Virginia Man Sues Republican Party Over ObamaCare Repeal Failure

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A disappointed Republican donor in Virginia has filed a lawsuit against the national and state Republican Parties for failing to repeal ObamaCare, according to The Hill.

The retired attorney, Bob Heghmann, filed the suit in U.S. District Court on Thursday, alleging that the GOP raised millions of dollars in donations despite having knowledge that the party would not be able to repeal ObamaCare. In the suit, he claimed the Republican Party “has been engaged in a pattern of racketeering which involves massive fraud perpetrated on Republican voters and contributors as well as some Independents and Democrats.”

Arguing that the Republican Party does not have the same protection that members of Congress have against legal action for failing to fulfill promises made on the campaign trail, Heghmann wants the GOP to withhold money from Congressmen if they do not repeal the Affordable Care Act or return contributions to donors.

The suit also made accusations of the party not having intentions of ever implementing the Trump administration’s agenda.

The defendants in the lawsuit are the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Republican Party of Virginia, including Virginia’s two members of the RNC, Morton Blackwell and Cynthia Dunbar, and the chairman of the state Republican Party, John Whitbeck.

In an email to the Virginian-Pilot, Blackwell dismissed the suit as a “frivolous, nuisance suit that should be thrown out of court by any judge.”

Heghmann’s standing to sue the Republican Party is tenuous at best. Federal Election Commission records show that he donated $875 to New Hampshire’s GOP but made no monetary gifts for the national party or Virginia, reports the Virginian-Pilot. What’s more, Heghmann only moved from New Hampshire to Virginia Beach last year.

In his suit, Heghmann claimed that the GOP fundraised between 2009 and 2016, even though they knew the repeal would not be possible when Obama won reelection in 2012, citing statements by former Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-Ohio).

“It’s pretty clear that the president was re-elected. ObamaCare is the law of the land,” said Boehner shortly after Obama’s win. “There certainly may be parts of it we believe need to be changed. Maybe we’ll do that. No decisions at this point.”

The lawsuit argued that Boehner’s comments sent the message to House Republicans that repeal wasn’t possible,  but “the Republican Party continued to use the mails, wires, and interstate commerce to solicit donations and votes to secure House and Senate majorities and ultimately the Presidency,” according to the Virginian-Pilot.

“Now that the Republican Party has won the House, the Senate, and the Presidency, the effort it is making to repeal and replace ObamaCare is itself a fraud upon Republican voters and donors.”

“Too few conservatives are willing to invest their time, talent, and money personally participate inside the Republican Party,” said Blackwell regarding Heghmann’s claim. “A Republican majority will mean a conservative majority if and when a sufficient number of conservatives figure out why the success of their principles depends on their personal involvement in local, state, and national Republican committees and in party national conventions.”

The Senate bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed last week after three Republicans chose to oppose it. Since then, Congress has shifted its attention to tax reform.

Aislinn Murphy is a junior at Cornell University majoring in Communication with a focus in Media Communication. Prior to attending Cornell, she studied Screenwriting and Film & Television Production at Loyola Marymount University.

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