The battling Alaska Republicans have rescheduled to Thursday (Jan. 31) an earlier postponed meeting to decide whether party chairman-elect Russ Millette has the credentials and desire necessary to take over the job.
Elected last April by a swarm of supporters of unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul and failed Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller, Millette has come under attack from the party's old guard.
They contend he has done nothing to try to help the party raise money, the lifeblood of politics in America, since his election, and fear that he might be a new party wolf hiding in some old Republican clothing.
Millette counters that he is nothing but a dyed-in-the-wool conservative trying to return to its roots a party that has grown increasingly liberal. The 67-year-old likes to tout his ties to long-ago Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, a U.S. Senator from Arizona, though the two appear far apart on some issues.
Goldwater also lacked a history of abandoning the party when he disagreed with prevailing party views. Millette admits he has been in and out of the party, but says he was always a Republican at heart and got "drafted'' by disgruntled Alaska Republicans to bring the party "back to where it should be in terms of liberty, freedom, (and) constitutional conservative ideas."
The start of the hearing on the charges against Millette on Jan. 16 packed Republican headquarters on Fireweed Lane. A large turnout is expected when the battle resumes.
Contact Craig Medred at craig(at)alaskadispatch.com