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Kjellander says he’s staying, despite moves to oust him

Wednesday, Nov 29, 2006 - Posted by Rich Miller

Coup attempt against Kj?

As Illinois Republican Party chiefs prepare to meet Saturday, a fight is intensifying over who ought to lead the them in an increasingly Democratic state.

Shaken by their Nov. 7 electoral trouncing, some party leaders are stepping up their campaign to oust Robert Kjellander as the Illinois GOP national committeeman.

But Mr. Kjellander said he has “absolutely no intention” of leaving.

Meanwhile, some party sources said Michael Stokke, a top aide to U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Plano, is maneuvering to grab Mr. Kjellander’s post for himself. Other sources discounted that. […]

(T)wo separate party sources reported that Mr. Stokke has made quiet inquiries in Washington about becoming the Illinois GOP national committeeman. Mr. Stokke has considerable influence as Mr. Hastert’s top political aide but will lose much of that power when Mr. Hastert leaves Congress, something that some insiders believe could occur as soon as this winter.

Kjellander told Crain’s that he has no intention of stepping down and the state central committee can’t force a resignation, and Speaker Madigan says he won’t move legislation to help the Republicans get rid of Kj so they may be stuck with him unless President Bush steps in.

What a mess.


  1. - Wumpus - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 9:32 am:

    Didn’t all the state central committee districts, save the 8th vote to retain this guy back in 06? Didn’t Steve Meyer (RIP) rally against this guy, then have his vote go for KJ at the state GOP convention? It is nice to see people finally demanding answers, althjough it is tooooo late.

  2. - I can't believe we did it again - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 9:35 am:

    When a team does as poorly as the Republicans did this past election it is time for a new manager! I can certainly understand why Madigan wants to keep this clown.

  3. - He Makes Ryan look like a saint - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 9:36 am:

    it only proves that Mr K is only out for himself, NOT for the Party

  4. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 9:43 am:

    Yes, the Republicans are still in a coma. I think I’ll vote for Lisa in the Democratic gubernatorial primary next time around. Many moderate Republicans and Independents are no doubt thinking along the same lines, but with perhaps a different non-Blago candidate in mind. Maybe in a few decades things will change but should we wait? I don’t think so.

    President Bush isn’t likely to help much. He is totally bogged down in Iraq, which Jimmy Carter recently says is the worst US presidential mistake ever. Karl Rove is likely looking for his next job, as are most Bushies. Bush is likely counting the days until he can get back to Texas and hide.

    This gives Kjellander free rein to suck up to Blago and make more millions off Illinois taxpayers long….at least four more years.

  5. - Justice - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 9:57 am:

    The republican party is top heavy with old and lethargic leaders. There is little or no activity in the lower ranks. The enthusiasm has dwindled, the guys controlling the money won’t let go, and eventually the party will wither away in Illinois. Keeping Kjellander in the position won’t make much difference one way or another. Until a grass roots organization can rebuild the party, the party is over.

  6. - Black Democrat - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 10:00 am:

    There is only three Reublican leaders in state with the clout to remove KJ, and hopefully they’ll speak up and demand his resignation. Those three are , Bob Schillerstrom, Don Stephans and Skip Saviano.
    The ball is in there court and hopefully they’ll ask him to resign gracefully. I don’t believe Kirk and Haseret have the nerve to ask him, because there afraid of him, and Cross and Watson and Dillard are petrified of making Madigan angry at them. Also Bradely wants to run for Gov and won’t want any problems from his masters.

  7. - Truthful James - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 10:04 am:

    The key for K-J’s departure is Ken Mehlman who sits on Karl Rove’s knee. Ken’s lips move but is Karl who is speaking. K-J and Karl were college mates, I understand.

    K-J is also National Treasurer. A face saving option would be for Mehlman to “demand” that K-J devote full time to the National Treasurer job. K-J could then plead a higher calling and resign as Illinois National Committeeman. This had been suggested a year ago.

    Mehlman himself may be on the hot seat. No need to worry, he can always be a lobbyist. A job has just opened up.

  8. - Truthful James - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 10:05 am:

    By the way, the trade off appears to be K-J but no SB 600.

  9. - DJ - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 10:09 am:

    What a hoot!

    Score one for “Big Bob” K over “L’il Jack” Roeser!

  10. - Bubs - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 10:16 am:

    Unless Washington signs on, this is all just “sound and fury.”

    Not only is there no current recall mechanism in the Illinois GOP bylaws, there is no RNC provision recognizing such a move, and the RNC is now expressly hostile to the ouster of KJ.

    To those loudmouths who constantly harp that the Illinois GOP can just tell him to step down and its done, I suggest they return to law school for a refresher course.

  11. - Tony - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 10:20 am:

    TJ — Mehlman isn’t on the hot seat, he’s already said he’s leaving and the news has already reported that Sen. Martinez of Florida is going to head the RNC.

    You may want to open a newspaper once in awhile. Funny stuff about Ken being on Karl’s lap…that was funny when people used it in 2000 and funny even now…(note: sarcasm).

  12. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 10:23 am:

    There is no future for the ILGOP with losers like these at it’s head. Let’s use language Republicans can understand - FIRE HIM!

  13. - Bubs - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 10:29 am:

    VM- great idea, actually.


  14. - whatever - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 11:04 am:

    How nice to see Bubs back from embarrassing himself at the Cook County Bd of elections with the other Peraica clowns, now weighing in with more buffoonish “advice.”

  15. - I can't believe we did it again - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 11:06 am:

    Black Democrat, Cross has already called for KJ resignation and Madigan won’t bring it forward.

  16. - RAI - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 11:13 am:

    Where are you now Jim Edgar??? Step up and tell your friend to go for the good of the party! Isn’t that what you said when you annointed JBT as a candidate? Where’s big Jim? You know the old guard that the Tribune always looks to when someone who’s beliefes are out of step with Illinois, wants to run as a GOP candidate?
    To the lawyer, this is politics you don’t have to have a law to get rid of anyone. All you do is turn up the heat, soon he won’t be able to find anyone who will want to work with him.
    This will not blow over, he has to go and he will be gone! The sooner the better; if it lasts till spring it will be even bloodier than any primary you have ever seen.

  17. - Jacketpotato - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 11:13 am:

    I’m kind of new to this Illinois GOP stuff, but does Hastert’s silence have anything to do with this his land deal and Dallas Ingemunson?

    Hastert is already wounded and wouldn’t want to rock the boat anymore.

  18. - I can't believe we did it again - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 11:17 am:

    Jacketpotato your beating a dead horse and I am betting you are not new.

  19. - RAI - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 11:18 am:

    Jacket potato
    Hastert called for him to go in the summer, Cross called for Kellander to go then by the direction of the Speaker. They were all hoping this would go away.

  20. - Bubs - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 11:24 am:


    It’s a thing called “the law.” You might want to read it sometime, when you are done with the venom.

    Of course, venom is about all you have left, so it is understandable to a certain extent.

  21. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 11:42 am:

    We need to take this guy. Period, end of story. Our party is suffering because of him. I don’t care who he knows or how much power he has; he needs to eitehr step down or be overthrown. We should be allowed to elect our National Committeeman during the primary in 2008.

  22. - whatever - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 12:12 pm:


    Don’t make me laugh. No one took you seriously even before you defended the indefensible raid on Cook County with the Peraica sore loser brigade.

  23. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 12:15 pm:

    Let’s stop the flame war before the fire spreads, shall we? Thanks.

  24. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 12:17 pm:

    Every political operative, political wannabe, and politican will say they have “absolutely no intention” of leaving as they are being pushed out of the door. Big Bob is history, he knows it and the GOP know it. It’s just a matter of the GOP coming up with the excuse they believe the public will swallow.

  25. - Anon2 - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 1:36 pm:

    Look for Kj to get a federal appointment as a way out.

  26. - Levois - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 1:39 pm:

    Hmm this is some interesting theater. Will KJ stepping down happen?

  27. - howard - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 1:54 pm:

    anon 2;
    you got it.

  28. - moderate - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 2:11 pm:

    speaking as a republican (although I don’t know for how long) things like this is exactly why we deserved to get our butts kicked this election. There is no room for this much stubberness in politics… at least not good politics.

  29. - Squideshi - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 2:47 pm:

    The State has no compelling interest in regulating the internal affairs of a private, voluntary association like this. The State is violating the right of Republicans NOT to associate.

  30. - Angie - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 3:09 pm:

    Then the Illinois GOP can just about forget about rebuilding. There is no way anyone is going to win an election around here after the Ryan fiasco unless the cobwebs are cleared out.

    By the way, aside from Ryan’s ethical issues, has everyone read the bit over on the right about Blago being “ripped” over greeting cars to parents? You have got to be kidding. If that isn’t the Nanny State at work (I have no kids, but still, I would be creeped out if I got one of those cards from the Governor just the same), then I don’t know what is. Creepy creepy creepy.

    But thanks to KJ, it’ll remain creepy for a long time, because the IL GOP is currently doomed.

  31. - Angie (just to add) - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 3:10 pm:

    Cass wrote, “Yes, the Republicans are still in a coma. I think I’ll vote for Lisa in the Democratic gubernatorial primary next time around. Many moderate Republicans and Independents are no doubt thinking along the same lines, but with perhaps a different non-Blago candidate in mind.”

    Absolutely a good idea.

  32. - Anon - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 6:16 pm:

    K is not the problem.

    The Repubs were winning when everyone knew about K and Celleni, et. al.

    2006 was an abberation. From US Senate to the least office, from sea to shining sea, there was a 5% reduction in the Republican vote.

    Illinois voters have confirmed that they don’t care about corruption.

    Illinois Repubs have nothing better to do than carp. Murtha is on tape not taking the bribe “at this time” and he was being supported by the soon to be Speaker and probably half the Dem voters.

    Hastings, who the 5 Dem leaning judges said got off at trial because he lied to the jury, was in line to become Chairman of Intelligence. The speaker wanted him and half of Dems probably support him.

    This is the same thing Repubs did when they threw Jack Ryan overboard for suggesting sex with his wife.

    The problem maybe that the Repubs don’t have enough really corrupt guys.

  33. - A GOP GUY - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 6:52 pm:

    Mike Stokke is an excellent choice for GOP Nat’l Committeeman. K is only one of the problems. House cleaning needs to run thru the State Central Committee as well.

  34. - Anonymous again - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 7:18 pm:

    You Rs have a big problem we hope you keep Mr k on the national committee, keep your demise going as long as you can its nice to see you all fight among yourselves what the heck happened, and you all better grab you crying towell cause the big Sen O will be the next President and you might be able to get somebody a job at some small county courthouse as a janitor.

  35. - Angie - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 8:21 pm:

    Jack Ryan had sex with his own wife, and this was supposed to be something to get all hot under the collar over?

    Yeah, I know it was supposedly about sex clubs in Amsterdam, or something (can’t recall the specifics), but my goodness! Here we had a guy who actually had sex with his own wife! What a shocker!

    Republicans fret over Dem guys attending Playboy parties and Repub guys for allegedly kinky nooky with their own wives, and then the Dems flip out over some closet gay Republican guy.

    Jesus Christ! No wonder Joe Lieberman went Indie. I might just join him and register as an Indie myself. lol

  36. - Anonymous again - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 8:40 pm:

    I also was not so upset about the Jack Ryan sex thing i was actually tickeled to death that there was a republican young enough not to need viagra, keep it up rs you will all be soft when you win again it will be quite awhile

  37. - beowulf - Thursday, Nov 30, 06 @ 7:52 am:

    Bill Brady has aspirations to be the next Governor of Illinois. I guess I must have missed it. Has Bill Brady ever spoken out one way or the other regarding Bob Kjellander and whether Kjellander should remain as an Illinois GOP power broker? I am just curious?

    I guess the smart political play for Brady and other GOP political “wanna be’s” would be to just remain silent about Kjellander and his status within the Illinois Republican Party organization.

  38. - hogsinwisconsin - Friday, Dec 1, 06 @ 8:45 am:

    Let’s see what Hurtgen has to say. The feds have been juicing him ever scince august when he found out that Levine was cooperating. If that almost cool “million” that Big Bob K pulled down from Hurtgen and Bear Stearns turns out to be something of importance. It should make for a “Wonderful life” Holiday for those Hurtgen and Bib Bob K.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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