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03/30/2010

White Party, Wrong State

  

  Your Illinois Republican Party has done it again:

  With little fanfare earlier this month, the party of Lincoln swore-in a new, 19-member State Central Committee that does not include any African-Americans!

  The seats on the committee are elected in each of the state's congressional districts and the GOP could not elect a black person in even the 1st, 2nd or 7th Districts which are overwhelmingly black. 

  The absence of any African-American members is a major disappointment for newly-elected chairman Pat Brady.  Brady, who was first elected to lead the state party after Andy McKenna resigned last summer insists that republicans must embrace diversity as part of their overall rebuilding strategy.

  "That's our fault and our problem and we need to diversify", lamented Brady.  "We did add some Hispanic Americans but we need to have more African-American representation, no doubt."

  Actually, the committee "added" only one Hispanic-American:  Angel Garcia represents the 3rd Congressional District.  After reviewing last names on the membership roll he appears to be the single Latino on the committee.

  Brady, a good friend of Michael Steele, the national republican party's African-American chairman, is hopeful about getting black state committee members elected, especially in predominantly black congressional districts in 2012.

  "I think there are a lot of moderate to conservative democrats in those areas fed up with what the  democrats have not delivered for them in the past decade"

  But Brady insisted the appeal to African-Americans must not be race-based.

  "We need to attract them on issues and not on skin color", he said.

  A recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau (2007) says that African-Americans make up 15% of Illinois, Hispanics around 15% while estimating the state's overall non-white population at 35%.   Demographers expect the percentages for non-whites, expecially Latinos, will increase dramatically after the 2010 census.

  But a look at the Illinois Republican Central Committee suggests the members were assembled from some other place. 

  Maybe that explains why their party doesn't hold a single statewide office.

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