President’s Message – December 2014

Thank You & Happy New Year!

This President’s message is a bittersweet one and my final as President. It has been 6 great years and from the bottom of my heart I want to thank all the great women who have served on the board of directors during that time. Your hard work and dedication has enabled this club to grow into one of the largest and most successful in the State of Alaska. A special and grateful thank you goes to my Vice President Ardy Robertson who has often kept me sane and always under control!

But the real success of this club is because of you, the member. You have donated, attended events and supported our goals and vision of always remaining true to the Republican Platform. Several years ago ARWC did a luncheon entitled “Women Before Us” and our guests included many of the Republican women who had paved the path for the success we see today in the Republican Party. Women such as Audrey Lee who just renewed her 2014 ARWC membership for the 43rd year!

I recently shared this quote at a memorial for Hope Nelson who was a tireless volunteer for the Republican Party. I feel it defines many of the women I have known and worked with over the years:

An honorable woman is someone who is kind, has both dignity and grace, makes an honest living, is compassionate, responsible for her own actions, trustworthy and keeps her promises.

It is my hope that when people think of my leadership some of the above words will come to mind.

I write this with majorities in the AK House and Senate, a Republican congressman and two Republican senators. We are most proud of the fact that ARWC has 8 members serving in the AK Legislature.

Most candidates would agree without Republican women they would not have been elected. The recent 2014 elections give us a unique opportunity to actually make changes in both our national and state governments. Will the Republican leadership stand with courage and make these changes? Will our state legislators stand with courage against a Governor who is now beholden to Democrats and the unions? I assure you if, we the people do not hold them accountable we will be no better off than with Democrats in the majority.

Even in victory the past 6 years has sometimes been a tumultuous one for the RNC and Alaska Republican Party. They, the people, have given us one more chance and I hope we honor that chance. We must regain the Presidency in 2016!

The most disheartening time for our club was this summer when the past chair of the Republican Party, Randy Ruedrich filed an APOC complaint against us. For some reason Mr. Ruedrich did not want the US Senatorial Debate to happen and when we refused to cancel the debate he filed the complaint the next morning.

What was even worse he immediately sent the complaint to Amanda Coyne for publication in her political blog. His personal vendetta towards the club president spilled over into our club and for that I am truly sorry. It caused great stress to us especially our wonderful new treasurer.

When it was all over APOC understood in their decision that we are all volunteers and had misinterpreted one of the reporting rules. Since our books were impeccable they were able to see the error was one of misinterpretation and nothing more. We had to return some money to the state and were fined $700. Mr. Ruderich did everything in his power to try to make the fines larger and refused to drop the complaint when our lawyer asked him to do so.

I have not publicly addressed this issue before now because of the harm it might do to Republican candidates during the election. Why now? Because we must never lack the courage to expose such behavior. The saddest part is that thousands of dollars in attorney fees and hundreds of volunteer hours were spent on this issue instead of for candidates.

May God bless each and everyone one of you. Thank you for your support over the years and allowing me to lead some of the finest women I have ever known. Stay involved and continue to support the young vivacious new board of directors led by a born and raised Alaskan, Stacey Stone-Semmler. It is young women like this that renew my faith in America and the Republican Party.

I will end with a favorite quote from Erma Bombeck:

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, “I used everything you gave me.

Have a wonderful and blessed New Year,

Judy Eledge

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