My Republican Party has Abandoned Me

During the past year, as my columns have been syndicated to more outlets throughout the world, I have been asked by many leaders in the Republican Party why I am so critical of our party. The short answer is that I am very concerned about the direction my party is taking. It has increasingly become the party of old, White, balding males.

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  • Greg Toner

    This article is pure trash and perpetuates false racial stereotypes. The opposition to Obama has nothing to do with race and everything to do his failure on the economy. And I am speaking as a black conservative. Minorities are being brainwashed by liberals and articles like this do nothing more but perpetuate lies.

  • Ran B.

    He’s a chump. He couldn’t run a decent hustle as a democrat so why not run a game in the republican party. Problem is to many are aware of what he’s trying to do. OMG he might have to work for a living.

  • cordeg

    Mr. Jackson should be ashamed and humbled as a Child of God who herein runs roughshod over at least two commandments. First, making himself an idol, suggesting that how HE feels about the Republican Party DEFINEs that Party, rather than the actual collection of people that are members of that Party — HE is the ultimate arbiter and judge of all things, apparently, and it is HIS “principles” he feels everyone else must respect. Second, he bears false witness against a whole host of Republicans, the hearts of whom he CAN NOT POSSIBLE KNOW from the random comments he quotes.

    Calling someone “lazy” is ALWAYS racist? REALLY? Don’t get me wrong, I am painfully aware that Democrats for decades used the image of the “lazy, shiftless negro” to keep African Americans down, claiming that they “wouldn’t work without the lash” and other outlandish, racist crap. But, does that mean NO black man can ever be lazy forever after? That’s insane. Or at least insipid. Barak Obama is no less capable of being lazy than any white man, just because he’s black. Are we now at the point where we have to pretend that African Americans are literally INcapable of a certain trait just because Democrats used to use that trait unfairly to denigrate the entire race? If so, that’s a fine mess we find ourselves in. Frankly, however, I think any one — black, white, or otherwise — who doesn’t let his OWN prejudice color his perspective would see that Sununu’s comment had nothing to do with President Obama being lazy in the “shiftless” way that Democrats used to mean by it, but rather that the president was “phoning it in” with regard to his responsibilities whenever there was a conflict between doing the politically expedient thing for his base vs. doing the risky but right thing for all Americans. This is by no means making President Obama into a black caricature.

    Sununu’s comment about General Powell was no more racist either. Charles Evers was asked back in 2008 who he was going to support in the presidential race, and this Republican and brother of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers said his principles were those of the Republican Party and he believed Senator McCain to be the better prepared and experienced man for the job but that he was going to vote for Obama because otherwise he would hardly be able to “call myself a “man” — his point was an uncomplicated one, even if uncomfortable to Mr. Jackson and the Liberals that pervade the mainstream news: it was Evers’ chance to vote for the first African American president of the United States, and he couldn’t let his politics force him to vote against that wondrous possibility. Now, apparently, Mr. Jackson would find himself in a tough pickle at this turn of events — first, he’d have to consider Mr. Evers to be a racist for suggesting that a black man (i.e., himself) would consider voting for then-Senator Obama simply because of his race; second, he’d have to consider Mr. Evers to be an imaginary person, because he believes NO real black man would consider voting for President Obama because of his race. Ah, what a tangled web we weave for ourselves when we insist on spouting irrational nonsense as it it were reasoned argument.

    None of this, of course, means I have to particularly LIKE Mr. Sununu. I understand he’s quite smart (in the “educated” manner of Ivy leaguers like the president), but that doesn’t mean I think he’s necessarily right about everything. Frankly, I think he is often a blowhard. But being a blowhard doesn’t make a person racist. In fact, I think blowhards may well outnumber racists in this country. Neither may be very useful, but one is pretty harmless (just ignore the blowhards), while the other is like a threat to society. In the event, I am willing to defend even a blowhard against unfair — and ultimately bigoted — charges of racism.

    Moreover, the fact that Colonel WIlkerson BELIEVES that his own party is “full of racists” and that a “considerable number” of them vote against President Obama because of his race carries exactly the same weight in real life as the opinion of the guy down the street who thinks VP Biden is an alien from Mars here as part of a reconnaissance team prior to a full-scale invasion. Frankly, any Republican who REALLY believes that about his Party and yet continues to carry the banner of such a Party as his own is self-evidently either a moron, a man of NO principles at all, or a liar. If I thought that about my Party, I would renounce my affiliation with it and repudiate it at once. Since army officers do not take political sides as a matter of military ethics, one assumes Colonel Wilkerson became a Republican only after becoming retired, which cannot have been that long ago — certainly the GOP hasn’t changed significantly in that time period. (In fact, Mr. Jackson’s contention that Sununu could not have been a figure in the Republican Party he felt at home in back in the 1980s is wrong-headed on its face, since Sununu was in fact a leading figure in the GOP at precisely that time — a Governor from 1983 to 1989, including a stint as head of the Republican Governors Association, and then White House Chief of Staff.) In the end, I find Wilkenson’s comments to be quite likely either an attempt by a vain man to rise from the obscurity of his retirement to feel important again or the disingenuous attempt by a Liberal to wear the mask of a Republican in order to add a false weight to his ideological screed against the GOP (anyone, after all, can put on the guise of either Party — I could “become” a Democrat as easily as telling everyone that’s what I am.) In fact, according to Federal Elections Commission records, Colonel Wilkerson made small contributions to George W. Bush and several other Republicans in 2000, but in subsequent elections contributed significant amounts exclusively to Democrats, including Obama in 2008 and 2012. He’s a Democrat in deed bad-mouthing Republicans as if he has some “inside” knowledge of a Party to which he has no substantive connection or information. My nutty neighbor thinks President Obama is a Kenyan agent here to turn America into a colony of Kenya. These two idiots could probably have a great time arguing with each other. That Mr. Jackson gives credence to the former reflects far worse on himself than anything Wilkenson has said does on the membership of the GOP. Granted, racists exist in the Republican Party, but there is no evidence to demonstrate that there are more of them there than in the Democratic Party, which started out as OFFICIALLY racist and subsequently has merely gone on to replace violence with pandering as their means of oppression, plantations with public hosing, slave masters with government agents, broken families though the slave auction with broken families through encouraging mothers on welfare not to marry the fathers because it would reduce the aid for their children, putting down blacks who don’t know how to act “in their place” with putting down blacks who “don’t know how they are supposed to think”, among other means of control.

    As to the rest of Mr. Jackson’s “points”, they amount to noting more than his own vanity. After years of having Democrats bludgeon Republicans with false charges of “code words” and racism from African American spokespeople, it is merely rational for them to attempt to counter those attacks using African American faces. If that is somehow racist, then the original charges of racism must have been racist too, and if that’s really the case then you can hardly fault Republicans for fighting fire with fire. Meanwhile, there ought to be nothing whatever controversial in the fact that “positive” messages are put forth without such a bow to using an African American spokesperson, since in such cases the GOP is merely telling Americans what their true principles are, rather than engaging in counter-punches to unfair Democratic charges. One is a straight message, the other a move in a rigged game run by demagogues in the Democratic Party. Only the latter calls for the “fire with fire” methods from a purely dispassionate, rational — not racist — standpoint.

    In the end, Mr. Jackson may feel his vaunted “principles” preclude him from voting for either President Obama (by the way, you really should refer to the sitting president by his title “President” rather than just his last name, as if he were your mailman) or Mitt Romney, but he must know that such a move is in reality a vote for the president, and no amount of hiding behind those “principles” can provide him any cover. Why doesn’t he just drop the facade and join the Democratic Party and work against the “insulting” president from inside the belly of the beast?

  • Bill Calhoun

    You already know that I do not think much of Raynard, Colin Powell etc.
    They are not interested in building the party from within but throwing rocks from outside…this is not to the way to change an an organization about which one professes to care.
    Also, they are not willing to debate their views with those of us in the “trenches” preferring to use the media outlets available to them to make assertions that they do not have to prove. They are nothing more than useful idiots for the Democrat Party so my thing is…why not just join it and be done with it.
    Colin Powell like Obama proved inept at governance though he was good at politicking.
    Bill Calhoun

  • Veritas

    Is this old article a reason why Mr. Jackson is disgruntled with the Republican Party?

    Roll Call January 19, 1998

    Prospects Look Dim for GOP ‘Brighter Future’ PAC

    At a fundraiser last September for Americans for a Brighter Future – a political action committee started in early 1996 to raise money for African- American Republicans – House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga) promised potential contributors that their donations would help elect more minority Republicans to Congress.

    “This is going to help candidate recruitment,” Gingrich said. “And your contributions, your efforts, and your involvement are going to increase our outreach across America.”

    Gingrich added that the work of the PAC’s executive director, Raynard Jackson, “captures the spirit of Reaganism.”

    Had Gingrich done a little bit of digging, however, he would have found out that the PAC actually had not contributed a single dollar to a minority candidate and had done little to help black Republicans. In addition, he would have discovered that Jackson, who
    founded the PAC in the spring of 1996, had been accused of using the PAC’s funds improperly, bouncing checks, and failing to repay debt.

    Gingrich wasn’t aware of the charges or the PAC’s suspicious inactivity. But some of his GOP colleagues were.

    Because of the financial disarray and myriad allegations swirling around the PAC, several prominent Republicans, including Rep. J.C. Watts (Okla) and Majority Whip Tom DeLay (Texas), had already refused to do business with the group prior to the event.

    One prominent African-American conservative said, “The story here is that Members in the GOP did the knee-jerk thing” and lent their credibility to the PAC “without scrutinizing” the organization.

    In order to find more minority candidates, Gingrich was not the only Republican leader to embrace Jackson and his PAC at the September gala at the Washington Court Hotel. Also attending the fundraiser were Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (Miss), National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman John Linder (Ga), and Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson. Lott’s office didn’t return phone calls, and spokesmen for Nicholson and Linder said they were unaware of the allegations.

    If the GOP leaders had checked out Jackson and his PAC, they might have reconsidered their decision to headline the event, according to Republican sources.

    Federal Election Commission records, internal documents, and interviews with several Republicans show that Jackson has a track record of failing to keep promises to candidates, failing to repay debt, and keeping questionable records of his PAC’s activity.

    Jackson also has used what one FEC official called a “bizarre and highly unusual” method of paying the PAC’s bill in cash. According to FEC records, Jackson writes a check from the PAC to himself and then pays vendors in cash. It’s not illegal, said one FEC official, but is raises questions about why the checks weren’t written to the

    Jackson told Roll Call that he has done nothing improper, but he acknowledged that the PAC’s financial books are in disarray and he has hired an outside firm to straighten out the finances.

    “I think you smack me on the wrist, but short of that, it’s all documented,” Jackson said. “We’re correcting all of these things by putting this under a CPA to handle all of this. He’s top of the line, bar none.”

    Two well-placed sources said that Gingrich’s staff had been tipped off to the allegations against Jackson, but the Speaker nonetheless headlined the event at the request of his top political adviser, Joe Gaylord. The sources said Robert George, a well-respected black conservative who works in Gingrich’s press office, had heard of Jackson’s troubles but did not want to cross Gaylord and his political staff.

    In a recent interview, George said that he had heard the allegations against Jackson before the Gingrich event. But George insisted that, at the time, it was nothing more than unsubstantiated gossip and innuendo.

    George confirmed that after the September event – which netted Americans for a Brighter Future $10,000 and a promise from Gingrich for $5,000 more – he took a closer look at Jackson and decided there was enough evidence to alert Gaylord.

    The evidence George was referring to was the resignation of one of the PAC’s executive committee members in October and its treasurer a month later.

    “It was in the context of the latest situation where there were accusations in the organization that I said, ‘This is something that we should keep an eye on,’” George said of his conversation with Gingrich’s political staff.

    The board member who resigned – Lonnie Taylor, who serves as vice president of government relations for the Chamber of Commerce – stepped down after hearing countless stories of improper behavior by Jackson and his PAC, according to knowledgeable sources. Taylor did not return calls seeking comment.

    But it was the resignation of Telly Lovelace, the 21-year-old treasurer of the PAC and a close friend to Jackson, on Nov. 4 that raised eyebrows in GOP circles. In an interview, Lovelace said he stepped down after watching Jackson mishandle the PAC’s finances for nearly two years.

    Lovelace alleged that Jackson routinely failed to repay vendors, bounced countless checks, and bankrolled his personal life with funds from the PAC.

    Jackson denied misusing PAC funds in interviews with Roll Call. He also alleged that Lovelace was fired after stealing $820 from the PAC and fleeing. Lovelace denies those charges, which are virtually impossible to confirm because of the PAC’s track record of paying its bills in cash and keeping sloppy records.

    Lovelace said he withdrew $820 from an ATM for the PAC shortly before his resignation, but he insisted that he gave the money to Jackson to pay two bills in cash.

    Jackson and Lovelace are locked in a war of words and allegations, and have spent recent months telling their side of the story to prominent members of the black conservative community.

    It’s still unclear who is telling the truth about the $820. Based on an extensive investigation by Roll Call, however, Lovelace’s charges against Jackson appear to be accurate. FEC records, internal documents, and interviews with Jackson’s associates show there were plenty of reasons for Gingrich, Lott, Nicholson, and Linder to reconsider their assistance.

    At least four Members of Congress shared Lovelace’s concerns about Jackson well before the September event.

    Watts, the only black Republican in Congress, was ticked off at Jackson as early as late 1995, when Jackson, without permission, was telling potential contributors that Watts was closely associated with the PAC. “We made it clear we wanted nothing to do with
    him,” said a Watts aide.

    Jackson said he and Watts “sat down one-on-one and talked about this and that was a great misunderstanding.” But he admitted that Watts refused to do any events for the PAC thereafter.

    Rep. John Kasich (Ohio), who headlined a breakfast fundraiser for Jackson during the Republican National Convention last August in San Diego, had a similar problem with Jackson.

    After Kasich learned of Jackson’s problems – and the House Budget Committee chairman found out that his name was on the PAC’s letterhead – he sent word through a staffer that he did not want to be affiliated with the organization any longer, according to two knowledgeable sources.

    A senior aide to Rep. James Talent (Mo) told Lovelace months ago that Jackson was not welcome in his office either because he still refused to pay off a bill from an event Jackson coordinated with Talent in 1995. Talent’s office refused to comment, and Jackson insisted that Talent told him he would find a corporation to pay the bill.

    And DeLay, one of the GOP’s top fundraisers, had told several GOP Members to steer clear of Jackson after hearing several allegations against the PAC.

    “DeLay was approached on several occasions by Members and intermediaries of Jackson to meet (with DeLay),” said a top DeLay operative. “Upon checking out who Jackson was there was enough concern about his reputation that we felt it would be inappropriate for DeLay to meet with him.”

    DeLay’s concerns were based on Jackson’s history of poor management and sloppy record-keeping at the PAC.

    Since the PAC’s formation in early 1996, Jackson has raised about $40,000. But the PAC has only contributed paltry sums to a grand total of two candidates – neither of whom are African-American.

    It was not until September 1997 that Jackson made his first -and so far only – contributions: $750 to New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitmann and $100 to the Virginia Republican party for the campaign of James Gilmore, who was elected governor.

    In his defense, Jackson said the PAC offered several candidates the ability to rub elbows with GOP stars like Kasich and Gingrich and that he plans to start giving money to black candidates next year.

    “I made it clear to folks that Ihave no illusion about being able to be (the) new kid on the block and raise tons of money,” said Jackson. “What I wanted to do was provide an
    infrastructure where we could do a lot of peripheral things that would be just as important and critical to a candidacy. ”

    According to several sources, however, the PAC has also offered little outreach to black candidates. Brian Duncan, a promising black conservative who ran for the state Senate in New Jersey last year, was promised money and general campaign resources by Jackson, but the help never arrived, according to several sources.

    While Duncan could not be reached for comment, several sources who spoke with him said that Duncan was surprised and upset when Jackson reneged on his commitments.

    When Jackson was asked to name several candidates his PAC has helped, he hesitated for several seconds before finally naming one statewide candidate, Wanda Webster Stansbury, who ran for the state assembly in New Jersey. “I sent her a personal contribution,” rather than a contribution from the PAC, said Jackson.

    Jackson said he has not had enough money to start giving to candidates. However, Jackson’s PAC had enough cash to pay $1,200 to fly the wife of Sam Moore, who performed the national anthem at the September event, to Washington for the evening.

    And Jackson paid his close friend, Clayton Weaver, $3,000 for videotaping events, including the gala.

    Jackson said Joyce Moore is her husband’s manager so she needed to attend the event. Jackson insisted Sam Moore could attract thousand of dollars in future contributions from performers across the nation.

    But it’s Jackson’s relationship with Clayton Weaver that offers a telling look at the problems that seem to permeate every aspect of the PAC.

    Weaver, who runs Weaver Productions, has received more than $4,000 in cash payments from Jackson’s PAC and his tax-exempt foundation for a documentary on the history of minority Republicans.

    Despite doing such extensive business with Weaver, Jackson could not provide Roll Call with an address or phone number for him. And there’s no Clayton Weaver or Weaver Productions listed in the Washington area, even though Jackson insisted his office is in DC.

    And all of the money Weaver received was in cash.

    Explaining why Weaver receives cash only, Jackson, who has a degree in accounting from Oral Roberts University, explained: “Some of these vendors, especially when you have a videotape event, they prefer cash (or) cashier’s checks. Not checks.”

    But he paid the phone bills and many rent checks in cash as well. Why? Jackson offered various explanations. But the bottom line, he eventually admitted, was that the PAC’s credit is disastrous.

    Just ask Roger Middleton, a former attorney for William and Jefferson law firm. Middleton hosted a breakfast reception for Jackson during the GOP National Convention in San Diego, Calif.

    Jackson was supposed to pay Middleton roughly $4,000 for the breakfast, but, to this day, he has only received $1,000, according to Lovelace and FEC records.

    Jackson did cut Middleton another check for $3,000, but it bounced, and Jackson said he hopes to repay the law firm by next year.

    “That’s something we’ll deal with next year,” Jackson said. Middleton refused to comment.

    The PAC does not have a credit card and has bounced numerous checks this year, according to bank records.

    Lovelace said the phone company threatened to suspend phone service this spring and, at one point, two US Marshals came to the I Street office off Capitol Hill to threaten eviction.

    The PAC’s poor credit has also hampered Jackson’s fundraising travels.

    When he traveled to Chicago for a political event in January, his mother in St. Louis, Mo., paid for both the rental car and hotel, and was later reimbursed by the PAC. Jackson said Illinois does not accept out-of-town checks, so he was forced to rely on his mother.

    Two members of the PAC’s executive board said they were shocked and disappointed to hear about Jackson’s problems.

    One board member said, “I’m disappointed to hear this, and if it’s true, the necessary steps will be taken.

  • Jay Colle

    “Lazy”is an offensive word to black people? Why? If someone called me lazy I would be offended as well (yes, I am white)—if I was not lazy. I don’t see how that word has to be considered racist. As for the quote from Col. Wilkerson (“… considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House … everything to do with the color of his skin…) I find that statement
    preposterous. A considerable portion? Would he mind clarifying that? And how many people in the Democratic party think that NOT voting for Obama is racist?
    From what I read and hear, I would say a considerable portion. And that offends me to no end. But I am still going to vote…

  • phollrah

    I cannot remember when I have read such an unmitigated pile of garbage. There is hardly a single sentence in Jackson’s piece that cannot be totally and completely refuted. Mr. Jackson should have stopped for a second thought before he exposed his ignorance for all the world to see.