I was awarded a scholarship and went to the Air Force Academy – Just like Ben Carson!

Air Force Academy Chapel

Air Force Academy Chapel

It’s a good thing that I am not running for president. If I were, the Politico  would have researched my past and reported that I fabricated this story. While I am the proud father of two veterans, those who know me know that I never served in the Air Force or any other branch of the military. Unlike Ben Carson, I was never even in High School ROTC. So before readers start accusing me of lying or Stolen Valor, let me explain my story. In truth, my experience and the way I convey it to people some decades later causes me to believe that this particular attack on Ben Carson is unfounded and without merit.

The year was 1977, I was a high school junior thinking about the Air Force Academy. Physically, I was in decent shape, I raced bicycles and cross country skied. Of course these sports did nothing to help my my position on the totem pole in the pecking order in high school! (Oops, I was almost racist there!!!) I had good but not great grades. Teachers always complained (and rightfully so) that I was not performing up to my potential. On the other hand, I had excellent ACT and SAT scores. As for leadership skills, I was beginning to come out of my shell and take on positions of leadership in a number of organizations. Looking back I was probably not the best candidate for an Academy appointment but not totally outside the zone either.

Like Ben Carson, I never formally applied to the Academy. I may have contacted my congressman, but my memory on that is a bit hazy after these decades. Somehow I did get in touch with the local Air Force Academy liaison, a retired Colonel and Academy graduate. He took time to answer my questions about the Academy and Air Force life. I was interested and he encouraged me. He told me about an opportunity for high school students in their junior year interested in going to the academy. The academy had then, and still has, a camp for high schoolers called Summer Scientific Seminar (s-cubed). In those days, it was a science camp, not just for prospective cadets but for high achieving high schoolers in STEM (the phrase was invented much later) fields. My grades may not have been the best, but there was no question that I was my one of my schools resident math and computer geeks. The camp may have been two weeks long and it took place on the Air Force Academy ground in the summer. In addition to academics, it was also an introduction to Air Force and Academy life.

I signed up, and as a minority I was awarded a full scholarship to attend. The camp was one of the highlights of my high school career. I had been to other gatherings of high school students at state, regional and national events, like the National Junior Achievement Convention, but this was by far the most intelligent group of high school students I had ever been with. Every one a leader, every one an academic high achiever, ever one an athlete. I felt privileged to be counted in their number.

During the seminar, we signed up for courses in various academic disciplines. They were all hands-on and for a geek like me they were a blast. I got to play with a jet engine on a test stand, participate in a multi-day political simulation game, work with a wind tunnel, and visit NORAD under nearby Cheyenne Mountain. We got to sleep in the Academy dorms and and eat in the cafeteria. It was an awesome experience!

In the end, like Ben Carson, I decided not to pursue an Academy appointment. While I was interested in serving in the Air Force, I really wanted to be an electrical engineer and do R&D on computers. A traditional college seemed the best route for what I wanted to do.

So, I was in fact awarded a scholarship to the Air Force Academy (Summer Scientific Seminar), I was never appointed, nor did I formally apply for appointment to the Air Force Academy. Good thing I am not running for president or the Politico would have a field day!

The SCC Passed a Resolution Today Calling for the De-funding of Planned Parenthood

__interestingI really hate Internet memes most of them are just plain silly and frankly annoying. But in this case I couldn’t help myself 🙂

Today I proposed a resolution calling on Governor Branstad and the Republican caucuses in the Iowa House and Senate to end state (and state-controlled) funding of Planned Parenthood.

So, why this issue and why now? In eight years on the SCC, I have never authored an issue resolution.

The Republican Party is the pro-life party. Every year it is the first issue in our platform. Our elected GOP leaders have fought for years for pro-life issues in the Iowa. This issue resonates with Republican voters. Thanks to the recent videos showing that Planned Parenthood may be violating federal law in the sale of aborted baby parts, people are talking about this issue. It is never the wrong time to do the right thing — but given the circumstances — now is the perfect time. This issue resonates across and beyond the pro-life spectrum. In this resolution we call on our legislators and Governor Branstad to act and we want to let them know that we have their backs.

Before the meeting, a couple of other SCC members and I worked on some wording changes. At the meeting today, we still had a vigorous debate over wording. But everyone on this SCC is pro-life and believes that no state money should go to Planned Parenthood for any purpose.

Here is the wording of the resolution:

Whereas, the Platform of the Republican Party of Iowa has consistently recognized the sanctity of human life and the personhood of the unborn, and

Whereas, recent information has indicated that Planned Parenthood may be illegally profiting from the sale of baby parts,

We, the Republican Party of Iowa, acknowledge and applaud the past and ongoing efforts of Governor Branstad and the Republican caucuses in the Iowa House and Iowa Senate to advance the cause of life, stand with them in their efforts, and now encourage them to remove all state and state-controlled funding from Planned Parenthood as soon as possible using all means and methods at their disposal, including all funding for non-abortion related services.

Between you and me, the real reason I want to de-fund Planned Parenthood is because Planned Parenthood kills babies.

I am the most interesting SCC member in the world!

I don’t have a dog (dawg for my Southern friends) in this fight

History is personal. In the recent debate over the flag (that I will not name because no matter what I call it it will start a flame war) pictured to the right this point has been made especially clear.  When the US Civil War was fought, my ancestors were living on Guam (under Spanish rule), Jamaica (or Africa — possibly as a slave under British rule) and China (during the Second Opium War.) So I really do not have a dog (dawg) in this fight. But I know how important and personal history can be. History, personal history, is in so many cases linked to our identity.

The English historian, Lord Acton said,

History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul.

On my Facebook page, I posted a link (without comment) to an article in the Cedar Rapids Gazette with the headline Republican chairman upset by Confederate flags and started a flame war! [[N.B. I believe the Gazette online article has been edited several times during the day without noting the changes.]] The Marion County Republican Party towed their parade float in the Pella and Pleasantville 4th of July Parades in a truck with three Confederate Flags. The truck belongs to a couple who are members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and they displayed them to honor the three Confederate soldiers buried in Marion County.

In the article Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann did not mince any words in his response saying,

I’m very disappointed that a local central committee would engage in such juvenile and stupid demonstrations.


We are the party of Abraham Lincoln. We were the party that supported the Union army and we are still that party of Abraham Lincoln. I absolutely won’t tolerate it. We have no room in our party for people like that — none,  I hope they toss those people out (of the local GOP) so fast, it’ll make your head swim. And, if they don’t, I’ll lead a party of 98 central committees.

An anonymous soldier wrote,

No war is really over until the last veteran is dead.

Well, the last veteran of the Civil War died in 1956, the last Civil War widow died in 2003 and by some accounts at least children of Civil War Veterans are still receiving pensions! In many ways, the Civil War (or War of Northern Aggression) is still not over. The current debate over the flag (that I dare not name) is a prime example. Was the war fought over slavery? Freedom? States rights? Was the Union the aggressor? Was the South traitorous? Was Lincoln a hero? Was Lee?

I am not a Ph.D. historian like our party chairman so I will not pretend to be expert on these questions. But what I know for sure is that apologists on all sides pontificate on this issue with a fervor bordering on religious.

As I said, I do not have a dog (dawg) in this fight. History is personal. (Ask me sometime about the Pacific in WWII, where my grandfather was a Japanese POW and my mother spent her childhood under Japanese occupation!!!) Given the current state of affairs in our country and the level of emotion that this subject brings up, I find it unfortunate that our party chairman, when speaking on behalf of the party would add fuel to this particular fire.

Binding the Iowa Delegation

Iowa at the 2008 National Convention

Iowa at the 2008 National Convention

[Note: the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. For current information on delegate binding please refer to The Caucus and Delegates to the National Convention]

I am not going to re-visit the argument about how we got here. I am not going to discuss whether it is good or bad. But as chairman of the RPI’s Organization Committee, I want to take this opportunity to tell you what has happened at the national level and describe how the changes will affect the process here in Iowa.

After the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, the RNC Rules committee adopted a new rule on binding and allocating delegates. Under the new rule all delegates to the national convention will be bound. The rule also carved out four states (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada), allowing them to hold caucuses or primaries before March 1st preserving Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status. Iowa’s delegation at the RNC was split on the vote.  Iowa’s National Committeeman and RPI Chairman voted in favor of the rule, Iowa’s National Committeewoman voted against the rule.

The relevant part of RULE NO. 16 reads:

Any statewide presidential preference vote that permits a choice among candidates for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in a primary, caucuses, or a state convention must be used to allocate and bind the state’s delegation to the national convention in either a proportional or winner-take-all manner, …

So, for better or worse, every Iowa delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention will be bound beforehand to vote for a particular candidate. All that remains is to determine the mechanism. This Saturday at the State Central Committee meeting, we will be considering the following amendment to the RPI bylaws.

Amendment to add a new Article VII to the Bylaws and renumber accordingly.

Article VII – Binding of National Convention Delegates

The Iowa delegation to the Republican National Convention shall be bound on the first ballot to cast a vote that reflects the outcome of the Iowa Caucuses. The Chair of the Republican Party of Iowa, or his or her designee, shall cast the vote of the delegation on the first ballot, for those candidates who have been officially placed in nomination, in proportion to the statewide Iowa Precinct Caucus vote. The proportional delegate allocation shall be rounded to the nearest whole delegate. In the event that a delegate is unallocated due to mathematical rounding, the unallocated delegate vote shall be cast in favor of the candidate closest to the rounding threshold.

Under this proposed amendment, the RPI chairman will announce the vote of the Iowa delegation in the first round based solely on the math based on the outcome of caucus night. The chairman will not poll the delegation. All of Iowa’s votes will go to candidates who have officially been placed in nomination, so if a candidate drops out before the convention, the math is re-figured and Iowa’s votes are divided up among the remaining candidates. If there is a second (or further) round of voting, all delegates may vote for the candidate of their choice.

I would love to hear your input on this.


Living a Lie — I self-identify as White!

White David

The author as White

This week, I have realized that I have been living a lie — I self-identify as white. I came to this realization after reading about Rachel Dolezal. Dolezal is the former head of the Spokane NAACP who was born white but has been passing herself off as black. Dolezal apparently went so far as to invent an African American father and post pictures of him in place of her biological father. Like Dolezal, I began thinking of myself as white at a young age. There is a difference however, in my opinion, Dolezal’s actions seem to fall somewhere between mental illness and fraud. But Dolezal is right on one thing — racial identity is complex and multi-layered.

The author as an Asian Man

The author as Asian

My father was from Jamaica. Racially he was 1/2 Jamaican and 1/2 Chinese. The Jamaican half was almost certainly African courtesy of the slave trade. As a university professor, students would ask him about his racial background and he would tell them to guess. I suspect that it was his Chinese last name that threw them off because students never could seem to figure it out. To me, my father always looked black. He was a handsome man with dark skin and thick jet black hair. I always thought he looked a little like Harry Belafonte (also Jamaican). I couldn’t really see much hint of Chinese/Asian features. Today when I tell people that my father was Jamaican/Chinese they are surprised. Since Jamaica was a British Colony there were many immigrant from the British colonies, and later the commonwealth, in Jamaica.

The author as an Pacific-Islander

The author as Pacific-Islander

My mother is from Guam a small island in the Pacific. Guam is a US territory and part of Micronesia. The native people of Guam are called Chamorro though today many consider Chamorro to be the exonymic spelling and have adopted the endonymic Chammoru. [[Actually the word Chamorro comes from Spanish so Chammoru is the endonymic spelling of anexonymic name ;-)]] My mother has relatively light skin and black hair though many of her relatives have considerably darker skin. Guam was colonized and ruled by Spain until the Spanish American War so most islanders have Spanish surnames. (BTW having a Spanish surname is in many cases sufficient to call oneself hispanic). Since my mom is light skinned, it is difficult for people to visually discern her race. I suspect most people consider her Caucasian or white. Though I am guessing that on forms she classifies herself as Asian/Pacific Islander.

The author as Hispanic

The author as Hispanic

So given that my father was Jamaican-Chinese and that my mother is Chammoru — how is it that I have come to identify myself as white? It reminds me of Steve Martin’s character in The Jerk who says, “I was born a poor black child.” But in my case (or for that matter Rachel Dolezal’s) it would not be true. I was born to educated middle class parents whose racial backgrounds I have detailed above. My birth took place in Cedar Falls, Iowa, a small midwestern college town. Cedar Falls, like the rest of Iowa had a minority population of under 5%. When I was born in the early 1960’s that number was probably more like 2%. That number is not just blacks but all minorities combined. Since we were part of the university community, my parent’s circle of friends included more minorities than most. Growing up we were an active part of a small but vibrant Chinese community.

The author as Black

The author as Black

When I was growing up, I went to a laboratory school. This school was a part of the university and served as a teaching lab for the College of Education. The schools enrollment area was so white — that the university bussed in African American students from a nearby town to provide a more diverse student population. (This was long before forced bussing — the program was totally voluntary.) Therefore as a child, almost all of my friends were white. While I never drew pictures of myself with blond hair, all of the action figures I played with — GI Joe and Major Matt Mason (an astronaut) — were white. I watched white TV shows, listened to white music, played white games and grew up in a white world. It is no wonder that as a child I thought of myself as white.

The author as an Asian Man

The author as White Hispanic

In reality, I never thought of myself as being of any particular race. I did not (and still don’t) have a strong sense of racial identity. But I guess if I had thought about it at all, I would have self-identified with my peers who were almost all white. All of this changed in my early teens. After I finished fifth grade, my father took a sabbatical from the university and took a position at the University of Guam. We moved to Guam and I went to sixth, seventh and eighth grade on the island. Living on Guam made my racial identity much more complicated. Growing up in Iowa with all of my extended family on Guam or Jamaica — I never really felt connected to my larger family. Chammoru culture is very family centered and families are large and close. Suddenly I found myself surrounded by cousins, aunts, uncles, and various other relatives on a daily basis. It was a wonderful experience and played an important role in forming who I am.

The author's Caucasian father

The author’s Caucasian father

As for my racial identity, it became more complicated. All of those aunts, uncles and cousins were Chammoru, they were brown. Except for two of my female cousins who were light skinned with red hair — I was part of a brown family in a majority brown society. But in school, my closest friends were all haoles (a lovingly derogatory term like ‘cracker’ or ‘honky’). Today I understand that this affinity was more cultural than racial. The white kids (most from the mainland US) and I shared a common culture. We had significant shared experiences and we tended to stick together. My best friends had names like Browder and Chase not Lujan and Gutierrez.

On the other hand, when my father came to the US as a young man he went to the DOT and in those days they put race on the driver’s license. Being Jamaican and Chinese so puzzled the DOT employees that they decided to list him as Caucasian. So, if my father was Caucasian — I must be white, it’s not a lie after all!!!

Shame …

Former IA Congressman Jim Nussle expressing shame over the House Bank scandal

Former IA Congressman Jim Nussle expressing shame over the House Bank scandal

I have been a Republican apologist for years. I have said that politics is a ‘team sport’ and you vote for the team that most closely matches your values — not the individuals.

People used to say to me, ‘But Dave, the GOP barely plays lip service to LIFE!’

And I have responded, ‘I know, but you can count on them to be good on marriage, the second amendment and of course holding the line on taxes!’

People used to say to me, ‘But Dave, the GOP won’t stand up to the Iowa Supreme Court on MARRIAGE!’

And I have responded, ‘I know, but you can count on them to be good on the second amendment and of course holding the line on taxes!’

People used to say to me, ‘But Dave, the GOP won’t support CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY in Iowa’

And I have responded, ‘I know, but you can count on them to hold the line on taxes!’

Today people are saying, ‘But Dave, this is a GOP TAX INCREASE!’

And I have no response … but shame 🙁

The Gas Tax, the platform and the GOP cowards who now support it

Let me start out by saying that I am not opposed to taxes, having moved irrevocably beyond John Locke’s State of Nature — taxes in a civil society are a necessary evil. As a conservative, I want my government to collect the necessary and sufficient taxes to competently and efficiently perform the functions mandated by the Constitution or allowed by the Constitution and mandated by the people as voiced by their legislature.

I also agree that our transportation infrastructure needs work. It is crucial to the economic health of this state to have a robust system of roads and highways.

The problem is that if the Jeopardy answer is: ‘Competent, Efficient, and operating within the Constitution’

Nobody would ever believe the question is: ‘What is government?’

I have written on the gas tax before. While I was a vocal critic of former RPI Chairman AJ Spiker  (I never get tired of saying that), one of the good things that RPI did under Spiker’s leadership was speak out and advocate for issues in our platform (life, 2nd Amendment, gas tax). I did take issue when under Spiker, RPI spoke out on issues not in our platform like medical marijuana or random traffic stops — not because I disagreed, rather because I believe that the party leadership should advocate for things the party has actually (through the platform) agreed upon.

I also spoke out when in 2014, all four district platforms opposed a gas tax increase

, yet the State Platform Committee felt that they should ignore the strong message sent by the grassroots and add support for a tax increase to the State Platform. Fortunately, enough pressure was applied to the committee that they changed their position before the convention. Unfortunately, the platform adopted at convention does not address the gas tax.

So in answer to those who ask why RPI Chairman Jeff Kauffman hasn’t publicly voiced opposition to the gas tax — it is because the platform does not address it. Since I criticized Spiker for speaking Ex Cathedra (even on issues I supported) — consistency demands that I support Kaufman’s decision not to unilaterally speak out against the gas tax.

On the other hand, as I say on the about page for this blog:

… all of the commentary on this blog is my own and does not represent the position of the State Central Committee or the Republican Party of Iowa.

I do not speak for RPI. As a conservative, as a Republican, I am disgusted that my guys would support a 45% in the gas tax or any other tax! I went to a lot of events, heard many candidates speak, received their flyers, and saw their commercials. Funny thing is, I can’t remember any of them (I’ll concede that there could have been a few) who made raising the gas tax a cornerstone of their campaign.

Some may say,

Dave, be realistic, you want to have your cake and eat it too!

No, the government wants to take more of my cake and eat it too!

If I believed that our state government (no matter which party controlled it) were competent, efficient and acting within the Constitution, I could probably be convinced to support a modest increase in the gas tax. However, if the state government were operating in that way, we would have all the money we need for roads!

What’s the solution? If I may make a modest suggestion — MAKE CUTS IN THE BUDGET ELSEWHERE!!!!!

Recently my daughter criticized me for not listening to any music from this century — I told her that it’s OK because I don’t own any cars from this century either. It is time to replace our vans.

I think I’ll follow the lead of our state government and as my boss for a 45% raise!

Probably not a good plan, I guess I’ll have to put some money aside until I can afford something newer.

But when the state is getting ready to ask me for a 45% increase —  a number of my (Republican) guys are willing to go along, in fact, in this case they are the ones doing the asking 🙁 It was no secret that the a gas tax increase would come up this session. Most of us knew that it would be the defining measure addressed by this session of the legislature.

To the Republicans in Des Moines I have this to say (I am going to be gentle and use my inside voice.)

If you didn’t campaign on raising the gas tax and you support it now: you are a hypocrite, a liar, or a coward!!! At least the Democrats are honest about wanting to take more of my money!

Lest we get on our high horse …

Crusaders in the Holy Land

Crusaders in the Holy Land

Last week something unusual happened at the National Prayer breakfast. President Obama while discussing ISIS’s atrocities committed in the name of religion had a warning for Christians. Obama said:

Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.

It was unusual partly because of the audience he addressed and the event at which he chose to do so. Predictably, reaction from Republican evangelicals was pretty harsh. Many of them still believe that Obama is muslim himself. Personally, I can only take him at his word, but I do know that he is a Keynsian 🙂

I thought the best response was from Louisiana governor, and likely Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal who said:

It was nice of the President to give us a history lesson at the Prayer breakfast. We will be happy to keep an eye out for runaway Christians, but it would be nice if he would face the reality of the situation today. The Medieval Christian threat is under control, Mr. President. Please deal with the Radical Islamic threat today.

But I think the most unusual thing about it is that it has prompted many of my friends on Facebook to defend the Crusades. I see a number of maps and videos popping up all over my social media feeds. These posts invariably point out that the Muslims started it. They show Muslim expansion into nearly all of Mediterranean Europe compared with the focused battles in the Holy Land. They claim that the Crusades were a response to Muslim aggression or a desire to protect Christian pilgrims on the way to the Holy Lands.

While there is some truth in what my friends are saying, they neglect to point several of the side effects of the Crusades. The Albigensien Crusade was not preached against expansionist Muslims at all, rather it targeted (and utterly wiped out) Catharism, a home-grown religion in France’s Massif Central. The several crusades left a swath of dead Jews across Europe. At the close of the Third Crusade the most famous crusader of all, Richard I (Lionheart) was imprisoned and ransomed by the (Christian)Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI. The Fourth Crusade started out to do what Richard I failed to do, to capture Jerusalem. Instead due to the influential Venetian leader Doge Dandalo, the Fourth Crusade never did see the Holy Land. They we re-routed to attack and conquer the Christian city of Constantinople. While the crusaders established a short-lived Latin Kingdom they created a schism between Eastern and Western Christianity that persists to this day.

There is a great exchange in Monty Python’s Spamalot between King Arthur and his faithful servant Patsy:

Patsy: I’m Jewish
Arthur: What? Why didn’t you say so?
Patsy: Well… it’s not the sort of thing you say in front of a heavily armed Christian.

Many of these same friends are also fierce defenders of Israel yet ignore the profound and lasting effect the crusades have had on Jewish communities in Europe.

Perhaps my friends were not listening on another count. Obama compared terrorism to both the Crusades and the Inquisition. Apparently none of my friend have taken to defending the Inquisition and I am not sure why. After all the Inquisition was a great evangelistic tool converting many Jews to Christianity. Like the Jesus of the Gospel, the message of the Inquisition to heretics was repent or be tortured, burned, drowned, stretched on the rack or worse.

Obama and Jindal are both right.

Obstructionist? — In this case we should wear the label proudly!

Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch

Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch

In November, Republicans won a convincing majority in the US Senate and increased their majority in the house. However, with Barack Obama in the Whitehouse, we are unlikely to see any significant legislative initiatives actually implemented. (e.g. Keystone Pipeline)

In some ways, the best we can do is play ‘defense’ and prevent this administration from doing more damage. We Republicans fought hard to win a Senate majority. Now that we control the Senate it is up to our guys to lead.

I am not opposed to going after pyrrhic victories like Keystone, but if we are really going to lead, really going to make a difference, we need to act on those things that we really can affect. I know that if we reject this nominee, the press will label us ‘obstructionists’. Strangely, when Obama vetoes Keystone they will see his action as courageous.

In her Senate confirmation hearing, when asked whether illegal aliens have the same right to work in the United States as citizens, Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch said,

Senator, I believe the right and the obligation to work is one that is shared by everyone in this country, regardless of how they came here

This nomination is the first ‘real’ test of our new Senate majority. It will not be graded on a curve, it is pass/fail. Senator Grassley and Senator Ernst, I hope you are listening.

Doing the Right Thing — the Linn County Central Committee Votes to Remove a GOP Supervisor

Linn County Supervisor Brent Oleson

Supervisor Brent Oleson

The Cedar Rapids Gazette has an article titled, Linn County GOP boot prompts soul search about the recent move by the Linn County Republican Central Committee to remove GOP Supervisor Brent Oleson from its membership for publicly supporting a Democrat over a Republican nominee for state house in the last election. Olson is a successful politician, he was at one time the only Republican member of the Linn County Board of Supervisors. He was unopposed for re-election and the article points out that he received 98% of the vote. He has long been a Republican activist serving on both the county and state central committees. The strong implication in the Gazette article is that Oleson is considering leaving the GOP.

I think it would be unfortunate – I hope Oleson decides to stay in the party. But by way of full disclosure I should let readers know

I am the one who made the parliamentary motion that allowed the central committee to consider Oleson’s removal

I won’t bore readers with the procedural minutiae, The Constitution of the Republican Party of Linn County states:

A member may be removed by the County Central Committee for … active support of an opponent of a Republican nominee

I understand why Supervisor Oleson supported Democrat Daniel Lundby’s re-election bid against Republican Ken Rizer. Oelson was practically part of Lundby’s family and they are like brothers. Blood IS thicker than water and as I said at the Central Committee, Oleson did the right thing … at least half of the right thing.

In this article Oleson is quoted saying, “What I did, technically, violated the rules …” And in response the committee technically removed him from membership. It does not mean he can’t be a Republican or run under the Republican banner. It simply means that he knowingly choose a course of action in conflict with the rules of the committee.

In my opinion, in a perfect world, Oleson would have come to the committee before he went to the Gazette, and said that he was going to support his childhood friend, his ‘brother’ and knowing that such action would run afoul of our constitution, given his resignation.

It should be noted that this is not the first time in recent years that the committee has removed members for violating the same clause in the constitution. If this standard is applied to relatively unknown members, it is only fair that it be applied to high profile members like Oleson.

The vote to remove Oleson was convincing but not unanimous. In the end Oleson did the right thing, he put support for his friend, his brother above a party label, knowing that it violated the organization’s constitution and he could be removed for it. I think the committee did the right thing as well, knowing Oleson’s actions were antithetical to the goal of electing Republicans and in violation of the constitution, the committee voted to remove him, knowing that hew could decide to leave the GOP altogether.

Sometimes doing the right thing is hard.