Editor’s Notebook: Parmley’s problems, Gerhart’s fall from grace

From an editor’s notebook, news items touching controversy within both political parties, as former Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Jay Parmley is wrapped in a whirlwind and Al Gerhart’s fall from grace in the Ron Paul campaign. 

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The Daily Caller has covered the troubles facing Parmley, until recently executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party, and for several years chairman and ED of the Oklahoma Democrats. 

The newest allegations come from an Oklahoma City woman who says that Parmley transmitted HIV to her during a three-year relationship. In addition to his work for the Democratic Party, Parmley worked for some time as an instructor at Oklahoma City Community College, where he met the young woman. Parmley was chair of the state Democrats from spring 2001 to spring 2005, party officials told CapitolBeatOK. 

North Carolina Democrats are still reeling over earlier filing of sexual harrassment charges against Parmley by Adriadn Ortega, who formerly worked in communications for the party.

Mike McCarville, a semi-retired radio reporter who still regularly prepares Oklahoma’s leading source of aggregation and some original reports for political junkies, has monitored the Parmley story as it reached national intensity in recent days. 

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Speaking of McCarville, he posted a note yesterday pointing to the apparent end of Gerhart’s role as a key coordinator for Ron Paul forces in Oklahoma. McCarville wrote, “(S)ources say Gerhart was removed when slates of Republican district convention delegates he personally chose abandoned him because of his roughshod treatment of friend and foe alike, especially longtime GOP officials and workers. It’s been no secret that many of Paul’s supporters had lost confidence in Gerhart and distanced themselves from him as much as they could.”

McCarville said calls to the national Paul campaign have not been returned, but Paul supporters in Oklahoma have said an email confirming Gerhart’s replacement has been sent to some activists. Gerhart’s style of attacking fellow conservatives had eroded his support among activists. 

Several analysts, including CapitolBeatOK, believe he contributed to the weaker-than-expected (under 10 percent) showing for the Texas Republican in this year’s GOP presidential primary. 

Despite the Gerhart controversy and less than 10 percent in the primary, the libertarian-leaning Paul supporters have done well in precinct, county and district Republican party meetings this year.