I received a letter Saturday from Mr. J. Kirk Sullivan, the Chairman of the Idaho Republican Party discussing his activities regarding the issue of Closed Primaries. I feel compelled to comment here because I have no idea of how widespread this letter went within the Party and wish to comment on some of the statements within that letter.
In Mr. Sullivan's letter, he continues to state HIS personal position regarding closed primaries (a "dog that no longer hunts" after Party decisions are made) and seems to "forget" that, as the Chairman, he is to represent the wishes of the party and carry out the direction of the decisions of the Central Committee and he "forgot" that the Executive Committee does not make policy decisions, such as resolutions, for the Party, but are charged with carrying out those decisions and resolutions that are provided them.
He also seems to have "forgotten" that the decision to close the primary for Republican candidates happened at the Party meeting in mid-2006. He also seemed to "forget" that I and others ran a number of versions of legislative bills starting early during the 2007 legislative session to try to change the code to meet the Party's Closed Primary requirements (the same bills he covertly worked against in both the House and Senate). He seemed to have "forgotten" that the legislature had a chance during that session to do the right thing and change our state laws to accommodate various party primary election requirements in this last 2007 session knowing if it did not happen in the 2007 session, a lawsuit would likely be filed.
Unfortunately, Mr. Sullivan also seemed to have "mis-read" the subsequently expected lawsuit that had been filed by a number of Party members, requesting their "right to freely associate" be upheld in Idaho. His understanding and statement that it also listed the Republican Party as one of the plaintiffs, which it never did, was just wrong. In fact, Mr. Sullivan seems to have "forgotten" that he sent a letter to the Plaintiffs attorney re-iterating the fact that the Party was not to be listed.
It concerns me greatly that the Chairman of the Idaho State Republican party could "forget" so many of these things and then "mis-state" them so badly in his letter to party members when he has been so deeply involved in each and every step of the process regarding these needed changes to the state's primary election system.
Through analysis of all of these actions, one must conclude that Mr. Sullivan is carrying out an agenda that differs from the Party's selected direction or he must have some health concerns that are impairing his memory.
While I would never wish to impede on Mr. Sullivan's personal life, I would hope that if it's agenda related, he step back and consider if he is capable of carrying out the direction of the majority's wishes and take the appropriate corrective action to represent the Party as he is charged. Or, God forbid if it's health related, I hope he will seek the proper medical attention for those "memory" issues that seem to be impacting his judgement and leadership and to ensure his continued good health.
Remember, the old saying for us men, "Memory is the second thing to go"...
Those that have followed this Blog know that I am not a big fan of completely closed primaries, and would prefer a modified closed primaries where the Party could choose to allow Independents to vote if they wished. I believe it is important for a party to have a choice on how they select to run their elections. But the majority of our Party choose to run a closed Primary in 2006, so that's the direction we should be going.
I am a big fan of proper representation, regardless of the organization. Leaders are elected or appointed in our governments and non-governmental organiztions to represent the ideals of that organization to enties of impact to that organization.
If someone is charged with representing an organization of people, then regardless of that person's personal agenda, it is that persons responsibility to carry out that task to the best of their ability. Once the "team" has decided in a direction, it's incumbent upon the "team's" selected leader to drive that direction until the task is completed or that direction is modified.
With that responsibility comes accountablility and, in this case, I believe both seemed to have fallen short of being carried out.