CHICAGO, May 27, 2012 – Pulling a ‘Specter’ has become synonymous for an act of political betrayal by an elected official against the voters he or she was supposed to represent. This week, sixteen Illinois Republican lawmakers with the encouragement of state GOP leaders pulled a ‘Specter’ when they approved Democrat legislation that would implement ObamaCare two years ahead of schedule in the cash-strapped state.
Back in 2009, then Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) was one of only three senators to break party ranks and vote for President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, that the president’s Council of Economic Advisors have now estimated cost taxpayers $278,000 per job created.
In April that same year, Specter suddenly announced he was joining the Democrat Party, the switch giving Senate Democrats a filibuster-proof majority of 60 seats. In December 2009, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), informally known as ObamaCare, passed in the U.S. Senate by a vote of 60-39.
But Specter paid a serious price for his Republican betrayal; voters do not seem to react well when a politician changes his stripes for a political gain. In 2010, Specter lost his seat to Pat Toomey (R-PA) in the bruising 2010 midterm elections and the successful sweep of Tea Party-backed Republican congressmen into office.
Ever since the Specter betrayal, Republican primary voters have become increasingly astute at discerning Democrats-in-Republican-clothing.
The sneaky late Thursday vote on Illinois bill HB 5007 this week - right before the start of Memorial Day weekend - may have forced some of these Illinois “Republicans” out of the proverbial political closet.
The expansion is based on ObamaCare’s eligibility rules and has built-in safeguards if portions of the law are ruled to be unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court this year.
The bill passed both houses in
But Republican voters, outraged at the perceived betrayal by the Illinois GOP leadership, are speaking out. Earlier this week, the National Review issued a warning about the bill’s impending passage. Tea Party organizations across
The political sleight-of-hand has left some to wonder: with Republican leaders like these, who needs Democrats?
Illinois GOP Party Chairman Pat Brady also has remained silent on the issue. But the Republican defection appears to be in direct conflict with the current Illinois Republican Party platform which states in pertinent part:
Illinois Republicans reject the socialized healthcare schemes being promoted by our two
Twenty-four Illinois Republican lawmakers also voted to pass gambling expansion in
Rep. Dan Brady – cousin of GOP Party Chair Pat Brady – also voted for the measure.
Will there be a backlash against the Illinois GOP establishment for its support of these controversial measures? Will a robust movement of taxpayers unite against this latest encroachment of big government in
Unlike other states, Republican primary voters do not directly elect their party leaders in
Many have argued that this lack of GOP party accountability in
Given the vote of Illinois Republicans in support of ObamaCare this week, those supporting a return to direct elections may have already won their case.
Conservative commentator and satirist William J. Kelly and Laura Kelly edit and manage the Tea Party Reports for Communities @WashingtonTimes.com. Kelly also pens Bill Kelly’s Truth Squad and is a contributor to Breitbart.com. He is a native of Chicago’s Southside. Email questions to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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