Katon Dawson: Not ready for the big leagues

A lot of buzz surrounds the six candidates for national GOP chair. We've got ones we think can do a good job, and SCGOP Chair Katon Dawson ain't one of them.

We like the guy, and think he's made some positive contributions to the SCGOP during his tenure as chair, but don't see where he's shown that he has what it takes to play in the big leagues of national politics.

While he did much to restore the state GOP to financial health following the tenure of former Chair Henry McMaster, the state GOP's health in recent years has been in question. The party holds the same number of Senate seats that it held five years ago, and has lost seats in the House during that time - all during Dawson's tenure.

Party infighting has broken out in several counties, as well as at the state level, and Dawson has been unable, or unwilling, to play roles in resolving these conflicts. These conflicts wore down the GOP in costly primary battles and left the party unable to make stronger efforts in the fall. The narrow losses of four legislative races in GOP leaning districts in recent elections could have been avoided if more was done to head off some of the infighting which bled the GOP dry in the spring. This certainly runs counter to the image of South Carolina as a GOP stronghold.

Dawson's involvement with groups with whites-only groups will create negative perceptions. Even though we're sure these affilations were not motivated by racism, in politics, perception is often reality. That's the kind of reality we can't have hurting efforts to grow and diversify the national GOP.

The next RNC chair has to be able to develop a vision of a restored GOP majority and help lead efforts to stop the current bleeding and reverse the party's declining electoral fortunes. It makes sense that whoever Republicans pick to hold that office have a record of doing what it takes to make this happen.

If Katon Dawson could do more to stop the costly and vicious party infighting and grow the party in South Carolina, we'd love to recommend him for this office the next time it comes open. But later is not now, and we can't afford to wait for someone to prove he can do at the national level what he has been unable to do in the office he currently holds.

15 Response to "Katon Dawson: Not ready for the big leagues"

  1. on the way to the oilsands alberta mg 10/1/09 19:03
    I believe what will hurt Katon the most and I do like the guy is he is from the South he is a Conservative he is a White person he is Male. Is that not where our strenght is to think about it. I know Mr. Steele and he is a good guy but we cant win in Maryland we get very little African American vote no matter what we do. If they elect Steele for this reason then they should elect Katon for similar yet opposite reasons. Same goes for some other candidates also. If Katon is elected he will be a good Chairman if not whoever is chosen will be a good Chairman. Why would you even want the job.
  2. Earl Capps 10/1/09 20:27
    Moye, the difference between Dawson and the others is that he didn't do something to scare blacks off.

    Imagine how you'd feel about the DNC being led by someone who was affiliated with all-black organizations. You'd probably tell their people to f*** themselves because their party was full of racists.

    Steele was able to run for the Senate in Maryland and get 45% of the vote in a tough year in a hardcore blue state, with a good bit of vocal support from black leaders. That shows more political skill than leading a party in a red state that can't their presidential nominee a ten point margin on election day.

    You gonna make sand castles with the sand?
  3. still trying to make the great white north mg 11/1/09 10:12
    no I am going to make oil with the sand in fact only one country has more proven oil reserves than the oilsands of alberta some call it tarsands very interesting a cold place for sure
  4. Mike Reino 11/1/09 11:37
    I agree Earl. Whether for the right reasons or the wrong reasons, Katon's affiliation is not a good makeup for the party nationally. Perception is reality, and it doesn't look very good for the GOP on the national level.

    He can quit his membership, and join the YMCA, but it doesn't matter much. It is what it is...
  5. still trying to get to Alberta mg 11/1/09 13:35
    couple of more things I like the new picture with the hard hat also we all know you are mad at Katon for not coming out for you when you ran for SC Treasurer
  6. Anonymous 11/1/09 14:11
    MG, I THINK HE LOOKS HOT IN THE ***HARD*** HAT!!!
  7. still at airport mg via cae 11/1/09 21:16
    i aint touching that ANON 1411
  8. i will return one day to manning mg 11/1/09 21:27
    in fact i will touch this ANON 1411 you aint from manning are you
  9. Anonymous 11/1/09 21:46
    Earl,

    It requires a moral courage to speak out about this issue.

    Your stock with me has gone up considerably.

    The GOP needs more men of courage...keep at it.
  10. Anonymous 12/1/09 01:02
    2146 - some of us like that about him, even more than we let him know.
  11. Anonymous 12/1/09 08:42
    Katon isn't a bad guy, just not cut out for the national role.

    I appreciate that you separated things out and didn't make it personal or question his integrity. Too many blogers have to make it nasty and personal.
  12. Anonymous 12/1/09 12:40
    Come on Earl, you know Henry McMan racked up that debt defending against the massive spending surge by SCRG predecessors - the video poker industry. There may have been debt, but at least you had something to show for it.

    The standing of the SCGOP when he became Chairman and where it stood when he stepped down, compared to Dawson, says a lot about Dawson. Dawson is still a loser.
  13. alberta canada oilsands/tarsands mg 13/1/09 11:10
    at breakfast this morning there were three canadians talking about how they hope obama will remain a friend of their country and that they thought america really messed up electing him. i never spoke since i am by myself i dont feel well and my luggage is still flying around north america somewhere. in other words whoever they elect must be able to lead a good fight to win.
  14. still in the ice box in the oil sands mg 14/1/09 23:10
    so i see katon got more endorsements today
  15. Nancy Corbin 16/1/09 23:58
    Katon Dawson abdicated his leadership role in South Carolina when he REFUSED to hold County Committees accountable to State laws and Party rules. Why would anyone believe that he is capable of handling National Party issues any differently?

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