Cook County Commissioner Tim Schneider, a close ally of Gov. Bruce Rauner, was unanimously re-elected chairman of the Illinois Republican Party in Springfield Saturday morning.
The result was a show of unity for a party that needed it following the bruising gubernatorial primary that saw Gov. Bruce Rauner almost upset by the more conservative state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, who tapped into grassroots anger over Rauner’s more liberal positions on social issues like abortion and immigration.
“It’s been a long road, but we’re finally home,” Schneider said during a meeting at the Illinois Realtor’s headquarters, 522 S. Fifth St. “And hopefully when we leave this room today, it will be together.” […]
Nominating Schneider for the post was Lake County GOP chairman Mark Shaw, who up until a few days ago — with the backing of Ives and the conservative grassroots — was running to unseat him. […]
“As a party united now, we have a lot of work to do — pulling together to fight, take back our beloved Illinois, and get rid of Mike Madigan and the evil Democrats that infect Chicago, Cook County and the rest of the state,” Shaw said.
Dude doesn’t mince words.
* But check out this report in Dan Proft’s Prairie State Wire…
A veteran Illinois GOP official who says Gov. Bruce Rauner’s allies rigged a vote last month to unseat him will fight in court to get his job back.
Bob Winchester of Rosiclare, who has long represented most of Southern Illinois on the Illinois Republican State Central Committee, filed suit in Hardin County last Thursday, claiming he won re-election to his post, but party officials loyal to Rauner manipulated the results in favor of his challenger, State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet).
At a meeting in Springfield on Saturday, the State Central Committee, as expected, officially seated Rose and not Winchester.
“The evidence we have collected by affidavit makes it plain that Bob Winchester won this election,” said Steve Boulton, Winchester’s attorney. “It was reported by the party differently. We will be taking that in justice to court.” […]
Sources tell Prairie State Wire that Shaw tried furiously last week to strike a deal with Winchester to get him to drop his lawsuit, offering to give his deputy a high-ranking party position and to “find a job” for a family member in state government.
But Winchester refused.
Overtures were also made to Winchester’s lawyers, who were asked if a deal could be made to get them to withdraw from the case.
Dave Donahue, a one-time aide to House Speaker Michael J. Madigan (D-Chicago) and former Chicago Alderman “Fast Eddie” Vrdolyak turned strip club impresario, was even enlisted to help broker a detente, sources said, asking what it would take to “buy Winchester out of his complaint.” […]
“If the story is true that Rauner allies promised jobs in exchange for Bob Winchester withdrawing his lawsuit against the party, then everyone in our party leadership who knew about it should resign immediately,” said [Rep. Jeanne Ives]. “They have been lying to the grassroots long enough. If party leadership thinks we will now turn a blind eye to corruption, then it just goes to show you how out of touch they are.
“We won’t win if we can’t be honest, and we don’t deserve to win if we can’t be honest. Republicans need to lead by example, not play the same political games that the Democrats do,” she said.
The lawsuit is here.