WBEZ | Conservative http://www.wbez.org/tags/conservative Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady to resign http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/illinois-gop-chairman-pat-brady-resign-107043 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Pat Brady_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois State Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady resigned Tuesday morning, following months of GOP infighting sparked by his public support for same-sex marriage.</p><p>Brady planned to email his resignation letter to party officials early Tuesday.</p><p>In an interview with WBEZ Monday afternoon, Brady said he&rsquo;s stepping down from the unpaid post he has held since August 2009 to spend more time with his family as his wife battles ovarian cancer.</p><p>&ldquo;I need to be home with her,&rdquo; Brady said. &ldquo;But you know, it&rsquo;s a combination of things, but I&rsquo;ve been doing it for four years so it&rsquo;s time for &ndash; for new blood.&rdquo;</p><p>Brady <a href="http://www.wbez.org/facing-rebellion-state-gop-chair-rejects-calls-resign-over-gay-marriage-support-104807">rankled </a>his more conservative rivals on the GOP&rsquo;s State Central Committee in early January, when he unexpectedly released a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-gop-chairman-backing-gay-marriage-104674">statement </a>announcing his &ldquo;full support&rdquo; for a pending same-sex marriage bill in Springfield, a stance that contradicts the Republican Party platform. But he also ostracized some more moderate party bosses who complained that Brady didn&rsquo;t even notify them before he made his bombshell announcement.</p><p>On Monday, Brady sought to downplay the significance of the controversy, which he said has hurt donations to the state party leading into the 2014 election cycle.</p><p>&ldquo;Well, it certainly was a factor in my decision, but not an overriding factor,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The gay marriage issue was just something that certainly angered some people on the Central Committee and they wanted a different direction.&rdquo;</p><p>Brady&rsquo;s detractors have been organizing behind the scenes to vote him out since January, though they&rsquo;ve <a href="http://www.wbez.org/gop-cancels-meeting-oust-chairman-over-same-sex-marriage-kirk-lobbies-106004">repeatedly </a>failed to muster enough votes. Those efforts, spearheaded by committeemen Jerry Clarke, of Urbana, and Jim Oberweis, a west suburban state senator, came to a head at a rowdy party <a href="http://www.wbez.org/despite-gay-marriage-flap-illinois-gop-boss-keeps-his-job-106633">meeting </a>in April.</p><p>After a three-hour closed-door session, Brady emerged with his job intact. But party bosses agreed to begin quietly searching for Brady&rsquo;s replacement, with the understanding that he would resign on his own terms in a few weeks, according to several people in the meeting.</p><p>The party has heard from lots of interested candidates, Oberweis said Monday night, but wouldn&rsquo;t give a timeline for choosing a final replacement. According to party bylaws, GOP Vice Chairman Carol Smith Donovan will fill Brady&rsquo;s spot until party leaders pick a successor. Illinois State Sen. Matt Murphy, of Palatine, was a possible candidate before he withdrew his name last week. Other possibilities include Cook County Commissioner Tim Schneider and State Central Committeeman Mark Shaw.</p><p>Brady&rsquo;s original announcement last winter drew quick fire from national conservative groups, and quick support from some prominent Illinois Republicans, such as U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, Comptroller Judy Barr Topinka and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/former-illinois-governors-warn-against-firing-gop-chair-over-gay-marriage-flap-105963">former Gov</a>s Jim Edgar and Jim Thompson.</p><p>It also laid bare many long-simmering squabbles within the state GOP. Brady&rsquo;s opponents are quick to say his support for same-sex marriage, an increasingly popular issue among key potential voting groups such as suburban women and young people, is not the only reason they wanted him gone. They also point to Illinois Republicans&rsquo; poor showing in November&rsquo;s elections. For some, personal rivalries and vendettas seem to have played a role.</p><p>On Monday, Brady conceded the party should have won more seats in the last election cycle, though he also pointed to the success of 2010, when Republicans gained a majority in the state&rsquo;s congressional delegation.</p><p>Now, Brady said he believes he&rsquo;s leaving the party in better shape than when he took the helm four years ago.</p><p>&ldquo;I wanna see the party grow,&rdquo; Brady said. &ldquo;I think I wanna see the party be more open and more diverse and adapt to the times.&rdquo;</p><p>Alex Keefe is a WBEZ political reporter. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/akeefe">@akeefe</a>.</p></p> Mon, 06 May 2013 19:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/illinois-gop-chairman-pat-brady-resign-107043 Scorched-earth Tea Partyer Jim DeMint resigns from Senate http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-12/scorched-earth-tea-partyer-jim-demint-resigns-senate-104253 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Jim%20DeMint%20AP.jpg" style="height: 456px; width: 620px;" title="Jim DeMint will leave the U.S. Senate to head the conservative Heritage Foundation. (AP)" /></div><p>The Senate&rsquo;s scorched-earth Tea Party godfather &mdash;&nbsp;Jim DeMint of South Carolina &mdash; has stepped down to head the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation.</p><p>DeMint is the always concerned-looking, handsome Club for Growth elder statesman who stood by Todd Akin when every Republican walked away, channeled funds to Akin and said, &ldquo;We <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/10/25/1082501/despite-legitimate-rape-comments-right-wing-groups-continue-to-spend-for-akin/">support Todd Akin</a> and hope freedom-loving Americans in Missouri and around the country will join us so we can save our country from fiscal collapse.&rdquo; Never mind that the problem with Akin wasn&rsquo;t his fiscal policy or that he was anti-abortion, but that he was idiotic about the female reproductive system.</p><p>The same Jim DeMint favored&nbsp;<a href="http://www.goupstate.com/article/20101002/ARTICLES/10021004/1002/SPORTS04?p=2&amp;tc=pg">barring gay teachers</a>&nbsp;from schools because &ldquo;if someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn&#39;t be teaching in the classroom&rdquo; &mdash; just like an unmarried woman who&#39;s sleeping with her boyfriend &mdash; &ldquo;shouldn&rsquo;t be in the classroom&rdquo; either,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />And the same Jim DeMint tried to tack an anti-choice amendment on to a farm bill that would <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/health/2011/10/19/347993/jim-demint-prohibit-internet-abortion-discussion/">ban discussing abortion</a> between a woman and her doctor over the internet and through video conferencing &mdash; even if the woman&rsquo;s life is at risk.<br /><br />That guy, <em>that</em> Jim DeMint! The one who backed, not just Akin, but Sharron Angle and Christine O&rsquo;Donnell, without hesitation or shame.&nbsp;</p><p>The man who managed <a href="http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/browse?sponsor=400105">to pass not a single piece of substantive legislation</a> in his eight years in the Senate is now headed off to head a policy institute.<br /><br />The man whose greatest achievement in the U.S. Senate was to be in perpetual opposition, whether to the Democrats or his own party, and who helped land the <a href="http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/12/jim-demints-greatest-hits-and-misses.php?ref=fpa">GOP exactly where it is now</a> in the fiscal negotiations, is now going to step out of the fray and throw bombs from the sidelines.<br /><br />Expect to see Jim DeMint, one of the most radical political figures ever elected to the U.S. Senate, on television more than ever. Expect journalists who should know better to quote him breathlessly as a legitimate policy expert. (Ezra Klein has piece in the <em>Washington Post</em> about the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/06/jim-demint-and-the-death-of-think-tanks/">politicizing and decline of think tanks</a> that&rsquo;s worth reading.)<br /><br />There&rsquo;s no question that, especially post-election, DeMint will have greater influence outside the Senate &mdash; where Dems just increased their number as DeMint&rsquo;s candidates got trounced &mdash; than in it. Moreover, if he stayed, he risked becoming ostracized by traditional Republican leadership, which is scrambling to find anything that looks like a compromise to demonstrate some bipartisanship, anathema to DeMint.<br /><br />What happens next? South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will name a place holder, quite likely U.S. Rep. Tim Scott, making him the one and only African-American in the Senate. Then South Carolina voters will have the pleasure of electing a governor and two new U.S. senators in 2014.<br /><br />The luckiest guy in all of this? Lindsey Graham, the state&rsquo;s other Senator, will now be involved in one of many hot races and can safely assume that whatever crazy right wing money was going to be used against him in a primary challenge will be split at least in two.</p></p> Fri, 07 Dec 2012 10:31:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-12/scorched-earth-tea-partyer-jim-demint-resigns-senate-104253 Pew exit poll: voters more conservative, white, angry http://www.wbez.org/story/conservative/pew-exit-poll-voters-more-conservative-white-angry <p><p>Got much delayed by some self-inflicted computer problems but here's hoping that's solved now.</p><p>So far, no surprises. All the elections that have been called have gone the way they were supposed to. For instance, the South Carolina race for U.S. Senate was called for Jim DeMint, the Republican and Tea Party point man in the Senate. We won't have Democrat Alvin Greene to kick around anymore.</p><p>Anyway, the Pew Research Center is making available some exit polling which confirms pretty much what analysts of the electorate have been saying for months, that voter enthusiasm for this year's midterms tilted mostly to the Republicans.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>According to the Pew, 41 percent of the voters called themselves conservatives which was higher than the percentage in the last two national elections. It was 32 percent in 2006, 34 percent in 2008.</p><p>Most voters said the government was doing too much, usurping what individuals and businesses should be doing. In 2008, most didn't think the government was doing enough.</p><p>A higher percentage of voters were white, older and more educated, which goes with the more conservative bent. Again, all the indicators from pre-election polling suggested this would be the case.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></blockquote><p>Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img alt="" src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1288743570?&amp;gn=Pew+Exit+Poll%3A+Voters+More+Conservative%2C+White%2C+Angry&amp;ev=event2&amp;ch=129828651&amp;h1=Midterm+elections,Exit+polls,Mid-term+election,State+races,Congress,It%27s+All+Politics,Conservative,Election+2010,Politics,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&amp;c3=D%3Dgn&amp;v3=D%3Dgn&amp;c4=131021153&amp;c7=1014&amp;v7=D%3Dc7&amp;c18=1014&amp;v18=D%3Dc18&amp;c19=20101102&amp;v19=D%3Dc19&amp;c20=1&amp;v20=D%3Dc20&amp;c31=131007872,130996845,130224844,130218547,130215202,129828651,127313033,125693903&amp;v31=D%3Dc31&amp;c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 02 Nov 2010 18:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/conservative/pew-exit-poll-voters-more-conservative-white-angry