Saturday, June 02, 2012

Reaction to White supremacist wins write-in for Luzerne County GOP Committee

CV: Bob Kolankoski, chairman of the committee's third district, says it's being blown way out of proportion.
"Anyone can be written in," Kolankoski said. "He's a crackpot. He's one guy. What can he do?"

TL:  Luzerne County GOP Chaiman Terry Casey said Friday he was unaware of Smith’s background and does not know what the party’s position will be until he discusses it with the executive committee.
“I don’t think the party ever faced this kind of situation before. It will be a matter for the executive committee and the committee people to decide,” he said.
Casey said, even if the executive committee decided it wanted to remove Smith, he does not know if it would have the power to do so because he was elected to the position


Much news has been made today regarding the election of Steve Smith to the Luzerne County Republican Committee.

Committee members can be influential in local politics, and you can quickly rise up the ranks to sit on an Executive Committee of either party, which frequently can put you in the same room with  State Senators and Representatives, District Attorneys, local Mayors, party nominees, movers and shakers, even members of Congress. Steve's Smith's expedited path to access Republican officials is quite disturbing.

However, it is really not the fault of the Republican Committee that he was elected. Without a candidate listed on the ballot who had gone through the petition process, write in candidates for committee offices only need a minimal amount of support to win. He got three votes: Steve Smith obviously does not represent the Luzerne County Republican Party in any way, shape, or form.

I'm sure we have all read Steve Smith's letters to the editor in local papers, filled with pure hate, against anyone who doesn't fit into his world view. In fact, I find find his views abhorrent on a very deep and personal level. As far as I can tell, I don't believe there is a mechanism for removing a committee person from either party from their position, as they were voted on by the public and those results certified by the election board. However, there are ways to minimize him over the course of his term, so that his election will have a negligible impact. We sincerely hope that the Republicans find a way to quarantine any political ambitions Steve Smith may have. No white supremacist should be anywhere near the inner workings of any party in Luzerne County.

The Democrats have no intention to bring Steve Smith up again because, frankly, his election isn't merely a political embarrassment for the Republicans, it's an embarrassment for the entire county. Speaking about Steve Smith not only distracts us from real issues, it legitimizes him and gives him more attention (something I'm sure he craves), and frankly he is making other Republican committee persons across Luzerne County who work hard and care about their country and their communities look bad.

We would rather speak on jobs and the economy, social justice and equal rights, and an America where everyone has a fair shot to succeed. 

So, don't give Steve Smith what he wants: this will be our first, last, and only word on the subject.

Casey Evans
Spokesperson for the Luzerne County Democratic Committee
Chairman, 2nd District

Mr. Smith defends himself.

Smith said Friday said he decided to seek the committee position after he saw there were no candidates for the post, and he would fight any effort to remove him.

“I’m community-minded and wanted to get my foot in the door,” ....“This is not a powerful position. I don’t know why everyone is getting their panties in a bunch,” ....“Everybody has a past. I made mistakes. You learn from your mistakes and move on,” he said.

The headline flying around the lefty blogs implies that this guy won an election in our little corner of the world. He did no such thing. He wrote himself in for an office nobody else was contesting and got exactly 1 vote, his own. Luzerne County maybe the most corrupt place in the country but we don't elect racist in contested elections.

Looking at the list of winners for the county Republican Committee on the Luzerne County website there are a lot of blank spaces. PoliticsPA observed It’s a cautionary tale for every county committee: fill those vacant committee seats, or others will fill them for you.

A local GOP insider told me There was no concentrated effort to fill vacant committee spots.... at the last exec meeting a couple weeks ago we didn't even know who won the open spots.


D.B. Echo said...

If you DON'T fill in those blanks, you never know WHO might win. With one vote. Sometimes not even cast by himself.

Anonymous said...

The county cair, terry Casey, is a goof...
He has to go!

JimboBillyBob said...

I disagree with the "GOP insider."

There were in fact efforts made to "fill in those blanks."

I personally sent over 60 letters to more than 80 people to recruit for committee. I verbally approached others for empty slots in the 6th District GOP. We picked up some committee people from these efforts.

There were efforts in other Luzerne County districts as well and the county GOP supported us.

How many committee people did the "insider" recruit?

James O'Meara, Sr.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! You guys are now the laughing stock of the country! A former violent racist skinhead? Really? Is this truly the best you've got? ROFL!

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised the GOP didn't issue a strong statement like the Democrats did.