For those of you involved in the Nebraska Republican Party you know about this. You have seen it fermenting. You have seen it growing. And you are seeing it metastasising before your eyes.
And in Sunday’s Lincoln Journal Star, Don Walton spelled out what is going in the battle for control of the Nebraska Republican Party.
The Ron Paul wing of the Nebraska GOP is trying to (some say they already have) take over the state party.
It started as a Tea Party type swing, with Matt Sakalosky folks suddenly pulling their weight to take the reigns of the Douglas County party. Scott Peterson got the nod over Jay Turco, after first getting his feet wet in party politics in Sakalosky’s primary fight against Congressman Lee Terry in 2010. Then Peterson became chairman of the party. A volunteer job to be sure — they all are — but many have complained that under his watch…
- the party office closed its doors — one does not exist now
- Peterson has not submitted a Treasurer’s report to the county central committee
- he has not had an Executive Director on staff
- he has reportedly recruited candidates against incumbent Republicans
These are all things that everyone knows. If you follow the comments in this blog, you are likely aware of this. And that is not to say that Peterson has not worked hard or put in a lot of his time or worked for some Republicans. It is just to say that organization, leadership and money have clearly been serious, serious problem under his tenure.
But in short, Peterson is a Ron Paul guy, and that means he is not on board with many of the elected Republicans. Which is only strange if you are the one leading the Republicans in your county.
So on Tuesday, May 15th, Nebraska Republicans — who by the way had a very contentious Senate primary to show up and vote for — gave Mitt Romney 70% of the vote. They gave Ron Paul 10%.
Mull over those numbers for a minute.
But hey, Nebraska like many or most other states has more arcane political rules that can still change things. Like, if you get more of your people to show up at a Holiday Inn on a random Saturday afternoon, you too can take over the party. How about that!
And we will tell you this, what the Ron Paul peeps lack in actual, you know, votes for their candidate, they more than make up for in organizing their people to outnumber party stalwarts on a Saturday afternoon.
And this means that they took majorities in many counties, including Douglas, to gain a majority of Paulites on the GOP State Central Committee.
This is turn means that they have the ability to send Ron Paul delegates to the National Republican Convention. Nebraska will then be the 5th state that puts Ron Paul over the top and gets his name into nomination at the convention.
Aren’t you proud of that Nebraskans? You have the opportunity to embarrass the Republican candidate, potentially screw up the opportunity to elect Romney over Barack Obama, and allow the Paulites to take over the platform committee and insert whatever Ron Paul plans (that voters have rejected) into the GOP platform.
Didn’t know that’s what you bought in for when you voted 70% for Romney and 10% for Paul, didja?
So you can credit the Paulites for this.
Namely you can credit:
Laura Ebke (of Crete)
…and Jon Tucker (Omaha)
…and Scott Peterson (Omaha)…
And now…Washington County (Blair) GOP Chair John Orr.
Yes, THAT John Orr. Son of former Republican Governor Kay Orr.
He of the drop down, can’t-miss-it mustache.
And they have a plan.
They plan to elect John Orr over Brian Buescher of Omaha as GOP Party Chair at the Nebraska GOP Convention on July 14th. Currently the Ron Paul for President campaign is paying for calls to Central Committee members telling them that John Orr is the “true conservative” over Buescher. Which is a laugh. That isn’t to say that Orr is some sort of weak-kneed liberal, but to try to say that Buescher isn’t a rock-ribbed Republican is a joke.
So here is, unfortunately, what is going on.
Jon Tucker, Laura Ebke and Scott Peterson don’t want to give the impression that the Ron Paul for President campaign has waltzed into Nebraska, whipped up their few supporters, and taken over the party. So they found a willing patsy — sorry there’s no better term to use — in Orr. Heck, Orr probably figures he is as much of a Republican as Buescher. So why not? What, he can’t control himself?
Oh, and by the way, Laura Ebke has already sent a message out to her followers letting them know they will put in Orr. With Scott Peterson as the Executive Director (paid position!), and Ebke as the Vice Chair.
And with Orr in, they can hopefully pull along some of the other longer time Republicans (tragically, we see Hal Daub has decided to jump on this wagon), before they kick him to the curb, establish Ebke or Peterson as the Chair, then turn the Nebraska GOP into the Nebraska “Group of Paul” and elect Rand Paul in 2016.
Ain’t that a corker?
In the mean time, who do they raise money from?
What regular Republicans will want to give money to the state party if they see it just as an arm of the Ron or Rand Paul campaigns? And we say that with the knowledge that the average GOP supporter is NOT a Ron Paul person. Oh, they don’t hate him — and neither do we — but they see him as a fringe candidate who is a bit off his rocker, has some regular GOP views and some that are a bit “out there”.
In the meantime the Paul folks are doing their best to be all “Tea Party”. Both groups consist of conservatives who generally have never been involved in the party, but want to get involved. But as we’ve said before, they want to go to fun rallies and honk horns and maybe post a crazy picture on Facebook a time or two. But go to a meeting in the back of a coffee shop and discuss the party’s budget and fundraising efforts and who is helping to stuff envelopes next Wednesday? Meehhh. No thanks.
But they still have that “outsider” attitude. And they see Ron Paul as “one of them”. The “establishment” doesn’t respect him. His clothes don’t fit all that well. But he speaks “the truth” that those Soc’s don’t want to hear!
Yeah, those Soc’s like Mitt Romney and Dave Heineman and…and…Brian Buescher!
We keep hearing about a “split” in the party and that everyone should “get along”. But make no mistake: This is a plan by Ron Paul to take over the Nebraska party in order to help him at the convention, then eventually elect his son President.
In the meantime, they jeopardize Nebraska’s effort to elect Deb Fischer, to give Republicans control of the U.S. Senate and get rid of ObamaCare, among other things. They jeopardize the election of Mitt Romney — to end the debacle that has been the Obama Presidency.
They pull along a few long time Republicans who see this as their chance at some power in the party, or maybe to settle old scores. And you can bet, of course, that Democrats are kicking back chuckling in their Birkenstocks. (Enjoy that chuckle while you can.)
We really don’t know if this takeover is a done deal or not. The fact that the Paul for President resources are making phone calls tells us that they aren’t 100% certain.
But if it goes through, expect things like the shut-down Douglas County GOP office and recruitment against GOP incumbents to continue at the state level. And then start to hear how awesome the Great Leader Paul is.
And then wonder how many years it will take to fix it all again.