By DOUG IBENDAHL • April 15, 2011
Good news: 72 hours after Republican News Watch made the demand, Craig Pesek has resigned as one of the 19 members of the Illinois GOP’s State Central Committee.
Kudos to reporter Steve Warbir of the Chicago Sun-Times. It’s from his latest article this morning that we learn of Pesek’s resignation.
After Warbir and the Sun-Times published the first installment of this explosive story on Monday, it was obvious Pesek had to go. This one was a no-brainer from the start.
The job of a GOP official is to build the party, and any reasonable person could see Pesek would only drive voters away. Still, State GOP Chairman Pat Brady and the old guard that directs him initially attempted to circle the wagons this week. Our phone calls to several top GOP officials over the past few days urging them to join us in demanding Pesek’s resignation were all rebuffed. All had the same “it’s not our job to send him to jail” talking point – as if that’s even remotely the standard for whether a party official should stay or go.
Today’s latest from the Sun-Times still has Pat Brady claiming Pesek did “nothing wrong.” The fact that we’ve got a state chairman who would say such a thing even after learning that Craig Pesek’s brother testified in federal court that Craig hid from City of Chicago licensing officials a convicted drug dealer’s ownership stake in a controversial nightclub – is another major concern in itself.
Serious Republicans simply have to deal with the rotten apples one at a time. Today, one is gone. It’s very positive and welcome news.
Now we need to restore real elections for this key party post. The Illinois House must move quickly to pass SB35.
Direct, open, and real elections. That’s the only realistic way to cut down on the number of rotten apples we get in the future.
Doug Ibendahl is a Chicago Attorney and a former General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party.