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Posts published in “Day: June 3, 2008”

The Poobahs strike back

You know the Idaho Republicans - Ada County division, at least - are in serious conflict, when the party leadership is getting the dreaded E-word attached:

"Party elites want another term for the current chairman, Kirk Sullivan, and want to undo the party rule which closes primary elections to all but registered Republicans."

That comes from a post from Bryan Fischer of the Idaho Values Alliance, which is looking ever-more like a faction with the Idaho Republican Party than anything else. He posted what he said was "an advance list of the pre-approved Ada County delegates to the state convention;" Ada County gets 59 delegates.

Here's the keynote of Fischer's commentary: "In many ways, the Idaho GOP is right now engaged in a battle for its soul, over whether it will be a party of genuine conservatism or become, as it has in many ways at the national level, a big government party with little genuine allegiance to social or fiscal conservative principles. What is noteworthy about the pre-approved list is how many lobbyists are on it and how few ordinary grassroots Republicans are. It appears as if the party poobahs are systematically squeezing precinct committeemen in particular out of the delegate process, in an apparent attempt to stack the deck in favor of the Republican establishment."

He is right that the list does include a bunch of downtown Boise types, from lobbyists to state and congressional staffers; it is largely an insider group. Which doesn't necessarily conflict (actually meshes with) the explanation from county party leadership (this from Kevin Reichert's Idaho Statesman blog, from which we twisted the title of this post):

"Marcel Bujarski, Ada GOP chairman, says there was nothing cloak-and-dagger about the list. The slate was compiled on a first-come, first-served basis, as potential delegates let the county party know they were interested in attending the state convention in Sandpoint. 'Bryan Fischer doesn't know what he's talking about,' Bujarski told our Dan Popkey. 'It's no big secret.'"

Either way, what's more significant here is the depth of emotion involved. The Wednesday night party gathering is likely to be quite a spitfire event.