November 27, 2011

Ken McKay Resigns as RI GOP Chair

Carroll Andrew Morse

Dan McGowan of GoLocalProv tweeted about an hour ago that Ken McKay has resigned as Rhode Island Republican State Chairman, to take a job as Chief-of-Staff for Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin (since updated to Senior Advisor).

Acting Chairman Steve Frias says there will be an election for a new chair during the week of December 19, and that there are no announced candidates as of yet.


Ted Nesi of WPRI (CBS 12) has more on the details of McKay's resignation.


Both McGowan and Nesi say credit for being first to make news of McKay's resignation public goes to State Rep. Dan Gordon, via his Twitter account, although we could pick-a-nit here, about whether a message via protected Twitter account counts as public. However, Twitter as a means for delivering news looks increasingly like it's here to stay.


For the record: Nothing yet from the media organization that runs pretentious radio ads saying they have to report news first, before anyone else can comment on it.

ADDENDUM IV (Monday, 11/28):

WPRO (630AM) has the story. A search of today's Projo for the word "McKay" returns 0 hits (Ken or Ray). One Projo radio ad, you may recall, says something along the lines of they have to report it, before talk radio can yell about it.

Also, Dan McGowan has updated his original reporting to say that Ken McKay will be taking a position of Senior Advisor on Senator Johnson's staff.

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Are you referring to those ads where they say they care more about journalism than money?

Posted by: Patrick at November 27, 2011 7:54 PM

The Projo is a joke when it comes to breaking anything other than their own year over year loss records.

Ken officially notified the RIGOP Executive Committee about his resignation on Friday, although we've known it was coming since about Wednesday or so. He and Acting Chair Steve Frias sent out a joint e-mail on Sunday to the full state central committee. I'm actually a little surprised that this did not leak sooner than it did.

Pursuant to the RIGOP Bylaws, a special election to formally choose Ken's replacement will be held within the next 30 days, most likely just before Christmas.

Since it was starting to make the rounds anyway, we posted the full text of his resignation letter over on The Ocean State Republican a few hours ago.

Given his particular talents, I think he made a very wise decision and I wish him all the best.

Posted by: Will at November 27, 2011 10:03 PM

As President of the Rhode Island Republican Assembly, I would like to take this moment to wish Ken McKay all the best in his new endeavors in Washington. I am sure that Ken's talents will be of great use to the Senator in helping overcome the issues that have been brought forth by the Obama administration.

I look forward to continue working with the RIGOP on issues of building an effective Party, an army of candidates, and addressing the issues that face us all in the State of Rhode Island.

Conservatively yours,

Raymond T McKay
President, RIRA

Posted by: Raymond T McKay at November 27, 2011 10:36 PM

"Given his particular talents, I think he made a very wise decision and I wish him all the best."

Indeed. I would only add that his leaving is certainly the state party's loss.

Posted by: Monique at November 27, 2011 10:44 PM

It's 2:00 AM. Do you know where your "newspaper of record" is? Apparently, still not in this story. ;)

Posted by: Will at November 28, 2011 2:02 AM

Too bad McKay is moving on. He's exactly the type of personality that position requires.

Let's be honest, even if the ProJo had the info on McKay's resignation it would be impossible to find it on their awful mickey mouse website. Hard to believe they're spending big money on advertising when their product is so lazy and second rate.

Posted by: Tim at November 28, 2011 8:18 AM

"Hard to believe they're spending big money on advertising when their product is so lazy and second rate."

Tim, you've fallen into their trap. (Or so they hope.) Now the last step is for you to say, "Oh, all right. The on-line version is so bad, I guess I'll subscribe to the paper edition."

Posted by: Monique at November 28, 2011 1:25 PM

This has been the m.o of the Journal for years. When they get scooped, they ignore it. "Meh, it wasn't a big story anyway" and then they send a Kathy Gregg or Mike Stanton type onto it, find some angle, play up the angle and then report on that as an "exclusive" that they had "first". Yay, projo.

Posted by: Patrick at November 28, 2011 5:57 PM

Is the Republican RIRA so small that its president has to post the same message twice in an attempt to exaggerate its size?

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at November 28, 2011 6:32 PM

*snickers at OTL*

I too am concerned with the way The President and his Democratic allies are "destroying our economy" (makes it sound like they literally WANT to hurt you... really Ken? Really?) -- I'm concerned with the way they are following the National Republicans' lead by bailing out failing industries, not creating jobs, and continue to discourage the very idea of the innovative American spirit at every term.

Yeah, I'm concerned enough that I left DC, came to RI, got concerned there, left for OR... which has the Senator (Ron Wyden) about to filibuster for our right to exchange information with our friends without being spied on by either the government or corporations in their stead.

Good ole' Rhody -- keeps producing such gems :)

Posted by: jparis at November 28, 2011 7:16 PM

Sorry, it was "ruining", not "destroying"... I love the hyperbole... He's still trying to say there's a difference between the national parties.

Well, now he's paid for it. Bully.

Posted by: jparis at November 28, 2011 7:19 PM

Good ole' Rhody -- keeps producing such gems :)

Like David Wu out there in Oregon?

The competition between branches perhaps envisioned by the drafters of the Constitution has evolved into competition between the two dominant political parties.

Wyden is perhaps a bit of an exception, although I don't agree with some of his positions, I do wish he would take similar actions in forcing the Obama Justice Department to reveal how it has "Out Bushed Bush" in terms of stretching the Patriot Act.

As for Ken McKay - perhaps the RI GOP is not smart enough to have its Director set up with a 80K + day job (although a bit below what he'll get in DC). The compensation and oversight responsibilities of that non-profit is chaired by someone who has a direct stake and personal involvement in the actions of the General Assembly -- which of course the Chair of the RI Dem Party also has interests.

Funny how these non-profits have conflict of interest policies reviewed and enforced by the people who have, well, the main conflicts of interest.

Posted by: COL at November 29, 2011 11:33 AM
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