Was Ryan Lyin' ?

He’s finally out. Our state’s Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, Mr. Jack Ryan, has now officially withdrawn his name from the general election ballot. Here are the latest news the viewpoints regarding this whole mess.

Many people know about the situation facing our state’s U.S. Senate race, and our party’s [now-former] nominee. Jack Ryan won the highly-contested Republican primary for U.S. Senate, but recently announced his intention to withdraw of the race after his divorce records were unsealed. However, there were those who felt that Mr. Ryan should remain in the race (as has been opined in this very column), and his name remained on the ballot for several weeks, until he finally withdrew it.

One possible factor behind Ryan's withdrawal could be the belief by many that Ryan misled his supporters, and members of our party, about the nature of his sealed divorce records. Apparently, some Republicans felt that Ryan failed to adequately inform them about the content of those records, something which everyone knew could have an impact on the election, should they be unsealed. From the great ILSenate.com site, I found an article in Human Events (the national conservative weekly), called "Lyin' Ryan." In it, the authors state that "...Ryan looked both of us straight in the eyes and lied to us in an off-the-record lunch two weeks ago." What has happened within recent weeks regarding this race has apparently come as a major disappointment to many conservatives and Republicans, including some who firmly supported Mr. Ryan.

I wanted to focus this entry, however, on the thoughts of one particular conservative writer - a phenomenal young man who many Illinoisans recently discovered. Jacob Swain is an 18-year-old conservative activist, who last year became an official Republican Precinct Committeeman for his precinct in Marion, Illinois. The job of precinct committeeman is a very important, and very powerful, position to hold, and Jacob - who only recently graduated from high school - is one of the youngest people in our state ever to earn that title. During the crowded U.S. Senate primary, Mr. Swain was a strong supporter of Jack Ryan, who ended up winning the Republican nomination by a large margin.

When looking through the ILSenate.com site yesterday, I found that Mr. Swain has written an open letter to Mr. Ryan, expressing his feelings about the recent turn of events. The letter was posted by him on the discussion board of our state's premier conservative online publication, the Illinois Leader, and was featured in an entry at ILSenate.com, and elsewhere. I am posting Jacob's letter here now.

Dear Jack:

Since August of last year I have been an adamant supporter of yours. I believed that you were our best chance of keeping Conservative Republican representation in the U.S. Senate from Illinois. When you visited Southern Illinois in March of this year and were asked pointedly whether or not the allegations of sexual impropriety were in the recently released divorce documents you stated, ďNo. Nothing like that.Ē

When I, on the Illinois Leader, posted that your campaign was being open about your divorce papers and that there was nothing to hide, your campaign manager called me at 9:30 that evening and told me to delete my comments from the Leader and not to comment on these papers. When I inquired why the fuss if there was nothing to hide, he said that the campaign had nothing to hide but that the campaign didnít want people wasting valuable time snooping through the papers. I was frustrated with this call, feeling that such a reprimand was inappropriate. Nonetheless, for the good of the campaign, and believing in your innocence, I deleted any comments I had made on the subject and let this situation roll off of me.

Time and time again you denied that these papers had anything to do with sexual impropriety, but instead said that you did not want the papers opened to protect your son. We, as your surrogates, spent the last two weeks of the campaign calming fearful Republicans with promises that it was nothing more than last minute witch-hunting and that it would all be resolved soon.

Weeks turned into months and the situation was not resolved, as we had been promised. After the poorly chosen Justin Warfel tactics were brought to light, and after originally defending those tactics, I decided my time was better spent elsewhere.

I couldnít help but be ashamed last night as I fielded calls from rattled Republicans whom I expended my limited political capital to bring on board during the primary campaign. What do I say? The promises that these papers were closed due to their content surrounding your son proved to be false, and Iím left with egg on my face, looking like the naÔve idealist I have so often been accused of being.

I cannot speak for any other volunteers or supporters, but I have to say for myself that Iím very disappointed. I have no idea whether the wild sexual claims that Jeri made against you are true or not, but I do know that you mislead and boldly lied to many of us when you said that nothing like what we read Monday evening would be found in those papers. I am disillusioned, but not despondent. I know that we can move forward from this. I believe that is time for you to show altruism for those of us who worked so hard and step aside in this very important Senate race. Whether or not this was a plan the Democrats dreamed up, you and your campaign played into their hands by using the dishonesty that weíve all come to expect from them but will not accept from our own.

Jacob Swain

Posted by Aakash at July 30, 2004 9:13 PM