My last newsletter concerned Kelly McGinley and her removal from the Republican ballot. I need to make a correction to what I wrote: I had incorrectly taken the date of her resignation from the Mobile County Committee as February of this year. Actually it was February of last year.
At my suggestion Kelly has responded to what I wrote, and I have published her response below. I have also heard from two other dissenters, one of which has given me permission to publish his remarks. They are also below.
I believe that much of the value in a newsletter such as this is the opportunity it affords for discussion and dissent, and I assure readers that I am always glad to hear from them, pro or con.
Kelly McGinley's Response
I am a Christian first before a republican. My allegiance is to the Lord Jesus Christ not the republican party. I am committed to the platform of the Rep. party and will actively expose the RINO's. I will not check my brain, my freedom of speech, or my Christian principles at the door of the big tent of the Rep. party. Evidently it is big enough for the sodomites and the socialists but not consecrative Christians.
Mark Owsley's Response
I appreciate your newsletter and agree with you most all the time. But the Republicans in Alabama had better realize that they have essentially the same problem that the national Democrats have. That is to say, a lot of folks who consider themselves Democrats back Ralph Nader because they think that party is too conservative. Conversely, a lot of folks who think the Republican Party gets too mealy-mouthed and liberal also support the Constitution Party, formerly the US Taxpayers' Party.
Just as the Democrats don't really need to alienate the Nader voters, Republicans would do well to avoid offending the conservative wing of the GOP. I know many people who have moved back and forth from the Republican Party to the Constitution Party and so forth. In 1996, I resigned my local Republican Executive Committee position and served as an elector for the US Taxpayers Party in Alabama. My principles come before my party affiliation. Would to goodness that this were true of everyone. I did not know (and it is not true) that one must pass some litmus test to run as a Republican in Alabama. Indeed, Ms. McGinley apparently wants to run as a Republican and would have to declare her allegiance to the party to some degree to do so, so I want to know where were all these holier-than-thou committee members when Richard Shelby decided to be a Republican ? And what about Johnny Ford ? Fob James was a Democrat, too, once, remember ? It seems that it is okay to have an instant-conversion from the Left but not from the Right, to the Republican Party. I think that the executive committee is going to find that it can have its little exclusive party primary and wind up with the strength the GOP had in Alabama in say about, 1960.
I thought the Alabama Republican Party allowed open voting, but Democrats did not. I thought the GOP could always claim to be the party of inclusion in Alabama. The fact is, Kelly McGinley holds no strong sway, personally, but what was done to her is not right. Many of us who have flirted with other (MORE CONSERVATIVE) parties have still served faithfully the Republican Party when called upon. For instance, I gave some assistance to the Bush campaign in the Florida debacle, upon request of the Party, not even to mention the fact that I prayed daily that Gore's coup attempt would fail. But I will not vote for Bob Riley because he is a Republican. He already tried to skin me alive and you of all people should realize that, therefore, we must make decisions not based on Party labels, but principles. Oh, the GOP has every right to sit up there and exclude everybody. Fact is, the executive committee is far more liberal than the voting populace and they don't like Kelly McGinley. But you see, the Republican Party is not made up of these county executive committees who meet for coffee once a month or even the state executive committee. Oh, they get to vote on stuff like this. But the REAL REPUBLICANS (with apologies to Bob Riley) are the people who go vote in the Republican Primary, MOST OF WHOM NEVER "JOINED" THE PARTY AND NEVER PAID A DOLLAR IN DUES TO THE PARTY. Yet they are the heart and soul of the party. Start getting cute with them, and the Party will be consigned to the dustbin of history. I remember when you couldn't pay to get someone to run as a Republican in Alabama. The state committee needs to be reminded of that. If 10-15% of the GOP who are really conservative just don't bother to get out the vote, guess what happens?
In 1996, I had a choice of Bill Clinton and, thanks to politics like this, Mr. Excitement and Democrat-appeaser, Bob Dole. Do you even wonder why I would help another party when faced with such a dilemma ? This country and the values upon which it was founded are more important than party loyalty. In short, don't pee down my back and tell me its raining. You say none of us can expect to serve two masters, quoting scripture. I don't consider any political party my master, thank goodness. Kelly (whom I do not know at all) has obviously elected to serve Christ as her master. If the GOP is now excluding Christians from its ranks, well, I think you know where this is headed. So, consider me still unclarified on the issue of Kelly McGinley. Perhaps everything will be clear to me when this same committee refuses to allow Bob Riley to run as a Republican because he abandoned party principles and supported the largest tax increase in Alabama history.
I have a feeling that after the Roy Moore/Bob Riley volcano that is coming in the next state general election, the Republican Party may have to meet in a phone booth on I-65. There have been more unprincipled Republicans exposed in the last two years than ever before in Alabama history. It is refreshing to see one or two with principles, even if they aren't the Republican equivalent of yellow-dogs.