Here is the letter from Robin Smith, the Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party…
Members of the State Executive Committee:
As you know, I have announced that I will be making the results of my deliberations on the Williams matter public today.
It is my first duty as Chairman to keep you informed of the activities of the TRP and wanted you to know the result I will announce before it is made public.
I have reviewed documentation presented by members of the Legislature, members of this Committee and Mr. Williams’ comments, both public and private, in the course of coming to this decision. It has been my intention to move deliberately to gain an idea of the course Mr. Williams intends to take. With you, I have watched his actions.
We have watched during the last 28 days to see if Kent Williams would assign the 13 Committee Chairmanships to the Republican Majority. He did not.
We watched to see how Rep. Williams would assign office space and staff to the Republican Majority. He has crammed 49 of his colleagues in 46 offices.
We have watched Rep. Williams maintain the same wage practices with Democrat staff earning more than the Republican staff, even as democrat staffers are assigned to fewer representatives.
We have learned that Mr. Williams has met with Governor Bredesen as the “Republican Representative” on the critical issue of the budget. Mr. Williams has withheld all of this information from the Republican Caucus encumbering their policy statements and decisions.
We have been repeatedly informed that Rep. Williams refuses to caucus with the Republicans.
We requested that members of the Caucus provide the TRP with specific examples of assistance that Rep. Williams has given to our candidates, caucus or party. None could.
So it is with regret that I inform you of my decision to remove Kent Williams’ status as a bona fide Republican. In the end, I must do what I believe to be right in this matter and not just what might be the politically or strategically expedient response. The principles we value must be placed above mere political calculation.
With this decision, we send a message that Tennessee Republicans expect better. Our party is not the tool to achieve personal power. The grassroots members who work so hard will not have their dedication sold to the highest bidder. Ours will be the Party of principle standing on integrity and honor.
It is now time to move forward. My staff and I are already out recruiting candidates, raising money and preparing for 2010. Next year we will elect a Republican governor and strengthen our majority in the legislature. I am honored to have you along on our journey.
Robin T. Smith
Tennessee Republican Party