Is ‘Party Loyalty’ – A One Way Street?

Posted: October 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

Recently, a brouhaha erupted among a few CCRP board members because they found out that one of the newly-elected PCOs, whose term starts in December, is sporting a Gary Johnson sign on his lawn. Johnson is the former two-term Republican Governor of New Mexico who is running on the Libertarian ticket for President. Despite his pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage stances, many find his fiscal record in New Mexico impressive and believe he would actually cut spending and government intrusion on civil liberties, unlike Mitt Romney, who appears to largely support the status quo of big deficits and increased government powers over individuals. At the same time that the Romney campaign has done everything in its power to alienate Liberty voters, Gary Johnson has been actively soliciting their votes. This situation leaves many in the Liberty group in a quandary about who to vote for and how much to advertise that choice, particularly if it isn’t for the Republican nominee. Establishment folks are quick to point out that a public endorsement of anyone other than Mitt Romney is a traitorous act and worthy of some kind of public censure by the party (there appears to be no legal recourse, since PCOs are actually elected by residents in the precinct). How much loyalty to the party as a whole do PCOs have? Does going against the choice of the Republican Establishment mean that individual PCOs are not ‘Real Republicans’?

Amid this interesting moral dilemma, a great irony has surfaced from the ‘moderate’ side of the party. I noted a while back that U.S Representative Jaime Herrera had decided to endorse Marc Boldt in the County Commissioner race against David Madore. Recently, she doubled down by approving an ad  in the Reflector affirming that endorsement.

Boldt, also a newly elected PCO, has drawn the ire of many in the local G.O.P. to such a degree that he has actually been sanctioned   by the party formally and given no aid in his quest for reelection against a strong challenger. In addition to his support of extending Portland light rail into Clark County at tremendous cost to taxpayers and questionable benefit, he has voted with the Democrats on a number of issues ranging from property tax increases to gun control during declared emergencies (the one time when people might actually need a gun). He even went so far as to endorse the Democrat in 2010 for another Commissioner’s seat, a seat which the Democrat, Steve Stuart, eventually won. So why does Representative Herrera feel comfortable endorsing Boldt despite the fact that the party has endorsed the more conservative Madore?

At some point, the conservative branch of the Republican Party will figure out that they are the only ones allowing themselves to be handcuffed by this ‘party loyalty’ argument, and that the moderates are free to move in and out of the party alignment whenever it suits them. Liberal Republicans vote with Democrats to raise taxes and increase the size and scope of government, and as we are finding out with Marc Boldt, Democrats are happy to return the favor . This is why we get a steady stream of Liberal Republicans and Democrats as elected officials. I submit that the only way to interrupt this never-ending cycle of government-loving candidates is to stop supporting them .

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