In the time since the break of the Penobscot fraud, there has been much discussion within the Maine Republican Party. Many were oblivious to the fact that something corrupt was going on. Unsurprising, given that the concept of a Rich Cebra reign over the Republican Party was marketed as a union of the factions, which would bring an end to the infighting. After a tumultuous year under Charlie Webster, that was an excellent selling point.
Nobody wanted to return to the chaos.
2012 was hell for Republicans. The caucus was a disaster. Dirty tricks abroad and a complete mishandling of the controversial straw poll vote led to the beginning of a year long civil war within. Washington County’s phantom snow storm and the hungry spam filter at Party HQ consuming Waldo County votes were two of the major issues.
This was only the beginning.
The real showdown was the State Convention, where those wronged by the establishment would face the country club leaders again. Dirty trick after dirty trick dragged out the process and made for a real headache. David Sorensen, who Webster would later reward with the position of Communications Director, was not only spreading fake slates, but also nominating people without their permission in order to divide the Ron Paul vote.
The end result was the Ron Paul supporters winning, and Charlie Webster pledging his support to the duly elected delegation. He pledged to fight for them to be seated at the Republican National Convention.
As noted early on in “The Penobscot Heist”, talk is cheap.
When sore loser and exiting National Committeewoman Jan Staples joined with failed gubernatorial candidate and Mitt Romney campaign Maine chairman Peter Cianchette to challenge the delegation, the war restarted. Any promise or hope of unity for the general election was destroyed.
Webster failed to fight for the delegation. Beyond that, he would do the same thing the Ron Paul national campaign was secretly trying to do as well: convince the delegation to accept the RNC compromise deal.
The general election was, in every respect, a disaster. A U.S. Senate seat went to Maine’s most well known liberal Independent, or “Dem-dependent”, Angus King. Also, the majorities in both houses of the Maine Legislature were lost. Jon Courtney and Kevin Raye were beaten, and Mitt Romney demolished. This is what happens when you divide your base.
Imagine everyone’s surprise when it appeared the Maine Republican Party had not learned a single lesson in 2012 beyond learning it needed to do a better job protecting the country club.
The Penobscot County Republican Party had its elections for various positions, including County Chair. Bryan Daugherty, a respected leader of the grassroots and a master of new media, was defeated in a rigged vote. Although unclear who orchestrated the master plan, it is clear that something smelt bad.
Penobscot Republican Ken Anderson, husband of Penobscot Count State Committeewoman Michelle Anderson, filed an appeal with the Maine Republican Party of the election. Over the course of five pages, he detailed a number of irregularities and issues that clearly show the election was invalid. His request was simply to hold a fair election.
Is that really a difficult request for the anti-voter fraud crusaders?
Apparently, it is.
Instead of following through with the integrity that Cebra was sold to Republicans on, the tactics of his predecessor were used. Hiding behind lawyers and running a top-down dictatorship lacking any real transparency, the Maine Republican Party got Webstered again.
This wasn’t how it was supposed to be though. Governor Paul LePage, who strongly disliked Webster (and the feeling was mutual), endorsed former State Representative Rich Cebra and helped advance the marketing strategy. The future would be open, inclusive, and positive. With the support of the Governor, the last remaining unifying force, who would question this?
The appeal of Ken Anderson was rejected. It wasn’t rejected because it was found the election was valid after Chairman Cebra assembled a panel on the State Committee to investigate the matter. This didn’t happen.
Anderson was “unaffected.” A man who attends the meetings, pays the dues as required by by-laws, and is active, is “unaffected” by having his hard work degraded by the inclusion of those who do not.
With a legal opinion and a letter from Rich Cebra, the State Committee was informed that they would just ignore the entire thing. It doesn’t matter. Integrity is still unwelcome in the party.
Bipartisanship is now defined as the Maine Republican Party joining Democratic President Barack Obama in supporting the conversion of illegal individuals to legal, without honoring legal processes, and giving them votes despite the lack of respect for the law. Worse, there is a general agreement that any review of the matter is wrong.
For all the hard work Republicans do to ensure conservative principles can be the governing force and help restore America, they are still being abused by the leaders. The focus is not honest elections and uniting the party, but destroying within in the name of protecting the country club mentality at the top.
The worst part?
Every Republican can be sure that Charlie Webster is sitting somewhere smiling as the party burns, because it’s everything he wants. Webster’s plan, as noted in “Charlie Webster’s Last Stand“, is to watch the flames spread and return in 2014 with the restoration plan.
The silence of Governor LePage as Chairman Cebra fulfills the plan for 2014 is interesting. What exactly is going on at the top of the party? Why is Governor LePage enabling the destruction of his own re-election campaign? Or worse, why is Governor LePage enabling the rise of the one person within the party he despises most?
Prepare for it. Charlie Webster is coming back. Everything is lining up for the dark return.