Yesterday I noted 5th congressional district Rosanna Pulido’s 24% showing in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Rahm Emmanuel. That result only surprised a few dreamers.
The path to victory for Republican Party platform principles in Illinois is through the construction of ward, township, and county GOP organizations that are doing their part. We need committed people serious about having a presence in the community. We need the active recruitment of candidates, participation in the local public debate, and constant activity that reaches voters at the neighborhood level.
During the past fifteen years, what once was the Republican Party in Illinois has disintegrated. Few local organizations have passed down sufficient institutional knowledge to a new generation of would-be activists. The consequence of this atrophy is that the Democratic Party is gaining ground even in formerly “Republican strongholds.” It surprised no one that all of northeast Illinois went “blue” in the presidential race last November.
It would be terrific if the fifth congressional district race would wake up even more folks to the deplorable condition of our party – and those folks would then decide to do something about the deplorable party!
About six weeks ago an invitation was issued calling together what was titled a “Council of Trent Meeting for [congressional candidate Rosanna] Pulido.” In the invitation to the meeting was this:
“Chicagoland now has its first opportunity since last November to send a message to Washington and the liberal news media.”
The invitation referred to the old days when apparently an “army” of conservatives helped Peter Fitzgerald and Al Salvi to victory.
A couple of points. First, those victories were a political lifetime ago. Salvi’s victory was in the primary in 1996 – and he lost in the general election. Second, Fitzgerald’s victory was in 1998 – and he spent roughly thirteen million dollars of his own money (remember, that’s in 1998 dollars).
We applaud any initiative that seeks to activate coalition groups who support different planks in the Republican Party platform. We would like to remind people, however, that 2009 is far removed from those good old days.
For over twenty-five years independent conservative groups have tried and failed to make any lasting impact in American political life. It’s time to adapt – and build something lasting. It’s time for conservatives to take over the Republican Party.
The 5th congressional district, the City of Chicago, and the County of Cook all need a robust Republican Party. If you want to accept an invitation that means something – accept this one: Help bring life to the Illinois GOP: Crash the party.