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Archive for November 2014

Star Chamber, ORP style

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This blog should have been published two weeks ago. But, because the author didn’t want to exacerbate the distraction caused by certain Occupy GOP folks here in Oregon less than two weeks before a critical election, it was withheld. Until now.

On October 23, Dr. W. Ames Curtright, founder of the annual “Gathering of Eagles”, distributed a polemic entitled “Executive Action of the ORP Ethics Committee” which, among other things, demanded the immediate release of a contact list for all Republican Precinct Committee People (PCP) in Oregon. The purported reason for this demand was to provide transparency. According to the unanimously (but anonymously) supported document, the target of this “transparency” is ORP National Committeeman Solomon Yue, CD1 Vice Chair (and former Bylaws Chair) Jeff Grossman and the party’s Executive Committee, including some vague insinuations concerning Mr. Yue.

To give some context, it should be noted Solomon Yue is a favorite target of some within the ORP, and has been for several years. There’s no doubt he’s a canny political strategist, having been a guiding hand in undermining so-called ”moderate” control of the ORP in the late 1990;s and early years of this century, taking that skill on the road as a National Committeeman. Several past party leaders at the state and national level, RINO politicians and the like have found their efforts thwarted by his often subtle plans. Most of his attention, however, always has been aimed at defeating leftists in general and Democrats in particular, as evidenced by his current efforts to undermine Democrat efforts at disenfranchising voters overseas. This flows from his experience growing up in communist China and first-hand knowledge of the tactics of tyrants.

Mr. Curtright claims to chair the ad hoc “Ethics Committee”, supposedly organized by ORP Chair Art Robinson (although the latter has steadfastly refused to confirm that claim) . It has no existence under party Bylaws or authority under any Rules, but Mr. Curtright and this “Ethics Committee” presumes absolute authority to demand anything they see fit in the name of transparency. Ironically, this “Ethics Committee” has not seen fit to reveal its membership, although I suspect I know who many of them are. Mr. Curtright himself lost the approval of the Executive Committee when, during his introduction as Chair of the ORP Finance Committee, he offered to bribe the ORP with a $20,000 donation if Mr. Yue would resign. Not too surprisingly, the Executive Committee decided to withhold its support of a person with that level of antagonism towards an elected party leader. Like Mr. Curtright, former state Senator Marilyn Shannon is a consistent (and often outright deceitful) critic of Solomon Yue, former Michael Steele hatchet-man and ORP Chair Bob Tiernan has a personal grudge against Mr. Yue, and I wouldn’t be surprised if former ORP Vice Chair Al King, former CD Chair Gayna Flake and a number of others who have raised fantastic accusations against Mr. Yue weren’t to be to found amongst this home-grown Star Chamber.

Based apparently on a photograph of him with Chairman Robinson, Mr. Curtright and this “Ethics Committee” claims they’re operating under authority granted by the party Chairman. The problem is the party Chairman doesn’t have that kind of authority. He’s elected by the State Central Committee which can, as was demonstrated by the recall last year of Suzanne Gallagher, overrule or even remove him. He doesn’t have authority to demand the counties relinquish their PCP lists, nor does he have authority to instruct party Secretary Chris Barreto to hand that list over to the “Ethics Committee”.   The state party doesn’t “own” those lists; they are the sole property and responsibility of the county organizations. Since the Chair doesn’t have that authority, he can’t delegate it to someone else, much less to a secretive group lacking any documented authority or even formal existence.

As intense as the animosity driving this “Ethics Committee” and the assumption of absolute power may be, lost in the attempt to discredit Mr. Yue and other elected leaders of the ORP is the question of the list itself. This is the third time one of the Occupy GOP folks have demanded that list. First, Wendy Frome, CD5 Chair and Chair of the Credentials Committee, demanded (and was refused) it. Then, Becky Lemler, self-styled leader of the “Oregon PCP” website and newsletter, demanded it. It begs the question as to why is this list – and it’s control at the local level – of such interest to folks working from a top+-down and often secretive mentality.

Whatever else may be true about this Star Chamber “Ethics Committee” and the other activities of folks like Curtright, Lemler and Frome, it’s clear the goal isn’t to get Republicans elected. Not when they make it clear Republicans are the target.


Written by Jeffrey S. Smith

5 November 2014 at 3:39 pm

Posted in Musings

Tagged with , ,

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