State Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett), chairman of the House Rules Committee, dumped some changes into the state election rules bill that gives the Raleigh Establishment and consultant class all they need to work around their respective elected party leadership teams and divert millions of dollars meant for said parties to certain favored pockets.
The secretive last-minute changes to the HB 373 dwell heavily on “affiliated party committees”:
[…] “§ 163-278.8B. Affiliated party committees.
(a) The leader of each political party caucus of the North Carolina House of
Representatives and the Senate may establish a separate, affiliated party committee to support the election of candidates of that leader’s political party. The affiliated party committee is deemed a political party for purposes of this Article.
(b) Each affiliated party committee shall:
(1) Adopt bylaws to include, at a minimum, the designation of a treasurer.
(2) Conduct campaigns for candidates who are members of the leader’s political party or manage daily operations of the affiliated party committee.
(3) Establish a bank account.
(4) Raise and expend funds. Such funds may not be expended or committed to be expended except when authorized by the leader of the affiliated party committee.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, an affiliated party shall be entitled to use the name, abbreviation, and symbol of the political party of its leader.
(d) For purposes of this section, the term “leader” shall mean the currently elected President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the currently elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, or the currently elected minority leader of either house of the General Assembly, until another person is designated by a political party caucus of members of either house to succeed to one of the aforesaid positions, at which time the newly designated designee becomes the leader for purposes of this section.”[…]
Translation? It’s been SOP for years that party insiders got filthy stinking rich off of funds raised by the state party and passed down from DC. Certain consultants pocketed a major chunk of that money — as did certain “honorables” on Jones Street with sketchy side consulting businesses. That scheme works well if you have party leadership in on the game. Well, for the Republicans, the grassroots threw a monkey wrench into it this year by electing two outsiders to lead their party.
Since that happened at the NCGOP’s June convention, party establishment insiders have been scheming about how to wrest control of the funds from these *filthy tea partiers.*
There have been attempts to go around the two new elected party chieftains by inserting highly loyal (to the establishment) senior staffers inside the party HQ. Several attempts at that have failed, and it appears another one is on the way to doing so.
House insiders are hot under the collar about these last minute changes. One quipped to me that the bill should be renamed “The Shumaker-Stewart-Leis-Dollar Retirement Guarantee Fund.”
Basically, these changes allow for Jones Street “honorables” to create FOUR new party organizations THEY FULLY CONTROL and thereby weaken / neuter their existing party apparatus. It’s establishment weasels thumbing their noses at the worker bees outside the beltline.
And this stuff NEEDS to be stripped out of the bill. Establishment types are always griping at us about how we need to lick our wounds and get on board with”their” guy or gal. (2014 GOP US Senate primary, anyone?)
In this case, you’ve got the Tea Party coming out on top, and the Establishment picking up their marbles and going home (after sneakily changing the rules of the game).