If you want to understand just how screwed up the Massachusetts Republican Party is under GOP state chairman Jim “Jones” Lyons, consider election night last month.
Geoff “DoorDash” Diehl, Lyons’ hapless candidate for governor, splurged on a “victory” party after getting less than 35 percent of the vote statewide.
According to his latest financial report, the sometime Uber driver’s campaign rented a hall at the Boston Harbor Hotel Nov. 8 for $28,065.60.
Think about that. The polls closed that evening at 8 p.m. The race was called – for Maura Healey – at 8:03.
So the GOP’s “victory party” lasted about three minutes. For more than $28,000, that works out to about $9,350 a minute, or more than $150 per second.
And now Jim “Jones” Lyons is running for another term as party chairman. During his stewardship, the GOP has yet to win a single statewide or Congressional fight.
On Lyons’ watch this year, an incumbent sheriff was defeated and the GOP couldn’t retain the offices of both sheriff and DA on Cape Cod, where Republican incumbents were retiring. Since Lyons won the job in 2019 (after his own failure to get reelected as a state rep), the party has also lost about a dozen seats in the legislature.
Complete, utter failure, across the board. And yet, Jim Jones Lyons could still be reelected, because his future will be decided by state committee members who are even worse at electoral politics than the leader of their pathetic death cult.
The problem is, the disappearance of the Republican party affects everyone who works for a living here. Consider mail-in voting, which killed Republicans across the board. Beyond filing a frivolous suit against something that the legislature had enacted into law, the state GOP did nothing about the new reality.
The teachers’ union, on the other hand, mobilized the hackerama to harvest ballots. With DoorDash Diehl at the top of the ticket, the payroll patriots didn’t have to worry about anything other than Question 1. That was the so-called millionaires’ tax, an 80 percent increase that will soon fall on everyone who has a real job.
Question 1 only passed 52-48, and probably could have been defeated had the state GOP mounted even a semi-serious campaign for… anything. But under Jim Jones Lyons – nothing.
Here’s how big a score Question 1 will be for the hackerama, summed up in a post-election Wall Street Journal headline:
“For a measly outlay of $23 million, unions secured $1 billion in new annual education funding.”
That’s one billion a year, every year, forever. Instead of working hard to stop this theft, Lyons was hiring a private eye to investigate a committee member who doesn’t support him. He’s also suing his own state party treasurer.
Pre-election, Lyons was obsessed with preparing a blizzard of subpoenas – to fellow Republicans. He was blanketing the State House with FOIA requests.
But Lyons’ Kool-Aid drinkers don’t care if he loses elections, because none of them could get elected dogcatcher either.
Consider one of his most loyal stooges, Amanda Orlando. She managed Diehl’s sad campaign. In a radio interview on WBSM last week, she blamed the disaster on DoorDash’s primary opponent, millionaire businessman Chris Doughty.
“It’s kind of funny that anybody thought a man who had never run for anything in his whole life who had nothing but money and his own ego to run on would be a great candidate.”
Hmmm. Amanda makes Doughty sound like… Donald Trump.
But back in 2016 Jim Jones Lyons never liked Trump either. He was with Ted Cruz. Lyons’ finance chairman, Rick Greene, was a John Kasich fanboy. I kid you not.
Greene, by the way, lives in Pepperell. They’ve had a GOP state rep for decades, but the prior solon got a hack job, so the seat was open.
The Lyons-Greene Kool Aid drinker lost the primary, so Greene’s parents wrote a public letter saying they were “unlikely” to vote for the GOP nominee, Andrew Shepherd. The old-timers said they might write in a candidate because “justifiable wins can take more than one election. Sometimes moral victories ought to happen in between.”
On election day, in Pepperell, more than 60 people took their advice and wrote in other candidates. Shepherd is in a recount, but right now he’s 17 votes behind the Democrat.
They threw away a Republican seat. That’s a moral victory to this crowd.
Amanda Orlando is the state committeewoman for a state Senate district in Essex County that used to have three GOP state reps. Two took hack jobs and Democrats won both elections. Two more seats gone.
A third Republican in the district, Lenny Mirra, is currently in a recount, just slightly ahead. When the recount started Monday, nobody from the Republican state committee showed up to support the incumbent.
Orlando’s counterpart is Richard Baker, age 63. He’s a loser for Congress (2008) and Governor’s Council twice (2016 and 2018).
It’s the same m.o. for most of Lyons’ wrinkly robots on the state committee. Patricia Saint Aubin, 64, crushed for state auditor in 2014. Now she fawns over Lyons almost as much as she dotes over her cat Lily, who she dresses up for Christmas.
Paul Roukaitus, age 67, of Winthrop. This year he was campaign manager of another of Lyons’ losers, Todd Taylor, in his campaign for state rep in Chelsea. Taylor got 28 percent of the vote.
Richard Berrena, age 62, of Holyoke. He couldn’t even get elected to the Holyoke Charter Commission in 2009. Now he’s petrified that if he sticks with Lyons, someone with a clue might run against him.
You know, Berrena may be right. Think Nathan Bech, former West Springfield city councilor now on active military duty. Do you hear the footsteps, Richard?
Berrena’s female counterpart on the committee is Linda Vacon, another electoral dynamo. Last year she was reelected to the Holyoke City Council – by 18 votes. On the state committee, her nickname is Landslide.
When she ran for state rep in 2012, Vacon got 21 percent of the vote, just a few more than the Green-Rainbow candidate. She loves Jim Lyons, because they have two things in common. They’re both 68 years old and they couldn’t get elected to the legislature.
The election for chairman is next month, and of course Jim wants to go to the RNC meeting first – it’s in sunny southern California, perhaps the final junket of his dismal political career.
So many losses by so many losers, and yet, none of them ever spent $28,000 at a “victory” party the way Diehl did.
But still, it was probably a better use of his campaign funds than the $107,812.50 DoorDash squandered on Corey Lewandowski.