BEAT LAMAR and Tennessee Tea Party groups demand resignation of State GOP Chair in letter
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5016 Spedale Court #232
Spring Hill, Tennessee 37174
September 23, 2013
Mr. Chris Devaney
Tennessee Republican Party
2424 21st Ave South # 200
Nashville, TN 37212
Dear Mr. Devaney,
In concert with the local Tea Party groups and activists in Tennessee that have signed this letter, BEAT LAMAR, a project of the Real Conservatives National Committee, an independent expenditure Super PAC, hereby demands your resignation as chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party.
You have repeatedly violated the by-laws of the Tennessee Republican Party, and no longer hold the moral authority to command the respect of the rank and file Republican voters of the state. Specifically, you have voiced your public support and preference for incumbent Senator Lamar Alexander, who is in a contested primary to receive the party’s nomination for the United States Senate in the August, 2014 primary. Such actions represent an arrogant and blatant disregard for the rules and by-laws of the Tennessee Republican Party.
The state party’s bylaws are quite specific that no members of the Executive Committee nor any paid staff members are allowed to endorse a candidate in a contested primary. Article II Section 4 of the Tennessee Republican Party by-laws is very clear on this issue. You have violated those rules, which state:
“Neither the Executive Committee as a body, nor the Officers, nor the TRP’s paid staff members, nor a County Republican Party or Executive Committee as a body, nor County Republican Party Chairmen shall endorse a Republican candidate in a contested primary election.“
Here are two public examples of your violation of those rules:
- On July 20,2013, when Lamar Alexander already had one announced opponent, you served as the master of ceremonies for a Lamar Alexander campaign event at the Smyrna Airport.
- On August 31, by which time Lamar Alexander had two announced opponents, you signed a letter sent out on the letterhead of the Tennessee Republican Party that was, in effect, an outright endorsement of Lamar Alexander. Specifically, you wrote “With Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander on the ballot, we have the chance to help put Republicans in control of that chamber [the Senate], too.” This is, in effect, a public endorsement of Lamar Alexander on your behalf.
Rank and file Republicans in Tennessee expect the party’s chairman to live by the same rules they live by. If you do not resign as chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, in light of these egregious violations of the rules, it will send a clear signal that you believe rules and laws are just for the little people, not for you.
In the event you have not submitted your letter of resignation as chairman to the Executive Committee of the Tennessee Republican Party by 5 pm on Tuesday, September 24, 2013, the signators of this letter will formally request that the Executive Committee of the Tennessee Republican Party fire you. In addition, we will immediately undertake a highly visible public campaign in which we will enlist the assistance of every member of the Tennessee Republican Congressional delegation, every Tennessee Republican state legislator, and every one of the state’s 95 Republican Party county chairmen to secure your ouster.
We look forward to receiving a prompt response to our letter. Download Letter>>
Michael Patrick Leahy, Co-founder Ben Cunningham, Founder
BEAT LAMAR Nashville Tea Party
Mark West, President Lynn Moss, Co-founder
Chattanooga Tea Party Mid-South Tea Party
Val McNabb, Chairman J. Lee Douglas, DDS
Gary Johnston, Vice Chair Founder
Roane County Tea Party 912 Project Tennessee
Mary Cook, Organizer David Nance, Chairman
Blount County Tea Party Tennessee 8th District Tea Party Coalition
(Smoky Mountain Tea Party Patriots) Gibson County Patriots
Lorie Medina, Co-founder Doug and Kay White, Organizers
BEAT LAMAR Tri-Cities Tea Party
cc: All 66 members of the Tennessee Republican Party Executive Committee
Rosine Ghawji, Co-chair Hal Rounds, Vice Secretary
Memphis TEA Party Fayette County Republican Party
Fayette County Tea Party
Robert and Tami Kilmarx Keith Edward, Vice Coordinator
Founders of Black Robe Regiment Rutherford County Campaign for Liberty
Salt and Light Institute Secretary of Rutherford County Young Republicans
Kevin Baigert, Vice President Laura Baigert, Secretary
North Sumner Tea Party North Sumner Tea Party
Chris Beach, Founder David Vance
Rutherford County Tea Party Stewart County Tea Party
Ray Cook Bill Wallace
Carroll County Tea Party We the People Tipton County
Lucy Overstreet Scott Sweazy
Jackson Madison County Tea Party Dickson County Tea Party 9-12
Steve Osborn Matt Studd, Tea Party activist
Sevier County Tea Party Cannon County
Member, Tennessee 9-12 Project
Richard Barton, Tea Party activist Starr Morrow, Tea Party activist
Tipton County Sullivan County
Tina Ferguson, Tea Party activist Susan Allen, Tea Party activist
Williamson County Robertson County
Jerry Anderson, Tea Party activist Steve Lane, 49th House District Coordinator
Franklin County Rutherford County Campaign for Liberty
Norman Bobo, Tea Party activist Nick Vlaco, Coordinator
Williamson County Fairview Tea Part