Facebook ‘black ops’ lead to GOP war of words, questions about Kimball’s leadership

In a developing drama that indicates just how dysfunctional the New Hampshire Republican State Committee is under the leadership of Chairman Jack Kimball, Joe Barton, a key Kimball ally who now lives in California, used the GOP’s own Facebook page to post a $1,500 ransom for anyone willing to primary Republican State Senator Sharon Carson.

And after a state GOP staffer removed the ransom note from Facebook and banned Barton from the Facebook group in question, someone reinstated Barton’s posting rights. And Barton immediately re-posted his ransom.

Joe Barton is the Republican activist Kimball once identified as his “black ops guy.”

This is not Barton’s first attack on Sen. Carson. In April, Barton was alleged to have sent a threatening e-mail and made a phone call to Carson. “On Sunday, April 10th, I received a telephone call from a person who made statements that rose to what I believe to be of a criminal threatening nature and I felt was necessary to report to my local law enforcement,” Carson said in a release at the time.

The latest drama began to unfold on Saturday evening when Barton posted the following on the NH GOP’s Facebook page: “Offering $1,500 to whoever primaries Sen. Sharon Carson.”

According to multiple GOP sources, Barton’s post kicked off a war of words among party leaders demanding the post be removed from Facebook and several admonitions to Chairman Kimball that he is responsible for gaining control of the situation.

Christine Baratta, the NH GOP’s communications director who shares responsibility for administering the site, removed the post and revoked Barton’s posting privileges.

But within just a matter of hours, someone granted posting rights to Barton again and he restated his ransom. “In The Spirit of Chairman Sununu who encouraged competition in the 2010 Gubernatorial Primary; I offer $1500 to the Republican that Primaries Sen. Sharon Carson,” he wrote in the middle of the night.

NH Journal has learned that Dover Republican Chris Buck is responsible for administering the Facebook property in question. Attempts to confirm this with Buck and the state party were unsuccessful. Buck is running for Mayor of Dover.

The NH GOP claims not to condone attacks like Barton’s. “As we enter the Presidential primary season, we encourage all members to post information highlighting the positive qualities of the candidates they support,” reads a statement on the party’s Facebook page, “Negative attacks on other Republicans will not be permitted.”

Neither the NH GOP nor Buck responded to requests for comment.

The controversy could complicate matters for Kimball, who is in a rebuilding phase after depleting state party funds to only $1,300 in June. This led to Kimball and finance chairman Bill Binnie to hold a pair of emergency finance meetings in which Binnie doled out fundraising assignments to the Republican federal delegation, the Executive Council, and GOP leaders of the state legislature. Several sources tell NH Journal that Kimball has been frantically calling these Republican leaders to collect on their assignments, not all of which had originally been agreed upon.

The developing war of words could spill into Tuesday night’s GOP executive committee meeting, which is open to the press and the public.

Author: Shawn Millerick

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  • Rip Bower

    When is Jack Kimball going
    to step-up and do the right thing. 


    Kimball never disavowed
    Barton after threatening a State Senator, not when Barton had a run-in with the
    police in the north country or even when he reportedly “creeped” around a
    female state party activist – when is enough enough? 


    Grow a pair Mr. Kimball, if your not man enough to stand up to a bully
    like Barton I’m just glad you didn’t come even close to becoming Governor. Your
    time is NH politics is already coming to an end, and it’s not coming soon

    • Voteobamaout

      Mr. Millerick,

      First, Barton is a resident of Newmarket doing temporary work in CA.

      Mr. Millerick,
      First, Barton is a resident of Newmarket doing temporary work in CA.

      Second, Bill Binnie is not at odds with the tea party. On the contrary,
      he is in very good terms with them. But that is news to you isn’t it?

      Third, Bill Binnie and Jack Kimball were friends long before either one of
      them decided to get involved in politics. Binnie volunteer to help out with
      finances because he was in a good position to reach out to the business

      Fourth, the finances at the GOP have always been hand to mouth but Jack
      had a couple of successful fundraiser in July that brought money in. Whoever
      told you there were only $1,300 is not telling you the truth and playing you for
      a fool.

      Bottom line, if you want be a real journalist rather than just a
      gossiper, do some research on your own instead or relying on disgruntle GOP
      leakers for your information.

  • Silence Dogood1774

    Barton does not live in California.

  • Silence Dogood1774

    Hey rip who s the reported state activist he creeped? No names no merit. I read the email it was not threatening I read the police report involving Carson and lovejoy. Caraons are political hacks and you know it


  • Rip Bower

    Hey Joe Barton, I mean Silence DoGood or is it Silas de Gote, posting under someone else name does not make your story anymore creditable. Stay in California, we don’t want you I’m NH.

  • Rip Bower

    I guess Jack Kimball finally
    stepped-up and asked for this guy to resign and then the entire Republican
    Executive Committee voted unanimously to support that move.


    When the “Gang who
    can’t shoot straight” (AKA the Republican State Executive Committee) votes
    unanimously to do something you know there is a problem and there is more to it than
    what has gotten out to the public.


    Hey Joe Barton, get the message from your fellow Republicans, including
    your mentor Jack Kimball, for you to resign? Let’s see if you if you can “man-up” and do the right thing if you are in fact the honorable maritime academy graduate and Republican you say you are?