I have been a member of the Republican Party for over thirty years, having given time and money to the party and many candidates in both Oklahoma and Texas. The Reagan campaign was one of the first on which I worked. My Republican credentials are not to be called into question. Further, being a Republican is a choice of affiliation and association and I freely choose to do so.
While my credentials as a Republican cannot be called into question, I believe your conduct as Chair can. Apparently you need to acquaint yourself with the official rules of the OK Republican Party. Somehow you seem to believe you have the right to determine whether or not I am a Republican by stating I “have a different agenda which is not the Republican party”. You are actually in violation of the party rules if you attempt to obstruct my membership:
Rule 3- Rights and Qualifications of Members and Officers
Members: All citizens of Oklahoma are invited to join the Republican Party of Oklahoma to perpetuate this Republic. All qualified voters of this state who are registered Republicans are members of the Republican Party of Oklahoma, and shall have the right to participate in the official affair and government of the Republican Party in accordance with these rules. Such right shall be sacred and inviolate, and the willful disregard or abridgement of such right by an officer or member of any committee of the Party shall be deemed sufficient cause for the removal of such officer or committee member.
I am troubled by a County Chair who, without even convening an Executive Committee meeting, sends out such a letter. Although I am very concerned and troubled I am not surprised. This is not the first time this has happened to me. This latest attempt to remove me from the county list is reminiscent of the last cycle during which thoughtful, and open discussions on procedure were taking place amongst Republicans with the result that I was removed from the Committee by Nolan and yourself.
Let us get to the heart of the matter. Is it the goal of the Washington County Republican Committee to limit free speech, silence dissent, and quash the respectful questioning of incumbents? Nothing in my conduct has ever indicated I would engage in destructive behavior like “bashing” a Senator at an event such as the one scheduled for tonight, nor did I implore anyone else to do so. Frankly, I resent the implication that I would.
While my conduct has remained respectful, I cannot say the same in return. Is this empowering? Is this inclusive? Is this any way to run a party? This pattern of behavior has been going on around the country in recent years in an attempt to retain power and control in the hands of the same few. It would almost seem that the intent is to raise money without implementing policy . . .
We are in this cycle again. We are profiling incumbents and using them to raise money for local efforts but we are not allowed to ask any questions. The party can only function properly if people are engaged in the process and invited to participate in the decisions about where that money is directed and especially how it is used in the primary season.
Apparently the confidence of the Washington County Republican committee is so brittle and weak that it cannot withstand diversity of opinion. I cannot say that I am surprised that the label constitutionalist was applied in a negative manner to myself and my “friends”. But I would ask: if the Republican Party doesn’t stand for the Constitution, then just what does it stand for?
I will be addressing this matter with my fellow Washington County Republican Precinct Chairs as soon as possible.
Precinct Chair #28
Washington County Republican Party
your letter to me is included below for reference:
From: Grace Farmer (GFARMER@arvest.com)
Sent: Fri 3/26/10 12:54 PM
I need to say a few words to you about tomorrow night. Tom is coming as a friend to help the local Republican party raise needed funds for this county. This is not a town hall meeting or a bashing of Tom Coburn as he is our sitting Senator. Please inform your constitutionalist friends that is a Republican event and if you were holding one for the Libertarian or Constitutionalist party we would not come and try and destroy what you were building out of respect. You have a different agenda which is not the Republican party and as such I am giving you the opportunity to devote full time to that cause. John Kahre and I have discussed this and you are being removed from list of the Washington County Republican Party Executive Committee.
I really wish we could all work together for the good of the Republican party and when we do not we set ourselves up for failure.