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HomeIllinois News13 Chicago GOP committeemen to be ousted for voting in Democrat primaries

13 Chicago GOP committeemen to be ousted for voting in Democrat primaries



Chicago GOP's Chris Cleveland accused the Democrat Party of attempted infiltrations in 2015 

CHICAGO – Thirteen Chicago GOP ward committeemen will be fired at Wednesday night's Cook County GOP convention for either having voted in the Democrat primaries over the past eight years and being accused of illicit behavior. 

"For first time in generations, the Chicago Republican Party is free of Democrat influence," said Chicago Republican Party Chairman Chris Cleveland. "It's a new era for aggressive Republican action against Chicago Democrats. We've had enough of the corruption."

While Cook County GOP Chairman Aaron Del Mar gave Daily Herald's Kerry Lester a slightly different version in which he took sole credit for the move, a press statement sent out this afternoon says the Cook County GOP and the Chicago GOP worked together to make the "move to end Democrat control over several Republican ward organizations." 

Among those expelled were two individuals placed by House Speaker Mike Madigan in the 13th and 23rd Wards, an individual placed by Alderman John Arena in the 45th Ward, and an individual placed by Alderman Emma Mitts in the 37th Ward, the statement issued Wednesday afternoon says.

"In each case the petitions for the 'Republican' candidate had been circulated by precinct captains for his or her Democrat sponsor. In Madigan's district, the 'Republican' committeeman had circulated petitions for Madigan's fake Republican opponent in 2014," the statement says.

In the 20th Ward, the "Republican" candidate is the mother of the Democrat Committeeman. In other cases, the "Republican" candidate had never voted in a Republican primary, and many had life-long Democrat voting records.

In one case, a faux GOP committeeman was expelled because he allegedly committed multiple felonies, including solicitation of murder.

At the end of 2014, Madigan and former Democrat Governor Pat Quinn signed into legislation changes to the election code which transferred control of election judges from the Republican County Chairman to local Republican ward organizations.

The changes gave Democrats incentive to run loyal Democrats for Republican ward committeeman so that they could control all of the election judge positions in the polling place. By law, the ward committeeman from each party is allowed to appoint half of the election judges. Complete Democrat control would bar Republican party representatives from a polling place, opening the door to voter fraud.

In response to Madigan's moves, Republican committeemen made changes to the bylaws of the Cook County Republican Party disqualifying any committeeman who had taken a Democrat ballot in a recent election.

"It's an outrage that an open Democrat would try to head the Republican Party in a ward," said Cook County Republican Party Chairman Aaron Del Mar. "Fortunately, we've put a stop to it.

"The city and county parties worked together to make this happen," the statement said.

Del Mar told the Daily Herald he will not be seeking re-election as Cook County GOP Chairman Wednesday night.

Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison confirmed to Illinois Review he is seeking the office Wednesday night. 

Yes, I do plan on running, and if I am ever so fortunate to be elected I plan on the following:

So briefly - 

Raise money for operations

Hire an full time executive director

Raise money

Recruit and place republicans in elected offices along the COMPLETE spectrum of elective offices

Raise money

Provide politics tools and training  to committeemen as needed

Raise money

Continue and expand the election judge program

Raise money

Sync the county party and efforts with the state party for greater efficiencies, and effective results

Raise money

More to come after the meeting.


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  1. What a crock of horse manure! First off; a duly elected committeeman cannot be removed as committeeman unless convicted of a felony. Secondly; Cleveland and Del Mar had ample opportunity to challenge the petitions of the committeemen in question while they were candidates for that office. Lastly; Del Mar was a staunch Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter(even hosting a fundraiser for her)in 2012. Del Mar, the Democrat, infiltrated the GOP and has the gall to call others out on the carpet? Under these new “GOP Rules,” Bruce Rauner would be ousted. This is just as bad as the bounty placed on Richard M. Daley’s head by the Cook / Chicago GOP years ago. And they wonder why the Republican Party in Cook County is irrelevant.

  2. The chairmanship of the clownish Aaron Del Mar is at an end. A buffoon to the end, he appeared at his final meeting as a presiding officer wearing a faded political t-shirt. While Morrison may be a less than ideal successor, he had the redeeming virtue of not being Aaron Del Mar. Tonight’s meeting was poorly planned and totally disorganized — a fitting testimonial to Del Mar’s lack of professionalism. While he cited family considerations as the reason for his not seeking reelection, the reality is that even his former allies were unwilling to support him for an additional term. Morrison’s election was never seriously in doubt since he had secured numerous proxy votes prior to the meeting. The start of the meeting was delayed because Del Mar chose to eat supper rather than beginning the meeting on time.

  3. One of the important functions of the Cook County Republican Chairman is to recruit and slate candidates for office. Within recent memory, the Republican Party has elected candidates for such offices as Sheriff and State’s Attorney. In the more distant past, there were even Republicans elected Cook County Board President, Treasurer, and Regional Superintendent of Schools.
    Under Del Mar, the Republican Party of Cook County seldom filed complete slates of candidates. Look at the empty Republican primary ballot for the March 15, 2016 election: no candidate for Recorder of Deeds and no candidates for the Water Reclamation District, barring one candidate for a partial term.
    Del Mar made calls following the primary and withdrew his candidacy when it was apparent that he lacked sufficient support to make a credible bid for reelection as chairman. The only people who will miss Del Mar are his Democratic friends who preferred to run unopposed.

  4. “Del Mar was a staunch Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter(even hosting a fundraiser for her)in 2012.” Well, if he voted in any Democratic primary in the past eight years, he became ineligible to serve as chairman on march 9, 2016 when the bylaws were changed.