3 Simple Questions for Chairman Priebus

On Saturday, I raised a concern about Erick Erickson’s handling of Reince Priebus at Erickson’s annual RedState Gathering.

Today, Erick responded to widespread criticism of his decision to protect the GOP Chairman from questions about tactics in the Mississippi Republican Senate Runoff. Here’s the heart of Erickson’s answer:

But there was more to it than me knowing people would be angry about Mississippi. First, many of the people told me what they wanted to ask Reince. Unfortunately, neither Reince nor the RNC had anything to do with the points they wanted to make. They no more believed me on that than they’d believe the Chairman. Had he, like me, denied responsibility to their points, they’d have just been more angry.

If Erickson was serious about putting this issue to bed, he might have identified those points about which the RNC knows nothing. (Although, that could be a very long list.) Instead, Erickson is basically saying, “look, I’d have opened up the mic, but you people wanted to ask stupid questions.”

Let’s put these three questions to Chairman Priebus:

  1. What evidence have you gathered about RNC committeeman Henry Barbour’s involvement in race-bating ads placed before the Mississippi Runoff?

  2. How has that evidence affected your handling of RNC committeeman Ed Martin’s request for investigation and censure of Republicans responsible for those ads?

3. How have you communicated your findings to Ed Martin?

As a reminder, Henry Barbour ran Priebus’s campaign for GOP chairman. And there is an irrefutable money trail from Henry Barbour’s group, Mississippi Conservatives, to the PAC that ran the race-baiting ads. From National Review Online:

As it turns out, Crudup raised all of the $144,685 his PAC took in from exactly one source: Haley Barbour’s political machine. A report filed with the Federal Election Commission reveals that Mississippi Conservatives, the political-action committee founded by the former Mississippi governor and Republican National Committee chairman and run by his nephew, Henry, provided that money to Crudup’s group in four installments. The first, in the amount of $62,685, came on June 10, a week after the race was thrown into a runoff. Cochran and his allies were looking to increase voter turnout across the state, particularly among African Americans and Democrats who had not voted in the June 3 primary.

I won’t insult Erickson’s intelligence by pretending Erick believes what he wrote today. I’m appalled that Erickson would insult ours by writing it.