CINCINNATI (TDB) -- A member of the Madison County Republican Executive Committee calls John Boehner "persona non gratia" and recommends he hunker down in a D.C. bunker. Another local GOP official says he's trampling the Alabama leadership. An uncivil welcome appears to be in store for Boehner, the man-with-the-tan from suburban Cincinnati. The Ohio Republican is headed to Huntsville, Ala., to raise money for U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith, viewed by many as a political turncoat who quit the Dems to run for reelection this year as a Republican. Locals are putting together a protest and warning the GOP's House leader to mind his own business and stay out of town. Boehner's decision to headline Griffith's Monday fundraiser has become so controversial in Alabama's 5th Congressional District that it has managed to unite area Republicans, the Tea Party, Democrats, union activists, college students, and the local chapter of Health Care For All -- bipartisanship that crosses all political lines.
The Huntsville Tea Party calls party switcher Griffith an "opportunist who cannot be trusted." It went on to describe Boehner's willingness to raise funds for the former Democrat as "Boehner is displaying the same indifference to local concerns by meddling in the Republican primary. Such behavior deserves no reward."
Republicans sound just as harsh. Hugh McInnish, a member of the county executive committee in Huntsville said: "Mr. Boehner has no business here in North Alabama, and the local Republican Committee has in effect said so. He would be better advised to bunker down within the confines of his Inside-the-Beltway-Fortress and stay there. He is persona non gratia." In neighboring Athens County, the local News Courier newspaper reported that Republican leaders are concerned Boehner is helping raise funds for only one Republican candidate:
“Recruitment of qualified Republican candidates is very difficult and John Boehner has not helped that process,” said Rex Davis, who, along with Don Hudleston, encouraged members of the Limestone County Republican Executive Committee to attend the protest. “Why would anyone want to run for office as a Republican and be trampled by the National Republican Party against the will of the local Republican leadership?” Another protestor said Boehner should not be involved in Alabama politics. “Our message to Rep. John Boehner is stay out of the Fifth District’s business. The Tea Party movement began and is continuing today because the people are being ignored. Government officials have forgotten who they work for and ‘We the People’ are tired of it and determined to take our country back,” said Deborah King, founder of the Athens-Limestone Tea Party Patriots.