GOP infighting in Camden County

Gloucester Township GOP Municipal Chairman Frank Mellace sent this letter to Camden County Republican Chairman Rick DiMichelle about his desire to run a voter registration drive. Mellace says he has not received a response.

I have to advise you and Mr. Dave Burnett that GTRMC has been trying to conduct a voter registration drive. We have contacted Dave Burnett, your hand picked newly appointed executive director, on numerous occasions to attain street lists so we can do door knocks to gain voter registrations and he advises me you instructed him to not cooperate with our request, without your concent. I want to know why?

The direct objective of GTRMC is to party build and help republican candidates win elections in general elections. Your interference in not allowing Mr. Burnett do the job he was employed to do is irrational.

I was elected by the voters of Gloucester Township to do a job and I will not allow you or anyone to interfere with my ability to do that job. Your deliberate interference and undermining in Gloucester Township is deplorable. You have completely undermined and interfered with GTRMC since your appointment and quite frankly for no good reason.

Now if this is all a mistake and not a deliberate attempt to interfere with the upcoming primary the Superintendent of Elections has advised me that lists can be had within 2 days of a request and from what you have advised us prior you can have them sooner. I expect that you are going to cooperate and give us the list that we need to do what we were elected to do.

Just to be clear the list we are looking for should be broken down by districts then alphabetically by street names in address numerical order showing all voters republican, democrat, and unaffiliated. Since I have been attempting to attain these lists since April 16, 2007 and considering the list can be generated instantly from the voter vault I expect I should have current lists to use for this weekends voter registration drive we have planned. You can send me hard copied list or just email me in excel format and I will print lists myself.

Our democratic counter parts have been out the last two weekends and from what I understand they have attained over 400 new registrations in the last two weeks these are voters we have lost due to your refusal to cooperate in our voter registration drive. Your actions or should I say interference is placing Gloucester Township further and further behind or Democratic counter parts.

In a further note GTRMC members have expressed a great concern over your announcement that Camden County Committee is backing John McCain for President. Many of us seem to believe that you went out and made a premature announcement since we have not had our convention nor have we taken a vote as a county committee to give the backing of committee to make that announcement. We would like to understand why you did this.

Many of our committee members are taking a long look back at the last year and wondering when we put it all in perspective if we made a mistake in choosing you as a County Chair.

Many on GTRMC have made it clear to me that they resent your interference in our local council race that your refusal to even consider more loyal candidates caused Gloucester Township Republicans to have too run a primary and this has divided committee. Many feel your choices for the party line are irresponsible at best. In December of 2006 you asked me to allow Mayor Rau-Hatton put together the slate she wanted. At that time she presented me a list of candidate names. I agreed to consider them with consent of GTRMC. I recommended GTRMC back her candidates as long as GTRMC was involved with the process and the candidates were not placed on the ballot as favors to her friends. When I expressed concerns over the ultimate choices since none of them were on the list presented to GTRMC you completely alienated GTRMC and myself as well as threatened repercussions if I allowed the primary.

Fact is you have irresponsibly placed on the Republican Party Line a life long democrat of 30+ years who only 3 days prior to announcing that she would accept your proposal to run for council changed parties. This person still has immediate family member's on democratic county committee. Another of your hand picked candidates, who also only changed parties to run on our Republican ticket, has an immediate family member who sponsored a democratic fund raiser golf outing of about 150 people at $100.00 per head just 3 weeks ago. You have been advised of this and went ahead and gave these people party line despite knowing we had more qualified and more loyal true Republicans who should have had that party line. Many feel this conduct is contemptible and a slap in the face of every Gloucester Township Republican. Another of your Candidates refused to place republican signs on their own lawn in the last general election need I remind you we are the people in our communities the voters look to and see who we support and vote accordingly. No sign no vote.

You have shown your blatant disrespect of GTRMC and the voters of Gloucester Township, by ignoring our concerns. Couple that with your inability to prevent the Winslow Twp. Mayor from flipping parties, your allowance of Rob Andrews to run unopposed for Congress as well as your refusal to back Dan Hutchison for Senate until you were left with no other choice, as well as the various other races you have allowed to run unopposed or with only name place holders has cast a serious doubt with many members of GTRMC as to your ability to properly conduct the duties the Camden County Chair.

Many on GTRMC are asking "Did we make a mistake in electing you chair? and Why do you have such a vendetta against us?" Hopefully you come to your senses.

Truly Yours,

Frank Mellace

GTRMC Chairman
GOP infighting in Camden County