Shortly after he won the Chairmanship of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, Jack Kimball singled out Joe Barton for praise as his “black ops guy” at a house party. Barton is alleged to have made threats over e-mail and the phone to Republican State Senator Sharon Carson because of her position on right-to-work legislation. Barton denies he made the threats.
The phrase “black ops” generally refers to covert military operations that exist outside of standard military protocol and sometimes even outside the law.
“Where’s Joe Barton, my ‘black ops’ guy?” Kimball shouts to loud applause at about 5:30 into a video of the house party. “There’s Joe the man!” Kimball then recounts a story about Barton on the campaign trail.
Sen. Carson claims Barton told her, “I know where you live and I’m coming to get you.” Barton serves as the Chair of the Newmarket Republican Committee.
Kimball refused comment when we repeatedly asked what he meant by “black ops” and whether Barton was still performing “black ops” on his behalf. But during the race for Chairman, Kimball made it clear he was going to get involved in legislative issues.
“I won’t tolerate our party deviating from its conservative platform,” he told NH Journal at the time. “I plan to get involved in activities at the State House if and when I think we are straying from our platform,” he added.
“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. State and local law enforcement have undertaken an investigation, issued a no trespassing order and will resolve this matter as they now see fit,” Carson said in a statement.
“I am thankful for the unanimous support of my fellow Senators and for the personal promise from NHGOP Chairman Jack Kimball that the NHGOP has a zero tolerance policy for this kind of behavior. Today, I am turning my focus back to what the voters of my district want me to concentrate on such as balancing the state budget, showing fiscal restraint and improving New Hampshire’s economy. As far as this matter; I consider it closed,” she added.