The GOP ran on "repeal and replace" and raised millions of dollars from individual donors who believed in this promise. Politicians aren't used to having to actually deliver on what they say on the campaign trail, but a Virginia attorney has filed suit against the Republican National Committee over the party's failure to repeal and replace.
Bob Heghmann claims that the RNC “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," and that they knew they wouldn't be able to repeal and replace Obamacare and promised it anyway because it brought in donations.
In the suit, Heghmann says the RNC brought in $735 million and the Virginia state party $20 million between 2009 and 2016 "in large part by promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act."
Heghmann also listed the Republican Party of Virginia and its two RNC national committee representatives, Morton Blackwell and Cynthia Dunbar.
In an email obtained by the Virginian-Pilot, Blackwell said it was “frivolous, nuisance suit that should be thrown out of court by any judge" but that he understands Heghmann's frustration. Blackwell said part of the problem is that progressive activists have taken over the Democrat party, but that a similar takeover hasn't happened in the GOP and that many conservatives are still sitting on the sidelines.
“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.”
In an astute observation, Blackwell said the suit is a "sign of conservative anger that the Republican-controlled Congress has not yet repealed and replaced Obamacare.”
Heghmann cites as evidence statements that John Boehner made in 2012 shortly after Barack Obama was re-elected in which he says "no decisions" had been made about repealing the ACA, though the national party and its surrogates made repeal a huge talking and fundraising point.
“In making this statement Speaker Boehner was sending a message to House Republicans and others that Repeal was not going to happen. He was trying to put the issue to rest. ... Nevertheless, the Republican Party continued to use the mails, wires and interstate commerce to solicit donations and votes to secure House and Senate majorities and ultimately the Presidency.
“Now that the Republican Party has won the House, the Senate and the Presidency the effort it is making to Repeal and Replace Obamacare is itself a Fraud upon Republican Voters and Donors.”
Then in 2016, the party seized on candidate Trump's repeal message to raise money, Heghmann says, but “never intended to implement the Trump Agenda or fulfill the promises of the Republican Platform," as Congress' actions this year demonstrate.