I have heard from two sources in the party that there are efforts to unseat Ron Carey. A source sent me the relevant bylaws (from 2004):
Section 2. Meetings of the State Central Committee may be called by the chair or by the State Executive Committee or by any twenty (20) members of the State Central Committee who must be from no fewer than two Congressional Districts. Written notice of each meeting shall be mailed to each member at least ten (10) days in advance.
SECTION 3: Removals. Notice of every proposal for removal by any committee or other body of the party shall be included in the notice of the meeting, and the individual concerned shall be served with a detailed statement of the charges against him/her at least ten days prior to such meeting.
An executive committee member told me he could not support pushing for such a meeting. One highly placed source told me that Deputy Chair Dorothy Fleming is being proposed as a replacement for Carey. My other source who told me about efforts to dethrone Carey had not heard specific names. Fleming was quoted in Andy Aplikowski's article criticizing Carey:
I did have the chance to speak with MNGOP Deputy Chair Dorothy Fleming, a good friend of my family, and she seemed to be quite upset about this. She told me that she was told that she had to remain nuetral in the Presidential race until endorsement by Chairman Carey. I had heard this from others. I told her to come out and set a good example. Go ahead and endorse someone, since it is perfectly with in party rules, but refuse to take any active role in the campaign. I don’t know what her intentions are, but it is pretty bad if he tells her she has to remain nuetral, then runs out and organizes Huckabee’s campaign in Minnesota.
One of my other sources also had heard this story that Fleming had been told by Carey that she should not support a specific presidential candidate. Another source tells me that Fleming had a Fred Thompson sign up in her office before the Carey press conference. The sign has now been taken down.
How can we know that when he is calling for fund raising (don’t forget HE is our top fund raising guy now) that he is faithfully giving the Republican Party of Minnesota 100% and not splitting time with Huckabee?
Since he has morphed the Party Chair position into one of a CEO-like nature, how can he possibly run a Statewide campaign for a Presidential candidate? He current makes $100,000+/- as Chair of MNGOP, plus expenses, who is going to monitor him and his day to day time to avoid any legal issues?
Will he punch out of the MNGOP payroll when there is a crisis in the Huckabee campaign that needs immediate attention? Will it be the honor system of turning in time sheets? Will he use his office and/or office hardware paid for by the MNGOP to “volunteer” on behalf of Mike Huckabee? Some are saying that a paid party staffer doing any work for a candidate like this would be akin to the Party giving an in-kind contribution, and that is a legal problem.
Regardless of whether it is “allowed” Carey’s endorsement and volunteer Chairmanship for Mike Huckabees campaign opens up big ethical problems and potential for FEC or Campaign finance violations. Is the Party attorney now being forced to investigate the ramifications? Who is paying?
In my opinion, the best thing for the Party would be for Ron Carey to resign or take a leave of absence until after the Republican endorsement is complete.
The next best thing would be for the Executive Committee to revoke his CEO status, salary, and have the Party’s Executive Director and Deputy Chair operate the party. For some reason I don’t think he’d go for that one.
The worst thing that could happen is for Carey to fight. The party is in a very delicate state right now, and the POTUS race is so very heated that this thing could blow up and destroy the party. The Party leadership is split between candidates, and the National Campaigns are fighting tooth and nail and it is getting dirty.
We DON’T need to have this battle here in the Leadership circle when we have something much more important like taking back (or not losing any more) State House Seats; reelecting Reps. Bachmann and Kline; holding the CD3 seat; taking back the 1st CD; and reelecting Sen. Coleman. I’d like to think that is possible in a general election year. I’d love more, but that is my label of success for 2008.
I hate to say I told you so, but….
The knives are out. Dan Conroy was ranting about this topic when he was guest hosting for Jason Lewis.