Laura A. Case: Why I left the GOP

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— I recently wrote a letter to Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. It was written with a long overdue sense of encouragement, brought on by recent events nationally.

I am a single mother of two boys, raising them on my own. I have tried to raise them as I was raised, with common sense, integrity, values, strong work ethic and the attitude that anything is possible in America. I raise them in hopes that one day they will become good husbands, fathers and citizens of this wondrous country.

I had to thank Mr. Steele for helping with my recent decision to leave the Republican Party and become an independent. The actions of 90 percent of the politicians are deplorable, but I must say that the actions of my old party (since 1989) are truly reprehensible. The recent events in Delaware, Alaska, Colorado and Florida, to name just a few, have shown my children and I just how corrupt, immature, narcissistic, power-hungry and un-American both parties truly are nowadays. As an aside, the GOP’s latest attempt at the Contract with America is so 1994, with water-downed, Democrat-light policies that prove that Mr. Steele and others still aren’t listening to the vast majority of citizens. We want Obamacare repealed, period. Not replaced. The Republicans still don’t understand their own base. With that said, here was my message to Mr. Steele:

Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way. Because the Republican National Committee refuses to do the leading and you won’t get out of the way, I presume that you will be following. I am a proud conservative who votes principles, not party, which would behoove you to emulate in actions, not words.

Comments

cindy constantine 4 years, 2 months ago

Thank you, Laura!! My sentiments exactly which is why I am voting for Tancredo for the Guv. Let Colorado be on the cutting edge of supporting 3rd party candidates!! Time to give the 2 party system a run for their money and let the silent majority have a voice!!

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Rick Akin 4 years, 2 months ago

For too many politicians of both parties getting elected has become the end in itself, rather than the means to the appropriate end--enacting sound policy. We are subjected to slick and largely meaningless campaign pieces like the recent GOP Contract From America. We are subjected to continuous, and largely disingenuous, negative ads.
We all have to give the message in our own way that "Enough is enough." We expect and demand better. We are not a bunch of mindless cattle. What do we have to do to get a legitimate and reasoned debate of the real issues? So, Laura, we are on the same page. I salute you for doing what you think you have to do. Leaving the GOP is not the solution for everyone, but it makes a statement.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 2 months ago

I am with the majority in my distrust of politicians. The U.S. Senate, where bills go to die, has the lowest principles of all. Their votes are promised to their biggest campaign contributors before the needs of actual constituents. Insults and parliamentary obstruction seem their preferred agenda.

But I also understand that nothing is as simple as the slogans on the street or the anger in the above letter. Get the hell out of the way… but hey, don’t expect us to have a plan. As if health care did not need fixing??

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 2 months ago

Rick, your Steamboat Institute has had a LOT to say about taxes and fiscal policy. You personally have written more Pilot column inches than anybody telling the Yampa Valley what our government’s policies should be. And you haven’t been shy with criticism of the folks you disagree with.

But given the opportunity to speak on tax policy here in Steamboat, your Steamboat Institute is suprisingly submissive and uninspired. In the Sunday article on Steamboat property taxes, the Institute's co-founder Jennifer Schubert-Akin, had this to say:” “If sales tax is not going to sustain even basic services, then maybe you have to look at a property tax, but before you do that, you’ve got to make sure expenses have been reduced as much as possible.”

Coming from the Steamboat Institute, and following your mountains of prior advice to Steamboat, that’s a disappointingly inane statement. We could expect that statement from ANYONE, from ANY PARTY.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 2 months ago

Rick, your volumes of advice to Steamboat are full of slogans, lofty advice, and criticizing the policies of others. But where are YOUR policies? Steamboat, the home of your institute, is having a tax conversation and your Institute seems completely disinterested in the details of that conversation.

With so much certainty and volume announcing Institute principles and critiques to residents of this valley, can your institute be specific on any of the details connecting those principles to the actual moving parts of the local economy.

No preference between a sales tax or a property tax? No advice on WHERE to cut expenses? Do you support taxes spent on tourism marketing to support the private sector? Yes? No?

So Rick, do the positions of the Steamboat Institute actually fit in Steamboat? If so, please tell us where.

By all means, “The Steamboat Institute” should pull up a chair to our local tax conversation and walk its talk - bring those lofty principles and hefty critiques to down to earth by taking positions on policy details that touch the folks you've been preaching to. Otherwise please stop penning philosophies you won’t stand behind in downtown Steamboat Springs, where they matter.

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seeuski 4 years, 2 months ago

Go get em Rick. These tax and spend Liberals have a beautiful Library, community center, Hotel on the river etc. The Pilot put out some feel good programs in the "our view" op-ed recently that would be a good starting point. The head of the school district has a new contract that rivals those of major cities. What does the Chief of Police make? How about a Sheriff that doesn't fight the taxpayers? I don't know, are there areas we can trim expenditures? I think so.

Give em what they ask for Rick.

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Rick Akin 4 years, 2 months ago

Well, Mr. Lewis, I am happy to tell you that we are a couple of steps ahead of you. Jennifer has already been in contact with City Council members about serving on the tax policy advisory board. You seem to have a little trouble understanding her quote that was used in the paper Sunday, so let me try to make it clearer. The Steamboat Institute, Jennifer, and I support limited government and lower taxes. That is why she said we need to look at the expense side as well as the revenue side. That is also why she said that we should look at a property tax “If sales tax is not going to sustain even basic services." I thought this was fairly clear, but if it was not, you can expect Jennifer to advocate for increased efficiency, limited government, and lower taxes, which I do not think is really something "anyone of any party" might say. While we are on the subject of local fiscal responsibility, keep a look out in next Sunday's paper for a commentary that I will submit by Amy Oliver of the Independence Institute on irresponsible local government borrowing. I am glad we have gotten your attention, Mr. Lewis. I hope to see you at upcoming Steamboat Institute events.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 2 months ago

Thanks for your reply Rick. And thanks Jennifer. Its perfect that you've applied to be on the new TPAB, and I hope they give you one of those seats.

I was an alternate on the 2004 one. It was my "freshman" experience with a civic committee. I was mostly a bystander to the product, but we alternates were fully engaged in the work and conversation, and I've enjoyed the relationships struck with folks like Andy Wirth and Chris Diamond.

Yes, you are ahead of me. Your seat there will be a great response to my post above. Should I interpret your contributions there as representing Steamboat Institute? or representing Jennifer. Rick can respond to that.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 2 months ago

Rick,
I would like to attend some event. Thanks for the invite. But still, I'd expect to learn little there about your ideas on, for instance, our Local Marketing District tax or chamber funding. While Jennifer is on TPAB she might eventually speak to that topic as well. She might not.

So I guess my point remains: I would still like to hear from you where the Steamboat Institute principles would take us in downtown Steamboat.

I fully understood Jennifer's quote. And I do think a liberal and a conservative are equally capable of saying we need to look at the expense side as well as the revenue side. And equally likely to say we should look at a property tax “If sales tax is not going to sustain even basic services."

Its great to agree sometimes.

But no, I didn't understand from her quote that she was for limited government. And nor do I know, in the context of this town's policies, what that would mean.

But I trust we'll discuss it. I appreciate very much that you answered my post. Later...

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Rick Akin 4 years, 2 months ago

The Steamboat Institute is a 501(c)(3) corporation. It is non-partisan and is run by a board of directors that includes people locally and others from outside the state who have some special interest in Steamboat. You can learn more at www.steamboatinstitute.org. So, certainly Jennifer would just represents herself and not the organization on this board. The Institute has focused primarily on state and national issues, but its principles apply locally as well, so perhaps we can chime in on local issues more in the future. I would note that I think when each of us talk about looking at the expense side of the city budget, you and I probably have something different in mind. I would welcome you to any Steamboat Institute or 1773 Club event. We encourage substantive discussion. If you will send me your preferred email, I will be glad to add you to our email list. You can email me at rickakin@ace-lawfirm.com.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 2 months ago

Why not have that substantive discussion right in this established place where you've already spent months publishing so many of your points of view, Rick? Here, at the Pilot website.

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Steve Lewis 4 years, 2 months ago

Rick, I’m disappointed. You’ve had so much to say in your columns. You manage a weekly commentary space to broadcast your and other’s conservative principles each Sunday into the Yampa valley.

I commend Jennifer for applying to a TPAB. But that is not the answer I thought it could be. You’ve made it clear she wouldn’t speak for you or your Institute. And I realize even if a TPAB is formed, she is on it, and she did speak for you, her opinion, as one of ten folks intent on Mission A would be a whisper next to the soapbox you use every week.

You need to do more, Rick. I was brought to my original post by a contrast between the strong conservative opinions from Rick Akin on national issues and this commonplace Institute comment on local issues. A comment that many liberals could endorse.

If your Institutes principles are sound, they apply everywhere: national, state, county and city. Do you strongly oppose liberal policies in national government but find your principles align just fine with the policies of our local government? I asked your opinion on 3 specific local issues. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems you handed me a brochure and walked away.

I have no interest in the alternative venues you suggested Rick, because the Pilot space you typically speak from is appropriate. I made this point days ago, but you have not replied. Do some principles work best in the Sunday paper, and others work better in your own meetings or in emails?

I hope you prove me wrong Rick, but it seems that applying a true conservative’s principles in a consistent fashion is very hard to do. I read the brochure and the Institute’s principles seem very clear, but equally abstract. Can you translate them to local issues as confidently as you do for the D.C. beltway? Since I think you should, it made sense to place my request where your audience would see it.

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