By DOUG IBENDAHL • May 3, 2016
You still have time to become a delegate or alternate delegate to the 2016 Illinois Republican State Convention in Peoria which takes place on Friday, May 20, and Saturday, May 21.
But you need to hurry. Rumor has it that Wednesday, May 11 is the final cutoff to be slated as a delegate or alternate delegate to Peoria, although no party official apparently feels the need to share the plan with the rank-and-file.
Friday, May 20 is when all of the convention committees meet and those are important. But Saturday the 21st is the only day all delegates meet together as a convention. If you can only attend one day, it would be Saturday and in fact many delegates only come for that day.
That basic schedule is based on past conventions. Unfortunately our State Party is once again not being transparent. Only minimal information on the convention is provided on the State Party website. If you are unable to secure a delegate or alternate delegate spot, you can still attend as a guest. But the State Party still requires the same $50 registration fee.
Illinois law clearly specifies that delegates to the state convention were supposed to have been chosen at the county GOP conventions which were held on April 13. But most counties didn’t follow the law and even those counties that did likely still have vacant spots to fill. One delegate is allotted for each 500 Republican votes cast at the March 15 Primary Election.
Most counties are still filling their delegate spots right now.
Failure to fill the delegate spots at the county conventions means the power to appoint now rests exclusively with your GOP county chairman. There are two exceptions. In Cook County, the power is delegated by law to GOP ward committeemen in Chicago and GOP township committeemen in suburban Cook. And in DuPage County, the party has on its own delegated the selection power to the GOP township chairmen.
So call and email this week and ask to be appointed to any remaining delegate slot. And don’t forget that each county gets an equal number of alternate delegate positions. That’s your back-up. Some party officials may not volunteer that information.
You may have to do some homework on your own to find your contact. This is another area where our party mostly does a horrible job. The State Party has only minimal contact information for the county parties here (although some county parties do have their own websites, so try Google). The Cook County GOP has township committeemen information here, but the information on Chicago ward committeemen is absurdly incomplete and in some cases simply wrong. That’s here. Again, you’ll have to research on your own. Information for DuPage GOP township chairmen does appear to be complete. That list is here.
For more on this month’s Illinois Republican State Convention and the crucial importance to Trump supporters see: Help Donald Trump Un-Rig The Always Rigged Illinois GOP Convention.
Doug Ibendahl is a Chicago Attorney and a former General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party.