Tag Archives: Maryland

Delaware Democrats Defeated During Regional Republican Resurgence

Bookmark and Share    As the American colonies were being established, Delaware was the least coveted territory of the time. It produced no tobacco or rice, it had no great port and it had few settlers. William Penn of Pennsylvania was delawareelectionactually granted the deed to Delaware as payment for a debt owed to him by King Charles II. However a failure to fill out the proper paperwork made Penn’s claim to Delaware invalid. At the same time Lord Baltimore was claiming Delaware to be part of Maryland.  The 37,000 settlers in the disputed territory didn’t want to be under Penn’s rule because he failed to protect them from pirates and they did not want to be under the oppressive burden that Lord Baltimore’s routine tax collection resulted in.

After a long dispute over which colony Delaware belonged to, both Lord Baltimore and William Penn felt that obtaining the territory was not worth any real effort so they gave up and the settlers of Delaware got to run their own colony.

Even though nothing can take anything away from Delaware’s contributions to our country and its beauty, today Delaware is still not one of the most prominent places in America.  It is unique in that it has developed a favorable corporate tax structure that makes it a great place to have a paper office in. As such, at one point in time somewhere around a third of all corporations on both the NY Stock Exchange and what was the American Stock Exchange were all incorporated in Delaware and paying taxes to the state. But other than that and the fact that the Biden family is beginning to surpass the DuPont family in political prominence, Delaware really doesn’t offer much to discuss. At least not until this past Tuesday.

On Tuesday, tiny little, hardly mentioned Delaware may have just become the American political breaking point and a national echo chamber of political opinion.

Roughly one month ago Delaware’s Senate President, Thurman Adams died at 80 years of age. Adams was a Democrat and the senate seat he occupied was held by Democrats for 40 years.

In a state dominated by Democrats it was anticipated that Democrats would continue to hold this and fill out the expired term after winning a special election. That opinion was made even clearer when Polly Adams Mervine was selected as the Democrat nominee to replace Thurman Adams. Polly Adams Mervine is Thurman Adams daughter.

In a state as small as Delaware legacy politics is hard to overcome. The DuPont family spent years in political favor there and now the Biden family can do no wrong there. Such is why Joe Biden’s son Beau Biden was elected the state’s Attorney General.

So seeing as how Polly wanted a crack at her fathers senate seat and that she had plenty of money to throw into the race, she was the odds on favorite, without any question or doubt.

But this past Tuesday Polly Adams Mervine lost the election.

To say she lost is actually an understatement. In this case, she did not just lose, in truth, her Republican opponent, Joe Booth, buried her deeper than her recently departed father.

With more than 60% of the vote Joe Booth beat Mervine by more than 30%.

Despite this senate seat being in a heavily democratic district and in a heavily democratic state which is the home state of the newly elected Vice President, and despite the fact that Mervine was the daughter of the man whose seat she was running for and even though she spent $52,000 to her Republican opponent’s $20,000, Mervine and Delaware Democrats were trounced.

I will not conclusively state that this marks the beginning of the end for Democrats. This is one small state legislative election in one small state but given all the factors that were in the Democrats favor here, for them to have lost under those circumstances does not bode well.

It would seem to me that even in the diminutive and dependable Democrat state of Delaware, dissatisfaction is beginning to develop. The result is a backlash that has created a conservative resurgence that is turning the likely into the unlikely.

The state’s only statewide elected Republican, Congressman Mike Castle, is even feeling the effects of conservative resurgence.

After becoming one of only eight Republicans to support the Crap-and-Tax environmental hoax that will tax Americans on the air that they breathe, he is finding himself to be the target of extraordinary protestations, especially from fellow Republicans who may not be ready to re-nominate him for Congress or support him in any general election.

All of this is indicative of signs that the winds of change are picking up and that they are not blowing the sails of liberalism in the direction that Democrats want them to go in.

It is said that what happens in Las Vegas stays in Vegas but Delaware is no Las Vegas. It is too small a state to contain everything that happens there within its limited space. And we are already seeing the signals that what is happening in Delaware is spreading.

At Delaware’s northern points is New Jersey. There, voters of that state are already overwhelmingly rejecting its Democrat Governor and preparing to send Republican Chris Christie to Trenton.

To the south of Delaware, on the Delmarva Peninsula, Virginia is leaning toward the election of another Republican to replace Democrat incumbent and DNC Chairman Tim Kaine.

Nationally, as the President sees both approval for him and his agenda plummet, it is not hard to understand the building tide against Democrats that we see in the Mid-Atlantic, Mid-West or anywhere else in the country. But perhaps we should not be surprised to see the best example of this trend demonstrate itself in the tiny and quiet domain of Democrat dominated Delaware. It is after all nicknamed “The First State” so perhaps after having the honor of being the first of the 13 original states to ratify the U.S. Constitution it is also claiming the honor of being the first state to initiate the change our nation needs.

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THE SARBANES-OXLEY ACT OF ’02 IS KILLING US IN ’09

Bookmark and Share    In 2002, congress created legislation commonly called the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. It was designed to respond to the accounting scandals of Enron and other business interests of the time.antsoxdummyThe legislation established new and increased regulations for all American owned and operated public company boards.

At the time, the Sarbanes-Oxley sponsored Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002 was considered to contain the most far-reaching reforms of American business practices since the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt.”

Sponsored by Paul Sarbanes, a Maryland Democrat Senator and Ohio Republican Congressman Michael Oxley, the bill passed with bipartisan support and was signed into effect by a Republican President, George W. Bush.  So credit and blame lies in the lap of both major parties but now, almost seven years later, the question is does Sarbanes-Oxley deserve more blame than credit.

The political purpose of the bill was achieved.  It helped to restore public confidence in the securities markets.

In the wake of the accounting scandal that brought down energy giant Enron, its stock prices plummeted from more than $90.00 a share to less than 50 cents a share and investors lost billions and Enron eventually went bankrupt. In response to the shocking demise of Enron, congress tried to act in a way that would restore investors confidence by trying to insure that the scandalous practices of Enron would not be repeated.

So congress responded to the problem which took care of the political objective. They did something about it. But what did they really do about it?

Regretfully, all they actually did was make themselves look good. They made themselves look like responsible legislators responding to our needs but looks are deceiving because seven years later, Sarbanes-Oxley is proving to be more of a hindrance than a help.

There is little evidence proving that the government entity created by Sarbanes-Oxley to oversee the accounting practices of businesses has been effective. In fact, after Democrats refused to pass legislation that would have changed their own accounting practices which led to the need to bailout FannieMac and FreddieMac, there is even more evidence which indicates that government should be the last entity to be counted on for effective oversight. It is government oversight which required banks and loaning entities such as FannieMae and FreddieMac to enter into high risk loans that could not be paid off. All of which helped to usher in the banking crisis that led the way to our current financial crunch.

It is all an example of government overreaching and innefficiency and innaccuracy.

Initially compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was projected to cost businesses, that want to go public, about $91 thousand dollars to do so but the actual figure is over $4 million dollars.

This typical government miscalculation has helped to push the start up time for businesses from five years to twelve years and it is adding to the stagnation of a much needed rate of growth for our economy.

At a time when the federal government has spent over $ 1 billion 200 million in the name of economic stimulus, does it really make sense to leave untouched, excessive legislation which is counterproductive to the goals of all that stimulus spending?

When you come down to it, enforcement of Sarbanes-Oxley costs more than it is worth.

That is not to suggest that Sarbanes-Oxley must be scrapped.   It must be amended.

Of the eleven sections in the bill, some have merit. Specifically, those sections which hold business executives and owners more accountable. However, no responsible legislative stimulus action can exist without addressing the many other detrimental sections of the bill which are having a debilitating effect on economic growth.

To allow the so-called Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002 to remain as is, during the economic recovery attempts of 2009, is irresponsible and reckless.

In its current form the bill is destroying new job creation, stifling our entrepreneurial spirit and surrendering entrepreneurial innovation to foreign competitors. None of which adds any value to the hundreds of billions of dollars that are intended to grow our economy.

Without changes to the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, our government is allowing existing legislation to work against all of their current and future economic recovery measures. Without changes to this bill, we are prolonging the economic downturn we are in and putting our economic future on a course that will put us far behind the burgeoning markets and economies of Asia.

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U4PREZ

A mathematician, an accountant and an economist apply for the same job.

The interviewer calls in the mathematician and asks “What do two plus two equal?” The mathematician replies “Four.” The interviewer asks “Four, exactly?” The mathematician looks at the interviewer incredulously and says “Yes, four, exactly.”

Then the interviewer calls in the accountant and asks the same question “What do two plus two equal?” The accountant says “On average, four – give or take ten percent, but on average, four.”

Then the interviewer calls in the economist and poses the same question “What do two plus two equal?” The economist gets up, locks the door, closes the shade, sits down next to the interviewer and says, “What do you want it to equal”?

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NEW JERSEY AND VIRGINIA; PERFECT TOGETHER

Bookmark and Share     In 2006 Maryland and Virginia elected rising stars in the Democratic party to govern them.

Virginia Governor Tim kaine

Virginia Governor Tim kaine

Tim Kaine took control of Virginia and Martin O’Malley took over Maryland. The two of them are quite alike. They are Catholics with experience as mayors and they both promised to “move” their states “forward”.

They promised to alleviate the congestion problems in their Washington, D.C.suburbs and to improve the quality of life in general. They also ran during elections cycles that were quite good for Democrats.

Now,  two years later, both of these gentlemen are facing a change in plans.

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley

The economic downturn has severely altered their plans for alleviating congestion and improving the quality of life. That is largely because all of their plans were based on more spending and now, states do not have enough money to increase spending.

Of course both of these states could do what New Jersey does. They could raise taxes, tolls and tariffs on everything from gardening to joining a gym. But that might not be the best way for Tim Kaine to win an election in Virginia and this year he is running for reelection.

New Jersey Governor jon Corzine

New Jersey Governor jon Corzine

The truth of the matter is that this year, Tim Kaine shares a lot in common, not only with Maryland’s O’Malley but with New Jersey’s Jon Corzine.

New Jersey and Virginia are the only two states in the nation electing Governor’s and Corzine., like Kaine, faces a derailment of his intended path, paths that were based on increased spending.  Now they both face out of control budgets that rely on help from the federal government.

They are not the only states with such troubles but they are the only two who are governing states that will become electoral battlegrounds.

With the focus on Virginia and New Jersey, every consultant, election lawyer and celebrity will be traveling to New Jersey and Virginia to help pull their respective side across the finish line and into first place.

For Democrats the election could be a reaffirmation of their majority status and their total control in Washington. At this point in time it will not necessarily be a referendum on President Barack Obama or the Democratic party but during the course of the next 7 months, it could easily become one .

President Obama is the titular head of the Democratic party and Tim Kaine is now the Chairman of the party. That means that anything Democrats do nationally could easily be echoed in Virginia and New Jersey voters could easily also use their vote as a form of protest.

We are intertwined and people react to events, regardless of where they happen or who is in question.

Former Denator Bill Bradley

Former Senator Bill Bradley

In 1990 New Jersey’s Bill Bradley was running for reelection to the United States Senate. Republicans nominated a little known county Freeholder named Christie Whitman. Bradley should not have had any problems winning reelection but with a bit more than 1.9 million votes cast, he barely won.

Former NJ Governor & EPA Director Christie whitman

Former NJ Governor & EPA Director Christie whitman

Why?

Well fellow Democrat, New Jersey Governor Jim Florio, had raised state taxes by $2.8 billion. Voters were madder than ever and even though Florio was not on the ballot, they took their anger out on Bradley. Out known and outspent by Bradley, Whitman came within 56,000 votes of unseating Bradley and catapulted herself into the Governor’s mansion when it came time to run against Jim Florio.

The same type of backlash could happen in Virginia and again in New Jersey in this election cycle if Democrats take their tax and spend policies too far.

In New Jersey, Governor Jon Corzine has already gone too far and he simply promises to go even further. His first budget, almost three years ago, raised taxes by nearly $2 billion dollars and like Florio, he invented a few new taxes. And like Tim Kaine, all of Jon Corzine’s promises relied on increased spending.

Former NJ Governor Jim Florio

Former NJ Governor Jim Florio

So Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey are going to have a tough go at it. Corzine more than Kaine, but as the new Chairman of the Democrat National Committee, Tim Kaine could find himself on par with Corzine by the time elections roll around in November.

As for Republicans, their races will not be easy.

At the moment, Democrats have the upper hand in fundraising and organization. They also have a President with a clean slate and if the President maintains his current popularity he could be an asset to them and he will surely be one of those “celebrities” shuttling back and forth between D.C, Virginia and New Jersey.

But Republicans have the most at stake.

antsteele_rnc_blog_fwa_20090130173241

RNC Chairman Mike Steele

The RNC’s new national Chairman, Mike Steele promises to make New Jersey and Virginia priorities in the coming months and losing in these two states will only deepen the rut we are in.

Victories in these two states will go along way in proving that the G.O.P. may be down but they are not out and it could set the stage for their resurgence.

Perhaps the best way to boost their fortunes will be by highlighting the common bond that exists not only between Virginia’s Tim Kaine and Maryland’s O’Malley or Tim Kaine and New Jersey’s Jon Corzine …..Spending.

All of these people promised to spend our way into happiness and they promised to do so with taxpayers money. But now that we do not have any money to spare, their promises are broken and the only way they can try to stay on their promised courses is by taxing us even more.

Republicans need to point out that Democrat leadership , from Obama to Kaine, Corzine, O’Malley and every liberal in between, is based on taxing and spending and after all their government spending is said and done, all they have left to show for it is the need to raise taxes and spend some more.

Pointing out the wrongness of liberal policy alone is not enough though.

New Jersey and Virginia Republicans will need to nominate conservative oriented candidates for governor. They can not put forward nominees that are wishy-washy and afraid to go out on a limb and stand against initiatives designed at “spreading the wealth”.

And then they must offer solutions. Solutions that do not require government spending or loony tune government mandates like the low income housing mandates initiated by New Jersey’s Council On Affordable Housing.

If Republicans in New Jersey and Virginia can recapture their inherent conservative oriented ideology, they just might be able to reclaim some territory that is currently controlled by vulnerable liberals.

Either way, brace yourself. Whether you live in these battleground states or not, the 2009 election cycle will be intense.

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A young man’s parents were trying to figure out what their son’s future career would be so they decided to give him a test.

They took a twenty dollar bill, a Bible, and a bottle of whiskey, and put them on the front hall table. Then they hid, hoping he would think they weren’t at home. The father told the mother, “If he takes the money he will be a businessman, if he takes the Bible he will be a clergyman but if he takes the bottle of whiskey, I’m afraid our son will be a drunkard.”

So the parents took their place in the nearby closet and waited nervously. Peeping through the keyhole they saw their son arrive home. He saw the note they had left, saying they’d be home later. Then, he took the twenty dollar bill, looked at it against the light, and slid it in his pocket. After that, he took the Bible, flicked through it, and took it also. Finally, he grabbed the bottle, opened it, and took a whiff to be assured of the quality. Then he left for his room, carrying all the three items.

The father slapped his forehead and said, “Darn, it’s even worse than I could ever have imagined…”

“What do you mean?” his wife asked.

“Our son is going to be a politician!” replied the very unhappy father.

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MIKE STEELE TO THE RESCUE

antsteele_rnc_blog_fwa_20090130173241Bookmark and Share     Congratulations to Maryland’s former Lieutenant Governor Mike Steele.

On Friday on the sixth ballot, after a long, hard and well fought fight, he captured enough votes to become the next Chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Although, I endorsed Ohio’s Ken Blackwell for the position, there was nothing that made me object to Mike Steele.

 Since he held office in Maryland, I have been an admirer and fan of his work. For a long time now he has been an articulate defender of Republican ideology who also calls it like he sees it. He had no problem pointing out Republican wrongdoing.

So not only do I not have a problem with Steele, I am excited by his stewardship of our party.

The only reason I preferred Blackwell to Steele was the fact that Blackwell was Ohio’s Secretary of State and as a former Secretary of State I felt that his knowledge with the running of elections could give us an edge in election operations.

That aside, Steele is just as good as Blackwell and in some ways may be even better.  One example is Steele as a speaker.  In that area Mike Steele is a great communicator who has the ability to appeal to our better senses.

With Steele at the helm, our partyhas a good chance to rebuild.  And rebuilding is what we must do.

So I am not only pleased with the RNC election results, I am pumped by Steele’s victory and all that he brings to the table.

Mike Steele is a very likeable guy and an accomplished one too.  Born on Andrews Air Force Base, Mike Steele grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. where he was also active in educational extracurricular activities, In high school he was elected student council president and won a scholarship to Baltimore’s John Hopkins University.

Upon graduation from College he became a seminarian and entered Villanova’s Augustinian Friars Seminary. After a year of teaching economics and world history he left the seminary to pursue a career in law.

That path drew him into politics where he eventually served as the Prince George’s Republican County chairman in Maryland. Along the way, in 1995 he was named Maryland State Republican Man of the Year and in 2000 he became the Maryland Republican State Chairman, the first African-American to serve as a Republican State Chairman.

In 2003 Steele was elected Maryland’s Lieutenant Governor and in 2006 he nearly became a United states senator from Maryland but in a bad year for Republicans, Steele lost in what he made a highly competitive and very close race.

It is Mike Steele’s varied background that has helped to shape him into the well rounded, sound thinking man that he is. He has a feel for what the people want and need and he understands what Republicans need to do.

In the immediate future Steele intends to start the Republican rebuilding process with efforts on three fronts. One will be the special election to fill the vacated seat of New York Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand who replaced Hilary Clinton in the United States senate. The other two efforts are the elections of Governors in New Jersey and Virginia.

Each of these efforts are quite important and not just policy wise. They are important psychologically. After having “hope” used against Republicans in the past election cycle, victories in these places will go a long way in boosting the spirits and hopes of Republicans nationally and I believe that Mike Steele can help us do it.

I believe the best modern day Republican Chairman that the party had was Lee Atwater back in the late 80’s and early in 1990.

Atwater was in touch, in tune innovative, crafty and open to new ideas and new approaches to voters. He also knew what message to run with and how to run with it.

Mike Steele has the potential to meet or exceed the good work of Lee Atwater.

He has indicated that he intends to insure, that one of the most important players in the process, the grassroots, play a crucial role and he has even endorsed a grass root created plan for the party:

That plan is as follows:

The Internet: Our #1 Priority in the Next Four Years

Winning the technology war with the Democrats must be the RNC’s number one priority in the next four years.

The challenge is daunting, but if we adopt a strongly anti-Washington message and charge hard against Obama and the Democrats, we will energize our grassroots base. Among other benefits, this will create real demand for new ways to organize and route around existing power structures that favor the Democrats. And, you will soon discover, online organizing is by far the most efficient way to transform our party structures to be able to compete against what is likely to be a $1 billion Obama reelection campaign in 2012.

Our near loss in the 2000 election sparked the 72 Hour program, after a brutal realization that we were being out-hustled in GOTV activities in the final days. Our partial success in the 2000 election didn’t blind us to the need for change, and our eyes must be wide open now. Barack Obama and the Democrats’ ability to build their entire fundraising, GOTV, and communications machine from the Internet is the #1 existential challenge to our existing party model.

Change is never easy, but as in the post-2000 period, it begins with tough love and a focus on what must be done at the local level.

What’s Wrong — And How to Fix It

  • Recruit 5 million new Republican online activists. Even a compelling message won’t go anywhere if we have no one to communicate it to. The next Chairman must undertake a crash program to grow the RNC’s email file organically — no spam and no “e-pending” from voter files. This will likely require a two-pronged strategy — 1) engaging grassroots Republicans directly in the fight against the Obama agenda, with creative grassroots actions that make Republicans want to stand together with members of their party, and 2) integrating e-mail signups into everything we do at the grassroots level, ensuring that everyone who goes to an event and or is contacted by a volunteer is given the opportunity to join our network.This goal seems daunting, but it forces us to think creatively about creating the sharpest, most compelling messages that will make people want to join us by the millions. If Newt Gingrich and T. Boone Pickens could each build an army of 1.4 million activists around energy, and Barack Obama could recruit 3 million to receive his VP selection by text message, then we know this is possible. If anything, given where the Internet will be in 2 or 4 years, we are low-balling the potential to create a new Republican online army.

 

  • Hold campaigns and local parties accountable. As important as it is that we invest in new technology at the national level, we must remember that the RNC’s primary objective is to win races state by state and district by district, not build up its own brand.To pursue this essential mission, individual campaigns must be held accountable for the number of emails they collect and the money they raise online. As much high-level attention must be paid to candidates’ online strategy as with the number of voter contacts made into a particular district or if the right media strategist is working the race. We must end a sense of dependence on the RNC at all levels — in which the RNC simply turns over its lists — and set goals that the campaigns must find creative and aggressive ways to meet:In target 2010 Congressional races, we recommend setting a standard of at least 5,000 in-district online activists recruited, and a minimum of $100,000 raised online.In target 2010 Senate races, we recommend a standard of 7,500 in-district online activists recruited and $150,000 raised online for each Congressional district.

 

  • A more open technology ecosystem. As tempting as it is to believe that there is a silver bullet to solve all our technology problems, this is very rarely the case. The technology gap will not be solved by funding multimillion dollar white elephants, but by unleashing free market competition among trusted entrepreneurs and volunteers who want to help the party. The RNC should open its technology ecosystem so that trusted partners can develop on top of GOP.com and Voter Vault. We must build a corps of outside technology volunteers who compete to write applications that actually improve party operations — and invest in the best ones. We must look beyond conventional political approaches to the Web, learning from technology hubs like Silicon Valley, and being unafraid to be the first in politics to adopt the changes in technology that are revolutionizing the consumer market.

Changing the Way We Run the Party

Everywhere we look, we see ordinary Americans using the connective power of the Internet to organize and take control of party politics. Look at what happened in our own primary with Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee coming out of nowhere largely with the help of the Internet, winning surprising political and fundraising victories. Before the Internet, Barack Obama would never have defeated Hillary Clinton to become the Democratic nominee and the next President.

The power of traditional connections is being replaced by the power of mass connectedness. Politics is taking place on a grander stage than ever before, with millions, and not just tens of thousands — participating directly in the process. Millions of people can not only vote, but they can organize with each other across geographic boundaries to build political power in real time. Their sheer scale allows them to rapidly outflank traditional power brokers in a way that simply wasn’t possible before.

The Republican Party can no longer survive in a modern era if we resist this new reality. With our power in Washington waning, our grassroots are the source of our greatest strength — not a problem to be managed. To revitalize ourselves, we must invite the crowd back in and tap their energy and creativity.

This isn’t just about the Internet — it’s about recognizing that in a people-powered era, with the power of technology-empowered grassroots movements on the rise — everything about the way we mobilize voters changes. Campaign plans that called for a few hundred or thousand volunteers making phone calls in the final days are hopelessly quaint and limiting in an era when millions of people want to feel connected and involved 24/7.

What’s Wrong — And How to Fix It

  • Rebuilding Our Grassroots Infrastructure. The fabric of the Republican Party at the local level is rending. We saw it this spring when a small and energized base of Ron Paul supporters succeeded in taking over many local party organizations.The reality is that this happened because our existing local party institutions are not all they could be. The Republican Party must be a civic institution again, with a volunteer base that is active year-round and is given real responsibility beyond showing up at a phone bank. In this last election, it should have been possible for volunteer leaders to organize their precinct or neighborhood for McCain, tasking them with knocking on doors, distributing signs, and most crucially, recruiting other volunteers to build the party exponentially. Instead, virtually all volunteer activity was channeled towards driving casual phone contacts, not personal neighbor-to-neighbor door knocks.Our technology should give Republican activists the ability to connect with fellow activists at the precinct level. We must encourage the growth of standalone volunteer communities, giving them the tools to organize themselves online, with the official party taking a step back and not trying to control them. We can’t anyway.Initially, the most important mode of contact will be volunteer-to-volunteer. It is only once we have built this army — one small group at a time — that we’ll be ready to go out in the field and talk to our voters. In the last campaign, the Republican Party banked on its strong get-out-the-vote (GOTV) operation, but even the strongest turnout operation could not have overcome the Democrats’ stronger recruitment, registration and persuasion efforts in the early phases of the cycle.

 

  • Time for a new fundraising model. The ability to raise startup capital precedes virtually everything else on a campaign. But those of us who worked the 2008 campaigns saw how everything — including political travel and grassroots outreach — was subsumed to maintain an aggressive high-dollar events schedule.Contrast this with the new President-elect. In addition to doing high-dollar events early on, he held rallies in major cities and required an e-mail address to attend. The 20,000 e-mail addresses collected at each of these events probably produced hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions down the line, not to mention countless hours of volunteer time. By the end of the campaign, Obama didn’t have to do events, because he could raise virtually unlimited sums from a network of millions that his campaign continued to grow at every opportunity. The campaigns of the future will be infinitely scalable, blurring the lines between fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and message, and require more resources than traditional sources can possibly raise.This means kick starting a generational transition to the new fundraising model. Right now, we cannot compete with the Democrats’ scalable online fundraising machine and if this is not corrected our party will face a long-term financial deficit. A big part of this will be growing a millions-strong network of supporters and giving them something to rally around. Moreover, our candidate recruitment should focus less on a candidate’s ability to collect $2,300 checks or to self-fund than on the strength of their message — which will ultimately attract more small and high dollar donors online and off. Traditional fundraising is still important, but in modern campaigns, it’s more like startup venture capital money than a long-term cash cow. We must change the culture of how we fundraise. The end goal of this effort must be clear: put our 2012 Presidential nominee in a position to raise over 50% of their money from the Internet.

 

  • A 25,000-strong Nationwide Campaign Force. It isn’t just our candidate recruitment that’s wanting. We must replenish our pool of trained campaign workers who know how to win races from school board to the Senate, and who know how to integrate new media into their field and communications efforts.To do this, we propose that the next RNC Chair make it a priority to train 25,000 high-level activists by 2012. A few thousand of these will go on to run races. The rest will form the nexus of a permanent volunteer corps that keeps the Republican Party strong and relevant in local communities. And this training must occur in all 50 states and over the Internet, and not just in Washington, D.C.

 

  • Reorganizing the RNC. In order to accomplish these goals, the RNC’s organizational structure will need to change. It is not enough to have a dedicated eCampaign division if other departments fail to use the Internet to transform how they do business in this new environment. The Internet should pervade everything the RNC does, and leadership on this front must come directly from the Chairman’s Office.

Recruiting a New Generation of Candidates

Thus far, we’ve talked about building a better rocket to launch our party into orbit. But we are mindful of the fact that our candidates are the rocket fuel that gets us there. Without inspiring candidates with clear messages to rally around, all the strategies and tactics in the world will be for naught.

What’s Wrong — And How to Fix It

  • The 435 district strategy. By 2012, the Republican Party will field candidates in all 435 Congressional districts in America, from inner city Philadelphia to suburban Dallas, and our leaders must be held accountable for progress towards this goal. With an 80 plus vote margin separating Democrats from Republicans in the House, it’s time to widen the playing field, not narrow it. While our targeting has gotten narrower, honing in on a class of seats we feel entitled to because they lean Republican, Democrats have been stealing traditionally 60-40 Republican seats right and left. It’s time to return the favor.What’s more, it won’t be good enough to run perfunctory races in safe seats. 2008 showed us that every seat — Republican or Democrat — is potentially a target. If you aren’t seriously challenged this time, chances are you’ll be challenged the next time, or the time after that. Incumbents who don’t prepare for this reality will find themselves scrambling to catch up when the inevitable happens. That means that our party needs to set a new standard that campaigns will be professional and fully staffed in each and every seat.

 

  • But don’t stop at Congress. Building our bench and waging aggressive challenges doesn’t stop at Congress. State party chairs must also be held accountable for progress towards filing in 100% of state legislative races, with funding tied to progress towards this goal. The state houses are our bench, providing future leadership not just in Congress but in governorships and other statewide offices. They will also drive the 2010-12 redistricting cycle. The RNC must play a constructive role in recruiting and training candidates from the state house on up — and not just at the federal level. Just as Major League Baseball could not function without a vibrant minor league ecosystem, we must get back to basics and grow and nurture our party where it works best — closest to the people.

 

  • A “40 Under 40” initiative. Undoing the damage to our party’s brand among America’s youth will take more than new slogans and hip spokespeople. It will mean making young voters the face of the Republican Party, and not just another target group with its own bulleted list of “outreach” talking points. To that end, the next Chairman should commit to a simple goal: working towards a Republican Party where at least 40% of our challenger and open seat candidates for Congress are under 40. Such a party will send a signal to all Americans that the GOP is once again the party of the future.
       

Afterword: The Politics of Us

Obama’s victory could be a blessing in disguise for conservatives. Why? Because Obama’s winning strategy was built on the back of an inherently conservative idea: that we the people, acting together outside of government, can accomplish great things. Or, in the words of the overused slogan, “Yes We Can.”

The irony here is that Obama as President would act in ways that contradict the bottom-up culture that fueled his campaign. In the campaign, it was “Yes We Can.” In the White House, it will be “Yes, Government Can.” Obama’s top-down government control of the health care and the economy will give conservatives an opening to once again recapture the mantle of distributed citizen activism.

Obama campaigned against the establishment, and now he is the establishment.

Consider these contrasts. Like the Internet, free markets are distributed and allow good ideas to rise from the bottom up. The bureaucracies that Obama prefers are inherently top-down and stifling.

And yet Democrats have been allowed to get away with the notion that their success online is fueled by a “bottom-up” culture while Republicans are “top-down.” Ironic — given that Democrats want top-down government control of your life, while Republicans believe in dynamic markets and a strong civil society.

Some people believe our problems are mostly strategic and tactical. Others believe they are policy driven. It strikes us that there is a unifying solution to both, and that is to empower the individual, trust the people.

Just as Republicans must trust individuals and families with their own money, we must trust the volunteers who walk into our headquarters and train them to take responsibility for entire neighborhoods. We must trust the online grassroots who want to take action on our behalf, and who need a decentralized, peer-to-peer volunteer community supported by our campaigns to really be successful. That will require giving up some control — more control than our traditional institutions are used to giving up — in exchange for an exponentially larger and more effective volunteer/donor/activist ecosystem.

Obama tapped the Internet successfully because he made it about “you” and “us” not “me” and “I.” You were invited in. You were a key part of his campaign/movement. Your help was truly appreciated. Republican candidates need to grow more comfortable talking in these terms and focus less on being inaccessible objects of hero worship (the “me/I” strategy).

Because of the Internet, “us” becomes a force more powerful than any in politics. The ability to donate or volunteer instantaneously online gives the millions of “us” more leverage than even the most connected group of insiders. Only “us” will be powerful enough to fund the first $1 billion Presidential candidate. By embracing the Politics of Us, the Republican Party can rediscover its roots as the party of individual liberty and build a truly modern political army.

Aside from endorsing this plan, Mike Steele has his own plans to add to it and through it all Steele will provide a voice of leadership that will be appreciated.

As a commentator on political stories, Steele has been quite convincing when it comes to our true Republican positions on the issues. Over the past two years news outlets have turned to mike for his opinions and always willing, ready and able, Mike presented the republican case quite well.

That is something we need.

We need someone who can properly convey our message and Mike Steele can do that.

So we wish him luck and look forward to working with him as we rebuild and reinvigorate the grand old party in the months to come.

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Late one night a mugger wearing a ski mask jumped into a path of a well-dressed man and stuck a gun in his ribs

give me your money,” he demanded.

Indignant, the affluent man replied,

you can’t do this – I am a United States congressman!”

In that case,” replied the mugger, “give me MY money.”

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IS ‘BARACK THE MAGIC NEGRO” AN APPROPRIATE CAMPAIGN PROMO?

I have remained quiet in the shaping race to elect a new Republican National Committee Chairman. I have been waiting to see what each candidate brings to the table. I want to hear about how they intend to reach out and involve the grassroots of the G.O.P. and how they intend to spread the Republican message and increase the chances for good Republicans to win elections again.

 The current field of declared candidates include incumbent national committee chairman Mike Duncan, Saul Anuzis of Michigan, Maryland’s former Lt. Gov. and the current chairman of GOPac, Michael Steele, South Carolina Republican Chairman Katon Dawson, Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and former Tennessee Republican Chairman and campaign to manager to Mike Huckabee, Chip Saltsman.

The only names on that list which I have had negative impressions of were Duncan and Saltsman.

Mike Duncan has had his chance to boost the fortunes of our party. Admittedly, during his tenure as chairman, he had a tough situation to deal with. The tide was not going our way so I do not blame Mike Duncan for our defeats at the poll, but I also cannot credit him for cutting our losses. Under his leadership, I did not see any enhanced outreach, defining of our message or cohesive strategy for republicans to tap into.

As for Chip Saltsman, I saw nothing outstanding about him. As the campaign manager for Mike Huckabee’s presidential primary effort, there was no evidence of unique, innovative strategies nor were there any operational advantages gained by his management of Huckabee. Furthermore, as the former chairman of the Tennessee G.O.P., Saltsman simply inherited a strong Republican party and presided over it as a mere caretaker.

All of this allowed me to see that there was no reason to choose Saltsman over any of the other candidates for the job.

However, recent events have allowed me to see that there is good reason not to choose Saltsman for Chairman.

As Christmas approached the wannabe Republican leader sent a 41 track cd that was created by Paul Shanklin, a conservative satirists and friend of his, to Republican committee members whose votes will elect a new Chairman for the Republican National Committee.

Entitled, “We Hate The U.S.A.”, the CD pokes fun at liberals and liberal thinking. One of the tracks on this musical giveaway chided liberal followers with spirited lyrics that claimed Caucasians who felt guilty about the treatment of African Americans tried to ease that guilt by supporting Barack Obama. The disturbing ditty was called “Barack the Magic Negro” and it was sung to the tune of “Puff The Magic Dragon”.

Now, I am not going to get into the reasons behind why one voted for or against President-elect Obama, nor will I joke about it. For me, the reasons behind those votes, either way, are too serious for me to joke about. But that is me and anyone who knows me, knows that I take politics too serious. So although I can’t find humor in someone supporting a move toward socialism, I can accept someone else finding it funny, in a dark sort of way.

What I do not respect is someone who tries to be a leader and lacks the judgment to properly lead us.

CHIP SALTSMAN

CHIP SALTSMAN

The ignorance Chip Saltsman displayed by giving out this CD is astonishing. It indicates a blatant lack of judgment and skill.

Instead of showing himself to be savvy and having the ability to overcome wrongly held perceptions about Republicans, Chip Saltsman went out of his way to open Republicans up to accusations of racist tendencies.

 Now you may be able to find some humor in the “Barack the Magic Negro” tune. You can argue that some people voted for Obama because they felt that it was time for an African American to be elected and in doing so they may have ignored what he would do as President. You may debate the validity of such thinking but what a responsible leader cannot do is bring up the topic in such a way that is seen as irresponsible and in a way that can allow others to call Republicans racists.

 The actions of Chip Saltsman have demonstrated that he is the last person Republicans need to lead our rebuilding effort. We do not need a Republican chairman whose judgment divides Americans before we even begin to disagree on issues. We need a leader who can maintain our principles and unite people behind our agenda . An agenda that cannot be seen to have racial overtones.

I do not know if Chip Saltsman is a biggot or not. Up until now I have had no reason to believe that he is. Unforunately, his recent taste in Christmas gifts designed at getting him enough votes to become Chairman of the R.N.C. has made we wonder if he is though.

Does the song in question offer any racist sentiments?

Judge for yourself.

For the purpose of full disclosure and clarification of whether Saltsman demonstrated poor judgment, here are the lyrics from that controversial tune…….

“Barack the Magic Negro lives in D.C.
The L.A. Times they called him that
cause he’s not authentic like me.

Yeah the guy from the L.A. paper
said he made guilty whites feel good
they’ll vote for him and not for me
cause hes not from da hood.

See, real black men like snoop dogg
or me or Farrakhan
have talked the talk and walked the walk
not come and laid and won (not sure about this line).

Barack the Magic Negro lives in D.C.
The L.A. Times they called him that
cause he’s not authentic like me
cause hes black but not authentically.

Barack the Magic Negro lives in D.C.
The L.A. Times they called him that
cause he’s not authentic like me
cause hes black but not authentically.

Some say Barack’s articulate
and bright and new and clean
the media sure love this guy
a white interloper’s dream.

But when you vote for president
watch out and don’t be fooled
don’t vote the magic negro in
cause…

(background singing the first 3 lines, while the singer is saying)

Cause I wont have nothing after all these years of sacrifice and I wont get justice this is about justice this is about justice, buffet, I don’t have no buffet there wont be any church contributions there’ll be no cash in the collection plate, no cash money, no walkin’ around money…”

 

Personally, I do find the song inappropriate. I do not support blatantly, disrespectful intentions that help exacerbate tensions. With that view, I am disgusted by Chip Saltsman’s attempt to promote himself among Republicans by offering a gift that utilizes this song.

You may claim, that I am wrong for reproducing the lyrics in this post. If so I disagree. Unlike Saltsman, I do not offer it up as a fun gift. I offer it up as an example of intolerable conduct. I also display it so that others can understand why I am calling upon Chip Saltsman to withdraw his name from consideration for chairman of the R.N.C..

Just as troublesome as having to question whether or not Saltsman has racist tendencies, is the obvious lack of judgment which allowed the question to be raised. Even if he is not a racist, he has shown us that he does not have the capacity to help deflect such accusations from being leveled at the Republican party.

As I look forward to rebuilding our party, Saltsman is not someone who we can look forward to rebuilding it with.

punchline-politics21

Having chosen English as the preferred language in the EEC, the European Parliament has commissioned a feasibility study in ways of improving efficiency in communications between Government departments. European officials have often pointed out that English spelling is unnecessarily difficult – for example, cough, plough, rough, through and thorough. What is clearly needed is a phased program of changes to iron out these anomalies. A committee staff from the top level of participating nations would, of course, administer the program. In the first year, for example, the committee would suggest using ‘s’ instead of the soft ‘c’. Sertainly, sivil servants in all sities would resieve this news with joy. Then the hard ‘c’ could be replaced by ‘k’ sinse both letters are pronounsed alike. Not only would this klear up konfusion in the minds of klerikal workers, but typewriters kould be made with one less letter. There would be growing enthusiasm when in the sekond year, it kould be announsed that the troublesome ‘ph’ would henseforth be written as ‘f’. 

This would make words like ‘fotograf’ twenty per sent shorter in print. 

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reash the stage where more komplikated shanges are possible. Governments would enkourage the removal of double letters which have always been a deterent to akurate speling. We would al agre that the horible mes of silent ‘e’s in the languag is disgrasful. Therefor we kould drop thes and kontinu to read and writ as though nothing had hapend. By this tim it would be four years sins the skem began and peopl would be reseptive to steps sutsh as replasing ‘th’ by ‘z’. Perhaps zen ze funktion of ‘w’ kould be taken on by ‘v’, vitsh is, after al, half a ‘w’. Shortly after zis, ze unesesary ‘o’ kould be dropd from words kontaining ‘ou’. Similar arguments vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters. 

Kontinuing zis proses yer after yer, ve vud eventuli hav a reli sensibl riten styl. After tventi yers zer vud be no mor trubls, difikultis and evrivun vud fin it ezi tu understand ech ozer. Ze drems of ze Guvermnt vud finali hav kum tru.

 

 

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