“I am disappointed in Bart McAtee’s decision to disregard the votes of his fellow Republican activists at our slating convention and remain in the race for Marion County Sheriff. It is a selfish decision, but one that fits perfectly with the culture of cronyism and nepotism that has plagued the Sheriff’s department for years.The notion that Tom John is standing up for the average Marion County Republican worker is quite amusiing. The bottom line is that John does not want the Republican party workers or the GOP electorate picking nominees. He wants those candidates selected by Republican insiders like himself and Hamilton County resident David Brooks, who inexplicably is still part of the Marion County GOP leadership despite his move out of the county a few years ago. The way insiders control the nomination process is through slating which gives the appearance party workers are exercising their informed choice when in reality, most of the people voting at the slating conventions are appointees of Chairman John, many of whom are "mummy dummies," people appointed for the sole purpose of attending slatings and voting the "right" way, i.e. the way the insiders want them to vote. In short, those "mummy dummy" PCs and ward chairmen are simply there to offset the votes of the regular PCs who do the grunt work in the party.
“I am sure that Dennis Fishburn will prevail in the primary because he represents a culture of achievement and integrity that stands in direct opposition to the political entanglements and back room dealings that are represented by Mr. McAtee. Dennis Fishburn feels that he owes the citizens of Marion County, not that Marion County owes him. We are 100% behind Dennis Fishburn.”
There is a reason why "slating" is not used virtually anywhere else in the United States. It undermines the nomination process by often eliminating a stronger campaigner and better general election candidate in favor of those who can better curry insider favor.
On paper, slating has merit. The idea is that actual party workers make an informed choice on who they want to support going into the May primary. The heavy-handed, leadership- dominated way slating is practiced though differs greatly from slating as it is sold to the Republican workers.
Is there a way slating can be fixed? Possibly. The county party could eliminate the ward chairman vote (who are all appointed by the county chairman) and adopt a rule that only elected PCs or those who have been appointed and have served a year in office and have worked an election, have the right to vote at slatings. That would virtually eliminate the mummy-dummy PCs that county chairmen employ to try to offset the vote of actual PCs who don't want the chairman's vote.
Would GOP Chairman Tom John support an elimination of the mummy-dummy PCs he and other insiders use to try to control slatings? Would the Chairman allow this common sense rule change that would strengthen the power of Republican grass roots workers in the organization at the expense of the insiders who seek to rig slating results? Let's just say, I won't hold my breath.