More observations on the RNC races
As I mentioned the other day we had our quad-county meeting earlier this week, where the members of the four Lower Shore GOP Central Committees (Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset, and Dorchester) get together to discuss issues and find common ground. For the most part, this meeting (ably ran by John McCullough of Dorchester County) focused on the upcoming Spring Convention, including what was supposed to be a frank discussion of the two National Committee races.
In the runup to the meeting, we debated whether we should invite the candidates to speak or not. Three of the four county chairs decided to say no, while the other was neutral on the issue. Because of that consensus, none of the hopefuls was invited to speak; however Audrey Scott got her “wires crossed” in the words of McCullough and showed up anyway. It created an awkward scene where we had to have her leave the room so an open discussion could take place.
But before she left, she made sure to tell everyone not to believe what was read on this site. And while she was careful not to single me or my site out by name, I must say that I will abide a lot of things because I bend over backwards to be fair but I will not be called a liar. In fact, I have taken steps to have the information I was provided by several reliable sources disproved and if I find out it is so I will make the correction. As of this writing I’m awaiting the confirmation, after asking a person I frankly thought she threw under the bus when the subject was brought up.
Unfortunately for Audrey, some of her more fervent supporters adopted the same condescending tone Audrey adopted when she discussed what’s been said about her in the campaign. This was especially apparent when one (female) backer wondered aloud if Nicolee Ambrose could handle the position while having a family, ignoring the fact that many women who serve in politics already do so quite well. These supporters as a group believed Audrey’s experience sets her apart, and I won’t deny she’s experienced. But that’s not what the position needs at this time; instead it needs bold leadership and frankly I feel Audrey Scott will treat the post like a retirement gift from a grateful party.
And then we have several points brought up by quad-county members about Audrey’s actions: the Rule 11 controversy, attendance at the rally supporting the gas tax and her weak retort that she only attended the rally to support a bill to keep the Transportation Trust Fund from being raided, and of course the “unelectable” Roscoe Bartlett comment. I found it fascinating as well that, just hours after Roscoe announced his support of Nicolee Ambrose in the NCW race, Audrey Scott slapped up her own grainy picture with Bartlett, taken at the Montgomery County Lincoln Day Dinner last Friday. She also rehashed the “let’s get behind our nominees” mea culpa but the damage has been done.
I also found out, in speaking to some of those attending, that at least two of them who are listed as supporters of Audrey Scott have no intention of voting for her. Of course, Audrey mentioned she would be happy to remove any names from the list but who wants to ask about something like that? It’s almost embarrassing, but more importantly these admissions chip away at her facade of support she’s attempting to build.
Compared to the NCW discussion, the contest between Scott Shaffer and Louis Pope was rather mild. There were some who wanted the change and some who didn’t, but for the most part neither drew many negative remarks.
But I wanted to bring up something I was told today, as a letter from Louis Pope arrived in my mailbox. It proves one thing that Scott Shaffer brought up earlier this week and that I wasn’t sure of: Pope is indeed sending out re-election items paid for by the RNC (at least the stationery is, and presumably postage too.)
I’m not worried about the couple hundred dollars which the RNC may be giving to Pope for his re-election (although it is an important item to point out) as much as I’m interested in this line that Pope wrote:
Over the last decade I have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for MDGOP and our local and statewide candidates here in Maryland, as well as presidential candidates.
I’ll take that at face value, particularly since Pope has led fundraising seminars in the past and has several entries on his political resume regarding fundraising for Bob Ehrlich, Michael Steele, and George W. Bush. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in a decade seems like a realistic amount.
Yet Audrey Scott claimed to raise $1.5 million for the MDGOP along with $1 million from the RNC for Victory Centers, all in the one year she was Chair. I’d be glad to believe that if the numbers were there, but as I dissected them last Sunday they are not. But even if she did, I quite frankly believe that her presence at the quad county meeting may have lost her more votes than she gained, particularly when the Allen West fundraiser that Nicolee Ambrose helped to organize was described in glowing terms. I don’t think MDGOP fundraising would suffer under Nicolee, particularly if she can bring those kinds of personalities to the state.
Out of a two-hour meeting, we spent well over an hour going back and forth about the National Committeewoman race. To me that points out the distinction between the two candidates, and I’ll be quite interested to see how the votes come out from the four counties involved in the quad-county meeting. Our votes may not mean a lot but they have to be earned, and coming down to attend a meeting where her opponent obeyed a specific request not to show up gives me the impression that Audrey Scott believes she’s entitled to be National Committeewoman because she’s served in the Republican Party at a high level for a long time.
I don’t believe in entitlements. I believe we need a leader, and Audrey Scott isn’t translating the success she had as Chair into a good campaign for National Committeewoman.