Editorial: In twenty years of convention going, I don’t think that there has been a more simple question for delegates to ask in the Chair’s race. Let’s face it, Chair of the OKGOP is not an easy job and we have had a rough two years to prove that. But the Party must do better. As we approach the May 6th Oklahoma Republican Convention, delegates face a stark contrast which boils down to one question, “Are you satisfied?”
Fundraising is at an all time low. As a party we are more reliant than ever on gifts from elected officials to keep the doors open. A tawdry $24,000 came from individual donors. This must improve if we are to move into 2018 strong and be prepared to defend every statewide seat.
Chairman Pollard claims pass thru money (RNC passing thru Oklahoma to battleground states and money from county party’s and women’s clubs that was transferred from their coffers to the OKGOP with a designation as to what candidate was to receive it) as being contributions to her overall fundraising success. Even if you cede that point to her, she was out-raised by more than 8 to 1 by the OKGOP during the last presidential cycle.
The current administration’s response to lackluster fundraising has been to eradicate the political arm of the state party. With seven special elections going on currently in the state, the OKGOP has no political director, no field coordinator, not even a designated data point person to help candidates pull lists. This is unacceptable and must change.
Even our relationships with officials are suffering. Chairman Pollard has done her best to burn bridges with Oklahomans on the national stage by embarrassing Scott Pruitt. With an administration already dogged with accusations, unwarranted or not, for the OKGOP Chair to not take every precaution to protect Oklahoma’s first federal cabinet level appointee in generations was disgraceful. Even more tasteless was her comment to the press, “I know the rules.” Does she mean that she knows more than Scott Pruitt? Does she mean that she knows more about federal law than Scott Pruitt’s staff? As a Party, we owe Scott Pruitt an apology for becoming a distraction from the good work he is trying to do.
Are you satisfied with inferior fundraising?
Are you satisfied with no help to our candidates?
Are you satisfied with Party leadership embarrassing our elected officials who have done nothing more than offer to help?
If the answer to any of these questions is “NO” then you need to replace Pam Pollard as Chair. The next election has too much at stake to allow our Party to be a mill stone around our nominee’s necks.
Robert Aery has the experience to lead our party and work to rebuild fundraising and infrastructure. He has worked at the State Party under Matt Pinnell, and there cannot be a finer example of what a State Chairman should be.
Let’s turn the page of leadership and move forward with a leader that can and will be prepared for 2018!
Editor’s Note: This editorial submission was crafted by a delegate to the 2017 OK Republican Convention to be held Saturday and published on the condition of anonymity.
The writer has served in both elected and appointed positions in government and with the Oklahoma Republican Party. Tulsa Today finds no mistake of fact in this opinion.