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Washington State Republican Party Chairman Kirby Wilbur resigned Monday afternoon, saying he was taking a job at a conservative youth organization that was too good to pass up.
Wilbur, 59, a former conservative talk show host who still fills in on Seattle’s KVI radio, is in the middle of his second term as the state GOP chairman, a job he won in 2011 by defeating then-Chairman Luke Esser. He will take a job overseeing a mentor program for young conservative writers in Washington, D.C.
“I have been offered a five-year-contract with the Young America’s Foundation that I would be foolish not to accept,” he said in a statement released just minutes after his 5 p.m. resignation announcement.
The state GOP Central Committee has 90 days to choose a replacement. That could happen at its scheduled quarterly meeting on Aug. 23-24 in Spokane, a party spokesman said.
Along with handling the state party chairmanship, Wilbur also served four stints as chairman of the often fractious state conventions, which in recent years have pitted the Libertarian backers of Ron Paul against more establishment candidates like Mitt Romney and John McCain in a fight for delegates to the national convention. Wilbur was known for a good grasp of parliamentary procedure to move things along when needed and an affable nature to smooth over some of the rough spots that invariably develop in such meeetings.
State Republicans will have a chance to bid on a rifle at the center of the current gun-control vs. gun rights debate, an AR-15, at their spring fund-raiser this weekend.
But State GOP Chairman Kirby Wilbur said auctioning off the semi-automatic rifle is not a pro-gun statement. Washington Republicans are pretty much all pro-gun already.
“It’s a pro-fund-raising statement,” party spokesman Keith Schipper quoted Wilbur as saying.
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OLYMPIA — Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will be on Washington’s presidential ballot this fall because the Republican Party meets the rules for being a major party in the state, a Thurston County Superior Court judge ruled this morning.
Judge Thomas McPhee denied a request by the state Libertarian Party to keep Romney’s name off the ballot, which argued Republicans hadn’t complied with rules for nominating Dino Rossi as the official GOP nominee in the 2010 Senate race during their state convention that year.
Republicans were split between Rossi and Clint Didier, who was popular with Tea Party elements of the GOP, and didn’t get a chance to nominate either at their convention. When Rossi qualified for the general election in the Top 2 primary, the party’s State Central Committee endorsed him and all other Republican candidates who made it through the primary.
Political parties have control over selecting the candidates they will support, McPhee said in denying the motion to keep Romney’s name off the ballot. The state also has a valid argument that Republicans are a major party based on the results of the 2008 presidential election, he added.
The decision won’t be appealed, J. Mills, an attorney for the Libertarian Party, said. But it could make minor parties change their strategy for 2016… .
OLYMPIA — A political party is seeking to keep Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan off Washington's Nov. 6 general election ballot. And it's not the Democratic Party.
The Libertarian Party of Washington argues in a lawsuit filed this week in Thurston County Superior Court that the GOP, like the LPWA, is not a "major party" under state law but a "minor party." This isn't an instance of the parties comparing various parts of their anatomy, but a distinction in law that decides how candidates for president make it on the ballot.
J. Mills, a former state LPWA chairman and the attorney who filed the lawsuit, said it's a matter of making everyone play by the same rules.
Kirby Wilbur, state GOP chairman, calls the lawsuit "a silly nuisance" and has no doubt that Romney and Ryan will be on the ballot. . .
City Council President Joe Shogan reversed the order of this week’s council meeting to publicly call for the resignation of the executive director of the state Republican Party.
Four council members, Bob Apple, Steve Corker, Nancy McLaughlin and Richard Rush, walked off the dais in protest while Shogan spoke and the other two criticized him later for talking about campaign issues in the midst of a council meeting.
Shogan was responding to comments the executive director of the state GOP, Peter Graves, made last week to The Spokesman-Review when responding to questions about the party’s $25,000 donation late last month to the mayoral campaign of David Condon, who defeated incumbent Mary Verner this week.
Graves said the party decided to give to Condon to “take her (Mayor Mary Verner) out before she gets a chance at a free shot at a great congresswoman in the Fifth District.” Graves was referring to Condon’s former boss, Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and said that some had speculated that Verner might one day run for Congress.
Shogan called Graves a “coward” and his comments “reprehensible, repugnant and cowardly.”
“I and Mr. David Condon know the meaning of the last definition of taking somebody out ’cause I’ve been in combat and I know that meaning, and Mr. Condon has been in a combat support hospital, so he knows first hand what taking somebody out can mean,” said Shogan, a Vietnam veteran.
OLYMPIA — The Washington State Republican Party announced Wednesday it is endorsing Initiative 1125, the proposal to limit the use of money collected for road and bridge tolls.
The proposal is this year's offering by Tim Eyman and allies to rein in some aspect of state spending. The endorsement can't be considered that surprising, because it's hard to think of a time when the state GOP didn't back a measure by Eyman to limit state spending.
In other I-1125 news, the Washington Policy Center, a research group that supports "market solutions", has issued a long report about the eight different questions the initative raises, and the way supporters and opponents answer them.
Washington Republicans are trying to wring every last drop out of any connection Washington may have to Anthony Weiner's bad behavior, however tenuous it may be.
Last week the state GOP criticized Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., for accepting a $1,000 contribution from Weiner, saying the current congressman and likely gubernatorial candidate should "send back the tainted money."
The fact that the contribution was made in 2000 wasn't mentioned in the press release, although it could be discerned from following the helpful link to Weiner's contribution history with the Federal Elections Commission
Rather than give the money back to Weiner, Inslee's campaign announced it was donating it to Planned Parenthood.
Not good enough, the Mainstream Republicans complained today. Two members of the moderate wing, who identify themselves as pro-choice, accused Inslee of trying to "clean up his mess" by giving the "tainted money" to Planned Parenthood. He shoulda gived it to a food bank or the Red Cross, they said…
During a major fund-raising dinner Friday, state Republicans held a "straw poll" on the field of GOP candidates for president in 2012.
The winner, by a whisker, was Herman Cain.
For those of you out there saying "Herman who?", Cain is the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, former CEO of the National Restaurant Association, member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and radio talk show host. He's got an exploratory committee, which means he's not quite a candidate, but will be if he discovers something he hopes to find on his exploration. (Think Stanley looking for Livingston or Lewis and Clark looking for the Pacific).
Cain got 54 votes, compared to 52 votes for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and 51 votes for Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. That represented 15.13%, 14.57% and 14.29% of ballots cast, respectively.
The state GOP's take on the results: “The close results demonstrate that the Republican Party does not have a clear frontrunner. Herman Cain has been doing an excellent job getting his name out among Republican voters and his style appeals to many people. As the process moves forward and more individuals enter the race, it will be interesting to see how the perception of the various candidates changes.”
President Barack Obama’s trip to Seattle Thursday for a backyard chat and a political rally at University of Washington is bringing up a dispute Spokane folks can relate to.
No, not health care reform. Or Wall Street reform. Or birth certificate provenance.
It’s a cost fight, as in “Who picks up the tab?”
Active Republicans might want to start looking for good deals on rooms in Tacoma at the end of May 2012. That’s where the Washington State Republican Party will hold its convention.
The state GOP announced today it chose the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center for its biannual gathering. They drew some 1,700 delegates to Vancouver this year, and considering 2012 is a presidential year, an even larger crowd can be expected in Tacoma.
Been 25 years since the state GOP held a convention in Tacoma, party officials said.
OLYMPIA—Washington Republicans wasted little time trying to draw connections between a Democratic Senate loss in Massachusetts and election prospects in the Evergreen State.
Washington Democrats conceded that the loss of a supermajority in the U.S. Senate complicates plans in the Legislature. They can’t expect Congress to adopt health care reform or a stimulus package before they have to patch a $2.6 billion budget hole and leave town.
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