Monday, May 18, 2015

My thoughts on Brogdon, TC Ryan, and the OKGOP


Controversy has recently been stirred up regarding OKGOP Chairman Randy Brogdon hiring T.C. Ryan, former Tulsa County GOP State Committeeman, as his top staffer. Word got out two weeks ago that Ryan had been involved in an altercation with a girlfriend in 2012, which resulted in him receiving a misdemeanor conviction for "domestic assault and battery in the presence of a minor" and for "interference with an emergency telephone call".

Nothing usually happens by accident in politics. I suspect the real target is not TC Ryan, but rather Chairman Brogdon. Perhaps the recent election for state chair has something to do with it (full disclosure: I voted for Pam Pollard).

Once the information hit the news, political figures and activists (including some who qualify as "attention-seekers") piled on to add their name to the list of those calling for one (or more) of three things: 1) Ryan's demotion, 2) Ryan's firing, 3) Brogdon's resignation. Some merely clarified that they are against domestic violence (as if it needed to be stated). Some have never been interested in helping or working with the state party before.

I'll admit - I'm a little torn about the situation. I understand what some say about giving Ryan a second chance. As a Christian, my own sins have been forgiven, and I've been given new life. As God has forgiven me, I am to forgive others. From his public statement as well as testimony from people I know, Ryan seems to have learned from this unfortunate event. I also understand the other side that says in this political climate, it is harmful for the top party staffer to have recently been convicted of domestic violence.

This has been terrible PR for the state party, on top of the financial problems left over from the past chairman. The problem is, this won't simply "go away". Brogdon has tripped a little on handling this. First he demoted Ryan (or rather, gave him a new title with essentially the same duties); now he's aggressively, even angrily, defending him. The mixed signals haven't helped.

Later this week, the Southern Republican Leadership Conference is coming to Oklahoma City. Practically every major announced or potential Republican presidential candidate will be coming to town. The last several election cycles, one of the main talking points by the Democrats has been the [absurd and trumped-up] "Republican war on women". It is not good publicity for the host party to be in the news for a staffer with a fairly recent domestic assault conviction. Given the mainstream media's leftward bias, I wouldn't be surprised if this gets dragged into the national spotlight on the SRLC.

A lot of damage has already been done. At this point, there really aren't any "good options" left. For the good of the Oklahoma Republican Party and Chairman Brogdon, I think the best option remaining is for T.C. Ryan to step down on his own.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jamison, that was very well said. I agree. At this point if TC truly is considerate of the Party he should step down on his own and work to help other conservative causes in another way rather than thru State Party.
We are blessed/cursed to have many fronts to fight.
Denise Crosswhite Hader

Karen Price said...

As a GOP county Chairperson, and state committee member this situation breaks my heart. In less than 2 months Chairman Brogdon and Mr. Ryan have together brought the OKGOP back from $30,000 in debt to breaking even, filled he HQ with volunteers, increased Minuteman membership to the highest level in years, establish lines of communication with the county committees to a level unprecedented, and organized the Energizing America GOP Gala, and helped with the SLRC while still completing all regular party business, without collecting one dime of salary for either of them. .C. voluntarily refused salary until a certain level of solvency was reached. I doubt any other party official has done that. The reward for that was a faction of their own party turned against them over an altercation that occurred almost 4 years ago, for which TC not only paid his debt , but has publicly apologized. To think someone from our organization would maliciously seek out and document something like this to hold for such a time as to do the most damage to T.C. with no remorse for the party they belong to, in my opinion shows much worse character than someone who made a terrible mistake in the heat of a moment. Yes this does hurt the party, but the question is, who really is doing damage to the GOP? Who is so fearful of tattoos, and beards, of liberty, of grassroots, that they would do this to the entire OKGOP? Karen Price, Chairman, Cotton County GOP.

www.newblackthought.blogspot.com said...

Jamison,

Exactly spot on. I, like you, am torn and like Karen find it a shame that such GOOD work can be overshadowed by other things. Never the less, this proves exactly what you are saying, the distraction, regardless of whose behind it, will overshadow and possibly even negate the good work being done.

Jesus told us:"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." Mt.10:16

Is there a bigger den of wolves than the political class of either Party? Randy and others should take heed to this admonition and be wiser in how to handle these matters.

TC could have continued to do the work without title and once the debt was clear and things had been established and running well the appointment could have been made quietly. Some may shay this is sneaky, I say it is "shrewd" which is what more modern translations actually translate "wise" as.

Let's learn from this and do better.