On Thursday, NH Journal reported that tea party candidate for New Hampshire Republican State Chairman Jack Kimball would hold Republicans to the party platform, which would serve as a yardstick to measure candidate recruits and the performance of the state legislature. “I won’t tolerate our party deviating from its conservative platform,” Kimball told us.
Later that day, John DiStaso of the New Hampshire Union Leader reported that businessmen and unsuccessful 2010 U.S. Senate candidates Bill Binnie and Jim Bender have agreed to head up the finance committee of the Republican State Committee should Kimball win the party’s top post on January 22nd.
What’s going on? Why would Kimball, the erstwhile keeper of the conservative flame, jump into bed with Bill Binnie who ran for Senate openly as a moderate? And why would Binnie jump into bed with a man who no doubt considers him a RINO (Republican In Name Only) who doesn’t belong on a Republican ballot?
Sources tell NH Journal that Binnie is motivated more by revenge than commitment to the party. Binnie loathes Gov. John Sununu, who supports Kimball’s rival Juliana Bergeron, sources said, because he blames Sununu for igniting the debilitating backlash against Binnie’s harsh attacks against Kelly Ayotte in the Republican Senate primary. And Kimball, we are told, is motivated by dollars and cents rather than the party platform.
“I don’t want to stray from the platform,” Kimball told DiStaso. “But these men bring a lot of credibility from the business community and an ability to fund-raise.” We understand Binnie has committed to raise $400,000 for the 2012 election cycle should Kimball defeat the Sununu-backed candidate.
“I guess even Mr. Tea Party has his price,” one Republican official who is backing Bergeron for the chairmanship quipped to NH Journal. “So Juliana is too liberal for the party but Binnie is just fine? He’s being a bit hypocritical to say the least.”
It would be hard to overstate the ways in which Binnie violated conservative orthodoxy during his campaign for Senate. He criticized the Arizona law cracking down on illegal immigration. He angrily blurted out, “I’m not a constitutionalist” at a Rochester 9/12 candidate debate. He said he was pro-choice on abortion because parents should be permitted to abort their pregnancies if they are going to have a child with a disability. Whatever else one might say about Bill Binnie, he is not someone who toes the party line as described in the party platform.