By: Brian Genest – July, 2021
Cancel culture is alive and well in Massachusetts.
You don’t have to look any further than the establishment Republicans on the state committee, sadly. These RINOs are trying to use mob mentality, guilt by association and cancel culture to cancel conservative MassGOP Chairman Jim Lyons – over someone else’s comments.
Some of these state committee members should fight the Democrats as hard as they fight our chairman, our conservative colleagues, and our Constitution. Of course, a bunch of them work in state government, many of them do zero fundraising for the party, and some of them care only about padding their resumes and growing their bank accounts.
Who are these establishment state committee hacks? Hacks like Janet Leombruno of Framingham.
“Yikes” she recently wrote in a one-word email to state committee members, attaching an article critical of the MassGOP from… the Boston Globe. In another email, she called the party a “dumpster fire.” Meanwhile, she’s one of the troublemakers fanning the flames, more than once calling for the chairman to resign.
What did Lyons do that was so bad? First, Lyons didn’t respond to the controversy quickly enough, according to Leombruno. Then, he didn’t respond the way she wanted. Leombruno and others demanded that Lyons make the state committee member who made the comments resign, something he was in absolutely no position to do, or resign himself.
It’s an easy situation to understand. On one hand, you have Lyons, who supports free speech and religious freedom. On the other hand, you have Leombruno, who wants to thumb her nose at election results and the rule of law.
Last year, Leombruno emailed the state committee, saying the questions I asked National Committeeman Ron Kaufman about his abysmal record electing Republicans and his alleged ties to Hugo Chavez were “in poor taste.”
She didn’t find it in poor taste, however, to take $24,501 from a super PAC with ties to Never-Trumper Gov. Charlie Baker for her re-election to the Framingham City Council.
Other members of the state committee love the Boston Globe, too.
Amy Carnevale of Marblehead, who got crushed in a bid for national committeewoman last year, and Michael Valanzola, a know-it-all from somewhere in the middle of nowhere called Wales, wrote a letter to the Democrat paper recently opposing proposed Republican party reforms.
You see, these establishment folks liked things the way they were before Lyons became party chairman. Since taking office in January 2019, Lyons has shined a spotlight on past spending practices and other internal issues – and the party rats have been scrambling ever since.
The night Lyons won the chairmanship with a majority vote by State Committee members, no one ran out of the room faster than Kirsten Hughes, his predecessor. Hughes and those from Baker’s campaign, who were basically running the MassGOP for years, had finally lost their control of the party—mercifully.
The defeated establishment didn’t take the loss very well.
What they did take is control of the MassGOP’s fundraising database. Lyons had to have party lawyers intercede and send a demand letter to Salesforce, the cloud-based company that hosts the database, to regain access and shut out the Baker campaign’s butthurt bandits.
Hughes and the gang of rats also lost access to the money. The state party and MassVictory, its affiliate, had been raking in the cash from donors – and spending it like crazy. And not to help GOP candidates win down-ballot races.
Instead, Hughes oversaw a spending spree on fine dining, “free” parking and other questionable expenditures.
In 2017 and 2018, the two years before Lyons took over, more than $100,000 was spent on fancy dinners, including more than $30,000 at the Capitol Grille, Morton’s, Abe & Louie’s, Del Frisco’s and other top steakhouses. About $164,000 was spent on parking fees at the garage next to state party headquarters on Merrimac Street. There was also $18,000 spent on more than 1,000 Uber rides, among other things.
That money from donors should have been spent to help GOP candidates across the state.
While under the control of Charlie Baker’s team, the MassGOP didn’t focus on getting Republicans elected to the legislature. On the contrary, Baker’s fundraising arm, the Massachusetts Majority Independent Expenditure PAC, has drawn attention for supporting Democrats. More than 20% of donations to the PAC have been sent to Democrat campaigns.
One of the big problems on the state committee is that so many members either work in the Baker administration, take home a state paycheck or have some connection to and personal stake in the governor’s office.
One of them is Laurie Myers of Chelmsford.
She makes $125,000 as executive director of the Sex Offender Registry Board. Myers sent her state committee colleagues an email with a recent column criticizing the MassGOP from, you guessed it, the Boston Globe.
“It is disheartening to know that this current controversy is not going away,” she wrote. Make no mistake about it: Myers shared the column to help make sure the controversy doesn’t go away! Before she was even elected by a very slim margin in 2020, Myers was already criticizing Lyons.
There’s no shortage of state committee members on the state payroll.
Ryan Chamberland of Blackstone is deputy chief of staff in the Executive Office of Public Safety for $96,390. Brock Cordeiro of Dartmouth is an administrative/legislative aide in the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office for $75,193.
Will Crocker of Centerville, who was thrown out of the state legislature last year, is southeast regional director at the Massachusetts Office of Business Development for $75,000.
Jennifer Cunningham of Plymouth is a paralegal specialist in the Executive Office of Public Safety for $70,332.
Angela Davis of Foxborough, who lost her position as MassGOP Secretary last year, is an assistant in the Executive Office of Public Safety for $130,000.
There are others, too, including Matt Sisk of Braintree, executive director of civil process at the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office, who got $92,500. You may remember Sisk, who has been described by Howie Carr as “Ron Kaufman’s butler” and “Ron Kaufman’s valet,” from news reports. He resigned from his six-figure position at the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, after state police started looking into alleged improper use of lights and sirens on his state-owned car.
A few weeks before that, Sisk was suspended for using state resources to plan and host a private party, including using state-rented golf carts to usher guests to a Boston Pops concert on the Esplanade – from Ron Kaufman’s Beacon Hill residence.
BTW, Leombruno is also a commissioner on the Framingham Housing Authority. She’s the governor’s appointee, of course. Does anyone know whether she prefers Chablis or Chianti with her ribeye?
Hopefully, cancel culture will catch up to some of these hacks!
— Brian Genest is a member of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee representing the Second Essex & Middlesex District of Andover, Dracut, Lawrence and Tewksbury. ◊