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Oregon GOP Chair Allen Alley asked to resign

David Jaques - The Roseburg Beacon

Roseburg, OR - Oregon Republican Party Chairman, and former gubernatorial candidate,

Allen Alley is facing calls for his resignation after a recent political mailing was sent out. The mailer was sponsored by an organization co-chaired by Alley which endorsed 30 democrats along with selected republican candidates.

Alley tendered his resignation as Co-Chair of Oregon Transformation Project (OTP) on Sunday, October 21, just two days after the mailings hit households throughout the state.

The mailing entitled “Women’s Voters Guide” was a creation of the Oregon Transformation Project as indicated on a disclaimer on the mailer. The content of the mailer was based on the recommendations of five Oregon Women; two republicans, two democrats and one independent. There was no criteria listed as to how the selections were made.

State Representative Tim Freeman said he spoke to Alley by phone on Sunday about the OTP scandal. Freeman said, “his willingness to separate himself from OTP was a good first step,” then added, “I’m more concerned about Rob Kremer, clearly he has to take some accountability for what he did.” Kremer currently serves on the Oregon Republican Party Executive Committee as the party’s treasurer.

While Representative Freeman came just short of suggesting Alley needed to resign as state party chair, former State Senator Marylin Shannon was not so lenient in her assessment of Alley’s culpability: “The Chairman needs to resign and so does Rob Kremer,” said Shannon. “When they send out this clever mailing that endorses 30 democrats, there’s something really wrong.”

Alley, in his letter of resignation, printed on Oregon Republican Party letterhead, tendered on Sunday, October 22, said, “Let me be very clear, I screwed this up. I should never have allowed a relationship structure to exist that implied in any way that I endorsed the guide or the recommendations.”

Alley also said that he wasn’t directly involved in the day to day operations of the group he co-chaired and that he had no involvement or input on the Women’s Voter guide in question.

Shannon said “The danger is that all republicans are being painted with the same brush and people in the party want the public to know he [Alley] did this on his own without their support. I’m not buying that he wasn’t aware.”

Meanwhile, Tim Freeman raised concerns about his work trying to get the republicans to a thirty-one vote majority in the state legislature. He said, “It’s ironic that I’m working every day up till the election to get us to 31 and we have a great opportunity to do so, but this makes my job measurably more difficult.”

Freeman, who opposed the mailing, said “It’s completely unacceptable. In no way, shape, or form should gender be a determination for voting”, referring to the Women’s Voters Guide.

Speaker Bruce Hanna was also concerned about the OTP mailing; “I haven’t talked to the parties involved, Alley and Kremer, but the question I have is; How is this incrementally helpful to republican candidates?” Hanna said that, “Promote Oregon Leadership’s job is to recruit, train and elect good republicans. They did not consult leadership on this project.”

Like Freeman, Hanna said he is wondering about the criteria used for endorsement. He too has concerns about the potential effect on the upcoming elections. “Any time your own team picks candidates running against you, it does damage, how much in this instance is yet to be seen.”

Alley faced angry party faithful’s throughout the past summer following his highly controversial move to shut off the congressional district conventions, a move unprecedented in Oregon Republican Party history. That set the stage for his appointment of alternates to the RNC convention held in late August in Tampa, Florida.

The fallout from the OTP mailing has gone “viral” according to Shannon. She said the grassroots of the party want the Alley-Kremer matter dealt with and put behind them so they can restore confidence in the republican agenda.

The state party executive committee is meeting Wednesday, October 24. The question is whether or not Alley himself can remain at the helm. The leadership of the party is indicating they need answers about how much Alley knew and when.