GOP Asks Boylan to Rein In Supporter
The Moore County Republican Party's Executive Committee has adopted a resolution asking state Rep.-elect Joe Boylan to help squelch the actions of one of his supporters.
The resolution doesn't name Boylan backer Ed Kennedy, though it clearly refers to him.
"I don't have any more control over Mr. Kennedy's actions than I do over those of supporters of my opponent," Boylan said Thursday.
Kennedy is trying to have several members of the Executive Committee brought up on party disloyalty charges for supporting unaffiliated candidate Bud Shaver in the November election. He wants all of former state Rep. Richard Morgan's supporters stripped from their leadership positions in the party.
Some of the Morgan supporters, whom Kennedy calls "Morganites," supported Shaver in November. Boylan defeated Morgan in the May 2 Republican primary. Shaver was one of two unaffiliated candidates who challenged Boylan in the general election. Shaver is a registered Republican.
"We're not going to come together under the leadership of betrayal," Kennedy said.
The resolution calls for Boylan to use his influence to put a muzzle on Kennedy.
Kennedy has called the Shaver supporters "traitors" and worse. He hopes to have the state Executive Committee strip Joan Thurman and Lorraine and Bob Tweed of their leadership positions within the local GOP. The state party did the same thing to Morgan in 2004, accusing him of party disloyalty because of the power-sharing deal he cut with Democrats in 2003 that made him co-speaker of the House.
If Kennedy is successful, he intends to bring party disloyalty charges against about 20 other members, including John Owen, chairman of the county party.
"As far as I'm concerned, John is the most egregious offender," Kennedy said, "except he lies about it."
The resolution, which was adopted at a Dec. 6 meeting, says, "There is a deeply disturbing dissident group of disgruntled Republicans who are creating divisiveness in the Moore County Republican Party."
The resolution goes on to condemn Kennedy, though it doesn't name him, for calling party officials "evil, hateful, hate-mongers, traitors, cowards, hypocrites, vengeful, cancers, saboteurs," and "despicable."
It calls Kennedy's actions harassment and outs him as a former Democrat who changed his affiliation only two years ago.
The resolution then defends Owen, saying that he "remained neutral" in the election and that he publicly congratulated Boylan on his victory.
It ends by asking that "Boylan use his influence to curtail this deplorable and hateful activity; and that Representative-elect Boylan publicly condemn the disturbing communications being sent to members of the MCGOP."
It authorized Owen to create a committee to meet with Boylan.
Though this resolution was adopted unanimously in early December, some members of the Executive Committee say they never saw it and never voted on it.
"I attended the meeting Dec. 6, 2006, and really would like to know how I could have approved a resolution I've never seen until today," Bensalem Precinct Chair Evelyn Hill wrote in an e-mail Monday, "and certainly never voted on at the Dec. 6 meeting."
Hill also claimed that the Dec. 6 meeting was improperly called and was protested.
The Pilot was unable to reach Owen for comment Thursday. He said in an e-mail that the resolution wasn't distributed at the Dec. 6 meeting because it had to be revised.
'They Are Guilty'
Kennedy said that he has gathered enough signatures to bring Thurman and the Tweeds up on party disloyalty charges. He points to a section in the party's bylaws that says that leadership must support the party candidate.
He believes that he has hundreds of votes against the "Morganites."
"(The state executive committee members) are a long way from getting over the way they were treated by Richard Morgan," Kennedy said.
Kennedy accused the Morgan supporters of making hateful anonymous phone calls to Boylan and his supporters, spreading gossip about Boylan and even vandalizing Boylan's vehicles.
"It's typical Morganite policy," Kennedy said. "Be as hateful as possible to discourage opposition."
Boylan said he has spoken with Kennedy and his understanding is that the disloyalty process has taken on a life of its own.
Kennedy told Boylan that the calls for unity would carry more weight if the people making them would stop the "whisper campaign" and "backbiting" against Boylan.
Boylan said that he doesn't think that former Morgan supporters have to be removed for the party to come together but that they need to stop attacking him.
"It's a two-way street," he said. "They haven't stopped yet."
Boylan also said he's been too busy in Raleigh setting up his office to keep up to date with the Republican strife. He thought the resolution had yet to be adopted and was up for discussion at the next meeting.
Kennedy said he is not acting under Boylan's supervision. He said that he intends to go forward with the proceedings to prove a point.
"There is no question that they are guilty," he said, "and we intend to hold their feet to the fire, as the Morganites have done in the past."
By supporting Thurman and the Tweeds, Kennedy said, Owen has proven himself to be disloyal as well.
Kennedy said that the chairman isn't supposed to be neutral -- he's supposed to support the party candidate.
Kennedy said a mailer that Owen was supposed to send to Republican voters went instead to unaffiliated voters. He called it sabotage.
Matthew Moriarty can be reached at 693-2479 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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