November 27, 2013. In Illinois, it’s no secret that the Republican and Democratic Parties’ leadership are basically the same good ole boys club. But the liberty wing of the Illinois Republican Party is gathering its forces to challenge what they consider ‘one party rule’ in the state. And their first step is taking back the Party of Lincoln right here in the Land of Lincoln.
The Illinois Republican Liberty Caucus is seeking Precinct Captains and Precinct Committeemen.
The Republican Liberty Caucus of Illinois is considered the liberty wing of the state GOP. They’re not necessarily Tea Partiers, as the Tea Party focuses only on fiscal issues. Instead, the RLC shares their limited government position, but focuses mainly on Constitutional rights and individual liberties.
Precinct Committeeman Project
In response to the cozy relationship between the Chicago Democratic Machine and the Illinois Republican Party’s leadership, the Republican Liberty Caucus of Illinois has announced its Precinct Committeeman Project. Their intent is to take back the party from the bottom up.
‘In the last election, the Illinois Republican Party suffered its worst defeat in modern history - spawning Democrat super-majorities in both houses of the General Assembly,’ the Illinois RLC’s website explains, ‘After Pat Brady resigned as Party Chairman, party leadership replaced him with Jack Dorgan - a Springfield lobbyist who is linked to the Illinois Democrat Party leadership and to Bill Cellini, a notorious client currently in prison for federal corruption. This is the same Jack Dorgan who was involved in denying any opportunity to conservative, Tea-Party, and Ron Paul delegates attending the June 2012 Illinois Republican State Convention to nominate delegates for the national convention.’
Solution - Run for Precinct Committeeman
One can’t argue with their logic. Precinct Committeemen, also called Precinct Captains, have been electing local officials in every Ward and Township in the country for decades. There’s a reason they call it ‘grassroots’ politics - it’s from the ground up. And to put it in perspective, a typical Precinct in the city of Chicago has roughly 500-1,000 residents, of which, maybe 25% are registered to vote and only 10% of which ever make it to the polls.
50 Precincts, give or take a few, and their Committeemen make up one Ward or Township. In Chicago, the city is made up of 50 Wards. That’s 2,500 Precinct Captains in one city alone. Add to that all the cities and towns in the county, and multiply that by all the counties in the state. That’s a lot of Precinct Committeemen. And as the Illinois RLC reminds us, the Democrats fill almost every one of those precinct-level leadership positions. The state’s Republicans fill less than half.
‘It’s Precinct Committeemen who turn out Republican votes at the local level, who elect Republican County Chairmen, and who vote for members of the Republican State Central Committee - the same State Central Committee that locked us out of the 2012 Illinois Republican State Convention,’ the RLC project web page tells prospective Precinct Committeemen.
The group adds, ‘If we want to restore honor and accountability to the party at the state level and enable liberty-minded candidates for success in future elections, the answer is within our reach: fill as many Republican Precinct Committeeman positions with some real grassroots liberty-minded people.’
The time is now, literally
The Republican Liberty Caucus reminds GOP voters that the time to register and run for the office of Precinct Committeeman is right now. In most cases, nobody or only one person ever applies to run for the position. But on the rare occasion there is more than one applicant, a partisan election is held coinciding with the state’s primary election. In this case, the March 18, 2014 Illinois Primary Election.
In Cook County and Chicago, Precinct Committeemen are generally appointed by the Ward or Township Committeeman, not elected on the ballot. In other counties, Precinct Committeemen candidates are featured on the Primary ballot. These are ‘party’ positions, not government positions. And if readers are interested but miss the deadline, don’t fret. If the Precinct Committeeman seat is vacant, it can be filled by the Ward/Township Committeeman at any time by appointment. All you really need to do is speak up and let people know you’re interested.
For the upcoming statewide Primary, the window to submit an application and the appropriate number of nominating petition signatures, usually only a handful, is from November 25 to December 2, 2013. There isn’t much time left, but representatives from the Illinois RLC promise to help guide interested individuals through the process. The organization includes a brief summary of the requirements to be elected as a Precinct Committeeman in Illinois. They include (Part 2 is different from county to county):
1. MEET THE REQUIREMENTS — To run for Precinct Committeeman you must be:
2. GET ON THE BALLOT
Visit the RLC Precinct Committeeman Project for links and further information.
About the Republican Liberty Caucus
An email from the Illinois RLC Vice Chairman Scott Davis to local Republicans explained why the group founded here in 1991 is rallying their forces for a new offensive, “Illinois is in serious trouble and a big reason why is because the Republican Party of the past decade has been so ineffective.”
Davis insists, “If Illinois is going to be saved, we must elect Republican candidates from the precinct to the statehouse who demonstrate a commitment to basic principles of republicanism - individual liberty, personal responsibility, free enterprise, limited government, fiscal responsibility, and full accountability of elected officials and government agencies.”
Illinois RLC Vice Chairman Scott Davis is no stranger to grassroots, precinct-level politics. He’s also Chicago’s elected 44th Ward Republican Committeeman. “In order to advance the effort to take back the Republican Party from the establishment, we have formed the Republican Liberty Caucus of Illinois,” he explains from his Lakeview neighborhood on the city’s north side, “Our members work within the Republican Party to promote the right policies, to vet candidates, and to hold Republicans accountable to the principles of liberty.”
For more information, visit the Illinois Republican Liberty Caucus
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