ILGOP meets in Bolingbrook to ‘make plans for winning in 2022’ (Bolingbrook, IL) – Led by newly minted Illinois GOP Chair Don Tracy, Republican leaders from across the state recently convened in Bolingbrook to discuss strategy amid a rapidly changing landscape in Springfield.
“We had the quarterly meeting of the ILGOP State Central Committee (think board of directors for the state party),” Tracy wrote in his ILGOP memo. “Since becoming chairman in February, some of my favorite times have been when all the leaders of the Illinois Republican Party can be together in one room to strategize, encourage each other and make plans for winning in 2022. I value and appreciate everyone who is a part of the committee as well as the public who shows up to voice their ideas and opinions.”
Republican leaders have been angered by Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) recently showing up in Springfield as a lobbyist attempting to sell an energy plan being pushed by industry giant Ameren. Illinois Republican leaders have blasted the development as yet another example of how badly ethics reforms are needed in state government.
“Ameren feeling the need to have the former Senate president lobby shows that it is our entire political class that is dysfunctional, not just the elected officials,” former state senator and GOP candidate for governor Paul Schimpf told the Prairie State Wire. “Legislation should be judged on its merits, not the political clout of its proponents.”
After nearly four decades of being in Springfield, 11 of them as Senate president, Cullerton made his return as a lobbyist just months after retiring from office. The plan he was pushing would see tax dollars being used to keep nuclear plants across the state open while closing coal-fired plants at the cost of jobs in Southern Illinois.
Illinois recently passed an ethics-reform package that institutes a six-month prohibition on lawmakers lobbying their former peers. By comparison, states such as Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky and New York have two-year lobbying bans for former lawmakers.
The election for governor in 2022 is sure to be of particular interest. Currently, Gov. J.B. Pritzker is facing criticism for flip-flopping his stance on gerrymandered maps. The Republican candidates have criticized the current state of things in Illinois. Gary Rabine has been critical of the state’s outlook; former senator Paul Schimpf has focused his ire on corruption within the state government; and current state senator Darren Bailey has been traveling across the state, rallying voters against COVID-19 state mandates.
ILGOP meets in Bolingbrook to ‘make plans for winning in 2022’