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The Hits Just Keep On Coming for Illinois GOP

By vouchey in News on Jan 4, 2005 7:10PM

George RyanIt was a bad year for the Illinois GOP. Illinois went totally Blue for the presidency, Obama won, Alan Keyes was their Senate candidate, the Democrats kept hold of both houses of the state legislature, and Democrat Rod Blagojevich continued his popular reign as governor. Now it looks like the last Republican governor, George Ryan, is beginning a long, torturous journey to the federal pokey.

Just this afternoon, federal judge Rebecca Pallmeyer decided to unseal a 114-page package of documents detailing the U.S. Attorney's case against Ryan. In the package are depositional testimony by people like his former chief of staff, Scott Fawell. Ryan's attorneys wanted to keep the testimony sealed because they felt it would prejudice the jury.

Ryan is, as you might suspect, the big catch that the U.S. Attorney has been working up to for some time. So far there have been 68 people indicted from his administration -- and no acquittals. Probably one of the big ironies is that Ryan is being taken down by a U.S. Attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald, brought in by a Illinois Republican senator crusading against corruption, Peter Fitzgerald (no relation). Today is Sen. Fitzgerald's last day, as he decided not to run for reelection, and is being replaced by Barack Obama.

What do you say about all this? There are still plenty of "good" Republicans out there, as evidenced by outgoing-Senator Fitzgerald. But what does the state GOP stand for? Probably not strict-Christian morals, as evidenced by the lackluster party support for Alan Keyes' candidacy. Hope springs eternal however, as six strong candidates have put up their names for GOP state party chair. The field is varied, with many ideologies, so so the results will probably indicate what direction the party will head.