The Tea Party Express is calling for the “immediate resignation or termination” of Delaware Republican Party Chairman Tom Ross, over Ross’ support of GOP establishment pick Rep. Mike Castle in the Senate Republican primary. But it just so happens that the group’s call for “termination” comes just a few days after Ross received a death threat, one serious enough for him to temporarily leave his home.The Tea Party Express has spent over $250,000 supporting Christine O’Donnell in the primary. And it’s hammering the state party hard for backing Castle.
“Tom Ross must resign within the next 24 hours or face immediate termination,” Amy Kremer, Chairman of the Tea Party Express, said in the release sent out Sunday. While the release’s headline calls for Ross to be “fired,” the body of the text uses the word “termination” five times.
The Huffington Post reported today that Ross has left his home after receiving a death threat, a fact that Delaware GOP communications director Tom Doheny confirmed to TPM. Doheny told TPM that the DOJ is investigating the matter. Doheny also said he had seen the Tea Party Express’ release, but did not comment directly on it.
“It’s a sensitive issue right now, and at this time we’re going to try to hold on making too many statements while the Justice Department investigates it,” Doheny said.
He did note that Ross “can’t get fired, by the way. He was elected, by grassroots delegates.”
Doheny confirmed that the email obtained by the website Delaware Liberal was the death threat sent to Ross. It reads:
“Subject: You deserve a bullet in the head!
Dear [Senior GOP Official],
It is one thing to have your country screwed over by socialists, it is far worse to be backstabbed by people pretending to be your friends.
Political ass-kissing RINO’s like you deserve a bullet in the head.
We will either rid the GOP of pieces of shit like you, or we will start a new ‘Common Sense Conservative’ party and render you all useless.”
An anonymous state Republican official told The Huffington Post that the emailer had written his name and address on the email.
The Tea Party Express did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Delaware primary is tomorrow. In a new PPP poll, O’Donnell leads Castle by three points.
(h/t Huffington Post)
Late Update: Tea Party Express national coordinator Joe Wierzbicki wrote the following in an e-mail to TPM:
It’s horrible to hear that Mr. Ross is concerned about the nature of hostile comments being made against him. Politics should never devolve to the point of physical intimidation. Which begs the question, then, why on earth did Tom Ross and his political henchmen deride Christine O’Donnell as delusional when she expressed the very same concern of stalking, intimidation and threats from the political hatchmen working for Mr. Ross himself? Pot. Kettle. Black.