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Circular firing squad: State GOP committeeman vote disputed

Friday, Apr 27, 2018

* From one of Dan Proft’s papers a few days ago

Sources have told Prairie State Wire that Bob Winchester has retained counsel to challenge the voting procedures used in his race for Republican State Central Committee in the 15th Congressional District, which the Illinois Republican Party claims was won by Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet).

The first step in the legal action is expected to be an appeal to the Illinois State Board of Elections, which under law, must certify the votes in party elections. Among other charges, Winchester is expected to challenge the use of votes by acclamation in some counties — a move that gives the candidate with more than half of the votes the entire final tally, which violates party rules and may violate state law. […]

“Just because the party said Chapin won doesn’t mean he won,” [Mark Shaw, Lake County Republican chairman and central committeeman in the 10th Congressional District] said. “Until May 19, there is no party governing board, and Chaplin can’t just show up on that day and act like he’s a committeeman. The results have to be certified first, and I expect the board will find a lot of irregularities in the voting process.” […]

Results of the election show that Winchester received zero votes in nine of 33 counties, including four of the 10 most populated, a result that Shaw and others said would be impossible. […]

In all, 22 of 33 counties voted by acclamation, representing 63 percent of Rose’s vote and 59 percent of Winchester’s.

* Politico today

Why is this all significant? The outcome of the 15th district race could determine the next statewide chairman and likely the direction of a party that nearly threw out its incumbent governor in March. Enter the newly-elected Republican State Central Committeemen, who are to meet May 19th to vote on the next chairman. Each of the votes is weighted. The district with the greatest weighted vote? The one under dispute in the 15th. While Rose supports Schneider, Winchester had pledged his support to challenger Mark Shaw, who is Lake County’s GOP Chairman. GOP sources tell us that the unofficial breakdown is pretty closely divided between Schneider and Shaw, making the 15th district outcome all that more impactful.

Disunity: If Schneider cannot hold onto power, that’s a direct reflection on Rauner’s weakened grasp of his his party. That’s a particularly stinging rebuke since Rauner has almost single-handedly funded the Illinois Republican Party apparatus. Even if Schneider wins another term, this latest turmoil only shows there’s a long road to repairing the rift in the party.

* As it stands now, the opposition believes incumbent chairman Schneider has a 51.5-48.5 lead over Lake County’s Shaw if Sen. Rose is declared the victor and former party chairman Jack Dorgan votes for Schneider as well (and that’ll be an interesting moment if Rauner’s chairman is saved by a - gasp - Statehouse lobbyist).

But Rose’s district appears to have enough weighted votes that Shaw will likely beat Schneider if Winchester is seated (barring any flippers).

Winchester is being represented by a lawyer at Tony Peraica’s law firm. His letter to the state party is here. The attorney’s letter to the Illinois State Board of Elections is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

16 Comments
  1. - 47th Ward - Friday, Apr 27, 18 @ 10:17 am:

    I am not familiar with ILGOP rules, but can someone tell me if the result is determined by counties in the CD or by the votes of GOP Precinct Committeemen district wide? If it’s the latter, Winchester has a point about voting by acclamation.

    Looks like I’m going to need more popcorn.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 27, 18 @ 10:18 am:

    If Rauner were to lose this November, and the tens of millions dries up… and the party is like a hollowed out, white-washed windowed strip mall that can’t even attract a halloween costume pop up for a few weeks in October… will it matter who the chairman is come January?

    We let a stranger in our house. When the RaunerS leave, the least if the worries will be who wins this, so “have at it”.


  3. - Grand ‘Ol Party - Friday, Apr 27, 18 @ 10:22 am:

    Just what the Illinois Republican Party needs, Mark Shaw, the same guy who led the effort to ensure traditional marriage remained in their platform at the last convention. One step forward, three steps back.


  4. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 27, 18 @ 10:40 am:

    Will Uiehlein bankroll the party if Rauner’s guy loses?

    I have my doubts that Rauner would continue as party sugar daddy is he gets humiliated like that.


  5. - Turn it up - Friday, Apr 27, 18 @ 10:42 am:

    Forgive me, but is this the same Bob Winchester who used to the represent the old 118th District in Southern Illinois?


  6. - Long Time R - Friday, Apr 27, 18 @ 10:43 am:

    Well the good news for Rose and Schneider is that Winchester hired that goof Peraica’s law firm to represent him.


  7. - Annonin' - Friday, Apr 27, 18 @ 10:49 am:

    Wonder if GovJUnk is creatin’ all this chaos to make look like he is a fighter. Nearly gets creamed by the Commando and now needs to bends rules/laws to help the CarWashKing hang on.
    The drama.
    We are pullin’s for BulletBob — a sure shot for Southern Illinois.


  8. - just an fyi - Friday, Apr 27, 18 @ 10:54 am:

    Pretty rich. Bob Winchester’s lawyer, Steve Boulton, is the same guy who defended Chicago GOP chair Chris Cleveland (who was also Jeanne Ives’ campaign chair) regarding the “firing” of 13 Chicago Republican ward committeemen who were duly elected in the 2016 Republican primary. A majority of those 13 were black and were elected in predominantly black wards. The Chicago GOP recently lost a lawsuit brought in circuit court by one of the 13, the 19th ward committeeman, who just happens to be white.


  9. - Barrington - Friday, Apr 27, 18 @ 11:11 am:

    Infighting will not help the party


  10. - Practical Politics - Friday, Apr 27, 18 @ 11:40 am:

    The challenged Republican Ward Committeemen were “fired” by former Cook County Chairman Aaron Del Mar, not Cleveland.

    http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20160413/news/160419472/

    Five of the suspicious characters were white. One was a Latino.


  11. - Ron - Friday, Apr 27, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    The ILGOP has been in a minority party for a while now. It will remain that way as long as social troglodytes are its bread and butter.


  12. - Fax Machine - Friday, Apr 27, 18 @ 11:50 am:

    This is why they should have elected Committeemen and Committeewomen like the Democrats.


  13. - Rabid - Friday, Apr 27, 18 @ 12:36 pm:

    Rauner has had over five weeks to heal the party, now he is the heel of the party


  14. - titan - Friday, Apr 27, 18 @ 2:00 pm:

    +++ The first step in the legal action is expected to be an appeal to the Illinois State Board of Elections, which under law, must certify the votes in party elections. Among other charges, Winchester is expected to challenge the use of votes by acclamation in some counties — a move that gives the candidate with more than half of the votes the entire final tally, which violates party rules and may violate state law. […]
    “Just because the party said Chapin won doesn’t mean he won,” [Mark Shaw, Lake County Republican chairman and central committeeman in the 10th Congressional District] said. “Until May 19, there is no party governing board, and Chaplin can’t just show up on that day and act like he’s a committeeman. The results have to be certified first, and I expect the board will find a lot of irregularities in the voting process.” […] +++

    10 ILCS 7-8(a) : “…the Chairman of the county central committee shall report the results of the election to the State Board of Elections. The State Board of Elections shall certify the candidate receiving the highest number of votes elected State central committeeman for that congressional district.”

    The State Board doesn’t appear to do anything other than add up the numbers from the county party chairmen. Shoddy procedures don’t appear to be appealable to them.


  15. - Just an fyi - Friday, Apr 27, 18 @ 2:43 pm:

    Practical Politics, u r correct then-county GOP chair was part of scheme but Chris Cleveland was driving force. Both signed “firing”


  16. - GOPstronger - Monday, May 14, 18 @ 2:34 pm:

    If Schneider is kept as state party chairmen, and conservatives wanted him out as a showing by Rauner that he is NOT continuing to antagonize them, does any common-sense thinking person really believe that the GOP will be able to hold onto the Governor seat if Schneider is who would be keeping conservatives within the party staying home in next November General elections?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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