes you wonder if Frerichs is ready to be at the “big Kids Table” as OW put it. First he was criticized by his hometown paper two months back for taking political jabs at Cross. Then he calls on Cross to vote on gay marriage, and Cross does. And then the email sent to his supporters, while he voted NO on the pension bill too. Interesting to see what will happen in the months ahead.

  15. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 12:29 pm:


    Obviously, you do not know the donor. It is not merely about his SSM activism. Google him sometime.

    Clark Pellett is widely disliked by many Chicago and Cook County Republicans. Yes, he did serve for a brief time in the relatively meaningless post of Chicago Republican City Chairman after a decade of maneuvering, including changing voting addresses and wards in order to secure the post of ward committeeman in the 2nd. He never obtained the office until after Lou Kasper died because Kasper always managed to beat him back at every turn. Pellett also spent countless hours filing objections to the nominating petitions of dozens of other committeemen. He also funded challengers in many wards to recruit new committeemen supportive of his agenda. These elections generally drew less than a thousand votes per ward.

    As a proud member of the gay community, Pellett once solicited women’s votes by having a gossip columnist refer to himself as “a five star bachelor.”

    Cross accepted money from one of the worst persons in the Chicago GOP.

  16. - Demoralized - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 2:27 pm:

    ==Cross accepted money from one of the worst persons in the Chicago GOP.==

    Pellett’s money is as green as anybody elses.

  17. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 2:32 pm:

    ===Clark Pellett is widely disliked by many Chicago and Cook County Republicans. ===

    I assume a whole lotta people fit that bill. It’s meaningless.

  18. - Loop Lady - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 2:34 pm:

    Anonymous 12:29: If every donation given to a pol was vetted on whether or not the donor is a decent person with no ulterior motive, I’ll wager coffers would be way less full…at least this guy is a person and not a corporation exercising “free speech”…your comment on five star batch makes no sense at all…yeah, meh…

  19. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 2:44 pm:

    ===If every donation given to a pol was vetted on whether or not the donor is a decent person with no ulterior motive===

    Better yet, try: If every donation given to a pol was vetted on whether one tiny faction of the tiny Chicago Republican Party didn’t like that donater…

  20. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 13, 13 @ 2:53 pm:

    Fighting over a Donor and their … “Likeability” … in GOP Circles?

    One step forward, two steps back.

    Embarrassingly pathetic.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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