The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Lou Marzeles

A roll-call vote at this meeting probably began with 'Arrrgh!'


This exercise will test the limits of your credulity, but give it a try: imagine, if you will, a regional branch of a major political party right here in our beloved U.S. of A., one that fielded its first presidential candidate with Abraham Lincoln, one that has stood for traditional values, honor for God and country and our armed forces, one that espouses integrity as an ideal—now imagine that local branch saying that it stands for these same principles but using the clumsiest and most transparent of cheap, ugly, bullyish tactics to silence its opposition and get what it wants.

Seems implausible, yet that very scenario is playing out in the Klickitat County Republican Party (KCRP). That is clear enough in the recent Republican Party county elections, which were usurped and trampled underfoot by Tea Party and Liberty Caucus supporters. The tragedy of this is that a good many Tea Party and Caucus rank-and-file are good people seeking laudable goals. In their county leadership, however, they have pirates. These leaders’ speeches all start off with, “Arrrgh!”

OK, not really, but they might as well. Someone at higher levels of the Republican Party really needs to come in and put these rogue Republicans in line.

So here’s what happened at the county party elections Dec. 2: of the 29 electoral precincts in Klickitat County, only 18 Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) showed or were qualified to vote at the meeting. At this meeting, a small group of PCOs were able to make decisions for the thousands of members of the county party without the constituents even knowing who the nominations were. The Tea Party/Liberty Caucus factions of the party were dominant in the meeting. For unexplained reasons, the incumbent party chair ruled that all nominations for this election would be by secret ballot. The State Republican Party does not recommend secret ballot nominations, but pirates do as they please. The first order of business—an issue not on the agenda—was outgoing Chair John Deo making a motion to adopt a new bylaw that would make it more difficult for a new PCO disfavored by current PCOs (most of them pirates) to be appointed. All non-pirate PCOs voted against this new rule, but it passed. John Deo was the only nomination for chairman. Lori Hoctor was elected vice chair, over Sondra Clark, a long-time member of the county party. More significantly, the two party offices that interact with the state party and represent the county’s image there went to the usurpers. Amanda Richards was elected State Committeewoman, and Tom Reynolds was elected State Committeman.

The symbol of the county Republican Party might as well change from an elephant to the skull and crossbones.

It’s not just the county party these scamps are after. One of the local pirates with eye patches apparently over both eyes described this newspaper as violently left-leaning liberal rubbish. Harmless enough. Another of the pirates (we can’t give his name but his initials are Tom Reynolds) sent out an email not long ago to most Republicans in the county calling the editor of this newspaper a “damn lier [sic] who will be held for deformation [sic] of character.” The thought of having one’s character deformed is certainly chilling, though one wonders how it is accomplished. Then the pirate learned that his claims against the editor were unfounded, but he just broke into a chorus of “Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum.”

Gosh, we sure hope someone doesn’t take this editorial and show it to State Republican Party officials...


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