As a rule, our editorial staff does not allow anonymous content to be published. However, in this case we made an exception. We received a letter this morning asking us to publish this but the person feared political reprisal from his own party if he was candid and forthcoming on what he observed last night. Based on mitigating circumstances, we will honor that request.
“Business As Usual” at Sarpy GOP Elections
The Sarpy County Republican Party held their elections Thursday night, and there was no lack of fireworks! The meeting began around 45 minutes late as lines stretched outside of the Sarpy County Liberty Social Hall. Central Committee Members of the Sarpy County Republican Party were credentialed and grouped into the main seating area of the room, while guests signed in and were seated throughout the rest of the hall. Only Central Committee members are allowed to vote.
NEGOP Chairman Mark Fahleson and Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy made an appearance to honor outgoing six year Chairman Ken Ragland.
Vying for Chairmanship of the party was 27 year old RLCNE member Levi Lippencott and prominent tea party activist and US veteran Jerry C. Anderson.
Anderson earned clout as leader of the local 9/12 project (Glenn Beck group) in Nebraska. He garnered respect leading a large conservative backing in support of Governor Heineman in his decision not to implement state health exchanges in Nebraska. Lippincott was the hands down favorite as the Sarpy County Central Committee was controlled by liberty minded friendlies.
The political maneuvering began early. Anderson showed up with a large contingent of supporters (including several Papillion City Councilman) whom he hoped to have seated on the Central Committee before the election to help sway the vote in his favor. After a couple of votes to clear up technical mistakes from the prior month’s meeting, Anderson’s group immediately motioned to seat his supporters. Lippincott’s supporters amended the motion requesting to delay seating the new members until after the election.
In a surprise move, RLCNE endorsed former legislative candidate Richard Carter became a vocal supporter of Anderson, calling to seat his supporters immediately. Carter was joined by State Senators Scott Price and John Murante in vocal support of Anderson.
A vote was called on the amendment to the motion and once the votes were counted, the amendment passed on a 46-39 vote. It became clear that Lippincott had the votes in place to win the Chairmanship. The election took place by secret ballot and as expected, Lippincott won by a large majority.
Then things got ugly.
After some additional business including a speech by outgoing Chairman, Ken Ragland, the body voted on whether to seat Anderson’s supporters on the Central Committee. As an olive branch, the Central Committee controlled by Lippincott’s supporters voted to welcome the new members to the Central Committee. Immediately following that vote, Anderson’s supporters motioned to reconsider the election and called for a re-vote.
Some in attendance speculated the move was suggested by NEGOP Chairman, Mark Fahleson who was in attendance for much of the meeting. Fahleson, known for such political maneuvering had made an exit not long before.
The motion was denied by Chairman, Ken Ragland but Anderson’s supporters motioned to overrule the Chair. After some deliberation it was decided that the qualification of the new members to serve on the Central Committee had not yet been verified and thus they were not permitted to vote on the motion. A vote was held on the motion to overrule the Chair which takes a 2/3 majority of the voting body. The motion failed and Lippincott was declared the winner.
Many in attendance, including long time Republican stalwarts commented on the lack of integrity demonstrated by Anderson and his supporters during the meeting. Comments included displeasure at the poor character Anderson supporters demonstrated by back-stabbing the Central Committee members who had just welcomed them aboard. Other comments related to Anderson’s failure to step up and address the behavior, making Jerry complicit in the “business as usual” that he had claimed to stand against.
Whispers of “snakes”, “dogs”, “rats”, and “back stabbers” filled the room and one attendee observed Anderson’s resemblance to Mr. Burns as he quietly made an exit. It is unfortunate as Jerry Anderson had a stellar reputation of standing up for true conservative values and fighting the type of behavior demonstrated Thursday night. Hopefully Anderson will be able to repair his damaged image and unite with Sarpy County Republicans in a focused effort to elect good Republicans and fight for smaller government.
I wish Levi the best of luck in his Chairmanship over the next two years, and success in battling “business as usual.”