Alabama GOP steering committee to meet later this week - may decide to revoke Roy Moore's nomination

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Published by: Robert Laurie on Tuesday November 14th, 2017

Scorched Earth

His own party is attacking him on a daily basis, the accusations are piling up, they're getting creepier, and GOP top dogs like McConnell, Cruz, Ryan, and Sessions are all urging him to walk away. At this point, it looks like Roy Moore's fate is sealed.  Either he's going to lose, or he's going to win and be removed from office immediately. Since an accused pedophile winning is both detestable and a bad look for the party, the folks in charge are looking for a way to be pro-active about Moore's ousting.

It sounds like that effort is going to come to a head later this week, when the Alabama GOP steering committee meets to discuss yanking Moore's nomination.

From TPM

As national Republicans ramp up the pressure to force Roy Moore to drop his Alabama Senate campaign, the small group of local GOP power players who will ultimately determine Moore’s political fate are taking reluctant steps towards deciding whether to cut him loose.

The 21 members of Alabama’s Republican Party central steering committee are the only ones who can pull Roy Moore’s nomination and potentially block his path to the Senate. After days of mounting allegations that their Senate nominee had sexual contact with teenage girls while he was in his 30s, two Alabama GOP sources tell TPM they’ve finally decided to hold a meeting later this week to hash out whether they can stand by his side.

“We are still weighing the evidence, but realize some decision or statement must come from the state party soon,” said one Alabama Republican.

It's likely that - whether they want to do it or not - the steering committee is under a mountain of national pressure to take whatever steps it can to get rid of Roy Moore.  When the upper echelons of your own party are publicly calling for you to step aside, you can bet that there have been some intense private phone calls behind the scenes. The problem for Republicans is that their options are limited. 

...as the allegations pile up against their nominee, they’re creeping towards making a decision on whether to stand by Moore or pull the party nomination and back a possible write-in campaign, a move which further dims their hopes of holding the seat.

Under state law, it is too late to remove Moore’s name from the ballot or replace him with another candidate. If his nomination is withdrawn but he still gets the most votes in the Dec. 12 election against Democratic nominee Doug Jones, it’s unclear what happens. Some interpret the law as saying the election would be null and void and the governor would need to call a new one, while others say the second-place finisher would be declared the winner, whether that’s Jones or a write-in. Lawsuits would be likely.

In other words, even if the steering committee pulls the nomination, Moore's name would still be on the ballot and he could still win.  That would lead to a very public congressional process, an ugly legal battle, and a PR disaster for the party. It's a nightmare scenario, but it's one the GOP may have to face.

So, allow me to suggest a course of action for the Republicans: Fire up the attorneys, yank the Moore nomination, and sue everyone imaginable in a scorched-Earth quest to replace his name on the ballot. Take a page from the Democrats' Torricelli playbook and ignore those pesky "election laws." You may lose all your challenges, but at least you'll be able to say that you did every imaginable thing to rid your party of Roy Moore before voters went to the polls.

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