Monday, May 03, 2004

State Republican In-Fighting

Interesting article in today's Raleigh News & Observer about the fratricidal blood-letting that's been going on in the Republican Party and which is likely to continue at least through the July 20th Republican primary.

The lightning rod is co-speaker of the N.C. House of Representatives Richard Morgan, R-Moore. Morgan, together with about 15 "moderate" Republican allies in the House, worked with the Democrats after the elections of 2002 to set up a co-speakership, with Morgan as the top Republican sharing power with Democrat co-speaker Jim Black of Mecklenburg County. The House was evenly split between the two parties. Nothing was going to happen without some sort of a deal, and that was the deal.

The rest of the House Republicans, led by Leo Daughtry, R-Johnston, have treated Morgan like a leper, and he's returned the compliment, putting his own loyalists into key committee positions (RINOs, they're called ... "Republicans in Name Only") and shoving the conservative Daughtry crowd to the back benches. According to the N&O, the feud between Morgan and Daughtry is particularly bitter because its roots go back maybe ten years.

The conservatives have introduced resolutions trying to get Morgan thrown off the state Republican executive committee. But more entertainingly, they're running conservative Republican challengers to Morgan's Republican lieutenants, and the showdown will come July 20th in the primary. Morgan himself is facing a primary challenger:

"Morgan has been criticized in his local paper by GOP enemies and has a well-connected primary opponent. Peggy Crutchfield, the challenger, has said she wasn't asked by Morgan's enemies to run. She has criticized Morgan for failing to 'behave like a Republican' in Raleigh."

Hmmmm ... "failing to behave like a Republican" ... in a world full of really good straight lines, you don't get 'em much juicier than that!

Morgan's campaign committee has raised more than $600,000 and apparently intends to help out those Republican allies who are facing Republican jihadists who evidently know exactly how Republicans are supposed to behave ... Rule No. 1: Greet Your Enemies With a Blow Torch.

We won't get into all the other Daughtry-inspired Republican primary challengers. You can read those details for yourself.

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