It was just 2012 in Tampa when then-NCGOP chairman Robin Hayes was caught on camera brow-beating his state’s delegates in a manner that surely had Lyndon Baines Johnson looking up from the hottest regions of hell and beaming with pride.
Fast forward to 2017. Hayes is once again state party chairman — thanks to a coup against a duly elected Tea Party-aligned chairman (who happened to be the party’s first black top official). Now, Hayes is looking less LBJ and more like the angry old man down the street yelling at the kids to get off his lawn. Here he is at a chairman candidate’s forum a few weeks back in Raleigh. *Not very chairman-ly, I must say.*
For the most part, Hayes has been a no-show as chairman — leaving a lot of the public heavy lifting to his mush-mouthed grandson Dallas Woodhouse. The NC Free Enterprise Foundation has a forum coming up in Raleigh on the state of state politics. Democrat chairman Wayne Goodwin will be there speaking for his party. NCGOP is sending Dallas.
Hayes has been rocked with some ethical questions. Party activists from the state’s east coast have accused Hayes of using is party position to lobby Gov. Pat McCrory to push through punitive regulations that are killing the coast’s commercial fishing industry. There are also some questions about whether the state party is footing the bill for fuel for Hayes’s private airplane.
Hayes didn’t have a very good weekend as chairman. Supporters of his opponent in the chairman’s race, Jim Womack, won key races in the 1st and 3rd congressional districts. At the 3rd district party convention, Hayes was confronted with some pointed, uncomfortable questions and pelted with boos that harkened back to Patriots’ fans’ treatment of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during the Super Bowl trophy presentation. (Oh, we HAVE video.)
One of my favorite moments on the video? Hayes telling the assembled activists that it was THEIR FAULT, and not his, that Pat McCrory lost his reelection bid.