By DOUG IBENDAHL • May 20, 2012
If a majority of delegates attending the 2012 Illinois Republican State Convention (June 8th and 9th in Tinley Park) adopt the resolution below, it will ring in historic change for our Party, one that will make our Illinois GOP fundamentally stronger and more effective.
While the first election under the better system won’t occur until the General Primary Election of 2014, we should see immediate improvement even from the members of the current State Central Committee. The knowledge that all will face a real election at a date certain, should motivate all of the incumbents to start doing a better job. Such is the power of real elections.
Our Republican lawmakers in Springfield have failed to accomplish the direct election reform legislatively (SB 35 and formerly SB 600). The good news is rank-and-file Republicans can finish the job on their own in Tinley Park. The resolution below relies on statutory language that long pre-dates SB 35 and SB 600. When the right to vote was taken away from us in the late 1980’s, a provision was left in Illinois law that allows our Party to return to direct elections – but only at a State Convention. SB 35 was simply about accomplishing the reform outside of a State Convention since our State Party only holds one every four years.
Here’s the process. The resolution below needs the majority vote of the 19 members of the Platform and Resolutions Committee which meets on Friday of the Convention (June 8th). Following that committee’s passage, the next day (Saturday, June 9th) the resolution goes to the floor of the Convention to be voted up-or-down by all of the assembled delegates.
If it passes on Saturday, June 9, that’s it. It’s done. You’ve helped make history. You’ll have restored a fundamental right that should never have been taken away from Republican voters in the first place.
Doug Ibendahl is a Chicago Attorney and a former General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party.