Butte County GOP chairman demanding “Public Official Loyalty Pledge.” Is that supposed to somehow help?

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.”

party_loyalty_OathAm I the only one who remembers those days of yore when Republican party organizations worked to get Republicans elected? Instead of beating them up, and trying to throw them to the wolves?

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.

22 thoughts on “Butte County GOP chairman demanding “Public Official Loyalty Pledge.” Is that supposed to somehow help?”

  1. One issue, Pat. James Pietila is not the Butte county chairman. He just says he is. He was never elected.

  2. Far too many of these conservatives have crossed the line and become comfortable with group think.

    Many of these pledges remind me of mindless cult actions.

    I am opposed to anyone who would expect me to conform to their view of what it means to be a republican. I am a unique individual.

    When did so many phony conservatives become conformists and start acting like self righteous liberals who know what is best for everyone else?

    1. Hi There
      Lets Talk a little bit about how the Pledge is formed.
      Delegates are elected from each county, who travel to the Republican Convention.
      One of the many tasks these delegates preform there, is attend the committee that oversees the building / editing of the “Public Officials Loyalty Pledge”.
      So the Pledge paints a picture of what could be considered the core beliefs of the entire Republican electorate state wide.
      This could be one reason voters might like to see, or believe their elected official supported the “Public Officials Loyalty Pledge”.
      I would like to publicly thank Betty and Sam for signing it.

  3. The only pledge I’ll ever sign is one saying that I will do everything I can to enhance the safety of, improve the working conditions of, and take care of after serving, of our Veterans, Soldiers & Law Enforcement. For they are the only Americans I know of willing to die for me and for you.

    Every other pledge is self serving.

  4. It had been proposed to change 5:17 in order to put a stop to this kind of crap. The proposed language was:

    “The South Dakota Republican Party expects Republican candidate and Republican elected officials to read the National and South Dakota Republican Platforms. Candidates and office holders should understand that voters have the right to hold them accountable to these statements of Republican principles.”

    That was proposed. It was shot down in the subcommittee and I have the transcript of that discussion.

  5. There are a lot of different people in the body politic of the USA.

    1) There are those who are driven by a particular ideology where they willingly conform to that ideology and expect others to conform as well. It is from this group that would expect their elected leaders to sign a “Loyalty Pledge.”

    2) There are those who in general agree on issues consistent with one party or another, register with that party, but retain personal judgment on individual issues based on their own values, priorities, experiences and the like. They give a certain latitude or freedom to their elected leaders to exercise judgment on specific matters or understand they will not agree with every vote or priority of their elected leader.

    3) There are those whose positions on issues are not easily slotted as Republican or Democratic so they register Independent. While they might lean one way or another, there voting patterns are not as predictable as #1 or #2.

    As convinced as those in #1 of the merits of their position, it is not endearing to those in #2 or #3. And, frankly, I believe there are a lot more people in #2 in the GOP than #1 which if adopted/practiced/expected by our county/state/national party, we would not be in control of Congress, our Legislature to the degree we are if at all, and have no prospects for the White House. For the life of me, I have no idea how being in a perpetual minority serves the interests of GOP principles described in our platform, especially we know how extreme Democrats are when they are in the majority.

  6. This is great. I hope more county parties adopt the pledge. Very helpful to an informed electorate and democracy.

  7. Service oath for public servants

    I swear: I will be faithful and obedient to the leader of the German empire and people, Adolf Hitler, to observe the law, and to conscientiously fulfil my official duties, so help me God!
    Loyalty oath of the SS, 9 November 1935

    “What is your oath ?” – “I vow to you, Adolf Hitler, as Führer and chancellor of the German Reich loyalty and bravery. I vow to you and to the leaders that you set for me, absolute allegiance until death. So help me God !”

    “So you believe in a God ?” – “Yes, I believe in a Lord God.”

    “What do you think about a man who does not believe in a God ?” – “I think he is arrogant, megalomaniacal and stupid; he is not one of us.”
    Article 16 of the Reich Concordat of 1933 required Catholic bishops and priests to swear an oath of allegiance to the Third Reich. It read:

    “Before bishops take possession of their dioceses they are to take an oath of fealty either to the Reich Representative of the State concerned, or to the President of the Reich, according to the following formula: ‘Before God and on the Holy Gospels I swear and promise as becomes a bishop, loyalty to the German Reich and to the [regional] State of . . . I swear and promise to honor the legally constituted Government and to cause the clergy of my diocese to honor it. In the performance of my spiritual office and in my solicitude for the welfare and the interests of the German Reich, I will endeavor to avoid all detrimental acts which might endanger it.”

  8. So.. if “Republicans” run and claim they are conservatives, but increase taxes, increase government, support Common Core, and support a litany of Democratic agendas, that’s okay? But grassroots Republicans expecting people they help elect actually act like Republicans, is bad?

  9. So, if somebody, anybody. in this case James Pietila decides they are supreme, they are the chosen one to demand a “loyalty oath” to any specific ideology, some individual will be making the determination as to who remains loyal to that “loyalty oath”…. WHO decides who the undesirables are, not just the traitors that won’t sign an oath but those signers that might be deemed questionable in their loyalty or have broken the oath? What would be the consequencefor those people? Who would decide if they should be punished? What would be their punishment? In this case would the decider be James Pietila “the supreme”?

    Would someone deciding they require allegiance in the name of an ideology for the betterment of all be the one wearing the fanciest uniform?

  10. As it turns out, I WAS actually elected, we had no formal party organization in the county at the time, so a group of republicans met and formed a central committee by a vote of registered republicans. The paperwork was properly filed with the county, state and GOP.
    If we are calling ourselves Republican, shouldn’t we support Republican ideals as approved and voted on at the state convention? I’m republican because I support the party platform.
    I do however agree with Troy Jones about the makeup of the party, and yes I do fall into category #1 in his description, so do most of the Republicans I have talked to in Butte County.
    On another note, we are holding elections for our county committee tonight, and with any luck, someone who does a better job of representing the party will head up the operations in Butte County.

  11. Is this the best SODAK Campaigns can do is cry about the 300 dallors reported by Butte county.
    The American people elected more Republicans into office
    hoping that they would stop Obama’s run away policies.
    Now it is especially disturbing
    to watch -the republican party- as they intend to let Obama Fast track the
    “Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement?”
    In which the American people know nothing about ,
    since its so TOP SECRET that Senators are not allowed to talk about it with their staff.
    Why all the Secrecy
    We are already doing close to $1.5 trillion in trade with these countries
    so I ask you what is the big hurry,
    and why not let the American public see the contents of the treaty before it is passed.
    The republican party has been given a big gift last election, hope they don’t blow it.

  12. So? Expecting elected Republicans to support the GOP platform is bad? But elected Republicans not supporting the GOP platform is okay!?!?

    Contrary to the spinmasters the Party isn’t there to get people elected into office.. It’s there to get Republicans who support Republican principles into office.

    Well done Mr. Pietilla!

    1. Why do you need an Orwellian oath to try and get people to support the platform? Aren’t they supposed to support their constituency? And if their constituents support the platform, won’t their votes remove those who don’t deliver?

  13. For the record – Butte County funds were NOT spent on these ads. Private funds were raised outside the Rep. party’s small account.

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