A Republican Rumble

ncgop*Gosh.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than sitting through a NCGOP Central Committee meeting.*  (Wait.  Did I just say that out loud?) 

Actually, I thought sooooo much of it that I had three pairs of eyes in the room for today’s event in the big city.  Apparently, our story about the recent personnel moves at NCGOP HQ ruffled quite a few feathers at today’s confab.

My eyes in the room tell me that one of the more vocal critics of the controversial personnel moves was Second District chairman Joyce Cotten.  Her outspokenness over the hirings led to some sharp exchanges between her and state Rep. David Lewis — who appeared to support the controversial hiring decisions.

teaLewis initially tried to table the motion to retract the hire offers to solar lobbyist Kristen Laster and former Dee Stewart employee Katie Sullivan.  Discussion soon turned to forwarding the matter to the party’s personnel committee for further discussion.

The final word?  A cooling-off period of thirty days — to allow people to calm down and gather more information — would be instituted.  The matter of whether to hire Laster and Sullivan will come back before the Central Committee in 30 days.

I’m told by folks in the room that chairman Hassan Harnett and vice-chairman Michele Nix were relatively quiet in the discussions regarding the hirings.

I am also told that, during today’s meeting, executive director Todd Poole tried to seriously walk back the decision to hire these two women.

So, we’ve got 30 days to see what this group is truly made of.


65 thoughts on “A Republican Rumble

  1. I wish the people in the room would get rid of “party’s personnel committee”

    The central committee is small enough that they should get rid of the personnel committee…. yea yea they will say legal reasons personal issues have to be held private but for transparency reasons the personal committee should be the central committee

    I will fight against the personnel committee any chance I get because it has not done anything good for the party

  2. Well my eyes in the room said the motion to rescind the offer to hire Laster failed 18-5. And The ED distributed text messages that clearly shows Hasan and Michele Nix instructed the hiring of Laster.

    Now I’m beside my self at the people we elected at the convention. Next Excom meeting we all need to hold them accountable

    1. Boys and girls…. seasoned operatives like TP know how to cover tracks. The text copies had Harnett’s name on them, not Nix’s.
      Harnett/Nix duo have pure motives not driven by incentavized appointments. Establ. vs. Grassroots.

      1. I know this is a technical issue.. but even if it had Harnett’s name on it…doesn’t mean it went to Harnett. I can put anybody name with any number. I don’t know either way but I am positive the current executive director will do anything to sabotage our new chair and vice chair and I wouldn’t put it past him. We all know this is a game with high stakes and he is going to play with any card he can. All he needs to do is make us doubt just a little bit…so, I must say that in this situation…I’d be more apt to trust what Harnett said than a text message with from Poole with Harnett’s name on it. Again, I wasn’t there but that’s my two cents.

    2. So did Nix know or not?
      August 1, 2015 at 9:03 pm
      OK. Michele Nix & Daniel Rufty went to war for us. We had five votes to overturn the hiring to their 18 votes. Hasan clearly said he didn’t not authorize hirings, however evidence was presented that he was clearly fully involved in the hiring. Issue…… he bluntly lied to the central committee.

      1. I now have communicated with a few cc members that were present. First one sent me the Intel of how nix and Daniel fought for us. And mentioned how upset she was with hasan… the others which I can guess do not support the motion told me there were texts back and forth from both of them and the ED. The evidence was compelling enough for many central committee members to have to side with the ED.

        1. In other words you really don’t know what is it is you speak of, NC13Libertarian. Your story has changed (3 times now).

          I suspect there is some GOOD that has come from this. This was a case of, “I’ll guarantee you financial support but you must hire these insiders”. That’s corrupt and not why these two were elected. So, the GOOD – Pretty sure Chairman Harnett & Vice-Chairman Nix won’t be run over again by establishment coercion.
          BUT, it’s not just the ED they contend with. It’s the members of CC that will roll over and obey TP blindly. The issue is forefront and center and the CC members know there’s a huge problem. We’ll see what kind of integrity they bear.

        2. Who did what to get us to this position is something that does need to be brought to light. but the key is that neither of these people should ever have been hired. and some action needs to be taken to reverse it. If not by the Central Committee in 30 days, then by the Executive Committee at its next meeting. The ExCom needs to be prepared to kick ass and take names. The goal is to get real Republicans we can trust in these positions, not Obama Republicans or Stewart operatives.

          The next ExCom meeting probably does need a vote of no confidence, but the jury is still out as to who it should apply to.

          If Harnett was involved in this in any way, he needs to come clean about it, apologize, and show that he has learned a lesson from it. From my observation, Nix has a whole lot more savvy in operating within the party structure than Harnett. We would be a lot better off if they switched positions.

    3. we need to change how the central committee is formed… the executive committee should have to vote on every central committee member… I do not have it totally worked out but I do not like the formation rules of the central committee

      the excom members should be able to call our own excom meeting if a quorum of members want to call a meeting and give proper notice all members..

      This is were the excom membership needs a password protected members only online message-board to be able to communicate with each other across the state and to actually be able to discuss topics at length and in private before they are debated in a meeting and to be able to deal with issues promptly and not just at the 2 required meetings a year

      so yea change the plan of organization to make our state party function

      1. “The goal is to get real Republicans we can trust in these positions, not Obama Republicans or Stewart operatives.”

        yep, pretty wells sums it up.

  3. If Hasan indeed lied to the Central Committee, then he should be the first one fired. The party cannot tolerate a lying chairman who does not have the trust of the party. We’re in bad enough shape with McCrory; we don’t need a two-faced chairman.

  4. The problem in hiring this pair should have been obvious from the beginning. The result of the convention was more a rejection of Dee Stewart and all he stands for than it was a rejection of Craig Collins. The grassroots is tired of business as usual. Anyone not completely tone deaf should have realized that turning around and hiring two people with close Stewart connections was going to create a firestorm, and that both of them are tied to a major leftwing issue, the Obama green energy boondoggle just makes it worse. Hiring these two was akin to spitting in the face of the grassroots.

    Laster was employed in a major Dee Stewart operation, in a group created by him to push a leftwing agenda in the General Assembly, so she is just as much a Stewart person as Sullivan, and arguably more so. Also, both of them were apparently heavily involved in that Obama agenda for inefficient and wasteful green energy. Liberal legislator David Lewis was also one of the ringleaders of that cause in the General Assembly.

    Todd Poole is smart enough to know that when he hired these two, but he did it anyway. The real question here is what is his game and who is he playing it with? If he wants to walk it back, he has authority to do that by himself. He does not need the approval of the Central Committee to let these two go, so his statements there are meaningless.

    The real question here is what did Harnett know and when did he know it? Did Poole partially or completely blindside him? Did Harnett go along with the decision? Did he play a role making the hiring decision?

    Harnett has never been a volunteer party leader and he is rather new at being an elected party leader at any level. Most of his party background has been as a paid staff member, both as an RNC paid staff member working in NC on minority outreach and as a Congressional campaign manager. That background may cloud his judgment in matters such as this one. He may want to represent the grassroots but does not understand it the way he should.

    Todd Poole should make this pair gone by the time 30 days rolls around, and if not, and the Central Committee continues to fumble the ball, then the Executive Committee at its next meeting needs grab hold of it. There are a number of ways to go on this. A committee to investigate would be one. A motion of no confidence in Poole would be another. Also, the budget can be used to tie the hands of headquarters on personnel matters more tightly. Others have commented on here about the absurd arrangement of a huge line item for personnel with no further breakdown and not even any information given out. That badly needs to changed, and I think one poster on here tried to do that in the past. The grassroots needs to work from the bottom as well as the top to correct the problems in the party.

    Since some in high positions just don’t get it, the Executive Committee should also prohibit any consulting contracts with Dee Stewart. When he started monkeying around in intra-party politics. he made himself radioactive on such things.

    Poole, Harnett, and the Central Committee need to find a way to end these awful, awful, awful hires before the next Executive Committee meeting, or the Executive Committee needs to take the bull by the horns and do whatever needs to be done to get rid of this pair, and perhaps others whose fingerprints are on this debacle.

    This article also underlines that liberal David Lewis needs to be target number one for conservatives to replace at the 2016 state convention.

    1. Thanks for noticing I tried my best in spliting the salary line item in the budget and when it came time to aprove this year budget i did shout my NO maybe next time more people will be willing to allow debate until they can understand the issue without being so quick to dismiss a issue

      With that said I would not rush to throw theese to hires under a bus at least one of them does have history with the party before working for stewart. Do we need good conservitives running the state party YES but i do not know enough to say they cannot be that. I do understand peoples worry

      I will tell you what i want is this new leadership we voted in to make it manditory to pass out hard copies of the budget sheets to each excom member at the start of each meeting like used to be done…. Excom members need to demand this just as they want confirmation that these hires are or are not properly vetted

  5. This was all so predictable. Todd should’ve never been hired, and clearly has got to go.

  6. The text messages conversation clearly starts with hasan wanting to hire lassiter….? Poole just did what the chair wanted. I’m still not sold that Nix was involved. I also heard Hasan was not engaged in the conversation once he was outed by his conversation with Poole via text.

  7. Political staffers can be lead anchors for the organizations they work for, and there are several examples of that in current presidential campaigns. This pair of establishment operatives presents the same problem for the NCGOP.

    Political operatives who have worked in campaigns with nasty dishonest attacks in primaries seem to be the most hated by activists.

    Rick Perry has caught lots of flack for a pair of his staffers who are hated by conservatives. One of them is a member of the Barbour political family from Mississippi, which was involved in the particularly nasty and dishonest attacks that stole the US Senate runoff from State Senator Chris McDaniel last year. There are other things the Barbours have done that rankle conservatives, but that is the worst. There is also another Perry staffer whose names I do not recall or exactly what he did, but looking at online conservative forums, he offends conservative activists almost as much as Barbour. Many conservatives post that they would not consider Perry because of these two senior campaign staffers.

    Scott Walker has had the same problems. Early on, he hired a rather liberal woman in a middle level position, and caught flack online for that. He arranged for her to resign from the campaign. But he stepped in it again in a bigger way by hiring Brad Dayspring to head his Super PAC just before his announcement. Daysping is hated by many conservative activists because of his particularly vicious primary attacks on conservatives in multiple states while he worked for NRSC. His attacks on Ben Sasse in Nebraska which continued and even got more underhanded after polling clearly showed Sasse had the nomination wrapped up particularly rankled Repubiicans. At that point, they helped no one but Democrats. Walker kept Dayspring and one of the front page writers at the prominent national conservative blog RedState wrote a hard hitting piece that said that due to Dayspring, Walker was no longer worth considering in the primaries, and he got a lot of agreement from commenters.

    In North Carolina, the most hated political operative due to his history of vicious and often dishonest attacks on conservatives is none other than Dee Stewart. That is what makes anyone associated with Dee Stewart, as both of these new NCGOP employees are, quite radioactive to conservatives and to the grassroots.

    Perry has a millstone around his neck with Barbour as does Walker with Dayspring. The NCGOP does not need to do the same.

    1. if we’ve learned anything from libmarxist it’s that trying to score a little “nice” from them by having a “hire a moderate Lib day”……it does not work!

      1. I remember that guy being a Saturday luncheon speaker at the last NCGOP Convention that was held in Greensboro.

        His message? We conservatives can’t be too pure in our conservatism, too unyielding when pragmatism is required.

      2. That would be appalling if Locke brought the establishment toad Haley Barbour to NC. Not only has Barbour been a registered foreign agent for the Government of Mexico, he is a big supporter of amnesty for illegal aliens. And least we forget his dirty and dishonest Mississippi campaign, here is a link to the account of what he and his nephew Henry did there from a major British newspaper:


        Maybe if Barbour shows up, we can organize some conservatives to go throw shoes at him.

  8. Plus they discussed a 30 day cool off. However no motion was ever made. The only motion failed 18-5 to get rid of the hires. These are now sanctioned hires from the central committee. Since the evidence clearly showed they knew what was going on.

    1. The delegates voted for anti-establishment leadership in Harnett & Nix. The District chairs and other voting CC members tow the establishment line out of fear of retribution and years of ass kissing to get where they are. It goes without saying that the vast majority of CC members did not vote for Harnett. They are as much entrenched in establishment cronyism as Todd Poole.

  9. Perhaps we should blame ourselves for this mess, since we elected Harnett and Nix. Hasan has no experience in party leadership, and Michele’s was limited. Both promised us the world if they got elected, and are doing their best to keep that illusion going, including both of them not telling us the truth. Wanting a change is a good thing, perhaps we should not have jumped at the first people who say the right things and tell us what we want to hear. TP at least has acted consistently with his positions, and apparently has the support of the CC. Also, and this is the big thing for me, TP has not lied to us.

  10. Susan Byrd – so you’re willing to trade the integrity in our elected leaders for back room deals? You really want a Dee Stewart operative on staff? Just for the payout? TP is willing to sell himself for funds and announced these hires insubordinately to force his hand just days before CC. My understanding is that Harnett/Nix had their own picks to bring to CC but were shut down in this way. CC members will have to choose between playing by the rules or low level corruption moving forward.
    What you have currently is dirty money.

    1. Bob White – Assuming what you say is correct, how is what Harnett/Nix have done any different? According to the reports from the CC meeting, they were complicit in the hirings “behind closed doors” and then publicly denied their involvement. But for saved text messages, they may have gotten away with it. What is better, people who are upfront with what they are and what they are going to so, or those who lie to us to get elected, then conduct business as usual, and then lie again to cover up their lies to us.

      1. I’ve seen the email. Nix had no knowledge of any hirings until it was announced. Harnett told TP in a reply email NOT to send a release.

        TP insubordinately pushed it out to RNC anyway. Again this was planned ahead of the CC.

        Again, Nix never knew and Harnett’s authority was usurped. How do you call that complicit?

        You can’t play ball if you’re locked out of the gym.

        1. It all depends on who you choose to believe. Hasan and Nix have lied enough to us that they are not entitled to the benefit of the doubt anymore. TP presented enough evidence to show that Hasan/Nix lied.

          1. Again, TP presented no evidence that Nix was involved in the hiring process because she wasn’t. She was “locked outside the gym”. Harnett was played by an experienced operative.

            It’s about money and power to TP and his donors. Its an old game. Subservience to these power brokers IS NOT what the voting body wanted when they elected Harnett and Nix.

        2. This debacle needs to be hashed out before the Executive Committee. This was clearly a power play and it stinks.

          Katie Sullivan’s previous hiring was by Poole about January of 2014, when she came directly from roughly two years with Dee Stewart, and only served a few months at NCGOP. Claude Pope was chairman then but who knows if it was Poole or Pope who drove that hiring.

          Poole previously hired Sullivan, at a time when her connection with Stewart was more direct. I doubt the suggestion that Harnett would have been the source of the idea to hire her.

          It is also curious that her title is senior political director. Normally there is only one political director. This title suggests that she was put in a position over someone who was already there. Or perhaps it was a tool to jack up her salary. Does anyone know why she has this rather unusual title?

        3. Bob, thank you for clarification…the ED must go. He has NO desire to work with the leadership WE chose.

  11. This conflict cuts to the very heart of the cancer that’s been eating away at the NCGOP for over a decade. The political consultants and operatives that have been leading party leadership around by the nose consider the party to be, primarily, a jobs bank for their friends and associates. They will do anything, including crippling the party, to keep control of it.

    It’s important to keep in mind that since this became a problem, it has NEVER seen any significant opposition by members of the Central Committee. It also demonstrates that simply electing a new Chair and Vice Chair is not enough to fully get control of the party back for the grassroots activists.

    I have no idea whether Harnett and/or Nix were complicit in these hirings. I would be willing to bet, though, that if they are, it’s because someone with the RNC or some other group that can make the party’s funding dry up is threatening to do so if certain people don’t get certain jobs with a certain minimal level of salary.

    I said before that if a reform-minded Chair/Vice Chair team were elected and radical changes began to be implemented, the people that have been keeping the party funded would sooner shut off the money taps and let the party go under rather than fund those they consider their enemies. If that doesn’t happen, it’s because something gets done to appease them. We may be seeing exactly what it takes to appease those people.

    1. The real problem of this hiring cat fight mess lies within the bowels of Central Commitee itself. It should be realized that more then just a few members on the Central Committee have been serving on this board for years. Truth is they have held strangled control of the NCGOP far too long. These members need, no must be replaced if anything good or changes are to be made for any future Republican successes. The persons I am referencing lust over their imagined authority in the NCGOP. No way will they ever go away or give up office for the benefit of the NCGOP on their own conscious. In their minds the NCGOP belongs to them and them ALONE.
      In other words no other Republicans ever need apply.

      This debate of hiring goes much deeper then a Dee Stewart or pay offs. This current controversy should be focused on the real problem members on the CC.. Rid ourselves of these permanent members on the Central Committee and most problems facing the NCGOP will suddenly disappear.

      No body worth their salt who are active and involved in the Republican Party would argue with a changing of this old guard. Right now the status quo just isn’t working and my belief never will.

      1. The next seats that come up on the Central Committee are the National Committeeman and National Committeewoman, one of whom has been in office for 8 years and the other 12. They will be elected by the state convention in May 2016. Lets get some candidates!

        1. Yes, from my relatively new perch on the Executive Committee, I’ve seen everything about our National Committeeman that I need to know. He’s obviously a main player for both the RNC and the NC House Caucus, to maintain control over the NCGOP. And he’s the poster child for why legislators need to be cut out of the Executive Committee via amendment to the POO.

        2. Lets not just replace 2 people on the central committee…. Lets change the plan of organization so that the executive commitee elects all members of the central committee…

          The current party structure makes not logical sense when you really look at the make up of the central committee

          The executive committee is the most powerful group when not in general annual convention. The central committe works for the executive committee but the executive committee does not have the needed power to hold the central committe in check

  12. Why are you Republicans being so mean to Kristen Laster? All she has done is show her love for Polar Bears by working hard to promote President Obama’s green energy policies. Who cares about your silly Republican platform when the fate of the Polar Bears is at stake?. Laster had to throw your Republican platform under the bus if she is going to help get those taxpayer subsidies for our green energy friends. There are some important people in our hard core environmental movement who make big money off of government subsdies for green energy, people like George Soros and Tom Steyer.

    Green energy is important to save Polar Bears. So what if it will also send consumer electric rates through the roof and kill jobs by driving up costs for just about every other business?

    We progressives need to work together – out Democrat Polar Bear loving progressives and your Republican Polar Bear loving progressives. So, please let Kristen Laster keep her job.

  13. Dear Central Committee Members, please do whatever it takes to get rid of the overarching influence of the establishment and lobbyists in the NCGOP. Myself and hundreds of others would very much like to get involved again if you can clean it up. Thank you and good luck.

  14. This was clearly a set up when Tod Poole, the executive director, walks into a meeting with a dossier prepared to challenge and confront Hasan Harnett, the chairman. He was clearly working hard in glove with David Lewis, who has been the establishment’s point man since the convention. This is a poisonous atmosphere in the party and it needs to be ended.

    The dossier reminds me of a TV crime show where there is a gambit to get the fall guy’s fingerprints on the piece of evidence so he can be blamed for the crime. Who knows what other emails exist that Poole conveniently failed to include that would have shown a set up, or how many verbal conversations he had to arrange the set up where there would be no paper trail. They may have even used third parties or had Laster make an approach directly to Harnett.

    Lewis or Poole or whoever was driving the train, clearly selected appointees who would be most objectionable to the grassroots. The point was to show the grassroots who is boss and to undermine Harnett with his constituency.

    The timing was also obviously arranged to give little opportunity to organize a response to this maneuver Getting this out in the media just before the meeting was critical, so Poole ignored Harnett’s instruction not to do a press release yet.

    The one thing the Central Committee fell for was setting up a straw man to knock down. Instead of looking at the real issue of whether hiring this pair of establishment hacks was what the party should do right now, Poole with his dossier made it an issue of whether Harnett had some knowledge or involvement in the process, which was nothing but a red herring;. Nobody ever seems to have called bullshit on that and moved it back to the real issue..

    Rather than being the grassroots’ executive director or a neutral executive director who represents all factions in the party, Poole has clearly decided he wants to be the establishment’s executive director. He needs o be shown the door, as does his string puller Lewis.

  15. YOU ALL GOT IT WRONG. As newly elected member of Central Committee this was a joke. Chairman let people rudely take over the meeting. Was so bad that Scott Cumbie had to take over. Next Nix open outburst of anger lost points with folks. Poole lack of communication to Chairman, Vice and Central Committee about the goings on at Hillsborough added fuel to the fire. Letting Lewis, Fisher and Cotten high jack the meeting from Hassan was disrespectful. As a former military officer I have never seen such a amateur meeting, officers and drama. How about 24k a year to pay for Chairman apartment then asking for a 90k a year personal assistant. (PS thats why the vote down) With Hasan and Nix calling Central Board prior to meeting they had a majority of the members in their court. By the end, the ended up with 10% because of how poor it got! It became clear to me as a newbie, and those veterans I spoke with after the meeting that the NEW NCGOP will cause us to LOSE BIG IN 2016!

    1. Truth Teller ~ I’ve talked to several others and they don’t remember Nix’s “outburst” but recognized her desire to step up and lead. That must be a frustrating position to be in. She respectfully deferred to Harnett over and over again instead of taking the reigns from him. Harnett will need to learn how to control Daoud, Cotten, Fisher and Lewis because all of them have fun dominating the meeting.

    2. What about our chair campaigning all over the state telling delegates he would never take a penny of comp since he sold his business for a pretty penny. So he not only lied to the central about recruiting the finance director but he lied to us all. Most of us voted for him. Man that was a short time for buyer remorse on these two unprofessional leaders we elected just a few weeks ago.

  16. One more thing. Todd Poole has taken advantage of Harnett’s inexperience from day one. Todd Poole was not elected, Nix and Harnett were. Interestingly enough, the CC is comprised mainly of establishment cronies that didn’t vote for either one, so their allegiance is with Todd and the power structure. Whatever Todd says goes. Get it? But really, people, a solar lobbyist? Now look at the mess he and the CC have created for following blindly.

    1. Preach it !!!!!! you are correct we have a plan of organization that has allowed this to happen and we have to change the organizational structure in the plan to attempt to fix it.

      1. The executive committee should vote in a majority of the CC members for 1 year terms that alternate rotations on and off

      2. Then elect a executive committee leadership board that job it to keep the executive committee communicating and functioning as a whole so issues can be communicated and addressed faster

      These are my two solutions or star to fix our parties problems. I can talk about these issues in much more detail then anyone wants to read so I will stop with these two changes

      1. I have a novel idea! Term limits for District Chairs. That’s 13 of the seats and where the majority of the ass kissing lies.

  17. This is the absolute most ridiculous posting and comment thread I have ever read. When the NC GOP runs Todd Poole out and brings Rufty in to replace him we will have but guaranteed losses for Rs running in this state. Someone with a record as long as his shouldn’t even be on the central committee…

    The future of this state is in God awful hands if we continue to allow fine folks like the authors of this blog and the commenters to make decisions for the party. Pretty soon the NCDP will be laughing at us! That’s pathetic! Yall need to set your petty, personal bullcrap opinions aside, it makes me want to vomit.

    1. “Yall need to set your petty, personal bullcrap opinions aside…….”

      The definition of “petty, personal & bullcrap” are in the eye of the definer.

    2. What will make a great many state delegates want to vomit is seeing the hired help, Todd Poole, being allowed by the Central Committee to sandbag and undercut the elected party leadership, who have a fresh mandate to lead the party from the state convention, the body with the highest authority in the party. That is just absurd to let the hired help get away with that.

      There is little that could be more of a provocation than Poole hiring two people for the party staff who are close political associates of the political consultant for the loser in the state chariman’s race..Add in their other liberal background that makes delegates want to vomit, and Poole’s insubordination in sending out a press release on those hires when he was told not to do so.

      I had hoped that Poole would be a team player with the new leadership, but it is clear he has chosen not to be.

  18. So the same crowd who elected someone not qualified to be State Chairman is now criticizing him for being unqualified. I think what needs to happen in the NCGOP is those who are just out to prove points and statements need to at least get Poli Sci 101 for Dummies! This mess of establishment vs grassroots is nothing more than a facade brought on by those who are new to politics and want power. Nothing more nothing less. There are many Republicans out here who paid their dues when being a Republican in NC was not the popular thing to do. Now these seasoned Republicans who have experience and can raise money want nothing to do with the nutcases who are ruining this party from the outside in. Wake up people and do what I do. Support candidates and work for Candidates and leave this mess alone!

    1. Having been one of those long time party activists, I can tell you that you have it, to use a country expression, ”ass backwards”.

      For many years the NCGOP prided itself as a party that operated from the bottom up, instead of like the Democrats from the top down.

      However, between the election of Bill Cobey in 1999 and the end of the term of Robin Hayes in 2013, the party went through the control of a secretive top-down clique that anointed successors each time a chairman moved on. Usually, their incumbent would resign early so they could put the successor through his first election with the executive committee and let him run as an incumbent at the convention. Some posters on other boards called this the ”Cobey dynasty”. Delegates were presented with a packaged candidate, decided by an unknown group, and sporting endorsements of elected officials and predecessor Cobey dynasty chairman, vice chairmen, etc. Tellingly, one never saw any of the pro-Cobey chairmen get involved in these endorsements.

      As to elected officials, one never saw the GOP US Senators that NC can be proud of like Jesse Helms, John East, or Lauch Faircloth play endorsement games at the state convention. It was the later weak link Senators that did that, and they rarely ever seemed to even know the candidate that well. It was just a matter of someone puling strings.

      The Cobey dynasty, which supposedly already had its next crown prince selected, came to an abrupt end when Gov, McCrory decreed that he would choose the party chairman and came out with someone who looked very solid.

      The grassroots, which had had a big say in the party pre-Cobey, got rudely shoved aside during the Cobey dynasty period, and not just in the election of the chairman. Top down control was tightened in other ways, too, like the lesser party officers elected by the executive committee being crammed down by the chairman instead of freely elected by the executive committee as they had been pre-Cobey..

      While I would have preferred Daoud as chairman, it is still good to have our party back, free of the secretive cliques, I was appalled at some of the politicians who jumped into the endorsement game this time like Forest and Berger who should have known better.

      As to unqualified chairmen, we had our share of those in the Cobey dynasty. Take Tom Fetzer, who never held any party position at any level before being elected state chairman, and had not even bothered to go to his precinct meeting or county convention to get elected a delegate to be able to vote for himself. Fetzer’s ”qualification” was as a failed political consultant, who had just blown the Dole campaign, which was such a spectacular fail that it wrecked his consulting business which he had to close and was looking for something else to do.

      For years, I have given to my county party and to individual candidates, and until this mess with hiring these two liberals is straightened out, the NCGOP will not be on my list. Until this ruckus, it would have been.

      1. Ding Ding Ding We have a winner. Everyone please pay attention …. Everything Raphael says in this post as well as most of his post is correct… totally correct…

        The reasons I make my solutions that they only way our party will get fixed is a structural change when the Executive committee will take its power back from the central committee that has stolen it over the years… you got to understand the history to be able to fix the problems and Raphael understands the history

        Not sure who you are in real life but I hope to shake your hand one day

      2. Cmon now Raphael. Where have you been? I am no Tom Fetzer fan but to call him unqualified to be State Party Chairman is reaching it. There is no comparison with Fetzers credentials vs. Harnetts.

        Fetzer was the Republican Mayor of Raleigh for seven years, the first Republican in recent history. And you can most likely personally remember him working in the Martin Administration. He also worked on the Staff of US Senator John East. Last time I checked Martin and East were Republicans.

        I just find it totally hypocritical the stances you take. Fetzer was very qualified to lead the NC GOP. Now whether we liked or disliked his Chairmanship that can be debated. But Harnetts only real self credential to be a Republican was he says he “wrote” in Ron Paul in 2008 in the Deomcratic primary. And not to speak ill of the deceased but his converter was Tim Johnson so I will leave it at that.

        Thats all we really know. So maybe the naivety of some of our Rookie delegates may not be what was hoped for. The jury is still out. But I have personally seen you attack on this site converted Democrats yet praise and defend Harnett.

        But at the end of the day this fallacy of grassroots versus establishment that has been created by the likes of you for personal gain will hopefully not destroy the Grand Ole Party here in the Tarheel state!

        1. “Fetzer was very qualified to lead the NC GOP”

          what you call qualified I call questionable ethics ?

          I want my Chairman to want to be chairman because they 1st want to spread Conservative values across the state
          2nd help the Republican Party Succeed

          I do not want the persons main goal to be how big a salary they can lock in for themselves during a two year term

          If Fetzer would not have gotten paid I highly doubt he would have wanted to be Chairman and I had a discussion with him at the convention about this topic. Then Fetzer left his position early to start his lobbying firm. This left a really bad taste in my mouth because once again it seems like he was doing the job for his own personal needs… OK people will say that he raised so much money for the party during his term. I would ask you what did he do to help spread conservative values during this time. OK maybe I have details wrong and maybe someone will correct me but Fetzer was the one in recent years to start getting a big paycheck for the position and this I had and have problems with because the Republican party is a volunteer organization and the chairman should be the highest volunteer position in the party. Someone should not take the job for personal gain but for the conservative gains that can be made in the state.

        2. Holding a governmental office does not qualify one to serve as state party chairman, whether an elected office like being the non-partisan mayor of Raleigh (Raleigh does not have partisan elections for mayor) or serving in a gubenatorial administration. Knowledge of how the party structure operates comes from serving in that structure, not in a governmental office.

          The ideal background for a party chairman is being a state party officer or serving on the central committee. Being a county chairman or longtime active state executive committee also would be helpful. Serving as a paid state party staff member also could be helpful. A secondary type of credential would be in running campaigns. Fetzer would have actually had credentials there if he had been a competent consultant, but throwing away Dole’s reelection negated that.

          Not having had a background in the party, Fetzer apparently did not know or care about the rules about using ones party title to support a candidate in a primary. When Fetzer had his press conference as state GOP chairman to endorse the establishment runoff candidate in the 8th Congressional District GOP runoff primary in 2010 over the conservative top votegetter, and calling that top votegetter ”unfit for office”, it showed why state chairman should not be an entry level position in the party.

          Cobey, himself, is another example, a former elected official who had never been active in the party structure before he was elected chairman. Peasley had to lead him around by the hand the first part of his tenure

  19. I believe Todd Poole without hesitation. I also believe Hasan was “blindsided” by all the negativity coming at this decision from his own reactive supporters and critics alike. I think he (Hasan) relied on his people around him to guide him and Poole et al knew this candidate could raise money. Pedigree. Establishment links to be sure, but then who do you expect to raise money? The broke ass grass roots? Don’t make me laugh.

    If the complaints bring forth reasons, (Legit Reasons) to “unhire” then so be it. If there is no reason, follow through and let the Lady work her magic. She doesn’t make our new leadership spend any particular way. This is a TEAM effort and talk of coups or whatever better be false.

    Hey LiberTEA, these next two paragraphs are for you guys. Find someone that is a HUGE fundraising guru or listen more and freak out less. It’s a TEAM effort here with a blend of everyone. That’s what made Hasan’s election happen. Even perceived Establishmentarians voted Hasan. They, too have a seat at this table.

    Check the candidate but judge her Fairly. With good fundraising, a fair NCGOP will stay out of primaries and help candidates all the way down to Counsel of State that win primaries. Stay cool and develop a Poker Face. Everyone Know your JOB descriptions and show some loyalty.

    Todd Bennett
    Farmville, NC

    1. What ”magic” do you expect Laster to perform for the GOP on fundraising? Her background does not include heading the fundraising operation of any entity like the NCGOP. Indeed, even the NCGOP’s press release lists among her ”vast array of experience” only one thing even related to fundraising, and that is ”campaign finance compliance”..

      ”Campaign finance compliance” is not the actual fundraising. It is properly filling out the reports that have to be filed with the Board of Elections. But clearly, even there, her ”vast experience” is not so great. One of the liberal special interest PAC’s she worked with and filled out the forms for has just had a complaint filed with the State Board of Elections by conservative groups because its forms were apparently falsified. Yeah, that is just the sort of ”magic” the NCGOP needs!

      Laster is not a fundraising guru. She is a liberal lobbyist with a history of working for left wing organizations and causes, but no discernible history of ever working for conservative organizations or causes. Her latest liberal cause was Obama’s green energy crusade, which is also appropriately called Obama’s War on affordable energy. In that she was working directly against the position set out in the NCGOP platform and for the Obama position. That alone should disqualify her from working even as a receptionist at NCGOP headquarters. Giving someone clearly willing to sell her soul to the left access to the NCGOP’s financial operations is a major security risk.

      Whether Todd Poole told the truth about the bits and pieces he revealed is beside the point. The point is that this woman should never have been hired, and it was Poole who did the hiring. It was Poole who interviewed her, not Harnett, and it was Poole who knew, or should have known her full background from that interview. In light of Poole’s other actions in this matter to undercut the chairman, he certainly did not hire Laster out of any deference to the chairman.

      The question on Harnett is not just whether he forwarded this name to Poole, but how much he knew about her. He obviously did not have the benefit of an employment interview to fully explore her background.

      The NCGOP hiring this liberal woman is about like the Democrats hiring someone from Civitas. The Democrats are smart enough to not do that. Why aren’t we?

  20. Todd Bennett ought to make his ”TEAM” speech to the other Todd. because it is thanks to Todd Poole that headquarters is all establishment and NO conservatives. That is hardly what I would call a ”blend”.

    Todd Poole comes from the Congressional staff of Virginia Foxx, a knee-jerk Boehner supporter who is a rubber stamp for the Obama enabling leadership. Poole himself has unquestionable establishment credentials.

    If Poole wanted a TEAM approach, he could have at least hired one conservative for those two key slots he jusst hired, or given the mandate of the convention, hired conservatives for both, which would have made the top party staff split 2/1 or 1/2. Instead he hired two establishment hacks which made it 0/3, and the two he hired come from the most detested part of the establishment, the associates of Dee Stewart.

    It is Todd Poole who defied the mandate of the convention and keeps the headquarters all establishment, shutting out conservatives.

    It is also interesting to look at the ”Our Team” page on the NCGOP website. Poole puts the National Committeeman, David Lewis, his ally, and National Committeewoman on the top line, above the state chairman, and has the audacity to place himself on the same line as the chairman, implying they are equals. In his mind that is the new pecking order in the party.

    I was impressed with Todd Poole’s performance in his first two years, but he has been a very different kettle of fish since the convention. He could have made this a team effort, but instead he has chosen to try to marginalize conservatives.

    It is also surprising that someone from the east like Todd Bennett would sit still for the hiring of the lobbyist for the CCA environmental extremists at NCGOP headquarters. Most Republicans in the east know of and detest this leftist organization. If we are going to hire someone who has fought for CCA positions, how long will it be until NCGOP starts hiring people from Planned Parenthood, Code Pink, or the Occupy movement?

  21. Some would do well to speak less rather than show their entire hand demonstrating how little they really know. Hasan, Nix, David Williams, Daniel Rufty, and Poole does not constitute ignoring a convention mandate, unless you misread the LiberTEA leaves.

    Your CCA point is a bother, but your apparent lack of knowledge of the battlefield regarding that matter demonstrates you certainly do not know me.

    It’s our own reactionaries like some here that makes it so our best, that manage to get there to help create a difference, want to walk away from the thing. Of course maybe that’s the goal.

    Carry on.

    In Liberty,
    Todd Bennett
    Farmville, NC

    1. I will admit I do not know Daniel Ruffy, and I am not sure I know David Williams.

      The conservative movement is indeed a lot bigger than Harnett or Nix. Some are trying to personalize this matter to certain people, but the issue is a lot bigger than that. The party is NOT working together when only one faction, and the extreme end of that faction, can get hired at headquarters. That is a serious problem that needs to be overcome before election time. The way to overcome it is to make the headquarters staff inclusive, something that it is not at present.

      You say that the CCA is a ”bother”, so you clearly know something about this radical organization. Why in the world should the NCGOP have its recent lobbyist employed at our headquarters? Especially when she has also been the lobbyist for one of Obama’s signature issues, green energy, in our state? I pointed out in an earlier post that she is just a liberal lobbyist, not the ”fundraising guru” you try to paint her to be.

      You keep throwing up that ”LiberTEA” label like it is something nasty. I respect those people, but I have been a conservative grassroots activist myself many years before the TEA Party came into being. The malaise in our party from establishment arrogance runs to a lot more than just the TEA Party. It also runs to more than North Carolina. The problem of running away grassroots conservative activists is that very arrogance from the establishment, like the dishonest dirty tricks played in the Mississippi Senate primary last year. These establishment idiots are going to keep on until they generate enough disgust that it leads to a substantial third party, something that would be a disaster for conservatives as it would let the Democrats win against a divided opposition. I hope you agree that a third party would be a disaster and that the things the establishment is doing that create that danger need to stop, whether in NC or at the national level. The biggest danger of that third party threat right now comes from the way many in the national party establishment are treating Trump, almost like they are daring him to go third party. Trump is not my first choice of a candidate, but I am afraid that some of the ganging up on him may not end well for anyone except Hilliary.

      I concur that to strengthen the party, we do need a team, but you do not build a team by making the faction that won the convention sit in the back of the bus, and that is exactly what some are trying to do in the party in NC right now. You build a true team by bringing everyone to the table, not by giving one side all three major positions, and to the losing side at that.

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