Tag Archives: Censure

RINO Revenge: Graham, McCain Remove Tea Party Foes

Senators and BFFs John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are removing their adversaries from their state Republican parties to control campaign funds and party politics.

According to Politico, McCain is seeking revenge on the state party that had him censured by having his political team engage “in an aggressive and systematic campaign to reshape the state GOP apparatus by ridding it of conservative firebrands and replacing them with steadfast allies.”

In his focus are conservative activists who hold obscure, but influential, local party offices.

By doing this, he is removing the party officials who are also in control of campaign funds.

“There’s been a huge organizational effort that I’ve never seen before,” said Gordon James, an Arizona public relations executive and longtime McCain confidant, told Politico. “A lot of the party folks who were hostile to John McCain have been marginalized, and that’s a good thing.”

In October, Graham also did some housekeeping.

According to FITSNEWS, anti-Graham members of the South Carolina [Greenville County] Republican Party were removed, calling it a “ a seismic shift within the party.”

“Former executive committeeman Bill Rhodes was unceremoniously booted from the Greenville GOP for ‘disloyalty’ – namely refusing to support Graham’s candidacy.  Two other executive committee members resigned from the party in protest of the way Rhodes was treated” reported FITSNEWS.

One GOP insider told BenSwann.com’s Joshua Cook that Graham has his eyes on Greenville  County, a local party that censured him for his progressive voting record.

There is an organized effort to remove all limited-government and pro-liberty executive committee members by systematically purging them from the Party. FitsNews calls this move, the Greenville Coup.

The Greenville County Executive Committee, which includes Graham’s Regional Director as one of its members, recently tried to pass a rule change requiring the body to pass future censure motions by a two thirds vote, instead of the current majority vote. Graham has been on the receiving end of two censures from the party. Fortunately, that rules change was defeated by the conservatives still left in the Greenville GOP. 

Tea Party leaders are planning to “take back the Party” from establishment Republicans loyal to Graham at precinct reorganization next Spring. But a few weeks ago, the County Party leadership announced significant changes to the upcoming precinct reorganization. Some have speculated that these changes will allow more centralized control of the process. Simply put, Tea Party leaders have an uphill battle to regain influence and control of the county parties.

Some speculate that this move by Graham could be revenge on the Tea Party, but it could be something more practical, like laying the ground work for his own presidential run in 2016.

(VIDEO) Exclusive Interview: Is Lindsey Graham losing his grip on power in SC?

Activists in the Horry County Republican Party wanted to become the 8th county to censure Sen. Lindsey Graham for his liberal voting record, but entrenched members of the Party’s establishment stopped their plans by launching a campaign to protect the two-time incumbent Senator. (see resolution to censure here)

South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Matt Moore, who recently defended Graham by calling him a “traditional conservative” on MSNBC, took sides and condemned the censure movement in an email. He stated that a censure shouldn’t be used as a mechanism to voice disagreement for one’s voting record. He noted that there were no provisions in the Party rules that allowed censures and stated that they do not promote Party unity.

The Chairman of the Horry County GOP, Robert Rabon, and elected officials, including state Sen. Greg Hembree and Rep. Alan Clemmons, signed a document condemning the move to censure Graham, which was seen as very intimidating by the Republican members who pushed for the censure.

During the meeting, Sen.Hembree, argued against the censure, stating that members shouldn’t censure Graham because a censure is not stated in the U.S. Constitution as a method to hold elected officials accountable. Sen. Hembree implied that if the Party voted for the censure, it would compromise the relationship they currently have with Graham, a senator that sends the county millions of federal dollars.

“Horry County is under represented in Columbia. … We don’t have enough representation for the people that we need to provide services for,” said Hembree. “This is not the time to be divided over this censure. Take action at the ballot box like the Constitution says.”

In an exclusive interview with Joshua Cook, Joe Dugan, the executive producer of last month’s South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention, said, “…They did not even allow a vote on a censure. They slipped something through at the very beginning to peddle something else, much less of a charge. Nobody was ready for that… it just got pushed right through …”

Dugan told Cook that he resigned as precinct president “as a result of this fiasco.”

“What we’re seeing here is what we are seeing nationwide in a microcosm … this is just like the Chamber of Commerce saying they’re raising $50 million to defeat Tea Party candidates across the country. These people are sticking where the money is and have lost their principles in my opinion.”

“You don’t put a Senator in office for six years and then have to keep quiet about it while he takes another vote against the principles he was elected on. That’s not what the Constitution meant, and that’s the way it was being portrayed tonight,” said Dugan.

Cook asked, “It seems there was a call to unify behind the status quo. Do you agree with that?”

Dugan answered, “Absolutely. They want us to be unified behind silence, and silence is what gets us into this mess that we’re in.”

Dugan joins the growing list of S.C. grassroots leaders leaving leadership positions in the Republican Party.

Despite the failure to get a censure of Graham passed, grassroots activists are calling this a victory.

“This whole process forced elected officials to go on record in their support for Graham,” said grassroots activist Nick Katsanos.

Katsanos told Cook that he confronted one of the elected officials who fought against the censure. “You are now on record as a Lindsey Graham shield. Your behavior is showing this young man (referring to his son) that it’s ok to do wrong as long as you have people covering you.”

Activists believe that this process has helped them build a stronger coalition within the Party and helped them identify new activists willing to fight against the status quo.

Is Lindsey Graham losing his grip on power in SC? Tea Party activists say yes, but Chairman Rabon disagrees.

Cook asked if Lindsey Graham is in trouble:

“I don’t think so,” said Rabon. “Here is the reason I say that. To the point, none of the four has made the point that they can do better that what he has done. If somebody has got a better idea, can do a better job, can deliver more than he can, and they sell the people on, they will get the vote. Until they prove they are better, it’s his to lose.”

Johnnie Bellamy, former 2011-13 Chairman of the Horry County GOP told Cook:

“I led and worked a phone bank for Lindsey back in 2009. The responses then were 50% negative from angry constituents, and now the ground swell has advanced to large negatives.  But folks don’t want to speak out. They all know they will be reprimanded if they speak out against Lindsey. His statewide paid field operatives and support teams are numerous and always watching out.  I as an innocent activist was harshly reprimanded by two individuals for just forwarding an email that I received about Lindsey.  I was shocked at the quick, harsh and demanding responses.

On Monday night at the HCGOP Executive Committee meeting, why did it take 7 lawyers, Horry State Senators and House Members, Horry County Council Members and Myrtle Beach City Council members to send a signed petition, attend the Executive Committee meeting and speak on his behalf to defeat the motion to censure Senator Graham?

That says a lot.

Sen. Hembree, Rep. Clemmons, City Councilman Randal Wallace and Horry County Council Member Al Allen emphatically insisted that voting for censure would divide the Party.

There was a lot of talk about unity of the Party but the founders united on common principles. It is so ironic that the Horry delegation and HCGOP leaders have this principle backwards. We unite on principles, and the party totally missed that tonight and divided it further. The censure under principles would have ignited and brought the party together. Instead they drove out those who are fighting for freedom rather than Party. It will take the Party years to grow from this muted state and most likely new leadership, but we do not have years as a nation to wait on people to gain the conviction of liberty above Party.  America is facing a “gut-check” tipping point, and the HCGOP and Horry delegation insisted we bypass reality based reasoning and focus on ‘normalcy bias.’

It appears to me, the Republican Creed suggests that those who oppose the censure are seeking the security and safety of ‘unity’ rather than taking the calculated risk of building a stronger party based on a firmer foundation of strong conservative principles for liberty.

Intimidation was used on the HGOP Executive Committee by our delegation choosing a poor leadership stance and a firm control stance. I believe they were mandated to be at that meeting by Lindsey and the SC State House.

Additionally, the tragedy and temporary disillusionment came when the votes were cast and our yeah votes changed to nay votes. The intimidation worked, and the weak fell like sheep.”

“A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once. It seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.” – William Shakespeare


 Follow Joshua Cook on Facebook and on Twitter: @RealJoshuaCook



Arizona State GOP censures Senator McCain


PHOENIX– Arizona US Senator John McCain (R) was formally censured Saturday, January 26, 2014 by the Arizona Republican Party for his liberal voting record.

Official state Republicans called McCain’s record “disastrous and harmful” to the state and country.

Brian Rogers, McCain’s spokesman, declined to comment on the censure. However, former three-term Sen. Jon Kyl told local media that the move was “wacky.”

According to Kyl, McCain’s voting record is “very conservative”. However, according to his Heritage Action score, McCain only votes conservative 43% of the time. The score is complied from McCain’s legislative voting record.

“I’ve gone to dozens of these meetings and every now and then some wacky resolution gets passed,” Kyl told local media on Saturday. “But most people realize it does not represent the majority of the vast numbers of Republicans.”

According to Arizona Central, Saturday’s censure came two weeks after the Maricopa County Republican Party passed a resolution to censure the senator on a 1,150-to-351 vote. In fact, multiple counties have censured McCain for his “disastrous” liberal voting record.

“Only in times of great crisis or betrayal is it necessary to publicly censure our leaders,” the resolution stated. “Today we are faced with both. For too long we have waited, hoping Senator McCain would return to our Party’s values on his own. That has not happened.”

McCain joins US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) who has been censured by more than half a dozen county Republican parties in his home state. Graham has not yet be censured by the state party as a whole.

Follow Michael Lotfi on Facebook & on Twitter: @MichaelLotfi

Graham Support Crumbles: Pickens County is the 7th Republican Party to Censure Lindsey Graham (Interviews)


Last night, Pickens County GOP publicly rebuked Senator Lindsey Graham by passing a 30-point censure resolution. This makes Pickens County GOP the 7th Republican group that has passed similar resolutions so far in South Carolina.

The censure cites 30 examples of Graham violating the Republican Party platform.

The censure states: “Lindsey Graham has committed a long series of actions that we strongly disapprove of and hold to be fundamentally inconsistent with the principles of the South Carolina Republican Party.”

The censure resolution passed by 78%.

Pickens County GOP Chairman, Phillip Bowers told Benswann.com’s Joshua Cook, “I have yet to talk to a single person who believes that an elected office is a life time job … we need to change them out, like diapers, they need to be changed from time to time.”

“… I can tell from the mood that the people were glad that we were taking a stand for our platform. The local representatives in the state house and the federal officers just trample on our platform. If they don’t agree with our platform … they shouldn’t run on our Republican platform and habitually ignore it. Is it really ethical to run as a Republican in Pickens County, but then go to Columbia and consistently vote with Democrats? And you can look at their records. We have representatives at home that say they are Republicans, and go across the river down there and vote the other way.”

“We are going to have to start standing up and tell elected officials you’re either with us or you’re not – we need to clean it up,” he added.

Pickens County GOP 2nd Vice Chair, Michelle Wiles told Cook, “…people are sick of it. People do not want the same status quo … and we see that tonight. 18 people passed it (censure resolution) … I want to say to the people who stood up and said yes tonight … I’m so proud of them.”

Executive committeeman, John Schafer, told Cook what the censure resolution meant to him.

“It says what Lindsey Graham needs to hear,” said Schafer. “He’s lost his support, he’s gone against his base, and he’s gone to the other side. Our resolution was based on 30 points. You can’t do that and keep your fan base.”

Sen. Graham’s hometown is Central, SC, which is located in Pickens County. Losing support in his own backyard is a huge blow to the Graham campaign.

Other Republican groups throughout the state are planning to vote on similar censure resolutions like the one below.

Resolution to Censure Graham – Pickens