Thursday, January 06, 2011

Welcome to Greene County GOP Signs Signal Resignation

Sometimes "party people" make the worst political decisions. When they do, "party people" are also the most likely to double and triple down on the stupidity. Such is the case in Greene County where the Republican Party has been fueding over road signs which appear to have been purchased without the consent of the Central and Executive Committees and placed on public right-of-ways despite objections from several elected officials and party rank-and-file.

The Dayton Daily Democrat (stories here and here)has been on the front lines of this story and delightfully reporting on the turmoil, but let's not forget that the most important lesson that "party people" always forget is that unforced errors -- the ones we make all by ourselves -- are the ones that can do the most damage.

Marilyn Reid is a county commissioner and the party chair in Greene County which is a mix that is bound to cause all kinds of trouble. I have always believed that "party people" and "elected officials" ought not wear both hats. There is something of a conflict of interest in the consolodation of political and public power that strain the boundaries of ethics.

Reid has been something of a lightening rod and her announced intention to resign as chair in May might finally smooth things over in Greene County. There continues to be a struggle for power in the party there and I can't help but point out that this is the home party of Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

As in many county parties across Ohio (and indeed, the nation), the older generation is doing whatever they can to hang on to power by denying entrance to the younger folks. As I have said many times in the course of writing on WMD and elsewhere, the Republican Party MUST get younger and more flexible while holding true to values and principles that are conservative and practical. My sense of the struggle in Greene County is that it is time for the Old Guard to pass the torch.