My original post on this subject apparently touched off something of a firestorm involving whether Kelly Hancock had a role in opposing Vicki Truitt and Chuck Hopson. In researching the original post, I had e-mailed the Hopson and Truitt campaigns. I accurately published the response and attributed the information to the campaigns. The Truitt campaign has since determined that Hancock is a listed supporter of Vicki Truitt. The Hopson campaign is now amending its statement to say that Hancock recruited Michael Banks as an opponent for Hopson, but it was while Hopson was still a Democrat.
One further update: This morning Leo Berman held a televised press conference attacking Hopson and Tommy Merritt.
In addition, Senator Carona has posted a comment about my report that I had received a call from a source suggesting that he and/or Truitt threatened to oppose members who voted against the local option gasoline tax. As I wrote in the previous post, I have not found any confirming evidence of this. Senator Carona’s correspondence follows:
Just a brief word here to clarify any misinformation: At no time have I or would I work against the re-election of any House member (Republican or Democrat) who did not support the local option transportation bill of this past legialative session. I respect every member’s duty to represent the views of his/her constituency. In fact, I have publicly endorsed the re-election of one of the local option’s strongest opponents, Linda Harper Brown.
It is shameful and short-sighted to see Republican House members turning against fellow Republican legislators. There was a day not too long ago when basic civility (and common sense) would have prevented this sort of thing. Unfortunately, until the State Republican Party exerts more leadership, these mistakes in political judgment will continue.