Some of the Illinois Republican Party longtime elite are saying that because Donald Trump lost Illinois by 16 points, what Republicans in other surrounding states are pushing is irrelevant and maybe even detrimental to the Illinois Republican Party. It's ridiculous for the conservative wing to be upset by Governor Rauner's promotion of the Leftist social agenda because what those new state laws represent are really meaningless and don't change a thing.
What's important though is that all the divisions and factions in the state party are Speaker Mike Madigan's fault and Republicans must work together to succeed.
That's what one member of the 10th CD IL GOP Old Guard is telling State Central Committee Members, as an email sent out Thursday entitled "Chess and Illinois Politics" from Richard Porter, the Illinois GOP's National Committeeman, says. By the way, he also served as general counsel to Governor Rauner’s
transition and continues to provide advice on key legal issues confronting the state of Illinois.
Leaked to Illinois Review.com for our readers information is the email as we received it, via a credible and respected source:
State Central Committee Members,
In chess, a fork is a tactic whereby a single piece makes two or more direct attacks simultaneously. Most commonly two pieces are threatened, which is also sometimes called a double attack. The attacker gains no matter how the opponent responds; the opponent typically can only seek to mitigate the adverse impact, while pursuing his or her strategy.
It's not for nothing that Madigan has ruled Illinois for over 40 years. First, he knows the terrain — he starts with the advantage that the preferences of the state's electorate lean toward Democrats. Second, he knows how to play Illinois electoral chess.
Donald Trump lost Illinois by 16 points, even though he narrowly carried our neighboring states. Why? A glance at the electoral map is revealing:
On the other hand, Rauner won by winning the suburban counties that Clinton carried http://www.politico.com/2014-election/results/map/governor/illinois/#.Wdkac0FOmaM. Culturally, many Chicago suburbs have more in common with the suburbs of NYC or SF than they do with the suburbs of Milwaukee, Indy or St Louis. And Champaign and Peoria counties have a relatively large proportion of student and academic voters, who are culturally to the left of the other residents in those counties.
Rauner took suburbs and counties that Trump lost by taking the fight into Democratic turf http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/in-illinois-governor-s-race-republican-victory-came-behind-enemy/article_5dce84c9-cfa0-5a05-82d6-01b7e838fe2c.html. He did so by focusing on the dysfunction in Springfield that is destroying opportunities in our state. And then in 2016, we picked up legislative seats despite the Clinton landslide by again focusing on the dysfunction driven by Madigan's near despotic control over the state. We even won a House seat in Chicago!
Bear this in mind: Democrats control our legislature, Madigan controls the Democrats and so Madigan controls the agenda. So what does Madigan do with this control?
Madigan, the master player of Illinois politics, used his control of the agenda to set up a series of "forks" to blunt our advance and set the table for next year's election. Madigan's agenda is to win, so Madigan's agenda is to focus attention on anything but what's actually happening in the state. His game plan: distract, divide and diminish.
Which brings me to SB31, HB40, and the transgender license bill — three issues Madigan put on the political agenda this year.
SB31 codifies a federal court order binding on police agencies in Illinois that prohibited arrests or retention by state agencies solely on the basis of immigration status. It doesn’t limit arresting illegal immigrants for crimes, communications between ICE and state authorities, or handing over criminals who are here illegally. That's why so many law enforcement organizations and agencies endorsed the bill. Actual law enforcement practices, and the routine turnover of illegal immigrants who commit crimes to federal authorities, all continue essentially unchanged.
Today, abortion is a right the Supreme Court discovered in the penumbras of rights actually enumerated in the Constitution. Abortion rights are thus the law in Illinois, and will remain the law in Illinois unless and until 5 justices remove this right from the case law and return authority to the states. Plus, abortions were already paid for by the taxpayers of Cook County, and everywhere in Illinois abortions for low income mothers were made available by nonprofits and other agencies, but had not been more broadly funded by taxpayers until Madigan chose to push HB 40 this year.
And finally this: how many people will avail themselves of the new transgender definition in licenses?
All three of the bills implicate the differing perspectives roiling and boiling in our country. All are intertwined with the issues of race, nationality, sexuality and family that drive our cultural debates. They emanate from and reflect the very fundamental ideas we have about ourselves and how we relate to each other and even what it means to be a human being.
This is all profound stuff. Let's face it — our views on these matters are a big part of why each of us get involved in politics. So on the one hand, these bills look and feel momentous because they implicate our most basic and passionately held beliefs. On the other hand, none of these bills actually change anything about your actual, everyday life in Illinois. Despite the attention these bills have drawn, 99.99% of what Illinois government does remains unchanged after these bills.
And the one thing Madigan wants to stop is our movement to change everyday life in Illinois and what our government does.
Please humor me for a moment and consider these bills from Madigan's perspective. Why did he put these bills on the agenda — and why now? For example, HB40 changes a law he passed in 1979 — why make the change now? What's his motivation?
Madigan is preparing the field and playing for his survival. Each bill presents a cultural fork — if his opponent goes one way, his base will be distracted and divided. If he goes the other way, he riles the cultural liberals, some of whom we must convince to join us to carry Illinois.
Many on our team are not happy with the choice our Governor made when presented with Madigan's forks. He ended up making personal choices that many receiving this would not. I am not writing to tell you that you're wrong. I am not writing to tell you that one choice was good politically — either choice would bring political costs.
But I am writing to remind you that Madigan presented these bills and to ask you to see this for it is: Madigan playing the game, forcing a choice that either divides our coalition, distracts us from taking on the Democratic machine or diminishes the outreach necessary for us to be a majority.
Frankly, I feel like even discussing this plays into his hands. But I feel we must at least to the extent necessary to assess what the heck is going on.
If you see that these bills are part of Madigan's strategy then don't let Madigan play you like some pawn on his board. Channel your anger toward Madigan — don't fall into his trap of division and distraction.
If we control the legislature, none of those bills would have been passed and sent to the Governor. So, if you're upset by these bills, direct your anger at the guy who put them on the agenda. None of these were Rauner initiatives — all are the initiative of Madigan. If you find these initiatives galling, then join us in the fight to pull out the roots of the problem: we need to take the House back from Madigan.
This election is particularly crucial because we will be redistricting in 2020. If we don't find a way to stick together and add 10 percentage points to the Trump coalition that’s necessary to win the Governor's race or take the House, then we have no seat at the table in the remap. And with no seat for the remap, Madigan will be free to draw districts to maintain his power. And, with Madigan in power, not only do we lose the cultural matters about which we feel passion, but we lose on the everyday issues that are driving this state toward failure.
Focusing on winning the struggle to take back Illinois doesn't mean you're a sellout to the issues that are your passion. Channeling passion into the political challenge of building our coalition into a majority requires commitment and focus over the long term. We need to stick together, and attract more to our banner, if we are ever going to have a chance of actually achieving our goals.
My introduction to the Illinois Republican Party came in 1992 when I came with Vice President Quayle to a meeting at Arlington race track. In one conference room, we met with Governor Edgar and his supporters who spent most of the hour meeting complaining about "extremists" in our party. After the meeting broke, Quayle and I and the rest of the staff walked down the hall into another conference room where we held hands as someone said a prayer — and then most of the ensuing hour was spent listening to complaints about Edgar and his RINO supporters.
I don't recall the exact words the Vice President used as we drive back to Air Force 2, but it was not complimentary of the IRP or either faction. The last few months, I have heard and read a lot that reminds me of that scene.
We are at our best when we work together with the goal of improving Illinois instead of working as factions against each other with the goal of "improving" the Republican Party.
Thank you for your consideration.