Rogers’ Reason, and Giving Voters More Reasons to Distrust Unknown Republicans
Here’s Heidi Rogers’ letter of withdrawal from her candidacy. Note the text that I’ve italicized, suggesting that this was possibly her plan all along and that RIGOP leaders were complicit:
First and foremost, I want to thank the Rhode Island Republican Party for their support in the primary election. I consider myself a loyal partisan, and in my view being a Republican is based on a philosophical commitment to foundational principles of small, limited government, operated in the most efficient manner.
Being a Republican extends beyond what is good for the party, but goes to what is good for our fellow citizens.
As a Republican dedicated to these fundamental principles, and as the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, I find myself faced with a dilemma. I firmly believe that the Office of Lieutenant Governor as it stands today is a waste of state tax dollars.
When Bob Healey announced his candidacy and discussed with us the idea of a Republican nomination of his candidacy, I was in full support. His message spoke to the very bedrock of Republican philosophy of small and limited government.
When it appeared that the Republicans were ready to leave the office uncontested in the November ballot, in essence, allowing Healey a head-to-head contest over the uselessness of the office, I was pleased. But when I heard that other members of my party were considering running for the office and maintaining it in its current wasteful form, I stepped forward to run.
As a Republican, I want to re-instill the idea that we are statesmen first and party members second. I want to demonstrate that our party is about good government and not about the politics or the personalities.
In this election, both Bob Healey and I believe in the same vision for the office of Lieutenant Governor. With both of us running on the same platform for the same office, the outcome would be to hand over the election to the incumbent Democrat. Splitting the “abolish the office” vote by having two candidates simply does not make sense, and it is my firm belief that it would deny the voters a clear choice.
When I entered the race, Mr. Healey and I had agreed to speak after the primary to see if we could come to some common ground to avoid having our shared goals thwarted by a difficult three-way race.
Since the primary, we have had such a conversation, and we have discussed this decision at length with the leadership of the Republican Party to ensure that we were all in agreement before making any radical move. In essence, it was a discussion of the nuts and bolts of which candidate was more likely to win.
I had to concede that Mr. Healey has a long history of advocating for this position, that he has a following of supporters who identify him with this cause. Mr. Healey had to concede that he had limited success in the past trying to get the people to embrace the idea of “No Lieutenant Governor”, and that running without a party structure made the race more difficult.
The talks with party leadership included consideration of the best interests of both the candidates and the party I am honored to represent as its nominee. I am in full and complete support of the Republican Party and its statewide slate and in no way wanted to make any move that would negatively impact the team.
It is my belief, however, that having a strong standard bearer for the Republican philosophy of small government as embodied in the platform of Bob Healey will draw the voters’ attention to the principles that motivate us. Our Republican brand should represent our ideas and ideals, and present real solutions to the voters. In this race, they will be presented with a clear path to a solution that saves us all $4,000,000 per term. Mr. Healey is more widely identified with this idea, and, I have come to believe, has a better opportunity that I to see it through this November.
I have, in what I see as the best interests of the people of Rhode Island and in the furtherance of the basic philosophy of the Republican Party, filed papers to withdraw my candidacy.
In closing, I reiterate my support for the Republican philosophy and its candidates. If the Republican nominees want my help and support, I will be there. I will be there for John Robitaille, Erik Wallin, Kerry King, and Catherine Taylor. I will be there not because they are merely Republican in name, but because they stand for the Republican ideals that this state so desperately need to see in action.
I thank you for the opportunity to serve this party, and I hope through my actions today we all receive some recognition for putting principles before partisanship, and setting aside pride and political expediency for the great good of our fine State.
What utter disrespect for Rhode Island Republican voters who believe that their primary votes are honestly given to sincere candidates. As it turns out, we are just as apt to be manipulated as any other group to serve the higher cause that our political betters have discerned to exist. Frankly, I probably would have gone with Healey in the general election, but there’s absolutely no way he’ll get my vote now.
There are rules. Voters have expectations about the meaning of their votes. Their game playing and procedural manipulation are very much partial causes of the current hostility toward President Obama and Congressional Democrats. Why on Earth would the RIGOP cheer along as a candidate who just won the party’s primary offers ham-handed illustration that the loathed “ruling class” with no respect for the rules extends to such a pitiful office as lieutenant governor?
I worry that this political fakery has the potential to diminish whatever wave of anti-Democrat-establishment sentiment might exist in this state. (And judging by primary turnout, there might be precious little of that sentiment to waste.) Why should voters take seriously any GOP candidates with whom they are not very familiar when the party and one of its candidates have shown a willingness to conspire against them?
Other Republican candidates should think long and hard before they align themselves with this stunt.