Republicans Continue to Miss the Target in a Target Rich Environment

It’s a target rich environment but Illinois Republicans never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Whether it is reaching enough Illinoisans with the facts about just how messed up this state is fiscally, or about the terrible consequences of the wrongly named “Equal Rights Amendment.” GOP leaders here can’t seem to make use of the many “learning moments” that occur weekly in Illinois politics.

Also, many terribly important facts get short shrift in the dominant Illinois liberal media. The latest Illinois political scandals are perfect for them since the media seem to prefer scandals when sex or sexual harassment is involved.

In case you’re not up to speed — here are excerpts from two press reports that nicely sum up recent breaking news involving sex/sexual harassment. First up is a report from ABC News in Chicago regarding on the latest fiasco at the Chicago Public School system:

Chicago Tribune report finds 500 cases of sexual abuse, rape in CPS schools over 10 years

Hundreds of Chicago Public Schools students have been sexually abused by CPS employees over the past ten years, according to a Chicago Tribune report published Friday.

. . .

Tribune reporters spoke to several former CPS students, who said they were abused by coaches, security guards and teachers.

In some cases, teachers and principals who heard reports of abuse failed to notify police or the Department of Child and Family Services. Such reports are required under Illinois’ mandated reporter law.

It’s all over the media so if you want to learn more, just do a quick search on the Internet. Unfortunately, however, you probably will have a tough time finding much of a response to this scandal from Illinois Republican officials.

The other scandal involves charges of sexual harassment in the office of state House Speaker Mike Madigan. This one is a few months old — here is the Illinois News Network providing an update on the story:

Several House Democrats call for independent probe after latest harassment allegations

Several members of the Illinois House Democratic Women’s Caucus are calling for an independent investigation into all operations of the House of Representatives, including House Speaker Michael Madigan’s office.

A small group of state reps called for the target of the accusations, Madigan’s longtime Chief of Staff Tim Mapes to be removed from his job. Madigan eventually fired Mapes, but a group of Democrats are not satisfied, and had this to say in a statement:

“[T]he problem is much bigger than any one individual, regardless of what position they hold. Each allegation, each story shared publicly or privately, add up to one conclusion: the culture surrounding Illinois government and politics must change.”

The Illinois News Network report noted that “Mapes was the third person within Madigan’s operations who has been publicly named in accusations of inappropriate behavior.”

It is good that Democrats are calling for an investigation — they should work on cleaning up their party. And when the mess reaches this level, Republicans should be loudly joining in. The key word there is loudly. Here is a report from ABC news:

A Group of Republicans Push for Madigan’s Resignation Amidst Sexual Harassment Allegations

A group of Republican lawmakers and candidates are calling on House Speaker Mike Madigan to resign, criticizing his leadership in the wake of recent sexual harassment allegations—just a week after Madigan fired his chief of staff.

Tim Mapes, the long-time chief of staff to Madigan, was fired last week; the fourth member of his inner circle to face allegations of harassment, bullying or abuse. On Monday, a group of conservative republicans said that nothing will change unless Madigan is out.

Okay, fine. But unless you’re among the diminishing number of Illinoisans who closely follow the dominant media, you’re probably not aware of this GOP action.

Granted — a baby step is better than no step when it comes to trying to get your message out. But the power of the GOP caucuses in the General Assembly has never been taped. It doesn’t matter that Republicans are in the minority. Groups of GOP legislators need to be outspoken all the time on all the critical issues, not just sex scandals.

One of the most often heard responses from GOP elected officials to the above paragraphs is a variation on this theme: “You don’t understand how it is in Springfield.”

Actually, some of us do know how it works, and better still, doesn’t work. Some of us have served as staff both in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill and in the bush-league legislature found in Springfield, Illinois. The advice offered in this article, at IFI and IFA through the years, and on this website and on this website LINKS has never really changed all that much.

Republican and conservative leaders have a dozen or so tired excuses as to why they continue to fail to win enough seats and roll back Leftist policies. Each of those excuses are easily countered.

This is not a “blue state.” It’s a state where the GOP has been weak and feckless and Democrat-lite for decades. A majority of Illinoisans are not nutty lefties like those that live in California or Oregon or Vermont or Massachusetts. A majority of Illinois voters just haven’t heard from Republicans at all, or if they have, the message has been too weak and/or spoken by too few to catch fire.

Solutions based upon conservative principles — applied to the growing fiscal and moral disaster that is Illinois — can turn things around.

It’s a target rich environment and conservative thinkers have offered up plenty of bullseye hitting ideas ready for use. Illinois Republicans don’t lack for opportunities. GOP leaders need only listen, learn, and act.

Image credit: Illinois Family Action.