The Republican Party of Blount County, Tennessee hasn’t exactly been known for transparency or fairness. Several Republicans were denied entrance to a meeting in 2013. The Party left Commissioner Jim Folts off its website. When I was asked to speak to the Republican Party about why I thought Ron Paul was the best choice for President in 2012, then Chairman Susan Mills wouldn’t let me speak even though I had been an approved delegate candidate for Ron Paul, twice (2008 and 2012). When Gerald Kirby lost his primary commission race to Jamie Daly, the party big whigs went to work for Kirby’s write-in campaign, even though party leadership is suppose to support Republican candidates.
Now the Republican Party Executive Committee will get to pick the Republican candidates for Blount County Clerk and Blount County Highway Superintendent. The selection meeting will be a spectator sport. You and I will be able to watch but we will not be able to participate.
The August general election for these two offices could be a Soviet style election. If the Democratic Party doesn’t nominate candidates and no independents run, then the people of Blount County will get to go vote the R party or not the R party. Actually it will be worse than that because you won’t even get to vote NO on the candidate.
Unless someone runs as a write-in, any write-in votes will not count. Even if an independent or Democrat runs, barring some major scandal, the Republicans will win. There are no independents or Democrats in elected office in Blount County, excluding the nonpartisan School Board.
With this kind of power, the Republican Party should release its bylaws. I asked the Blount County Republican Party Chair, Patsy Lundy, for a copy of the bylaws. She said the bylaws were being revised. That’s the same excuse that has been used to deny releasing the bylaws for years. The Tennessee Republican Party said it is checking with the County Party to see if the bylaws that it has are current.
I asked Lundy for a copy of the current bylaws. She said she would check with some people (apparently the Chair has to get permission from her bosses) to see if she could release the bylaws to me.
The bylaws for the Blount County Democratic Party are available on the Tennessee Democratic Party’s website. The Blount County Libertarian Party uses the bylaws of the Libertarian Party of Tennessee. Both are available online for review, although the bylaws posted for the State Libertarian Party are over 4 years old.
People are talking about the Republican establishment coming unhinged because more voters are backing Trump than Rubio. People would do well to pay attention to what the local GOP is doing. Since it is likely that the Republican Party Executive Committee is going to pick 2 of our local office holders the least the Executive Committee can do is release its bylaws.