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Huckleberries Online

Posts tagged: Matt Roetter

Local GOP Backs Liberty Caucus

It's an issue that has been brewing within the Republican Party since January, when the state central committee officially sanctioned a liberty-based caucus within its party ranks. It played out locally Tuesday night, when one member of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee called on the committee to withhold support from the Republican Liberty Caucus until it brings its platform in line with the party's official platform. The motion was vigorously debated, but in the end the central committee voted overwhelmingly against the motion, and allowed them to continue supporting the organization. Committeeman Matt Roetter, who made the motion, sees the RLC as hijacking the party from inside/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: So is it time to start calling the local Republican governing board the Kootenai County RINO Central Committee?

Phil Hart R’s Fail To Bounce Roetter

Item: Roetter retains committeeman post: Official refused to support Phil Hart/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: A Kootenai County Republican Central Committeeman was allowed to keep his position on the board following a vote Tuesday evening. Matt Roetter was facing dismissal from his position as an officer of the KCRCC’s executive board for his public refusal to support Phil Hart as a Republican candidate amid the Athol legislator’s tax and timber controversies. The committee conducted the vote during its monthly meeting in executive session, closed to the public. Roetter retained his seat after 55 votes, including proxy votes, were cast.

Question: How would you characterize this setback to the Phil Hart branch of the Kootenai County Republican Party?

Did Jacobson Help Non-Repubs, Too?

Huckleberries hears … that there’s a move afoot among local mainstream Republicans to give county GOP Chairman Tina Jacobson a dose of her own medicine. Jacobson, as you may recall, is presiding over a move by Phil Hart supporters to remove Matt Roetter as state committeeman because he prefers write-in candidate Howard Griffiths to the Athol legislator on moral grounds (tax evasion and timber stealing). Insiders tell Hucks Online that Jacobson and Hart participated in a workshop this spring for Friends of Liberty in which they told their audience how to run a successful political campaign. Friends of Liberty organizations include the Kootenai County Constitution Party (as well as John Birch Society, Libertarian Party of Washington, and Tea Party of both Sandpoint and Spokane). My sources say Jacobson did the same thing she is accusing Roetter of doing because (follow the dots here) she was telling possible Constitutionalists how to run a successful campaign, possibly against Republicans. And they note that incumbent Sen. John Goedde, R-CdA, is running against Constitutionalist Ray Writz in a Senate District 4 race.

Question: Is this a legitimate beef?

Marty Jeers Kootenai County Repubs

JEERS … to the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee. Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, may be a tax scofflaw and a timber thief. But he’s their tax scofflaw and their timber thief. Woe to any Republican who says otherwise. Just to recap: Hart’s the guy who claimed income taxes were unconstitutional more than a decade ago and still owes more than a half-million dollars to the state and federal governments. He’s the same fellow who trespassed on state timber lands and took enough trees to build his home without paying - at least until recently. At least one Republican leader isn’t buying it. “I won’t support a guy who has these issues surrounding him because it’s not good for the Republican Party,” says State Committeeman Matt Roetter of Hayden. “Character matters. Being honest matters”/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More below.

Mary Wouldn’t Even Vote For Hart

At OpenCDA today, Mary Souza walks us through her conundrum re: Rep. Phil Hart, concluding that state committeeman Matt Roetter is obligated to support Hart although he considers Hart to be a tax cheat and timber thief. And that she wouldn’t vote for Hart this time if she lived in his district. Mary said she’s been too caught up in other things to speak her mind on the Hart issue. But she saw the light last night while sitting next to Hart at the meeting of Kootenai County Republicans: “But last night cleared the clutter of all the innuendo and defenses, for me anyway.” After dismissing much of Hart’s indiscretions as old news or “being within the specific wording of the law,” Mary says she wouldn’t say a word publicly against Hart, if she held the office of state committeeman “because it would be my JOB to, at the minimum, do no harm to the candidate chosen by the primary voters of my district.” Yet, she foamed for almost a year on much smaller allegations against County Clerk Dan Englilsh that failed to pass legal muster in Judge Charles Hosack’s courtroom. Amazing how partisan filters blind the wearers.

Question: Why can’t the partisan Republicans see their hypocrisy in giving a free pass to Phil Hart while attacking Democrats for the smallest of things?

Republicans Delay Vote On Matt Roetter

  • Originally posted at 10:08 p.m. Tuesday

On a narrow vote, county Republican chairwoman Tina Jacobson and other fans of Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, held off trying to oust state committeeman Matt Roetter until after the general election Tuesday. Also, the Republicans appointed a committee to watch future comments by executive committee members and elected precinct leaders in the media. In a well-orchestrated meeting, a motion was made and passed 35-30 to delay the vote on Roetter until the next Central Committee meeting in November at the earliest. As a result of the vote, the packed crowd at Republicans headquarters was denied the chance to discuss the attempt to oust Roetter because he refuses to support Hart, whom he considers a tax dodger and timber thief. In a related move, the Central Committee voted that elected executive members and precinct leaders must support all primary winners, without exception. More below.

Question: What do you think of the gambit used by local GOP leaders to avoid a showdown over the Matt Roetter-Phil Hart question before the election?

Queen Tina Looking For Press Leaks?

I just noticed something interesting on the GOP/Phil Hart Central Committee agenda for tonight. After the Elephants deal with state committeeman Matt Roetter — whether thumbs up or thumbs down — they had another item on the agenda that sez simply: “Damaging the Republican party in the press.” Now I know that Chairwoman Tina Jacobson, pictured, isn’t fond of what has been going on here at Huckleberries Online. So I have to wonder whether she’s going to try to guess who’s my sources — she might be surprised — and punish them in some way. That, or she simply might follow the Red Queen’s lead and begin shouting, “Off with their heads.” After all, the local CC seems to be on the other side of the looking glass. You can read the agenda for yourself here.

Question: Aren’t you guys glad that I have sources in the bowels of the local Republican & Democratic parties? How else would you get the interesting behind-the-scenes stories? From the Coeur d’Alene Press? Bwahaha.

Local GOP To Vote On Roetter Ouster

Item: Republicans clash over Hart: Central committee will vote to remove leader Matt Roetter over support refusal/Alecia Warren, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: “I don’t care who it is. If the guy is elected through the primaries, that is the person we’re obligated to support,” Trotter said. “It could be Bozo the Clown, for all I care. Not that Phil Hart is a bozo.”

Question: Who will be more defined by this vote — Matt Roetter or local Republicans?

Local GOP Ready To Deal w/Roetter

Kootenai County Republicans will probably vote to oust Matt Roetter as state committeeman when they meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Judging from the minutes of the Sept. 28 meeting, Roetter doesn’t appear to have many friends among the Elephants: “Chairman Tina Jacobson read a letter from the Idaho GOP Chairman, Norm Semanko concerning the Republican Party’s position on write‐in candidates. The concern at hand is the Kootenai County Republican Party State Committeeman’s public support for a write –in candidate in the General Election against the State of Idaho Representative in District 3B (Phil Hart). A question arose on what should be done to the Board member who openly supports a write in candidate. More below:

Question: Isn’t it strange that local R’s choose to remove Roetter rather than deal with Hart’s ongoing trouble with the IRS & Idaho Tax Commission — and timber theft?

If Looks Could Kill …

Tina Jacobson, who has filled in for Rep. Phil Hart at the Idaho Legislature, glares at state committeeman Matt Roetter at a Tea Party rally at Greyhound Park earlier this year. Write-in candidate Howard Griffiths was in attendance. And Tina apparently had learned for the first time that Matt wasn’t supporting Hart for re-election. Now, Matt is facing a move by local Republicans to oust him from his elected position for not supporting Hart in the general election. Earlier this morning, I published a post in which state GOP chairman Norm Semanko decreed that elected GOP party members must support Republican candidates no matter what.

Semanko: They Gotta Support Hart

Norm Semanko, chairman of the Idaho Republican Party, wrote a letter to Tina Jacobson, chairwoman of the Kootenai County Republican Party re: the unwillingness of precinct leaders Duane Rasmussen (No. 19) and Fred Meckel (No. 9) to pass out Phil Hart’s literature door to door (and the refusal of state committeeman Matt Roetter to support Hart in his race against write-in Howard Griffiths): “If an individual precinct leader finds him/herself unable or unwilling to perform the basic duty of supporting and promoting one or more of our Republican nominees, he/she may
want to consider letting someone else serve in the position. In no event can an individual precinct leader, or the Party itself, support a write-in candidate over the Republican nominee.” Full letter here.

Question: What should Duane, Fred, and Matt do?

Hart Tries To Fend Off Librul Attacks

In a top-of-the-fold “In His Own Words” in The Capitalist Papers today, embattled Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, discusses the “Attacks, Harassment and Lust for Power” of his political opponents — you know “liberal Republicans,” like Matt Roetter and Duane Rasmussen, who, Hart claims, are “working hand in hand with the liberal media.” Seems “liberal” Roetter and Rasmussen, two very conservative gents who were busy about local GOP business long before Hart switched from Constitutionalist to Republican in the last decade to win a seat in the state Legislature. On the plus side, Hart admits that the revelations about his income tax problems and five-fingered discount on timber taken from state endowment lands “have been very effective.” You can read the full article here.

Question: Does anyone out there truly believe that Duane Rasmussen and Matt Roetter or “liberals” in any sense of the word?

Letter: Rasmussen ‘Nefariously’ Snipes

Since the primary, Mr. Jorgenson has acted like a wounded bull. Mr. Rasmussen is much more subtle, but far more destructive with his nefarious sniping on blogs. Mr. Roetter lost his central committeeman’s seat, but retained his role on the exec. board as the State Committeeman by decreeing how conservative he was. His relationship with the “old guard” is well known/Scott Loheed, letter to Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Question: “Nefarious sniping on blogs”? I didn’t realize Duane Rasmussen was doing that. And I’m the blogmaster here. Have any of you seen Jorgenson, Rasmussen, or Roetter “nefariously sniping” in the blogosphere?

Huckleberries: Trouble In GOP Tent

Huckleberries hears … there were fireworks at the executive committee meeting of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee earlier this month. Seems Chairman Tina Jacobson objected to the presence of House District 3 write-in candidate Howard Griffiths. Who wanted to include his literature with other Republican material on a table at the Tea Party meeting at the Greyhound Park Sept. 12. Griffiths is running against tax-dodging Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol. One witness told Huckleberries that Jacobson was so confrontational that Griffiths left. Jacobson has filled in for Hart during the Legislature in the past. Griffiths confirmed the report for Huckleberries. Later, Jacobson warned Matt Roetter that his position as state committeeman would be in jeopardy unless Roetter supported Hart/DFO, Hucks Online. More here.

Question: Is the Kootenai County Republican Party self-destructing?

Huckleberries Hears …

… there was some fireworks last night at the executive committee meeting of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee. Seems new Chairman Tina Jacobson didn’t like the presence of write-in candidate Howard Griffiths, who was seeking to include his literature with other Republican material on a table at the coming Tea Party meeting at the Greyhound Park. Griffiths is running against tax-protesting Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol (pictured). At least one witness told Huckleberries that Jacobson, who has filled in for Hart in the Legislature, was so confrontational that Griffiths left. Later, she warned Matt Roetter that his position as state committeeman would be in jeopardy unless Roetter supported Hart. Contacted by Huckleberries, Roetter confirmed that the scenario had happened because he said he couldn’t support a tax protester like Hart over Griffiths. Roetter said he pointed out to Jacobson and the executive committee that Griffiths is a lifelong Republican while Hart switched allegiance from the Constitutionalist Party to Republican simply to get elected. Stay tuned …

Question: Will the battle over Phil Hart and his questionable tax-protesting ways tear the local Republican Party apart?

Huckleberries Hears …

… there might be fireworks tonight when the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee meets for the first time since the primary elections of last week, especially if state Rep. Phil Hart pushes hard in a new direction. It’s hard to say whether the Rally Right & Reagan Republican forces have enough votes to take control of the Central Committee. The votes’ll be close. Matt Roetter, who was defeated in his race for a precinct committee man, might be the focus of the fireworks as he seeks re-election to his state committee man post. Stay tuned.

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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