Wis. GOP party asked to arbitrate county dispute
- Associated Press
- August 24, 2013 - 6:15 PM
GREEN BAY, Wis. — State GOP officials have agreed to intervene in a growing power struggle between Brown County Republican Party leaders, an unusual step that hints at the extent of infighting.
The dispute is between Ray Suennen, a member of the county party's executive committee, and GOP Chairman Mark Becker, the Press-Gazette Media reported (http://gbpg.net/14t8Vxt ).
Suennen accuses Becker of misleading party members in a bid to seize "total control" of local party affairs, and allegation that comes as Becker and his supporters are moving forward with an investigation that could result in Suennen and others being ousted from the executive committee.
Those facing removal participated in an unsuccessful committee vote earlier this summer to replace Becker with Suennen as chairman.
Becker, who took over the Brown County chairmanship in February, said he wouldn't address Suennen's allegations while an investigative process was ongoing.
"It's a delicate time for the party, that's for sure," Becker said. "The truth is going to come out."
Suennen declined to comment beyond confirming that he sent an eight-page letter to state party officials seeking their intervention.
In the letter dated Aug. 15, Suennen alleged that he and Becker's other critics were being retaliated against. He also accused Becker of misleading members, violating state and local rules and making an attempt "for total control."
Dave Anderson, who chairs the state party's Constitution Committee, said the panel would review Suennen's request. Anderson wouldn't discuss the situation further, calling it "an internal party matter."
"It would be unfair of me to try to characterize what is happening there," he said.
© 2013 Star Tribune