Here's what Woodman wrote about that race.
In Lower Macungie Township, two gentlemen who had previously been registered as Democrats, changed their registration to Republican because they knew they could not win running as Democrats in the township. They both secured victories on Election Night. We are certainly looking to draw individuals to the Republican Party, but we want them to come because they agree with our rationale and principles, not because they view it as a way to win a municipal election.in effect, Woodman is calling these dudes RINOs, or Republicans of convenience.
One of these Republicans, Ron Beitler, is unhappy at the slur. He sent his own lengthy missive to Woodman, with copies to numerous others.
This morning seeing your email in writing I felt your words came off a little more harsh than I expected regarding Brian Higgins and myself based on our conversation last night. Problem is, as I see it my character was called out publicly. Because of that I feel a response is warranted. An entire paragraph of your email was devoted to insinuating Brian Higgins and I mis-represented ourselves to "win an election".
I can assure you and other esteemed members of the committee that "Strategy" played no part in decision making about my political identity. My party affiliation over the last 15 years has been a personal decision. I came to it organically over time. On the national level I believe President Obama’s ACA circumvents the 10th amendment and related federalism principles. Philosophically I am a staunch supporter of states rights and bottom up Government. I have written about and spoke to these concerns in public for years. While it was my take on ACA that solidified my conversion to the Republican party around 2008 the change was the culmination of a much lengthier realization that began around 2005 after graduating from College.
While in College the the early 2000's yes, I was a Democrat but even than I associated with the Blue Dog coalition identifying as a fiscally Conservative Democrat. In summary, I can assure you I wasn't thinking about the Lower Macungie Township Commissioner race in 2008-09 and certainly not when coming to grips with my personal political identity more than a decade ago.
Also I wanted to bring to the attention of the Committee what I see as a flaw in your reasoning. Specifically that I changed registration "because I viewed it as a way to win a municipal election." Here is a fact. In 2011 a fairly weak candidate who put in very little work Bob Sharpe (D) lost to Doug Brown (R) by a very slim margin here in LMT.
This is germane to this conversation because when I said (as I have consistently for over a year) that I could have won as a Democrat in Lower Macungie I believe it. I know my township inside and out right down to the individual neighborhoods and voting precincts. No one knows this township better than me and no one was going to out-work me in this campaign. I would have been competitive either party.
This is important because were I in the business of misrepresenting myself to voters I would have [run] as a Democrat.
Why? Because one school of though is it would have been the path of least resistance. Obviously I predicted "party switcher" would be used against me. And of course it was ad nauseam. Both by all 3 of our opponents and the LC Republican party in a well funded campaign based on that premise. Because I chose not to mis-represent myself and run as a Republican since those are the values that line up with my own I set myself up for criticism. I did this knowingly.
Lastly, no single candidate in the entire Lehigh Valley wrote publicly more about the issues surrounding their particular race than I have. As I said to you last night, I challenge anyone to find an issue where I am ideologically apart from the Republican party. www.ronbeitler.com
This is my single response. In short, I’m uninterested in engaging in a debate about this. I've copied those in the party whose contact information I have. I felt compelled to respond since in my eyes the email came off as an attack on my character. I would be remiss if I didn't defend myself.
I believe that when campaigns are over, it's then time to govern effectively. And that's what I plan to do. I look forward to joining what will now be on average one of the youngest Republican controlled municipal boards in the Lehigh Valley. I think that is reason to be excited about Lower Macungie.
I felt the paragraph about Brian and I was unnecessary, counter productive and distracting. Moving on I look forward to doing what is right for the residents of Lower Macungie Township who elected me in both the primary and general.
I am never shy about talking about any issue. I welcome any emails with any concerns about anything I've written about on my blog over the last two years.