From the Chicago Reader:
A handful of Chicagoans will go to the polls on March 18 and do something remarkable: they will ask for a Republican ballot.
Only 15 percent of Chicago voters in the 2012 primaries went with the GOP. That was up from less than 9 percent in 2010.
In the city's African-American wards, a Republican vote is even more extraordinary. In 2010, for example, 5,700 Democratic ballots were cast in the 28th Ward on the west side—and just 50 Republican ballots. In the south-side 17th Ward, 7,193 voted Democratic and 58 voted Republican.
"With blacks, it's like, your mother was a Baptist, so you're a Baptist; your mother was a Democrat, so you're a Democrat," Darnell Macklin says.
Macklin hopes to help change this inclination. Since 2012 he's been the GOP committeeman of the 6th Ward, an office he won by amassing 62 votes, crushing his main opponent, Jackie Robinson, who got 29. "My true affinity has always been with the Republicans," Macklin says. "I've been thinking like one all my life. I came home in the last 15 years."
The Chicago Republican Party announced today that it had filed petitions for 18 candidates in 16 districts for the state legislature. The last of the petitions were filed in Springfield early this afternoon.
Earlier this year, the Chicago GOP launched an unprecedented effort to recruit, train, and get signatures for Republican candidates across the city. 146 people responded to a marketing campaign looking for Republican candidates in some of the toughest districts in the country. Of those, 17 candidates made it through an "American Idol"-style vetting process and obtained the necessary signatures to get on the ballot.
"Many Chicago Democrats will face a Republican opponent for the first time in their careers," said Chicago GOP spokesman Chris Cleveland.
"We expect that Madigan will launch a full-on legal attack against our petitions," said Cleveland. "It's much cheaper to use lawyers to crush an opponent than to run an actual campaign."
"We're ready for him, though. We're prepared to mount a fully-funded legal defense of our candidates. And if he does succeed with knocking any of our candidates off the ballot, we're prepared to re-slate them in the spring."
The Chicago GOP will hold a press conference early next week to introduce the candidates. Full bios and other candidate information will be released later this week.
Chicago and Illinois are a mess! Tops in crime and unfunded pension obligations; in the toilet on jobs and fiscal sanity. It’s very easy to look around and come to the conclusion that there’s nothing we can do to make things better. If you think that, however, you’re just plain wrong!
YOU can help bring about a new political culture in our State -- by making democracy work and insuring that our State’s elected officials are accountable to the voters. HOW? By helping to get Republican candidates on the ballot for the Illinois General Assembly seats located right here in the City of Chicago! We have recruited and approved 23 candidates here in the City. Each one of them needs a MINIMUM of 500 valid registered voter signatures on their petition sheets to secure a spot on the ballot. It’s not easy, but they are all working hard to get the job done AND THEY NEED YOUR HELP!
The Chicago Republican Party represents a broad diversity of people in the city, across geographical, racial, ethnic, and economic divides. What ties us together is the core belief that the people can govern themselves. It is the same belief that drew the founders to create this nation. We believe that government has become too large and powerful. We believe that in this city, the people have been forced to serve the government, not the other way around.
The Chicago Republican Party Internship Program will provide students and recent graduates with a hands-on learning experience. Each intern will participate in the political process and earn valuable hands-on experience. In addition to experience, those who complete the required hours will receive a letter of recommendation from Chairman Adam Robinson, you may also earn school credit*.
From the Illinois Review:
CHICAGO - Chicago Republicans gathered at their Lincoln Park headquarters Saturday to rake in information on how to set up campaigns and get ready for the upcoming 2014 election season, starting after Labor Day 2013.
"Republicans are alive and well in Chicago, and we're getting that information out," with coordinated efforts in local media and the Internet, Chicago GOP Communications Director Chris Cleveland said.
And all their work is paying off, if Saturday's turnout gives hint of the group's effectiveness. Candidates willing to get in Congressional, state legislature and county races were soaking up the information the Leadership Institute team offered.
The Chicago Republican Party called for a City Council investigation today of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposed billboard contracts. As proposed, the 20-year deals would be yet another parking meter-style giveaway to a vendor in exchange for a small amount of upfront cash.
The Mayor's deal would:
- Give away yet another of the city's assets for short term cash
- Enrich another yet another vendor, who has already made a contribution to the Mayor's campaign
- Create another unbreakable contract, saddling the city for years with a deal it can't renegotiate
- Pollute the skyline, subjecting the city's drivers to distracting digital advertisements
"It's time for the Mayor and the Democrats to stop selling the city's assets just to get a little short-term cash," said Chris Cleveland, Chicago GOP spokeman. "The Democrats need to learn from the parking meter mess. What's it going to take for them to get a clue?"
"This new giveaway is especially galling, given the new revelations that the Mayor has taken donations from the billboard vendor, from red light camera vendors and from other city contractors. Is he looking to get another billboard payoff?" said Cleveland.
Tomorrow morning, 10:30 am, City Hall, second floor, the Chicago Republican Party announces its major initiative for the year. We're going to run candidates across the city, and we're kicking off an advertising campaign to find them. House Republican Leader Tom Cross and Senator Matt Murphy will speak.
Everyone is invited.
The full press release is below.
Monday, June 3, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chris Cleveland, 312-339-2677, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chicago Republican Party to launch very unusual recruiting campaign for candidates in Chicago
On Tuesday, June 4 the Chicago Republican Party will hold a press conference to announce an unprecedented advertising campaign, recruiting effort, and vetting process for candidates for the State Legislature in the City of Chicago.
Location: City Hall, second floor
Date: Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Time: 10:30 am