Changing Times for the Cook County GOP

August 12, 2011

Changing Times for the Cook County GOP

Ok, it’s time to start making some noise again.

The Cook County Republicans are going to be appointing a new leader. Godspeed to Lee Roupas, who has had to deal with a wide variety of conflicting personalities through some very tumultuous times.

I would offer some advice to those who will choose the person to lead us into the 2012 elections and to the one who is chosen:

Select someone with high energy. This will be needed to keep up with not only Democratic Party’s flurry of activity, but also the GOP’s own menagerie of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Candidates and supporters will need someone who can motivate and inspire them as we go into one of the most critical election cycles in our lifetime. This also applies at the Township level.

Agree to disagree. Not all of us agree with each others positions, and that is ok. There are those whose personalities clash on a regular basis, and that is ok, too. But please, for the sake of the political family, keep the dissention and discontent behind closed doors. Remember the words made popular by Ronald Reagan, “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican”. While this is not always practical, there is no need to air the dirty laundry of the party in a public way. Keep it in the “family”. Do you inform members of the public every time you have a personal family problem? Point made.

Select a TRUE Republican. Within our own party, we have too many who are content to go along to get along. These individuals need to be called out and re-educated. If they are not willing to change their thought process, perhaps they need to jump ship now. Our new leader needs to be able not only to recognize this, but be willing and able to take them to task. Part of the problem with our own voting base arises when voters say it doesn’t matter who you vote for, they all do the same thing. Our party needs to stand out, and in a good way. Voters need to be able to tell the difference by actions, not party labels.

Support your candidates. This does not only mean monetarily. Your candidates, at all levels, need you to step up and show them that the party is behind them. Show up at their events. Be aware of what they are doing. Offer guidance when necessary and a shoulder when needed. We all get tired. We all get busy. But there is nothing worse than feeling like you are out there on your own.

Spend Wisely and Support each other. Don’t waste campaign funds on smear attacks with accusations that cannot be supported with fact. Exploit true facts, back them up, and beat them into oblivion. There’s plenty out there, folks. Use it.

When candidates are running for different offices, in areas that merge, campaign staffers need to get together and see how they can best utilize their resources. While the economy is tight, some campaigns are not as well funded as they need to be. This should not prevent good candidates from winning elections if they pool their resources. Get your candidates together and make something good happen. Think outside the box. Remember this when someone tells you “That’s not the way we’ve always done it”. Whatever “it” is obviously hasn’t been working or there would be more GOP victories in Cook County.

With a little more effort, the Republican Party in Cook County can be productive in 2012. (If they want to be…)


Politics vs. Old Cars

August 5, 2009
From the time I was born, I was raised on the southeast side of Chicago at a time when smoke still poured from the stacks of the steel mills. My father, who was a first generation Italian and U.S. Marine, worked in one of those mills while my mother, a first generation Slovak, stayed home and took care of the house. My ethnic heritage is said to be Irish or Scottish or both, with a bit of American Indian thrown in, though this is yet to be verified. You see, I was adopted because my mother could not bare children, but she and my father wanted a family. We didn’t have a lot, but there was always food on the table, a roof over our heads and an immaculately clean house.
I learned about integrity, hard work and helping others from my father. I watched him work hard his entire life to provide for his family while still making time to help the widows on the block with their lawns, painting, groceries, whatever they needed. I remember being a teenager on a roof with my dad and the owner of a furniture repair store. Jesse was a friend of dad’s and snow was threatening to collapse the roof, so up we went with shovels. We never worried about going through the roof, we just got the job done.
Fortunately, my husband lives by the same principals and we have tried to pass these values on to our children. We have given them the room they need to be self-expressive while instilling values in them that we hope will last a lifetime.
My father pushed me to be the best I could be at whatever I tried. He taught me to take care of myself. He did not want me to ever be at the mercy of being “in need”. I always drove older cars that he taught me how to fix myself with a trunk full of tools “just in case” I broke down. He said that way, if someone offered assistance, the least I could do was have the right tools to perform the repair.
Politics is a lot like an old car. There is always something that could break. You won’t like every single aspect of it. It may make too much noise from time to time. But, if we carry the right tools, and seek assistance and counsel from those who know what we have not yet learned, we can fix almost anything. When it is beyond that point, before you throw good money after bad, before you invest your time and sweat, you need to know when it is time to replace that old car.
We have a lot of old cars that need replacing in 2010. I only hope the people are paying enough attention to know which ones need to go.