[Vision2020] County GOP Rejects Iraq War Policy

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Sun Apr 13 07:58:41 PDT 2008

>From today's (April 13, 2008) Spokesman Review -


County GOP rejects Iraq war policy 
Republican convention has strong turnout

The Spokane County Republican Party formally rejected the Iraq policy of 
their current president and their party's likely nominee, saying American 
troops shouldn't be on overseas missions for more than six months without 
a formal declaration of war.

At a county convention Saturday that some party leaders said may have set 
an attendance record for Republicans in Spokane, supporters of 
presidential candidate Ron Paul handily defeated an attempt to scale back 
the platform's stringent limitation on using American troops on foreign 

They beat back an attempt by delegate Ritajane Boyce, of Spokane, to swap 
the platform's position on the use of American troops for a simple 
statement of support for American troops. The platform plank's limit of 
180 days for peacekeeping or combat missions without a declaration of war 
was irresponsible, she said.

"Democrats are quick to want to pull our troops out in the face of 
problems," said Boyce, whose son has served two tours of duty in Iraq as a 
Marine. "I want to see our troops 100 percent supported by us."

But others argued that presidents should stick to the U.S. Constitution, 
which requires a vote of Congress to declare war. 

"I have a deep regard for our military and support them 100 percent," said 
Jeff Whiteside, one of Paul's organizers. "I don't believe we should be 
able to declare war on any country."

Boyce's proposed amendment failed on a count of 170 to 280.

The fight on war policy was one of the few debates over the county 
platform, a statement of principles that shows where activists stand on 
issues but is not binding on candidates. Planks that oppose abortion, 
euthanasia and gay rights; call for the United States to withdraw from the 
United Nations and the North American Free Trade Agreement; seek to 
eliminate the state Business and Occupation and inheritance taxes; and aim 
to get rid of Washington Assessment of Student Learning tests passed 
without debate.

The platform statement on the use of troops didn't specifically name Iraq, 
but County Chairman Curt Fackler and representatives of the campaign of 
Sen. John McCain agreed it was essentially a repudiation of current war 
policy and the course McCain has said he would take if elected.

Jon Wyss, McCain coordinator for Eastern Washington, said the vote wasn't 
surprising because of strong county support for Paul. 

"That's what today's all about … people who are passionate who want to 
make a difference," Wyss said.

McCain and his policies have more support among rank-and-file Republicans 
and independents, he said. The campaign was more interested in unifying 
the supporters of other candidates than continuing to "pick fights and 
battle back and forth." 

Spokane is one of 39 counties in the state, and Chris Fidler, the state 
McCain campaign coordinator, said he didn't know of another county that 
has passed a platform with similar language.

"We've had overwhelming success, statewide," Fidler said. Rob Chase, a 
Paul activist, said the platform statement on war was developed locally. 
Supporters of the Texas congressman have been shut out in some counties, 
Chase said, but have found kindred spirits in Spokane County among 
traditional Goldwater conservatives. 

McCain supporters said election of delegates to the state convention was 
more important than the platform fight, but on that score, too, Paul 
forces had the upper hand. Of the 114 county delegates elected to the 
state convention, about 100 are supporters of Paul.

"It does surprise me," Fackler said. "But they were well organized."

Nationally, McCain has more than enough national delegates to secure the 
nomination and Paul has only a handful. Paul has told supporters 
that "victory in the conventional sense is not possible" and is spending 
most of his time serving in Congress and running for re-election to his 
House seat in Texas. But Chase said Paul supporters hope their candidate 
will have a chance to address the state convention when it meets in 
Spokane in May, and they want to send some Paul delegates to the national 
convention in Minneapolis. 

Saturday's convention brought 540 party activists to the Lewis and Clark 
High School Field House. When Fackler asked how many were attending their 
first convention, far more than half the delegates raised their hands.

Delegates heard from gubernatorial hopeful Dino Rossi, who predicted a 
different outcome than four years ago when he finished 129 votes behind 
Democrat Chris Gregoire in the second recount of ballots. He's not 
starting out as an unknown, Gregoire has a record as an incumbent and the 
state has cleaned its voter registration rolls of thousands of people not 
eligible to vote, he said.

"Rarely in life do we ever get a second chance at things that are truly 
important," he said. "With this race for governor, Washington gets a 
second chance."

He called for tougher sentences for criminals, lower government spending 
and an end to the inheritance tax, which Rossi and many Republicans call 
the "death tax."

"I want Washington state to be the worst place in America to be a criminal 
and the best place in America to start a business," he said. 

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who is seeking a third term in Congress, told 
the crowd that Republicans lost control of Congress in 2006 because too 
many of their members were more concerned with keeping power than doing 
what was right. 

"The Democrats didn't win that election; the Republicans lost it," 
McMorris Rodgers said. 

The party has to return to policies of fiscal responsibility by cutting 
taxes and keeping them low, she said.


Seeya round town, Moscow.

Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

"People who ridicule others while hiding behind anonymous monikers in chat-
room forums are neither brave nor clever." 

- Latah County Sheriff Wayne Rausch (August 21,

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