Tuesday, March 20, 2012

When did the LCRP decide to demand DeWine's resignation?

According to Bytor at Third Base Politics, the Republican chairmen of the seven largest counties have signed a letter to Ohio GOP Chairman Kevin DeWine demanding that he resign now.

The text of the letter:

Dear Chairman DeWine:

As the Chairmen of seven of the largest county Republican Party organizations in the State of Ohio, we represent hundreds of thousands of loyal Republican activists, elected officials, candidates, donors and voters in Ohio. In fact, our seven counties represent nearly half of Ohio’s voting population, and our organizations, together with the Ohio Republican Party, must be focused on reaching those voters in order to win the important elections that are at stake this year.

For the past few months it has been apparent that the contentious relationship between top ORP leadership and the party’s elected officials is untenable and irreconcilable. For reasons unknown to us, you have been either unable or unwilling to find common ground to facilitate an effective and trusting relationship with our elected officials.

Your recent announcement that you will not seek re-election as ORP Chairman is an acknowledgement that new party leadership is needed, and we recognize how difficult a decision this must have been for you. Although we respect your current decision on this matter, we believe that it does not provide the necessary resolution to the situation.

You have admitted that the situation is unsustainable, yet you ask to sustain the status quo for 10 more months in a critical year for this party, state, and nation. We believe that it is fruitless to continue the finger pointing and unnecessary public airing of differences that has occurred.

Since the Primary Election earlier this month, it has become objectively clear to us that a majority of the incoming State Central Committee is intent upon new leadership at the state party. Now is the time for the party to unite under party leadership that can work with all of our elected officials and nominees; however, a majority of your Committee does not believe that you have the capacity to provide that unified leadership.

Therefore, it is with deep regret that we ask you to resign as chairman of the Ohio Republican Party immediately. It is our hope that, as you have already done with your announcement this past weekend, you will continue to demonstrate your commitment to the Republican Party and do what is right for the institution for which you have such great respect.

And it is signed by Lucas County Republican Party Chairman Jon Stainbrook.

So when, exactly, did the Lucas County Republican Party vote or decide to demand DeWine's resignation?

Was there a central committee meeting wherein the question was put to the party representatives?

Did Stainbrook speak to every elected Republican official in the county and get their permission to speak on their behalf? Did he contact local donors to the ORP? (doubtful considering how most of them are shunning the local party.)

How, exactly, did Stainbrook decide that a majority of Republicans in the county want DeWine to go?

It's clear that Stainbrook did NOT ask the sense of the local Republicans before signing his name to this document which purports to speak for all Republicans in the county - and that's wrong.

Personally, I'm not that big a fan of DeWine, but before he steps aside, I'd want to know who Gov. John Kasich would want instead. Republicans may decide that DeWine isn't the chairman we want, but that he'd be better than Kasich's pick.

And a party chairman should know that.

If Stainbrook was speaking for himself, that would be one thing. But he's saying he's speaking for "hundreds of thousands of loyal Republican activists, elected officials, candidates, donors and voters in Ohio." It was wrong of him to purport to speak for the LCRP when the LCRP has not taken a position on the internal conflict between Kasick and DeWine.

And if the other chairman didn't first go to their parties before signing, they are in the wrong as well.

Matt Hurley at Weapons of Mass Discussion has some thoughts on the letter, including an observation that the letter signers are all from Democrat-dominated counties. He also asks a very critical question: Who do these chairman support as a replacement to "the devil we know"?

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