A press release from the IVI-IPO endorsing Democrat Bill Genes for state senate in the 26th district has arrived.
The “IVI” stands for “Independent Voters of Illinois.”
It used to be the Illinois affiliate to Americans for Democratic Action, a quite liberal group, but that affiliation seems to have been dropped. It used to endorse some Republicans, such as Bernie Carey for Cook County State’s Attorney. I can’t remember the last time it came out for a GOP candidate.
The “IPO” part is for “Independent Precinct Organization.” This was started by Chicago independent (of the Chicago Democratic Party machine) Alderman Dick Simpson, now head of the Political Science Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
My seatmate in the 1970′s was Susan Catania. When I was working legislation on the floor, she often voted my switch. One year she did it so much that I ended up on the honor list of the Independent Voters of Illinois.
Boy, did that surprise me!
When I was running for state comptroller in 1982, I attended an IVI dinner that Harold Washington showed up at.
When he saw me (I think he came over to shake my hand), but he seemed alarmed and immediately went to talk to the group’s leadership.
Suburban Republicans like me had supported his crusade to force the Chicago Park District to distribute its money throughout the city and his efforts to lower fees on the cashing of welfare checks at currency exchanges.
But the thought of the IVI supporting a Republican for statewide office must have been a bit too much for Harold to accept.
The IVI-IPO endorsement press release for Gentes follows:
Today we are proud to announce that Bill Gentes has received the endorsement of the Independent Voters of Illinois Independent Precinct Organization. The IVI-IPO has been in existence since 1944, and has been dedicated to good government activism and an idealistic vision of open, honest government in Illinois. The organization’s primary tools are voter registration, voter information, and candidate endorsement. The IVI-IPO also lobbies on behalf of governmental reforms designed to open the system and better inform the public on the political process. In an era of heightened rhetoric and fierce partisanship in Illinois, the endorsement of independent leaning organizations like the IVI-IPO serves as proof that Mayor Gentes has the bipartisan appeal necessary to get things done in Springfield.
The IVI-IPO is a not-for-profit, multi-partisan, independent political organization.
I am not aware that the organization has any membership base out in our area.