#ncgop: Two ambulances, a coup attempt, and a Woodhouse

IMG950442One normally associates state party meetings with boredom, Chinese water torture, root canals. *You know, pleasant things.* 

By all accounts, Saturday’s NCGOP meetings were anything BUT dull.  Two officials had to be taken away for (stress-related) medical treatment.   A resolution to remove one of the state’s two representatives to the Republican National Committee got batted around.  And the top staff position at state party headquarters was filled.

Dallas Woodhouse, former head of AFP’s North Carolina chapter and the Pat McCrory / Thom Tillis-aligned Carolina Rising PAC, was officially hired as executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party.  (Sources tell me it was made known to the state party leaders that GOP leaders in DC strongly favored the hiring of Woodhouse.) Carolina Rising took some heat earlier this year for allegedly being involved in push-polling and primary candidate recruitment against key GOP state senate leaders. 

Tea Party-aligned party activists had tried to get Johnny Shull of Harnett County — a veteran of many national conservative organizations — hired. 

FullSizeRender22Some of the day’s real excitement came during debate over a resolution introduced by The Craven County Republican Party.  The Craven group sought removal of state Rep. David Lewis from his role as RNC committeeman.  The resolution specifically cited Lewis’s role in pushing through HB 373, which included controversial language about “affiliated committees.”

The Harnett County legislator was subjected to withering criticism from all kinds of sources — including at least one of his GOP House colleagues.   Lewis stood before the group to defend himself.  

A party attorney halted the proceedings, suggesting that the resolution was not properly introduced in accordance with party rules.  The resolution to remove Lewis was then tabled until a later date.

43 thoughts on “#ncgop: Two ambulances, a coup attempt, and a Woodhouse

  1. It was not tabled it was declared out of order. Maybe that would end up being the same thing. At least that is the way I understood it

  2. Might as well kept the ED we had. As far as Lewis, the EC must have a hearing problem. So hoped the Party would turn a corner today.

    1. Actually, had the counsel not intervened, I suspect the EC would have shown Lewis the door. There’s a significance difference in the philosophical makeup of the rank-and-file members of the EC who are true conservatives and the (largely) Establishment Central Committee, hence the Woodhouse hire by the CC. Understand, that while that didn’t happen, something worthwhile did happen today…..there’s no doubt in Lewis’ mind nor his House colleagues where they stand in the Party’s eyes, as the contempt in the meeting for the House GOP Caucus was freely expressed.

      1. yes the only way to help fix the state party is to fix the organizational structure

        Congressional Districts should place people on the Executive Committee only
        and then the Central Committee would but filled with people voted in by the Executive Committee

        This would give the state party a much better organizational structure

        But to do this the party plan of organization has to be changed not that this cannot happen but we need a movement of people that want to fix the state parties organizational problems that have been a problem for years over multiple chairman

  3. This is what I know. Carolina Rising Woodhouse is EC, and Lewis still has that National seat. The NCGA , don’t even get me started. The Plan of Org needs a serious overhaul.

    1. I guess I should have placed my comment to your post but I posted it above

      Yes the state party has serious organizational structure problems that needs to be addressed in the plan of organization

      And to be clear these are not new issues there just has never been a time in the last 15 years that the people of the party have a chance to fix things. Now we have a opportunity to correct the problems that have had this parties hand tied

      1. There’s been time. Just not people willing to do it. Change punctuation, move paragraph 2a to 3c section 2 and call it a victory. Been there done that. The only thing that keeps an R after my name is the platform, and I see it chipped just a little every convention.

        1. Yes the platform is the most important

          But we need a fair organizational structure to help protect and strengthen the platform

          1. Why is the platform even relevant? Few pay it any mind…it’s sort of like the Constitution…useful when it fits your agenda…otherwise, throw it under the bus.

  4. Letting the establishment thugs at RNC like Preibus dictate who our NCGOP ED will be is absolutely shameful. The Haymaker also reported that Woodhouse was also the candidate of the corrupt network of consultants in Raleigh. Yecch!

    That probably also means they will keep that Dee Stewart operative at Political Director.

    After the convention result, I was ready to start contributing to the party again, but not after this fiasco. Lets vote with our wallets against this Central Committee coup. I am glad I waited until after all the smoke cleared.

  5. All this mess has been brought about by the rank and file becoming involved in party business. In the old days we let the party elite handle the important stuff and we just turned and voted. The old days were better, less stress and the fried chicken was better because everything back then was free range.

    Let the big boys and girls handle the party. Render unto Caesar.

  6. Perhaps Mr. Harnett holds his friends close and his enemies closer. For the EC to give him this blowhard as his ED is quite the slap in the face, though.

    1. Play hardball … Prohibit the ED from any funding decision making or funds disbursement. Starve him out of the process. Who says you can’t?

  7. TOO CLARIFY the Executive Committee DID NOT HIRE the new Executive director the CENTRAL COMMITTEE did

    NOW if the Chairman is not happy with this choice he should call a Executive Committee meeting to ask the committee to undo the action of the central committee

    NOW here is the debate – What committee has the ultimate power? With past chairman the central committee has taken taken taken more power and the executive committee sat back and did nothing

    NOW IS THE TIME TO PUT THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE BACK IN ITS PLACE UNDER THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE as my interpretation of the current plan of organization has it but since others do not have the same interpretation this is why the plan has to be changed and clarified so everyone is on the same page

    1. Well, if the legislature proceeds to create these new quasi-parties for their own purposes, the legislators should be denied membership status at the next ExComm session on the grounds that they are members of another political party. That would make the EC more potent in dealing with the CC, without the legislators running interference as they so often do.

      1. Every legislator having a seat of the Executive Committee is just nuts to begin with. That badly needs changing.

      2. Not all legislators are corrupt

        There were a few good ones in the room

        We do not need to lump everyone into the same group

        We just need to sperate the wheat from chaf

        One legislator spoke so truthful and elegantly he would make a great national committee man replacement or he would make a great governor or us senator

        So we need to lift up the good elected leaders we have and show them our support

          1. Thanks Evelyn… I just try my best to speak truth, try to add or maintain clarity, and when I see a problem try to offer a solution that does not benefit myself but benefits the whole body or party

        1. I am not saying all legislators are bad. There are a number of very solid and sound ones. I am saying that being in the legislature should not automatically give one a vote on the state executive committee. That is what badly needs changing.

          1. John I agree with what you are suggesting and I believe it should be discussed

            I just wanted to clarify that having the good ones in the room did help the discussion in a positive manner

          2. Awhile back, Civitas rated GOP legislators on their conservative records. Damn few got an A, a very few got “B’s”, and after that it went downhill fast for most of the House GOP Caucus. This just isn’t a very conservative House.

    2. It is much like Congress. The Executive Committee has the power of the purse because it adopts the budget, which happens at the next meeting. The next step could be fun and games with salaries, and perhaps budgeting a new position to be directly hired by the chairman. The power of the purse is the ultimate tool to whip the Central Committee in line.

  8. John Steed, there were several legislator in attendance at the EC meeting on Saturday and they were not “nuts.” Actually, they were most helpful in helping explain HB 373 and the campaign finance part that was added at the 11th hour. Especially, Representative John Blust who was very frank in his remarks about the addition of the finance part in HB 373. Thank you, Representative Blust and the others who spoke on HB 373.

  9. Patrick, I agree. David Lewis spoke well at the meeting. He defended himself well, and showed courage in just being there. We should get of the others who were there, with the exception of Speaker Moore.

    1. From what i hear of the meeting, it was actually Rep. John Blust who spoke well and exposed the crap that Lewis and Moore were up to. They will probably primary him for his speaking truth to power.

      I also heard that Lewis dodged questions and made excuses that did not hold water.

      We need more legislators like John Blust and fewer like David Lewis.

      1. David Lewis dodged no questions, and John Blust spoke in generalities. He complained that the bill was amended at the last minute, and I agree that this is not a good thing, but no one opposed to the bill showed how this impacted the party in any way. The money was the caucuses anyway. They should be able to do whatever they want with it. Let them have it.

        1. Are you completely clueless? Brant has explained in detail how this power grab is a threat to the party and particularly a threat to conservatives. He is spot on. This money needs to be kept out of primaries. The House leadership cabal just sent $120,000 to eight of their favorites, some of whom will have primaries, and one of whom is running for the Senate instead of the House. Why is this money being distributed before primaries and before it is known who will have the seriousgeneral election challenges, and All to to RINOs with none to conservatives? The machinations of Moore, Lewis, et al stink of the stench of Jim Black. Furthermore, the bill allows this pack of liberal RINOs to masquerade as the NC Republican Party by using its name.

        2. Susan said “Patrick, I agree. David Lewis spoke well”

          I NEVER SAID THAT
          Nothing positive at the meeting had anything to do with him and I do not think he spoke well he insulted all of us to our face saying that we did not give another speaker respect he also bluntly said they did what they did because the state party did not have a finance chair this was after the oh this had been in the works for years and all the other states do it this way excuse. Bottom line they should have put it in a separate bill and it should have worked its way through the regular channels and given proper vetting before it was voted on and bottom line that next RNC committee man and women should not hold any other elected office because they should be committed to up hold the party at all costs without room for conflicts of interest to develop

          First of all I do not know who you are but I will give you the benefit of doubt that you were in the back of the room and had a hard time hearing since the audio system was not loud enough for everyone otherwise we must have attended two different meetings

          1. Also, just because I disagree with your assessment of the meeting is no reason to call me clueless. I am just as capable as you and Brant to come to my own conclusions.

          2. Susan,

            I am glad we can agree that we must have attended two different meeting

            I purpose as a solution to this problem that all meeting be video taped so we can have access to instant replay for clarity purposes so we could return and fairly analyze the events of the meeting

            and I for one at the EC meeting before this one did stand up and address the body and try to get the Minutes of the Meeting to go into greater detail for the benefit of the body but no one would know this cause failed motions are not currently included in the minutes.

            For the record also I did not call your clueless (yes you were probably talking about the other poster) but I also did not say what you eluded I said in your post. But I forgive you since the replies get out of order here and it is hard to follow along at times here but I only responded to you this time and last time to set the record straight

          3. Patrick – I think she must have been wearing establishment rose colored glasses and establishment ear filters that filtered out the truth.

            Saying Lewis gave a good speech and answered all the questions is just nonsense. He contradicted himself, used ridiculous excuses that were easy to see through, and when asked whether he talked to anyone at the party about the issue before his last minute cram down on this issue, he gave a long generalized diatribe about talking with the party many times over many years but refused to answer the specific question about whether he talked to anyone at the party on this specific issue.

            Lewis clearly demonstrated why he needs to be gone ASAP as National Committeeman, and I understand that Craven County will be putting their charges in proper impeachment form for the next meeting.

      2. Thanks John you have it correct and said everything that needed to be said

        “First tell the truth, THEN give your opinion” – Dennis Prager.

        none of us have to agree but the truth has to be protected

  10. ”Sources tell me it was made known to the state party leaders that GOP leaders in DC strongly favored the hiring of Woodhouse.” (from Brant’s article)

    This really stinks, but it also raises some questions about exactly what happened. If Brant has any more details, I hope he will reveal them.

    It would be awful enough if RNC was indeed interfering in the internal affairs of the NCGOP and we had Central Committee members cowardly enough to knuckle under, but something more sinister than even that was likely afoot.

    States have three voting members on the RNC, the state chairman, the National Committeeman, and the National Committeewoman. Communications from the RNC should have gone to all three. I would find it particularly odd if they had left out Chairman Harnett since he used to be an employee of RNC. I also find it odd that any communication would have been held until the actual meeting before it was delivered. Something here does not pass the smell test.

    Earlier some North Carolina consultants tried to play the RNC card to pressure the Central Committee to hire their buddy, Dallas Woodhouse, as detailed in this article and in the comments thereto, which add a lot of meat to who was doing what:
    http://www.beaufortobserver.net/Articles-NEWS-and-COMMENTARY-c-2015-09-15-279682.112112-Rumblings-on-Hillsborough-St-GOP-Headquarters.html

    The very same consultants are particularly tight with David Lewis. Was David Lewis playing the RNC card as a bluff like those consultants were apparently doing with The Politico?

    Given David Lewis stab in the back to the NCGOP with HB373, who is their right mind would believe him without corroboration? Lewis also seems to have been the voice of the local GOP establishment in fighting the NC grassroots during and after the convention process. He is not objective and very much has a dog in the fight.

    Did Ada FIsher corroborate Lewis? If so, that also did not pass the smell test. She has been backing up Lewis consistently, and would almost certainly back him on anything he said. There is also a very serious issue still pending that bears on Fisher’s truthfulness. A couple of years ago, the Executive Committee instructed its national committee representatives to vote in favor of the grassroots position on a key issue before the RNC, and after the RNC meeting, FIsher emphatically stated that she had voted as instructed. However, video tape of the meeting emerged that clearly showed that she had not and that she was lying about how she voted. Multiple congressional district organizations passed resolutions demanding an NCGOP investigation of the issue, and the Central Committee set up a committee to do so. Under Claude Pope, this investigation was swept under the rug and no report was ever produced.

    In short, who in their right mind would believe either Lewis or FIsher on such a subject without something in writing from RNC? Especially after that Politico article?

    Someone at the next Executive Committee meeting needs to demand that the investigation of Ada Fisher be completed. This needs to happen before she seeks reelection next year. Her opponent also needs to get a website up where delegates can view the evidence on what she did.

    The grassroots needs to drain the swamp of NC’s two at large reps on the RNC at the next state convention, if not before.

  11. It would lower the level of vitriol at the meetings and conventions if the attendees would familiarize themselves with the structure and makeup of the EC and CC. How they were selected and what duties and responsibilities they have. As you move up through the party organization, you get more responsibilities and get to make bigger decisions (CC gets to pick who will be ED). Don’t like what they do, then take it up with your individual district chair. They were the ones who have a vote.

    An understanding of the various accounts that are in play would be helpful. Whose money it is and who has control of it. The House and Senate accounts are theirs to do with as they will. They can’t steal their own funds. Unless you are a GA member, it’s not your money. How they choose to use those funds is fair game for discussion and disagreement. If you don’t like the ideas of independent “affiliated committees” and how they came forth, then let your feelings be known to any or all elected officials who have a vote in the matter. If you don’t like their response, then a primary with be held in the coming months. Feel free to run yourself or support someone new.

    Many of the newer attendees don’t have a solid understanding of the plan of organization and the rules (Roberts Rules of Order) with which meetings and conventions are held. If you know what constitutes a quorum and what actions are permissible and what form they must take you are more likely to be heard and your goals may be achieved. EVERYONE is entitled to due process. If you want to impeach someone and have them removed, then make substantiated charges in the proper forum. Shouting and personal ad hominem attacks do not help the case of the accusers. If you are accused of a crime it must go through several levels before reaching a jury (magistrate – DA – judge – trial). Even though these are only civil proceedings, doesn’t everyone deserve that? If you try to bull something through in the heat of the moment, are you any different from legislative types who change bills at the 11th hour in order to force something through?

    1. The perspective that this controversy should be understood from is that the convention is the most broadly representative governing body in the party, followed by the Executive Committee, and then the Central Committee. In this situation, the Central Committee rejected the candidate for ED put forward by the chairman elected by the state convention, and instead hired someone backed by the group that lost the state convention. I do not think that has ever happened in the time the party has had an ED. How is that not a situation where the least representative body is slapping the most representative body of the party in the face? The Executive Committee is in the middle and will have to decide how it wants to respond.

      At the very least the next state convention needs to revisit the Plan of Organization provisions governing the hiring of an ED.

      As to the campaign funds, the key issue is involvement in primaries. HB373 allows these new entities to get around NCGOP provisions prohibiting that.

      1. I am not sure Pope ended up with his choice he ended up with someone he could work with but not sure it was his first choice someone can correct me for clairity if i have it wrong

          1. Hasan has ended up being David Lewis’ water boy, what he did to Vice Chair Nix yesterday at the NCGA was shameful and shows Hasan’s true colors

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