* As you’ll recall, the ILGOP kicked out a Chicago GOP staffer from its office this week because the city party chairman is helping Rep. Jeanne Ives gear up to run against Gov. Rauner. City chairman Chris Cleveland wrote to the IL GOP’s State Central Committee this week and Illinois Review published it. Here’s an excerpt…
Four years ago, we ran candidates across the city for the purpose of generating enthusiasm and volunteers for phone calls and door knocks. In close coordination with the Rauner campaign, we flooded their offices with volunteers and executed 363,000 voter contacts, 263,000 of which were door knocks. We were able to raise Rauner’s vote in Chicago to 20.63%, just a hair above the magic 20% threshold. And he won.
If Rauner is on the ballot this fall, this won’t happen. Not because we wouldn’t want to; we’re loyal Republicans and Rauner over Pritzker would be an easy choice. It won’t happen because the state party has consistently undermined our efforts to recruit here, and because there is zero enthusiasm for this governor. Even prior to HB 40, we couldn’t get people to sign his petition.
It’s past time for the state central committee to step in and right the ship. First, I ask that you prevail upon Bruce Rauner to stop the petty retribution. This is the Republican Party, not the mob, and it’s time for them to grow up.
Second, I ask that you consider separating the state party apparatus from the Rauner campaign. They are acting as one and the same, but our party is bigger than Bruce, and we have broader concerns than his personal well-being. Notably, we need to take back the House, and we have two very viable candidates for state rep in Chicago, both of whom *might actually win*. A party must support such activities.