Monday, April 30, 2012

Alaska Republican Convention: Chairman Randy Ruedrich Steps Down, Alaska Republican Party Now Controlled By Ron Paul Supporters

Ron Paul may be giving way to Mitt Romney in the Republican Presidential nomination race, but the Alaska Republican Party has now passed into the hands of Dr. Paul's supporters. That's the big news which emerged from the Alaska State Republican Convention held in Anchorage on April 28th, 2012. Local media stories published by Alaska Dispatch and KTUU Channel 2; additional pertinent information available on the Daily Paul and Politico.

An estimated 500 people showed up at the convention. Prior to the convention, longtime state chairman Randy Ruedrich announced that after 12 years as chairman, he wasn't seeking re-election. The top two officials elected in his stead are Ron Paul supporters; Russ Millette as chair, and Debbie Brown as vice-chair. The secretary and treasurer are also identified as Ron Paul supporters. Millette will not completely take over as chair until February 2013, and will serve as the party’s finance chairman until then. Former U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller is said to have aided the Paul contingent, and was rewarded when his wife Kathleen was selected to be one of Alaska's three Electoral College delegates.

The convention was not without controversy. First, Ruedrich confirmed that the state GOP transferred nearly of its estimated $100,000 to the local Capital City Republicans in Juneau. Although Ruedrich did not go into detail, the state GOP is presumably concerned that Millette might hold back some of that money from their election efforts. Millette says this will be dealt with later, so it's not going away. Another controversy involved a "dirty tricks" e-mail allegedly sent from Alaskans for Ron Paul 2012 by Mike Cook, but Alaskans for Ron Paul organizer Evan Cutler has disavowed the e-mail.

In addition, the division between establishment neocons and grass-roots conservatives became starkly apparent when both Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and Wyoming Senator John Barrasso were roundly booed during their speeches on Friday April 27th, Barrasso particularly so when he reiterated his support for Mitt Romney. The hostility of many Ron Paul supporters towards Romney is quite palpable, as evidenced by this Daily Paul post which calls for Ron Paul supporters to pledge not to back Romney even in the general election. The fact is, at this point, anybody would be better than Barack Obama, because this country cannot survive another four years of Obama in its present form. Nevertheless, y the time Saturday's session closed out, Dr. Paul's supporters apologized for the outbursts, and during his speech on Saturday night, Ruedrich received more than one standing ovation for his efforts.

Here's the 10-minute video of Murkowski's speech. Note that the discontent was expressed almost immediately:

And here's the video showing the segment where Barasso gets booed:

Other Sources Of Interest: A Murkowski flak, Syrin from Wasilla, was at the convention and posted her account. She can barely conceal her adulation for Lisa Murkowski and her disdain for Ron Paul supporters. She brags about paying $2.00 for a pink McCain/Palin pin for sale at the Alaska Federation of Republican Woman’s booth just so she could toss it in the trash and get it out of circulation. Good God -- how catty can you get? Mudflats has also published an extended account of the convention.

What is Russ Millette like? Millette came to Alaska in 1975, left the state in the 1990s, and returned in 2005. His jobs have ranged from substitute teacher to youth minister. The choice to enter politics as a party official, he said, was the result of a “tug from God.” Asked what he’d like to see changed in the party, Millette started talking up government transparency and the need to elect true conservatives. But like Ron Paul, his idea of “true conservatives” differs at least on the face of it from what the old guard considers conservative. For example, Millette does not support a federal law that would define marriage between a man and a woman, believing that should be left up to the states. The same is true with abortion just about any other hot-button social issue.

1 comment:

  1. Rita you go girl....Thats what democracy is all about, everyones words should be heard. I may be politically different then you but I am behind you 100% when it comes to freedom of speech.