I've been the Berwyn Township Republican Committeeman for three terms and these next three months will be the final stretch of a 12 year exercise in futility. Today's Cook County 'Endorsement' session was nothing more than a sham, couched in the illusion of a democratic process.
I was against the idea of a countywide endorsement since it was first proposed months ago. My objection was twofold: 1. No matter who, if anyone, received 60% of the weighted vote, three men would have metaphorically been kneed in the groin for no good reason; 2. We would appear 'double-minded' or 'two-faced' if we endorsed one candidate as the Cook County Republican Committeeman and our individual organizations endorsed a different candidate.
Initially, Committeeman Lori Yokoyama (Chicago-4th Ward) was in agreement. That wasn't the case today. I learned from another committeeman that Yokoyama changed her opinion when she was allegedly courted by Bruce Rauner as his potential running-mate for Lt. Governor.
Thirty-one committeemen refused to vote to endorse a gubernatorial candidate. Twenty-six of those 31 didn't vote at all. Those committeemen carried a combined total of 41,161 additional weighted votes. Had they voted, the outcome could have been very different.
The deadline for committeemen to vote was Wednesday, December 18th...midnight. If voting by mail, the ballot had to be postmarked no later than the 18th. I voted via computer and I know of a few committeemen that chose to mail in their ballots. A few waited until the 18th to vote.
This game was rigged to benefit Bruce Rauner...period! How can I say that? Because the former Stickney Township Committeeman, Mike Olik, who resigned as committeeman on September 01, 2013, received a phone call from Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman asking Mike if he would be willing to be "appointed" committeeman by Aaron Del Mar just for the purpose of voting Stickney Township's 1,338 votes for Bruce Rauner! Olik emphatically refused to participate in the charade.
This isn't the first time a former committeeman was "encouraged" out of retirement for the sole purpose of tipping the scales in favor of the County Chairman's agenda...just ask Committeeman Eugene Dawson (Barrington Township).
Why the subterfuge? Because there were still ballots out as of 5:00pm on the 18th and Gorman & Co. weren't sure if they had 60% for Rauner...so, every vote was critical...even if it meant "appointing" a retired committeeman to secure the point spread.
There were about a dozen of us that stayed true to our words and commitments to the candidates we pledged to support. The lack of integrity of the chairman and his ilk is both astounding and habitual.
Anthony Castrogiovanni is Committeeman for Berwyn Township Republican Organization.