Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Was I Too Hard on Kirk Sullivan?

Posted by Adam Graham on January 16, 2008

I previously suggested Kirk Sullivan presenting an impassible primary bill was being passive aggressive. Dennis Mansfield suggests I was being far too harsh:

Kirk Sullivan is a man with whom I have a good, long-standing relationship. He is a man who has steered the GOP “ship of state” through some recent frigid waters: a fractured 1st CD ’06 Primary, law suits in ’07, Larry Craig’s ongoing situation starting in 07, and now this legislative issue. Be honest. He’s done a good job. Not everyone agrees with him – I’m sure, as in my own marriage, even his wife isn’t too pleased with him on certain issues. So what?…

Sullivan has presented an RS for the Legislature to review, amend and develop. That’s the nature of a routing slip – it’s a pending bill…not a finished one. The head of the GOP was given a task to bring forward legislation. He has now done that…and some folks think it’s not “good enough”. Of course it isn’t…that’s the nature of writing bills. I’ve written hundreds of bills – all starting out as Kirk Sullivan has done.

With all due respect to Dennis, Chairman Sullivan has spent the last year plus acting in bad faith in this matter. At the 2006 Republican Party convention, we voted for closed primaries, at the 2007 Summer meeting, we voted for closed primaries and throughout most of the year, Sullivan has been a foe of that movement, despite the fact that as chairman of the party, his job is to promote the views of the party, not his own personal agenda as he’s done for the past year.

As for Sullivan as Chairman, I think in the 2006 elections, he deserves high marks. Beyond that, Sullivan delivered the type of ambiguity that’s allowed us to have the honor of carrying Craig in the Senate, even while the vast majority of Idahoans don’t want him to be there. This leads to feaverishly nervous fundraising letters that would have been unnecessary had Sullivan not worked to rally people to Craig’s side.

Had Sullivan supported the closed primary lawsuit, we would have had this thing resolved. Instead, he slapped down the lawsuit and introduced this bill. The hopes of the bill getting fixed are unfounded. The leadership of the Senate doesn’t like the bill and is concerned about the expense and have no plans to actually fix it or amend it. Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis says it’s no priority. Indeed, it’s not. It’s just part of the Republican platform passed by the people who make it possible for them to sit in the Senate year after year. The grassroots of the Republican party don’t amount to a whole lot in Senator Davis’ world, and judging by the type of DOA bill Sullivan has introduced under tremendous pressure, I question how much we matter to Chairman Sullivan.


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