WASHINGTON, DC, February 1, 2013 – In a hastily convened meeting Thursday night the outgoing leadership of the Republican Party of Alaska staged what amounts to a coup to oust the incoming Chairman and seize control of the party.
Two weeks ago, I wrote about the controversy over the election of reformer candidate Russ Millette to the Chairmanship of the Alaska GOP. Millette is a Republican Liberty Caucus member who represents the more libertarian/conservative wing of the party and party insiders did not want him to take control of their party and institute reforms.
During the lame duck tenure of the outgoing State Executive Committee, party insiders raised various charges against Millette and his Vice Chair Debbie Brown, which observers categorized as “trivial” and “irrelevant,” amounting to little more than vague financial questions and accusations of not being enough of a party loyalist. No actual rule violations of any substance were raised.
A plan was put forward to hold a hearing on the charges at the installation meeting of the Executive Committee on February 1st. Then, to the surprise of party members who described the action as “a sham” and “a witch hunt,” the hearing was moved forward a day so that the new committee members would not yet be seated or have a vote on the accusations.
Even more troubling to many party members was the notification right before the meeting that outgoing Chairman Randy Ruederich had cleaned out the party treasury of $35,000 and transferred the money to a bank in Juneau out of control of the Executive Committee, a classic “rule or ruin” tactic designed to make sure that if the new leadership takes over they will have no money to fund party operations.
Read more on this story HERE.