Publisher's note: Brant Clifton uses the words of others, in part, to remind us how deep RINOs are among us in Horth Carolina's Republican Party in his "bare knuckles" Conservative online publication known as The Daily Haymaker.
We heard this term bantered about when former state Rep. Richard Morgan and a handful of friends cut a deal with Jim Black and the Democrats to snatch a state House majority from the GOP. We heard this term being bantered about when a group of Morgan supporters — some of whom STILL sit on the state executive committee — backed an independent candidate against the Republican who knocked Morgan off in the 2006 primary. We also heard this term kicked around earlier this year by state House Republican leaders to try to bully reluctant conservatives
into backing a hideous piece of pork barrel legislation.
Now, we're starting to hear the whole P.D. terminology once again in reference to conservatives expressing wariness about the GOP nominee for US Senate. A Republican activist from the western part of the state forwarded the following email they received from a local party official:
I was just made aware that you and others in the party are heading a write in campaign against Thom Tillis. The meeting tonight is for precinct organization and part of the criteria is party loyalty. If you are in favor of an independent write in candidate against a Republican, you can no longer be a part of your precinct organization. Please read below Article IIIV D of the (redacted) County Republican Party Plan of organization. Please reconsider coming tonight to the meeting. I am afraid that anyone who is there who is not supporting a Republican will be asked to leave. I hope you understand.
Any registered Republican using a current or former title as a Party or elected official on the Republican ticket to influence the outcome of any election against a Republican nominee may be declared ineligible to hold office under the State Plan of Organization at the State, District, County, and Precinct level for Party disloyalty by 2/3 vote of the State Executive Committee. Charges for Party disloyalty may be brought by petition of 50 members of the State Executive Committee, or by resolution of a County or District Republican Executive Committee. Any Republican against whom charges of Party disloyalty are brought shall be furnished with two (2) weeks notice of said charges and be given an opportunity to present a defense. For purposes of this Plan of Organization, "Party disloyalty" is defined as actively supporting a candidate of another Party or independent candidate running in opposition to a nominee of the Republican Party. The State Executive Committee may declare a Republican found to have engaged in Party disloyalty as ineligible to serve in any office under this Plan of organization for a period of time between 6 months and 5 years.
The "write-in" candidate referred to in the email is former GOP legislator John Rhodes. For the record, my source is not part of any campaign organization for Rhodes — official or otherwise. My source DOES associate with people actively involved in promoting Rhodes. So, we apparently have guilt by association.
Some may look at this — at face value — and see no problem. But consider the fact that the state party's current vice chairman, while a Republican member of the state House, sided with Richard Morgan in an alliance with Democrats
to deny Republicans a majority granted to them by the state's voters. She voted FOR the Democrat nominee for speaker against her caucus's nominee. It fits the definition of party disloyalty perfectly. Is ANYONE asking her to stay away from party meetings or to give up her post?
When conservatives tried to move against Richard Morgan supporters in 2006-2007, party leaders discouraged the effort. They said the Morganista transgressions should be forgiven, and that the party should move on, for the sake of unity.
Political analysts — even at the national level,– are seeing the Tillis campaign's poor relations with conservatives as one of its biggest obstacles in the fight to defeat Kay Hagan. Would it not better serve the party — and Thom Tillis — to try and woo disaffected conservatives, instead of bullying or threatening them?