Sunday, December 21, 2008

Feuding Republicans

I came across a letter written by Idaho Republican Party Chair Norm Semanko, actually two letters. One dated December 16, 2008 was addressed to District 21 primary voters, to bring them "up to date on an incident" that took place in Dist 21. You can see the letters below.  Click to enlarge.

Semanko is taking Stephen Ricks to task for allegedly using the Idaho Republican Party logo in his primary campaign materials without authorization. Semanko is also complaining that Ricks' materials mislead voters into thinking his campaign was endorsed by the Idaho Republican Party.

Semanko writes in the December letter "The Idaho Republican Party has a longstanding policy of not endorsing candidates in primary elections." He makes a similar statement in the September 21, 2008 letter to Ricks. If they had such a longstanding policy, and this is so important, why did they endorse Jim Risch so early, well before the primary election?

Take a moment and read the letter to Ricks. Semanko refers to allegations against the incumbents and calls them irresponsible. He says Ricks slandered some public servants. Semanko included this sentence:
If you or your supporters believe the party is exclusively populated by corrupt or dishonest people, then your voluntary decision to participate in the party calls your own character into question.
Finally, Semanko says he fears the letter "may fall into Democrat hands, who would use it against our Republican candidates in the General Election." I don't remember hearing about this, so I guess it didn't.

So, Norm! sent the letter to Ricks in September, and three months later mails it to Dist 21 voters. That pretty clearly says that the issue is still unresolved. I hope someone with access asks Ricks or Semanko about the letter.


fortboise said...

Sent the old letter to District voters 3 months later?

I don't know all the Republicans' inside baseball, but Semanko's stunt makes me think (yet again) how totally unsuited he is to a leadership position.

This is more like intrigue among palace courtiers.

Geoff Schroeder said...

What fun! No, they don't 'endorse' candidates- they just try to surreptitiously torpedo those they don't like by assisting the opponent's campaign, like the "stealth discipline" of Sen. Corder during the primary.