Friday, January 18, 2013

Alaska Republican Chairman-Elect Russ Millette Raises Questions About Suitability For Post After Disclosing He Did Not Support Mitt Romney In General Election

Update February 1st: Russ Millette voted out as Republican Chairman; Vice-Chair Elect Debra Brown appointed Acting Chair. Updated post HERE.

Update January 21st: Russ Millette fires back against McQueary's allegations; details in this updated post.

Like many Republicans, I was pleased when outgoing Alaska Republican Chairman Randy Ruedrich first announced his decision not to seek re-election to the post. While the Alaska Republican Party achieved its greatest organizational and electoral successes during Ruedrich's tenure, his tactics had grown increasingly arbitrary and unsavory, impinging upon the perception of his fundamental character and integrity. So I initially welcomed the election of Russ Millette in April 2012 as his successor despite questions about Millette's allegiance to the party.

But now there's reason to be concerned about Millette's suitability for the job. During an organizational meeting of the Alaska Republican Party on January 17th convened for the purpose of exploring Republican Party Rules Chairman Frank McQueary's charges against Russ Millette, Millette disclosed that in the competition between Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Barack Obama, he didn’t support anyone. He then compounded this by claiming that although the chairman is obligated to support the party nominee, the chairman-elect is not under that obligation.

First, it is axiomatic that the chairman of a state Republican party support the party's designated nominees, unless there is a legal or character issue preventing such support. Romney displayed no legal or character issues during his campaign. Second, ducking behind the title of "chairman-elect" is a Talmudic-style dodge designed to evade responsibility and accountability. A chairman-elect who's taking over the helm of a political party has just as much obligation to be accountable to the party faithful as the outgoing chairman. Consequently, while the impending departure of Randy Ruedrich should not be reversed, the suitability of Russ Millette as a replacement is now questionable. It might be appropriate to line up a third party who is acceptable to both the establishment and the insurgents to be put forward.



The meeting was called in the first place because Frank McQueary, in a letter to current chairman Randy Ruedrich, said Millette has demonstrated through his actions and comments that he has neither the skills nor the aptitude to lead the party. He further claimed that Millette said he was a lifelong Republican but changed his affiliation from undeclared to Republican just before the state party conventions in 2010 and 2012. He also raised questions about Millette's work as the party's finance chairman and his affiliation with a political website. It should be noted that McQueary is known to be a political ally of Ruedrich, which may be why Ruedrich has kept his mouth shut about this flap except to say that he wouldn't go into details because he did not want the case tried in the media.

According to Alaska Dispatch, McQueary said Millette was the leader of 800 people who never contributed or participated took over the party; he accused that group of bullying, threatening, and intimidating its way into power, putting a man -- Millette -- at the front of the party who had no interest in promoting Alaska Republicans. This is ironic since the Ruedrich contingent did some bullying, threatening, and intimidating of their own in an effort to shut out Ron Paul supporters in April 2012. McQueary's letter also included charges against Daniel Palmer of District 10 and Daryl Lanzon, district unspecified; both accused of campaigning for someone other than Mitt Romney after Romney was officially nominated.

A copy of McQueary's letter has been posted on the Restoring Liberty website, broken down into Page 1, Page 2, and Page 3.

In any event, since Millette didn't receive a legible copy of McQueary's accusations until January 17th, the group decided to postpone the hearing into Millette as well as that of Vice Chair-elect Debbie Brown until February 1st. The complaint against Brown is based around alleged mismanagement of funds in her role as party vice-chair for Southcentral District 34. Complicating the issue is the fact that her husband, Jack Brown, the treasurer of District 34, was recently notified by APOC he was being fined $34,050 for an inaccurate end-of-year report from 2010, allegedly failing to report $923 in expenditures and $1,050 in contributions from a 2010 Joint Convention with Districts 33 and 34 Republicans. Jack Brown has declared that his wife had nothing to do with it and that his conduct shouldn't be held against her.

After the meeting, Russ Millette said that McQueary had brought up charges that he’d never seen before, and dismissed them as totally bogus. He got the impression that the party's executive committe seemed to have made up their minds. Millette is also concerned that the effort by party insiders to keep "RINOs" in charge of the party would hurt its cohesion. But there is growing evidence that the very presence of Millette has become a lightning rod.

The perspective of former U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller is also useful and informative, since Miller has worked since 2008 to remove Ruedrich from his party post. Miller, who characterized the meeting as a "kangaroo court", says it is ironic that the charges of financial improprieties against Debbie Brown were raised by a chariman, Randy Ruedrich, who apparently not only transferred tens of thousands of party funds to the Murkowski-supporting Juneau Capitol Hill club without proper authorization just a few weeks ago, but who also seems responsible for a significant FEC fine for financial improprieties related to VECO which has many within the party scratching their heads. Miller also questioned how anyone present at the meeting could confront Millette on who he supported for president in 2012, since many of them decided to support "write-in candidate" Lisa Murkowski over the chosen nominee, Joe Miller, in the 2010 US Senate race. However, that last accusation is a bit weak because none of those Republican politicos who supported Murkowski in 2010 were the party chairman. I reiterate -- it is the obligation of a party chairman to support a party's nominees unless a legal or character issue emerges.

The charges against Millette seem to be more eyewash than anything serious. But unless Russ Millette is willing to commit himself to supporting the party's nominees as chairman in the future, it might be suitable for him to step down and find a prominent third party that is overtly beholden neither to the RINOs or the Paulistas.

10 comments:

  1. how could anyone support romney the zionist/

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  2. Romney.........the other Bob Dole.

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  3. Yes, Romney was about as effective as Bob Dole......unfortunately. I painfully remember that 1996 election.

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  4. So will Mr. Randy Ruedrich, outgoing Chairman, be refunding all the Delegates from the June 2012 Convention their $250 Convention fee and airfare/ hotel costs once he invalidates the rightful votes of those Delegates on Jan 31st? Can't have it both ways. Either give the Delegates their money back, apologize for blowing smoke donuts up our asses by making us (registered Alaskan Republicans) think we had a voice and go ahead and promote a couple of your corrupt SEC members or let honor the will of the people and seat the RIGHTFUL Chairman and Vice Chairman elects.

    'The Bandito'

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  5. Romny got the nomination through lies, theft, and breaking party rules. Of course he didn't support him. If you did, you were either a fool, an idiot, or evil.

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  6. ^So 'anonymous,' you think it's right to charge delegates $250, hold a fair election, wait 9 months to seat the newly elected members (9 months, really?), then put in whoever you want because your guys didn't win? Sound logic. Do tell me what 'Party Rules' Russ Millette and Debbie Brown 'broke.' Bet you graduated top of your special needs class. Or you're a fool. Or evil. Naw, with you it's likely the first option. I just saw a short bus drive by, better run Forrest and catch it.

    'The Bandito'

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  7. In one sentence you bash the Establishment's pet RINO Romney but show support for the shenanigan's the Establishment is pulling on a state level by insinuating Russ and Debbie achieved their offices' through lies, theft and breaking party rules????I've heard it all. Someone's coo coo for Coco Puffs.

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  8. Bandito, read carefully what 'anonymous' wrote between your two posts.

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  9. Despite all the lying, cheating and disenfranchising perpetrated by Randy (Rude)rich and his cronies during the District and State ARP Conventions, the impossible happened: The people's voices were heard and new blood was voted into the ARP. The voting,against all odds put Russ and Debbie in and Ruderich out. Seat the duly elected Chairman and Vice Chairman. Step aside losers and show some respect for the Democratic Process.

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  10. Jeramy Lee Baker of Texas claims to be behind the Liberty Movement in Alaska. Well, there's another thing Mr. Baker was behind: The apology speech given by Evan Cutler to Sen. Lisa Murkowski in April 2012. Anyone remember that and how angry the majority of us were at Evan over it? Some people in the movement still haven't forgiven him. Yes, Mr. Baker wrote it and advised Mr. Cutler to present it.

    'The Bandito'

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