Another night, another NCGOP conference call.
Monday evening, Michael Whatley herded many of his County and District Chair minions onto a statewide conference call during which he pushed through another violation of the state Plan of Organization.
Whatley advocated for and secured a vote to postpone the GOP’s district elections until after the state’s General Assembly (and possibly the courts) are finished redistricting the state later this year.
While delaying the elections until after redistricting this year may sound like a smart move, it can be viewed as problematic for a number of reasons:
1. The GOP Rules CLEARLY stipulate that all District conventions and elections are to be held in odd numbered years in the month of April. Delaying those elections to later in the year directly violates the party’s rules, just one more direct violation Whatley has orchestrated over the past four years. His past indiscretions in calling illegal meetings and bypassing the party Executive Committee — the party’s official action arm — on budget matters are already legendary.
2. Delaying the elections of district chairmen and officers disenfranchises prospective candidates for party office (particularly those seeking a seat on the Central Committee), who, thanks to the delay, cannot serve a full two-year term of office in party leadership once they are elected later this year. That doesn’t concern Whatley because the lap dogs he already has on the Central Committee rubber stamp his misbehavior.
3. Delaying the elections ensures Whatley can control the agenda and activities at the NCGOP’s Annual Convention in early June 2023. Whatley’s cronies can more handily shut down the changes to the party Platform, the party Plan of Organization, and the emerging grassroots resolutions that Whatley finds objectionable (i.e., the imminent resolution to censure Thom Tillis; the resolution to Close the GOP Primaries in 2024).
4. Delaying the elections means that some districts (the ones not experiencing substantive redistricting changes) will lose continuity of leadership all the way through their respective congressional elections in 2024. Rather, some districts will likely be electing new leadership within weeks of the early 2024 party primaries– too late to plan and support events for future congressional candidates.
5. Delaying the elections directly impacts the constituency of members who can attend the party’s Executive Committee Meeting to be held the morning of June 11th, immediately following the convention. The composition of the party’s Executive Committee will change fairly dramatically once District Conventions are held and elections determine which district republicans can serve as voting members on the state’s Executive Committee. The delay assures that Whatley will have a more stable ExCom, one that is: (a) unlikely to pass resolutions or changes that Whatley does not support and (b) almost sure to rubber stamp the Chairman’s choices for party leadership for the next two years.
Is it any wonder that members of the NCGOP rank-and-file are retiring to the sidelines? Republican Party registrations are falling off — now sitting at just under 30.3% of the voting population and diminishing each year.
Donor contributions to the NCGOP are evaporating. Moreover, the party’s performance in recent elections has been far from optimal. While the NCGOP is now winning all its appellate court races, the NCGOP lost the Governor’s race and the Attorney General’s race in 2020. Republicans lost ground in their federal congressional delegation during the 2022 election cycle, now sitting at just 50% Republican with only seven Republicans in the narrowly divided U.S. House of Representatives.
Whatley was woefully unsuccessful in seeking a paying job as Co-Chair of the RNC last week, so the NCGOP is unfortunately left to suffer Whatley’s failed leadership for another six months (or longer).
Surely, the NCGOP recognizes that (a) Whatley has no reverence for the state’s grassroots conservatives, and (b) that he most desires moving up the RNC ladder or securing a paying job elsewhere.
Perhaps if enough GOP mega-donors quit giving and enough County Chairs begin boycotting the NCGOP’s events, Whatley will get the message or be ousted from office, á là Hassan Harnett)