#NCGA: “Hey! Who put this horse head in my bed?”

gfWell, it appears Robert Brawley’s political career on Jones Street — and his relationship with the NCGOP powers that be — swims with the fishes.  Just like Luca Brasi. 

He got censured by his Republican colleagues today. What did Brawley do to deserve this? Did he form an alliance with Democrats to help them steal away the majority, thwart the will of the voters, and punish conservatives?    Nope.  He dared to point out that his caucus leadership abused their power by creating a monopoly for a fellow Republican legislator and his family. A state judge’s finding supported Brawley’s assertion.  Brawley also dared to accuse state House speaker and US Senate nominee Thom Tillis of manipulating the legislative process to benefit people who ponied up big to his campaign fund.  He also dared to publicly question a plan supported by Gov Pat McCrory and House Republican leaders to create a privately-managed toll road in Mecklenburg County.   Scandalous. 

State House majority leader Edgar Starnes tried to spin the story favorably: Billie_s_pics_531_19469_84535_66378

In a rare move to chastise one of their own, House Republicans took a vote of “no confidence” Tuesday to effectively remove a vocal critic of Speaker Thom Tillis from the caucus.

Rep. Robert Brawley, a Mooresville Republican, suggested Tillis orchestrated the move for his criticism of the speaker during the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

“I do believe in representative government,” Brawley said in an interview, recalling what he told the Republican caucus ahead of the vote. “I do regret that this caucus is controlled like a dictatorship. The message loud and clear to the public is, ‘Say yes to the speaker or be censored, punished or pushed out.’ ”

Brawley is still a member of the caucus but he agreed not to attend the regular meetings if his fellow Republican lawmakers voted against him. The “confidence” vote was 52 to 11 against him.

“There were a number of members who felt uncomfortable discussing privileged information with him because he had the propensity to talk publicly about caucus matters,” said House Majority Leader Edgar Starnes, a Hickory Republican.

Brawley said Starnes told him Tillis “required the (caucus) session to be held.” […]

XGR02-NE-072413-RTWInteresting.  If leaking is a “crime,” why is Skip Stam still in the caucus? A former House member told me that Stam — when he was minority leader  — regularly met with top Democrat Joe Hackney to talk about the GOP caucus’ game plan. 

Starnes had publicly endorsed Brawley for reelection in his May 6 primary fight with a Tillis ally.  About a week before the election, Starnes publicly revoked his endorsement of Brawley.  (Brawley lost his renomination fight by about 100 votes.)

This story sounds quite similar to 2006.  Mecklenburg Republican John Rhodes was making headlines raising ethics questions about then-House Speaker Jim Black and his Republican co-conspirator Richard Morgan.  Rhodes — named the previous year as Legislator of the Year by Americans For Prosperity — suddenly found himself in a primary with a guy named Thom Tillis.  A lot of special interest money flowed into the race, and Rhodes was defeated.

Rhodes was vindicated by the federal indictment and conviction of Black, and Morgan’s 2006 reelection loss.  

This episode with Brawley — like the 2006 Rhodes episode — is meant to send a loud-and-clear message: Shut your mouth and play along, or get crushed. 

We got a lot of lip service in early 2011 about how things were going to be different on Jones Street.  It appears we’ve got the same game with different players.   It appears — folks — that we are on our own.


7 thoughts on “#NCGA: “Hey! Who put this horse head in my bed?”

  1. Tillis has a Napolean complex, or maybe these days it is more of a Stalin complex. His continued war on conservatives means conservative voters need to strike back and vote against Tillis for the Senate. Tillis’ dictatorial behavior against conservative legislators is appalling. Like his mentor, Tillis has always had his ”enemies list” of conserv

    I would like to see Brawley mount an official write in campaign for US Senate against Tillis, so that conservatives can have a candidate we can vote for in November. TIllis can get stuffed.

    1. That would just get Hagan re-elected and Harry Reid would keep the Senate. Talk about Napoleon and Stalin on a much grander scale….

      1. Electing Tillis would feel like electing Benedict Arnold. And ”Kentucky Kickback” McConnell is only marginally better than Harry Reid.

        We need some real leaders, and we do not have them in DC nor on the US Senate ballot in NC.

  2. Hopefully this will help awaken and unite the grass roots. Once the GOP base voters see the corruption in “our” party things will change for the better. It starts with the sober realization that the GOP leadership is corrupt in state.

  3. I would expect this kind of thuggery from Tillis — but Edgar Starnes?? Guess Edgar has made a deal with the devil. You picked the wrong guy to stand up for Edgar — this is not a way to get that speaker position you’ve been seeking (or maybe it is given how House of Tillis operates.) I admire Robert Brawley and he will be considered a hero just like John Rhodes. Those 11 of you who voted to keep Brawley — thank you, you did the right thing.

  4. I suspect that this political hit on Brawley was motivated by the chatter on the internet about writing in Brawley for US Senate, such as some of the comments in this thread:


    To my knowledge Brawley did not encourage or participate in it, but that did not stop Comrade Tillis from having him whacked.

    We do NOT need to send this liberal megliomaniac to the US Senate. The hit on Brawley has changed my thinking from debating whether to leave the Senate race blank or to actually think of voting for Tillis if he gives us a reason to do so during the legislative session (like getting behind repeal of Common Core and/or repealing the renewable energy mandate). Now I am debating whether to leave the Senate race blank or hold my nose and vote for Hagan as the lesser of the evils. Tillis, the thug, has made himself absolutely unacceptable.

    If my legislator was not one of the 11, I might well have left that race blank, too. I have a whole lot more respect for Rep. Robert Brawley than I ever did for that poisonous snake Tillis.

  5. I think it is called politics. If you cannot smite your political enemy then what good is it to win the election. We must all answer for our sins and in politics your sins carry swift retribution.

    Some days we are pigeons and some days we are the statue.

    In politics the righteous is the one who won. Those who opposed him are the unrighteous and must stand before the throne with wailing and the gnashing of teeth.

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