Evansville City Councilmember Dan McGinn has resigned from the Vanderburgh County Republican party, that according to Vanderburgh County Republican Party Chairman, Wayne Parke.
Parke shared with Eyewitness News the email McGinn sent to him, announcing his resignation –
Twice in the last couple of weeks you have criticized my actions in a most public way. i have decided to answer your criticisms in a like manner.
First, you did not like my vote concerning a resolution to do away with gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is the manipulation of political boundaries in order to give an unfair advantage to one party in an election. It is dishonest. It is unconstitutional. It is cheating. I do not wish to be associated with any person or organization that not only condones cheating but also actively supports it.
Secondly, you criticized my actions as well as the actions of Councilwoman Mercer concerning our votes in favor of a tax increase. The fact that you are totally ignorant as to the financial condition of the City of Evansville alone makes your criticism unwarranted but that is not the reason that I find your last email so offensive. You have criticized us for exercising our independent judgement and doing what we feel is best for the people we represent rather that marching lockstep to political doctrine.
I no longer wish to be affiliated with any person or organization that condones dishonesty. I no longer wish to be affiliated with any person or organization that punishes independent thinking and demands adherence to political dogma. This is 2017, not 1984.
I resign my position as a precinct committeeman. I resign from the Vanderburgh County Republican Party. Remove my name from your party rolls, phone lists, email lists and mailing lists. Remove my picture and listing from your website’s list of elected Republican officials. I now consider myself an
independant and will act accordingly in all future actions.
Parke also shared his email in response to McGinn’s resignation –
You are correct; I have criticized your recent city council votes because in my opinion your recent City Council votes that you have cast are not in the best interest of the citizens and the Republican Party. This is the United States and every citizen has a right to express their viewpoint to their elected officeholders—including if they believe, the officeholder made a mistake. On top of that, you are my representative on the City Council and I am the Chairman of the Republican Party. With this party position, I have a responsibility to do what I can to make sure Republicans remain in good standing with the Party. I have received many complaints on your recent votes and not one person has indicated to me that they support your votes on these two positions. You ran for and was elected as a Republican—not an Independent.
The method of drawing political districts/boundaries is not dishonest, it is not unconstitutional and it is not cheating as indicated in your email below. What facts do you have to support your slanderous and incorrect claims? Elected legislators are the ones that setup the redistricting process. They must follow the Indiana Constitution and the Indiana State Statues when overseeing the redistricting process. If the Democrats believed this process was against the Indiana Constitution/Statues, they would be in court in a heartbeat. If voters do not like the things an elected officeholder does, they vote them out of office. That is the American process. Republicans have won most recent elections because they have had the best candidates and they best represent the desires of the voters. I suggest you examine the makeup of the Evansville City Council. I believe the last time the City Council was controlled by Republicans was over 35 years ago. Following your logic–does this mean the City Ward boundaries were illegally gerrymandered to help Democrats? If yes, have you introduced and supported an ordinance to get the City County Council to pass an ordinance to redraw the boundaries? The answer is– no you have not.
As previously stated, in my opinion, your vote to increase the local income tax on all the citizens of Evansville and Vanderburgh County was very poor judgement on your part. In your email, you state I am “totally ignorant” on the financial conditions of our City. What is the basis of this statement? Since some City Council members voted against the ordinance to raise income taxes, are Justin Elpers, John Hayden, Connie Robinson and Jim Brinkmeyer also ignorant? If Our City is in bad financial condition, you have been on the City Council for several years and played a big role in getting it that way. I do not believe the City is in bad financial shape.
What facts do you have to back up your slanderous statement that the Republican Party and I are dishonest? If I do not agree with you, does that make me dishonest?
I accept you resignation as a Republican Precinct Committeeman. If your email is an accurate representation of your line of thinking, I suggest you also resign from your City Council position as well. You ran and was elected as a Republican. You have already stated you are not going to run for re-election in 2019–so resign now from your position as a City Councilman, so voters can be represented by a Republican because that is what they thought they were getting when you ran for office.
As I have in the past, I will continue to voice my opinion on issues to all elected officials no matter what party they belong to if I believe their vote is not in the best interest of the citizens and the Republican Party.
You are not acting like the person I once knew and I do not know why.
(This story was originally published on Oct. 14, 2017)