Hit the road Mack - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Hit the road Mack

Controversial former sheriff won't speak at Lincoln Day Dinner

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Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 12:15 am | Updated: 10:40 am, Fri Nov 16, 2012.

COEUR d'ALENE - Richard Mack will not be speaking at this year's Lincoln Day Dinner.

After nearly two hours of often acrimonious debate, a nearly evenly divided Kootenai County Republican Central Committee voted Tuesday in favor of rescinding the party's invitation to Mack, a Tea Party activist and former Arizona sheriff, to be the keynote speaker at their March 24 dinner and fundraiser.

The roll call vote of 31-30 was taken after the party chair, Tina Jacobson, defended the procedure followed to select Mack and chided a group of elected precinct committee members for signing a letter opposing Mack's selection and giving the letter to members of the media.

"We've had discussions in this room about airing our laundry in the press," Jacobson said.

She said going to the newspapers with party business hurts the organization and shows divisiveness.

"And the Democrats are passing the popcorn," Jacobson said.

The Central Committee, as a whole, has never voted on the speaker, she said. The decision has always been made by a Lincoln Day Dinner standing committee. Jacobson said that since 1994, when she first became involved with the Central Committee, members have been given the opportunity to volunteer to work on organizing the annual fundraiser.

In the letter opposing Mack's selection, the signers criticized the decision stating he does not fairly represent Republican interests, has been openly critical of the party and has shown "a strong affinity to other political parties, including the Democrat, Libertarian and Constitution Parties."

Jacobson said she received the letter by email Monday evening and by early Tuesday, it was on a newspaper blog. "This breaks my heart to see how we are treating each other ... These are your comrades, not your enemies ... We're Team Republican," Jacobson said.

The Lincoln Day Dinner is to raise money to support Republican candidates, she said.

Letter signer Jeff Ward, Precinct 23 Committeeman and president of the Idaho Federation of Reagan Republicans, made the motion to remove Mack as speaker at the Lincoln Day Dinner. Ward said he agrees with Jacobson that the Lincoln Day Dinner is about supporting the Republican Party and Republican candidates, and said he opposes Mack because Mack has made a career of opposing both.

Now living in Texas, Mack is running for Congress in his district's Republican primary.

He was a Democrat when he served two terms as a sheriff in Arizona, and has run, or filed to run for offices in several other states as a Republican and a Libertarian.

Mack is a frequent speaker at Constitution Party events and has spoken to the John Birch Society.

"This is not about factions. This is not about anger. This is not about divisiveness," Ward said.

Ward said they should select another speaker and move on.

Members of the Central Committee's Lincoln Day committee will likely contact people who have already purchased tickets to the dinner thinking Mack was the speaker and let them know of the change.

Mack was given, from the Central Committee budget, a non-refundable payment of $1,250 to come to Coeur d'Alene to speak on March 24.

He is slated to speak at the Spokane Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner on March 23.

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  • pstramer posted at 8:10 am on Thu, Mar 1, 2012.

    pstramer Posts: 1

    The article shows the ignorance of some so called Republicans. What are my credentials for saying such a thing. Well, I sit on the State Central Committee of the Republican Party of Montana, and I am here to tell you that the very definition of ignorance is "Not knowing what is required by one's station in life." Evidently some of the Central committee of Kootenai County Idaho have not studied the supreme law for our land, or the true stand that Richard Mack has taken for that law. They evidently don't understand that this kind of partisanship is what has gotten us to the horrible condition our country is in right now. They would rather play footsie with war, and bankruptcy than adhere to their oath of office most of the time. In fact most neo-con, and rino republicans border on insanity in this regard. Why do I make that seemingly wild statement? Well what is the classic definition of insanity?
    "Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result." What do those kind of "Republicans" do? I won't support those tired old ideas of "the party at any cost" while the voters are looking for real change for the better and more freedom and liberty, which in turn will make our country much stronger and a true example of integrity to the world.
    Richard Mack is a personal friend of about 4 years and I have traveled with him and have heard him speak many times. I can say that some RINOs might be more than a little embarassed by his unflinching defense of the supreme law, the US Constitution. Why, because they can't keep doing the damage they are doing to the party of Reagan and uphold the Constitution at the same time, so guess who and what they throw under the bus.
    I am sorry but that isn't going to get you off the hook. This country is going broke ON YOUR WATCH.
    If you continue to "compromise" with evil and borrow money to finance war while the Democrats continue to borrow money to finance war and welfare you are all in the same boat, and sooner rather than later this is all going to come home to roost, right on your shoulders where it belongs.
    Those who voted in favor of retaining Richard Mack as your speaker got it right.
    Those who voted against are not Republicans at all let alone Reagan Republicans.

  • capnbutch posted at 5:14 am on Thu, Mar 1, 2012.

    capnbutch Posts: 729

    Why Not,

    You are a marvelous gift because you always get me to thinking in new dimensions. Thanks immensely for that!

    You had said, "[newspaper] survival almost necessitates drama these days ," Well, I spent more than an hour addressing that point... and then the computer died. It is a fun issue.

    Suffice it to say that Maureen's career will not be advanced by this kind of writing no matter how desperate she is. You have to be far more creative to get into journals like the Sun and the National Inquirer. If she is to go that way, you and I will soon be reading things like, "Spokane stealing Idaho air from orphans," and "Space aliens secretly drinking Coeur d'Alene Lake dry."

    Think of her as your own daughter -- you want the best for her. Integrity is best.

    Dropping biases while on the job will allow her to advance higher and more rapidly. Reporters sleep better that way and, as they mature, they become bosses or even start media of their own.

    Integrity works.

  • ancientemplar posted at 8:25 pm on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1133

    III %

  • CHSdad posted at 5:26 pm on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    CHSdad Posts: 363

    Keven, I agree that the supreme court comes up with decisions that defy sense to me. However, that fact of the matter is there are 9 of them and they frequently disagree among themselves. They may disagree because the constitution is open to some interpretation, and also I am sure because of individual political outlook. And for that very reason I find it wholly unacceptable that a group of law enforcement officers can take it upon themselves to decide on what the constitution means. Everyone has some political bias, including those people you happen to agree with. To my mind, to dismiss the supreme court as you do is itself showing a disregard for the constitution.

  • Keven Johnson posted at 4:27 pm on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    Keven Johnson Posts: 1257

    chs, the supreme court is frequently wrong. Have you ever read the Constitution? Did you understand what it says? If you haven't read it you should, and you'll see that it isn't really that mysterious. Anyone with a basic understanding of english can read and comprehend the Constitution.

  • Why Not posted at 3:48 pm on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    Why Not Posts: 3982

    KJ I relish getting your baggies in a knot. Your importance precedes you man. My opinion is my opinion and I’m satisfied with it. Oath Keepers is a fringe group, Stewart Rhodes a loud mouth conspiracist who tries to incite anarchy.

  • CHSdad posted at 3:36 pm on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    CHSdad Posts: 363

    Keven, so what is the point of the supreme court when all we needed was Judge Roy Bean?

  • Why Not posted at 3:32 pm on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    Why Not Posts: 3982

    "Back then we could expect the truth without sensationalism" - Exactly, but the market has changed and survival for any newspaper today is driven by hits, and getting a slight glimpse in that bathroom draws folks in. I do not disagree with you about the difference, but survival almost necessitates drama these days Cap'n.

  • Keven Johnson posted at 3:11 pm on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    Keven Johnson Posts: 1257

    CHSdad, Anyone can read the Constitution for themselves; it is very clearly written and not hard to understand. So nobody need to rely on "what they are told" being correct.

  • capnbutch posted at 2:20 pm on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    capnbutch Posts: 729

    Why Not,

    Excellent question.

    In the 1950s, Montana's greatest newscaster, Don Weston, was an extreme Left-Winger. Fortunately for all of us, he kept his biases to himself. He was professional. Only one time that I can remember did he deliberately twist a story to malign an ethnic group.

    He made a point of saying that no journalist is really objective. Our thoughts and observations are entirely subjective. Nonetheless, he suppressed his biases in the best way he could. That is the American journalistic tradition.

    Back then we could expect the truth without sensationalism. He rarely failed that expectation. Anybody could trust Don Weston. When he felt an opinion had to be shared, he clearly labeled it as that. He made it separate from his newscasts.

    As far as what is wrong with this article, carefully examine the headline. Neither the editor nor the reporter would write this in the same manner for any other political group. Maureen does not have a scoop but... a competing journalist might have a scoop on her as a result of her story.

    As most of us below seem to hint, parties have their public sides and their private sides. That is the way parties should work -- tussle in private and then agree, come out to deliver the public a unified front. If someone wants to see the inside of a party, the right way for him or her to do it is to get in, study and work.

    Despite whatever leakage there is, this is their private side. Figure it this way, we know what you do in the bathroom but you deserve privacy there.

    The system is supposed to work like that. Publications like the Sun and the National Enquirer are interesting but they are definitely not journalism. They are entertainment. That's generally considered OK because nobody expects professionalism from either.

    We do expect professionalism of the highest level from the Coeur d'Alene Press. We usually get it and we get that professionalism to a far higher degree than we get it from the Spokane paper.

  • CHSdad posted at 1:59 pm on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    CHSdad Posts: 363

    Keven, whilst the 'I was just obeying orders' is not a defense when you do something morally wrong, the "I won't do that because someone told me it was unconstitutional' defense isn't necessarily right. Particularly if what they were told was wrong. Constitutionalists should understand about separation of powers, so why can't the Oath keepers?

  • Keven Johnson posted at 1:34 pm on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    Keven Johnson Posts: 1257

    Why Not, why don't you go to the Oath Keeper's website and find out what they stand for before you spout ridiculous comparisons to "the Taliban". Oath Keepers is an organization of Law Enforcement and military people who understand that their oath to the Constitution of the United States supercedes any command or order from a superior officer IF that order violates the Constitution. How on earth could anybody disagree with that?

  • Why Not posted at 1:14 pm on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    Why Not Posts: 3982

    Cap’n, I don’t disagree that there are journalists who are partisan. Always have been, but there was a time when Editors held higher standards and media outlets were also fewer. Today you have many sources and the option of reading from what you want, it’s really too bad that more people don’t take time to read and understand all sides before deciding where their support should be. As for the story this morning, what’s wrong with the truth? Seems to be a fairly accurate representation.

  • Why Not posted at 1:04 pm on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    Why Not Posts: 3982

    Oath Keepers - Why is it that everytime I hear that Taliban comes to mind?

  • capnbutch posted at 12:10 pm on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    capnbutch Posts: 729


    It is good to see you in print again.

  • Thaddeus posted at 12:04 pm on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    Thaddeus Posts: 232


    This is like watching a train wreck. But way more entertaining!!!

  • Elias Alias posted at 10:33 am on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    Elias Alias Posts: 1

    I work with Sheriff Mack on the Board of Directors for Oath Keepers - http://www.oathkeepers.org

    It is my opinion that Sheriff Mack is a Constitutionalist and a man of good moral standing who sees his Oath to the Constitution as a living and sacred obligation.

    The concerns expressed in this article spotlight the unconscious belief held by so many "Republicans" and "Democrats" - the belief that politics is akin to team-sport rivalry, in which "our team" must beat "the other team". While that is understandable, given the general level of conscious awareness held by most who still believe in the two major parties, it is seriously flawed and fails to take into account that at the national level both political parties (R's and D's) have contributed to the destruction of our Constitution, hideously overly-expanded central government power, economic demise, unlawful wars abroad, un-Constitutional police-state tactics by Federal agencies such as NSA, DOJ, and CIA, an illegal Federal Reserve System printing fiat money to expand government control over our lives, etc etc. Both major political parties have dutifully committed these sins over the past ninety plus years, and each bears its share of the blame for where we stand today - in peril and at risk of losing our country.

    In Montana we are witnessing a Republican Gubernatorial candidate running on a platform which is very similar to Sheriff Mack's philosophy. Here is Bob Fanning's Republican platform -


    Reading that above-linked declaration we see that if Bob Fanning becomes Governor of Montana he plans to install a State office for Sheriff Mack's Constitutional Sheriffs And Peace Officers Association.

    This has the other Republican candidates for Governor of Montana in a tizzy. The head of the Montana Republican Party has said in writing that Montanans should not believe anything Bob Fanning says, despite the fact that Bob Fanning is running on the Republican ticket. The RINOs are speaking out against Fanning, who single-handedly worked for years to get wolves de-listed in Montana. The deeply-embedded good ol' boys networks hidden within the local-level Republican Party around Montana resent Ron Paul's challenge to the RNC as Ron Paul seeks to take the Republican Party back to its former respectability, and they also resent an honest man running as a populist Constitutionalist Republican. Their remarkable hard-headedness shall fortunately fade away in coming years as more and more Americans wake up to the facade of the national-level major two-party-system.

    My conclusion is that all Americans should throw away their team-sport embrace of politics and get back to the Constitution as written. Sheriff Mack would have given an inspirational and patriotic presentation. The decision to cancel his appearance shines a dark laser upon the local Republican party, while those supporting Mack's appearance there were offering the light of Constitutional truth.

    More? Richard Mack wants to end the bogus war on drugs and is a strong advocate of Tenth Amendment States' Rights. His vision would return our cops back to our communities as Peace Officers instead of being Law Enforcement Officers. Remember the good ol' days in which we felt pride in our local cops, and trusted them? Remember when our cops respected us as citizens with unalienable rights? Check out Sheriff Mack's recent national conference of Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers at Las Vegas, Nevada -


    Elias Alias, Montana Oath Keepers; Oath Keepers national Board of Directors; personal friend of Sheriff Richard Mack.

  • 3Cheers posted at 9:44 am on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    3Cheers Posts: 357

    The Reagan Republicans should have been ashamed of themselves after hearing Tina's impassioned speech for party unity. Instead Luke Summers stood up and attempted to take control of the meeting. He lied and had the audacity to say that Tina shuts down their liberal and RINO speech; when everyone who attends a meeting knows that discussions go on until every one who wants to speak has spoken. The Reagan Republicans use Saul Alinsky Rules for Radicals. They are against the conservatives who represent the voters in their precincts. Many of the signers of Jeff Ward's letter rarely attend KCRCC meetings so the voters in those precincts are not represented. Other Reagan Republican committeemen sent their proxy votes instead of getting into the discussion. Reagan Republicans besmirch his name. The Reagan Republicans are NOT Reaganesk!

  • capnbutch posted at 9:07 am on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    capnbutch Posts: 729

    Why Not,

    You asked when.

    I peg the date as 1965 or thereabouts. That is when we started taking combat out of war and putting it in journalism. I was a reporter at the time and noticed the change coming gradually. I did not face much conflict with the nature of my work until I caught EPA making some unfortunate mistakes.

    It is a fascinating trend well worth a few books. Unfortunately, such authors seem to feel that they must take one side or another and shouldn't limit themselves to facts and trends. It is an interesting study.

    I guess that the best clue for you to follow is to look for the dwindling differences between journalists and columnists. In many papers you cannot perceive a difference.

  • Brent Regan posted at 8:49 am on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    Brent Regan Posts: 607

    To my Conservative friends:
    Lincoln day is about helping the party help the candidates. It is not about the speakers, or who is in charge, or who is not in charge, or the menu, or the color of the tablecloths.

    Our country is at a crossroads and conservatives of all stripes feel the urgency. Emotions are running high so these little skirmishes are bound to break out. But make no mistake; once the candidates are selected all conservatives will unite on Election Day, November the 6th.

    I have my Lincoln Day tickets and I hope to see you ALL there.

    To the liberal readers:
    You are right! The Republican Party is in complete disarray. You can go home and relax. The liberal socialist utopia is just around the corner. BTW, election day for democrats has been moved to Wednesday, November 7th. Don’t be late.

  • CommonThoughts posted at 8:37 am on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    CommonThoughts Posts: 4

    So, the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans are opposed to associating with someone who 1) used to be a democrat (Reagan was once a democrat); 2) anyone who utters the word "constitution" (Obama sounding now).... One would expect Reagan to be rolling over in his grave at the exploitation of his name associated with a group of people who are anything but "Reagan like". The Reagan Republicans are not conservative, they do not stand for anything that Reagan stood for (what they say and what they do are two different things). They merely co-opted the name as a cover for their dubious activities.

    God forbid the Republican Party be taken over by people who actually adhere to the Republican platform! People who actually think the constitution is a good thing! When will Republicans wake up and quit falling for the decoys?

    I was planning on going to this event (only because Mack was speaking) but will spend my money elsewhere now! Maybe I'll go to the Spokane Lincoln Day Dinner to hear him.

    I have one parting question however. If this select group of disgruntled so-called Republicans didn't like the committee's selection of a speaker, why didn't they bother to volunteer for the committee when volunteers were asked for?

  • hopeful posted at 8:23 am on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    hopeful Posts: 7

    The Republican Party platform (not that 31 of those R's would know) is based on the constitution. You have a sheriff in place now who was running as a democrat, and you support him (obviously) every term. Well, Sheriff Mack is a constitutionalist, like most of our founding fathers were, and like Reagan preached (but strayed from), but he does NOT put party above his loyalty to his oath to protect and defend the constitution. I know most of the 31 committeemen who voted against Richard Mack have no clue about what the constitution even says (ignorance would be the nicest thing I could conclude), nor do they want one, so of course they would vote against Mack coming to speak at their precious dinner.

  • ancientemplar posted at 8:08 am on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1133

    Republicans? I think not. The room last night was filled with precinct committeemen that haven't bothered to attend for the better part of a year, one of which was the past President of the Central Committee and there were many proxies for committee members who are absent more than not, represented by individuals trying to further their own agenda. Even with all this false "party exuberance the outcome of the vote was 31/30.
    North Idaho, Kootenai County Republicans got a black eye last night.

  • Why Not posted at 8:01 am on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    Why Not Posts: 3982

    Cap’n and Will, when did situation reporting become partisan and mean spirited? Ms. Dolan seems to have pretty accurately described what happened at the meeting and today’s Editorial is an observation that is quite logical. It’s new so people are worried and people are not so sure, how is that a slight on Republicans. For a political junkie like myself, this has been a fascinating primary and the one who will be hurt is the President because nobody is paying him any attention.

  • Why Not posted at 8:00 am on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    Why Not Posts: 3982

    She said going to the newspapers with party business hurts the organization and shows divisiveness.

    "And the Democrats are passing the popcorn," Jacobson said.

    Pssst...Here’s a tip Tina from a nonpartisan that has run a few campaigns, the divisive influence in your court. It seems pretty apparent to a lot of people that Constitutionalists headed by the criminal Hart orchestrated the central committee takeover. The rest of the pack suddenly woke up and noticed they have been robbed. From Little League to the Whitehouse, power is an interesting animal.

  • Keven Johnson posted at 7:54 am on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    Keven Johnson Posts: 1257

    Sheriff Mack places his loyalty to the country and our Constitution above loyalty to a political party. I can see why the establishment republican party hacks wouldn't want to associate with someone like that.

  • Will Penny posted at 6:58 am on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    Will Penny Posts: 253

    capn, you hit the nail right on the head. Just look at the tenor of today's editorial and this article. The Democrat bias of the press is pretty obvious on an almost daily basis. They're kinda like an iceberg, you can see it poking through, but there's a ton under the surface.

  • mrsmimiwhite posted at 6:51 am on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    mrsmimiwhite Posts: 24

    Darn it! I was really looking forward to hearing him speak. I'm glad i didn't get my ticket yet! I think that if the vote was so close that it would have been better to keep to the plan and let him come. All the drama is kind of silly.

  • capnbutch posted at 5:43 am on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    capnbutch Posts: 729

    I think that reporter Dolan catches a lot of flak for this kind of story. Her bias is obvious but the benefit of that bias is not.

    I wonder if, by such mean-spirited writing about us, she actually strengthens Republicans and leaves each of the other several parties in shadow. They have problems of their own but don't get the coverage. I clearly remember a county treasurer (elsewhere) who was caught embezzling. Reporters had a very difficult time with the story because she was a Democrat.

    I sure would like to read the comments of other bloggers on that angle. Anybody have any experiences to share?

  • shahid061 posted at 5:28 am on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    shahid061 Posts: 1

    Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful article.
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