There is a hostage situation taking place in Anchorage, Alaska. The suspect entered the Republican Party headquarters on Wednesday and seized it. They are threatening to arrest anyone who enters the building. The confirmed suspect who seized the Republican Party HQ? Turns out it is Republican Party Chairwoman Debbie Brown of Kasilof, Alaska, of course.
Brown assumed her position after her boss, Russ Millette, was ousted from his position as party chairman-elect, due to an accusation on incompetence at fundraising, which was a large component of his last position as party finance chair. Brown was elected vice-chairperson at a tumultuous election that saw supporters of failed presidential nominee Ron Paul join with supporters of failed Senate candidate Joe Miller to take-over the party. Takeovers of state Republican parties by Ron Paul supporters has only spelled disaster in the states they have occurred in.
Miller, of course, is famous for upsetting the incumbent, Lisa Murkowski, in the Republican primary but promptly losing to her in the general when she staged an enormous write-in campaign as an Independent candidate. The take-over of the state party by this combination of Ron Paul and Joe Miller supports has appeared to leave it in in a state of disarray.
And this is not the first time that a Ron Paul takeover has left a state party in disarray.
Similar situations have occurred over the country. Ron Paul Republicans have taken over the Iowa state Republican Party apparatus and are quarreling with Governor Terry Brandstad (R-Iowa) over whom to nominate to run for the open Senate seat. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has held the seat since 1985, and has stated that he will not run for re-election. They have not secured a big name to run for the seat yet beyond the possibility of Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) but King is a very dividing figure who pushed back against the recent report on Republican rebuilding.
In Minnesota, Ron Paul supporters dominated the state convention and took over much of the grassroots activism and party positions. In the wake of a crushing defeat of Ron Paul supporters’ favored candidate, State Senator Kurt Bills, against incumbent Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) 30% to 65% and a $1.7 million debt, the Minnesota Republicans recently elected Keith Downey to be chair. Downey, an establishment Republican has denounced the rise of factions in the GOP.
There are many in the Republican Party who are hopeful for a takeover of Ron Paul-style libertarians as the party seeks to rebuild and reframe its identity. One would hope that they would see where others tried and encountered difficulties on a state level. A repeat on a national level would be catastrophic.