Leftists are Targeting Republican Lawyers – and now too is the GRA

Last week I wrote about the Georgia Republican Coalition (GRC) filing an amicus brief with the Georgia Supreme Court as it reviews whether a political party organization can refuse to allow a candidate to qualify for that party’s primary ballot (case number S24A0917). While this particular case involves the Catoosa County Republican Party and its officers, a decision by the Court in favor of Catoosa and its so-called “accountability rule” would open the door for the Democratic Party of Georgia and its local county parties to do the same.

The GRC’s brief was filed by its counsel and board member, Brent Herrin, acting on behalf of his client, the GRC.  Herrin makes it clear that he is not filing the amicus personally as an individual, but as part of his representation of his client which has an interest as an organization of Republicans, in the outcome of the case. That has not stopped the Georgia Republican Assembly (GRA), whose leadership, including Alex Johnson and Nathaniel Darnell, have been actively using Catoosa County and the “retired grandmothers” who lead it, as Guinea pigs on the legality and enforceability of the accountability rule, from attacking and threatening Herrin for carrying out the wishes of his client, the GRC.

At issue, according to the GRA’s Blog was, “Attorney Brent Herrin waited until last week — two days after the Republican Primary Runoff (when all factions within the GOP are supposed to come together and “unify” for the general election) — to file an amicus brief on behalf of his ‘Georgia Republican Coalition, Inc.’ against his fellow Republicans running the Catoosa County GOP organization. In it, he had the audacity to compare the retired grandmothers who volunteer their time to keep the Catoosa GOP operating to ‘the Guardian Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran.’”

It is needless to say, but I will anyway, that after no GRA backed candidate made it to the runoff elections in Catoosa County, and only two of the four candidates that the Catoosa GOP tried to forbid to run on the GOP ballot were defeated (and one of those by another candidate that the GOP tried to keep off the ballot), the GRA did not, in a spirit of “unity”, drop its lawsuit which would have negated the need for the amicus. However, the infraction by Herrin is such that that the GRA, “[a]s a result of this betrayal and violation of his promises…are calling on the grassroots in the 11th Congressional District GA GOP organization to vote to remove Mr. Herrin from any position of leadership within the GA GOP. He clearly cannot be trusted.”

The GRA’s attack of Herrin is ironic as there has been a growing movement to attack and discredit conservative, and especially Republican attorneys based on who they represent. It is more ironic that in the very same GRA blog calling for Herrin’s removal, the GRA decries “lawfare” against Republicans, which is part of the left’s crusade. If accused Republicans can’t find attorneys willing to represent them because those attorneys are themselves facing bar complaints and threats to their employment at their law firms, then they are harder pressed to find adequate representation even against the most frivolous charges.

Attorneys Brad Carver, a frequent target of the GRA, and Daryl Moody, a high school classmate of mine, were both referred to the State Bar of Georgia for disciplinary action following the 2020 election after a non-profit group tied to some of the Democratic Party’s biggest donors, the 65 Project, filed a complaint against them. The meritless complaints were dismissed in early 2023, but still cost Carver and Moody as they dealt with the personal and professional stresses of defending themselves against the attack against their livelihood.

While the GRA and its allies have yet to go after Herrin’s ability to practice law, they make an accusation that Herrin acted “unilaterally” – in that Herrin did not inform the general membership of the organization of the brief. What the GRA does not say is the Board of Directors of the GRC did, in fact, approve the brief before it was filed. While the GRA makes the preposterous assertion that all decisions of the GRA and the GOP organizations are approved by all members, the fact is most decisions are made by the Executive Committees of these various organizations and NOT the general membership. There have even been chapters within the GRA that have complained that especially Johnson, Darnell, and Brant Frost V run the organization like their own fiefdom, swapping out leadership positions and subjectively enforcing rules when it suits them to stay in power. What’s more, as it has been noted here on PeachPundit and features in the GRC amicus, a key feature of the rule enacted by the Catoosa GOP is to deny the members of the Republican Party (voters who identify themselves as “Republican”) the right to choose their nominee by placing the decision in a small and unaccountable group of Republican Party leaders.

In an email exchange obtained by PeachPundit, Cobb County Republican Party (and Over 80,000 Caucus of the GAGOP) Chair Salleigh Grubbs, who has closely aligned herself with Nathaniel Darnell and the GRA, also accuses Herrin of acting unilaterally (or at best in collusion with only GRC Chair Rajpal Sagoo) by filing the amicus brief urges Herrin in a spirit of unity, to withdraw the amicus brief. Salleigh also, obviously, in a spirit of unity, copies counsel for Catoosa County including Alex Johnson, Catherine Bernard, and David Oles, who also serves as Chairman of the 11th Congressional District, as well as GAGOP Chair Josh McKoon. There were other parties on the exchange that were not included when it was forwarded, one of which, Catoosa GOP Chair Joanna Hildreth, was mentioned as being removed as responding even indirectly to her would violate bar rules.

Once again, echoing the GRA, Grubbs makes the absurd accusation that the amicus brief is more of a disunifying factor – more disunifying to the Party than the actions of the Catoosa County Republican Party leadership or the lawsuit itself – but does not seem to have an issue with 11th CD Chair David Oles representing the Catoosa County GOP on an issue that has clearly divided Republicans in Georgia, but claims Herrin’s and the GRC’s act can very well lead to Donald Trump’s defeat, stating, “But what’s more important right now is the right of the party to qualify who it chooses to, or NOT TO, and getting President Trump elected – unless that of course is not your desire.  Is getting President Trump elected a priority for you?

What’s more, Grubbs tries to isolate the Catoosa issue as one that only affects Catoosa and could not have wider consequences for the entire state, “Let Catoosa do what it sees fit.  It’s really none of your concern.  Their leadership is fine with it, and you should be too even though it’s not your cup of tea.”

While there does not seem to be any willingness by the GRC to have Herrin withdraw the brief (Herrin could not unilaterally withdraw it as it belongs to his client), there seems to be a willingness to punish Herrin for his association with and representation of the GRC. This is no different than what the 65 Project has attempted to do to Republican attorneys in the wake of the 2020 election.

It is also worth noting that the Chair of the 11th District Republican Committee, David Oles, has a glaring conflict of interest should there be any attempt by the 11th District Republican Committee to in any way sanction Herrin. As counsel for the opposition, it would be hard for Oles to completely divorce himself from the situation as even if he didn’t directly try to steer a decision against Herrin, there may those who would try to earn Oles’s favor by steering a final outcome that is more in line with supporting Oles than the actual merits of any accusation against Herrin in a way that would make Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg beam with pride.

In reality, the hostility against Herrin from the GRA, Salleigh Grubbs, and others seems to indicate something about the argument Herrin has articulated in the brief hits too close to home. If Catoosa’s counsel and allies did not think the amicus held any merits arguments, why waste the time, effort, or article space on it, especially when, to quote Salleigh Grubbs, we are “IN AN ELECTION YEAR”?

When the GRA was trying to gain a seat at the table and was being rebuffed by the GOP, I had long conversations with friends in the Republican leadership that the GRA both represented and spoke for a faction within the party, and they deserved to have their voice be heard. As the GRA now does, as evidenced through it various statements, claim to be the grassroots leadership of the Republican Party, they have continuously tried in pure Soviet politburo fashion, to stamp out any opposition to their rule. This includes the formation of the Republican Coalition and its various county chapters which the GRA touts in their blog as the “Whiners and Losers Club”.

In the end, it has become the GRA, no matter how much they try to claim a 40+ year old quote about their organization by Ronald Reagan who would likely not recognize the Alex Johnson version of the Republican Assembly as it exists today (especially as it passes a resolution lauding the precedents established by such racist and horrific Supreme Court decisions like Dred Scott)

To the GRC and Herrin, I’m reminded of a saying that “you only catch flak when you’re over the target.

To the GRA and its supporters, I’ve reminded of an old lawyer saying:

When the law is against you, argue the facts.

When the facts are against you, argue the law.

When both the facts and the law is against you, call the opposition names.

Both of those sayings seem to indicate where each side seems to be in this case. We will see what the Georgia Supreme Court decides in the coming weeks.  

One Reply to “Leftists are Targeting Republican Lawyers – and now too is the GRA”

  1. Taxpayers should not be funding a political party’s selection of their candidates in the first place. All voters going to the polls should be able to choose the candidate of their choice regardless of a party affiliation or lack thereof. If one person doesn’t obtain a majority of the votes the top two go to the general election and no court is required.

    The reason Georgia’s party affiliated primaries are open is because Eugene Talmadge et al excluded persons of color from voting in the Democratic party primary. That ended up going all the way up to the US Supreme Court. Republicans didn’t hold primaries back then because there was no point.

    The State should be blind to political factions in the election process and also how any of those factions choose their candidates.

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