The head of Illinois’ beleaguered Republican Party is staring down a revolt from some state party bosses after he bucked the official GOP line last week and urged state lawmakers to approve same-sex marriage.
State GOP Chairman Pat Brady faces growing calls for his resignation, at a time when some Illinois Republicans are rethinking the party’s image and stance on social issues, following a dismal showing in November’s elections.
Conservative groups and activists pounced on Brady shortly after he released a statement last week offering his “full support” of a bill before the General Assembly that would legalize same-sex marriage.
But now the public demands for his ouster are coming from party leaders themselves.
“Pat Brady is a total disgrace,” said Bobbie Peterson, a Republican state central committeewoman from Beecher, Ill.
“He’s a pretty face for TV. He can speak well. Period,” Peterson said. “But what’s coming out of his mouth is not what the Illinois Republican party is about.”
It’s unclear whether the party bosses opposing Brady have enough votes to oust him. But even those who stop short of asking for his resignation plan to take him to the woodshed for neglecting to notify party bosses before he publicly contradicted the party’s platform plank on gay marriage.
“I was shocked,” said State Sen. Jim Oberweis, a committeeman from west suburban Sugar Grove who has asked Brady to resign.“Very surprised. Did not expect that and didn’t know why he would have done that.”
... “I can only express my disappointment in the way this has come about and the manner in which the Republican platform of Illinois has been completely disregarded,” said committeeman Gene Dawson, from northwest suburban Barrington, as he read from the resignation request he emailed to Brady.
In Illinois, a party chairman can be fired with a three-fifths majority of the weighted vote from state party committeemen. Each vote is weighted differently, based on how many people cast ballots in a committeeman's congressional district in last spring’s primary. Four committeemen told WBEZ they asked Brady to resign, representing nearly half of the votes needed to boot him out. (Four others stopped short of calling for a resignation, while the remaining ten either declined to comment or didn’t respond to interview requests.)
... “His role as chairman should be to concentrate on uniting the party, and not dividing the party,” Syverson said, though he doesn't go so far as to ask Brady to step down.
Please join those who have already taken action calling for Brady to resign or to be dismissed for his betrayal of marriage!