Monday at 7 PM, the Eleventh District Republican Committee will meet in order to determine if its chairman, Brad Carver, should be removed from office for cause.
The facts of the case are straightforward. As filed with the Georgia Ethics Commission, last year and early this year, Chairman Carver contributed $575 to the campaigns of Democratic officeholders and candidates. The rules of the Eleventh District Republican party say,
a) Any officer or member may be removed from office for cause by the District Committee, subject to the same terms and conditions as prescribed herein, by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) majority of a quorum present at a duly called meeting of the District Committee; …
(b) Cause as used herein shall include:
(iii) Public support of any candidate or nominee of an opposition party in a primary, runoff, or general election by any member of District Committee shall be prima facie evidence of conduct detrimental to the best interests of the party.
One of four things will happen before the eleventh district committee adjourns Monday night.
- Chairman Carver can resign his position. This gives him the advantage of being able to frame the narrative. As Nathan pointed out, there are many reasons why Chairman Carver would legitimately want to donate to Democrats, especially given his position as a lobbyist at the Gold Dome. Lobbyists have to work with both parties, after all. Following his resignation, he could still attend the RNC convention later this month, and continue his support of Republican causes, just not as District Chairman.
- Two thirds of the committee will vote to remove him from his chairmanship for cause. As with resigning, Chairman Carver will still be able to attend the national convention and participate in party activities.
- More than half but less than two thirds of the committee will vote to remove him. Think of this as the reprimand option. A majority of the district committee disapproves of Chairman Carver’s actions, but there aren’t enough votes to remove him.
- Less than half of the committee finds enough evidence to remove him from office. As with the reprimand option, Chairman Carver keeps his position.
On Tuesday morning, FBI Director James Comey announced he would not recommend that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should be indicted for having a home brew email server and using it to transmit classified intelligence material. Justice Department head Loretta Lynch confirmed that Clinton would not be charged.
Tuesday evening and Wednesday, my social media feed was filled with posts and tweets from Republicans furious that the government was applying special rules for insider Hillary Clinton. In response to the lack of an indictment, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump tweeted that “the system is rigged.”
One of the reasons for Trump’s rise is that ordinary voters also believe that the system is rigged; that political insiders and special interests are more interested in protecting themselves, rather than working for the benefit of the people they represent. Hence, the popularity of the outsider candidate.
Changes in political opinion, and therefore power, do not happen overnight. The conditions leading up to Donald Trump’s nomination did not begin in the last year. The transition from Democratic to Republican leadership at the Gold Dome occurred over the space of several years.
In itself, l’affaire Carver is a small data point in the political universe. But, if Carver is allowed to keep his chairmanship, the flouting of the rules is the type of thing that contributes to disdain for the GOP establishment, and hence the party. And that empowers the agenda of Sam Moore, Alex Johnson, and Donald Trump, not to mention the Democrats, who are happy to use any excuse to turn the Peach State purple.