(by Walt Nowosad) – When I lived in Key West, FL in the early seventies there was an election for county sheriff that was hotly contested; so hotly contested that there were stories going around that the incumbent had been buying votes.
An opportunity arose that brought the incumbent and me to the same table in a local restaurant. I asked him if he thought it was fair to his opponents if, in fact, he was buying votes. His self-serving answer exposed him as a less than honest politician. The answer was that he couldn’t put in place those policies he wanted if he didn’t get into office. My take was that his attitude was to win “at any price.”
Fast forward to Douglas County 2006. The Douglas County Republican Central Committee’s is electing a new chair. The candidates are Valida McMichael and Wesley Rice. On the night of the election, some maneuvering takes place to continually delay the actual balloting. While this delay was in effect, Robin Reedy calls in many of her friends to get them elected as new members of the DCRCC. Being new members allows them to vote in the election for chairman. Valida wins the election by one vote. Without the delaying tactic and calling in of friends to vote there would have been a different chairman of the DCRCC that year. Legal? Yes, as there is nothing in place to disallow the maneuver. Is it right? The members of the DCRCC say that it isn’t and to prevent a repeat of this kind of action in the future they added a section to the bylaws that outlined the specific procedure that must be followed in order to become a member of the DCRCC; that new bylaw won approval by more than the required two-thirds vote.
Should it have been necessary for the DCRCC to enact that process if we expect honorable behavior? I think not. Was this a win “at any price” action by Robin Reedy? You decide.
Subsequent events showed that the election of Valida McMichael may have been for naught as she resigned from the chairmanship four months into a two-year term. The fruits of winning “at any price?”
Fast forward to the Candidate Forum on May 20th at the CVIC. One of the questions asked of the candidates for Assembly District 39 was, “What is your position on same day registration?” First to answer was Robin Reedy. The question seemed to have caught her off guard as she hesitated and it looked like her face reddened. After that pregnant pause, she said, “I’m shocked by people who would want same day registration.” So that answer begs the question: What are we to believe when she professes early registration is bad, but packing the house in a DCRCC election is not. Was her statement a contradiction to the events of the 2006 DCRC election?
What are we to believe? Win “at any price?”
Do we want someone in the legislature who wants win “at any price?” Should we be concerned about what that price would be? After all she won’t sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge because, and I paraphrase, “it would tie my hands for negotiating.” Would part of the flexibility she wants be to bargain away any of the key philosophical points that makes some of us Republicans, all for the sake of getting any gain against the opposition party; and all that for the sake of being flexible? We already have Republicans in the legislature who wear sheep’s clothing, we don’t need another.
And let us not leave out the fact the she has distanced herself from the DCRCC and the Republican women’s groups after she resigned the chairmanship of the DCRCC until she declared for the race for District 39. “At any price?”
Re-elect Jim Wheeler who has a proven record, knows how to honorably negotiate, keep faith with the Republican philosophy, and will say no when that is the correct reply.