The fight to see which Republican takes on Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop on Long Island is heating up, and pitting tea partiers against more established party leaders.
Supporters of candidate Randy Altschuler released a letter today urging party leaders not to “slam the door” and “hijack” the nomination process.
“We must let it be known, that all candidates seeking our nomination will be given fair and equal treatment, whether they are newcomers to politics, or are individuals who been involved in GOP politics for decades,” wrote seven Suffolk County Republican officials. They also reference the “growth and power of the 9/12 and Tea Party movements,” trying to cast Altschuler’s candidacy as a grassroots effort.
Altschuler’s main opponent in the Republican primary is Chris Cox, son of the state chairman and grandson of former President Nixon.
Here’s the letter:
February 2, 2010
The Honorable John Jay LaValle,
The Honorable Anthony Pancella,III,
The Honorable Robert F. Neville,
The Honorable Marietta M. Seaman,
Dear Fellow Republicans:
2010 is already unfolding as an exciting year to be a Republican. Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts, coupled with the dysfunction of government in both Albany and Washington, has set the stage for a Republican resurgence on both the state and national level.
The growth and power of the 9/12 and Tea Party movements have invigorated the electorate and by doing so have proved that there will be no such thing as a “safe seat” during primaries and in next November’s election. Their actions in Town Hall meetings, rallies across the nation, and at the voting booth have shown that the average American is sick and tired of the backroom deals and cronyism that fuels runaway spending, higher taxes, and a ballooning national deficit. The voters are mad as hell. They want transparency, accountability and reform. They will settle for nothing less.
As Republicans, we are in a natural position to benefit from this national trend; we are being given a once in a generation opportunity to rebuild our party, retake the state Senate and win back key seats in both houses of Congress.
Sadly, a handful of GOP leaders here in Suffolk County don’t seem to get it. Since the first of the year, they have made a less than subtle attempt to hijack the screening process to pick the candidate who will challenge Congressman Tim Bishop on Election Day.
Frankly, it seems like “the fix is in”, and that’s wrong.
The purpose of this letter is a call for transparency, accountability, and reform.
There needs to be accountability for the words and actions of those supposedly neutral party officials who find it necessary to verbally attack candidates in the media in a shameless attempt to force them out of the race.
And, moving forward, there needs to be reform in how the selection process of candidates is handled. We need input from all Republicans and not a selection process filled with cronyism, back room deals and an old boy’s network that closely resembles the dealings of a Democratic Party club house in Chicago.
If we are to grow and prosper as a party, we must open the process and let the sun shine in.
We must let it be known, that all candidates seeking our nomination will be given fair and equal treatment, whether they are newcomers to politics, or are individuals who been involved in GOP politics for decades.
As many of you know, we are supporting Randy Altschuler in this race. Since last Spring Randy has actively sought our nomination in the 1st Congressional District. He has repeatedly been there for both our party and our candidates. Randy has taken the time to walk door-to-door, to put up yard signs and act as a surrogate for our candidates on the campaign trail. He is a successful self made businessman who lives with his wife and young son in St. James. He has been working tirelessly, leads the field of Republicans in fundraising and has been airing TV commercials for over a month. In a recent independent poll (SURVEY USA) conducted in the district, Randy was within 2 points of defeating Tim Bishop and yet some in our party baselessly attacked him in the media as a “flawed candidate”. Within hours Congressman Tim Bishop was throwing those words back in our party’s collective faces.
This is not the way to grow and expand our party. Our party will grow when we stand on principle, offer a positive vision for the future and we build people up, not when we resort to knocking them down.
If we are to be victorious in future elections we must open the door to all prospective candidates….not slam the door in their face.
There are fine individuals seeking our nomination in the 1st Congressional District. Let’s take the time to get to know them.
Let’s take the time to pick the candidate who is best qualified to defeat Tim Bishop and Nancy Pelosi.
I hope you will join us in calling for a fair and open selection process that treats all the candidates fairly and promotes the Republican values we all believe in.
The Honorable Gene Gerrard
Fmr. Brookhaven Republican Committee Chairman
The Honorable Edna Gerrard
The Honorable Robert Brown
Brookhaven Committeeman & Ward Leader
The Honorable John Rago
Brookhaven Committeeman & Ward Leader
The Honorable Charles Lefkowitz
Fmr. Suffolk County Republican Vice-Chairman
The Honorable Arlien Cohen
The Honorable Ed Lenox
Brookhaven Committeeman & President of the Mid-Brookhaven Republican Club