Pat Brady Is on Way Out as Illinois Conservative Republicans Fight Against Corruption and Liberalism in GOP
By Peter LaBarbera
Hey folks, for half the day Saturday I stood inside the Tinley Park Convention Center with about 50 pro-family conservative Republicans — to protest at the quarterly Central Committee meeting against elitist corruption within the Illinois Republican Party. We were united against IL-GOP Chairman Pat Brady, who endorsed the (stalled) “same-sex marriage” bill despite the clear and principled IL-GOP platform stance affirming REAL marriage (see language below). Pro-family stalwart Karen Hayes and I held high an AFTAH banner that read, “Pat Brady Must Go; Marriage: One Man, One Woman,” and distributed an information Alert on “Why the IL-GOP Must Never Abandon its Pro-Natural Marriage Platform.”
It was exhilarating to stand with so many Illinois patriots, yet exhausting and aggravating as we were forced, like disobedient children, to wait three hours for a chance to make our voices heard to the assembled Committeemen. [Click HERE to watch a video of the exiled conservatives featuring activist Bill Kelly.] After the long wait, I and few others were finally allowed to make public comments (for just two minutes per person). But after fewer than 10 people had spoken Brady suddenly ended the session — again silencing the voices — if not the spirits — of some of the hardest-working Republicans in the state. They deserved much better.
As you can read from the Chicago Tribune account below, Brady was not voted out Saturday, but apparently he is being eased out within six weeks. After the meeting, a Central Committeeman told a group of us that “everybody got the message…There wasn’t a vote [on Brady] but there was a vote.” Translation: even GOP VIPs as notoriously out-of-touch with the grassroots as the men and women running Illinois’ Republican Party realize they can’t keep Brady at the helm for long.
And that is the best news I take away from Saturday’s dysfunctional GOP gathering: even in Illinois, where conservatives are as beaten down and disrespected as in few other states, principled Republicans and citizens (many Tea Partiers) are calling out their political “leaders” for abandoning time-tested moral values. And not just Republicans: don’t forget that it is pressure from pro-natural-marriage Democrats that has kept the Democrat-dominated General Assembly in Springfield from voting in counterfeit “gay marriage.”
One of the high points at the Tinley Park meeting occurred when a Republican official was reading from resolutions and actions just enacted by the Republican National Committee (RNC). The final RNC resolution he read was one reaffirming the national Republican Party plank defending natural marriage — and instantaneous and sustained applause erupted in the room. Clearly, supporting marriage as God ordains it — one man, one woman — is a very popular, foundational plank for Republicans. Ditching it would be a mistake of incalculable proportions — like the Party becoming “pro-choice” on abortion.
I met so many wonderful, dedicated people on Saturday — great Republicans whom Pat Brady should have been getting to know and working with rather than pushing for a divisive yet trendy “gay” agenda item popular among liberal Democrats and the media. People like Mickey Straub, the new Mayor of Burr Ridge, IL, who was so moved by the enduring values of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address — God, Liberty, Unity, and Equality — that he drove to 48 of the 50 state capitols in 50 days (he flew to Alaska and Hawaii) to read them aloud publicly. Who among us who love God and respect His moral laws — including the sanctity of life and marriage — would take issue with Straub, who says the root of America’s problems is that we as a nation have strayed from our Creator?
I fear for the future of our divinely-blessed nation for that reason, but I will fight for it and those enduring values until I die. This goes well beyond politics: God is no less defied by Republican-backed sin than Democratic sin. If those of us in this free Republic who love Truth do not defend it with greater vigor and passion than the enemies of Truth, we will not only lose the culture but the freedom to defend the principles that made America great. God bless you. — Peter LaBarbera, AFTAH.org; firstname.lastname@example.org
Chicago Tribune reported April 13, 2013
Illinois Republicans fail to oust party chairman over gay marriage April 13, 2013|
By Rick Pearson | Tribune reporter
Illinois Republican Chairman Pat Brady survived a move Saturday to immediately oust him as party chairman over his support for same-sex marriage, but top state GOP leaders approved a succession strategy that could find him replaced within the next six weeks.
The plan for a succession committee was approved as the Illinois Republican State Central Committee met behind closed doors for nearly three hours at the Tinley Park Convention Center while a raucous group of about 50 social conservative and tea party activists were kept away by police. The move appears to provide Brady with an exit strategy to leave the post he has held since August 2009.
“I’m still here,” Brady told reporters after the closed-door meeting. “I think it was a good, productive meeting. We’ll see what happens going forward.”
The succession committee plan was approved by 87 percent of the weighted votes of the GOP state central committee members. The entire membership of the state central committee will sit on the succession panel, which one member said will function as a search committee to choose Brady’s successor.
The panel is to issue its findings within 30 to 45 days, said one panel member who was not authorized to discuss the events behind closed doors and spoke on the condition of anonymity. There is no favored candidate to succeed Brady, the panel member said. No vote was taken Saturday on removing Brady.
Brady created a controversy within the state GOP in January when he endorsed pending legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois. The measure passed the Illinois Senate in February with the support of one Republican.
Supporters of the measure say they are within a dozen votes of the 60 needed for Houseapproval. Two GOP members, Reps. Ed Sullivan Jr. of Mundelein and Ron Sandack of Downers Grove, have said they will vote for it and expect other Republicans to join them.
A month ago, Brady survived an attempt to replace him that was engineered by state Sen. James Oberweis of Sugar Grove and Jerry Clarke of Urbana, two members of the state central committee. An emergency meeting to force Brady out was cancelled due to a lack of votes and lobbying by U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk’s aides in support of the incumbent GOP chairman.
Kirk later became the second Republican in the U.S. Senate to voice support for same-sex marriage.
The same-sex marriage issue has highlighted the longstanding tensions within the state Republican Party between social moderates and conservatives. But the timing of the controversy comes as leaders of the GOP at the state and national level have been looking for outreach initiatives after Republican losses for the White House and in Illinois at the congressional level.
“It’s about addition and not subtraction,” Brady said of the differing viewpoints within the GOP, “and if we come off as mean-spirited or angry or too dogmatic, then we don’t attract people to the party.”
Though Brady has said his endorsement of same-sex marriage was given personally and not as party chairman, Oberweis and others took issue. They complained that Brady should not be countermanding a plank in the state Republican platform that specifies that marriage can only take place between a man and a woman.
Brady had made it clear that he would fight attempts to be ousted. He got the chairmanship at a meeting of the GOP at Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair in August 2009 following the surprise resignation of Andrew McKenna Jr., who later ran a failed bid for the 2010 GOP governor nomination.
In Tinley Park, social conservative activists chanted “we are the party” outside the closed meeting room and banged on meeting room doors, then were later ushered into another area of the convention complex by uniformed Tinley Park police.
Mark Stern, a Republican precinct committeeman from Oak Brook, said Brady has diverted the focus of the GOP and hurt its ability to move beyond minority party status.
“I think Pat has brought this upon ourselves by forcing this issue,” Stern said. “We need to talk about the 80 percent we agree on. He’s focusing on the parts we disagree on and creating a wedge issue for the party and I think it would be more responsible for him to step down and let somebody come in who could unite the party.”
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