It’s a quite common perception — outside the Raleigh beltline — that the NCGOP establishment is nothing but a tight clique of cronies. It’s not about growing the party. There is no ideology — no core set of principles. Oh, of course the yokels outside the beltline get a little lip service. It’s all about setting up your fellow cronies so that they can take advantage of access to government power to enrich themselves.
Look back at the primaries. There was case after case of meddling in local party primaries. Candidates with Raleigh connections were parachuted into races and micro-managed from our capital city. If the Raleigh-favored candidate lost, the primary winner got dropped like a rock.
During the recently completed campaign, we had a fantastic slate of candidates across the board. Yet, judging by the NCGOP web site, you would think the GOP slate included no one beyond Pat McCrory, Mitt Romney, David Rouzer and Richard Hudson. We had an excellent slate of Council of State candidates who spent most of the campaign pinching pennies. (All of them hung close to their opponents and finished relatively close behind.) Meanwhile, the four guys on the NCGOP web site got showered with money. (Last time I checked, that ticket had a 2-2 record. Romney lost, and Rouzer was losing in a 54% GOP district.)
Let’s look at Treasurer nominee Steve Royal. Janet Cowell should have been easy pickings. The state employees were angry at her. She’s embroiled in controversy about her decision to invest retirement funds in Facebook. Steve was hanging tight with Janet, while she used hundreds of thousands raised from Wall Street interests to attack him in TV ads. Steve got $300 from the NCGOP on election day. State Senate candidate Chad Barefoot — a big-time crony of the gang at NCGOP — got (wait for it) $838,538.88 in funding from the state party. That’s for ONE state senate candidate. We already have a veto-proof majority in the senate. Our treasurer candidate got $300 on election day. Boy, does it EVER help to be bosom buddies with the College Republicans alumni infesting the NCGOP HQ. (Ask Chad.)
To make matters worse, Chad ran a bunch of campaign ads hitting the Democrat incumbent for CUTTING education spending. That’s right. CUTTING. That’s what the party’s $800,000-plus was bankrolling. The last contribution — in-kind on 10/31 — was TEN TIMES what the NCGOP gave the treasurer candidate on election day.
It’s pretty clear that the Democrats smoked the NCGOP on getting out the vote. There were roughly 250,000 more straight-ticket Democrat ballots than Republican ones.
Did anybody else get that robo-call at 7:25 PM from Richard Burr? (Polls closed at 7:30.)