Dave Talan: Close the Primary
[Tomorrow, the RIGOP will consider a resolution to close its primary; i.e., the requirement that a voter must have been registered as a Republican for at least ninety days in order to vote in a Republican primary in Rhode Island. This afternoon, Dave Talan sent the following e-mail with his thoughts on the subject.]
I am writing to urge you to vote in FAVOR of the resolution to allow only REPUBLICANS to vote in REPUBLICAN Primaries. This will be voted on tomorrow (Wednesday November 16) at 7:00 P.M. at the R.I. Republican Party meeting in Cranston (Broad St. & Rhodes Pl. in Pawtuxet Village).
My biggest concern is having our Party’s Primaries hijacked by Democrats and people who do not wish us well, and who do not even intend to vote for the GOP candidate in the November election.
If you were at the last R.I. GOP meeting in October, you recall that I talked about people who voted in, and decided, our last hotly-contested Primary in 2006. I had sent E-Mails to about 1,000 new Republicans, who voted in that Primary, and who had filled out their E-Mail address on their voter registration card. I welcomed them to the Republican Party. The response I received was appalling.
Usually, when I send out E-Mails like this, I get replies expressing delight that the Republican Party is alive and well, and asking to hear more from the R.I. GOP. But this time, I received HUNDREDS of angry replies, from people outraged that anyone would think they were a Republican.
Like the man who said that the time between when he voted in the GOP Primary, and when he immediately filled out a disaffiliation paper, was “THE WORST 30 SECONDS OF MY LIFE”.
Or the person who wrote “You are sadly mistaken. I am NOT a Republican voter. The Republican Party has abandoned America. Shame on you.”
Or the man who replied, “I will vote for Democrats and support them financially. I’ll vote for Sheldon Whitehouse simply because he is a Democrat.”
Or the woman who said, “I am not a Republican Voter. I am outraged at this tactic of the Republican Party. Take me off your mailing list.”
Or the Cranston resident who wrote, “I am a Democrat. I only voted in the last 2 Primary elections as Republican to vote against Laffey.”
I certainly do not want to discourage any Republican-leaning citizen from voting in a GOP Primary, and from voting for Republicans in November. But I do not want to see our Party’s candidates chosen by Democrats, who want bad things to happen to us. Based on my personal observations, I believe this is the greater danger.
And so, I urge you to vote to APPROVE the resolution at Wednesday’s meeting.
Dave Talan is the Corresponding Secretary of the Rhode Island Republican Party and former Chairman of the Providence Republican Party.