Alaska Republican Party Chairman-elect Russ Millette is firing back against what appears to be a campaign by Republican insiders allied with outgoing chairman Randy Ruedrich to unseat him. At issue are a series of charges against Millette surfaced by Republican Party Rules Chairman Frank McQueary in the form of a letter, a copy of which has been posted on the Restoring Liberty website, broken down into Page 1, Page 2, and Page 3.
It should also be noted that Vice Chair-elect Debbie Brown faces charges of mismanagement of funds in her role as party vice-chair for Southcentral District 34, and 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.
In the video embedded below, Millette addresses the two main issues. First, he says that Republican rules don't require the state party chairman to have been a lifelong member of the Republican Party. But what is particularly disturbing is his explanation for why he's been unsuccessful in raising a meaningful amount of money for the party; it implies he's being sabotaged to set up his possible removal:
Here's the money shot from Millette:
“They prevented me from having access to any kind of significant dialogue or interchange or any kind of financial records for 10 months. How can I raise money if I don’t know what my books are, I don’t know what my budgets are, I don’t know where the bank accounts are? I don’t have any records of any financial dealings within the party ... I have no access to any databases, no donor list, I have not been introduced to any donors of the party by the chairman that's been there for 12 years. He knows all this information but he hasn't shared it with me.”
If this is true, what possible reason could Republican insiders have for denying Millette this information? They have to know it would make him look bad -- unless that's what they want. Are Republican insiders actually trying to stage a coup to get Millette removed as chairman even before he officially takes over in his own right? There's been continued bad blood between the Ruedrich wing and the Millette wing of the Alaska Republican Party, although Ruedrich himself has adopted a position of public neutrality.
Russ Millette will face a local executive committee hearing on February 1st. If they find him "guilty" of the charges McQueary has surfaced, there'll be a hearing before the state central committee in Juneau from February 7-9. While I criticized Millette earlier for not supporting Mitt Romney after he was officially nominated, this is not the right way to remove Russ Millette from his post, particularly when some members of the executive committee are facing unexplored charges of mismanagement of money.
Millette does warn Alaskans at the start of the video that a growing number of Republicans are refusing to contribute to the party because of dissatisfaction over its direction. He says the Republican Party needs to return to principles of freedom, liberty, and constitutional conservative ideals to preserve its dominance in Alaska and to eventually re-capture the White House.