New Alaska GOP boss Russ Millette calls on party to reconvene convention

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch
Amanda Coyne photo

Russ Millette, Alaska’s next chair of the state GOP, put out a call that Alaska Republicans finish what they started at the tumultuous state GOP convention last month.

Millette -- a U.S. Rep. Ron Paul supporter who, with the help of failed 2010 Senate candidate Joe Miller -- captured the hearts and minds of Alaska's Paul supporters and other dissatisfied Republicans to win the state's GOP chairmanship at the convention.

However, current and long-time chair Randy Ruedrich gaveled out before all party business could be conducted at the convention.

It was a move that rankled Millette and his supporters, who saw it as yet one more example of the old-guard GOP not listening to the people. So Millette is calling for the party to reconvene June 9 to finish that business in the gymnasium of the Anchorage Christian Schools next to Anchorage Baptist Temple.

In addition to finalizing the party's platform, such business might involve getting rid of the "dynasty rule," which would allow Millette to immediately take over his position from Ruedrich. As it stands, Millette is now finance chair of the party, but would not take over as chair until February, effectively leaving him without a role in the upcoming state elections.

Due to a state redistricting order, 59 of 60 Alaska legislative seats are up for grabs, many of which are likely to be hotly contested in the wake of the recent legislative stalemate over whether to slash taxes on Alaska's oil industry -- the lifeblood that funds nearly 90 percent of state goverment.

In a conference call in March hosted by Miller and Millette, there was talk of meting out donations from the party based on candidates’ answers to a “purity test.” Such a test will likely be discussed at the convention.

Here's Millette’s full statement from Satuday:

On Saturday to The Alaska Republican Party State Convention is scheduled to reconvene 10:30 AM on Saturday, June 9 in the gymnasium of the Anchorage Christian Schools, located at 6575 East Northern Lights Boulevard, Anchorage. Credentials will open at 9:00 AM.

It is critical for Alaska Republicans to finalize the 2012 Party Platform, and complete the work of the Convention Committees.  The matters brought forth by Delegates from their communities, and crafted into Resolutions, deserve the consideration and vote of the Convention body.

These items should not be forwarded to the State officers and appointees to determine. Instead, we owe it to our Party, and to our Districts that elected us as Representatives, to attend to these important matters through the full Republican process.

The newly-elected officers of the Alaska Republican Party strongly encourage all duly elected Delegates and Alternates to come together as a united Party to finish the work of our Convention and properly prepare for the fall elections.