Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Tea Party Extremists Continue Assault on NorCo GOP
Kerr's candidacy is nothing less than a battle for the heart and soul of the County GOP. Will it be tea party extremists like Kerr, whose litmus test standard for Republicans would exclude party stalwarts like Ron Angle and Peg Ferraro? Or will sanity prevail? That question will be answered at 7 PM, when the Republican Committee meets at the Chrin Center.
Just a little more than a month ago, Kerr came under intense criticism over the way he was handling the party. He got rid of the party backbone, people like Dottie Niklos and Mary Baurket, the ones who would go out on weekends to plant yard signs.
Then, he incredibly invited Tricia Mezzacappa, a racist convicted of making death threats, to lead them all in prayer at one of their monthly meetings. Kerr should have realized something was amiss when Mezzacappa began to stick needles into voodoo dolls, chanting some ancient Mesopotamian curse.
Ron Angle's hair started on fire.
He fired Brian Monahan as the party's solicitor, a position he held for twenty-five years as a volunteer. He fired area chair Teg Hughes, another workhorse. I personally witnessed Kerr refuse to allow members of the party speak at a meeting, though he himself had just finished giving a long, rambling justification for his support for judicial candidate Tom Carroll.
Carroll finished dead last among four candidates.
But what was most appalling was his refusal to allow Peg Ferraro to speak. She's only the County's highest ranking Republican elected official, a state committee member and is herself a former party chair.
"A past Chairman is just that - past," said Kerr, as the crowd gasped.
Kerr is joined by a few people from the Lehigh Valley Tea Party. These include people like Tony Simao, Arlene Klocek, Ronnie delBacco and County Council candidate Hayden Phillips.
"They're as thick as fleas on a dog's back," reports my intern, Ron Angle.
Kerr is opposed by Craig DeFranco, Acting Party Chair. Kerr refused to distance the GOP from Mezzacappa's vitriol, but DeFranco released a statement denouncing her behavior as " inconsistent with the beliefs and standards of the Northampton County Republican Committee."
Mezzacappa has sworn revenge. "We have some spineless people who will be removed from the GOP in the coming months," she told Express Times reporter Tom Shortell. Joining Mezzacappa in condemning DeFranco was failed Easton School Board candidate Ronnie delBacco, whose latest crusade there was an attempt at book banning. But the very same delBacco, in a February email, stated, "[Kerr] has been a disappointment in that he seems to be all about control and not about serving. I think he is in this mess for himself more and more."
Maybe delBacco should try to get his own email banned.
DeFranco should be elected overwhelmingly tonight, but these are Republicans. Who knows?
Updated 2:15 PM: I have amended my headline, at the request of LV Tea Party Joan Campbell, to reflect that the assault on the NorCo GOP comes from extremists within the LV Tea Party, and not the party itself.