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HomeIllinois NewsRep. Skillicorn: Where does the IL GOP go from here?

Rep. Skillicorn: Where does the IL GOP go from here?



{47D93AEC-3D46-409B-B881-CD0CBC9226B7}By State Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) - 

Where does the Illinois Republican Party go from here? Up, because it is an opportunity to rebuild.

The revelations from Governor Rauner regarding his total disregard for the Party and the people of Illinois have laid waste to what was left of his kind of Illinois GOP — where one man and his money is all that matters. One that only blames others, only attacks Speaker Madigan, buys supporters, bypasses the base, disparages the Party’s President, and cannot govern because “I’m not in charge.”

It is now in this new year that we, the Republicans of Illinois, must move forward from the deep disappointment and betrayal we experienced, and take back our party. We must set aside our differences and commit ourselves anew to the principles that made our Party and this Nation one of the greatest in human history. Principles articulated in our Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, the Republican National Platform and the Illinois GOP Platform.

We must build on the basic belief that all people are created equal in their dignity and value, they are endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights which government was formed to protect. That everyone deserves access to economic opportunity, liberty, property and self-determination, to name a few.

That includes renewing and reinvigorating our once great State and stemming the tide of those rushing to escape by:

  1. giving parents back their rightful power in choosing their child’s education regardless of zip code,
  2. reinvigorating business through stability and predictability with the least taxation and regulation necessary,
  3. reforming pensions to ensure we can fulfill our commitments, and
  4. offering the citizens of Illinois a positive choice for their future in a Party that can and will deliver on its promises.

Republicans' opposition cannot be one another, but we must join together to resist the devastating policies and direction that Governor-elect Pritzker, 30-year Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, and the super-majority of Democrats at the state level. In addition, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer at the national level, will hurl us down a path to an inevitable economic abyss.

It’s going to take IL GOP leadership and I vow to be a part of it. We must find the courage and resolve to overcome what few disagreements we really have, focus our energy and efforts on being the change that senior citizens, college students, young families, veterans, and those most vulnerable can believe in.

The alternative is unthinkable.


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  1. Again with the “We must set aside our differences”. If that’s the case why not all become Democrats and get it over with?
    I don’t know if Skillicorn is aware of it but most of his Republican friends have nothing in common with conservative rank and file. The differences they have are kind of a big deal.

  2. The problem is structural: elitism in leadership.
    I remain struck by the perceived necessity of the statewide poll to ascertain the views of the ILGOP voting base. There are 36 plus members of the State Central Committee, and we just finished an entire general election campaign, but nobody knows? They have to go ask in this silly poll, which will get responses from only a smattering of voters? Aren’t they supposed to know, or find out if they do not? The cynics would say that it is a dog and pony show by embarrassed leadership to demonstrate that they are active. But the very existence of such a poll amply demonstrates the ongoing incompetency, as it is an admission that the leadership is utterly out of touch.
    In a sense that is not surprising, for in my unfortunate experience in Cook County way too many leaders in this party are focused on (1) titles; (2) personal clout; and (3) opportunities for outside business dealings. They get isolated and ossified because change threatens one of these three interests (not to mention those free lunches at State Central Committee meetings).
    While I am one who hates the term “rank and file” as that implies a monolithic character to what is a dynamic, complex and incredibly varied body of people, I have no trouble with the concept that current ILGOP leaders do not listen to the workers, voters and volunteers, they actually don’t want to listen. They want us to be what Chris Robling used to call “Loyal GOPers,” a term I interpreted to encompass people who would obediently show up to do the hard work of campaigns, then disappear to allow their betters run things.
    All politics are local, but the ILGOP leadership gave up on local GOP organizations a while ago, at least to the extent of anything more than that required for reelection to party office. (After all, local organizations are not the gigantic teat of the Governor’s Office or sources of gigantic contributions, right?)
    Until the ILGOP starts over by promoting the development of Republican organizations at the Ward, Township and Precinct level the Party will remain in the wilderness, spouting empty positions with no electoral clout to back them up, left only with spending more and more on TV attack ads since no one is motivated or organized to walk the miles, make the calls or spread the word to neighbors and friends in the geographic areas that will make the electoral difference. (one thing I have learned from years in Chicago is that “stoops matter.”) That change needs to occur starting now, not the usual pattern of about three months before an election, when nothing much can be done in time. Organizations are hard to begin with, and take time to build.
    Of course. that takes money, and a lot of it. But when I think about what could have been done over the last four years while spending only a tiny fraction of what Rauner and his ticket mates blew on redundant TV ad time, i sadly shake my head, contemplating the disaster that they and their brain trust of well-paid “advisers” have left us. As the Don McLean song lyric says, “they did not listen, they’re not listing still, perhaps they never will.”

  3. Narcotic Marijuana is dangerous and deadly and has killed too many people. It is time all legislators vote NO to Narcotic Marijuana. That means also Skillicorn should vote No to Narcotic Marijuana.
    Love Saves Lives
    Carl Lambrecht

  4. Are you kidding Rep. Skillicorn. The Republican establishment who destroyed the Republican Party here in IL still have a grip on the party. So conservatives are suppose to play nice with those who still have no regard for those who wish to adhere to the Illinois Republican platform. Furthermore, there are no longer enough Republican in IL to expect much winning to take place because of all the unchecked illegal immigrant voting that is taking place. This is now a one-party state, not unlike CA.

  5. Someone should tell “bad haircut” Skillikorn that we don’t care about the Illinois Republican Party anymore.
    Your GOP Congressmen dropped the ball on the border wall.
    Your IL state legislators dropped the ball on allowing in-state tuition for illegal aliens.
    You haven’t raised a finger in cutting off state aid to “sanctuary cities,” hell – how many of you weasels even voted against Rauner making this a “sanctuary state.”
    The only useful thing that you can do, as an Illinois State legislator, is to propose gas subsidies and subsidies for moving costs to Illinois citizens who are relocating to Indiana and Tennessee.
    Illinois, just as California is no longer a sustainable fight. Illinois Republicans had 20 years to fight immigration. They cowered. It’s over!
    Time for Illinois conservatives to move. Let the welfare classes eat their own!

  6. Allen Skillicorn seems like a decent fellow and I’m sure he means well, but there’s no substance here. This is just a rehash of the same old shibboleths Republicans have been repeating after every electoral trainwreck, which usually occurs on cue every 2 years.
    Skillcorn’s statement that “We must set aside our differences” shows that he still doesn’t get it. That statement completely misses the point. IL GOP’s problem is rotten management. Hoping the current failures will wake up one day and all of a sudden become good managers is absurd, and it shows a total lack of seriousness. No successful organization functions that way. Serious organizations fire bad management simple as that. I’m certain it wasn’t Skillcorn’s intent, but what he’s really arguing for is kicking the can down the road, yet again. He’ll be able to republish this piece 2 years from now without changing a word, if this is his prescription for what ails the IL GOP.
    The IL GOP needs structural reform, but frankly if you don’t start by saying the top leadership which has so miserably failed us must go for starters, then you really aren’t serious about making the IL GOP a relevant organization.

  7. I’m not sure why Skillicorn is writing about the Republican Party to begin with.
    He supported and endorsed the Libertarian Party candidate for Governor in the November election two months ago.
    It’s one thing to decline to support a “Republican” like Benedict Rauner. It’s quite another thing to publicly switch your support to a different party and back their candidate…

  8. Very good response, I agree. I am still bewildered that so many so called conservatives followed Rauner down the road to ruin. I drank his koolaid in 2013-2014, then I realized he was going to ruin our Party with his money. Rauner never understood the people that supported him the most, his base. Now he is gone we need to remember those who sold their soul for his good tidings. We need leadership but not from someone that will continue to divide us. I have not met Skillicorn, but I have a hard time following a grown man that does not comb his hair.

  9. You have made very good points – many of the same that I would have cared to make.
    But, I’m not sure that, after all these years, I care to make them, anymore.
    I am quite afraid, that our ship has sailed.
    The Illinois RINO Republicans have left us with no alternative other than to – as President Ronald Reagan said, “vote with our feet.”
    And that means moving to low-tax and pro-Trump, Indiana and Tennessee!

  10. No mention of fighting this being a Sanctuary state and working with Trump while calling out the Democrats on this issue.
    And this is the issue that is driving the Illinois GOP to a oblivion just like it has in California.

  11. Clint Westwood echoes my sentiments.
    Skillicorn and his ilk are simply peddling dreams to those who refuse to embrace reality. Illinois is a deep blue state, a state that actively promotes degeneracy, teaches subservience to the state and seeks to break the will of the individual.
    The only hope is a phonix liek rebirth brought about in the ashes of a total fiscal collapse. At that point, there will be a CHANCE for change, however the likelihood is the most able agents of change will have long ago abandoned the state.
    Face it, if you have marketable skills and are able to get out of your home and have some semblance of morality you are wither gone or crafting your exit plan. More and more the people who remain in Illinois mimic life’s losers.
    I now know of two major insurance companies that are having trouble filling 100K plus positions that require 5-8 years or experience…do the math, that is prime marrying and starting a family years…young people with other options do not want to start families in Illinois and those who are established and can flee are.
    This is why Illinois future is so dismal, the only true chance for change will only come with economic collapse, and then, the most talented agents of change are going to be invested living elsewhere.
    Skillicorn is peddling what amounts to a chance to ride a unicorn.

  12. “someone who actually has a future in the Illinois Republican Party?”
    Is that rather like someone who has a future on the foredeck of the HMS Titanic?
    Or someone who has a future in the Bull Moose party, circa 1912.
    BTW, you political ignoramous. Libertarians and Conservative Tea Partiers are not one and the same.

  13. I disagree that the problem is “rotten management “. The problem is the GOP leadership and their voting base belong in two different parties.
    It’s common knowledge that Rauner is a life long Democrat who found it easier to win as a Republican. The same is true for most of the GOP elected officials, at least in Illinois. They would be more at home in the Democrat party but stupid GOP voters continue to vote for any one who can get on TV.
    Now that I’ve said it out loud I think the problem is that Republicans in Illinois are just plain dumb.

  14. I am getting e-mails from a friend in Wisconsin.
    These e-mails indicate that their GOP is going through the same arguments up there, but their arguments are a lot more “hot” than we are seeing here…YET.