This newspaper ad appeared in the Faith Independent newspaper as an advertisement on January 7th from James Pietila, Chairman of the Butte County Republican Central Committee.
In this ad, the county party notes Senator Betty Olson and Representative Sam Marty signed the pledge. It holds out Speaker of the House Dean Wink for declining to sign, and notes no response from Representative Tom Brunner, nor Senator Gary Cammack for the groups’ “Public Officials Loyalty Pledge.”
And, who benefits from the action taken by this county chair? Possible primary campaign opponents? Possibly? Democrat challengers who might try to take an opportunity to further the dis-unity? More likely.
The fact is that at the extremes, there are those in the party who demand blind subservience to how they individually interpret the GOP Platform. And there are elected officials who believe their loyalty is solely to the broad base of voters (on any side of the aisle) who cast a ballot for them, and not a political organization.
Except for his last campaign against Tim Johnson, Larry Pressler was an example of the latter, and often spent his time fighting with the party leaders. The dwindling number of Gordon Howie-ites would be an example of those who interpret and dispense their pronouncements on who is and is not following the platform. As they run as independents against Republicans, and try to re-register as Republicans when the election is over.
In either extreme, I’m not sure how any of them build the Republican party and pay it forward – to further the goal of electing all Republicans to office. Because what Mr. Pietila did failed to manage anything close to that. And isn’t what he was supposedly elected to be chairman for?
In this case, I don’t think I can point out any instance of the people Mr. Pietila called out for not signing his “Public Official Loyalty Pledge” for any non-Republican behavior. None at all. So, I’m not sure why this ad needed to be placed? In case Obamacare suddenly breaks out all over?
If you look at this, “the loyalty pledge” was adopted back in July! So what purpose did it serve to run in January, other than to take a backhanded slap at people?
Leading up to the general election, according to pre-general and year end reports, the Butte County GOP raised $300 and didn’t report spending any of it to elect the candidates to office that they’re now demanding a loyalty oath of. Yet, I’m sure this advertisement cost the county party money (despite the fact it illegally lacks a disclaimer).
So, at least to this outsider across the state, on the surface, it looks like the Butte County Chairman spent more of the County GOP’s bank account to call out and attempt to embarrass Republican office holders after the election than they did to elect them in the election.
Maybe it’s just me, I’m not sure how this promotes a stronger Republican party in South Dakota.