CLEVELAND – Next week, delegates will be voting to nominate the candidate the majority of Republican voters chose in their state primaries, the Rules Committee decided at the Republican National Committee meeting Thursday.
After several hours of behind-the-scenes dickering, so-called "NeverTrump" Republicans were outnumbered and their attempt to allow delegates to vote their consciences, rather than reflect their districts' preferences, failed. That one action effectively assured businessman Donald J. Trump his place as the RNC's 2016 presidential nominee.
Illinois' Republican National Committeewoman Demetra DeMonte and State Rep. John Cabello are serving on this year's Rules Committee, and DeMonte told Illinois Review she was honored to have been active in whipping the vote on the proposed "Conscience clause."
"There was a small number of us that worked on Mr. Trump's behalf on that decision, and that should be a plus overall for Illinois," she said.
DeMonte's public support for Trump puts her at odds with former IL GOP State Chairman Pat Brady, whose anti-Trump rhetoric on a local radio show interview raised hackles earlier this week.
DeMonte didn't mince words in response to Brady.
"If Mr. Brady does not intend to vote for Donald Trump or vote Republican this fall, he should leave the party," DeMonte said. "Yes, he is a former state party chairman, but he left under a cloud. It's unfortunate that media goes to the disgraced former state chairman instead of talking to current leadership such as [IL GOP State Chairman] Tim Schneider, [IL RNC Committeeman] Rich Porter or myself."
DeMonte said that if Brady was still Illinois' RNC Committeeman, he would be ejected from his position for not supporting the party's chosen nominee.
Several of Illinois' top elected Republicans – including Governor Bruce Rauner, U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, and several of the GOP congressional delegation – are boycotting the Republican National Convention next week in Cleveland. DeMonte says she is proud to be on the frontlines and told Illinois Review Friday morning that she's pleased the work on the Rules Committee was so amicable.
"Some thought there would be fireworks, but everyone was respectful and everyone's opinions were heard," she said.
DeMonte said that besides the measure clarifying delegates' votes, the 2012 rule that required a nominee to win at least eight states to be considered a serious presidential candidate was returned to five states.
In addition, a measure to ban lobbyists from serving on the RNC was defeated. "Where would the line have been drawn to define 'lobbyists'?" she said, "Would lawyers, vendors, be banned? Where would that slippery slope end?"
And while the convention proceedings have been overall congenial thus far, DeMonte said security has been heightened throughout the city in light of anticipated protests on a number of issues facing the nation.
She and other Rules Committee members have already been getting hundreds of nasty emails, calling her and her colleagues names and questioning their patriotism.
But there are so many crucial issues on the table in this election, DeMonte said, she's optimistic that even those who've been less than enthusiastic about a Trump candidacy will come around.
"I do believe once that Donald Trump is nominated, we will rally around him," she said. "And while Illinois is currently not one of the key 17 states in the electoral mix, I look forward to working hard to change that.
"I think with Mr. Trump's appeal to the middle, hard-working class, Illinois could win Republican as Ronald Reagan did in 1984. Reagan appealed then to what became known as Reagan Democrats – and I was one of those," DeMonte said.
Indeed, she said, she and Rep. Cabello were just appointed to serve as co-chairs of Illinois' 2016 Trump for President campaign.
The RNC proceedings will begin Monday.
Good for her!
Thank you, so very much, for your efforts Ms. DeMonte.
Very, very much appreciated.
She really shouldn’t use the names Trump and Reagan in the same sentence.
WELL SAID, DEMETRA!
I think you summed up the opinion many of us have of Mr. Brady!
Just like at the state convention, a hand full of RINOCRATS(Brady included) tried to run rough shod over conservatives… didn’t work there either! Thank you Demetra!
And Pat Brady, I hear Madigan calling you… you better jump to toady.
Thank you, Demetra! Your comments on Pat Brady are right on target. Pat is, I think, simply an undocumented democrat claiming to be a Republican and his actions as past chair pretty much show that to be the case.
If the Republican party in general and the ILGOP in particular have any chance of continuing on it will be because of strong conservatives like you! Please keep up the good work.
I am not a Trump fan, and I’m not happy that he’s our candidate, but he won fair and square. However, I really do want a Republican to win in 2016, not the Democrats. Better chance for good Supreme Court nominees than with Clinton.
Thanks, Demetra! Great job!
You do know the actor Reagan was a Democrat, don’t you?
I’m pretty sure Bruce isn’t “boycotting” anything. He’s not a career politician, he’s a private citizen serving as Governor of Illinois and has literally limitless work to do, for us, right here in that capacity.
Frankly, I don’t know exactly why I’m going, and I’m a lot less important to the future of Illinois than Bruce is!
Thank you Ms DeMonte for stepping up and standing up to assure the pick of the people, Donald Trump, stands. Also TU & HT for standing up and addressing the party blowhards–if you cannot support a party platform, rules or its candidates, logically and realistically it is time to find a different one. Now time to unite, rally behind our candidate and get Donald J Trump elected to make ‘America Great Again!’
Pat Brady should keep his mouth shut now. The chance to make a change left the dock many many moons ago… He should have worked hard for the candidate of his choice back 12 months ago.
Good or bad, Trump won in Illinois and the Gop nomination fair and square… A vote against Trump now, is a Vote for Hillary.
Pat should show up and the local Hillary campaign HQ and start working with them.
Finally some common sense from the IL GOP!
I appreciate that someone else has called out Pat Brady.
It is also time to call out the complicit media who keep quoting him as a Republican spokesman with gravitas. He simply does not speak for most of us.
Thank you Demetra for your brave stance. We live in a Democracy. The people have spoken. Let’s get on with the work at hand, defeating Hillary Clinton.
He was also the head of a union at one point too.
And he voted for and supported FDR.
Demetra DeMonte is just another two-faced party loyalist. She regularly gives Conservatives a lot of lip service, but fails to stand with Conservatives when power and politics get in the way.
For example, it wasn’t too long ago when Bob Grogan, a conservative, CPA and Certified Fraud Examiner, ran for Treasurer in the 2014 primary against RINO Tom Cross. Not only did Demonte, as a party leader, take the unusual step of getting involved in a primary, but she actually came out in support of Cross.
Blind loyalty is nothing to be proud of or advocate for. For a party to be successful it must be able to house voices of descent. Mrs DeMonte’s attempt to strong arm party members into supporting a man they fundamentally disagree with seems as ill-fated as her support of Aaron Shock and the former chairman she now disparages.
When there was even the slight appearance that an establishment figure might support Cruz, there was a cry of “sell out” from Trump supporters. Where is that cry now? Cruz was the true anti-establishment candidate.
Career politician Ted Cruz was the anti-establishment candidate? Thanks for the nice laugh.
And btw Cruz couldn’t even win a majority of Republican votes in his home state of Texas in that state’s primary this year. The sunshine of a presidential race was not kind to Lyin’ Ted.
Where was your voice and others during the Presidential primary when Trump was one of 7 others running. Did you work for your “guy” during the primary? Did you walk doors or work phones or give money? Blind Loyalty? Whats the point of a political party. Whats really the kicker is Pat works against Trump, even though Trump won fair and square, yet He wants use to support Mark Kirk as a “loyal” Republican. Either support the Party slate or stay quiet…
Demonte great work.
In God We Trust
Succinctly stated Demetra. You deserve accolades for your tireless support of the GOP . The Supreme Court appointments alone are worth Mr, Trump’s vote. I hope you have some time to call in to WMBD . Gregg Button was a Pekinite.
Demetra deserves accolades for the thousands of tireless hours she has logged supporting the GOP . The Supreme Court appointments alone are worth Donald Trump’s supporting Voegele