5/30: updated for moderation.
Because the Washington Post printed charges made against the PWCGOP Chair by a candidate, which made our committee look foolish, the Committee Chair, Tom Kopko, felt it necessary to answer the charges against himself and the committee.
Tom Kopko did some consulting work for Faisal Gill back in January of 2006. At the time, there was no contest for the 51st district, and Faisal Gill was pursuing the position. For whatever reason, he decided that Tom Kopko had the expertise needed to put together his web site. Tom, not wanting to play favorites, did not donate his time for the work, but rather had Faisal Gill pay him for his services.
This is the traditional way people avoid conflicts of interest.
But because Tom is the chair of the committee, he is also the chair of the 51st district nominating committee. And some people supporting another candidate for the position are trying to paint an image that the money paid to Tom for his service was actually a bribe to induce Tom Kopko into choosing a convention for a possible 51st nominating convention.
However, that idea is so patently absurd that even those who raise it immediately dismiss it as stupid. "But it's the appearance", they say, ignoring that you can only have an appearance of impropriety if there is a possibility of impropriety, something they all reject (as they should).
My previous post gives Tom's views on nominations in the Republican party. It is clear that the only time Tom Kopko is going to have a primary is if he is forced to by law. It would be silly for any candidate to "pay" Tom for this, as it's what we all want, at least all of us who value Republicans choosing republican nominees.
We expect a lot out of our Party Chairs. To say that they cannot provide any for-fee services to members of the committee if there is any possibility of other Republicans running against those members in the near future is silly -- as noted by the opinion of both the SBE and the RPV.
Even the opponent in the race did not make the charge directly, but did suggest to the Washington Post that Tom Kopko was actually OPEN to a primary before he received the payment. Tom explained that in his response, noting that there was a court case to allow closed primaries, and he was simply saying that if we won that case he could see doing a closed primary.
Frankly, even if all candidates wanted a primary, Tom would be disinclined to allow one. And the committee voted for the convention (and none of us were paid to do so). The simple fact is, the charge of undue influence is absurd, has no foundation, and can only be seen as an attempt to unfairly influence the people who will vote in the convention.
Fortunately, we are having a convention, which means the delegates are people who are fairly committed, willing to put in the time and effort to show up, and to see through cheap stunts and political tricks.
Hopefully, the delegates (who in the end are the ONLY people who need to be "influenced" in a convention) will see that one candidate's supporters don't trust the delegates to be fair, impartial, and to judge both candidates on the merits. If I were a Delegate, I would be insulted that one candidate's supporters lacked faith in our ability to treat both candidates fairly.
Over in that other blog stirring the pot, I have asked all comers to give me a single example of ANYTHING done to actually harm the candidates who are complaining. Nobody has answered. The simple fact is, there has been no actions taken that are prejudicial to the candidates who now sully the reputation of our committee.