June 4, 2019/Press

State of the NCGOP: People Fear “They Might Even End Up In A Federal Indictment”

Raleigh – On the eve of an election to replace the current party chairman, who was federally indicted in a bribery scandal, the chaos surrounding the North Carolina Republican Party is showing little sign of retreating, according to a new report from the Triad City Beat.

During a recent debate, NCGOP Chairman candidates were blunt about the state of the party, saying, “people have lost confidence in the party” and that donors fear “they might even end up in a federal indictment.”

Another candidate, a lobbyist, fretted about the future of the “donor class,” saying that it was “very important” for Republicans to help them with “where they want to go as a class.” One suggested a minority outreach program that began with the slogan “Make Black America Great Again” and ended with “Latin fliers.” And while another tried to stay about the fray, he had already kicked off his candidacy by stating that the current indicted chair is a “great friend and mentor.”

The backdrop to yesterday’s debate is a brewing “Republican civil war” that is threatening to “wreak havoc on the party’s prospects” up and down the ticket. Recently, unnamed North Carolina Republican operatives have stabbed their own senator in the back, saying he’s “so far underwater, you need a SCUBA tank, not a snorkel”; openly shared “considerable angst about a turmoil-wracked North Carolina Republican Party, whose chairman was recently indicted in a corruption case”; and expressed growing concern “about the governor’s race, where GOP strategists have lamented about a field of lackluster candidates.”

The knives are coming out,” and it’s doesn’t look like they’ll be put away anytime soon.

Triad City Beat: NC GOP chooses new party leader as 2020 approaches
By Jordan Green
June 4, 2019

Key Points:

  • Reeling from a bribery scandal that resulted in the indictment of its chairman and a major donor, the North Carolina Republican Party meets in Concord this weekend to choose among three men who want to lead the state GOP through a banner election next year with the national convention in Charlotte, and major elections for governor and US Senate.
  • During a debate at Covenant of Grace Church in Winston-Salem on Monday, the three candidates directly addressed how they plan on courting major donors to open a cash sluice adequate to finance races up and down the ballot, including what one predicted will be the most expensive Senate race in the country. The Forsyth County Republican Party, which hosted the debate, declined Triad City Beat‘s request to attend, but streamed the event on Facebook Live.
  • “What’s happened in the scandals of late is that people have lost confidence in the party,” said Jim Womack, who currently serves as the chair of the Lee County Republican Party. “That’s why you don’t have donors at the lowest levels of the party. That’s why you don’t have the business class trusting us with their money and their investments, and the big-money donors sitting on the sidelines because they don’t believe in our brand. They don’t believe that their money’s going to be well spent. In fact, they might even end up in a federal indictment.”
  • “We do have the donor class,” [Michael Whatley, a partner with the national energy lobbying firm HBW Resources and former chief of staff to Sen. Elizabeth Dole] said. “And it’s very important that we do have folks who are able to contribute high dollars, whether that’s $25,000 or $50,000 or whatever to the party to support their ideas of economic freedom and where they want to go as a class — extremely important that we keep those guys on board. I’ve had a number of discussions with folks there. They have said that they will re-engage with the party if I’m chair.”
  • Urban counties like Forsyth and Guilford have steadily become more favorable toward Democrats with each presidential election, but the three candidates for state GOP chair gamely proposed ideas for reaching voters of color.
  • “We haven’t been buying black urban radio,” he said. “And let me tell you something: In urban radio you can reach a lot of folks, and we just haven’t been doing the ad buys and hitting them with hard-hitting messages which really convey where we are and the values that those folks align with.”
  • “There’s a pamphlet I’ve got here with me tonight called ‘Make Black America Great Again,’” Womack said. “It’s from the Black Americans to Elect the President. Those pamphlets are really good, very effective at trying to communicate Republican values, the party that black Americans used to belong to many years ago. The same sort of thing with the Latin crowd. We’ve got Latin fliers printed in Spanish that will help Latin voters understand what our values are.”

Read the full article online here.