EDITORIAL: Unpacking the GOP bribery scandal

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Mike Causey

Nobody’s talking about the Mike Causey bribery scandal — nobody on the GOP side of the aisle, that is; the Dems have plenty to say. But as is so often the case, the state GOP apparatus is in such lockstep on this issue that they keep repeating the same talking point to anyone who dares ask about it: Innocent until proven guilty.

They’re all on the same page, except of course for Mike Causey, himself a veteran of state party politics, though that didn’t stop him from assisting federal law enforcement in gathering information about Robin Hayes, the chair of the NC GOP, allegedly preserving conversations with US Rep. Mark Walker and otherwise exposing what appears to be a vast scheme of corruption that pervades the highest levels of state government.

If they’re found guilty, of course.

But not all indictments are created equally. All it means is that there’s enough evidence to go to trial, that there’s enough smoke to make it worth the people’s time to look for fire.

A lot of people get indicted and never get convicted. But then again, this is how a conviction starts. And not all indictments contain recorded conversations offered up by what amounts to a confidential informant, a double agent, an inside man.

Whatever the official ramifications will be — smart money says very little — behind the wall of talking points there’s got to be some friction over Causey’s actions inside the party, and exactly what they’re supposed to do now.

Causey had to know he’d set a fire among the party that’s been in power in North Carolina for almost 10 years now, a party to which he is registered as a candidate. He had to acknowledge, to himself at least, that they’d be ready to turn on him as soon as it became politically expedient to do so. And he had to understand that, after this, there’s be no future for him among the NC Republican Party.

Unless he is the future of the NC GOP. But that seems too much to hope for.