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HomeIllinois NewsCook County GOP chairman slams Chicago GOP for endorsing Ives over Rauner

Cook County GOP chairman slams Chicago GOP for endorsing Ives over Rauner



Chicago GOP Chairman Chris Cleveland was slammed by Cook County GOP Chm Sean Morrison

CHICAGO – Thursday Illinois Review reported that the Chicago GOP held a straw poll among the group's committeemen, and Republican challenger Jeanne Ives won over incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner with a 17 to 3 vote. 

That news prompted an agitated response from Cook County GOP chairman Sean Morrison posted on the Cook County GOP website. In that announcement, Morrison condemned Chicago Republican Party chairman Chris Cleveland as holding the straw poll with the expressed intent to "usurp the statutory authority" of the Cook County Republican Party and Morrison himself by "illegitimately claiming the authority to appoint individuals to the position of Ward Committeeman."

That's not the whole story, Cleveland told Illinois Review via email after reading Morrison's post.

"…[T]he committee passed a resolution allowing me to appoint 'acting' committeemen, because we have 18 vacancies — 18 wards without a Republican committeeman," Cleveland said. "Sean Morrison refuses to appoint anyone in these wards. It's been a year and a half. We can't recruit and place election judges in these wards. It leaves the Democrats with zero opposition in some of the worst precincts in the city."

Cleveland said the Chicago GOP has repeatedly sent Morrison lists of good people, but he ignores them. Finally, the committee got so upset that they asked Cleveland to appoint someone, anyone, in these wards to get things going.

"So I did," Cleveland said. "If he had done his job, it wouldn't have been necessary. And we wrote the bylaws so that he can override my choice of an 'acting' committeeman at any time simply by appointing a full committeeman."


Morrison said the Chicago Republican Party was a private club that holds no statutory authority within the Cook County GOP. "Thus, Mr. Cleveland has no authority to make any appointments to the position of Ward Committeeman and to indicate otherwise is pure deception," Morrison said.

Cleveland responded, declaring the Chicago Republican Party is not club, despite Morrison and his deputy chairman Aaron Del Mar's insistence otherwise.

"It's a municipal Republican Party with the same legal status as the county party," Cleveland said. "It would benefit them both to read Illinois election code, 10 ILCS 5/7-8 (h) Municipal Central Committee.

Morrison pointed directly at the dispute as a battle between challenger Jeanne Ives and incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner campaigns. Cleveland is Ives' campaign chairman and Morrison accepted a $25,000 donation through the IL GOP that ties directly to Rauner's $4.5 million donation to the party over the past couple of months.

“I recognize that Mr. Cleveland plays a very prominent role as Campaign Chair for the Jeanne Ives campaign for governor and he has a right to support the candidate of his choice. But, that does not mean that he can manipulate the use and influence of his role as Chairman of the Chicago Republican Club to mislead individuals into the belief that he can appoint them to the position of Ward Committeeman. His sole intent was to manufacture some sort of perceived endorsement for his candidate Jeanne Ives,” said Chairman Morrison.

Then the rhetoric notched up.

"Mr. Cleveland’s actions are nothing more than a blatant exploitation of his club and its By-Laws and are eerily reminiscent of the actions taken by former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz when she helped rig the DNC support and primary election in favor of Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders," Morrison went on to say. "Mr. Cleveland’s unilateral actions are an attempt to de-legitimize the vote and influence of every single Republican Committeeman in Cook County."

That's simply not the case, Cleveland said. 

"The vote happened to be the same meeting as our straw poll, but none of the votes of the acting committeemen were tallied in the result we reported," Cleveland said. "The vote was 17 to 3, with 2 abstentions. 22 committeemen, all of who were either elected or appointed by Sean Morrison himself." 

And why did committeeman of only 20 of Chicago's 50 Wards participate in the straw poll? 

"Because we're down 18 wards, leaving 32 committeemen, and 10 of them were either out of town or otherwise unavailable. It's pathetic that Morrison has left us this understrength," Cleveland said.

"Sean Morrison is either a nitwit or a Democratic plant who needs to resign for the good of the party. Get out of the way so someone else can do the job," he said. 

Illinois Review
Illinois Review
Founded in 2005, Illinois Review is the leading perspective and source of conservative news, opinion and information in Illinois. Follow Illinois Review on X at @IllinoisReview.


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  1. Bumped up from an earlier thread for greater visibility (and slightly edited):
    Why did (Republican) County Chairman Morrison promise a December meeting of the Cook County Republican Central Committee last September, but (subsequently) failed to issue a call for such a meeting? Could it be that he realized that… an endorsement of Rauner might not be a certainty?
    So now (Morrison) and his deputy (Del Mar), a Rauner hireling, fault the City (Republican) Committee for calling a meeting and conducting a straw poll that favored Ives.

  2. No wonder we can’t get good Republican candidates to run in IL. It would benefit the party as a whole if all “factions” came together for the good of the state. Or is that too much for the voters to ask? Likely…SMH!

  3. Morrison does not believe in fielding local Republican candidates (except for outlying suburban districts). As for countywide races, the Republican ballot is almost empty. Imagine, the scandal plagued Joe Berrios and the unpopular Toni Preckwinkle did not rate a challenge from Republican opponents.

  4. Can you really expect that “all factions” ought unite, “for the good of the Republican party” when the RINO crowd really has no Republican ideas or ideals, whatsoever.
    That is about as absurd and futile as if you suggested that the Marxist-Leninists should unite with the Liberal Constitutional party in St. Petersburg in 1917 – “for the good of Russia.”
    When the left-of-center South American, Eloise Gersen, was chair of the Chicago Republican party, before Cleveland – she lined her own pockets by having the party rent her, wildly inconvenient rental property and ignored the appointment of real Republicans as committeemen and election judges.
    To call her a RINO, would have been too kind. She was practically a “Democrat-in-drag.”
    I know it is is daunting task to try and reform the corrupt Chicago and Cook County Republican organizations. I wouldn’t bother to even try. But I admire Chris Cleveland for trying.

  5. I have been fighting the cowardly Cook County Democratic Party government POLITICAL mafia for 30 years. This organized crime family is run by a few veteran politicians including Mike Madigan, Ed Burke, Joe Berrios and JOHN DALEY.
    Media, by practical definition, refuse to report on this mobocracy for 50 years. Media refuse to tell you that Illinois Republican chairman Tim Schneider and Cook County Republican Chairman Sean Morrison, both Cook County chairmen answering to DEMOCRAT JOHN DALEY (Cook County Finance Chairman), refuse to run opposition (candidates/campaigns) against the Democratic Party.
    This is text book organized political corruption. This is vintage Chicago-style government criminal action. This is the political criminality that stole our White House for JFK in 1960, taking it away from Richard Nixon. This is the political action that catapulted anti-American/anti-Christian Barack Hussein Obama into our White House. There is decades of explosive political criminality to fill many books. If you doubt this, ask yourself why Chicago is notorious for political corruption, yet very few elected officials go to prison. Ask yourself why the Daley, Madigan and Burke families have been associated with Chicago (Illinois) political corruption for 50 years, and none of these elected officials have been prosecuted, much less imprisoned. We’ll note that one or two non-elected officials of Daleys’ relatives went to jail. One example is an extremely light sentence, extremely delayed, (political favor) for a relative convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Hello Daley political ally Anita Alvarez?!
    Ask many more questions, including this one: Why in Chicago, Illinois which is the most broke and most POLITICALLY corrupt place in our United States of America, has former Cook County states Attorney Anita Alvarez and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan NOT indicted any long-time entrenched politicians? Not one!
    One can write tomes on the history of Chicago political corruption/crimes! I hope these books can be written; I hope that I can at least be a co-author. (I hope I’m not prevented by having my head cut off).
    That’s history. Now it’s 2018. Suffice it for now to ask yourself a question: “Why are Schneider and Morrison, in such a corrupt 2018 field, not running serious crime-fighting Republican candidates for several offices including Cook County Sheriff, Illinois Secretary of State, Cook County Clerk and Cook County Board President!?”
    The answer is: Sean Morrison and Tim Schneider are working for the Democratic Party mafia. Schneider and Morrison are real life double agents.
    Because of the sophisticated deep state and of course MEDIA, the American citizens are not getting this information, but rather, they are getting FAKE NEWS.
    P.S. A dumbed-down American citizenry MUST BE INFORMED that the term “double agent“ is not just a term describing fictional characters in James Bond 007 Hollywood movies.
    Carl Segvich, Candidate for Cook County Commissioner-11th district, 11th Ward Republican Committeeman-Chicago, “snitcher” for the greater good of our United States of America

  6. It would be nice if the “factions” could get together, but the faction run by Dan Profit, wants to control all, and will only support candidates that are compliant puppets, picked by Dan’s star chamber.

  7. Sean Morrison saved the people of Cook County from the Pop Tax. He gets results. All Chris Cleveland does is lose elections. Jeanne Ives, Ammie Kessem and Amanda Biela will all lose by more than 30 points because Never Trump Moron Chris Cleveland is helping their campaigns.

  8. Morrison opposed Trump in the primaries and worked for Kasich (who did not even get on the ballot in most states).
    No Republican candidates for County Board President, Assessor and Sheriff filed for this election cycle. Candidate recruitment used to be a function of the county chairman.
    Enjoy your soft drink.

  9. No soup, thank you for helping to expose… using your time on these girls. We have to do our own recruitment. We have a country to save. This is urgent. This is for no-nonsense Patriots. I have no fun describing these people as scum. But as you see, we do have to expose. They are POLIITICAL Scum. They are traitors to our nation. They are treasonous. They are unmitigated COWARDS. Just because of the fact that they are money whores/political sluts, and little kids/bad actors posing as “ public officials” , the very existence of our nation is in jeopardy. They are AFRAID to go get a real job in the world. Again, we have a nation to save.

  10. Just to correct some false slurs, Eloise Gerson never rented her office to the GOP and instead gave it free of charge as in kind donations to the City and County parties. She never made a dime off the GOP – quite the opposite, as she has donated many tens of thousands to the party and its candidates. Calling her “left of center” is some kind of joke. She also didn’t need to get appointed Committeemen as she and Tom Swiss put in many hours to recruit Committeeman candidates for primary election and even personally circulated petitions for them. I’ve watched many times as Eloise has gone door to door in freezing temps for Republicans. She also stood up against sexual harassment long before the current wave. All of it received zero appreciation from party officials, of course. That’s the way it works in the Illinois GOP.

  11. This is the one abiding tragedy of the Rauner Era beyond the failure to enact a “Turn Around Agenda.” As governor, he was uniquely positioned to restructure the Republican Party, particularly in Cook County, which was and is in need of being swept clean with a stiff broom. Rauner contented himself to play ball with the bad actors, the shady operators, and the corrupt elements who could be bought off. He never made an effort to reach out to empower the better people.

  12. One way to decide what republican organization is recognized by the; County, city and state board of elections is simple: who’s signature is needed to assign credentials and whose signature is needed to confirm election results? The answer is plain and simple the chairman of the cook County Republican Central committee.
    Morrison_ is right Chicago GOP is a Club!

  13. Read the Election Code someday which provides for a Municipal Committee of established political parties (10 ILCS 5/7-8(h) is the statutory citation).
    Many of the “club” members that you are belittling are Ward Committeemen who collected signatures, filed petitions, appeared on the primary ballot and were duly elected. Their elections were legally certified, not by Morrison, but by the Cook County Clerk.
    Morrison’s own position is dependent upon the vote of these “club” members and I suspect he will not get many of them next April given his false statements.

  14. Maybe you haven’t gotten the memo, Catherine. But many of us who have been walking precincts, contributing financially and even managing Republican campaigns for decades – no longer consider ourselves Republicans.
    We are Independents – who trend to vote Republican.
    Republicans like to think we are in their pockets and can just take us for granted and betray our kids and our families, and just run out and try to add to their base by pandering to LaRaza, abortionists and all manner of Democrat socialists.
    It’s not that way anymore. Republicans have to reach out to us – or they will lose.
    And deservedly so.
    We are conservative independent voters.

  15. Oh Stevie – maybe Eloise Gerson was a flaming conservative and devoted worker by New Trier standards. But she was a drain on a GOP party by any standards of real conservatives and real party activists.
    Do you mean that she didn’t take a tax write-off for her contribution of that ridiculous hole-in-the-wall unrentable property of hers in the heart of Wicker Park – just down the block from the IL Socialist Workers’ Party office?
    That was the Cook Co. Republican Party and McCain for President office in 2008 – off the beaten path – in a high crime area – with no parking – in a wildly left-wing hipster doofus neighborhood.
    If you want to defend that, be my guest.

  16. “[W]hy did committeeman of only 20 of Chicago’s 50 Wards participate in the straw poll?”
    Actually, 22 Wards participated: 17 were for Ives, 3 for Rauner, and 2 voted to abstain. Abstentions also count as having voted.
    Based upon the weighted votes represented there was a legal quorum present.

  17. In kind donations are not tax-deductible. Eloise has done plenty for 20 years. I don’t know what you are talking about on McCain bit, since in late 2008 Eloise was City Chairman and the office was in full time use by the Party. Eloise routinely made the office available (for free) for general election nominees to store yard signs, meet volunteers, etc. So stop the empty flailing, as this looks a bit silly. Who put you up to this, since you so plainly have no clue on your subject?

  18. Sorry to disagree, but the campaign contribution disclosures available from the State Board of Elections do not bear out some of your allegations. Eloise Gerson has routinely supported Republican candidates, include some of the brave loyalists who were facing exceptionally long odds in difficult races against entrenched Democratic incumbents. I cannot address your dislike of the former office in Wicker Park.