Updated with reply from Kirby Wilbur below
Today I received a letter from the WSRP asking me for a donation to be a “2012 Sustaining Member.” As many know, I have my problems with the Republican Party and consider myself an Independent Conservative, not a Republican any longer. Below is a copy of the letter I have sent back in response to their request for a donation.
January 6, 2012
Mr. Kirby Wilbur and Staff
I am in receipt today of your written request to become a “sustaining member” of the Washington State Republican party. I cannot in good conscience donate any funds to the party.
My reasons are due to having witnessed the WSRP playing favorites in contested primaries by endorsing or promoting one Republican candidate over another Republican candidate. It is not up to the party to tell voters who we may vote for. It is up to the voters to decide who we wish to vote for.
I witnessed this during the 2010 3rd Congressional District race where Jaime Herrera Beutler was openly endorsed by the Cowlitz County Republican Party, the Pacific County Republican Party and the Wahkiakum County Republican Party. While the Clark County Republican Party did not openly endorse her candidacy, they may as well have as the board clearly promoted her over other Republicans and in fact, often denigrated another Republican candidate, an act shared by those in both Pacific and Cowlitz Republican Parties.
I am once again witnessing this selective promotion of one candidate over another in a contested primary as candidate for governor, Rob McKenna is clearly being favored and endorsed by the WSRP while another Republican challenger, Shahram Hadian is completely ignored and marginalized.
I am sure I do not need to remind you that Mr. McKenna does not have the strongest conservative record.
As long the WSRP continues to ignore Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican,” I cannot and will not support the party. I will lend my support directly to the candidate I feel has the best conservative record.
It is not up to the people to “Be The Party,” but it is up to the party to “Be With The People.”
Lewis A. Waters
UPDATE: Kirby Wilbur replied on facebook with,
“There has been no official endorsement of any candidate running for Governor by either me or the WSRP. Mr Hadian will be on the ballot and all of you can campaign for him, donate to his campaign and vote for him in August. If he is the nominee, the WSRP will do everything in it’s power, as will I, to make him the next Governor. Judah, you know this, we had lunch and talked about this face-to-face. Perhaps if some of you spent less time posting about and more time working for your candidates, they would have a better chance, better organizations and more money.”
He has yet to reply or comment on the December 17, 2011 Seattle Times quote,
“State GOP Chairman Kirby Wilbur said he and other state party leaders recently notified the Republican National Committee that McKenna was the only credible Republican candidate in the race, clearing the way for the party to start funding his campaign before the Aug. 7 primary.”
I’m very disappointed that Kirby Wilbur, who I have admired and respected for some time, will now play such games of semantics.
UPDATE 2: I stand corrected in my claim that I did not say the WSRP endorsed McKenna as I did in fact use the word endorsed in the letter. I am still waiting to hear from Kirby Wilbur or any leadership of WSRP on the Seattle Times quote.