There is going to be a unity gala dinner hosted by the Alaska Republican Party on the 6th of December. The idea for this event came from the current chairman of the Alaska Republican Party Glenn Clary.
First let me state that I have a great deal of respect for Glenn as a person and as the leader of the Republican Party and I am glad he is the chairman at this time. He is an honest man with strong moral character who stepped up to lead the party at a difficult time in its history and has handled the challenges before him with grace and humility. I have worked with Glenn over the years on a number of conservative issues that come up before the Alaska Legislature or the Anchorage Assembly and he has been in the trenches on some tough fights.
Whether it was school choice or fighting for the rights of the preborn or defending religious freedom Glenn has never wavered in expressing his views and standing behind public officials who stand for conservative principles. Since he became the chairman of the party he has tried to build up the party’s infrastructure and he has tried to improve the internal apparatus for recruiting and financially supporting candidates during election season. And honestly, this unity gala is an effort in a long string of efforts to try and bring the party together to get more Republicans elected and enact more conservative policies at all levels of government.
Alas this gala event will not be a success because of a slow-walking crisis within the party that is affecting its internal operations and if this crisis continues will affect it for a decade or more. The crisis I speak of is the civil war that has recently engulfed the party and shows no signs of stopping and is only going to get more vicious as time goes on. That civil war is over two issues; one is the dividend and the other is how the state budget shall be handled. There are two sides to this conflict; one side favors a smaller dividend and structured budget reductions year over year that are surgical in nature and that target waste in state operations. The other side wants a massive dividend and wants a shotgun blast approach to the budget to be taken without regard to the broader consequences for the state.
As with any house divided against itself, this situation will change in terms of one side winning and the other losing. Granted I am a partisan in the conflict that is happening within the party but that does not change the nature of the problem nor the potential solutions.
In order for Glenn to build up the party, he has to decide which direction the party is going to move and then he takes the party in that direction. Until he does that the battles will continue to be waged until the party chooses its direction forward.