Michael Whatley’s campaign for vice-chairman of The Republican National Committee can best be described as a spectacular failure. After the smoke cleared, Whatley limped back to Raleigh and his office hideout on Hillsborough Street.
Then — inexplicably – we’re told he’s being appointed as the top lawyer for the RNC:
The North Carolina Republican Party is pleased to announce that its Chairman, Michael Whatley, has been named General Counsel for the Republican National Committee (RNC).
“Chairman Michael Whatley has done incredible work leading the North Carolina Republican Party to key victories since taking the role in 2019,” said RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel. “An accomplished lawyer with a wide breadth of experience at every level of the political process, Chairman Whatley will bring election integrity expertise, strong grassroots ties, and a winning record to the General Counsel’s office. I look forward to working closely with the Chairman as we expand our lawfare efforts and work to make Joe Biden a one term president.”[…]
There are a number of issues here.
Are you kidding us? He’s been a lobbyist in DC. He was an advance man for the Trump 2016 campaign. THAT is a wide breadth?
Next: “Election integrity expertise, strong grassroots ties, and a winning record” ????
Again, are we serious here? Ask John Kane about Whatley’s election integrity antics. ALL talk, NO action.
“Winning record” ? Winning half of your elections PLUS ONE counts as a winning record. It’s not great. But it’s “winning.” Barely.
Republican registration has declined during the Whatley era in Raleigh. Fundraising has been a dud. And we have fewer Republicans in the US House than we did when he started. We were supposed to have overwhelming routs in the General Assembly. The Senate barely got to its veto-proof majority. The House barely has a majority, and it’s not veto-proof.
Much of the biggest GOP successes have happened at the local or county-wide levels. And Whatley had ZERO to do with that.
The more interesting thing about the Whatley-to-the-RNC announcement? Whatley has not practiced law in at least SIX years.
I didn’t even know Whatley was a lawyer when he burst onto the NCGOP scene. According to the NC Bar’s website, Whatley voluntarily shifted his law license to “inactive” in 2017. From what I understand, attorneys typically do that when they are retiring from the trade or not planning to go back into the business any time soon. According to the NC Bar site, you are ”ineligible” to practice law with an “inactive” law license.
WHY would you hire someone as your top attorney who does not have an active law license and has not practiced law in at least six years? In most jurisdictions, it’s a crime to hold yourself out there as a lawyer and / or provide legal advice if you are not a licensed attorney.