Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Precinct Chair Attacks Fellow Republican

Fellow Republicans:

On this Primary election day I feel compelled to write an open letter sharing my concerns about our local Republican Party and how fellow Republicans are treating each other. Ronald Reagan, perhaps our most widely respected and adored President, was famous for his Eleventh Commandment, "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican." Unfortunately in our County party, there are a handful of Republicans who repeatedly break this commandment, waging a multi-faceted campaign of whispers, innuendos and emails spreading lies and gossip about some Republican candidates.

For many years now, one of our County precinct chairs has repeatedly criticized former Republican Congressman and Gubernatorial candidate Ernest Istook. Shamefully, those criticisms have been as much about his religion than anything else.

Unfortunately, I have witnessed first hand the breaking of the Eleventh Commandment, as two years ago when I was running both my wife and I were the victims of such attacks by members of our own party. I can only wonder how an election that was decided by less than 100 votes might have been different had I not had to combat not just the Democrats, but fellow Republicans who instead of assisting the campaign, chose to speak ill.

Now, some of these same people have launched a last minute attack on our Republican County Clerk, Tammy Howard. As you know, she was appointed to that position earlier this year by our Republican County Commissioners and is on the ballot today. In an attempt to defeat her, these same Republicans who have attacked me and other candidates are spreading out right lies around that Tammy has violated the law with regards to publishing the minutes. The truth as found in the black letter law of the Oklahoma Statutes, is that Tammy Howard is following the law. The minutes are given to the newspaper on time and have been handled by her in the same manner as her predessors have over the last 10-15 years. Tammy not only complies with this law, but her knowledge and experience of the County Clerk's office are precisely what led Dorinda Harvey, our past Republican County Clerk, to endorse her and are what led all three of our Republican County Commissioners to appoint her!

It is these kinds of ugly and unbecoming attacks on candidates that keep many good and honorable people form running in the first place. Instead of spending time beating up another Republican, why not just say good things about your candidate and save your negative campaigning for the General election when we face our common adversary - the Democrats?

So today, please go and vote and then I hope you will pledge to help put an end to the negative defeatist politics that have become too commonplace within our local party.

Sincerely yours,

Thad Balkman
Second email
Fellow Republicans:

Earlier today I emailed you to express my disappointment in the way some members of our party are treating Republican candidates. In response I have received several emails thanking me. Unfortunately, one individual, Tom Elmore, has unleashed a barrage of emails towards me demonstrating exactly the kind of negative and counter-productive attacks I was asking us all to stop. In my email I did not name any of the perpetrators, as it was not my purpose to agitate, but rather to unify. However, Mr. Elmore has decided to respond by sending me seven emails today, most of which are filled with rumor and innuendo relating to my religion. As I told Mr. Elmore, it is these hateful actions that led many people to take a pass when it comes to running for office or even be active in local party politics. It is certainly a factor in why I have chosen to scale back my involvement in the party following the end of my legislative career. It makes me wonder how many Republicans here in Cleveland County sit on the sidelines because of the actions of a few mean spirited people? And in this particular circumstance, the individual who attacked me is a member of the County Committee and a Precinct Chairman. With Republican "friends" like these, who needs Democrats?

Thad Balkman


Barrett Coldyron said...

Mr. Balkman's letter is something every Republican in Cleveland County should. I wholeheartedly agree with everything in it.

With that said, it is my understanding that Sharon Caliendo, the source of many of the problems referenced in Balkman's letter, pledged to resign if Aaron Stiles won the HD 45 primary. Stiles won, so Caliendo should step aside and let someone less divisive take her place.

Sid Vicious said...

Amen Barrett! Why do losers like Sharon and Tom stick around? I've seen enough of their shenanigans to be convinced that they are both closet Democrats trying to infiltrate the GOP to wreak havoc.

Jethro Bodine said...

Tom Elmore and Sharon Caliendo need to come out of the closet and join the Democrat Party. These individuals have done nothing positive to promote the Republican Party.