By Illinois Review
The following resignation letter was given exclusively to Illinois Review by Rob Cruz, a member of the IL GOP Grassroots Committee. The committee is co-chaired by Larry Smith and Rhonda Belford.
IL GOP officials are in receipt of this letter.
“I was asked by Larry Smith to join a new effort that would work to link the agendas of the SSC and the GR movements. I felt this was a good fit for me as I have spent countless hours attending rallies downtown in the freezing cold, group meetings with efforts to get grassroots leaders to coalesce around a common cause, threw 5 different entertainment events that saw hundreds of grassroots attendees and spend countless hours talking to donors about investing in the movement so we can be better trained to compete in a new voting era.
A partnership seemed doable with the exchange of data and other resources to utilize the full force of the republican movement in IL and stop the true enemy… progressive Democrat agenda’s in our schools, in our homes and in the business community.
I have kept an open mind about joining this committee and reserved judgment on any members of the SSC or its Chair until this past Mother’s Day weekend. With the formation of a committee that is advising the SSC on endorsements or policy thereof is highly irregular. It adds to the current disdain that our GR has for the IL-SSC, furthermore it has completely disarmed any opportunities I saw to bring these 2 groups together.
My place is amongst the grassroots people who came to support me during my expulsion by resolution in District 229 in January of 2022.
My place is amongst the grassroots people who worked on campaigns, ran for local school boards and came out of their comfort zones to effect change while I saw the SSC sit on the sidelines.
I do not have a negative thing to say about Chairmen Tracy as a person. He has always been respectful to me in our talks and has carried himself with class. However, I strongly disagree with the decision to form a committee on endorsements and feel that this is further dividing the team effort that is sorely needed.
A vote of no confidence was taken and it was even further disappointing to hear that the co-chairs of the grassroots committee were key figures in retaining the Chairman. To me this nullifies the grassroots committee’s efforts as it will be met with strong resistance and blow back in the upcoming 2024 election cycle.
I therefore respectfully resign my position as a member of this committee effective immediately.
I thank the committee for considering me and under different circumstances would have loved to bring these factions together to achieve success for the people of IL.
To my grassroots colleagues, this is not the time to continue our own infighting. It is a time to put your egos to the side for the betterment of our state and stop the decline we have seen in its school systems and job markets. Personal battles, grumbling and complaining only take HOPE and lock it away. So many people in our neighborhoods and streets feel the way we do but see how we carry our discontent around and decide to keep quiet.
Our movement is one of high energy, passion and care for the success of our children.
We must organize and strategize to obtain the voice we sorely need and want.
We must get engaged in local politics and build a base that would rival any political party and impose the will of the people through the democratic process of modern elections.”
Very mixed emotions over Rob Cruz’s decision to resign under protest from the state Republican Party’s “Grassroots Committee”.
There were a total of 11 members of this committee, five of whom are state central committee (SCC) members.
In addition to Cruz, the non-SCC members are Gennie Sewicki, Beth Findley Smith, Gabby Shanahan, Kendall County Republican Chairman Jim Marter and Leslie Munger.
So what does Cruz’s quitting say about him?
Publicity stunt? Drama? Quitter? Astroturfer?
Some of these grassroots leaders leave much to be desired, and one must wonder where Cruz fits into all of this.
Grassroots activists need to get beyond publicity stunts and drama, and get to work within the Illinois Republican Party.
Let’s see what the other 5 non-SCC members do.