Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Republican rebuke of Racicot short sighted

by Ed Corrigan
| March 9, 2023 12:00 AM

This letter is in response to the State Republican Party’s absurd proclamation that Marc Racicot is no longer considered a republican. I have known Marc since the mid-1980s. He is a man of obvious intelligence, faith and unshakable integrity.

When I first met Marc, He was the chief prosecutor in the Attorney General’s office. In that capacity he obtained convictions in a number of high-profile murder cases and provided assistance to county attorneys across the state.

He subsequently served two terms as the state attorney general, two terms as governor, became good friends with former President George W. Bush, assisted in President Bush’s re-election campaign, and served as the chairman of the Republican National Committee. He has an impressive resume that cannot be matched by anyone currently in state politics.

Marc is someone the state GOP should embrace as a leader and thank him for his accomplishments. Instead, GOP leadership has denounced him as a traitor to the party and declared he is no longer to be considered a Republican. His mortal sin? He voted for highly qualified candidates rather than the GOP’s anointed candidates Ryan Zinke and James Brown. He voted for Ingrid Gustafson (Supreme Court) and Monica Tranel (U.S. House of Representatives), the candidates whose character and experience he believed to be best suited for the offices they sought and in the best interest of the state and country. He also refused to support former President Trump given Trump’s many and well documented character short comings. As Marc stated, “Character matters”.

As an aside, I voted for the candidates I judged to be best suited for the job: Tranel and Gustafson. I also did not support Trump.

The GOP’s intolerance for differing opinions is not limited to Marc. The county GOP publically censored Jack Fallon for having the audacity to run against Pam Holmquist in the last Flathead County commissioners’ race. The GOP also issued a letter of reprimand to newly elected Flathead legislators Rep. Courtenay Sprunger and Rep. Tony Brockman for supporting a rules package the party did not favor.

Obviously, we all have the right to vote as we deem best. The GOP supposedly supports that right by claiming to be the party that advocates for individual rights. Their actions suggest otherwise. Stray from the party line and there will be consequences. The GOP sounds like the schoolyard bully.

The GOP’s decision to exile Marc Racicot was ill conceived and short sighted. Compared to Marc, the GOP leadership are small fish in a small political pond. This decision suggests they will remain so.

I believe the GOP’s credibility has taken an unnecessary hit as a result of this decision. That is unfortunate.

Ed Corrigan served 16 as Flathead County Attorney. He was elected as a Republican.