Upon her election as Michigan’s State Republican Party Chairman, Ronna Romney McDaniel, who ran as a grassroots conservative, told reporters that “unity” was her top priority. She appeared to recognize the fact that there were a lot of different factions within the party and stressed the importance of bridging that gap and getting them to coalesce, in order for the party to be successful.
A year later, many conservatives in the party, are left feeling disillusioned and upset with the direction the party has headed under her leadership. They believe that rather than promoting unity as promised, she has broken her promise and is working to purge the party of conservatives, by aligning herself with big money donors, like DeVos family members and the “establishment”, which have resulted in even deeper divisions within the party.
The fact that in April of 2015, McDaniel hired Steven Ostrow as her executive director is telling, since Ostrow formerly worked for Greg McNeilly, at the Michigan Freedom Fund, as their Advocacy Director. (McNeilly if you remember, made headlines when he married his partner, in Michigan’s first homosexual wedding.) He was also chief political adviser to Dick DeVos during his unsuccessful bid for governor and serves with Betsy DeVos on the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP’s) Board of Directors. Both GLEP and Michigan Freedom Fund PACs are funded by Betsy DeVos, via Greg McNeilly and those working for him.
Ostrow and McNeilly worked together, using these PACs to support establishment candidates and to run vile attack ads, just days before the 2014 primary, aimed at destroying the reputations and credibility of the conservative,GOP candidates they opposed.
McDaniel’s close association with both Ostrow and McNeilly, coupled by the fact that she refuses to listen to conservative views and has blatantly ostracized county chairs, who on occasion have disagreed with her and refused to march in lockstep with her,or Governor Snyder and even refused to allow national committeeman Dave Agema, to address members at the last state committee meeting, leads many within the party to believe, that McDaniel has been bought and paid for by the establishment.