Since 2010, if not before, the battle between the old guard state GOP (i.e. the DuPonts, Castle, Copeland, etc). and the upstart downstate social conservatives (O’Donnell, Urquhart, Christopher, etc.) has been a fun one for us Democrats to watch. It kind of reminds us of the little flare up we Democrats had nationally in 2004-2005 (i.e. Howard Dean, 50 State Strategy), although on a much larger scale here in small First State. Any way, here is the background on the latest chapter….
Last month, State GOP Party Chair John Sigler resigned after having be reelected the month before. His resignation turned not on party business or party divisions but instead on conflicts of interest between his private career and his role in the state party. That meant that the newly elected Vice Chair, downstate activist (meaning downstate tea party social conservative activist) Nelly Jordan would ascend to the top spot, for a little while anyway. She would remain Acting Chairman of the Party until a special state convention could be held in 60 days to elect a new state chairman.
Well, it would seem that things are not going that well for Mrs. Jordan during her stewardship of the party. Delaware Liberal has obtained a copy of a letter sent out last night to State GOP Executive Committee members. A copy of the letter is below (I have redacted Mrs. Jordan’s personal contact information). As you can read, it would seem that party fundraising has dried up during her tenure as Acting Chairman, if not before, and the state party is basically broke as of this moment, and there is the possibility that staff will have to be laid off and offices closed…
Now, as Mrs. Jordan notes in the letter, party donors stopped donating to the party well before John Sigler resigned. So it is not necessarily his resignation that prompted their spurning of the party. However, I suspect the continued Tea Party takeover of the state GOP, as evidenced by Nelly Jordan’s election as Vice Chair, and the continued antics of the downstate social conservatives, from Bodenweiser to Vance Phillips to Jeff Christopher to Don Ayotte to Sam Wilson, have everything to do with the well running dry. Indeed, in this intraparty civil war, who is it that the downstaters always attack? The big money “RINOs” up north in Chateau Country, the same monied interests that backed Pete du Pont and Mike Castle and Michelle Rollins and kept the state party afloat for years.
I don’t doubt that the well started running dry well before John Sigler’s resignation. I am sure if you graph the numbers out, the decline began back in 2010. Indeed, we predicted that this would eventually happen back when Christine O’Donnell scored her surprise victory over Mike Castle. Sure, small internet donors would pour in for a while, but they cannot be counted on to keep a party organization afloat in off years. You need big money to do that. And now those big money donors are hanging back, waiting to see what happens in the Special Convention in July. I suspect that if Charlie Copeland wins the Chairmanship in July, the faucets will be flowing again. And I am sure that message is being sent out to party activists. Elect our guy and the money returns. Elect Nelly, and the well stays dry. And I do not blame them at all.