Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Good riddance! Richardson stepping down as Jefferson GOP chair

In the wake of the recent controversy over his remarks that Republican voters aren't qualified to select their party's nominees, Jefferson County GOP Chairman Jack Richardson IV has announced that he plans to step down from that position when elections are held this spring. Supposedly, Richardson made this decision a year ago but is just now making it public.

To that we say "Good riddance!"

Richardson's comments on Francene Cucinello's WHAS-AM radio show regarding the party's involvement in selecting and dissuading candidates to run for office in Republican primaries were outrageous. (Don't take our word for it; go to PageOne Kentucky and listen for yourself). Richardson basically said that the party leaders, not the voters, are the only ones who can be counted on to make the right choices in choosing a nominee for a general election race. That got our ire up, but truth be told, Richardson's been a disgrace for a lot longer.

Richardson basically took Greg Stumbo's side, and the side of Stumbo's fellow Democrats, in the battle against Ernie Fletcher. The Courier-Journal story cited above provides a reminder of this. Instead of calling a press conference to blast Fletcher, why didn't Richardson call a press conference to blast Stumbo and Crit Luallen? Why would the Republican party chairman in the state's most-populous county take the side of the party that's trying to take his own party's governor down?

We've been critical of Richardson the past few weeks, but he does deserve credit for placing challengers at the polls in 2003 in Jefferson County, to combat some of the vote fraud that may believe (with good reason) handed Paul Patton the 1995 election over Larry Forgy.

However, on balance, it's best that Richardson go, and we're only too glad to help show him the door. The next GOP chair in Louisville, whomever he or she may be, needs to understand two things. First is that the Republicans in Jefferson County tell you what to do, not vice versa. Second is that when the Democrats launch a partisan attack on one of your teammates, you defend your teammate, you don't join the assault against them.

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