Paul Caprio of Family-Pac made it known over the weekend that Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin has cut off Caprio’s access to the Illinois Republican voter files. According to Caprio, Durkin's barring him access is the result of Caprio supporting primary challengers to Reps. Ron Sandack and Ed Sullivan who voted for gay marriage and are on Durkin's leadership team.
Caprio sent the following letter to Illinois House Republicans on December 12:
For the past decade, Family-Pac has had a cordial working relationship with the HRO.
Although we haven’t always agreed on the best Republican candidates in the primaries, I think Tom Cross would tell you that Family-Pac has provided key assistance to pro-family GOP candidates in many general election contests.
In return, the House GOP leadership has always allowed us use of the Republican Party voter file.
Unfortunately, under the leadership of Jim Durkin this policy was changed without notice. Family-Pac’s ability to use OUR voter file has been terminated by Durkin.
I asked the reason for the change and was told by an HRO political operative it was because Family-Pac was opposing two GOP incumbents in the upcoming March 2014 Primary who had supported same sex marriage.
Forty-four of you opposed same sex marriage (SB10) in support of your national and state platforms. Now Family-Pac is discriminated against for supporting your position.
If Jim Durkin wants to focus his campaign efforts on supporting these two candidates instead of recruiting strong candidates in target districts against Democrats, that’s his prerogative. However, to use the vote on same sex marriage to determine HRO’s relationship with a long-time ally like Family-Pac, I believe, is extremely foolish.
We view this as another effort to marginalize the conservative base which is so important to the success of the pro-family candidates. These continued insults are one of the reasons that the GOP finds itself in such a weakened position in Illinois.
Thank you again for your support of our common values.
Illinois Review was also sent a letter from Caprio to his allies:
I’ve attached a copy of a letter I sent yesterday to all Illinois Republican House members.
As you can see this is yet another effort to further close the Party to social conservatives.
I can assure you that this reckless action by Jim Durkin will not hinder our efforts to defeat GOP candidates who were the deciding votes to pass same sex marriage. GOP Primary decisions should be decided by individual voters, not dictated by would-be political bosses like Jim Durkin.