Wagner Blasted Asher In Chairman Battle
By David Wilmot
Deplorables protect the President against bad advice from people who don’t have his back. Bob Asher suffers another defeat.
In Pennsylvania, a new State party chair was elected Saturday, but it was not who the establishment wanted or who the President was told to endorse. It was the candidate that the MAGA volunteers, “Deplorables” and Trump Supporters believed would be able to deliver the state for the President in 2020.
The second week of July showed how effective the Trump MAGA grassroots can be when it throws its weight around. The selection of a new state party leader for the PA Republican party should be a simple procedure. Rarely does anyone outside of the ruling elite get involved. The fight is limited to state party delegates with the winner taking the spoils of victory with the ability to determining which candidates gets money and help.
A little background. Over a month ago the Chair of the PA Republican party, Val DiGiorgio, resigned after it was revealed that he had a habit of exposing himself via text messages. The MAGA people did not trust Val and never believed he supported the President.
A special convention was called to replace the Chair. A half dozen candidates threw their hat in the ring for the open position. The establishment quickly coalesced around the current vice chair and acting chair, Bernie Comfort. David Urban, a member of the 2016 Presidential campaign and advisor to the successful effort to win Pennsylvania, was quick to have Donald Trump Jr. send out a tweet supporting Comfort. Other candidates were strong-armed to back out of the race. All did, except Lawrence Tabas.
Lawrence Tabas, had risen to fame among the MAGA people and Trump base as an early supporter of Trump in the 2016 primary and, more notably, his successful defense of the Trump victory when Jill Stein sued in an attempt to delay the certification of the Pennsylvania Trump Victory. In 2017 Lawrence Tabas ran against DiGiorgio and lost by 2 votes.
Then on July 2 an article hit the website PoliticsPa that would rattle the MAGA groups across the state. It was the last few paragraphs that would be copied and emailed:
Meanwhile Scott Wagner, 2018 PA GOP Gubernatorial candidate, bashed Bob Asher, an early supporter of Comfort, in an email on Friday to state committee members.
“I am very concerned, as I am sure you are also,” Wagner writes in the email. “The State Chairman election two years ago was bloody and had many casualties, and as a result many good people resigned from state committee.”
Wagner accused Asher of undermining his campaign against Gov. Tom Wolf and believes he should stay out of the race for the good of the party.
“Mr. Asher’s politics have left our party bitterly fractured and highly dysfunctional,” Wagner writes in the email. “His politics have sidelined good people, and left many others disillusioned and disenchanted. Because of his politics we have a political machine that lines the pockets of Harrisburg political consultants, but delivers loss after loss to the Republican Party.”
“The last thing we need right now are more of Bob Asher’s politics. Bob Asher needs to keep his nose out of the election of a new party chairman,” Wagner writes.
To many in the PA Trump-cohorts, Asher is hated as much as Hillary. He is seen as a never-Trumper and is said to have been the force behind the 2016 convention’s last-ditch effort to stop Trump by changing the rules and unbinding all the delegates. Asher controls the once influential Pa Future Fund.
From the Wikipedia page on Asher, “Asher was convicted of perjury, racketeering, conspiracy and bribery in connection with a state contract award. He resigned after the conviction and served one year in federal prison. The case gained national attention in 1987 when his co-defendant in that case and political ally, Pennsylvania State Treasurer Budd Dwyer, committed suicide on television just before sentencing.”
Among the dissident republicans in Pa there is a consensus: any candidate backed by Asher is controlled by Asher and no friend of the people.
“We quickly figured out what was going on,” said one active Trump supporter, “The next chair would control the money coming into the state for the re-election of the President, and if Asher has anything to do with it, that money will go to the usual suspects who will pocket as much as they can.” Pennsylvania is too important to the re-election for the decisions to be left up to grifters.
Asher’s and David Urban’s people put the hard press on state delegates to support their candidate. Delegates were strong armed and outright threatened with losing access to the Trump Whitehouse.
The lines were drawn. On one side was Lawrence Tabas and the Trump base, and on the other side was Bernie Comfort, Bob Asher, and David Urban.
Outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania, five days before the party would vote on the new chair, there was a meeting of trump supports from around the state. One person at the meeting described it, “We are just sharpening the pitchforks and lighting the torches. We are going to come at them from every angle. Asher, Urban, and the rest of the swamp will not know what hit them.”
They needed to get the truth out of what was going on. They needed to let the delegates know they were being watched and if Asher was given effective control of the State party, the delegates would be held responsible.
Within hours a social media blitz started. A website went up with information as well as phone numbers and emails of every state delegate.
The following appeared on the political blog, “Bill Lawrence Online” and was quickly disseminated on social media and emailed around the state.
Bernie Comfort Never-Trumper Asher Tool? — The below message was sent from us from well-connected Republican and we are going to share it.
(The next State Republican Chair) cannot be Bernadette Comfort.
How she got the nod: Bernie was a Never-Trumper. She is supported, and a tool, of Bob Asher.
Bob Asher is the ultimate Republican Never-Trumper. At the 2016 GOP Convention he was the force behind the last minute push for a rule change to un-bind the delegates so they could be corrupted to change their vote to an unnamed candidate other than Trump (most likely Kasich.) Asher has never publicly uttered the words “President Trump” in public. Asher only backs candidates he can control – this is important and the reason he wants Bernie.
• David Urban is a 30+ year friend of Bob Asher.
• Rob Gleason, the party chair before Val, supported Lawrance Tabas. Gleason was early for Trump in the Primary. His reason for backing Tabas is he knows Tabas can raise money and re-establish the party.
• David Urban hates Rob Gleason. It is said he hates him with every fiber of his body.
• Urban backs Bernie to stick it to Gleason. It also gets him points with his buddy Asher. Putting him and Asher in affective control of the state party. Urban gives Trump bad intel for Don jr. to tweet his support for Bernie. Urban tells the Trump campaign that it’s a done deal and the come July 4th Bernie will be the only nominee for State Chair.
• Lawrence Tabas sees what is going on and understand how it will end. Tabas knows that Asher is behind Bernie and with Bernie as the head of the party they will do the least possible in 2020 while pocketing as much money as possible.
• Ted Christian takes his orders from David Urban.
We need to support Lawrence Tabas.
• Email the state committee people.
• Show up at the state convention with your Trump Flags and homemade Lawrence Tabas posters.
In the following days, Trump supporters continued to build pressure on state delegates with emails, social media, and phone calls.
By Thursday, enough delegates had committed to Tabas to secure a victory and lock out Asher. The final knife was an article that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Friday suggesting that Bernie Comfort, as Vice Chair of the party, hand been approached by a staffer who alleged sexual harassment by the former chair, but Comfort took no action.
A person close to Bernie Comfort said Bob Asher cut off all communication with her starting Thursday, two days before the vote, when the pressure was mounting.
Under the massive pressure, Bernie Comfort conceded she could not win.
To save face for the President, a deal was struck. Bernie Comfort would be named the chair of Trump’s campaign in Pennsylvania, and a joint press release of support would be issued by Comfort and Tabas.
The vote Saturday was by acclimation and Lawrence Tabas was made Chair.
Everyone seemed to stay a few steps away from Bob Asher. He was noticeably alone as he walked around the Hershey Hotel before the vote. During the meeting, Asher, as national delegate, was seated next to Bernie on the stage. Bernie never sat next to Asher, keeping one chair between him and herself, and her back to him most of the meeting.
The Trump supporters were not happy with Bernie being placed as Chair of Trump’s state campaign, but they seemed to understand it was important for the President to safe face after the bad information he was given.
4 thoughts on “Wagner Blasted Asher In Chairman Battle”
Great news, Bill. I must say I am not a fan of Mr. Wagner in view of how he ran his governor’s race but here he was doing wonderful work. We did not need another Val DiGiorgio running the party. And we sure did not need to be following the orders of Bob Asher –famed RINO and felon.
Should we not be continuing that momentum and lobbying for Bob Asher not to be the one National Committeeman for PA on the RNC? Isn’t that a worthy goal? Put famed RINO and felon Bob Asher on the sideline to the maximum extent we can.
Hip Hip Hooray!
A good summary of all the wheeling and dealing behind the scenes while voters slept and knew nothing of this.
“Wagner accused Asher of undermining his campaign against Gov. Tom Wolf and believes he should stay out of the race for the good of the party.”
FYI Mr. Wagner: YOU lost the general election due to your vileness, bullying and lying.
We now must heal the party. Transparency and unity are key, along with morality, integrity, and standing on principle. History tends to repeat itself and we must not allow this to happen. Pay-to-play politics need be a thing of the past, as well.
If this happens, perhaps everyone can get along! Perhaps. . .
As always, Bill, many thanks for keeping us informed about all this. I had begun to wonder if we would ever see the R Party in PA in a position to return to the principled and transparent organization that it should be–looks like we may be on our way! Let’s also hope that Mr. Tabas is prepared to sweep away the many “hangers-on” from the old guard, often all the way down to the local level.