It’s almost December and the time for the Maine Republican Party to officially look ahead of the Charlie Webster era is near. The State Committee will vote on Saturday for their new chairman, picking from two Republican State Representatives who will not be back in the Legislature in 2013. Representative Rich Cebra, who was termed out, and Representative Beth O’Connor, who lost her re-election bid earlier this month, are the two candidates. Both candidates have been solid on the principles and consistent in their defense of them as legislators in Augusta. After a year of total destruction for the party, things are beginning to look bright as these two individuals look to lead the party.
Webster won’t go down easy however. And he hasn’t. But interestingly enough, there is a plan. Whereas the theme of of this race is about a new hope after a dark era, the empire plans to strike back in 2014.
The word on the State Committee is that Charlie Webster is planning to run for Chair again in 2014. The obvious question here is a simple “How?” The former Democrat has scorched the Republican Party better than any current Democrat could have ever hoped for. He angered and alienated the “wing nuts”, as he called the new activists publicly, and has repeatedly shoved his foot in his mouth, further dividing the big tent. The leader of the Maine Republican Party has made all party opponents proud.
With these points in mind, it would seem impossible for the return of Charlie Webster. He believes otherwise.
A common theory circulating is that Representative O’Connor is the new infiltration attempt by those involved with Defense of Liberty PAC, who once ran unknown David Jones. Some have suggested Eric Brakey, who is DOLPAC chairman, for party executive director. Others have suggested David Boyer, DOLPAC executive director, for party communications director. Both have stated publicly however that they have no interest in the respective positions. Representative O’Connor also responded to the job offer theory on the popular conservative internet forum As Maine Goes by saying “the answer is no.”
Still, this does not stop the bad politics from occurring. Regardless of whether or not there is an attempt by Brakey, Boyer, or anyone else to infiltrate the party, it is an insult to the integrity of Representative O’Connor to suggest that she would comply with such a plot.
With the theory and Webster’s ego in mind, it makes perfect sense that he would be calling up members of the State Committee who still support him and urging them to vote for Representative O’Connor. The idea behind this is to let Chairwoman O’Connor give the keys to the kingdom to twenty-something year old newbies to Maine politics and let them burn down the party, as he believes they will.
The self-serving agenda aside, the truth about the race is that both candidates are strong. Representative Rich Cebra has appeal to all wings in the party and even has the endorsement of Governor Paul LePage, who is of the few things most Republicans can actually agree on. Representative Beth O’Connor also has appeal all over the party and is generally well-respected. Both have the leadership ability and principled consistency to lead the party into a new direction. In either scenario, the party wins.
In a race that most on the State Committee believe will be close, Charlie Webster could become the difference maker as he plots his return in 2014, where he believes there will be parades for him. Parades because somehow, the man who so brilliantly screwed up in 2012 and destroyed the operation, will become Superman two years later. The irony of everything, is no matter how much Webster believes Representative O’Connor or any of those she associates with could burn down the party, nobody will be remembered for setting the fires and fanning those flames of destruction more than he will.
This is the last stand of Charlie Webster, political arsonist.