MassGOP Civil War: The Establishment Closes Ranks

Charlie Baker has wasted no time reiterating his support for embattled chair Kisten Hughes:

“I think Kirsten deserves a lot of credit for the success we had as a party in bringing more balance to Beacon Hill,” he said, referring to his own victory in the governor’s race last week and the addition of a handful of GOP seats in the state Legislature.

Should any of this be a surprise? No.

Kirsten Hughes delivered the convention to Baker, Brad Jones & Hughes were instrumental in securing party resources for Baker in spite of a primary, Jones bailed out Hughes, and now Baker supports Hughes for chair and Jones for leader.

There is also a battle raging for the soul of the GOP in the Legislature. House Minority Leader Brad Jones will likely be the target of a new leadership challenge next year from tea party members of the House GOP caucus led by Reps. Jim Lyons of Andover, Marc Lombardo of Billerica and Shaunna O’Connell of Taunton, who have been itching to flex their muscles.

As David Bernstein puts it, “Minority leader Brad Jones is better for Charlie than minority leader Shauna O’Connell.”

And John Cook and Ron Kaufman.

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About Patrick

Sometime political guy.

  • where the sun doesn’t shine. He is just another flunkee of the liberal media in this state who love to attack Shaunna O’Connell because she won’t play their go along to get along games. It’s great to have her and several others who actually have a backbone and fight for Republican values unlike Brad Jones who just lets the Dems. do whatever they want.  

  • of this post about a possible civil war in the MA GOP and the post below it from Rich Bastien calling on more people to run for office under the GOP banner.

  • The Civil War has three factions, at least. The Liberty kids cannot be lumped together with conservatives or pro-life grassroots activists. The establishment is battling both, though Baker is perhaps sympatico with the Liberty kids, who are better at making simplistic Howie Carr type arguments than the conservatives, who often seem to make stodgy religious arguments.

  • Let’s just be clear who started it.

    There are quite a lot of Republicans (a majority of the rank and file, I bet, if you polled them.)who oppose reappointing Kirsten Hughes as party chair. SOME of them are die-hard Fisher supporters, some who voted for Fisher in the primary and then went out and worked hard for Charlie in the general. But MOST of those who want a fresh party chairman were Baker supporters from the beginning. Their complaint with Hughes was almost completely non-ideological; it was based on:

    1) Competency. The midterm legislative results were not a disaster but they were disappointing. Ask any winning candidate how much help they received from Merrimack Street and the answer is invariably . . . Above all a pathetic fraction of the incumbent seats were even challenged. At least in this cycle they managed to have a warm body for every constitutional office.

    2)The perceived lack of interest of the Merrimack machinery in any office below that of auditor or, frankly, governor.

    I readily admit that the above points ARE open to dispute. But what I think is NOT disputable is that–until a week ago–base on them the state committee was ready to vote Hughes out of office and if they do not do that NOW it will not be because of losing an argument but because of the exercise of raw political muscle. The state chair election has been turned into a Loyalty Test and NOT by the so-called “insurgents.” Most state committee officer elections for EITHER party barely rate a squib deep in the Metro section. This “controversy” was pushed to page three of the Herald by mouthpieces for Merrimack Street regime. If Baker is “embarrassed” by the subsequent election it is a embarrassment he (or his people)set himself up for.

    Merrimack Street WANTS a civil war. I guess they think they’ll win it.

    The question is why?

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