Illinois GOP Rewards Anti-Gay Bigotry

April 5th, 2010 at 2:03 pm | 13 Comments |

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The Republican party is relevant (at least temporarily) in Illinois for the first time in a long time. On the back of moderates like Mark Kirk and idiots like Rod Blagojevich, the party label has crawled out of the wilderness.  Being labeled a Republican is no longer toxic to a candidate’s chances. In fact, Mark Kirk might actually win President Obama’s old Senate seat.

A recent decision by the party bigwigs though, suggests that while Kirk might be uniquely talented and Blago uniquely outrageous, the Republican party’s new found vigor isn’t the result of the state party leadership evolving into a modern, forward looking bunch. The new Illinois party chair, Pat Brady, is a pretty thoughtful guy, but there is no acceptable explanation for Jack Roeser’s promotion.

For those of you who don’t know, Jack Roeser is a particularly ignorant 86-year-old who was the source of the “Mark Kirk is gay” rumors that Andy Martin repeated in a radio spot which said “Illinois Republican leader Jack Roeser says there is a solid rumor that Kirk is a homosexual. Roeser suggests that (Kirk) is part of a homosexual club.” I suppose as a reward for that wonderful tidbit, the Illinois Republican Party has made good old Jack finance co-chair of the Illinois Republican party. That means that he is one of five individuals responsible for raising cheddar for the Republicans trying to win both stateside and at the national level. In other words, the sourtce of the “Mark Kirk is gay” rumors is now responsible for helping Kirk become the next senator from Illinois.

Furthermore, the Chicago Business Journal reports that Roeser is one of the main sponsors of an event being headlined by Kirk. The article also notes that Roeser is “apparently lobbying pretty hard to become the GOP national committeeman, the Illinois Republican Party’s second highest ranking position.”  As Greg Hinz points out, Roeser has a history of intolerance. But the bottom line is that Roeser does bring in the dollars at a pretty good clip, and in politics that matters.

But there have to be limits. The Kirk rumors are unforgivable. Beyond the shamefulness of the rumor and the intolerance it reveals, there is the fact that the man is perfectly willing to play fast and loose with the truth to bring down a candidate he doesn’t happen to like, even without any meaningful evidence to substantiate his absurd attacks. He should lose his job, not only for being intolerant, ignorant, but for doing his party a disservice by embodying all of the faults that self-righteous liberals charge the party with advocating. We don’t condone hatred or dishonesty. We never have. We never will. It’s time to say so. Mr. Roeser needs to go.

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13 Comments so far ↓

  • Carney

    While trafficking in uncorroborated damaging rumors about a man’s personal conduct is indeed low and worthy of condemnation, that is an entirely separate issue from the culture war issues surrounding homosexuality, and rejecting the latter in no way logically or morally requires surrendering on social conservative issues and adopting the Democrats’ agenda.

    Code words like ignorant, intolerant, modern, forward-thinking, and so on beg the question and simply presume unstated that the should continue an historically unprecedented, deeply radical program. Given the highly debatable nature of that assumption, not least in light of the unbroken record of popular referenda banning “gay marriage”, including in “blue states”, often including any simulacrum of marriage, and even in states requiring a super-majority, such rhetorical sleight-of-hand is dishonest.

    And by the way, is “cheddar” used by normal, real people as slang for “money”- outside rap circles?

  • Carney

    I meant in the first paragraph, “rejecting the former.” FrumForum, catch up to the 1990s and allow revision of posted comments!

  • ottovbvs

    …..Trouble in Republican paradise

  • CentristNYer

    Carney // Apr 5, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    “…that is an entirely separate issue from the culture war issues surrounding homosexuality, and rejecting the latter in no way logically or morally requires surrendering on social conservative issues and adopting the Democrats’ agenda.”

    To the contrary, it’s hardly a “conservative” position to oppose the rights of adults to enter into marriage contracts with the adult of their choosing. Likewise, the right of brave men and women to give their lives for their country because of their sexual preferences. There are simply no logical, rational grounds for such restrictions and true conservatives are wise to reject such outdated notions.

    If churches and synagogues wish to sanctify certain relationships and not others, that’s their right. But it’s not the role of government to single out people and grant special rights to some and not others. Frankly, that couldn’t sound *less* conservative to me.

  • rbottoms

    As Greg Hinz points out, Roeser has a history of intolerance.

    Then he should feel right at home in the modern GOP.

    - Rep. J.D. Hayworth:
    “the establishment of intimacy,” he said, “I guess that would mean if you really had affection for your horse, I guess you could marry your horse.”

    - Rick Santorum:
    In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.

    - Rabbi Chaim Schwartz:
    “It’s morally incorrect, and what’s next? Bestiality? Marrying a dog? Marrying your cat?”

    - Don Irvine:
    “the first ever Pride month celebration at the White House,” “Maybe next he can repaint the White House a nice shade of pink and hang the rainbow flag in front to show his commitment to the gay cause.”

    - Molotov Mitchell:
    Ugandans are “right” to make “homosexuality a capital offense”

    - Jonah Goldberg:
    Nazi attitudes toward homosexuality are also a source of confusion. While it is true that some homosexuals were sent to concentration camps, it is also the case that the early Nazi Party and the constellation of Pan-German organizations in its orbit were rife with homosexuals.

  • Carney

    Centrist, you very wrongly equate conservative with libertarian or minimal government.

    What is actually not conservative is to radically refashion basic institutions of society such as marriage and family to fit in accord with current views about what is “rational”.

    The French and Bolshevik Revolutions billed themselves as sweeping away crusty old emotion-generated socio-economic arrangements with clean sheets of paper on which only purely rational scientific approaches were permitted. But they had the intellectual honesty to admit they were not conservative, and didn’t attempt a Humpty-Dumpty redefinition of a popular term to advance deeply radical, convulsive change.

  • CentristNYer


    Sweeping away slavery was also a “radical refashioning of a basic institution.” It was wrong and it had to go. Same theory applies here. If so-called conservatives want to strap themselves to these oppressive policies — pretending to themselves that they’re forestalling some kind of Bolshevik assault — then they should also be prepared to go down into the ditch with them.

  • Carney

    CentristNYer, you are not making a conservative case here, just a generic case for sweeping change.

  • msmilack

    Good article. Question: I’m curious about another element in Kirk’s candidacy which is the role of the Club for Growth which had Kirk sign a pledge agreeing to join in the GOP effort to bring a lawsuit to repeal the Healthcare bill. When Kirk tried to walk away from that pledge (because it is so futile), apparently the Club for Growth threatened to take away their support for Kirk (by which I assume they mean money for his campaign). The influence of the Club for Growth, in this and other elections, sound as worrisome and pernicious to me as the story you report about who and what is actually behind a so-called resurgence of the GOP in Illinois. I have to ask: a resurgence at what price and to whom?

  • wtf

    What’s the deal with this Roeser guy? Just a few months ago he told a Chicago newspaper he was standing by his statement that he thinks Mark Kirk is gay,

    And it’s obvious Roeser doesn’t approve of gays. But now he’s hosting a state gop fundraiser featuring Mark Kirk, a guy he thinks is gay? Huh?!?

    Sounds like he’s just trying to buy a big party title and he doesn’t care how much of his own values he has to sell out.

    The only thing worse than a homophobe is one who is for sale.

  • Kent

    Here’s Jack Roeser in his own words from 2005. The diatribe below includes these big-tent lines: “Homosexuals are a strident group that usually votes Democrat” and “homosexuals form a cabal that subverts the group’s legitimate intended goals. “

    So obviously the attack on Kirk’s sexuality (based only on rumors) this year was no new thing for Roeser. Now Roeser’s helping fund those same “Pink Elephants” as he calls them? Either Pat Brady and his state republican party are using Roeser, or Roeser is using Pat Brady and the state republican party, or maybe it’s both.

    The Pink Elephants: Topinka and Rutherford – by Jack Roeser
    I first heard State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka and state Senator Dan Rutherford described as “Pink Elephants” by Chicago Democrats who are tickled pink by the prospect of Republicans running for Constitutional offices while publicly trashing a traditional Republican value. Two such candidates on the Republican ticket are an unexpected political gift to the Democrats.

    There’s Topinka on her float in the Gay Pride Parade each year, and gay advocates in her office and in the GOP’s State Central Committee when she was Chairman. Doesn’t that make a pretty picture? She’s going to run for governor of Illinois if she can get Bob Kjellander and cronies to fund her campaign.

    Then there’s Sen. Dan Rutherford who voted for the “gay rights” bill in January 2005 (SB3186) which gives extra rights to homosexuals. It puts those who practice a certain sexual behavior as a privileged class. There are two huge problems with his vote.

    Rutherford’s vote in favor of such a poorly written bill shows that his gay advocacy is stronger that his duty to vote for properly written legislation. SB3186 could be described as “Blue Cross for Attorneys” because it encourages nuisance lawsuits about a poorly defined issue.

    Further, Rutherford will neither confirm nor deny that he is a homosexual himself, even though he has aligned himself with that controversial interest group. Homosexuals are a strident group that usually votes Democrat.

    Putting aside the moral stricture, there are practical reasons to resist the intrusion of this group into any group because the homosexuals form a cabal that subverts the group’s legitimate intended goals. Witness the destructive affect on the Catholic Church with loss of status, costs of settling lawsuits, and reduced financial support from disgusted parishioners.

    Dan Rutherford’s presence on the GOP ticket for Secretary of State is a curse on the whole ticket.

  • Illinois GOP Rewards Anti-Gay Bigotry - Charles Johnson - The Lizard Annex - True/Slant

    [...] The creep who spread the “Mark Kirk is gay” rumor in Illinois, Jack Roeser, has been promoted to the finance co-chair of the Illinois Republican party: Illinois GOP Rewards Anti-Gay Bigotry. [...]

  • goldwater gal

    Conservatives in Illinois are disgusted with Roeser for selling out and jumping in bed with the wing of the party he used to oppose. And the log cabin wing is happy he sold out, but of course they’ll never trust him either.

    What was this guy thinking? Does Roeser really think that his 180 plus a check to the gop will buy him that national committeeman title he seems to want so much? He must be nuts. And it all looks unethical.