#NCGOP: Convention pre-game show

ncgopState Republicans are headed off to the furthest western regions of our state this weekend to hold their convention and plot a course for the next year.

Observers are worried about a number of things impacting participation in the event: the remote location, the distractions offered by the Cherokee casino resort, a congressional fundraiser in Greensboro, and the kickoff of the US Open festivities in Pinehurst, among others.

Two big items look to create some drama for the pachyderms this weekend: (1) reported changes to the platform, and (2) Senate nominee Thom Tillis.  We reported earlier about efforts within the platform drafting committee to water down language on amnesty for illegal aliens and delete altogether language opposing toll roads.  We also understand there will be an effort to strike the vague, wishy-washy language allegedly opposing ObamaCare.  Delegates to the convention will  have the final say on the party platform.  Let’s hope they don’t fall for this castration of the document and the party’s core beliefs.

In politics — just like business — you HAVE to offer a clear-cut choice between yourself and your competition in order to stay competitive.  Taking steps like we’ve seen so far only muddies the boundary between the two parties — taking them into not-a-dime’s worth of difference territory.  Here’s an excellent read on the UKIP in Britain and how their current situation could be relevant to the futures of the North Carolina and national Republican Parties.  Their party leaders are already tiptoeing away from the limited government agenda that has brought them so much success against the two major parties and the political establishment in the UK.  

The Senate Race:  There’s been an incredible amount of smugness and boasting from the establishment groupies surrounding the Tillis campaign.  They need to remember their guy ended up with 44 percent of the party’s vote.  He is going to need 50 percent PLUS 1 of ALL North Carolinians to get to Washington.  Continuing to mock Tillis’ primary opponents and their supporters is NOT the way to make that happen.  There is a Libertarian candidate in the race.  And it is my understanding that some conservatives have succeeded in qualifying former state Rep. John Rhodes as a write-in for the Senate race.     There has been a lot of talk about these people not having anywhere else to go BUT Tillis.  Actually, they have at least TWO alternatives to Tillis.  A third could very well involve STAYING HOME in November.  (*So, keep up the mockery, guys.*) 

As a side note:  One of Tillis’ consultants came out and admitted — after the election — that Thom was orbiting at 16 percent in the polls until Mr. Rove swooped in with his Super PAC dinero. 

The people who followed Tillis mainly did it out of respect for the Republican brand — whatever that currently is — and a desire to see Kay Hagan unemployed.  The followers of the other primary campaigns were more passionate about ideas than individuals or parties.  They see the limiting of government as more important than whether the senator from our state, for the next six years, has a D or an R next to their name or wears a skirt or a suit to work.  Want to keep these folks in the fold?  Adopt the ideas they champion and fight for them. 

Party leaders are working overtime to push the unity theme.  They have lobbied to get all of the Senate primary candidates to appear in a photo op with Tillis at the convention.  It is my understanding  that the only no-show will be second place finisher Greg Brannon  — who will be kept close to home with work commitments.  Sources close to Brannon tell me the former candidate has been lobbied hard by sources close to Tillis and NCGOP HQ to show up and make a speech.  The Brannon sources say they were told Greg does not have to mention Tillis or endorse him. They merely want a speech preaching party unity.  

Paying Mr. Huckabee? :   Ted Cruz has a prior commitment.  Reports surfaced that presidential wannabee Mike Huckabee tried to shake local Republicans down for a $15,000 “speaking fee” in order for him to show his face at the convention.  NCGOP leaders are disputing that report, and Huckabee is slated to speak to delegates.


More on Party Unity:  There are a few side-stories to keep an eye on.  One is the missing money in Guilford County.  A firm co-owned by state party executive director Todd Poole got paid big while the Guilford GOP got nothing.  The Guilford GOP is investigating.  

A state party employee was working for the reelection campaign of a GOP legislator from Pitt County during a primary.  Poole and his firm got caught up in a dispute in Davidson County regarding an appointment to a state House seat. Tempers are still simmering over that one. 

Some activists are still upset at Senate nominee Tillis for his tiff with, and the censure of, state Rep. Robert Brawley.  Some folks Down East are still upset with Tillis over his alleged role in meddling in some party primaries there.

It should be fun.

17 thoughts on “#NCGOP: Convention pre-game show

  1. I think it is important for the NCGOP to formulate a path to citizenship in the NCGOP for those wayward souls who did not support Thom in the primary. I know many of these people are now ready to come home and are looking for a way to rejoin the party and walk upright among men.

    Thom should reach out to those who did not support him in the primary and bring them home. He should dry their tears and offer them the warm embrace of home. It is sometimes hard to come home after you have wandered but Thom can make it easier for those who did not support him to see that party unity is the way forward.

    This annual meeting should bring everyone together so that we might move forward to a Republican victory in November.

    1. Warm words and vague promises will not satisfy the ideologically-driven supporters of the other candidates in the primary. The only thing that will win us over are deliveries on real, conservative policies. A few suggestions would be repealing the green energy mandates Tillis has supported up to now, reversing course on toll roads, and fully repealing Common Core.

      Delivering on these would bring a lot of the Brannon and Harris supporters into line. I won’t hold my breath waiting for it, though.

    2. Continuing to kick conservatives in the teeth as he did in his tantrum against Brawley does not endear progressive Tillis to conservatives. Tillis seems to think he does not need conservatives, as he told a radio interview in Greenville on a station owned by one of his big supporters that he does not plan to try to mend fences with conservatives.

      The key is not personality but policy. If Tillis was serious about uniting the party, he would do some concrete things on policy to move the ball in the conservative direction. He seems to have done that with Common Core, which is to be commended, but there are other issues he needs to move on if he really wants to get conservatives motivated to help him.

  2. Wonder if the party goons ever came to Rhodes or Brawley to offer them a chance to speak in a spirit of party unity? Probably not, they know those cats would expose the whole bunch.

    1. Brawley has more gumption than Tilli$ will EVER have. Don’t know Mr. Rhodes, but it takes the same gumption to do what he did and shine the light on Tholl Road Thom.

      What I really want to see is some ethics investigations come forth regarding Tilli$…i.e. the board of governors ‘vote’ if you want to call it that, and other documented shenanigans by the weasel Tilli$.

      Brant is right, as usual…it WILL take 50 plus percent to win. And if Tilli$ loses, we won’t have to be saddled with his crap on a state level or a national level. He will be gone…free to find another ‘pathway to corruption’.

  3. Tillis’ election looks very doubtful to me. The base is not at all fired up and simply despises the DC GOP establishment–with good reason.

  4. I (as I’m certain are many others) am struggling with whether I’ll once again “hold my nose and vote for the lesser of two evils”. I just don’t think I can continue to do this any more. I know I won’t cast a vote for the little amnesty princess, Ellmers. If I vote at all in that race, I will vote for Aikens — as much as a “go to h*** protest vote” against the Republican Party as an attempt to get rid of her. He can’t be any worse!

    Yes, I want to see Hagan go. But I’ve come to truly believe one should vote their principles — and Tillis in no way represents my principles and values. I really don’t think it would make much difference which one of them is in office — they’ll take us the same place.

    And as for “getting rid of Harry Reid”, I am absolutely convinced Mitch McConnell is no better, either. I’m sick of this entire pack of wolves.

    As for the over-hyped “Party Unity”, I’ll reunite with the Republican Party when it stands up for principles. Until then, they can kiss my…..

    1. These people either do not understand real party unity. They either want a meaningless facade of unity or are totally clueless.

      The reason people are sour on Tillis has little to do with the other primary candidates. It has to do with Tillis’ own baggage, and it is up to Tillis to do things to overcome the negative opinion he has built for himself among many conservatives. When you are in that hole, you don’t keep digging as he did with what he has done to Brawley.

      1. Right you are.

        Raphael has his finger on the pulse of our party, whilst Tilli$ has his hand in someone else’s pockets.
        EVEN if he DID try to make amends, we couldn’t take it as truth.


    2. Well put, sir.

      I cannot vote for Tillis. He has a for sale sign on his back. His tyrannical deeds as speaker are not Republican or American. He is self serving only and has proven that time and time again. There is NO reason to believe he will serve anyone but himself. I will check out the write in for Rhodes, and probably do that.

      And if I WERE in the district I too would vote for Aiken. He is much more than what people preconcieve. He has some smarts and compassion. And I don’t think he will have any trouble doing his own thing if it comes down to diverging from the Dems. Ellmers, well….you know.

      1. Aiken is an economic fool when it comes to the debt, you should check out his deleted tweets before deciding to vote for him. Perhaps instead you can write in a candidate. Voting for Aiken is voting for the hard Left, don’t be fooled. I get the opposition to Ellmers and understand not voting for her but Aiken, really?

        “Most of the tweets posted by Buzzfeed are too profane to quote here, but the singer also attacked Mitt Romney, his wife and his wife’s horse. He also said the Treasury Department should mint a $16 trillion coin to pay off the nation’s debt.”


        1. I agree – I would never vote for Ellmers or Aiken; One of them is going to win, and whoever it is is going to be a horrible representative. (same in our Senate race).

          That district has already lost – it’s sad, but true. Write someone in, leave it blank, vote for a Libertarian – all are better choices than standing up and supporting either one of those clowns.

  5. I understand that the convention added some strong language from the floor against amnesty to the platform. I don’t know if there was an attempt to add the toll road language.

    1. There was an attempt to re-instate the 2013 platform which contained the toll-road language but that effort stopped in its tracks fairly quickly. No chicanery, the effort just didn’t pass parliamentary muster. Such an effort might have succeeded if it hadn’t been necessary to fight off other insidious problems that arose. I also don’t know how many Mecklenberg people were there and a lot of the anti-toll people come from that neck of the woods, or so I thought. On another note, I have to say, however, that the incredibly small Wake County turnout (Tillis 41%-Brannon 39%) stunned me, the travel distance notwithstanding.

      1. This was a low turnout convention. There were only about 680 registered delegates on Saturday, although I don’t think the room had that many seated because that total includes some who registered Friday and did not bother to come back.

        Saturday afternoon was actually the *third* business session, and people were getting burned out toward evening. It does get tiresome to wait an hour and a half 3 times over the course of the weekend to get a credentials report approved, just to begin the business – only to adjourn about an hour and a half later because people have dinner tickets they prepaid for.

        I’m mulling over stopping to attend any more of these road shows. Every year we waste so much time… and it’s not like the elected official pay attention to the platform anyway. It’d save me a few hundred bucks in fees / travel / lodging and I’d gain a weekend back.

        1. “and it’s not like the elected official pay attention to the platform anyway.”

          Yes, but its useful for grassroots candidates to slam establishment candidates for not paying attention to the Party platform. There IS a reason why they want to water down the platform whenever they can.

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