THE JOSEPHINE COUNTY REPUBLICAN ESTABLISHMENT
By Attorney Jack
April 24, 2015
Analysis of a Party in Disarray
Josephine County, Oregon —There is a hot political issue set for determination in Josephine County with the May 19 election. A scheme for a five year property tax levy put forward by two local Republicans, Scott Draper and Pat Fahey, is set for the ballot. At the last regular meeting of the County Central Committee a proposal was put forward that the GOP ought to adopt a position on the proposal. Decision was deferred for a special meeting in order to give all sides a chance to weigh in on the question.
That special meeting took place Tuesday, April 14 and the events therein offer an amazing insight to the makeup and constitution of the local party. Actors of every ilk and political philosophy boldly swam into the maelstrom. It became perfectly clear that the local Republicans had no clue and no agreement as to what the party might stand for, or even what its purpose might be.
By way of background, it must be understood that Josephine County is somewhat peculiar. In JoCo, a Democrat political activist who desires to have an influence in local politics will register as a Republican (aka RINO, Republican In Name Only). She will then attempt to accomplish her political goals by manipulating the GOP from within. We can all think of the classic example of that. While this lady may be the extreme, she is not unique.
This situation arises because there is such an overwhelming majority of voters registered as Republican. There is simply no potential of political power available to the Democrats as such. It follows that, if the GOP is to truly be Republican, it must have a firm grasp on what the party actually stands for. Tuesday demonstrated it does not.
The first philosophy introduced Tuesday came from Ron Glynn of Wolf Creek, a long time member of the Executive Committee as the delegate to the ORP. He suggested that the sole purpose of the party should be the election of Republicans and that the party should avoid taking positions on issues to the extent that doing so might frustrate its ability to elect Republicans. However, in the absence of a philosophical gauge by which to measure adequacy of a candidate, one can only rely upon the candidate’s registration as Republican. The result will often be that the GOP ends up electing candidates who are Republican in Name Only - the infamous RINOs.
The seond philosophy introduced came from the former chairman of the Central Committee, Keith Trahern. It was purportedly supported by a host of influential local Republicans: Shaun Curry, James Dittmer, Colene Martin, Kurt Krauss, Roy Lindsay, Dave Thomason, Pastor Jim Brumbach, Mark Gatlin, Dennis Dickson, and Draper and Fahey, among others. Their philosophy was that the party should not take a position on political issues because doing so might be divisive.
In their view, the political party should only take up issues upon which everybody agrees.
This proposition really entailed two perspectives. One was an altogether false flag. Curry, Dittmer, Martin, Krauss, Pastor Brumbach, Draper and Fahey were all on record as supporting the tax levy. But rather than articulate their convictions by arguing in favor of the levy, as was done quite honorably by Harry Macken, these politicians chose to argue that [May Tax Levy] shouldn’t be opposed because that might be divisive. One can only wonder about the courage of their convictions.
The other perspective is worthy of consideration. If Trahern is correct that the political party should only engage issues upon which everyone can agree, what is its purpose? Is it simply a social exercise for fun things like annual dinners, Oktoberfests, and the like?
The issue of division of opinions is a function of individualism. Total agreement is a function of collectivism. Are JoCo Republicans ready to join the collective?
In an organization built upon democracy, the process of deciding issues is properly a matter of vote and majority rule. One either has faith in that process or one does not. If the party does not, one has to wonder what the party is all about.
To the extent that division as to issues can weaken the party, that problem speaks to the fatal flaw in Republican politics. Divisiveness on issues is not a problem for Democrats. Once an issue is decided for them, they close ranks and go about the business of selling their positions. Only Republicans demonstrate the juvenile attitude of “do it my way or I’m taking my marbles and going home.”
In the event, democratic process saved the day, routed the political manipulators, and established once again the value of the GOP. Thanks to the special meeting and the notice put out, Tuesday’s meeting had a turnout unmatched in recent memory. Put to a vote, those in favor of not opposing the levy mustered 10 votes. Those who found either position acceptable tallied 9 votes. Those in favor of opposing the levy garnered 36 votes.
The result is that the JoCo GOP is a true political instrument. It is the voice of the people it purports to represent. By taking a stand, it garners serious credibility for itself. By emphatically adopting a value system regarding taxation, it has provided at least one measure by which Republicans in Name Only can be recognized. The encouraging message would seem to be that when the grass roots can muster the momentum, they can save the day.
© 2015 Jack Swift - All Rights Reserved
Jack Swift is an
retired attorney. Actively involved in the Republican Party and local
politics, Jack would love to see honest Constitution following representatives
in local Josephine County government. Jack believes if we are to save
America from the grip of evil, people must get involved on the local level
and expose wrongdoers at every opportunity. He is putting that belief