Dear Editor:

Gaming the system is the focus of the party insiders, not popular policy. My Party is suing in federal court to overturn a statue passed by the legislature providing for an "open" primary.

I am opposed to a closed primary and the Montana Republican Party joining this federal lawsuit asking the court to order Montana to close the Republican primary; i.e, only Republicans can vote in the party primary.

A closed primary bill has failed many times in the legislature. The plaintiffs want a federal judge, appointed for life, to override the elected legislature – not very Republican.

These Party insiders are confirming that they do not want a party about the people. They want a party about the party. That is a recipe for failure. Polls show Montana is about 37% Republican; the legislature is 58.6%. Why not stick with a winner?

These insiders are the ones who brought us the ill-conceived "Republican Presidential Caucus" in 2008. The winner of the caucus was to receive our delegates to the National Convention, regardless of the winner of the primary. This alienated voters and was rescinded.

Closing primaries will not prove wise now. It tells the voters of Montana that we care more for our party than the people, and trust a federal court more than our legislature.

The court recently denied a partial summary judgment motion by the plaintiffs and asked how the plaintiffs even knew who was a Republican? Montanans do not register by party.

However, it matters not because we have same day registration and a person can change their registration before every primary. Montana is made up of independent people who do not like to be labeled. If we deny them the chance to vote in our primary they will pay us back.

Jim Shockley

Victor, Montana

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