Guest Column: Illinois Tea Party Patriots asks—what’s up with Republicans in Illinois?
S.B. 600 will restore accountability to state Republican leadership
By Jane Carrell
The Illinois Tea Party Patriots and affiliated groups across Illinois ask, “What do leaders in the Republican Party have against the S.B. 600 reform?” More than 70 groups are affiliated with Illinois Tea Party Patriots, Inc., and many are in agreement that state Republican leadership has not answered to its members since the late 1980s, when, under Gov. “Big Jim” Thompson, election of the State Central Committee was no longer by direct vote in Republican primary elections. Before that, for a century, the people had chosen State Central Committeemen.
By contrast, Democrats in Illinois allow voters in Democrat primaries to select who will represent them on the party Central Committee.
The bill, S.B. 600, is co-sponsored in the Illinois House by three Republicans, Mike Fortner, Ed Sullivan Jr., and Dave Winters, and by Democrat Lou Lang. The bill passed the Senate in April of 2009, with 14 sponsors, including local Senators Dave Syverson (Rockford) and Brad Burzynski (DeKalb, Dixon). The original sponsor of the bill was Sen. Chris Lauzen (Aurora).
Election by primary voters would allow for a more vibrant, representative leadership. The law makes the party Central Committee consist of a man and a woman from each Illinois congressional district, and applies to both major parties. If not passed by Dec. 1 in the veto session, the bill to make uniform the way state central committees are elected is dead.
Former U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, as fine and principled a senator as has ever served the state of Illinois, endorsed S.B. 600 in 2009. http://republicannewswatch.com/wp/?p=8628
For more information, see the state Tea Party website www.illinoistea.org or call (815) 277-1144.
Jane Carrell is the Northern IL Tea Party Coordinator.
From the Dec. 1-7, 2010 issue
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