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Will Rauner Pull the ILGOP further left? State Central Committee Elections Next Test



2016 Illinois State Convention platform committee meets | McHenry Co Blog photo

CHICAGO – Illinois Republican voters were split 51 to 49 percent between a liberal Republican incumbent governor and a conservative state representative in the March 20th primary. The results revealed a dramatic contrast between the party leaders and the GOP base.

In the wake of a party-dividing primary that is still a sore spot among those voters committed to the conservative party platform, another test of the party's future will be April 18th. That's when county precinct committeemen gather to pick who will represent them on the State Central Committee. Party activists are expressing concern. 


Illinois' Republican National Committeewoman and co-chair of the Trump Illinois campaign, told Illinois Review Saturday that the vote will be very important. She did not personally endorse in the 2018 IL GOP gubernatorial primary. 

"These last few months have been a time of bitter primary battles. The primary is over and we have selected our candidates. This should be a time for reconciliation – bringing together all sides so we can be victorious in November," Demonte said.

"Sadly, it is my understanding there is an effort to thwart conservatives who are running for re-election on the State Central Committee. This effort  is counterproductive and will most assuredly backfire in November. If we are to be victorious in November we will need our army of conservative activists…and most of all our conservative voters. How else can we defeat the juggernaut of the Democrat machine?" 

But the wounds are deep – and for many, irreparable. Governor Rauner won by running ad after ad focused on what amounted to lies about his challenger, Jeanne Ives. Rauner misled uninformed voters to believe Ives was a Madigan co-hort, when Ives has been one of the House's most vocal opponents to the Speaker. That type of win should never be rewarded, Republicans are saying. Many are discouraged, insulted and wounded. They're planning to stay at home in November – something that could be devastating for down-ticket Republicans.


Illinois Tea Party leader Denise Cattoni told Illinois Review that she's concerned about the state and its future if conservatives disengage from voting in the fall. But, as a vocal supporter of Jeanne Ives in the gubernatorial primary, she understands the discouragement many conservatives are expressing. 

She publicly shared her concerns on her Facebook page Friday in a post addressing precinct committeemen.

"The ILGOP is trying to purge all conservatives from the State Central Committee. When you attend the April 18th meeting, all of the conservative SCC Chairmen will have a RHINO opponent (after the primary). Stand for your principles! Stand for the ILGOP Platform, Cattoni wrote. "Gov. Rauner has now made it perfectly clear that Conservatives are NOT invited into the IL Republican party, guaranteeing that he will lose to Pritzker."

Cattoni said that of the 90 Tea Party groups around the state going back to 2008, over half of the leadership has moved out of state, having read the political handwriting on the wall. As a movement leader focused on fiscal issues, she supported Bruce Rauner in his 2014 bid.

Since then, she's gotten more involved in Republican Party circles, which has led her to be especially concerned about the two congressional districts where conservative state central committeemen are currently serving, but who backed Jeanne Ives in this year's gubernatorial primary. 

State Central Committeeman John McGlasson in the 16th CD and Bob Winchester in the 15th CD are both being challenged by elected state lawmakers – likely put up by Rauner's people, she says. 

"Why would State Rep Tom Demmer and Senator Chapin Rose be given MORE power by the ILGOP??" Cattoni wrote. "Rauner's PAYBACK to conservatives. You are not welcome in the party." 

12803296_10206023733013091_3068761182420275534_nJOHN MCGLASSON

Illinois Review asked McGlasson his thoughts about the challenge he's facing. He not only backed Jeanne Ives in the gubernatorial primary, he backed challenger James Marter over incumbent Congressman Adam Kinzinger in the 16th CD.

The Rauner camp is reaching out to precinct committeemen, urging them to support State Rep. Tom Demmer over McGlasson. State Representative David Weller is circulating a letter among other members, opposing McGlasson. Four that McGlasson knows of did not sign Welter's letter. 

McGlasson says he's committed to the Illinois Republican Party platform as his principle base. He recalls vividly the battle waged at the 2016 IL GOP State Convention over the platform changes Rauner people – including former Party Chairman Pat Brady and SCC member Ryan Higgins – tried to make on family issues. 

"I worked very hard, along with many others, to bring the platform to the floor at the last convention," McGlasson told Illinois Review. "And I will continue to fight for conservative values in future platforms. One of the most important duties of state central committee members is the appointment of committee members for the convention. I am very proud of those I appointed last time and the battles they waged." 

14725560_10210690032789644_379296642405976429_nSTAN BOND

Stan Bond, SCC member from the 14th CD, although conservative as well, is running unopposed in the SCC race.

"You may recall I was one of the committed group who worked through the night to ensure the party platform wasn’t revised per Pat Brady and the chosen platform committee," Bond told IR. "It was an historic effort that dramatized for all the importance our base places on family values.

"I would like to strengthen and clarify our platform on some issues but remain proud of it as written. I strongly believe party support should be focused on candidates who support the platform. That’s why we have a platform," he said. 

The platform is key to the conservative majority in the Illinois Republican Party. The vote at that convention on maintaining traditional family values in the party platform was supported in a standing seven-to-one vote – a fact Rauner and his staff either purposely overlook or can't believe is that important to Republican voters.

Demonte, who represents the state to the RNC, stands with the party's conservatives. While the nation pulls to the right with President Donald Trump at the helm, the Illinois Republican Party is being dragged to the left at the insistence of Governor Rauner and his well-paid campaign staff.  

"As your Illinois' Republican National Committeewoman, and as a loyal Republican, I plan to vote for our entire Republican slate in November," Demonte said.

"But I want to assure the party faithful that I remain committed to the conservative principles lined out in the Illinois Republican Party platform, as well as continue to actively engage and push policy at the national level on the Republican National Committee that represents the values of our grassroots." 

See also: 


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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. Funny how this stuff can come back to bite you in the backside, huh.
    Cattoni berated me in ’14 when I would not support Rauner because of his pro-abortion stance – said she didn’t care about social issues and neither should I. Basically said Rauner was our ONLY hope and to let the pro-life groups deal with the abortion issue. So looking forward to the day when people realize that these pesky social issues do overlap with their all-important pocketbook issues. SB40 is a perfect example of this.
    I sure hope that Cattoni, Ptak, Tucker, and others like them remember this the next time they try to bully and belittle others into throwing aside their principles to get in line with they want. Hopefully they now see that social conservatives aren’t just the simple-minded Bible thumpers they considered us to be in ’14. Maybe, just maybe, they now understand that we stood our ground because some of us had been to a few more rodeos than they had.
    Best of luck to all the conservatives running for the State Central Committee!

  2. Given the choice we have, as a conservative voter, I would rather vote for Mel Reynolds over either one of these two political miscreants who will put the final nail in the coffin of Illinois.
    Jeannie Ives was a formidable candidate who probably would have won her race had she started earlier, and didn’t concede so quickly.
    With an army of disgruntled voters it still may be possible to mount a write in campaign for Ives.
    I agree with Ms. Demonte that Governor Rauners disgusting behavior should not be rewarded.
    He misled, and betrayed the voters, so all good conservatives should stand on principles because Rauner is useless to us, and worthless to himself.

  3. Demetra Demonte says “But I want to assure the party faithful that I remain committed to the conservative principles lined out in the Illinois Republican Party platform.”
    Really? Where’s the evidence? She doesn’t say a peep when the state party, that she’s supposedly a top leader of, openly betrays its own platform, and when the state party franchise is misused to viciously smear a conservative, i.e. Jeanne Ives. Demonte, like the rest of the state party “leaders,” is a joke. It’s not just that she doesn’t know what she’s doing. She has no spine. Hardly the only one.

  4. I have never understood the Republican state central committee. As people know, I’m fairly active yet I hardly know these people and certainly don’t see them doing much. Perhaps I’m just uninformed.
    It’s seems unlikely at this point that Rauner will get re-elected, I’m curious what direction this group will take. I personally would like to expand the party especially at the grass roots. I look forward to future leadership from people like Jeannie Ives and Tim Morrison. They seem to the future of the Illinois Republican Party.,

  5. You’re not alone, Mark. Many of us who were active at the local level had no idea as to whom these State Central Committeemen were. They seem to have emerged from the mists.
    The only Republican State Committeeman I recall – whose name I don’t even remember – was one who got implicated in a deal to sell Illinois State bonds, when Blagojevich was Governor.
    I think that’s what John Kass used to call the Dem/Repub combine.

  6. Ptak ran as a write-in for PC in Nunda 23 (McHenry County) and received zero votes. Why people consider him influential is baffling.
    Same thing with Cattoni, who doesn’t understand the difference between a RINO and a rhinoceros, and was one of the chief misinformation agents of the Ives campaign. She perpetuated a lie that Steve Bannon endorsed Ives and would not remove the lie after she was proved wrong. Later on in the campaign, Ives supporters were shocked that Rauner was taking Ives’ words out of context, after they had blatantly lied.
    It’s going to be absolute carnage in November.

  7. For those who forgot, or never really knew, you can find the FOP platform at https://illinois.gop/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/2016PlatformoftheIllinoisRepublicanParty.pdf
    if you look at page 12 of the pdf, you can find the disputed language that was not included. Most of it was excellent, and should be considered next time. However, one paragraph supported the redefinition of marriage to be what-ever you what it to be. That paragraph said:
    We acknowledge and welcome the diversity of opinions within our party regarding families, including the views that marriage is defined as the union of one man and one woman, that non-traditional families are worthy of the same
    respect and legal protections as traditional families, and that marriage ought to be
    the purview of religious institutions and not of government.

  8. DeMonte is a hypocrite. In 2014 it was abundantly clear that Rauner was pro-abortion (not merely pro-choice) and amorally said he had “no social agenda.” Back then DeMonte’s full-throated cheer leading for Rauner was nauseating.
    McGlasson is a drunkard. A few years ago it seems he was drunk when he fell at a high dollar fundraiser in Bloomington and broke a woman’s ankle as he fell on her while trying only to prevent spilling the drink in his hand. The woman had to be taken by ambulance to the emergency room and have surgery. I think DeMonte was there.
    McGlasson hasn’t done one single thing to make a difference in a Republican beating a Democrat. He isn’t even trying to make that case that he is effective. Just trying to hide behind being a pure conservative–but one who also supported the immoral Rauner energetically in 2014. Rauner later rewarded him with an appointment to the IL Health Facilities Board rules over hospitals.
    McGlasson’s day job is being a salesman for a debt collection agency. He markets his debt collection business to the same hospitals he regulates by serving on the board Rauner appointed him to. Whew.
    DeMonte is supposedly a staunch conservative who supports term limits for lawmakers but not party hacks with a sense of entitlement like her. She is in her third term and will probably run for a fourth. “Do as I say, not as I do.” Hypocrite.

  9. it is a VULGAR joke.
    The Democratic Party is run by democrats.
    Our Republican Party is run by democrats.
    Demetra is perhaps the least fake Republican, however , efficaciously she is indeed a fake Republican. ( I discussed this point with her many times over the last 10 years ).
    Tim Schneider and Sean Morrison work for Democrat John Daley.
    Nobody will be surprised will they, if I tell em that this is our about money… Billions of dollars.
    The term double agent is not only a term referring to fictional characters in James Bond 007 movies. Tim Schneider and Sean Morrison are real live, extremely nefarious, treacherous, anti-Christian/anti-American DOUBLE-AGENTS.