When you are Joseph Stalin, the only vote that matters is yours.

Establishment GOP Moves to Block Ballot Access for Republicans in Catoosa County

When you are Joseph Stalin, the only vote that matters is yours.

The thing about becoming The Establishment is, once you have been around a few days, you are The Establishment. Of course if you do some stupid stuff like try to keep people off the ballot when they want to run as a Republican, well your course of study is considered accelerated. And with that we would like to congratulate the entire Catoosa County Republican Party on becoming The Establishment.

A while back the Catoosa County GOP decided to adopt the Alex Johnson Rule, or Accountability Rule, which states that if the local activists in the local GOP don’t like you, they don’t have to let you run for office as a Republican. Local parties are responsible for the process of qualifying local candidates to run, which is to say, accept their qualifying fee and paperwork so that they can be on the ballot. And that’s it. That’s all they are supposed to do.

But not The Establishment Gatekeepers in the Catoosa County GOP. Nope. If you want to qualify to run for office, they are going to make you sit for an interview and if they don’t like you for any reason, no ballot access for you. Forget the will of the voters, democracy is over rated when you can have an oligarchy and you are part of the group in charge. And forget that the people you are excluding have actually already won elections as a Republican.

That’s right, the geniuses in the Catoosa GOP decided to withhold ballot access from incumbent Republicans, a group of people who have actually shown they can win an election in that community. A person with knowledge of events tells us that three incumbent county commissioners, including the sitting chairman, Larry Black, have been denied ballot access. A fourth candidate, Steven Henry, had previously served as chair of the County Commission and resigned to run against Colton Moore for the Senate seat vacated when Jeff Mullis retired.

Larry Black, for his part, is in court as I type this post.

Larry Black may take the high road, but I am not constrained by the expectations that come with running for office so I will tell you how I see it. The Catoosa GOP is made up of a bunch of cowards who are afraid of the will of the people. With the social skills of a middle school bully they are too stupid to see that they are killing the Republican brand with actions like these.

This is the bloodless version of Stalin and Saddam Hussein. They are attempting to reduce elections to nothing more than a farce. The Communist Party in China would be proud.

While I served in office, all I wanted to do was to vote my conscience. If that is your ask, then you must be willing to give others that right with no expectation of it being returned in kind. And that means when someone comes to a different conclusion than I have, I give them the grace I wish they would show me. Sometimes you win this way, other times you lose, but you can hang your hat on the fact that you are true to your own principles. And that doesn’t mean the person who disagreed with me didn’t have principles, they just saw the issue differently. And that is okay.

What is not okay is to try to destroy the will of the people by denying candidates you disagree with from even having access to be on a ballot. If your preferred candidates are so good, they cannot possibly be afraid of the competition that comes with winning an election. Unless they have subscribed to a messed up, commie version of the world. Maybe they have.

The GOP I signed up for, the one I am fighting for these days, appreciated differences in thought and opinion. It fought for a maximum amount of freedom. It seems like a pretty low bar to allow voters to decide elections.

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