Saturday, May 16, 2009


TN GOP Chairman Robin Smith Resigns, Will Run for Congress

As expected, Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Robin Smith announced this morning in a conference call to State Executive Committee members that she is stepping down from her current position, effective May 30, 2009. She will be devoting her efforts to running for the seat in Congress that is currently held by Zach Wamp.

The problem is that the powers that be in the Tennessee Republican Party have hastily called a meeting on May 30th of the SEC to pick a new chairman. This is a very bad idea. While Oscar Brock and Chris Devaney have been making the rounds to garner support for the important position, calling for a vote in 2 weeks is asinine. The current Vice Chair, Bob Rial, can serve as acting Chairman for a couple more weeks so that interested parties can meet with individual SEC members and state their case for being the new Chairman.

Who does this rushed process fall on? It seems that it has to be laid at the feet of Robin Smith, who is probably making no friends with this maneuver. Former Chairman Bob Davis left in a similarly sudden situation when he joined Fred Thompson's presidential campaign, and he provided much more notice and allowed more time for candidates to make necessary decisions. It is my understanding that much fuss was made on the conference call about the truncated time table that Robin Smith has put forth, and that the concerns of the SEC members were given short shrift. Of course, the SEC has the power here, not Smith. If a quorum is not present on May 30th, then there will be no meeting, and their will be no vote. Voting by proxy is not allowed in officer elections, according to State Party Bylaws.

While Smith stopped short of announcing that she was running for the 3rd District seat currently held by Wamp, I assume that people reading this are not morons and understand what is going on here. I'm sure she has her reasons for needing this done as soon as possible (i.e. - fundraising, formation of an exploratory committee, etc.), but rash decisions too often result in disaster. Let the SEC members properly investigate the situation so that the right Chairman can be elected, and no one will have any doubts that the process was proper and deliberative.

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