* From Bernie’s latest column about Rep. Tom Cross…
“I think we have to be cognizant of the fact that we got our clocks cleaned in the last … presidential race,” he said, “and we have done, I think, a very miserable job of reaching out to young people. I think we scare women. I think we sometimes scare men. And I think we need to be cognizant of that as a party.
“And I think we’ve done a pretty lousy job on outreach to minorities,” he added. “In the last presidential race, Hispanic, Latino, voters went 80-20 against us. … We need to learn from all of it.”
Cross is running in the primary for treasurer against DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogran. Grogan opposes same-sex marriage, but Cross voted for it when it passed in the fall.
“It was the right thing to do,” Cross said. “You have a different role in life when you’re not the House Republican leader.” He had earlier opposed legalizing gay marriage.
“Personal decisions are important to people,” he said last week, “and I’m an advocate for that and will continue to be.”
…Adding… From a Daily Herald story about a weekend Indian-American candidates’ forum…
“We see the best and brightest students come to the United States for a college education and then go back home,” said community member Amol Shelat. “There is a perception among Indian Americans that Republicans are anti-immigration, so why should we vote for your party?”
Rutherford contended that the problem is more of perception than reality.
“The Republican Party has a brand problem right now from the national scene. It is perceived to be intolerant,” Rutherford said.
“We need to have a reasonable Republican, one that understands that there are people from different backgrounds who make up our state.”
Dillard said he voted for the Illinois version of the DREAM Act and would be welcoming to immigrants.
Brady said it actually the Democratic Party that is labeling Republicans as anti-immigration.
“We want to keep the doors open. For national security reasons we need to protect our country’s borders, but this state’s strength lies in immigration,” Brady said.