Gay GOP group’s officers offer a reasoned response to the breakup with Log Cabin Republicans and the myths surrounding it
There are times in life when we must evaluate our relationships with others to determine mutual benefit. And so it goes for political affiliations.
Log Cabin Republicans Dallas pondered for years whether the association with LCR was a good “marriage” for many reasons. We did not undertake this evaluation lightly or in haste.
A couple of weeks ago, we were once again at a crossroads in evaluating that relationship. We were prepared to ask the Log Cabin national board for a hearing so that we could air our grievances and long-held concerns because a clear majority of our local board wanted a resolution that would keep us under the LCR-umbrella.
Instead, they pre-empted us by abruptly “de-certifying” our group, and “re-certifying” one with leadership of their choosing. Rather than wait two months for elections (we’ve been pushing for new leaders to come forward for years) they hand-selected their new president.
Merit or not, other Log Cabin Chapters should be, and are, very alarmed at what has happened with the lack of due process.
Last week, Log Cabin Republicans headquarters issued press releases — before we received our legal notice — that resulted in media articles that were factually untrue. ”Lie” might be too strong a word to write for a political organization, but “if the shoe fits” … .
There was no due process, and no formal warnings or notifications to the members of the chapter leadership. There was no probation period … absolutely nothing!
From Chapter of the Year in 2008 to Chapter Death Sentence in 2011, you might ask, “What happened?”
We suspect that inviting leaders from another nationally known gay conservative organization to speak to a gay Republican group was,
in their view, an LCR National “emergency.” If true, it would reveal a near childish jealousy.
Was it the rumor we heard about the executive director’s displeasure with the Dallas Voice op-ed stating that Gov. Rick Perry is a better choice than President Obama? Was it Rob Schlein’s interview with Michael Signorile where he made a less than artful statement regarding minority politics vs. the common good?
Or perhaps it was the failed scheme of the inexperienced LCR executive director, R. Clarke Cooper, to pin blame on the local chapter for failures with a major donor that were clearly his responsibility.
Maybe the action was to deflect attention from LCR National’s embarrassing failures and list of “no-show” speakers at the national convention held in Dallas this past spring.
We may never know the answer to these questions, since our de-chartering is yet another example of the national office’s continued bumbling. Remember: No warning, no communication, no policy, no due process — absolutely nothing!
One of our most senior board members from the de-chartered local chapter wrote an email a few days ago to all of the national Log Cabin directors. It included this sentence: “I have in front of me one of the most incomprehensible pieces of fiction I’ve ever read in the form of a letter from the National LCR attorney laying out the reasoning for our de-chartering.” He concluded, “The actions of the board were completely out of proportion to the problem at hand and were driven by personality conflicts, continued confusion in the national office, false accusations and half-truths.”
Their silence in response has been deafening.
In some ways, the actions of Log Cabin National, while immensely hurtful, made our decisions easy. We have always been one of the largest chapters in the LCR network. At over 30 years old, we started as Metroplex Republicans, and then chose to affiliate with Log Cabin in 1995.
As in marriage, sometimes the parties need to separate. And so it is now. We have come full circle, returning to our Metroplex Republicans roots. But in dropping the association with Log Cabin, we will have opportunity to reach further into the Dallas County party to affect positive change.
While a new Log Cabin chapter was technically chartered, it appears that even to the shell leadership, what comes next is hazy. Some feel the Log Cabin label is important, and may transition their membership to the infant chapter. Many are already suggesting reconciliation.
What is certain is that all are welcome to enjoy the continuity and quality of programming we have had in place for many years, formerly as Log Cabin and now as Metroplex Republicans.
Our years of experience have taught us what it takes in organization, dedication and quality programs for any volunteer organization to succeed. We have everything we need to grow and prosper.
We see the events of last week as an opportunity to reach more Republicans in Dallas. We intend to include Republicans of all varieties and will reach out to all non-traditional Republican allies. We believe correctly defined conservative principals benefit all and oppose the “gimme mine” politics of political sub-grouping at the expense of liberty and freedom.
Our next functions include a Preview Social for the Grand Ol’ Party on Oct. 22, the regular monthly meeting on Oct. 24, and the Grand Ol’ Party on Nov. 5. Please visit our website, MetroplexRepublicans.com, for details and to sign up on our email list.
Robert Schlein is president and Rudy Oeftering is vice president of Metroplex Republicans, formerly known as the “original” Log Cabin Dallas Chapter.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 21, 2011.