NC GOP Chair Impeachment Could Signal the Eventual End of North Carolina’s Two Party System

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Hasan Harnett – first elected Black Chair of the NC GOP Impeached April 30,2016

On Saturday, the North Carolina Republicans met in a special session for one purpose—to remove the first elected black Chair of the North Carolina Republican Party: Hasan Harnett.

 

Hasan had been under fire since he was astoundingly elected last June.  As one Republican told me soon after his election, “the amazing part wasn’t that he (Hasan) was the first black Chair, the amazing part of his election was that he wasn’t an insider.”

The NCGOP has a history of electing what many people consider ‘elite conservative Republicans who tow the Party line.’

After Harnett was elected, the first thing the establishment GOP did to counterbalance the effect Harnett would have on the Party was to systematically strip the Chair of funds available to him—with the help of the newly elected Executive Director (ED), Dallas Woodhouse. 

Woodhouse, was elected ED of the NCGOP not long after Hasan Harnett was elected Chair.  But, the Woodhouse election angered many who voted for Harnett, saying that it would undermine the new grassroots NCGOP initiatives and pit the two fractions of the Party against each other.

And, it did.                                   

Despite the fact that the Republican Party has claimed to be making inroads with conservative Blacks and Hispanics nationally, the North Carolina Republican Party has come up woefully short in its efforts to attract those not fitting the white evangelical mold.

So, what now?

Robin Hayes, the former U.S. Rep. of the 8th Congressional District, will take the helm as Chair and finish out the term of Harnett.

Hayes is a longtime establishment Republican and will certainly tow the Party line.  But, more importantly—he will be instrumental in the delegate selection process heading into the Republican convention in Cleveland.

On Saturday, Hayes made some interesting comments after he was tapped as Chair.  It’s not every day a Republican Chair gets impeached.  And, Hayes made some considerable effort to downplay the turmoil in the ranks. 

Instead of trying to make sunshine and fluffy unicorns fly out of his ass—Hayes would be better served to address the GOP problems head on and be “adult” with the grassroots wing of the Party.   No—Hayes and the rest of the establishment want to forget Harnett—they want to make it all go away like it never happened.

They, meaning Hayes and the establishment, may very well succeed – up to a point.  But, the groundwork is already underfoot and a Party split may very well be in the making.   But, before anyone sheds a tear, I see the same thing happening across town with the North Carolina Democratic Party.

It’s not a matter of ‘if’ North Carolina will no longer have just a two Party system—but when.  And, which Party will fall first.  This November’s election might tell us. 

The grassroots fraction of the NCGOP has a right to feel slighted and disrespected—no doubt, they have been dissed.

But, the Machiavellian style in which Hasan Harnett was taken down will leave many bitter.  Robin Hayes can’t fix that and Dallas Woodhouse can’t buy his way out of this one.  And, the grassroots Republicans won’t forget.

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BERNIE’S NC CAMPAIGN MADNESS: RUMORS OF CORRUPTION

aisha dewIt has been a month and a half since Bernie Sanders lost North Carolina on March 15th.  And, ever since then, there have been conspiracy theories floating around Facebook and YouTube, by some Bernie for NC supporters, that Sander’s North Carolina campaign manager, Aisha Dew, threw the campaign for Hillary in an effort to ensure her win in the State.

Among the most prominent and vocal Bernie supporters calling for an investigation into the North Carolina campaign is Niko House.  House says he was the President of North Carolina College Students for Bernie Sanders during the time Bernie campaigned in North Carolina.

A few days after Sanders’ loss, Niko House posted this video on YouTube, which at the time of this writing has gathered over 54,000 views.  You can watch the video here: Niko House 

The message Mr. House brings forward is resonating with Bernie supporters, especially among young college students, who for the most part are first time voters and campaigners.   How could Bernie have possibly lost all of these states when he was drawing huge crowds?  Something must be amiss. 

Niko’s message echoed throughout social media as other young Bernie supporters came forward with their own stories from other states Bernie Sanders lost.

For example:  a young woman contacted me a few weeks after I initially called Mr. House for an interview.  She related a story, that while she was working as a volunteer for the Bernie campaign in South Carolina, she witnessed hundreds of flyers, which could have been recycled and used in other states, trashed in a dumpster behind a local campaign headquarters.

I asked her if she had taken a picture of the flyers in the dumpster—she said she had not because she didn’t have a smartphone.

Sadly, therein lies the rub: many of the rumors and speculation swirling around the internet can’t be verified in a meaningful way.  And, I’m reminded of what my old history professor told me almost thirty years ago, “It’s not history if you can’t verify it.”

Secondly, I think it was a shock to many of Bernie’s supporters and volunteers when they realized that politics is a contact sport and opponents will use whatever is at their means to win.

Some would argue the system is rigged—while others would say the game isn’t played fairly.

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In any event, my focus here is on Aisha Dew and the campaign she organized for Bernie in North Carolina.   It literally took weeks before I could ever get anyone from Bernie’s national campaign to call me back.  And, even then, they didn’t want to be named; that’s not surprising since they are still in the middle of a presidential campaign with many states left undecided.

This is also not a “hit piece” on either Niko House or Aisha Dew:  I believe Niko believes what he claims in his videos and I believe Ms. Dew did the best she could, given the resources she had available to her.

First, let’s look at how Hillary Clinton was positioned, both in North Carolina and the rest of what has been called “The Southern Eight.”

Long before this campaign cycle and dating back before her last run for the presidency in 2008, Hillary had deep roots in the South among African American voters.   She spent considerable time courting AA leaders after she left her post as Secretary of State. 

Fighting Hillary in the South would have been an uphill battle for any candidate as some of her relationships date back twenty to perhaps thirty years in the making.  She, as well as her surrogates such as Bill Clinton, were making phone calls in an effort to galvanize her support long before she ever announced her candidacy.

As one midlevel staffer told me who has worked multiple states, “We never really expected to win the South and the campaign was careful with money it felt could be used in states where we had a better chance. We had hopes of picking up one or two states but the polling never was in our favor.”

It’s also noteworthy that Bernie continues to raise money from small donors.  But, before March 15th (and even before Super Tuesday) the campaign worried it would be low on resources going into the Northern states where polling was more favorable.

Sources close to Bernie’s campaign tell me that Aisha Dew had limited money to run North Carolina.   At no time did she have over $20,000 to run the statewide operations.   And, the total amount allocated for the North Carolina campaign was around $100,000—much less than what was spent in other states.

Coming off the heels of a devastating South Carolina loss may have put Aisha Dew between a rock and a hard place.

Even though some pundits claimed South Carolina was built for Hillary—the Bernie campaign put more resources and manpower into the state than they did North Carolina.

While North Carolina had only twenty paid staffers—most of those came after the South Carolina primary.  Whereas, South Carolina—at its maximum—had close to 240 paid staff and paid volunteers.

A reporter, who traveled with the Sanders campaign in South Carolina, told me that the hope was that Bernie’s message would bleed into the southern parts of North Carolina, especially the heavily populated and left leaning Charlotte areas.  As the map below shows, if there was hope of South Carolina’s energy bleeding over into North Carolina, it didn’t work. 

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Sanders did have pockets of support, as the map indicates, but he lost North Carolina overall .

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As it turns out, Sanders actually did better than some of the polling (and internal polling) indicated.   And, Aisha Dew is a big reason Bernie had the success he gathered, even though he lost.  It’s true that, at the end of the day, it’s all about the delegate count.  Sanders came out of North Carolina with 45 committed delegates.  That’s no small measure considering the South Carolina results below:

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Social media certainly has its place in information gathering—but it can sometimes get it wrong.   And, as with all things on the internet, the information should be taken with a grain of salt.

Niko House posted another YouTube video soon after North Carolina’s March 15th primary.  You can take a look at it here:  Niko House 2

Although I understand Niko’s frustration and his disappointment over Bernie’s loss in North Carolina—there’s no evidence of saboteurs or mismanagement from Aisha Dew, Robert Dempsy or even the Chair of the NCDP, Patsy Keever.

But, looking at this objectively, I see a state director who opened five Sanders offices on a shoestring budget.   Ms. Dew organized, as best she could, young people with no political volunteer experience and tried to keep them on the same page.

I’ve heard from a lot of college students in North Carolina over the past month—in an effort to glean what went wrong in Bernie’s North Carolina campaign.   

Unfortunately, many of those casting shade on Aisha Dew never contributed to Bernie’s campaign in a meaningful way.   I’ve yet to speak with many who spent time canvasing, phone banking or participating in Ms. Dew’s GOTV campaign.

Most went off in their own direction and commingled with likeminded individuals without guidance and support of the state campaign.   In essence, Aisha Dew was in a unique position of having to herd cats.

But, there is a lot of water under the bridge.  And, some hurt feelings.

Some people still feel slighted at the miscommunication that happened in February during Rev. William Barber’s HKonJ event.   There are many sides to the story and as time goes on the stories grow.  Below is a screenshot of a post about it that was taken down from DailyKos.com

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In a nutshell, HKonJ is a march for Justice.  Rev. Barber and his team are adamant in keeping it that way and not turning the event into a political rally.  Aisha Dew complied with those wishes but she was still blamed when the wearing of Bernie gear was not allowed.  Bernie supporters were NEVER asked not to attend the rally.  They were asked not to make it a political campaign event.

And, lastly—there’s a story swirling around that a paid staffer was fired because she turned in gas receipts and complained when she wasn’t paid.  Although sources close to the Sanders campaign wouldn’t comment on particular individuals or personnel matters, I have learned that the individual social media is talking about was a South Carolina staffer.  And, she was paid for the expenses she incurred.  Since the Sanders campaign is abundantly willing to pay vacation and sick leave time, I doubt reimbursements would be that much of an issue for them.  The staffer ended up in North Carolina and Ms. Dew was blamed—for something she had nothing to do with.

Ms. Dew has also been blamed over the matter of some potential endorsements by political candidates and some caucus leaders leading up to the primary.   The sources I’ve spoken with at Sanders national level tell me that all endorsements are vetted on the national level—meaning Aisha Dew would not have been a part of that decision making process.

So, what can be made of all of this?

Campaigns at this level are as much art as science.  And, surely some mistakes were made: hindsight is always 20/20 vison.

But, for anyone to think or even assume Aisha Dew or her staff were spies for Hillary or out to sabotage Sanders campaign for Clinton’s benefit is overreaching.  

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North Carolina General Assembly Set To Stop Charlotte Nondiscrimination Ordinances and Local Minimum Wage Increases

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  • NC General Assembly has the votes to enact legislation striking local town and city ordinances;
  • Legislators called back to Raleigh at a cost of $45,000 a day.

Tomorrow, the North Carolina General Assembly will reconvene in a specially called session.  They are set to enact legislation that will strike down Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance that was passed in February by a 7-4 vote.

According to sources close to the NCGA, the body will also strike local municipalities from enacting a local living wage increase.  Led by the Republican Party, a compromise has been struck with some of the top industries in North Carolina who opposed the NCGA stopping local nondiscrimination clauses.

NC cities considering a local living wage increase include Raleigh and Greensboro. 

Most political gurus who cover the NC General Assembly say they have the votes to pass the measure and strike down local ordinances.

Evangelical groups and conservatives opposed Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance in February.  It was the second time the Charlotte City Council had addressed the issue, with two different City Councils. 

The first time it came up was last year, and it failed when members of the council struck down the bathroom clause allowing transgender to use the restroom of their expressed gender identity.  The CLT City Council revived the issue in February when new City Council members were elected.  All parts of the nondiscrimination ordinance passed, including the transgender bathroom provision.

The bathroom provision of the ordinance came under fire when conservative groups and evangelicals learned that an associate with the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce had a criminal record stemming from an incident that happened in South Carolina some twenty years ago.

Link:  https://whothehellisgeorge.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/lgbt-leader-with-sex-offender-status-resigns-from-charlotte-lgbt-chamber-of-commerce/

Claire Fallon, an At-Large member of the Charlotte City Council, voted against the ordinance in February, even though she had voted for it the first time it came up last year. 

Her reasons for the changed vote included the wording of the ordinance and the lack of public support among her constituents. 

Link: https://whothehellisgeorge.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/charlotte-city-council-votes-7-4-approving-non-discrimination-measure-for-lgbt/

Why it matters?

Analysis: The Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly have been waiting for years to plow the field of local cities trying to increase their minimum wage.  Raleigh already has an ordinance that would have gone into effect at the end of the year.  Greensboro is also considering a living wage increase and was set to take the measure up soon.

The NCGA can stop living wage increases, reign in local towns and cities who are more progressive than some other areas of the state and blame it all on Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance, including the transgender restroom part of the measure.

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NC Senate Candidate, Kevin Griffin Endorses Bernie Sanders

KG endorsement

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Breaking: Major Political Campaign Announcement Coming in at 5pm Today

A major announcement coming out of North Carolina this afternoon at 5pm today.

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LGBT Leader With Sex Offender Status Resigns From Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce

If the article below is correct (and I have no reason to doubt it) the LGBT community did a piss poor job of due diligence in their efforts to push along the CLT nondiscrimination ordinance.

In my opinion, it would be a stretch if none of the LGBT leadership in the Charlotte area didn’t know enough about Turner to at least do the minimum amount of due diligence – saving both Turner and the transgender community from looking stupidly inept.

Having said that, Turner was an evangelical youth pastor when the assault occurred.  He wasn’t a LGBT activist.  And, it seems a little disingenuous that some Christian groups can forgive and support Duggar while throwing Turner under the bus.  Especially since it’s been over twenty years ago in Turner’s case.

Unfortunately, this is yet another example of inept LGBT activists with a minimum amount of leadership and management skills throwing transgender people under the bus when it comes to nondiscrimination.

In the court of public opinion, this is a communications nightmare.  It would be hard for any legislature to support Charlotte’s ordinance in light of the public opinion and the mishandling on this issue.

 

Lady Liberty 1885

NC SBI Sevearance 2015 photoChad Sevearance, the leader of the Transgender bathroom ordinance push in Charlotte, NC whose sex offender status was exposed by Family Values Coalition, has apparently resigned as President of  Charlotte’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

The resignation came on or around the 22nd of February, according to the LGBT news portal, Qnotes.

The Charlotte Observer has not reported this tidbit, but we shouldn’t be surprised by that. Keep reading and you’ll see why.

Qnotes describes Sevearance’s crime:

Court records obtained by QNotes show Chad Sevearance-Turner, 38, was convicted of committing a lewd act on a minor in 1998. He was 19 and working as a music minister at a church in Gaffney, S.C. The minor was a 15-year-old boy who attended the church.

Severance-Turner was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and he served two years before being released on parole. He has had no further violations since.

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During this week’s…

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Did Dallas Woodhouse Disable The NCGOP Chair Email Account?

Hasan Harnet posted this on his Facebook page tonight:

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Hasan Harnet is the Chair of the NCGOP and apparently he’s saying Dallas Woodhouse, the Executive Director, disabled his Google account and his email.   Here’s a screenshot that Hasan posted about his account access:

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But, wait there’s more.  Many Hasan supporters are angry at Woodhouse.  I can’t blame them.

Can’t we all just get along?  Apparently not.

 

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