by Chet Hardin
Attention, members of the El Paso County Republican "family," state GOP Chairman Ryan Call has some confidential words for you:
"This confidential memorandum clarifying comments are [sic] intended for all of you members of the El Paso County executive committee in executive session only. Public citation, distribution, and dissemination is not authorized. I stand by every word in this letter, but some things are best kept in the family."
Thursday night, on Denver's Grassroots Radio, host Ken Clark read what he claimed was a private letter written by Call. It was apparently read during the executive session of the notorious July 7 meeting of the El Paso County Republican party.
The intention of the letter was to clarify comments that Call made in an interview with Colorado Peak Politics, in which it appeared that he was siding with the county party's controversial secretary, Sarah Anderson, in her dispute with the party's leadership.
Call claimed that he had been misquoted by Peak Politics.
What he reportedly told the website:
Republican Party officers, volunteers and activists, and all voters all should be encouraged to actively be involved in the debate and discussion of ideas within our Party and in the discussion of how best to advance our Republican principles and ideas. Respectful dissent, thoughtful discussion, and honest debate is not stifled within our Party - it is encouraged.
I believe it is perfectly appropriate for any Republican activist or county party officer to express contrary positions on matters of specific legislation or to engage in rigorous debate on issues and discussion within the Party on the best way to advance the Republican Party's agenda. I also believe in the right of every Republican to express his or her views and suggestions directly to their elected officials on matters of policy or legislation.
This private letter definitely took a more strident tone.
I intended to express that it would be entirely appropriate for a party officer to contact and speak directly with an elected official in order to express their ideas and opinions about pending legislation, just as any other citizen under our form of representative government. However, I also believe that it would be generally inappropriate for a party officer to be publicly critical of, or organize public opposition directed toward, Republican legislators or elected officials, to seek public attention in an attempt to highlight divisions or dissensions within the party or intentionally do anything to undermine our Republican elected officials, particularly those in leadership positions by framing disagreement over specific pieces of legislation as a contest of Republican principles or ideology.
Call goes on to describe the proper role of party officers (attention Anderson):
The first duty of an officer, to which personal opinion and self-interest ought to be subordinated, is to the party organization itself and to further helping to elect Republican party candidates, two, supporting Republican elected officials and three, advancing Republican principles in our general philosophy of government.
"My problem with this, in public one thing is said, in private something completely different is said, and that happens over and over again," Clark tells the Independent. "And that's the problem with the politics."
Attempts to reach out to Call by Grassroots Radio were not returned, Clark claims.
Word is Clark and gang will be discussing this letter more in detail on Friday's show.