The Mississippi Republican Party will hold its precinct caucuses and county conventions this Saturday. A fracas of sorts erupted today after the Sun-Herald reported that Mississippi Republican Party Grand Poobah Joe Nosef sent a text that made made the national talk radio shows:
The rift in the Mississippi Republican Party has apparently widened.
A post today on arch-conservative Laura Ingraham's LifeZette website says party Chairman Joe Nosef has in text messages threatened supporters of Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz with eviction from the state convention in May. That would seem to indicate there's a move afoot to steer the GOP nomination to Ohio Gov. John Kasich or some other tamer Republican.
Nosef took issue with the story but said he did send the texts.
The story, "Gov. Bryant, state GOP make sinister move to send pro-Establishment delegates to Cleveland," is based on a text LifeZette says was sent from Nosef to a senior member of the Trump campaign in Mississippi.
“And like I told you, I can promise my cousin and anybody else if they even so much as raise their voice they’re going to be outside in the parking lot and they won’t be back in and no I won’t be removing them -- somebody with a gun and a badge will be,” it says the text from Nosef said....
"This angle and this story is the opposite of the truth. I was expressing frustration because the two campaigns local leadership had no interest in working with us to ensure THEY didn't end up in Cleveland in a delegate fight with each other about delegates.
"Secondly the part about security at the state convention is there because our people deserve and expect that we will have a professional, secure environment. No one will use our state convention to grandstand or try to intimidate people into voting a certain way. We owe it to our people for them to be safe." Rest of article.
Meanwhile, Chairman Joe Nosef sent out this email yesterday:
We are just a few days away from the Mississippi Republican Party precinct caucuses and county conventions that will take place at your voting precinct this Saturday, April 23 at 10:00 a.m. I am writing you to ask for only 15 minutes of your time this Saturday to show your support for Governor Bryant and to continue his success as leader of the Mississippi Republican Party.
Please plan to attend your precinct caucus this Saturday, April 23 at 10:00 a.m. sharp, which will be held at your regular voting place and contact your family, friends and neighbors to ask them to do the same. Your only qualification to participate is you must be a registered voter at your precinct.
Your precinct caucuses will elect the delegates to the county conventions that will be held the same day at 3:00 p.m. at your county Courthouse (unless another site has been designated), and then in turn elect delegates to the state convention on May 13-14.
Please show your support for Governor Bryant and your local county party leadership by voting for the person or persons at your precinct who are there representing the Governor, and plan to attend the county convention to support him and your local county leaders. If you are not sure whether someone seeking to be a delegate from your precinct meets these criteria, ask them or the temporary precinct chairman or call the Party Headquarters at 601-948-5191.
There has been a lot of attention given to the national convention, and Governor Bryant is already working directly with the presidential campaigns to make sure our delegation to the national convention will be fair to each campaign and go by the rules of our state and national parties. However, the precinct caucuses and county conventions are equally important to the future of our Mississippi Republican Party - we need to keep the Governor as the leader of our party and not anyone trying to present themselves as representatives of any particular presidential campaign.
Please also feel free to contact me or any of the MSGOP staff at (601) 948-5191 if you have any questions about the precinct caucus and county conventions this Saturday or how to be a delegate to the state convention.
The MSGOP has achieved literally historic victories in recent years, and we thank you for helping us achieve this success. This weekend, we need your help once again to make sure our Party has the leadership to be even stronger in the future.
Governor Bryant also sent out this email late this afternoon:
This coming Saturday is a very important day for the future of our Mississippi Republican Party, its leadership and the ability to keep advancing the conservative movement.
I would be very grateful if you could continue your support by attending your precinct caucus this Saturday, April 23 at 10:00 a.m. These are very brief meetings of around 15 minutes, and they are held at your regular voting precinct. The only requirement to participate is that you are a registered voter in that precinct.
We need your help 1) to ensure that we continue to have good, strong county leadership of committed volunteers, and 2) to make sure the delegates sent to the state convention from your county will work together with me and support my recommendations of those who will be elected to state party leadership positions. We Republicans have the responsibility of selecting who will be in leadership positions of our county and state parties for the next four years. We need people who have shown a commitment to the continued success and growth of our state Party and will reach out to all Republicans and not just a select few.
You can do this by encouraging your family, friends and neighbors to attend the precinct caucuses this Saturday, and ask them to join you in supporting people representing me at the precinct caucuses. If you are not sure who at your precinct is representing me, you can ask them or the temporary precinct chairman or call the MSGOP office at (601) 948-5191.
Please know that I ask for your support regardless of which candidate you support for president. We are working directly with the remaining campaigns to ensure we have a fair delegation and neither campaign has an unfair advantage over the other.
These precinct caucuses will elect the delegates to the county conventions later that day at 3:00 p.m. at your county courthouse (in all but a couple of counties) and then in turn elect delegates to the state convention on May 13-14.
Please mark it on your calendar now—to attend your precinct caucus this Saturday, April 23, and the meetings will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. Thank you!
So much for a boring weekend.