In response to two email press releases last week and a followup this week from a group called South Jersey Citizens United, Camden County GOP Chair Rick DeMichele issued formal fighting words to party allies.
“Dear Camden County Republicans,” DeMichele wrote in a letter obtained by PolitickerNJ.com, “Over the past few days, you may have received unsolicited, dishonest emails calling for my resignation as CCGOP Chairman. Don’t be surprised if you receive a couple more. When you do, consider the source.”
Last week, Mayor John Gentless of Stratford and a local Republican club from Pennsauken said they want DeMichele to pack up and leave his job as county party chair. Today, Tom Crone of South Jersey Citizens United echoed the sentiment.
“I am particularly at a loss for words when Mr. DeMichele said these calls were issued by people ‘who have chosen to leave the Camden County Republican Party,'” Crone said. “These citizens today are affiliated with a ‘Tea Party’ and other independent organizations like ‘South Jersey Citizens United.’ To denigrate the values and principles of the citizens who comprise these groups only further demonstrates the serious flaws and vision Mr. DeMichele offers his Republican committee.”
Months after Tea Party phoney Peter DeStefano stumbled into the general election and backfired on U.S. Rep. John Adler (D-Cherry Hill) as a candidate cooked up by Adler allies to drain votes from the ultimately successful Jon Runyan, Gentless and others are targeting DeMichele, a strong organizational ally of Runyan’s.
“These emails are part of a coordinated attack against me by a small handful of anti-organization types who like to talk the talk, but in reality have done precious little to walk the walk and help us build a more successful party here in Camden County,” DeMichele said.
“Even worse, while they refuse to speak with me directly or address their concerns through proper channels with the duly elected county committee, they have shown their true colors by choosing to copy members of the media on their emails and air their dirty laundry in the press.
“Who are these people, you ask?
“They are people who’ve lost races on the county and local level, and are now looking to blame you and me for their own failures as candidates.
“They are people who have run off-the-line against the organization. We have been beaten soundly and this is their shot at revenge.
“They are vestiges of an out-of-touch minority that fails to see the need for more diversity in our ranks and more outreach into changing communities like Pennsauken and others.
“Worst of all, and most disappointing to me personally, is they are people who refuse to recognize the success we’ve had as a County Republican Party in recent years despite being ground zero for the infamous, yet powerful South Jersey Democrat Machine and home to a county where registered Democrats far outnumber registered Republicans.
“Consider these facts:
“We have more than doubled the amount of money raised and spent on county and local campaigns in just the last three years.
“The CCGOP has never been more successful at fundraising. We picked up a net of five new local elected officials over the year before countywide, and have been instrumental in helping to form new and vibrant Republicans Clubs in towns across the county.
“We played an integral role in the successful election of Congressman Jon Runyan, defeating a golden boy of the Camden County Democrat Machine ‘John Adler’ along the way.
“Our freeholder candidates last year garnered a higher percentage of the vote than we have in decades, and we are competitive in towns that people could not have imagined competing in just five years ago.
“We haven’t reached our potential yet, not by a long shot. But that’s a record of progress that I’m proud of and I know you are, too.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all you, from the bottom of my heart, for the outpouring of support in response to these attacks against me. The way so many have rallied to my defense reaffirms my confidence that we are moving in the right direction and building a more competitive, successful and vibrant Republican Party here in Camden County.
“As always, my door, phone and email are open to any of you who wish to share your thoughts, ideas or concerns with me about our party. Again, I thank you for your support and look forward to a successful 2011 for our party and our candidates throughout Camden County.