Yesterday I attended the Downers Grove Township Republican Organization meeting. The September meeting was billed to be a big event for us since the petition season has begun and elected officials were in large supply hoping that the face time would translate into support and votes. It was a full house with the candidates and their representatives lining three of the room’s four walls. The meeting was carried on as normal with the introduction of the elected officials when Illinois Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno decided to make a few comments after her introduction.
Senator Radogno lamented about the division that exists in Downers Grove Township over the 81st state seat. The candidates petitioning for the Republican side that we know about are State Senator Ron Sandack (the new map put him in the same district as Senator Radogno), Debbie Boyle (a member of the District 99 School Board), and Charlie Schneider of Naperville. The root of the controversy is the polarizing effect of Senator Sandack. Senator Radogno as well as the township’s other state senator, Kirk Dillard, had thrown their support behind Sandack even before he announced he was running. This has caused what Senator Radogno feels is a backlash against her. In her scolding of the DGTRO she accused members (no name or names mentioned) of removing her sign from the local campaign headquarters because of her support for Sandack. She admonished the committeemen for chosing to support another Republican candidate, and gave a pre-scolding for the rumors (emphasis on rumors - this is not true) she has heard that if Sandack wins the primary, some “R”s would turn into “D”s and support the Democratic Party candidate in his race and hers. We were told that we need to be unified as Republicans. “Ron Sandack is in my caucus and I will continue to work with him,” Senator Radogno said. This was not a plea. This was an ORDER to do as we were told.
SENATOR RADOGNO, WITH YOUR VOTING RECORD, YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO TELL ME HOW TO BE A REPUBLICAN.
Some committeemen walked out of the room to calm down after the minority leader’s whiny display. I coped by chewing my gum harder.
The keynote speaker was the new Chairman of the DuPage County Republican Party, Randy Ramey. Ramey is looking to rebuild the county party by actually working, rather than coasting like his predecessor, Dan Cronin. I commend him for that. What I have a problem with is his “good cop” approach to play off Radogno’s “bad cop.” Ramey was not as direct, and did not mention the 81st District, but he said that we run into the problem of being divided, where the democrats do not. He talked about how they have their primaries and after it is over they are unified, while Republicans have a hard time doing that. He said that after the primary, we need to get behind the winner (naturally) and speak with the same message.
Oh…we may have a problem here chairman. For too long, Illinois Republicans have been pushing conservatives to the back of the bus to maintain their little fiefdoms in Springfield. While this has been going on, Blagojevich and Quinn have been ruining our state. That was on YOUR watch. You may not have been County GOP Chairman, but you have been in the leadership.
Thousands of us are getting involved. We just can’t vote for the “R” anymore and hope you guys get your heads out of your asses long enough to save ours. It is time for us to help ourselves. Senator Radogno and Chairman Ramey, you have to start listening to us. Ignoring us doesn’t beat us into submission. It makes us look for alternatives like Florida and Texas. It makes us look to ourselves for new leadership so we don’t have to leave our beloved homes. This is why I and many others have found the tea party. Wake up.