GOP donor sues party for fraud over Obamacare repeal

A Republican donor from Virginia is suing the national and state GOP for fraud because they failed to deliver on their promise to repeal Obamacare.

Virginia Pilot:

A retired attorney in Virginia Beach is so incensed that Republicans couldn't repeal the Affordable Care Act that he's suing to get political donations back, accusing the GOP of fraud and racketeering.

Bob Heghmann, 70, filed a lawsuit Thursday in U.S. District Court, saying the national and Virginia Republican parties and some GOP leaders raised millions of dollars in campaign funds while knowing they weren't going to be able to overturn the law also known as Obamacare.

The GOP "has been engaged in a pattern of Racketeering which involves massive fraud perpetrated on Republican voters and contributors as well as some Independents and Democrats," the suit said. Racketeering, perhaps better known for use in prosecuting organized crime, involves a pattern of illegal behavior by a specific group.

The lawsuit lists as defendants the Republican National Committee and Virginia's two national GOP committee members, Morton Blackwell and Cynthia Dunbar, as well as the Republican Party of Virginia and state party Chairman John Whitbeck.

In an email, Blackwell dismissed Heghmann's complaint as a "frivolous, nuisance suit that should be thrown out of court by any judge."

In a separate email Dunbar sent to Blackwell that was forwarded to The Virginian-Pilot, Dunbar referred to it as "ridiculous."

But at the same time, both said they understood where Heghmann was coming from. Blackwell said the suit is a "sign of conservative anger that the Republican-controlled Congress has not yet repealed and replaced Obamacare."

He argued that "progressives" had taken over the Democratic Party and seemed to lament that "conservatives" had not yet taken over the Republican Party.

"Too few conservatives are willing to invest their time, talent, and money and personally participate inside the Republican Party," Blackwell said. "A Republican majority will mean a conservative majority if and when a sufficient number of conservatives figure out why the success of their principles depends on their personal involvement in local, state and national Republican Party committees and in party nomination contests."

Is the suit really "ridiculous"?  From the standpoint that it doesn't have a chance in hell of succeeding, the answer is yes.

But at the same time, the suit is a powerful symbol of the frustration, anger, and dissatisfaction of many Republicans with their party's failure to live up to their campaign pledge to repeal Obamacare.  One might also include the failure of the GOP to address other issues like tax reform and funding Trump's wall.

The budget deficit is skyrocketing, the national debt is growing, health care reform is presently dead – just who is running Congress?  If it's Republicans, they are failing their constituencies.

The party is at war with itself, and no party leader has been able to step forward and unite the factions to get things done.  GOP leaders in Congress are impotent.  The president has so far been unable to get Congress to do his bidding.  The RNC has been worse than useless.

The 2016 election generated a lot of hope and expectations for Republicans around the country.  Instead, we've had division, name-calling, and a shocking failure of leadership at all levels of the party.  Blaming conservatives, or moderates, or any other faction in the party is an exercise in futility.  It hardly matters where the fault lies.  Unless Congress, the president, and the grassroots can all get on the same page, the party risks an electoral disaster in 2018.

A Republican donor from Virginia is suing the national and state GOP for fraud because they failed to deliver on their promise to repeal Obamacare.

Virginia Pilot:

A retired attorney in Virginia Beach is so incensed that Republicans couldn't repeal the Affordable Care Act that he's suing to get political donations back, accusing the GOP of fraud and racketeering.

Bob Heghmann, 70, filed a lawsuit Thursday in U.S. District Court, saying the national and Virginia Republican parties and some GOP leaders raised millions of dollars in campaign funds while knowing they weren't going to be able to overturn the law also known as Obamacare.

The GOP "has been engaged in a pattern of Racketeering which involves massive fraud perpetrated on Republican voters and contributors as well as some Independents and Democrats," the suit said. Racketeering, perhaps better known for use in prosecuting organized crime, involves a pattern of illegal behavior by a specific group.

The lawsuit lists as defendants the Republican National Committee and Virginia's two national GOP committee members, Morton Blackwell and Cynthia Dunbar, as well as the Republican Party of Virginia and state party Chairman John Whitbeck.

In an email, Blackwell dismissed Heghmann's complaint as a "frivolous, nuisance suit that should be thrown out of court by any judge."

In a separate email Dunbar sent to Blackwell that was forwarded to The Virginian-Pilot, Dunbar referred to it as "ridiculous."

But at the same time, both said they understood where Heghmann was coming from. Blackwell said the suit is a "sign of conservative anger that the Republican-controlled Congress has not yet repealed and replaced Obamacare."

He argued that "progressives" had taken over the Democratic Party and seemed to lament that "conservatives" had not yet taken over the Republican Party.

"Too few conservatives are willing to invest their time, talent, and money and personally participate inside the Republican Party," Blackwell said. "A Republican majority will mean a conservative majority if and when a sufficient number of conservatives figure out why the success of their principles depends on their personal involvement in local, state and national Republican Party committees and in party nomination contests."

Is the suit really "ridiculous"?  From the standpoint that it doesn't have a chance in hell of succeeding, the answer is yes.

But at the same time, the suit is a powerful symbol of the frustration, anger, and dissatisfaction of many Republicans with their party's failure to live up to their campaign pledge to repeal Obamacare.  One might also include the failure of the GOP to address other issues like tax reform and funding Trump's wall.

The budget deficit is skyrocketing, the national debt is growing, health care reform is presently dead – just who is running Congress?  If it's Republicans, they are failing their constituencies.

The party is at war with itself, and no party leader has been able to step forward and unite the factions to get things done.  GOP leaders in Congress are impotent.  The president has so far been unable to get Congress to do his bidding.  The RNC has been worse than useless.

The 2016 election generated a lot of hope and expectations for Republicans around the country.  Instead, we've had division, name-calling, and a shocking failure of leadership at all levels of the party.  Blaming conservatives, or moderates, or any other faction in the party is an exercise in futility.  It hardly matters where the fault lies.  Unless Congress, the president, and the grassroots can all get on the same page, the party risks an electoral disaster in 2018.

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