Craven Co. GOP – Thom Tillis spat MAY cost Craven GOP chairman HIS JOB

ncgopYou may recall our previous coverage of efforts by Craven County Republicans to censure state House Speaker Thom Tillis.   What is behind all of this?

Well, local activists have long memories — just like their party’s mascot.  They recall stuff like THIS, THIS, THIS and THIS involving the speaker and aspiring US senator.

Initially, establishment types in Craven County had turned to NCGOP HQ to help stamp out this local grassroots act of rebellion.   Craven chairman Paul Hill conversed with party attorneys and produced reasons to question the legitimacy of the letter of censure.

Well, censure proponents decided to revisit the letter this past week — just to take some ammo away from the establishment types.  The letter of censure got passed ONCE AGAIN.  The Craven Executive Committee instructed their chairman — already out as an opponent of the censure move — to send the letter of censure to NCGOP Chairman Claude Pope via certified mail.

The day after THAT meeting, my sources in Craven County tell me that Chairman Hill sent out an email saying that he had “emailed” the letter of censure to Pope — as opposed to sending it certified mail, as he was reportedly instructed by his executive committee.

According to my sources on the ground there, tempers were hot over this unexpected, unauthorized change of strategy initiated by the chairman.  Late last week, demands were issued for the chairman to produce an actual digital copy of the email and attachment sent to Claude Pope.

As of this writing, my sources tell me Chairman Hill has not complied with those demands.  Local party sources tell me plans are being drawn up for a vote of NO CONFIDENCE against Hill for reportedly defying the wishes of a majority on the county party’s executive committee.

I am told that the committee will meet again at the end of July — and the earliest Hill could be removed from office would be mid-August.

23 thoughts on “Craven Co. GOP – Thom Tillis spat MAY cost Craven GOP chairman HIS JOB

  1. Your facts are mostly right. However it was not certified mail, but signed return to assure the mail was delivered. To my knowledge, the letters were not sent to those who were listed on the letter to receive a copy. In fact, most of us have ever seen the finished letter.

    There are a couple of missing facts. The establishment members were angry because the workshop meeting of May 28th was cancelled by the chair via email but was held anyway. The chair tried his best to have the meeting cancelled at 7 pm but was obstructed by those present. Even though there were loud complaints, no one (other than the chair) offered rebuttal to the letter. They had a month to compile facts which would have supported their arguments but no one bothered. It seemed they preferred to vote down the letter rather than refute it.

    The Craven GOP is seriously fractured but I know of no serious plan to recall the chair at this time. That fracture represents the same division in the party at all levels. Until the GOP puts the country ahead of party we will continue to flounder and LOSE.

  2. What is particularly appalling is the party’s General Counsel and Assistant General Counsel participated in intimidation activities against grassroots party activists. Those party officials were trying to cover for establishment candidates. This is a repeat of Flyergate, where the same officials misrepresented defamation law to try to intimidate party activists, and again they were trying to cover for the establishement. In two years, we need grassroots candidates for these offices, which are elected at the State Executive Committee, and not let the establishment ram their flunkies down our throats.

  3. If Paul Hill won’t represent the majority of the Craven ExComm, he needs to be replaced. Business as usual politics is over in North Carolina, it may take some time to chase all the cockroaches out, but it’s going to happen. The NCGOP needs major reform at the top, and the people who do all the work for the party are sick of being viewed and treated like second-class citizens. There are only two choices from here on out: cronyism, bullying and fear or transparency, accountability, and honor. Needless to say, the NCGOP are ill-prepared for this new digital age of real-time reporting. Everything in the darkness will be brought to the light.

  4. At the beginning of last year (2012) Beaufort County had a similar situation. Their executive committee voted unanimously to send a statement to various entities in the NC State Republican Party concerning meddling in local primaries by state kingmakers. It turned out their chairman didn’t send it. That chairman stepped down to run for office and their new chairman sent it when he was advised of the situation.
    I agree. The GOP has some issues to work out among its factions. The biggest issue seems to be whether to rule from top down or to communicate from bottom up. Yep, it’s about power; principle be damned: It’s about raw adulterated power.

  5. Brant,

    Craven County’s Letter of Censure was indeed delivered via email to me by Chairman Hill on June 28, noting that the vote to Censure was 13-12.

    During the campaign for the Chairmanship of the NCGOP, I was often asked if the NCGOP would get involved (or “meddle”) in a Primary – an action that certainly can cause consternation among the various supporters of the primary opponents. My response was always “no – let the candidates duke it out, and let our primary voters decide for themselves”. Primaries are the ultimate “bottom-up” approach to sorting out the candidates.

    The issue has come up several times since the convention, prompting me to send a note to all of our Executive Committee members reminding them of the prohibition in the POO against “utilizing the powers and dignity of his or her office or position in any Republican Primary for public office at any level.”

    The Letter of Censure, in part, alleges (among other items) just such an action by Speaker Tillis in previous races – an action that is not condoned by our Party. Ironically, the Letter of Censure itself could be construed or interpreted as an endorsement of a primary opponent since it is openly critical of an announced US Senate candidate.

    Individuals are free to voice their support or opposition for any of our primary opponents, and I encourage a vigorous dialog and debate of the relevant issues. It is, in my opinion, counter-productive to this process to have a local GOP Executive Committee make statements or pass any sort of resolution that could be construed or interpreted as favoring or opposing any of our announced candidates.

    The field for the US Senate is far from being settled, as others may join the race. I pledge the full support, resources, and the dignity of my office to the eventual winner of the various primaries to help get them across the ultimate finish line. Until then, we will remain neutral, and provide resources to all announced candidates in equal measure.

    One of my (many) jobs as Chairman of the NCGOP is to foster an open and transparent dialog (and debate) among the many factions of conservatives across the State. It’s equally important that after all of the debates, and after all of the votes and resolutions are recorded – that we unite and rally behind those votes – unified – and fully committed to our resolutions – platform – and the primary contest winners in the real battle that will take place on Election Day.

    Only when we work together will we beat back the decades of liberal corruption, cronyism and wasteful spending by the democrats. The only ones cheering on the internal squabbles of our Party are the democrats themselves – yearning to break us apart – for it is their only chance to retain the Senate or the White House, or to regain the majority in the NC Legislature in years to come. I look forward to working with all conservatives across the state to solidify our majorities and take back the US Senate.

    Claude E. Pope, Jr.
    Chairman
    North Carolina Republican Party

      1. You comparing Tillis to Reagan is the height of comedy. This letter was brought up and passed before Tillis announced to run for Senate. Indeed, it is very interesting that Tillis moved up the announcement a full week (he was going to announce at the State Convention) while Paul Hill stonewalled the release of the letter. If anything, the establishment on every level seems to be batting for Tillis, as is evidenced here by puppet Pope’s doublespeak and double standards.

      2. I was not comparing Reagan to anyone,just reminding of his wise 11th commandment. You handle stuff like this on election day and if you loose get over it. Look ahead and prepare for the next one. Read the plan of organization and follow it. In my opinion this censure resolution should have been done at the county convention, it would carry more weight. We are now the majority party in NC and we need to learn to act like it.

        1. And what would constitute “acting like” the majority party, in your opinion? Backing any play legislative leaders make, regardless of whether it runs counter to the party platform?

    1. Mr. Pope,

      Respectfully, I agree with you on many points. But there are a few facts you are missing. I will point them out in the following Rebuttals.

      First, allow me to say on behalf of grassroots republicans, thank you for not only taking the time to speak up, but to also announce you firmly believe the NCGOP should stay out of primaries.

      However you say….. “The issue has come up several times since the convention, prompting me to send a note to all of our Executive Committee members reminding them of the prohibition in the POO against “utilizing the powers and dignity of his or her office or position in any Republican Primary for public office at any level.”
      Let me say I am an NCGOP Executive Committee member from 1st District, and have not received said note. This could be a simple error, but I have checked my email and spam folders, and there is no message (I do however receive many other communications from the party).

      Another issue I see is….. “Ironically, the Letter of Censure itself could be construed or interpreted as an endorsement of a primary opponent since it is openly critical of an announced US Senate candidate.” Mr. Pope, Of course you should notice the ORIGINAL date of the letter, you will find it dated May 28, 2013 which is BEFORE the Speaker Formally Announced his bid for US Senate. So no sir there is no endorsement implied at all for any candidate for US Senate.

      Once again….. ” It is, in my opinion, counter-productive to this process to have a local GOP Executive Committee make statements or pass any sort of resolution that could be construed or interpreted as favoring or opposing any of our announced candidates. ” There is no favor, nor opposition of an announced candidate, This is however, a statement of disapproval of the Speaker’s actions as Speaker of the House, NOT as a candidate for US Senate. Not to mention the Speaker is a member of the NCGOP Central Committee, does the POO not apply to him?

      ” It’s equally important that after all of the debates, and after all of the votes and resolutions are recorded – that we unite and rally behind those votes – unified – and fully committed to our resolutions – platform – and the primary contest winners in the real battle that will take place on Election Day. ” If it’s important to rally behind votes and resolutions, is it not fair to say I agree with you, and the CCGOP Executive Committee should be rallied behind as the majority have spoken on the censure. The 13-12 vote is really coincidental, as we had SEVERAL voting members absent on vacations and what not. Trust me, the vote would have been MUCH more LOPSIDED in FAVOR of the censure if all voting members were present.

      “The only ones cheering on the internal squabbles of our Party are the democrats themselves – yearning to break us apart – for it is their only chance to retain the Senate or the White House, or to regain the majority in the NC Legislature in years to come.” I agree to an extent however, The Democrats would rather the GOP continue to kick the can down the road, and ignore it’s internal problems, causing many Republicans to sit out elections, and continually ignoring the youth and the minorities. Trust me, the Democrats will fear us much more if we fix our internal problems.

      Mr. Pope, I speak to you not as someone trying to cause division or trouble. But I come to you as a Republican candidate for public office to tell you, If we don’t do something, our beloved GOP will die. I speak for the vast majority of Republicans who are tired of people who call themselves Republican, while leading our party further to the left and selling out to the highest bidder. I’m willing to bet if the atrocity they call immigration reform passes, this will be the end of the GOP. That being said, it’s either put up or shut up. Do we care to fix our party, or do we want to go the way of the Whig Party? You Decide.

      Respectfully,

      Sammy J. Dodd
      Candidate for City of New Bern Board of Alderman

    2. Claude, I don’t suppose you bothered to see that the censure letter was drafted and approved by the Craven County Republican Executive Committee *before* Thom Tillis entered the race for U.S. Senate. This website broke the story, and it is important to realize that Tillis entered the race with full knowledge that he had been censured by Craven.

      I do agree wholeheartedly with you that we must “beat back the decades of liberal corruption, cronyism and wasteful spending by the democrats.” The way to do that, rather obviously, is not with corruption, cronyism, and wasteful spending by Republicans. That is exactly what the censure letter was trying to communicate. We live in a state that a real conservative can win. It is counterproductive to field fake conservative candidates like Mr. Tillis.

    3. Chairman Pope – The east has had a real problem with busy bodies from Raleigh in our local sandbox. If you are serious about your ”own your own sandbox” rhetoric in your campaign, you will help put a stop to it. In the last legislative elections the Raleigh power brokers – yes, Tillis was a major one but also other legislator and NCGOP officials – got involved in pushing liberals for local eastern legislative races. They pushed a longtime major Democrat contributor who had also provided an airplane to Purdue to run in the Senate primary against Norm Sanderson. They pushed a former liberal Democrat legislator to run for the Beaufort / Dare House seat. They pushed someone who had run for county commissioner as an Obama Democrat two years earlier to run against Bill Cook for the 1st District Senate Seat. Eastern Republicans need the state chairman’s help to get these Raleigh hands out of our cookie jar (or our sandbox, if you will). When confronted on this issue, Tillis vowed to do it again in 2014. The best service you could do for both the party and for Tillis himself, is to get him out of the local parties’ sandboxes. IF not, the fightback against this outside interference has just begun. Other counties in the area and elsewhere in the state are concerned as well. It is not just Craven. You are right that it is better not to have a fight over these issues, but if TIllis (and others) insist on that fight, they will get it. Republicans are not going to back down for these Raleigh bullies.

    4. Chairman Pope, The state GOP has for too long said one thing and done another when it comes to supporting primary candidates., and that is why pronouncements such as yours here are taken with a grain of salt. We remember in 2010 when state party chairman Tom Fetzer openly endorsed the establishment candidate in the primary runoff in the 8th Congressional Disitrict, viciously attacking the frontrunner, who was a Tea Party favorite, in the process. We remember at the last convention when state party chairman Robin Hayes did not treat the two announced Senate candidates openly and fairly in scheduling their remarks. He put Brannon on Friday under the heading ”candidate remarks”, a time when there would be sparse attendance while Tillis had a prime spot right before the chairman’s race, when attendance would be at its peak. Oh, and Tillis’ comments were designated ”remarks by OUR candidates”. This was so blatant that even the Charlotte Observer picked up on it and commented on it. Then there was the Hayes and Tillis tag team on the Toll Roads resolution at the state executive committee meeting. And who could forget that one of the Raleigh bullies who interfered in local legislative races in 2012 was none other than state party vice chairman Wayne King? King did not stop at legislative races, as he strongarmed Greg Dority out of the State Auditor runoff in order to clear the field for establishment twit Debra Goldman, who later proved to be an immense embarassment to the party in the final weeks of the campaign. The state party has not been practicing what it preaches. Why should county parties be held to any different standard than the state party has adopted n practice for itself?

    5. Chairman Pope,

      I can’t help but point out the irony that in the first paragraph of the same post wherein you ask all of us to unify behind whoever wins the vote, putting aside differences, you have to mention that it was a 13-12 vote. If we vote and then get behind the winner, why does the count matter?

      The Craven County GOP censured the speaker. It wasn’t ’13 GOP members that reside in Craven.’ Are you trying to discredit the CCGOP? You mentioned that the CC Chairman pointed it out. Why?

      It would be amusing watching the hypocrasy and double standards if it wasn’t our Country and Children who are going to suffer for it…

  6. Pope’s response is illustrative of THE PROBLEM the GOP has. His argument is rational for GOP loyalists. His appeal to “unite” behind a candidate (presumably regardless of the principles upon which that candidate stands) is foolishness of the highest order. Many of us care more about our country, state and county than we do about the GOP. We stand on principle, not party. Until the GOP realizes that it and its elected candidates adhere to the traditional principles of the GOP (i.e., see Reagan for instruction) then there is little hope. The Beaufort Observer got it exactly right in its piece 7-5-13. Check it out. Unaffiliated voters will not be impressed with Pope’s comments above. The Establishment, maybe; but not the ones who will hold the margin of victory or defeat.

  7. TO Mr. Pope and Mr. Rickart: All we ask of our elected politicians is they abide by the platform of the party. Too many talk like a conservative and then throw the Constitution and the party platform under the bus as soon as elected.

    My motto is pay little attention to what people say, but watch what they do. We have watched the actions of Tillis and we don’t approve. Some of us actually have principles and want to support people with principles. Lip service isn’t going to cut the mustard.

    As bad as the Democrat platform is (and it’s awful IMHO) Democrats stand by it. Of course they have no principles and I doubt many of them have read the Constitution except for looking for loopholes or to use it for nefarious means.

    Republicans will continue to lose elections until they stand for something. We are sick of Lindsey Graham and John McCain and all of their ilk. Many of us are tired of voting for the lesser of two evils.

    Until the GOP rids itself of the establishment and business as usual, you can count on continuing to lose elections. Some of us are trying to work within the GOP to help get it back to its roots. If that doesn’t work, you may lose a lot of supporters.

  8. Having lived in Craven County for a number of years I am delighted to see the CCGOP stand up to the state GOP. I commend your spirit and stand in absolute agreement with your stance. I can no longer support the NC GOP because they are RINOS. (Look at Senator Burr’s repeated capitulation in the US Senate). Unless the voters look at what the NCGOP is throwing at us, we are without representation. Stand firm and help us overcome those in the party that will continue to destroy the party. I recently had occasion to call the NCGOP to complain about Burr’s failure to stand with the principles of the GOP, and was told they were perfectly happy with his actions. Tillis would be another Burr! Please help us rid ourselves of non-representation.

    1. Tillis IS another Burr and given six years in the U.S. Senate, he’ll stab us in the back the way Burr has. Not sure he’ll get the chance, though, too many registered Republicans are wise to his kind and will stay home next November should he get the nomination. I suspect there are county Chairs who won’t lift a finger to help Tillis…..their standing with their own people would be damaged if they did. And in my neck of the woods, some people have already bailed from the party or are threatening to if the U.S. House enacts any sort of immigration legislation.

      http://eaglerising.com/543/republicans-fleeing-the-party/

    2. Having followed Tillis’ miserable record in the NC House, I could cite chapter and verse to support your contention that he would be an absolutely awful Senate candidate, but that is not the issue here. Whether he would be a good or bad Senate candidate, he should absolutely NOT be interfering in local legislative primaries, especially to push liberals, as he has. Tillis not only did it openly in 2012, but he has arrogantly stated that he intends to do it again in 2014. County party organizations have a duty to their local voters to do all they can to stop Tillis and other outsiders who want to monkey around with our local nominations If Tillis wants to persist in his aggression on our local legislative primaries, and that fight blows up in his face in his Senate race, then he has no one to blame but himself. Tillis needs to butt out, and Pope needs to communicate that to Tillis..

  9. As a lifelong Republican who went door to door campaigning, in the rain, for Reagan before I was even old enough to vote, I have come to the conclusion that the Republican Party has – to paraphrase Reagan – left me. I don’t know if I can bring myself to vote democrat, but I sure as shootin’ will never vote for another NC Republican – they are all corrupt neanderthals who care nothing for our party, our state, our country, or the citizens they are obligated to serve. They have squandered the first majority in years on petty legislation designed to reward large donors and screw their enemies – enemies who apparently include the working men and women of North Carolina. Disgraceful.

    1. Boone – I am as disgusted as you are at what I have seen in Raleigh, mostly from the House but a bit from the Senate, and also from the appointments we have seen from McCrory. There are sleaxebags like Tillis in that bunch that I would never vote for if they won the nomination. However, we cannot throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are principled conservatives in the legislature who need to be supported so that they can hopefully break the back of the Tillis clique, and Tillis does so far have one principled conservative challenging him for the US Senate nomination – Dr. Greg Brannon. We need more like Ted Cruz and fewer like Lindsay Graham in federal office.

  10. Rule # 1 STOP the circular firing squad! The above thought process is why we have Obama as President and Dumplin’ the absolute worse Governor ever.

    1. I agree that Obama is awful. You might want to keep up with things, as Purdue is no longer governor. She was awful, too. In both of those cases, conservatives mostly held their nose and voted for the weak establishment candidates who were the GOP nominees. Obama and Purdue won because the GOP candidates ran weak campaigns, not because other factions of the party abandoned the GOP nominees.

      The problem we have is liars in our primaries who do not honestly tell voters their real positions on issues. Amnesty for illegals is a good example, where Marco Rubio, Jeff Flake, John McCain, and Lamar Alexander, among others lied through their teeth about their position on amnesty in their last campaign, and have now made fools of Republican voters after they sided with Schumer on the issue. For Rubio, Flake, and McCain, amnesty was a very major issue in their primaries and they all lied through their teeth. Republicans should absolutely not tolerate this behavior from our candidates..

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