GOP doubles down on irrelevance in Illinois

By DOUG IBENDAHL • November 28, 2012

 

On Tuesday, the newly elected class of Republican state representatives (or at least what’s left of them) re-rubberstamped Tom Cross for another two year term as House Minority Leader. The vote was reportedly unanimous and was taken behind closed doors.

 

And then on Wednesday night, the newly elected class of Republican state senators re-rubberstamped Christine Radogno for another two year term as Senate Minority Leader.

 

Cross ran unopposed on the House caucus side.

 

The Illinois House is now down to 47 Republicans come January (versus 71 Democrats). While GOP ranks in the Illinois House have severely dwindled over the years, you might think one spine could be assembled from 47 survivors.

 

No dice.

 

Radogno was challenged for her leadership post by downstater Kyle McCarter. But McCarter’s bid was doomed from the start. When recently asked whether he thought Pat Brady should resign as Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, McCarter said no. McCarter apparently has no problem with the job Pat Brady’s done. Similarly, McCarter refused to say a peep about Tom Cross.

 

Had McCarter shown some semblance of being a serious leader – had he called for much needed change across the board at the top, maybe he would have had a chance. Or at least others might have taken him seriously.

 

McCarter instead gave the impression he thinks the Republican Party’s only problem in Illinois is that it has too many women in leadership and not enough angry white males. Probably not the lesson most others drew from the decimation of the GOP earlier this month.

 

I wrote the day after the election that Tom Cross, Pat Brady and Christine Radogno all needed to do the right thing and resign their leadership positions for the good of our Party. (I also said it was nuts to try and single out Radogno and no one else.)

 

Unfortunately, we’re stuck with a bunch of Republican officials who clearly aren’t interested in doing the right thing.

 

Republican state representatives and state senators chose this week to keep enabling failure and have proven once again they aren’t serious.

 

None of them should be surprised when they aren’t taken seriously by Republican voters.

 

Doug Ibendahl is a Chicago Attorney and a former General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party.

END

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