The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Letters to the Editor

April 1, 2012

Letters to the Editor 4-1-12



Ralph M. Diggins


Don’t want them leading

Dear Editor:

There is a compelling need to respond to the March 18 letter to the editor allegations by Ms. Deborah King and previously by Limestone County Republican Executive Committee current Chairman Ronnie Coffman. 

Something neither Ms King nor Mr. Coffman addressed is the fact that each of the LCREC past officers resigned, as did approximately 12-15 very loyal, well respected, experienced and long-time LCREC members (did not quit, or as Mr.  Coffman stated in his February letter to editor, “left the Battlefield as cowards.”

Contrary to Ms King’s statement, none of the past officers ever intentionally ran ‘tea party’ members from the committee. Our concern was not with an organization, but that of ethically challenged, inexperienced, disruptive and argumentative members who did not understand the role of an executive committee.

Rex Davis (current vice chair) challenged Mr. Smeenk for vice chair after it became clear he could not unseat Jim Burden (LCREC chairman of 12 years), for chairman; and Mr. Davis was soundly defeated. At this time, Mr. Davis (a self proclaimed classical liberal) stated (via email and verbally) he could not work with either official. 

This small group then became very disruptive within the LCREC. Meetings were spent with them challenging past minutes, membership and member dues, committee appointments, by-laws, steering committees, Roberts Rule of Order procedures, etc.  It was embarrassing when guest speakers such as sitting judges, a district attorney, local, state and national elected officials, a school superintendent and other invitees waited to speak while this disruption continued.

The committee ceased to be effective, productive or fun; longtime loyal members were being driven away. At each monthly meeting, this group brought more potential members, with the stated objective of ruling the committee thru voting, not thru elected office.

In addition to the ethical and moral issues Ms. King referenced from a previous letter to editor, were other actions that frankly we as former officers and members wanted no part of.

Those of us in past leadership positions during our careers sometimes had to deal with disruptive individuals, but it was our job; this position was as a volunteer. The 15-plus members and officers resigning all agreed we did not want to lead nor be lead by this inexperienced and disruptive group.


Randy Smeenk


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