#ncgop traveling circus rolls into Lee County

The Lee County Republican Men’s Club held a forum Tuesday featuring the three campaigns for NCGOP chairman. ncgop

AJ Daoud and Hasan Harnett showed up to address the group.  Establishment favorite Craig Collins had someone named “Valarie” stand in for him.  (After watching the linked video, it appears Valarie’s most common statement during the forum was ‘I don’t think I can answer that.’)

I watched the forum video and came away with this:

  • ‘Me-Too.’   Harnett and Daoud spent an awful lot of time toeing the anti-establishment line and agreeing with each other.  One key place they disagreed — salary for the chairman.  Harnett said the chairman position should not be paid.  Daoud said he thinks the job needs to be salaried, but at a rate 40 to 50 percent of what it is now.  He pointed out that, since 2002, party leaders had accepted that a chairman’s salary needs to be in line with a cabinet post (roughly $120,000). Valarie told everyone her guy Collins wants to be shown the money.
  • Defending the platform.   Daoud and Harnett each spoke of the importance of defending the party’s brand as a defender of low taxes and limited government.  Both men have issued statements criticizing the spending increases and absolute overreach of the recently approved House budget.  (Valarie’s guy Craig has been conspicuously silent on the issue.)  THIS is refreshing.  It would be nice to have a party leader speaking for the folks outside of the beltline, as opposed to the mullahs and capos in-town.
  • Solar Energy Mandates.   Both Daoud and Harnett  denounced solar mandates as antithetical to capitalism.  They each defended allowing the free market — and not the assertive guidance of the government  — to determine the fate of solar energy in our energy policies.  Daoud took this opportunity to take a shot at the absent Collins:

”The biggest lobbyist for this solar stuff, the biggest supporter of these mandates in the state, is also running one of the campaigns for state party chairman.”

Craig Collins has hired Raleigh consultant Dee Stewart to manage his campaign for state party chairman.

  • The grassroots.  Valarie told the crowd her guy Craig “is the grasroots” and he ”knows the grassroots.”  (She then proceeded to rattle off all of the party posts Collins has held.)  She also rattled off all of the establishment politicians who have endorsed Collins:

”They know he is the guy they want to work with in their campaigns.” 

  Daoud said the party needs to rework its marketing and be more responsive to ”those in the streets, the footsoldiers.”    Harnett said his agenda as chairman will focus on ”reinvigorating” and ”unifying” the party.  He also spoke of bringing more folks off of the sidelines and into the party.  Harnett noted his record-setting success in fundraising and vote-winning as a manager of a GOP congressional campaign in 2014 in a 4-1 Democrat district.

The state convention and the big vote are next weekend.  If you are going and have a vote, take time to watch the video linked at the top of this post.

5 thoughts on “#ncgop traveling circus rolls into Lee County

  1. Lets deal with this salary issue once and for all not just for this campaign but for future campaigns for Chairman. Below is a excerpt of the Plan of Organization and I purpose that the delegates to the 2015 NCGOP convention add the word Volunteer in front the of word Chairman and in front of the Vice Chairman. This would make it clear to all in the party that these positions should be unpaid positions and it would help remove the loophole that is currently being used to pay the chairman. The plan gives the central committee power to hire a executive director but at no place in the plan does it talk about a paid chairman. The Chairmanship needs to be made clear that it is a non salary highest volunteer position in the party.

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    ARTICLE VI – STATE ORGANIZATION
    A. ANNUAL CONVENTIONS
    2. Election of Officers
    In every odd-numbered year, the State Convention shall elect a —VOLUNTEER— State Chairman and a —VOLUNTEER— Vice-Chairman who shall serve for a term of 2 years or until their successors are elected.

  2. Collins purposely skipped out on Lee to Door knock in Meck Co. We got phone call on way back from someone who he just visited.

  3. I thought for sure he was absent touring the plethora of solar farms sprouting up in Lee County.

  4. It was nice to hear from the two candidates other than Collins. Also appreciated your separate post on his chosen surrogate Valerie. Mr. Harnett’s pledge not to take a salary was much appreciated, but you are right about the “Me too” back and forth between Harnett and Daoud. They both said the things conservatives want to hear about crony capitalism and renewables, party unity, invigoration, etc. Neither got into many specifics. It was about a tie between the two except in this regard, which is not exactly substantive: Daoud was obviously more in command of the room and a more comfortable extemporaneous speaker. I would have expected Harnett to be more in command of his intro or stump speech given how long he has been campaigning for the spot relative to Daoud, but he seemed more stilted and had less of a presence as a public speaker. Still, either is preferable to Jones St insider with ties to the solar lobby.

    1. The video is indeed enlightening. It gave me a better appreciation of Harnett. I could be happy with either Daoud or Harnett, but would lean toward Daoud on the first ballot.

      The main thing that is important is to get rid of the top down group of elitist insiders who want to chose the party chairman for us, and have done so since the Cobey chairmanship. Our party used to be proud of operating fromj the bottom up instead of the top down, and we badly need to get back to that tradition. Another elite dictated top-down chairman like Collins would be a step in the wrong direction. Add to that the Stewart connection, which is absolute poison for the party, and Collins would be a disaster. That is particularly true now that Stewart in the North Carolina point man for Obama’s green energy crusade.

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