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Oberweis falls short of meeting support

Published: Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 5:30 a.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 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 he needed from committeemen to have the meeting.

In January, Oberweis started seeking support from Republican lawmakers to meet and discuss Brady’s open support of same-sex marriage. Brady said 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 other committee members had tried to set up a meeting, possibly for Feb. 23, but nothing has been confirmed. He said Jerry Clarke, former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. 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 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 the GOP is an open, inclusive party that welcomes a diversity of opinions. He said he’s confident the committee will move beyond the issue.

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

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