By Wallace Collins, Chairman
Does the recent “leave of absence” now reported as a change in titles, taken by T.C. Ryan undo the controversy created when the newly elected Republican State Party Chair, Randy Brogdon appointed the twice convicted domestic abuser to be the new Executive Director of the Republican party? Ryan pled guilty of domestic abuse in front of a minor child in 2012. He was apparently given a fine to pay, and let go. It appears that Mr. Ryan failed to pay the fine and a bench warrant was issued for that failure. The charges against the Republican officer also include interfering with an emergency phone call, most likely to 9-1-1 to report the domestic abuse. All these things occurred in 2012 and 2013, well before Chairman Brogdon appointed Ryan to the high post within the state Republican Party.
From a party claiming to stand for “family values”, it doesn’t make good sense for the State Chair of the Republican Party to ask the new Executive Director to step down and stay on with the party in a new position of Political Director. What gives? Does a change in title remove the stain of a guilty plea to Domestic Abuse in front of a Minor Child? What about the charge of Interfering with an Emergency Phone Call (for help)? It certainly seems that the Oklahoma Republican Party does not care about women or children or they would not keep this abuser on.
Does this apparent disdain for the safety for women and children show the real attitude of the new chair and his party? For a party already standing accused of conducting a “War on Women” it seems a little odd that the chair of that party would install a person already convicted of abusing a woman in front of her minor child. This incident is so upsetting for many that reports are that even members of the Republican legislative caucuses have called for the removal of T.C. Ryan.
In my opinion, a resignation would have been better, because a simple change in title leaves the door open for a later upgrade after the issue blows over. It is well known that T.C. Ryan was a friend of Chairman Brogdon, but should a friendship overpower common sense and allow someone with the baggage of “domestic abuser” be placed in a high position of power? In my opinion, the bell has already been rung and there is no way to un-ring this bell!