Many of you are aware that Jeremy Rose was recently fired - excuse me, he decided to "resign" - from the position of Executive Director of the Cook County Republican Party. However, Rose is still the Grand Poobah of the Chicago Young Republicans (CYRs).
This raises a lot of concerns and many questions, not only about Rose but also about Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady and Lee Roupas, Chairman of the Cook County Republican Party. (Again, apologies to some readers for the semi-insider nature of all of this.)
Jeremy Rose will remain an integral part of the Roupas-controlled Cook County GOP. I am told today that Beth Christie, a wealthy Republican donor, will kick in some dough to pay a consultancy fee to Rose on behalf of the Cook Co. party. So, Rose is out, yet he's still in. Ironically, it sounds like Rose comes out of the affair in a better position. The gig as Executive Director didn't pay much, you see, but he will retain influence and make a tidy profit to boot.
The situation at the Cook County GOP may be resolved for now, but you can believe that it will flare up again after November's general elections. Rose's removal as Exec. Dir., Cook County GOP does nothing to resolve the alleged sex scandal at Rose's CYR. It's an open, festering wound that will surely turn gangrenous soon if it is not triaged quickly.
Pat Brady has known about the CYR-Jeremy Rose sex scandal allegations for many weeks, probably for many months. Insiders tell me that his top aides received emails about it last year. By now, certainly, all of the Republican leadership in Illinois is aware of it. There is no longer any excuse for those leaders, including Pat Brady, to not insist on a full internal investigation of the allegations.
By having let it go for so long, with rumors and inuendo flying all the while, was but another example of poorly Republicans handle public relations. This particular PR problem, which may seem insignificant to some, has all the potential of blowing up the the GOP's face in mid-October as a PR bomb that the Democrats will happily use. Thanks to Pat Brady's initial hiding of - and from - the problem, and also to his window-dressing removal of Rose as Exec. Director of the Cook County Republican Party, the Democrats won't even have to light that PR bomb's fuse.
IN FACT, THE BOMB THROWING STARTED TODAY, with a press conference call by some Democrat women:
WHO: State Senator Iris Martinez, State Representative Karen Yarbrough, State Representative Sarah Feigenholtz, Melissa Widen, PersonalPAC Board of Directors Vice-Chairman
[Update: Feigenholtz was a no-show; see more below...]
WHAT: PRESS CONFERENCE: WOMEN DEMAND RESPONSE AFTER COVER UP OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS IN ILLINOIS GOP
WHEN: Friday, July 30th at 12:00 p.m.
WHERE: Democratic Party of Cook County, 134 N LaSalle Blvd, 14th Floor, Chicago
SUBJECT: WOMEN DEMAND RESPONSE AFTER COVER UP OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS IN ILLINOIS GOP CHICAGO
Illinois women are demanding the truth from GOP standard-bearer Senator Bill Brady after his party covered up allegations of sexual misconduct by a top GOP leader. After two governors who betrayed the public trust, Illinois cannot afford a repeat of the problems of the past. Women and all voters should be concerned that a cover up of this magnitude was perpetuated by Illinois Republicans. The press conference will be held at the Democratic Party of Cook County offices, 134 N LaSalle Blvd, 14th Floor, Chicago, IL
UPDATE, 10:10 PM: Cook County GOP Scandal: Bill Brady Takes Heat From Women Democrats Over 'Cover-Up' at Huffington Post. (Note that Sara Feigenholtz stayed away for reasons unknown.)
Hat tip to Rich Miller at Capital Fax for the heads up on the press release. Miller noted, accurately, the "The mainstream Chicago media has completely ignored these allegations. We’ll see what happens after the press conference." Indeed, Capital Fax seems to be the only outlet - mainstream or otherwise - to publish that press release so far.
What's to be done? The OTHER Brady, of course, stands to lose most of all. That's State Senator Bill Brady, of course, who is the Republican running for governor of Illinois. Sen. Brady has also been aware of the CYR sexual misconduct allegations for months. As one GOP insider said to me this morning, "Bill Brady should have come out front months ago with this and demanded an inquiry," and hinted that Sen. Brady should even have called for purge of all suspects. As feared, and as we all knew would happen, the Dems are trying to tie Bill Brady to the scandal. Although he had nothing to do with any of the alleged misconduct, Bill Brady is guilty of participating in the covering up of the scandal. The fact that Pat Brady forced the "resignation" of Jeremy Rose from the Cook County GOP is proof enough that the leadership acknowledges the public relations problem - even though they handled it like rank amateurs.
Bill Brady needs to insist that Pat Brady step down as chair of the Illinois Republican Party. He should then hold a press conference to say how horrified he is about the allegations and the way it's been handled, and assure everyone that this kind of behavior is not acceptable. He would need to be careful to say things such as "if true" and "allegedly," because none of the accusations have been tried in any court of law. Bill Brady, however, does not need a court of law to state his case any more than Pat Brady did to oust Rose. Bill Brady can't keep avoiding this by continuing to hide in his bus.