SPENCER: Ward’s agenda is profit - Coeur d'Alene Press: Letters To Editor

SPENCER: Ward’s agenda is profit

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Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 1:00 am | Updated: 12:05 pm, Fri Nov 16, 2012.

Jeff Ward, of the Reagan Republicans and the for-profit Strategery Political Consulting company is yet again trying to undermine the Republican Party. As a former member of the Board of Directors of the Reagan Republicans, I feel compelled to explain the direction the RR’s are going and why I, along with most of the other conservative former board members and VPs including Rep Bob Nonini, Steve Adams and Jack Schroeder, have resigned our positions. When they were formed, the RRs were a fairly conservative group. After several attempts to purge conservatives from the board and watering down the endorsement criteria from a unanimous board vote to just two/thirds of the board members who can attend the meeting, the RRs are poised to endorse a slate of moderate and liberal Republicans this spring. Most of the candidates hoping to be endorsed by the RRs have also reportedly hired Strategery at a cost of $5,000 each.

So just how far to the left can a candidate be and still have the support of Jeff Ward? During the last Coeur d’Alene city election, Jeff worked a back channel communication to Democrat Ron Edinger to see if he would be receptive to an endorsement from the RRs if the board could be convinced to endorse a known Democrat. One of my last actions as a board member was to fight against that endorsement attempt.

Jeff Ward also recently used his position as the president of the Reagan Republicans to urge a boycott of a properly noticed official meeting of the Republican Party that was called to oppose a massive reduction in election precincts. He and the new RR President Ron Lahr (who is also the president of Strategery) tried unsuccessfully to weaken the Republican Party by advocating for a reduction in precincts. This would have hurt the Republican Party by making the precincts too large for the committeemen to effectively complete their canvassing duties. If Jeff and Ron had been successful, hiring Strategery to mail campaign materials to these mega-precincts would have become one of the only ways to win an election.

Strategery even recruited a candidate to run against popular conservative Rep. Vito Barbieri, apparently because they would be able to obtain another consulting fee from the challenger. When they were trying to convince yet another incumbent to hire their company, Ron Lahr joked that if the person didn’t hire them, “we could just run someone against you.” Was the entire concept of the Reagan Republicans just to help launch Jeff and Ron’s political consulting company?

I was urged to not write this letter because it will likely result in political retribution against me. I chose to write it anyway, because I refuse to decide a course of action based on political expediency. Real leadership is about doing the right thing without regard to personal benefits or harm.



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    wangyi Posts: 42

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  • COG777 posted at 9:36 pm on Thu, Mar 1, 2012.

    COG777 Posts: 338

    You know as well as I do that in the past Commish race and other races because one or two people the RR could not make an endorsement.

    I do not believe that is the reason given why Rep Bob Nonini quit the board although I have not personally spoken with him about it. And when I see Steve sometime I will ask him. But with your logic why would RR appoint new very conservative members to the board?

    Your Quote "the RRs are poised to endorse a slate of moderate and liberal Republicans this spring."

    The RR have not even endorsed anyone yet so how do you know who will gain the endorsements? I really find that statement without merit. If they endorse Nonini, Henderson and others they have been endorsing all along or those that you say are good conservatives then what?

    And don't forget the RR were instrumental in getting Steve Adams elected who you called a good conservative. Maybe Steve between business, family, and now city businesses just has too much on his plate.

    I am sorry you felt so compelled to write this letter and I do believe that in the spring time the RR will prove you wrong.

  • Spencer posted at 2:09 pm on Thu, Mar 1, 2012.

    Spencer Posts: 29

    I find the fact that people that comment and take shots at a letter author lack the courage to sign their name to what they say. If you click their name, it will show you their other comments. Let’s look at some of the posters on this thread, shall we?
    Mighty Mite has posted just twice, both times to defend The KCRCC (Reagan Republicans) I wonder what their connection is….
    Why Not is clearly a left leaning Democrat, if in doubt just read the posts.
    Wolfeyes is a harder one to figure out, but if you read the past posts and think about what candidates ran in past elections (for mor than one position) it becomes clear who Wolfeyes’ comments are designed to support, and I did not support that candidate.

  • Spencer posted at 2:02 pm on Thu, Mar 1, 2012.

    Spencer Posts: 29

    COG777 an argument that if the endorsement was not dropped to 75% nobody would be endorsed, but in 2010, we endorsed in nearly EVERY race on the ballot in the Republican Primary, even though the requirement was unanimous. The reason the requirement was dropped to just 60% last summer (and then raised up to 2/3 this year) was to ensure that the REAL conservatives on the board (Myself, Bob Nonini, Schroeder, Steve Vick, and Steve Adams) could not block the more moderate candidates that Jeff and Co were hired to get elected. As the conservatives resigned, the % requirement has been raised back up. Is it now (as COG777 claims) up to 75%? If they raised it again to that number it would not surprise me, because they could be at 80% or so and still endorse moderates, given the makeup of the board at this time.

  • COG777 posted at 3:06 am on Thu, Mar 1, 2012.

    COG777 Posts: 338

    The new board members are very conservative. I think it is sad that you would put words into previous board members mouths and slander the new people. This is unjustified. Is this your MO?

  • COG777 posted at 2:51 am on Thu, Mar 1, 2012.

    COG777 Posts: 338


    I fully understand why they went from 100% votes down to 75% votes. It was because one or two people could hold the RR board hostage on having a say in the election. If it was not 100% they could not endorse a candidate. I personally believe that was logical move to make.

  • Mighty Mite posted at 8:40 pm on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    Mighty Mite Posts: 3

    Larry, this just another one of your many attempts to trash people who do not bow to your will. Jeff has NEVER done anything illegal, nor immoral. He has always been above-board and has refused to stoop to your level - luckily for you! All he has ever done is try to unite the party and keep it focused on the real enemy. Unfortunately, you and your cronies are too focused on gaining power pull your collective heads out of wherever you have them buried and fight the real enemy. Sheriff Mack was just another wacko who is trying to use the party to further his agenda. Maybe that is why you all wanted him there. You are a joke, and anyone who matters knows it!

  • Wolfeyes posted at 4:02 pm on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    Wolfeyes Posts: 76

    Amen to Whynot. Is this the Larry Spencer trying to create himself into an upstanding citizen. Isn't this the same Larry Spencer who would sell his own soul to see one of his candidates elected. Isn't this the same Larry Spencer who sends letters during the election, several days before a vote, to try and steer honest voters to the candidate of his choice. Funny how he can go after Ward and not see who he is when he looks in the mirror every day. This isn't about anything more than jealousy. The problem is not the constitutionalists or the moderates or the Rhinos as they have been called. It is about a group of representatives who are not working together for the Republican Party. The constitution was developed by men who knew how to compromise for the good of this country and created a document second to none. They knew that the future would be so very different than their own world and were smart enough to provide ways for the country and our laws to be modifled. They came together through anger, shouts, pleas and finally a strong sense of a future for this country. So stop the squabbling and start working on coming together. No faction will ever succeed without the help of one another. It is not my way or the highway. It is working for the good of the voters of this county. Spencer loves to see the rift. He thrives on this. It makes him feel important to be wanted by the current RCC, yet, he turns on a dime and is an opportunist and chameleon. It is time for all of us to ignore him. He doesn't deserve an ounce of attention.

  • Keven Johnson posted at 3:16 pm on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    Keven Johnson Posts: 1276

    Why Not, I love how you separate "Constitutionalists" from "republicans". For once we agree! But what does that say about the establishment republicans? Shouldn't members of all political parties also be "Constitutionalists"?

    It's easy to see why our country is on the verge of complete collapse when calling someone a "Constitutionalist" is a negative thing.

  • Why Not posted at 2:02 pm on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    Why Not Posts: 4164

    Holy dysfunctional leadership Batman! Now didn't we just recently read about Larry in the paper and that he was a mighty campaign consultant in his own right? And didn't we read that Larry was so important, according to Larry at least, that he can't even go to Denny's without being recognized. Okay I'm a bit over the top with the Denny's part, but Larry seems to be a really important person in Mayberry. So now Larry is angry at Jeff, for what stealing his business? That the Republicans are in disarray here is not all that surprising because the party regulars I guess got ambushed by Constitutionalists trying to get elected the old fashioned way, through trickery. The Constitutionalists, like Larry, disguised as Republicans with an energized philosophy caught the old guard snoozing and have stolen the party emblem. Ye Gad! Now the old guard, including Jeff, are fighting back to regain the Grand Old Party......Stay tuned! Man this is more fun than a Rick Santorum speech.

  • CHSdad posted at 11:24 am on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    CHSdad Posts: 369

    I agree that this does appear to highlight a conflict of interest. Jeff & Ron may not be the only ones locally working one behalf of candidates, hey Larry, but this does look like an abuse of Jeff's position when it comes to endorsements. Actually, it very significantly diminishes the value of those endorsements.

  • speaker posted at 11:07 am on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    speaker Posts: 7

    Point of interest: If jeff ward & ron lahr are employed by canidates. Is it not now a conflict of interests, for them to vote on the board of the REAGAN REPUBLICANS ,To endorse any-one at all ? They would be voting against people, who didn't put money in their hands,and for those who did. Sounds like bribery, to me. what i seen last night was pure,power politics.

  • Michael Alexander posted at 9:23 am on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    Michael Alexander Posts: 93

    Thank you Larry for the info. We need to keep people like Jeff out of power!

  • 3Cheers posted at 9:10 am on Wed, Feb 29, 2012.

    3Cheers Posts: 374

    AHA! No wonder Jeff got such a resounding booing reaction last night when he said "Nobody has worked harder for the Republicans than me". Many of us believed Jeff had his own agenda. He has a band of lemmings who are willing to follow him over a cliff. Glad to know you are not one of the lemmings, Larry. Good letter!

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