Dear Editor,

After reading articles in The Paper over the last month by John Frey, Tom Utley, and John Pickerill, I have concluded that as a Republican, I can not avoid my obligation to respond with my own opinion. It is not my intent to address point-by-point each of their opinions but to give a Republican's interpretation of a Republican.

Looking at John Frey's article, he complains that John Pickerill is signing off under the title of Montgomery County Republican Party Chair suggesting that Pickerill's opinions are not those of the Republican Party. In the middle of his article, Frey says he is expressing his personal beliefs yet he himself signs off as County Councilman. Frey describes Pickerill as inexperienced and disdainful. I decided that both Frey and Pickerill started with the same amount of experience and that a disdainful person would, by definition, not be writing letters to the editor because he would not care what anyone else thought about the subject. Frey talks about 'going after funds' as if the 'funds' come from out of nowhere. He supplies a long list of areas where he might want to spend these 'funds'. He also states that to some, $150,000 might seem like a lot of money. I know that $150,000 is a lot of money. I could not help but think of how a lot of the things Frey wants to do with these 'funds' could better be accomplished by small business. Then it struck me, that Phil Boots said in this very newspaper, there are 11,000 restrictions against small business in the law, in Indiana, right now. Work on that!

In reading the article that Tom Utley wrote, I realize that it is basically a description of two entities. The "traditional" Republicans of whom Utley considers himself and the rest of the Republican Party of whom he considers Tea Party. He does refer to his job as barely compensated for volunteered effort. Frey had said that local government was for the most part volunteer not paid. Utley spent the last three paragraphs describing the part of the Republican Party of Montgomery County that is not "traditional." Here are words that he used to indict those he considers to be Tea Party Republicans for whom he also accuses John Pickerill of speaking: negativity, cynicism, tortured, self-fulfilling, angered, indignant, disenfranchised, contrary, uncompromising, self-interested, frustrated, reactionary, zealots, and radical skeptics.

Both John Frey and Tom Utley, these two 'traditional' Republicans, either say or insinuate over and over that John Pickerill is speaking for someone other than Republicans. I would like to introduce these two county councilmen to John Pickerill. John Pickerill is the Chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party, the most grass roots elected Republican in Montgomery county. I would also like to list, for John Frey and Tom Utley, a few phrases from the 2012-2014 Indiana Republican Party Platform which was released at the 2012 Indiana State Republican Convention. This entire platform is the mission statement of the Montgomery County Republican Party of which John Pickerill is the elected chairman:

* Republican Party is committed to leadership which provides innovative, common sense solutions

*lower taxes, leaner government, and freedom of choice in education lead to improved state

*the Indiana Republican Party maintains a commitment to principles of freedom rooted in the constitution

*it is incumbent on the individual to responsibly lead their lives and make the decisions that best suit them

*the personal liberty and freedom of each individual is paramount

*keep taxes low and government spending under control

*a laser focus on decreasing regulations and keeping taxes low for individuals and employees

*lower taxes are a mechanism for keeping government smaller and more effective

*state government should only request of its citizens the dollars it needs to provide necessary services. No more.

I am a Republican. I can not find discrepancies in what the Republican chairman has written and what is in the Republican platform. If that is Tea Party, then I am for that. That means they are us. That means all those mean, uncomplimentary words Tom Utley used are descriptions of me as well as the Republican chair. On the other hand, it has now entered my mind that in the future I need to scrutinize everything to make certain that 'traditional Republican' doesn't mean a Republican that would advocate 'if we would just be a little more like the Democrats.' For me personally, I do not care if an elected official is getting paid or volunteering. Either way, I don't want that official wasting my money or taking more of my liberty. I think we should pay attention to every word and every action of our politicians. Actions make Republicans, not words. 2014 will give us all another opportunity to evaluate Republicans. Let's don't get sidetracked. Let's pay attention.

Mike Webster