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Question of the day

Monday, May 22, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Illinois Republican Party Chair Don Tracy…

In recent months, some individuals have published fake news about the Illinois Republican Party’s policy on endorsements in primary elections. First, it was said that the State Party sent mail in last year’s gubernatorial primary in support of one of the several gubernatorial candidates and against other Republican candidates for Governor. That claim is false. Pursuant to longstanding policy, the State Party did send mail supporting State House candidates in last year’s primary, but did not send any mail in the primary in support of, or against, any gubernatorial candidate.

More recently, it has been claimed that the State Party recently established an “Endorsement Committee.” That claim also is false. Several months ago, I appointed an “Endorsement Policy Committee” to review our current policy of not endorsing in statewide primaries and compare how that is handled in other states including Virginia. That Committee has never met. And, a majority of the State Central Committee appear not to support reviewing that policy at this time.

Therefore, our current policy of not endorsing in statewide primaries will continue for the foreseeable future.

* The Question: Should the Illinois Republican Party take more or less of a role in statewide primaries? Explain.

       

41 Comments
  1. - ILLannoyed - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 11:55 am:

    Nah. That bunch reaps what they sow. Elections and their denials have consequences


  2. - Pundent - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 11:56 am:

    The idealist in me says more of a role. Doing so would allow the party to push back on the conspiracy theorist, insurrectionists, and racists. It would enable the party to stand for something that appeals to a broad base of voters not merely the old, angry, and aggrieved. But the realist in me says that’s unlikely to happen. And I think Don Tracy has been fairly consistent in that regard.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 11:57 am:

    “Should”?

    Man, this is a toughie.

    The 56% “Bailey” types own the primary process, they can nominate the most unelectable general election candidates on their own… and a state party steering away from 56% of the cultists that actually vote in a primary, the state party would lose any chance of being relevant there after.

    “Should”?

    No.

    Why?

    Let the party implode and dissolve on its own, no need to speed up the implosion.

    Statewide Republican winners of the past can’t win in a GOP cultists primary of today. Why speed up the devolving of irrelevance by interceding?


  4. - Demoralized - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 11:57 am:

    If I thought the party would endorse people who might have a change at winning elections then I would say they should take on a greater role. But given they would likely endorse lunatic candidates who will continue to have no chance at winning then I would say it’s better that they keep their mouths shut.


  5. - 47th Ward - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 12:04 pm:

    First off, I don’t think it will matter either way. A lot of the Trumpy candidates will run regardless, and will probably get some boost from NOT being endorsed by the ILGOP. Similar to that, being the ILGOP endorsed candidate will hurt some people running (see Eastern bloc).

    A political party endorsement is tantamount to running as an Establishment candidate. I don’t think that works today like it did before Trump destroyed the party.

    On the other hand, the ILGOPs would need to recruit candidates who fit the bill for a successful statewide race (without alienating down ballot races), provide resources to endorsed candidates and do all of the other things a party does to support its nominees. I don’t think they have the resources or infrastructure to thread that needle, so why bother with endorsements?

    The Illinois Republican Party is more or less in a bad spot. If they let voters decide, they have no hope of having a functional political party. If they try top-down, they might be able to nominate some good candidates, but it will be hit and miss for the reasons stated above.

    I just don’t think they have any ability to manage their voters in a way that helps the party win more general elections.


  6. - The Truth - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 12:10 pm:

    isn’t the whole point of the Party to get their people elected? Of course they should endorse.


  7. - vern - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 12:16 pm:

    === the State Party did send mail supporting State House candidates in last year’s primary ===

    Based on their win-loss record in those primaries, it all seems like a pretty moot question. There’s not much evidence that the state party can affect a primary, even when they had Griffin’s money to throw around.

    Arin Thrower, Joe Hackler, David Welter, Mark Luft, Kyle Ham, Li Arellano…


  8. - workingfromhome - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 12:22 pm:

    Until the IL GOP decides to actually attempt to produce and develop candidates who are interested in sound policy making and governing and instead of being out of touch xenophobic election denying whackadoodles, then no.


  9. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 12:24 pm:

    It seems to me that the Primary is the party endorsement process. Also up for election/re-election are the precinct committeepeople and the state central committeepeople (unless the Republicans differ from the Dems). The Primary should be driven by the voters, not the central committee. If anything, they could set up a page to educate voters and populate that page with some basic info.


  10. - OneMan - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 12:25 pm:

    No, not sure what ‘good’ it would do anyway. Might as well avoid the hassle.


  11. - Save Ferris - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 12:48 pm:

    Primaries need to “go away” and be replaced by non-partisan primaries with a top-4 runoff ranked choice voting final.

    One that’s done, the parties can do whatever they want in the first round.


  12. - Flyin'Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 12:49 pm:

    Yeah, they should, but won’t.

    Would have to take some responsibility for their super minority status. Hard to grift that way.


  13. - Homebody - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 12:51 pm:

    == Several months ago, I appointed an “Endorsement Policy Committee” to review our current policy of not endorsing in statewide primaries and compare how that is handled in other states including Virginia. That Committee has never met. ==

    Nice to see the ILGOP and the Chicago city council have the same level of committee functionality.


  14. - Lakefront - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 12:56 pm:

    If a tree falls in a forest…

    The party can go ahead and do it but there’s no real audience asking for this. As has been eluded to by other commenters, the only thing endorsements would do is give “fringe” candidates ammo that the endorsed is too establishment or liberal. It’s the natural process of things.


  15. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 12:57 pm:

    Should they take more of a role? Yes. Will they, no.

    Why the distinction between statewide and local primaries? The party endorsed the guy running against Arthur Jones in the primary. All the party silence does is give people like Jones an aspiration to run for even higher state offices because they know the party will not push back in any way like they did in the 3rd primary.

    Tracy still thinks being silent while the extremists take over the party is a good policy. It might protect his position(and those who want it in the future) in the short term, but in the long term it is a disaster for the party as a whole.

    The downsides of this policy greatly outweigh any possible upsides.


  16. - King Louis XVI - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 12:59 pm:

    The IL GOP is basically broke. What is an endorsement worth without the means to support its candidates? The effort would be a fool’s errand.


  17. - John Lopez - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 1:03 pm:

    “Save Ferris” advocates the Alaska election system implemented after voters approved it in November 2020.

    Thus far, the legacy of Alaska’s new election rule was it twice prevented former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin from being elected to the Alaska statewide U.S. House seat, in a special election and the fall election last year.

    Don Tracy splitting hairs…just because the Republicans didn’t officially endorse Richard Irvin’s gubernatorial primary campaign didn’t mean the millions of dollars of Ken Griffin money encouraged their members to openly back Irvin.

    If endorsement policy for an Illinois Republican Party statewide candidate mandates a voting record of casting a Republican ballot in the most recent 3 General Primary Elections? The same qualification would be clear the 3-straight primary rule must be in the same Illinois local election authority jurisdictions, with allowance/exception only for verified military service or verified Republican primary voting history in statewide primary elections from another state.

    That’s the same rule for Republican state central committee members. It also would have eliminated Richard Irvin from receiving an endorsement.


  18. - Politix - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 1:10 pm:

    Tough question. You really have to be careful what you wish for from the state GOP. Should the party’s extremists get more involved in finding candidates? No.


  19. - Flyin'Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 1:13 pm:

    an “Endorsement Policy Committee”

    Good grief.

    Jim Thompson would look you in the eye, tell you what he was going to do, do it, then dare you to do something about it.

    Todays ILGOP has got ‘em the size of Raisinets.


  20. - don the legend - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 1:14 pm:

    “Endorsement Policy Committee” Not sure why, but this made me think of the grease board caption in Office Space, “Planning to Plan”.


  21. - Arsenal - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 1:17 pm:

    I guess I would say “more”, but I understand that that has a cost, too. There’s so much anti-establishment sentiment out there right now, especially among Republicans, that even the perception of putting a thumb on the scale can backfire on a candidate.

    Still, the candidates who aren’t the party’s favorites have been disasters for the party, so you gotta keep those guys off the ticket.


  22. - Big Dipper - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 1:22 pm:

    The use of “fake news” tells you where on the GOP spectrum Tracy is without any explicit endorsements.


  23. - Streator Curmudgeon - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 1:30 pm:

    ==A political party endorsement is tantamount to running as an Establishment candidate.==

    As 47th Ward said, being an “Establishment” candidate (part of the Swamp) is a kiss of death as far as the Trumpists go.

    The ILGOP might like to endorse a moderate with at least a slim chance of winning, but the right wing base is not going to be educated into doing something sensible. And hence they’ll keep losing.

    Should the Party endorse? No. It can’t win either way.


  24. - ANNON'IN - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 1:32 pm:

    Generally GOPies can do less so then they turn and see the MAGA whacks. Not very tasty. Maybe they could become the Republican Wing of Illinois


  25. - Another Vote - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 1:40 pm:

    LOL. Doesn’t matter, the party is irrelevant in Illinois.


  26. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 1:50 pm:

    ===The use of “fake news” tells you where===

    Nah. He had a legit complaint.


  27. - Primate - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 2:01 pm:

    Stay out of the primary. This is what happens when you follow Rauner people. Can’t wait to see who shows up to the portrait party at the winery.


  28. - Annonin' - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 2:05 pm:

    Only Il GOPies would issue a press release to announce a committee has NOT met.


  29. - Save Ferris - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 2:18 pm:

    ===“Save Ferris” advocates the Alaska election system implemented after voters approved it in November 2020.===

    And Maine. They are substantially the same. I believe Nevada is trying a “Top 5″ system in 2024 or 2026.

    “Thus far, the legacy of Alaska’s new election rule was it twice prevented former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin from being elected to the Alaska statewide U.S. House seat”

    Yep. It works.

    I became in favor of it when Pat Quinn got to the finals of the 2010 gubernatorial election with 462,049 primary votes to face off against Bill Brady and his 155,527 primary votes. Meanwhile, Daniel Hynes and his 453,677 primary votes sat at home.

    I’m not a party guy. Government service isn’t a sports league where there are two conferences and one side each gets a guy to the finals.

    May the best people be elected.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 2:29 pm:

    ===Thus far, the legacy of Alaska’s new election rule was it twice prevented===

    No.

    The voters did not elect Palin under the system.

    Democracy isn’t about “preventing” unless it’s first preventing voters from voting at all.

    Words matter. No one prevented anyone.

    ===That’s the same rule for Republican state central committee members. It also would have eliminated Richard Irvin from receiving an endorsement.===

    You get so twisted trying to support those like Lauf who are dangerous for democracy you forget the Reagan Rule of 80% and write things posted on a webpage chock full of cultist thinkers that have no tolerance in a party let alone society

    For me, letting you and Lauf try to claim the GOP is perfect as it derails all chances the GOP cult can be relevant.

    Keep up the good work.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 2:33 pm:

    ===I became in favor of it when Pat Quinn got to the finals of the 2010 gubernatorial election with 462,049 primary votes to face off against Bill Brady and his 155,527 primary votes. Meanwhile, Daniel Hynes and his 453,677 primary votes sat at home.===

    The goal of the exercise in parties is to have primaries and support the nominees (within logical reason) because in theory 80% of what the party agrees should be found in a nominee.

    Candidates win, others lose.

    The only idea where ONE primary makes sense is the Gorilla Primary, with “50% +1” ending the whole thing, otherwise… “top 2” no matter party.

    To get this back to the post,

    Bailey getting 56% of the vote in a 6-way race tells me the cult is winning, easily, and the party has bigger problems here than worrying a “Sarah Palin” of Illinois will lose.


  32. - Rudy’s teeth - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 2:52 pm:

    When a frenetic candidate—Darren Bailey—surfaced as the Illinois GOP candidate for governor, the party lost its way.

    Bombastic, disparaging remarks directed to a portion of the state (Chicago) was a constant in the platform. Could no one in the Illinois GOP have a word with Bailey before this process began. Bailey’s remarks during his campaign were a detriment to the Illinois GOP.

    Bailey lacked the temperament and executive experience to serve in the official of governor.

    The only way Bailey would see the inside of the governor’s office is if he were pushing a broom.


  33. - Rudy’s teeth - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 2:54 pm:

    office not official. Please pardon the typo.


  34. - MG85 - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 3:23 pm:

    Good policy/decision makers change direction when current decisions/policy no longer work.

    In the last 3 election cycles, the ILGOP has lost 10 out of the last 12 statewide elections (Gov, SOS, Treasurer, Comptroller). The margins of losses, ostensibly, are getting larger. This points to very large electability problems. Problems that require new solutions.

    The party should quite aggressively aim to both find and support candidates that will win elections. A pro-choice, pro-labor, pro-gay marriage Republican that champions actual fiscal responsibility and tough on crime seems like a formidable candidate in this state.

    If the party wants to have any say in how government is run in Illinois, then that is what it will take. That kind of change require actual intervention.

    My last argument would be this: the ILDems have no problem being involved in picking statewide GOP candidates, so perhaps the ILGOP should also.


  35. - Blake - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 3:38 pm:

    They should eliminate primaries and try to pick who will put the party’s best foot forward in November.


  36. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 4:18 pm:

    ===My last argument would be this: the ILDems have no problem being involved in picking statewide GOP candidates, so perhaps the ILGOP should also.===

    This must be snark, otherwise the 56% that voted for exactly who they wanted, with the policies and virtue signally wholly attached is some sort of Jedi mind trick that the GOP voters will forever be zombies about.

    :)


  37. - Save Ferris - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 4:27 pm:

    ===The goal of the exercise in parties is to have primaries and support the nominees (within logical reason) because in theory 80% of what the party agrees should be found in a nominee.===

    That’s fine. Then they can pay for it. As a taxpayer, I either want all votes to be binding or to be allowed to vote in every primary that I pay for. Just because I want to vote for David Hoffman in a senate primary shouldn’t forbid me from voting for Andy McKenna in a gubernatorial primary if I’m paying for both.

    If parties want to pay for their own primaries and don’t want me playing spoiler if I’ve already voted in one primary, I’m good with that too. Their dime, their dance floor.

    ===The only idea where ONE primary makes sense is the Gorilla Primary, with “50% +1” ending the whole thing===

    Agreed. That’s what I’m advocating for in the Alaska / Maine model.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 22, 23 @ 4:34 pm:

    ===Just because I want to vote for David Hoffman in a senate primary shouldn’t forbid me from voting for Andy McKenna in a gubernatorial primary if I’m paying for both.===

    You’re missing the point to primaries, even Green Party or any other party. The voters deciding to participate in a primary *in illinois* know, no crossover.

    I’ve voted for a single (one) candidate in a primary because only one race for me mattered, and when November came, I voted “accordingly”

    Was McKenna worth crossing over, if the other race was likely an outcome you’d like? That’s where voting choices matter.

    ===Agreed. That’s what I’m advocating for in the Alaska===

    Alaska has “ranked” voting which I do not like at all, but it’s their choice.

    Run ‘em all, 50% + 1 is the winner, otherwise “top 2”

    The ranking, for me, is a needless step, but if they like it, then I’m happy for those states.


  39. - Conservative Veteran - Tuesday, May 23, 23 @ 10:19 am:

    The state party should always be neutral, before the primary. The primary is a time for voters to nominate, without the state party helping or hurting the campaign of any of the candidates.


  40. - TheKinghasnoclothes - Wednesday, May 24, 23 @ 11:01 am:

    Short memory folks? Don Tracy’s Sangamon County GOP did NOT ALLOW Jeannie Ives signs in the Building during her run against Bruce Rauner. His Sangamon Crowd pretty much has the policy of endorsing Candidates in the Primary. Just look at the records at the Illinois State Board of elections. You’ll find their REPUBLICAN County Board Chairman Andy Van Meter has donated to Mike and Lisa Madigan 20 years plus. What is that line about a House divided?


  41. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 24, 23 @ 11:08 am:

    ===Don Tracy’s Sangamon County GOP===

    lol

    Don Tracy chairs the state GOP, not the Sangamon County GOP.


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