-By Warner Todd Huston
For years now thousands of rank and file Republicans have been trying to get SB600 passed in Springfield. This bill would allow us regular, lowly voters to actually vote for our GOP leadership on the GOP State Central Committee.
Unfortunately, Republican voters are not allowed to vote for their own leadership in Illinois. This good old fashioned way of electing leaders is not only truly American, but, heck, even the Democrats in Illinois have this capability! But we Republicans do not. This is almost impossible to understand. Why do Democrats vote for their own leaders while Republicans cannot? How is it that even the most corrupt political party in the nation, the Illinois Democrat Party, still allows its voters to elect its party leaders yet the Illinois Republican Party does not allow its own voters such luxury?
Well, it might be easier to understand why this anti-democratic style of power politics is forced on Illinois Republicans when it is realized that it is the party leadership that appoints its own favorites to those positions of party power. The voters need not inquire nor have a say at all.
This is how we ended up with gutwrenchingly bad “leaders” like Andy McKenna in the Illinois GOP establishment. McKenna never got elected to anything in his life. He is a failure at everything he’s ever tried, yet he was elevated to GOP Party Chairman in Illinois because he had pals at the top. It most certainly wasn’t because voters wanted him. And with the horrid job he did as GOP Chair he most certainly will never find favor with Illinois rank and file voters.
Anyway, this was a long way around to discuss what is going on with SB600 today. The bill has been brought to the floor of the House at least once. In that vote Democrat Majority Leader Michael Madigan voted “yes.” Our own leader, Republican Tom Cross, voted against allowing Republicans to vote for our own leadership.
Now Cross is pretending that he has no control over bringing SB600 to the floor again. In a letter his office is sending to constituents that have contacted him about the bill, Cross is blaming the lack of movement on the Democrats.
“Unfortunately,” his letter reads, “the Speaker has the sole power to call this bill for a vote. I have no idea what his intentions are because he will not share this information with us.” Such as it is, this is all true. But only just.
You see the fact is that Michael Madigan is not against SB600. He is not against bringing the bill to the floor. All Mr. Cross need do is give Speaker Madigan a phone call and ask him to bring the bill up and it isn’t likely that he’d see any reason not to. After all, the Speaker voted FOR the thing!
This letter that Tom Cross is sending about the state is weak tea, indeed. The fact of the matter is that it isn’t the Democrats that are trying to keep Republicans from being able to vote for their own leadership. It is our own leader, Tom Cross. And he’s doing it to protect his own fiefdom.
The failure of SB600 to pass shows that there are NO Tea Partiers in Springfield.