An open letter to Republican Party of Florida Chairman John Thrasher
By Chris Ingram
Dear Chairman Thrasher:
Congratulations on your election as Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. I wouldn’t wish this job on my worst enemy. Sharon Day should be relieved she lost and doesn’t have to herd all the cats on the committee with all the dogs in the legislature.
While I didn’t support you for reasons that I have previously made public, I have to hand it to you, I liked what you said in your campaign speech last Saturday in Orlando. I particularly liked the part about the need to “restore integrity” to the Republican Party of Florida. Listening to you say that while that greasy buffoon Jim Greer was sitting right next to you on the dais was priceless! But poor ol’ Greer is so dim-witted I doubt he knew you were talking about him.
Anyhow, enough about Greer. I think the next time we see him the authorities will be marching him out in an orange jump-suit with lord only knows how many others in tow.
As you begin your term, I hope you will seriously and immediately begin the necessary reforms to restore integrity to the party. In addition to a full-scale third-party audit of the party’s books and necessary changes to the party’s constitution, by-laws, and rules to prevent another Jim Greer fiasco, I call on you to make the necessary legislative changes to abolish the RPOF “loyalty oath” for party members.
You may or may not be aware of the oath, but it reads as follows:
I, ________________________ , hereby swear and affirm that during my term of office* I will not actively, publicly, or financially support the election of any candidate other than the Republican candidate in a partisan unitary, general or special election, or a Registered Republican in non-partisan elections, other than Judicial races governed under Florida Statute 105, if there is a registered Republican running for the same office, unless the county executive committee has taken an affirmative vote to endorse one Republican over another per Rule 8(B). I further swear and affirm that I will not engage in activities or conduct that may be deemed by the Grievance Committee and affirmed by the RPOF Chairman as likely to injure the name of the Republican Party or interfere with the activities of the Republican Party.
*office includes general membership in a county party “REC” organization.
Chairman, I know that before you professed your “love” of the Republican Party that you gave $500 to Alex Sink, a Democrat. While I don’t fault you for the action, I am suspect of the reason why you did this (I have been told by others who are lobbyists like you were that you did it because you had to “play the game”). You may have noticed voters are tired of games that lobbyists, legislators, and other politicos have been playing lately.
In any event, it appears you violated the RPOF loyalty oath by giving money to Ms. Sink. For the record, I voted for Ms. Sink. Not because someone was paying me to influence her and I needed to play the game, but because I felt her Republican opponent was another typical career politician looking for his next job because he was termed out of his current office. And I will continue to vote against/not support Republican incumbents who are nothing but empty suits. Throw me out if you want, but people like Charlie Crist, Mike Fassano, and Jeff Atwater who speak out of both sides of their mouths and care nothing about anything other than getting re-elected won’t get my vote.
So here we are today, the two of us “loyalty oath breakers.” Based on the current reading of the oath, neither of us – based on our previous actions are fit to serve as members of the party – much less its state party chairman.
Of course you and I both know that is a ridiculous assertion. And that is why you should introduce legislation to repeal the oath. Having a bunch of blindly-loyal, Kool-aid drinking party members is hardly good for a party that preaches free-thought, the need for fresh ideas, spends millions on “outreach,” and talks such a good game about how closed-minded the Democrats are. As your chairmanship and my membership in the Hillsborough REC prove, the REC Loyalty Oath is a meaningless relic of days gone by. The fact that it would make Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and Castro proud is further cause for why it should be abolished.
I have spoken with several REC Chairs who agree that it is nonsensical to have an oath as a barrier to entry, participation, and grassroots support of the party. And I cannot count how many people I have met who consider themselves “Republicans” but who refuse in good conscience to officially join the party because of the subordination requirement the oath subjects them to.
You may “love” the party, but most free-thinkers limit their love to God, Family, and Country, not a political party – especially one that has gone awry with unethical leaders, reckless spending, and a “win at all cost” view. The Republican Party will do just fine when it nominates decent candidates, but no GOP candidate deserves anybody’s vote just because they have an “R” after their name. The oath makes us look weak and makes our members look, well, stupid.
Step up to the plate and do what’s right Chairman Thrasher. Abolish the loyalty oath.
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of www.IrreverentView.com. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, Front Page Florida, and National Review online. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.
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