When I heard that Jim “Jones” Lyons, the head of the death cult that is the state GOP committee, was summoning his dead-enders together for a revival meeting at his barn in Andover Thursday night, I had only one question.
Would Lyons be providing the traditional Jonestown-cult-like refreshments to his zombie-like followers or would it be BYOKA?
Bring Your Own Kool Aid.
“There are some people coming to my private home,” he told me Monday. “I got some people who want to get together, but once it becomes a story they may run and hide.”
Gee, I wonder why. But then, it’s been a busy week for Lyons and his followers after the worst single election day for Republicans in Massachusetts since the party was founded in the 1850’s.
The total desolation of the MassGOP didn’t stop Jim from fleeing to Mar-a-Lago last night for the big announcement, and posting about it on social media. Do you think he told Trump that he could do for him in 2024 what he did for the local party last week?
Take perennial loser Geoff “Landslide” Diehl – please!
Running for governor this time, Diehl managed to get a lower percentage, not to mention 130,000 fewer actual votes, than he got against the fake Indian in 2018. So Landslide instantly emailed a plea to his dozens of followers begging for yet more money.
“Will you please show your continued support for Geoff and his campaign, and help us pay for all of our last-minute efforts?”
What efforts? Diehl barely campaigned. In his fourth electoral defeat since 2015, he paid $93,750 to Corey Lewandowski, the Trump guy, for… consulting.
You read that right — $93,750 to a guy who Diehl’s campaign announced was moving on the day after the primary.
Diehl also doled out $46,375 to his campaign manager Amanda Orlando and spent another $40,000 for a fundraiser. He also paid $25,000 to his press spokeswoman, whose job most days was to tell reporters that the candidate had no public events scheduled, or to give out the wrong address on those rare occasions when he actually appeared in public in his yellow tie.
Then there was Jay McMahon, who lost his third race since 2018, this (second) time for attorney general. Jay apparently got a post-election email from the Diehl campaign, and he was touched by his fellow loser’s “statesmanship.”
“Those are also my sediments,” he said. Not sentiments, but sediments. Whatever Landslide says, those are Jay’s “sediments” too.
Next, Rayla Campbell, the failed candidate for secretary of state. She and Jim Jones Lyons used to be thisclose. No more.
As she tweeted at the 68-year-old death-cult boss: “Retire old man.”
She followed this up with: “He is a problem. He needs to go. People are getting in position to oust him and I’m going to help. It will be my pleasure!”
Another candidate Jim Jones Lyons groomed for greatness was Donnie Palmer. First Palmer ran for Boston City Council last year and finished 14th in a field of 17. Obviously, he had a future in Jim Lyons’ GOP.
So this year he ran for Congress against Ayanna Pressley and got a whopping… 15% of the vote against the Squad lunatic.
Fifteen percent! But now one of Donnie Palmer’s stalwarts is, like everybody else, pointing the finger at Lyons and the state committee, which operates out of an office park in Woburn.
“Where did all the money go?” Palmer’s man asked. “Maybe in two more years we will have some balls up at the office in Woburn.”
Seriously, man, do you think the GOP will even have that Woburn office in two years? The rent is $3,319.84 a month – who’s giving these clowns any more money after this latest string of fiascoes?
Jim Jones Lyons has been busy – not so much with, say, the recounts in the state reps’ fights in Groton and Essex County. Who cares about those guys – they’re just Republican candidates, they’re not invited to the barn tomorrow night!
Forget the statewide offices, or Congress, or the Legislature. What matters is controlling the state committee, so Jim Jones can keep his phony-baloney job in January.
This is why, the day after the election disaster, Jim sprang into action, and “vacated” a state committeewoman from Wales named Lindsay Valanzola. Post-election, that was job one from Jim, to get rid of someone who wants to get rid of him.
Valanzola responded with her own letter, saying that no, she was not “vacated,” she was still a resident of Massachusetts.
“As the committee argues about opportunists I’d like to bring to light the biggest of them all – YOU.”
Instead of spending money on candidates, Lyons squandered party money – he says $600, Valanzola says $1,600 – on unsuccessfully trying to prove that she is no longer a resident of Massachusetts.
“Rather than take responsibility and accountability for our massive losses Tuesday night,” she wrote, “much of which you, Jim, are responsible for, you chose to divert attention by continuing a witch hunt against me and other duly elected members of the State Committee.”
I asked Valanzola for a comment, but she said she can’t speak publicly because she’s “pursuing legal options.” This dispute will probably end up in court. Jim Jones Lyons loves to sue his fellow Republicans. That was another thing he was doing the day after the election – going after his committee treasurer in court.
Rep. Paul Frost, a member of the state committee, asked Lyons how much he’d spent on the private eye (Lyons calls it a “firm”) that he sent after Valanzola. Then Frost added:
“Can you kindly provide the committee with how much the Party has spent on legal fees and on anything else related to going after our duly elected committee treasurer for following the rules?”
When the phone didn’t ring, Frost knew it was Jim Jones Lyons.
And now the dead-enders will be gathering together at the barn. BYOKA. I hope the Samaritans are there, with that sign I remember from the Sagamore Bridge: “Suicide is not the answer.”
Lyons wouldn’t tell me on the record what kind of Kool Aid he’ll be doling out, but I tried to get some more information out of him. I asked him how he felt about the falling out with his erstwhile acolyte, Rayla Campbell.
“I’m done,” he said.
You’re done, Jim? Can we get that in writing, and then have it notarized? Because that’s all we’re asking for, for you to be done.
You might say, those are our “sediments” exactly.
Massachusetts GOP chairman Jim Lyons. (Herald file photo.)
Rayla Campbell is no fan of Jim Lyons remaining as head of the MassGOP. (Herald file)