Dear Mr. Baisley
I am writing you concerning the proceedings of the Committee Officer's Elections of the Douglas County Republican Committee which occurred last week. Due to the way you conducted yourself once elected that night, my congratulations to you are very muted at best. I'll review my reactions to a specific incident.
I didn't attend as a voting representative but as a citizen observer. I don't know you nor did I know any of those who were up for election to the various offices. I had no objections to your being elected by acclaim. It is reportedly well deserved.
I was struck by the support Pat Nahovec enjoyed as she went forward to accept her nomination, and I was impressed with her words. I noticed that Mr. Kennedy did not enjoy as much support as he went forward, but his speech was underwhelmingly arrogant. I had the impression he was dismissing his competition as nil, even before the vote, and that he was quite certain he had it in the bag. His plans we grandiose, and his reflections on his own achievements were most self-complimentary. Keep in mind that I had no knowledge of either of these candidates.
The part of the meeting that infuriated me (no, I wasn't the man who stood up and shouted and screamed at the rostrum that you were "out of order) was when you, as newly elected Chairman chose to stand and ham-handedly dismiss Mrs. Nahovec and her accomplishments in favor of Kennedy. As I recall, you felt Kennedy would be able to "contribute the most to the team we've put together." I think that paraphrase is quite accurate. I wish I could have added my voice to that of the gentleman who protested, but I wasn't an official delegate. I further felt that Treasurer John Fielding's rebuke of the gentleman on the floor, calling him "incoherent" and essentially telling him to sit down and shut up was totally over the top, given the impropriety of your biased endorsement while sitting Chairman. Whether your actions were against the bylaws or not makes little difference-I understand they were technically not. Nevertheless, you showed exceptionally poor decorum in your speech on Kennedy's behalf. I felt you affronted the intelligence of your delegates, and I consider the ethic of what you did in great question.
I was glad to see that Pat was elected with nearly twice the votes gleaned by Kennedy. When that was announced, I felt your sense of political propriety bottomed out, again, as you gave Pat classically faint praise that feigned congratulations, and you condescended to be willing to work with her in the future. However, I felt the demeanor of those comments made it clear that you didn't like the prospects.
Now, here's what I gleaned from you words. By citing the "team we have put together," you created, within me, the opinion that the Douglas County Republican Committee is essentially a machine where you elites pick the candidates and tell us, the great unwashed, who we are to elect. Not so unlike Chicago politics, and we've had quite enough of that this year. When your machine was undergirding Chris Holbert, I admit to an instant aversion to him as a candidate. Sadly, I'd come to the meeting specifically to meet him. Possibly totally unfair to the young man, but that's the fallout of indiscretion.
As Republicans, I feel we need to let all comers run for the offices without the interference of the GOP Committee. See who comes out on top, then get behind that candidate in the General Election. I do not believe it is in the ethical framework of the Douglas County Republican Committee to insult primary candidates who are running beneath our banner just because they aren't the darlings of the committee. Certainly it defies the guidance of Ronald Reagan.
© Curtis D. Dale, PhD, January 2010