Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Goldwater: GOP needs leadership in Illinois

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By Ray Hanania

The Republican Party in Illinois has been in disarray for the past few years, with a wide range of people pulling it in every direction.

But on May 20, mainstream Republicans who have the true spirit of the conservative movement in their hearts will gather to solidify their voices to rally their candidates in an effort to reassert themselves in Illinois politics.

It’s being done in a powerful way.

The forum is co-hosted by Orland Township Republican Committeewoman Elizabeth “Liz” Gorman and her Homer Township colleague, Steve Balich. The forum will be held at Elements Banquet Hall, 16235 S. LaGrange Road, Orland Park. Attendance is free. Register at OrlandForward.com.


Ray Hanania

The keynote speaker is former Congressman Barry M. Goldwater Jr., whose father, the late Arizona Senator and presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, was the conscience of the conservative movement.

House Minority Leader James Durkin will also address the GOP forum.

In the 1964 presidential election, I cherished a campaign sign for Senator Goldwater that read “Au H2O in ’64” displayed in the window of my home. That was the first real election I remember growing up in a traditional conservative Republican family who also rallied for Senator Charles Percy.

I spoke with Goldwater Jr., who served in the Congress representing California from 1969 until 1983. He reminded me about what being a real conservative Republican is all about.

“I am excited about being out there in Illinois, although the state of Illinois has been hurt by the domination of the liberal side of the political equation,” Goldwater said.

“We got too much government in Illinois. We have a huge debt and an unfunded liability in pensions. The state is hurting because of the lack of good quality conservative leadership.”

Illinois is the second worst state when it comes to taxes. The Republican Party is teetering on the verge of losing its entire presence in Cook County, something Gorman is hoping to change as the leading Republican candidate running in the 17th Cook County District in the June 28 GOP Primary election. Her foe, Sean Morrison, is dragging the party down.

“I don’t like government telling me what to do and how to do it. We need government to provide for safety with police and fire. We need stoplights on the streets,” Goldwater said.

“But I don’t need government to tell me how to educate my children, for instance. I don’t really need the federal government to control my commerce and how I do business. But if you are a small businessman in this country today, you can’t do business without a lawyer, a CPA and people like that. You can’t afford it. There is too much regulation and making it tough for a small businessman to stay in business.

“So, people in Illinois need to decide what they want. They need to have a balanced budget. They need to eliminate laws of regulations. They need a strong police force and need to crack down on crime. They need leadership, that’s what they need.”

Goldwater said the Republican Party is missing leadership.

“I think the country is in trouble because we don’t have the leadership that we need. It comes from the president all the way down to the speaker of the house and the president of the senate down to local government,” Goldwater said.

“You need good leaders who inspire people. We want to be inspired to get out and help our fellow citizens to do charitable work, to be involved in our community. But that takes leadership, leading us to do those kinds of things. Unfortunately, we have too much dependency on government. It’s like an addiction. Once we get it, we don’t want to let go of it. I think the Republican Party has a formula to get the yolk of government off our back, set us free, cut our taxes and regulations, and allow the American people to go to work. We will pull ourselves out of this problem that we are in right now and provide for the next generation.”

Real Republicans will be at the forum Friday at 6 p.m. hosted by Gorman and Balich. They include gubernatorial candidates Jesse Sullivan and Gary Rabine, and Dan Brady, a candidate for secretary of state. David Shestokas is a candidate for attorney general.

Also featured are congressional candidates in the 6th District like Scott Kaspar, who has created a powerful Public Safety Task Force that includes one of New York’s toughest crime fighters, former Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik. Candidates Gary Grasso, Robert Crus and Niki Conforti will be there. Also, Jefferey Regnier in the 1st District.

Go to Hanania.com to read more of Barry Goldwater’s thoughts.

Check out Ray Hanania’s columns and political podcasts at hanania.com.

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