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Oberweis falls short in quest to force meeting with Brady

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 4:21 p.m. CDT

State Sen. Jim Oberweis hasn't received the support he needed to convene a meeting to discuss views that Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady has expressed on same-sex marriage.

Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, said Wednesday that he had reserved a conference room at the Hampton Inn in Aurora, using his own money. The meeting was scheduled for Saturday, but Oberweis only got three of the five votes from committeemen he needed to convene the meeting.

In late January, Oberweis started seeking support from Republican lawmakers to set up a meeting to discuss Brady's open support of same-sex marriage. Brady said last month that he was expressing support for same-sex marriage in a personal capacity, rather than as Illinois GOP chairman.

"I believe we have to have a meeting to ask Pat for an explanation, to modify his actions or get a new CEO," Oberweis said. "Our CEO has taken very open, public action contrary to the organization, and that's unacceptable."

Oberweis said he was told that other committee members had been trying to set up a meeting, and had heard that someone was seeking a Feb. 23 date, but nothing has been confirmed. He said Jerry Clarke, former chief of staff for Congressman Randy Hultgren, has been working to set up another meeting.

Clarke did not return a message seeking comment.

Brady, of St. Charles, said he wasn't surprised that Oberweis didn't get the support he needed to call a meeting.

"I'm just at a loss as to why either of them would spend all this time working on something that's going nowhere," Brady said. "I understand there were people on the committee who weren't happy with the way I rolled it out, but I talked to others who said this is perfectly appropriate."

He said the party's preamble states that the GOP is an open, inclusive party that welcomes a diversity of opinions. He said he's confident that the committee will be able to move beyond the issue.

Oberweis said the other committeemen who supported convening a meeting included Gene Dawson, from Barrington, and Angel Garcia, from Chicago. He said another member committed a vote, but it never came to fruition because Oberweis said he couldn't find a fifth person to vote.

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