BOSTON – Below fireplace for his dealing with of anti-gay remarks made by a member of the state committee, MassGOP Chairman Jim Lyons lashed out Thursday out at practically each elected Republican within the Home, accusing them of bowing to “toxic woke cancel tradition groupthink.”
Lyons, who served eight years within the Home with lots of the lawmakers he’s now attacking, stated the 29 Home Republicans who insisted he name for state committeewoman Deborah Martell to step down had turned their again on Republican values.
The group, together with Home Minority Chief Brad Jones, signed a letter final Friday saying Lyons ought to himself step down if he refused to demand Martell’s resignation after Martell informed Congressional candidate Jeffrey Sossa-Paquette she was “sickened” by his adoption of youngsters along with his husband.
“These elected officers made it clear in a letter demanding my resignation that they’d sooner flip their backs on the bedrock American rules of free speech, free expression, and non secular liberty, as long as it meant they may appease the Democrats controlling the state Legislature,” Lyons stated in an e mail to social gathering members on Thursday.
The chairman urged social gathering members to signal a petition that might ship the elected legislators a message: “Please be a part of us in calling on them to guide, to face for the First Modification, and to push again towards the woke cancel tradition mentality whose solely endgame is to silence Republicans such as you into submission.”
Lyons’ escalation of the turmoil throughout the Republican Social gathering got here a day after a contentious state committee assembly in Marlborough when the chairman gave Martell a platform to defend herself in entrance of the committee, in response to individuals who attended the assembly.
Regardless of calls from practically each elected Republican, together with Gov. Charlie Baker, for her to resign, Martell has refused and Lyons has supported that call, regardless of calling her remarks offensive.
Rep. Marc Lombardo, of Billerica, was the one Home Republican to not signal the letter final Friday giving Lyons an ultimatum. The three Senate Republicans additionally stated anybody with Martell’s views mustn’t serve ready of social gathering management, however stopped wanting calling for Lyons to resign if he did not intervene.
By taking up the Home GOP caucus, Lyons is selecting to have interaction in a battle with practically each elected Republican in state politics at time when the social gathering has struggled to make inroads on Beacon Hill and truly misplaced 4 seats within the Legislature in 2020.
Republicans quantity to lower than 10 p.c of registered voters in Massachusetts, and that share of the voters has been shrinking. However some conservatives imagine beginning contemporary and solidifying that base as a substitute of attempting to enchantment to reasonable Democrats and independents is the way in which to construct the social gathering.
“Possibly we’re higher off with out the governorship, and we’re capable of develop the social gathering from the bottom up,” Republican State Committeeman Steve Aylward informed NBC10’s Alison King exterior the Marlborough assembly Wednesday night time.
The petition Lyons circulated was written by state committee members Jay Fleitman and Mary Lou Stuart and addressed to Jones and state Rep. Peter Durant. Fleitman and Good wrote that it was “fairly astounding” that the legislators selected to not defend Martell’s proper to free speech, even when they disagreed with what she needed to say.
“Not solely did you all wave the white flag of give up, however you all betrayed our elementary rules. As well as it’s unforgivable for Republicans to be giving left-wing democrats ammunition to make use of towards us: accepting their cancel tradition techniques solely emboldens them,” the petition acknowledged.
Durant, of Spencer, stated he didn’t perceive why the top of the social gathering can be spending his time attacking elected Republicans whereas they have been on Beacon Hill taking votes towards tax hikes.
“We all know how the individuals of our districts really feel. Bear in mind, Lyons misplaced his personal seat utilizing these identical techniques. It could be that the 29 of us know higher how Republican voters really feel about these points,” Durant stated.
Baker on Thursday known as Martell’s remarks “disgusting and unacceptable, interval,” and stated there was no place for bigotry in Massachusetts or the Republican Social gathering.
Baker and the social gathering have been drifting aside for years since Lyons grew to become chairman after the 2018 election, and that fissure has widened in latest weeks as Lyons and his allies on the state committee sought to decrease his function in social gathering resolution making. When he served within the Home, Lyon’s district included components of Tewksbury.
As a three-time statewide candidate, Baker stated at a press convention that he believed he had a superb really feel for the views of the voters, however he averted a direct query about how a lot duty Lyons bears for policing feedback like Martell’s.
“These feedback, these concepts don’t signify the Republican Social gathering of Massachusetts, or the individuals of Massachusetts,” he stated.
MassGOP Vice Chair Tom Mountain, who informed the Information Service on Thursday that he’s not on talking phrases with Lyons, stated there aren’t sufficient votes to oust Lyons from the chairmanship proper now, however he believes he may very well be defeated in 2023.
Mountain known as it “insane” to alienate Baker from the social gathering, regardless of the Trump supporter’s disagreements with the governor over politics and coverage.
“I can’t consider something extra vindictive, extra absurd than to create this schism with the sitting Republican governor. What good will come of this? No good,” Mountain stated. “It’s the political twilight zone, that’s what it’s.”