Tag Archives: rudd

At a Rutherford GOP Gathering, ‘Tempers Exploded’

Tempers flared at a Rutherford County Republican Executive Committee meeting, reports the Murfreesboro Post, after circulation of an email criticizing a Tea Party candidate vetting plan. For state party officials, it seems a case of having friends on both sides of the fight and standing firmly with your friends.
After Jake Robinson, a local conservative and husband of Rutherford County Register of Deeds Heather Dawbarn, asked the committee about an e-mail by County Executive Committeeman Tim Rudd, tempers exploded and the meeting nearly turned into a riot, one witness said.
The Rudd-penned e-mail encouraged local Republican candidates in the August Primary to steer clear of activities sponsored by the Rutherford County Tea Party and 9/12 Project.
“Jake said he was disappointed that Rudd would send out an e-mail that was divisive,” Murfreesboro City Councilman Eddie Smotherman said, adding he attended the meeting at the request of fellow Councilman Toby Gilley.
Smotherman said county GOP Chairman Austin Maxwell lost his temper at Robinson’s question and started cussing and banging his gavel.
“As soon as he (Robinson) got started, Austin showed poor anger management skills. … One GD was all it took for me and I left,” Smotherman said.
“I was hoping I would see the Republican Party trying to bring people together … We need to work together to solve our big issues,” Smotherman said, adding he was disappointed in Maxwell’s leadership after witnessing the meeting.
At issue was an e-mail by Rudd, who is also an executive committeeman with the state party, to Republican Primary candidates Richard Garvin, Dawn White and Ryan Harring, along with incumbents state Sen. Jim Tracy, Reps. Joe Carr, Rick Womick and Mike Sparks about events and questionnaires from outside organizations purported to “vet” Republican candidates.
“I urge you not to participate in this unauthorized ‘vetting’ process,” Rudd wrote. “No organization outside the Republican Party has the right or responsibility to vet, interview or determine who the Republican Party’s nominee should be.”
Rudd went on to say the two conservative groups were trying to “interfere with another organization’s process” and implied it was a “power grab.”
Rutherford County Tea Party President Chris Beach said the group wasn’t trying to grab any power from the local GOP, it was only trying to get information out to voters.
…Beach said Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney doesn’t support Rudd’s position, but state party Executive Director Adam Nickas stopped short of criticizing Rudd.
“Tim Rudd is a respected member of the state Republican party …” Nickas said. “Tim expressed his opinion, and he is well within his rights, according to our bylaws, to do that.”
But then Nickas didn’t want to criticize the Tea Party either.
“We have the greatest respect for the Tea Party and share many of their ideals. They played a major role in our success in 2010,” Nickas said.

Hat tip: Pat Nolan.