Republican Chad Connelly is vying to win Tuesday’s primary in a special election for the South Carolina Fifth District congressional seat. But Connelly’s record as a delegate-stealing #NeverTrumper is coming back to haunt him.
Connelly, the former South Carolina party chairman, was literally on the RNC payroll when the campaign started. That’s not a joke. As the great Alex Swoyer reported:
Chad Connelly was paid $120,000 last year and $31,000 this year by the RNC to serve as the party’s director of faith management. He collected checks until he resigned in early March, the month after he announced his candidacy.
Analysts said the legality of the payments depends on the details of the arrangement — but said politically the revelation looks bad because it suggests the national party was picking favorites.
Chad Connelly is not just an RNC stooge. He is also a member of an insidious underground cult: The #NeverTrump Delegate Thieves.
Ted Cruz’s delegate thieves briefly threw the presidential race into chaos in the weeks leading up to the Republican convention in Cleveland. Cruz people tried to rig delegate slates at state party conventions in order to steal delegates away from Trump — even though Trump already won those delegates on paper in the actual state primaries and caucuses. Trump supporters battled through “Robert’s Rules of Order on steroids” in Cleveland to finally put down the rebels’ plot. Trump was nominated, Ken Cuccinelli threw his credentials to the ground in protest, Ted and Heidi Cruz were booed out of the arena with chants of “Goldman Sachs,” and the thieves were defeated.
In Saudi Arabia, thieves get their hands cut off. In Republican politics, Trump supporters take aim at their political fortunes.
“I can personally attest to these facts: Chad passed around and lobbied for a slate (that included many Cruz and “Never Trump” names) competing with the Trump Slate,” Trump campaign senior adviser Karen Giorno told Big League Politics.
“Chad did not attend the Unity Breakfast designed to bring non-Trump supporters onboard. And although everyone was asked to show their support by singing the Defeat Hillary Vote Trump banner, Chad did not. Well over three-fourths of those in attendance did,” Giorno added.
Big League Politics has obtained photographs of the pro-Cruz NeverTrump slate of delegates that Connelly promoted, and also the “Defeat Hillary” banner that Connelly did not sign.
Where is Connelly’s signature? It cannot be found.
The Chad Connelly campaign did not provide comment for this report.
So what happened to the NeverTrumpers after the convention?
Some of the rebels plunged on, waging a guerrilla campaign in the foothills to help Hillary Clinton win. These rebels included John Kasich, who shut down Trump’s ground game with his state party and forced pro-Trump activists to win Ohio on their own. Bill Kristol backed a harebrained scheme to run Evan McMullin as a third-party candidate in Utah to peel off Mormon votes from Trump and keep him below 270 electoral votes. Paul Ryan tried to knock Trump off the ticket during the “Access Hollywood” scandal and make Mike Pence the nominee. But on Election Night, all of the rebels felt humiliated and fearful for the future. Some, like John McCain and Lindsey Graham, vowed to make Trump’s life as president as difficult as possible.
Most of them either hide their faces now or give lip-service support to the president, hoping that nobody will remember what they did, or who they really are. But make no mistake: if left unwatched, the NeverTrumpers will nest, reproduce, and invade.
Connelly is running against a wide field of candidates in Tuesday’s primary.
The legendary Trump “Strike Team” that carried the great state of South Carolina for Trump in the primaries has endorsed Connelly’s challenger Tom Mullikin.