Monday, June 04, 2007

What is wrong with Al White?

Sunday's Grand Junction Sentinel (GJS) has given Al White the opportunity to whine about the heat he is receiving for his poor voting record.

White is registered as a Republican, but is FAR more likely to be found voting with the Democrats than his Republican colleagues.

White supports extra-constitutional rights for guys, supports gun control, raising taxes, and consistently votes to expand the power, authority and size of state government.

When he is called out on his horrible voting record he whines to the GJS:

“I don’t think we in the Republican Party should try and identify those of us who are Republican enough and those of us who are not Republican enough,” White said. “Nor should we have discussions about purifying our party, as I have heard several members suggest.”

White said discussions about Republican purity “sounds very Adolf Hitler-ish to me.”

Who is Al White to call ME "Hitler-ish"?!?! Yes, this man is an elected official. More:

“There are suggestions that by getting rid of the likes of Al White that the party would be better off,” White said. “And my point would be that if you get rid of Al White, you’re going to end up with a Democrat, and that Democrat is going to vote for Democratic leadership.

“Al White, regardless of what you think of his votes in support of his district, will continue to vote for Republican leadership in those votes when they come up.

Anyone who talks in the third person needs to have his head examined. What's worse is that House Minority Leader David Balmer comes out and strongly defends White.

However, Assistant House Minority Leader David Balmer, R-Centennial, said he has not heard any rumblings of discontent within Republican circles.

“Al White is somebody who has sacrificed for many years to serve our state and our Republican Party,” Balmer said. “He has labored in the trenches, and I really appreciate all he has done. Everybody in our caucus appreciates the many hours Al White has put in to serve as a (Joint Budget Committee) member, which is often a thankless job.”

Balmer said the Republican Party respects its own diversity and would not force anyone out of its caucus.

Joining the off-key chorus is party Chairman Dick Wadhams:

Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams said that even if party members were upset with White, voting for the governor’s “property tax increase” is hardly grounds for political exile.

“He’s a great legislator and he’s a very good Republican,” Wadhams said. “I do not question his loyalty to the Republican Party at all.”

Wadhams acknowledged that the mill levy vote could be an issue in a Republican primary if White runs for term-limited Sen. Jack Taylor’s seat in 2008, but one vote “does not disqualify Al from being a Republican legislator at all.”

And Democrat Governor Bill Ritter:

During a bill-signing ceremony in Glenwood Springs this week, Ritter commended the Republican lawmaker’s support of a controversial property tax measure.

“He is a person who takes the real issues of his constituency to heart and works really hard to make sure he’s working on behalf of the people he represents and, again, works across party lines and gets a great deal done,” Ritter said.

Following a bill signing in Grand Junction, Ritter reiterated his appreciation for White’s style and promised to always bear in mind the Winter Park lawmaker’s politically risky vote of support.

“Al White showed a great deal of political courage and it is something that I will remember for a long time to come,” Ritter said.

So Bill Ritter, Dick Wadhams and David Balmer all agree that Al White is a swell guy, and should be rewarded with a State Senate seat.

This kind of thinking, of blind loyalty to anyone who claims to be a Republican is what got the Republican party in it's current mess.

It is unfortunate that party leaders like Wadhams and Balmer have missed this important lesson. Support of candidates like Al White will lead to another horrible election year for Republicans.

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