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Reince Priebus Elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee

Newly elected RNC Chairman Reince Priebus

Bookmark and Share    On the seventh ballot Reince Priebus (pronounced /raɪns ˈpriːbəs/),  the Chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party was elected chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Priebus went in to the race as a frontrunner and as a favorite of the grassroots.  He was also supported by Republican activist, prolific fundraiser and lobyist, Henry Barbour, nephew of Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

On the final ballot Priebus garnered 97 votes to Saul Anuzis’s 43 and Maria Cino’s 28.

85 votes are needed to win.

In his acceptance speech, Priebus urged all of the Republican National Committee to come together and promised to work with everyone. “We all recognize that there is a steep still ahead and the only way to face it is to work together” said Priebus

He reminded delegates that each of them are the employees of the Republican voters and that it will be their responsibility to restructure financial operations, hiring top notch staff and beating President Obama in 2012.  Priebus also stated that he wanted to shape the GOP into a truly conservative Party that elected conservative candidates.

Some suggest that being supported by the nephew of the influential Mississippi Governor and former RNC Chairman Haley Barbour,  this is a signal that Governor Barbour is on track to winning the G.O.P.’s presidential nomination.

But aside from rumors of  Haley Barbour’s influence in this election for Chairman, Reince Prebius in his own right came to the position of Wisconsin State Party Chairman in 2007 and by 2010 he took a considerably blue state and helped win a U.S. Senate from Democrat stalwart Russ Feingold, took back the historically Democrat seat of powerful Congressman David Obey as well as other House seats and helped capture the statehouse with Republican Scott Walker.

The election of Reince Preibus marks the beginning of a new page for the Republican National Committee after some of its most historic electoral gains in history. While Mike Steele was energizing force that had a part in those election victories, he did little to insure that the RNC developed a strong and reliable fundraising operation and left the RNC with a large debt. Steele was also criticized for not reinforcing an effective organizational strategy for strengthening the grassroots of the Party.

More About Reince Priebus:

Priebus was born and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin and graduated from George Nelson Tremper High School in 1990. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and English in 1994 from University of Wisconsin–Whitewater (where he was student body president), worked in the Wisconsin Legislature for a year, and then went to law school, receiving a law degree from University of Miami School of Law in 1998.  During his time there, he interned for the NAACP legal defense fund in Los Angeles.  In 1998, he joined the law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP in Milwaukee.

In 2004, in his first bid for public office, Priebus unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Robert Wirch for a seat in the Wisconsin Senate, where Priebus reportedly spent $384,486 to Wirch’s $182,595.

Priebus was elected state GOP party chair in 2007,  the youngest person ever elected to that position.  In 2009, he became general counsel of the RNC under chairman Michael Steele.

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Steele Withdraws from Reelection for RNC Chairman on 4th Ballot

Who Will Be the Next Republican Chair?Bookmark and Share   Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Steele has pulled out of his bid reelection to a second term as chairman. The move indicates that he knew he could garner enough delegates to win.

The process that elects a Republican National Committee Chairman usually consists of multiple counts until one candidate has a clear majority and in hammering that majority together, an intense deal making machine goes in to work. For his part in that process, after the fourth round of balloting Steele withdrew from the contest and threw his support behind Maria Cino. What deal was made, no one knows, but if Cino can hold on to all of Steele’s votes, she would be able to win on the fifth ballot

After the fourth ballot, the count stood at; Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Reince Preibus had 58 votes to Former Deputy RNC Chairman Maria Cino’s 29, Michael Steele’s 28, former RNC Co-Chairman Ann Wagner’s 28 and Former Michigan Republican Chairman Saul Anuzis’ 24.

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The State of the Republican Party in 20111

Bookmark and Share    The new year has begun and all across the nation, new leaders are being sworn in to office. The 2010 midterm elections were extra kind to Republicans and so most of those being sworn in to office in 2011 are Republicans. Unlike the recent past, electoral trends benefited the G.O.P. but Republicans would be sadly mistaken if they sat on their laurels and did not take advantage of the luck that shined on them. In 2010 Republicans were the beneficiaries of an angry backlash against Democrats, not for any particular appreciation of Republicans.   After too many year’s of out of control spending and government growth, voters were disgusted by the disproportionate pace that Democrats were taking us down that same road. The result was a resounding rejection of them on every level from municipal and county government to state and federal government.

Republicans gained ground in the state legislatures of every state and took control of many new state houses and legislative chambers. They increased their numbers in the U.S. Senate and took one of the largest majorities ever in the House. But to expect to remain in power simply because we are not Democrats is naïve and to simply maintain a majority to be in control without allowing that control to make a positive difference would be a despicable waste of leadership opportunities.

With the new found power that Republicans gained, simply because of the failures of others, they must steer policy in the very direction that voters instructed them to…………cut spending, cut the size of government, and get government back to its constitutional intentions and responsibilities. People want the proliferation of the nanny state and the expenses that come with it, to come to an end. People want legislators who abide by the law and play by the rules not live above the law and skirt the rules. Americans from New Jersey to Nevada want our government to get out of our way and our pockets and they want government to operate within its means not beyond.

With this mandate Republicans have an extraordinary opportunity. They have the opportunity to demonstrate that we got their message and that we understand it. Republicans now have the opportunity to prove that conservatism applied correctly is government done right.

To do this, Republicans must first and foremost uphold their promises and commitments. Their Pledge to America must not be excused away or simply ignored. And while Republicans must demonstrate a willingness to work with all, they must also show an unwillingness to compromise on states rights, spending, budgets and government growth. Republicans must now once again show themselves to be the Party of ideas, good ideas, ideas that can allow the free market to flourish and create jobs. Ideas that can make healthcare more accessible and affordable without placing one sixth of the American economy in the hands of federal bureaucrats. Ideas that allow more competition into our public schools and create greater education opportunities  for our children.

If the G.O.P. can stay focused on the message that Americans sent in 2010, 2011 will be a year of sustanaible rebuilding growth for our Party and our nation. If Republican elected official keep to their promises, no matter how ugly the rhetoric and propaganda from the left gets, voters will stand behind them .

And if our elected Republican legislators do their jobs, the Party leadership and grass root conservative activists can and must do their jobs.

State Parties must quickly become internet savvy. They must begin to help county organizations coordinate municipalities and synchronize our message on the issues, our Party building efforts, voter registration drives, coordination and development of volunteer lists and election training that can help insure effective ballot access and honest elections.

The key to the future of the Republican Party’s future rests upon two main pillars…….the following through of our promises by our elected officials, and our willingness to build upon the success of 2010 by insuring that our message makes it to every block of every town in every county of all 50 states.

The state of the Republican is promising. Two years ago pundits claimed the G.O.P. was going the way of the Whigs. Two years later and it is the Party of the left that is limping and hemorrhaging confidence and support. If we act with smugness and arrogance and if we take the responsibility and opportunity that we have surprisingly been handed, lightly, the tables will again quickly turn and we will again be the ones hemorrhaging support and undergoiing a crisis of confidence.

During the course of the next 20 months, Republicans have a lot of work to do. In addition to the election of more Governors and the very real possibility of capturing control of the U.S. Senate, the opportunity to elect a President will be upon us. That election will require that we begin the type of hard work that it takes to develop strong organizational roots in all four corners of the nation and to begin doing so now.

The state of the Republican Party is indeed promising but the promise of our future relies upon our ability to get our act together today.

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The Winners & Losers In American Politics for the Week of 2/1/10 – 2/7/10

 Politics 24/7 Winners and Losers

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WINNERS

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Republican National CommitteeThe Republican National CommitteePhotobucketPhotobucket

The RNC has not exactly been on top of their game since 2006 and they have essentially been floundering since 2008. As a national organization it has been unable to create one unifying national message representing what the G.O.P. stands for and it has been unable to out-campaign Democrats. Well this week the Republican National Committee finally exhibited a hopeful sign of their getting back on track with some smarts. The day after Illinois voters nominated the candidates that will be running for President Obama’s old senate seat, the RNC was up and running with an ad that defined the Democrat nominee and friend of President Obama, Alexi Giannoulias. The ad compares Giannoulias, the son of a banking magnate, to the Soprano’s and discusses his connections to crime figures and his shady financial arrangements with politicians and slumlords. The episode demonstrates a positive sign for the GOP. They are apparently seeing that we must get out in front of the opposition and define them before they try to define us. Strategists are apparently reawakening to the need to have Democrats run on our playing field, not the other way around. It is a small step, but as someone who has not been very impressed by the job that Republican National Committee has been doing, this was a pleasant sign.  Keep this up and finally find a message that articulates what the G.O.P. stands for and that Republicans will unite behind and maybe we’ll be back on track again.

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The founder of the Tea Party Nation pulled off an event billed as the first Tea party National Convention. The event was a success in the sense that it helped motivate those in attendance and even offered workshops that essentially offered some of the technical knowledge that would help Tea Partiers channel their new found civic interest and anger in a productive way. As for Philips, he was criticized for not using a non-profit model for his grassroots organization but he used a powerful argument to defend any profit made at or during the convention. He stated that sending out letters that tells people, “The world is ending, but for $50 we can put it off for a couple of weeks,” just did not strike him as sincere. He added “My vision for Tea Party Nation was to use the capitalist system to support our activities,” he said. “The whole idea of begging for bucks is absolutely repugnant to me. I’m not saying people who have nonprofits and seek donations are bad people or anything like that. I’m just saying, for our group, I don’t like it.” The argument is compelling and in the end, it worked for him. People who could afford the $500.00 a plate dinner which featured Sarah Palin and her keynote address, were satisfied and those who paid for the chotchkies, souvenirs and workshops at the convention were also content. In the mean time, Phillips’ organization raised a pretty penny and it received a great deal of exposure. So the bottom line is that he proved to be a winner this week.

 

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LOSERS

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After the Senate Democrats passed legislation that raised the debt limit by another 1.9 trillion dollars, this week Democrats in the House also passed the same debt limit increase. As was the case in the Senate, not a single Republican supported the measure. The move adds a debt burden of $6,500 to every man, woman, child, transvestite, transgender and every other human life form that lives in the United States. But if that wasn’t bad enough, when the amendment raising the debt limit was passed, the partisan liberal majority cheered and applauded. Are Democrats jackasses or are they just, to quote Rham Emanuel…..f’ing retarded? When the Stock Market crashed, did stockbrokers and traders on the floor of the Exchange jump up and cheer and clapped? Not exactly. In the 1920’s, when some of them lost their life savings, they jumped up to their windowsills and jumped out of them. They did not jump to their feet in glee as did the Democrats who burdened one generation of Americans and sold out the next generation of Americans. All in one vote. AND THEY CHEERED! If that is their reaction to bad news, they must pee themselves when there is good news.

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After it was proven that some disingenuous scientific data was exploited by liberals in an attempt to create hysteria over global warming, this week scientists discovered that European liberals had overstated the effects of global warming on the Netherlands. The environmental extremists claimed that the quickening pace of global warming has now placed 50% of the Netherlands below sea level. Well most people know that this dam clustered nation has always had more of its land below sea level than any other nation. Hence the reason for all the dams. But now scientists have come out and established that contrary to the extremists 50% calculation, only 20% of the Netherlands remains below sea level, about the same percentage that it is famous for having under sea level. And then this weekend I found myself in a blizzard at my New Jersey home, where almost two feet of snow fell. Now, two days later, I am told to brace myself for another snowstorm that will dump anywhere from a foot, to another two feet of snow. This just three days after the second storm this winter that dumped that same amount so far this season. Hey Al Gore………….you and your theory are a losers this week. Man certainly does have an effect our environment but not to the climatologically extremes that the business of global warming hysteria mongering suggests.

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For Republicans Only: Rebuilding and Reinvigorating the Nation and Party-PART II

Bookmark and Share    In the first part of this series we pointed out that the devastating losses of 2006 and 2008 and the loss of the White House produced a severe shortage of prominent Republican figures on the national stage. reprebrand1Without an individual whom can be that face and without the party putting forth cohesive policy paths, on all levels, the G.O.P. is adrift in a turbulent sea of waves created by a torrent of liberal initiatives.

This situation led us to establish a few things.

First we must get everyone on the same page and identify the problems that face the nation and their causes and then paint a picture of those problems that can be depicted in the form of a common enemy. It was determined that we could easily call that enemy “the government” and show it to be the common antagonist in our lives that all Americans can rally with Republicans against.

We also established that we need a figure who without being a threat to any other Republican’s presidential ambitions, can provide the national voice for the message that the G.O.P. needs to get out.

That person was suggested in Part I, but putting aside exactly who is best suited to be the messenger, let us focus on the message.

Under President Obama, and the Democrat led Congress, it is quite apparent that a significant portion of society is finally beginning to question just how much control they want any American federal government to have over their lives.

This thinking is not new. Such sentiments have been eroding at the popularity of both the Republican and Democrat parties. It also accounts for the fairly significant and deep rooted, loyal base, of national support that Dr. Ron Paul, a Texas congressman has. Even though Ron Paul caucuses with Republicans and runs as one, he is at heart, a libertarian and it is to the libertarian party that we have lost many Republicans.

We must get them back and we can do so if we combat the government enemy by stressing less government, less government fiats upon the people that limit their freedoms, more economic and educational opportunities and more ethical political leaders.

As previously mentioned, this approach, as it was under Ronald Reagan, describes government as the enemy……the common enemy that the G.O.P. can inspire the American people to rally behind in the fight against the enemy.

By making it clear that while we are not proposing that there be no government, we must make it understood that as government is creating more problems than it is solving and spends more than it ever takes in, it must be curbed. It must be reduced in size and scope in order to stop costing the American people more than it is worth and to be effective in those areas which it should and could be effective.

With the government now owning financial institutions, car companies and getting more and more into the business of business, people are becoming increasingly skeptical. This encroaching government control is made even more threatening with the liberal passage of such things as Cap-and-Trade and now socialized medicine. Even senior citizens are beginning to oppose the administrations attempt to control their treatment and coverage in the face of aging and declining health.

All of this will not only begin to deteriorate our national quality of life, it will also start costing more. The more control that government has, the more money it needs to implement and maintain those controls

This message must and can be conveyed in many different ways and in regards to just about every issue that comes up. But in our message, as we unite Americans in combating our “common enemy”, we must also produce alternatives. To gain the peoples trust and recapture the majority in Congress, we must offer policy alternatives that flow from principles. Those principles are the same ones found in the Constitution and they are the principles of freedom. They are also the principles which many former Republicans who are now libertarians have come to realize we are drifting away from with increased speed as everyday passes by.

We must demonstrate that the Democrats are trying to play God by creating a centralized government power structure that overrides state’s rights and individual’s rights and has a hand in every single aspect of our lives.

But before Republicans oppose any action of the President or the Democrat controlled congress, they must have their policy alternative to offer at the same time.

This must be done in such a way that everyone from Republican Governors, and state legislative leaders, members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are all on the same page and speaking the same policy message and theme. To coordinate this, our Republican Senate Leader, Mitch McConnell and our leader of the House, Republican Minority Leader John Boehner must work together. Coordination must also be made with the state Republican organizations and the Republican Governors Association and its mayoral counterparts. The RNC would be the perfect entity for such coordination and through them the RGA, NRSC and NRCC could all be on message and pushing for the same policies. Policies that could be a part of what Republicans could call “The American Agenda”.

In shaping that American Agenda the G.O.P must also politically incorporate other objectives into it.

They must rebrand themselves and capitalize on the displeasure with Democrat overreach, and their corporate welfare and dependency politics. This can be done by showing that the new GOP is smarter, younger and more diverse and more in touch with the founding principles that have to date made America great. In addition to having that one trusted, proven and articulate face of the party conveying our national message, allow the Sarah Palins, Eric Cantors, Bobby Jindals, Aaron Schocks, Michelle Bachmann’s, Cathy McMorris Rodgers‘, John Thunes and a host of other vital young Republicans to be in the forefront. Flood the market with fresh faces that have a clean slate and smart, succinct messages. Then deliver the fresh, smart and forward looking message that will be contained in our “American Agenda”.

That agenda should contemplate the adoption of some policy risks and give thought to making some changes that demonstrate our faith in freedom, attracts young voters and changes the national conversation.

Such can be done by crafting our American Agenda with the following directions:

A). – Consider the legalization of certain drugs :

-Demonstrate that we know that freedom means people have a right to do what they like with their bodies whether it is good or bad so long as it does not take the lives of others or infringe on the rights of others.

B). – Support Domestic Unions :

-Shake everything up and get the state out of the marriage business by allowing churches, mosques and temples to marry those they choose. That is the business of their God, not the federal government.  At the same time, do not seek to have government redefine marriage.  Allow the government to preserve the religious sanctity of marriage while also preserving its constitutional civic responsibilities and perform Domestic Unions that ensure that people who unite contractually are treated equally before the law, as the Constitution requires.

Aside from “shaking things up”, we must  address healthcare and present a renewed commitment on some of those issues the party is traditionally strongest on and implement policy solutions that demonstrate our convictions to our nations Constitution.

An approach to the issue of healthcare should be one that is not based on the failed socialist policy initiatives that our nation has shunned and fought against. That would lead us to adopt some of , but not the only, following constitutionally driven approaches into our “American Agenda”.

C). – HealthCare Opportunities :

-Offer the type of “change” in healthcare that we can live with and have the federal government adjust what it can and should change on the issue. For instance (1) .-Tort Reform.   It will have a drastic effect on the rising cost of healthcare in America. (2).- Portability. The current lack of portability prevents people from keeping their coverage when they change jobs or relocate and often they can not continue with the same coverage they have throughout their lives as other changes in their lives occur. Federal action that would allow for the portability of health insurance would solve this problem and help to stabilize insurance markets, reduce costs and ultimately reduce the fluctuating number of uninsured in America.  ( 3). – Enact a policy toolbox of federal initiatives that states could include and federal funding to the states would be linked to success in reaching the goals. With federal legislative guidelines and financial support, state experimentation would produce a myriad of various solutions and in time the best solutions for each state will evolve into better and stronger healthcare availability options for all states. (4).- Incentivise good health and fitness by offering limited tax credits for gym memberships and fitness equipment.

On those issues that the G.O.P has consistently been strong on, the new “American Agenda” must reinforce those strengths with the following items:

D). – Means-test Everything :

-If any federal social programs are to exist, they must be designed to help those whom are truly needy. Government welfare programs like Medicare for the rich are unreasonable and unacceptable ands we need to make that clear. For those who will rightfully point out that constitutional grounds for any “federal social programs”, are at the very least questionable, they must understand the need for compromises that can help begin to change attitudes and minds. This is one such compromise. If we are to have such programs they must not be abused or overextended.

E). – Taxpayer Bill of Rights & Balanced Budget :

-After the current massive expansion and growth of government by Democrats, people will want government to shrink. By creating a Taxpayer Bill of Rights that will lock government revenues in at population plus inflation as measured by acceptable cost of living indices we can assure people that we will be at the very least stop government from growing. Then add limits on national debt that would force cuts and stop passing the national credit card and its bill to future generations.

F). – Environmental Security not Global Warming: “More Obvious Conservation Methods, Not More Taxes” :

-Call it environmental security and dedicate ourselves to protecting and preserving our environment by funding such things as geo-engineering and sequestration technology but not by sucking the finances of the American people during times of economic hardship for an Al Gore hypothesis that can only be conclusively proven through the evidence produced by the passage of another million years. The G.O.P. must highlight the undeniable, rational pro-environment record that we have extending as far back as Theodore Roosevelt and we must get in the forefront of the issue by demonstrating that the historic Cap-and-Trade measure adopted by liberals is more than irrational, it is dangerous, ineffective and another example of overreaching control that taxes us on air while destroying the long-term health of our economy and individual’s economic prosperity.

G). – Enforce Our Fundamental Belief In National Sovereignty and Freedom :

-The administrations “globalization” policy is a threat to us on many levels. It puts our security, sovereignty, economy and national heritage at risk. We must therefore (1). – Implement an Open Arms-Secure Borders Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill that welcomes and protects legal immigrants, secures our borders and eliminates the tolerance for illegal immigrants who weigh heavily on our law enforcement capabilities, emergency services and economic prosperity. (2). – Declare our united support for an English First, Not English Only Bill. (3).- Make it clear that our government will not excuse, or make excuses for, those enemies of freedom who hinder progress in areas of our interests or seek to inflict harm on us or our allies. The electorate must be clear on the fact that Republicans do not buy in to the Democrat approach to foreign policy which leads us to believe that Americans should feel guilty for defending our nation, the cause of freedom or our national sovereignty, heritage or interests. (4).- Seek to curtail the use of Eminent Domain abuses by eliminating federal funding for any state or municipal projects that use eminent domain to acquire land.  It must be made clear that the constitutional right to property cannot be abrdged.

H). – Energy Independence :

-The government must take advantage of all available sound domestic energy sources while promoting the independent study of advanced uses for clean, renewable energy technologies.

I). – Reform How Government Does Business And Limit Election Spending

-Demonstrate that we not only acknowledge the political culture of corruption and shady tactics but that we stand against it with reforms to prevent it. (1).- Eliminate the public financing option for federal elections. Make it clear that we do not want taxpayers spending money for politicians to lie us in attempt to get our vote. (2.) – At the same time, place a spending limit on all elections for all federal offices. (3.)- Adopt the Enumerated Powers Act which forces all legislative initiatives and federal spending to be supported by the clause in the Constitution that proves it to be a proper measure for the federal government to undertake. (4.) – Pass a bill drafting amendment that prohibits spending measures and regulations that are unrelated to that bill from being tacked on to it.

The Republican Party needs to rebuild itself with an agenda that includes of all the above points.

If it can get everyone on the same page, rebrand itself with fresh faces and trustworthy policy directions and a unified message in 2010 then they can at the very least make inroads to a strong eventual comeback.

With the right people, policies and message we can demonstrate that by trying to be like European nations with unfunded liabilities and the bureaucratization of everything we may actually become like them and spend decades enduring 10 percent unemployment rates and trying to maintain our national identity. We must use our policies and messages to capitalize on the dissatisfaction that Democrats are creating and demonstrate that raising taxes and spending other people’s money is not the best way for our country to go.

Now is the time for us to offer up a second revolution that is made up with ideas that puts an end to bureaucratic governmental licentiousness and unleash entrepreneurship all while offering leadership with a view towards freedom, pragmatism and common sense, all of which the left has abandoned.

But as is the case with any good strategy, its success lies in its implementation and the methods and tactics needed to see it through. In the next part of this series we will address those plans and reveal the logistics needed to grow the seeds of a political revolution to restore freedom to the freest people the world has ever known.

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Click the image above to read the first part of For Republicans Only 

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For Republicans Only: A plan for rebuilding and reinvigorating a down and out party.

Bookmark and Share     It may seem a shame or insincere to have to be political and develop political strategies to get anything done in American politics. But when you plunge into the sea of politics you better be willing to swim. This does not mean that repboatayou can’t be sincere about the issues and their effects on the American people but it does mean that if your gonna swim with the sharks you’d be wise to put on your flippers instead of your running shoes. And that is what this article deals with. It is meant to discuss the political reality behind the Republican Party’s ability to get back into the game and the tools and the political strategies it must utilize to lead again.

As we look ahead you do not have to be a rocket scientist to see that the G.O.P. cannot afford a third consecutive election cycle where they lose another 20 or more seats in congress or any more governorships or state legislative chambers. To do so in 2010 will be lethal.

That is when the census takes place and redistricting begins. By losing more congressional seats we will be making it that much harder to reach a majority in 2012. And to lose any more sway in the states will mean that Democrats will have the opportunity to gerrymander Republicans into minority status for a decade or more.

So Republicans can’t wait for the presidential election of 2012 to help them increase their numbers. They must make their gains now and 2010.

In 2009 it looks like Republicans will do well and pick up Governors in New Jersey and Virginia. But for 2010, the G.O.P. needs to get on message and into gear now.

But how do we expect to make a significant run towards majority status when we will be needing it most in 2010?

Sadly, I do not see signs of a national Republican strategy and message shaping up. After supporting Ken Blackwell for

Mike Steele

Mike Steele

 RNC Chairman, I am not privy to the leaderships plans but from the outside I see no movement in the direction that we must take.

We could just sit back and allow the Democrats to get comfortable. That is how the G.O.P. lost control of things in the first place. After the first four years in control of both congress and the White House, complacency and the lack of a need to get the power that they had, allowed many to stop keeping their noses clean and to cease going that extra mile to make our case.

The same fate will eventually come of the current liberal ruling regime in Washington, D.C..

To a degree, Democrats understand this and that is why they are rushing , at a breakneck pace, to consolidate their power immediately by entrenching some of the most expansive and extensive socialized programs we have ever seen into government. They want to do so before the tide turns on them.

But to regain control of congress essentially by default will not make for a meaningful reason for Republicans to be in control or for an enduring leadership role that will last for any significant length of time.

So what are Republicans to do?

For that answer we should look back to a similar time. A time when Republicans were down and out. It was 1980 and much like now, we had a President who on the national stage spoke softly and carried a very small stick. He was a President who also saw government as the solution to all our problems but had policies which essentially drained every dime out of the American economy and made it so that the government and its people could not afford to do anything about anything.

To counter the Democrats and the “days of malaise” that they had us in, the G.O.P. revamped their image in the eyes of the people and became the innovative and anti-establishment, anti-government party. And they did so by presenting easily understood alternative solutions to those being bandied about by the left. They were also able to focus a spotlight on a common enemy that most Americans related to. This common enemy became something to rally against with Republicans.

Common enemies are a very powerful source of unity and support.

President George H.W. Bush spent the first four and a half years of his eight years in office riding a wave of support because terrorists proved themselves to be an undeniably severe threat to Americans and therefore a common enemy to rally against. This was not some political creation. It was a national reality and while terrorists still remain a collective concern, the lack of thousands of Americans falling victim to them again all at once, has made them a less powerful rallying cry these days but hopefully not any less of a concern.

arepleader10In the 80’s, the Reagan Revolution successfully united a majority of Americans by condensing all the problems that we were facing into a different enemy. Reagan successfully defined government as the enemy. And who was in total control of government? The Democrats.

This theme, this rallying cry, allowed Americans to see that government was not the solution, it was the problem. Over time, the approach increased Republican numbers at every level. From city councils, to state legislatures and governors mansions, slowly but surely, Republicans increased in numbers until a clear majority of state houses and state executive offices were dominated by Republican majorities.

But this message was not just meant for the purpose of having majority control. It was also meant to make a beneficial difference. It was meant to use that power to reduce the size and scope of the government enemy. To reduce government’s tax burden on the people. To eliminate the barriers to economic growth, job opportunities and entrepreneurial expansion. It was also used to rebuild our military capabilities and restore America’s role on the international stage. Defeating the communist enemy was another reason.

With Republican control came the change America needed and that is exactly what the G.O.P. must demonstrate to Americans again. We must convince them that we are currently headed down a road that our nation once ran away from. The road that was plotted for our nation under Jimmy Carter whose increased regulations, increased taxation and government interference created both a deficit of personal economic empowerment and of national morale.

That same Carter-like approach to our federal government is taking place today under President Obama. And at a time when we are again experiencing tough economic times, the liberal tax and spend approach is again making things tougher for all of us.

This case must be made to the people but it cannot be effectively made with an algebraic equation or Ross Perot bar graph. It must be made through a concise, everyday translation that everyone can relate to.

In 1980, during one presidential debate, Ronald Reagan discussed the historic and disastrous inflation rate that the Carter administration brought to bear on us. He spoke of a little girl who when shopping with her mother saw a doll that she fell in love with and desperately wanted. She pleaded with her mother to buy it for her but her mother told her that she had to earn it and with her allowance she must save for it. The former Governor and soon to be President continued to explain that the little girl saved her money until finally she had enough to buy it. But when she went back to the store, the price had increased and she did not have enough money after all. So, disappointed, she went back home hoping to save enough money to buy it the following week. When that next week came, she went back to the store with enough to cover the new purchase price only to discover that the price of that same doll went up again. Reagan described how this disappointing cycle repeated itself for a month and he further explained that this was the effect of inflation and the misery index which was created during the Carter years.

He stated that this was the result of the economic condition that we got ourselves into under the Carter administration and that as hard as we tried to keep our heads above water, the rushing tide of rising costs was a never ending cycle that kept on putting everything out of our reach and like that little girl whose so desired doll was always out of reach because of inflation, so too was the American dream becoming out of reach for all individual Americans.

Reagan helped people to relate to our troubles by encapsulating all of our nation’s problems down to the face of an innocent little girl. And in doing so he made Americans believe that he understood them and their problems.

It allowed him to capture the hearts, minds and votes of the American people.

This is the approach that we again need. Republicans must reconnect and demonstrate that they relate to those not in the political class.

But who is to be the messenger and where are the innovative approaches to come from?

Eric Cantor

Eric Cantor

In looking for such a person we can easily see that the House of Representatives is hardly a place where such a face of national stature can be easily be created. The few promising figures in congress who have the innovative minds and anti-establishment mentality that we need must rise to a higher level of prominence before they have a realistic shot at being the right national messenger. Congressmen like Eric Cantor of Ohio, Mike Pence of Indiana and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin are perfect examples of the type of capable, competent leaders we need. But until they are in a position of greater power and prominence like that of a Governor or Senator, there is little chance for them to command the amount of attention that they need to effectively and properly deliver a nationally captivating message

Mike Pence

Mike Pence

For Cantor, Ryan and Pence, the G.O.P. would be wise to start making room for them as Senators or Governors in the coming years. But that still wont fill the void we have right now.

In looking at the United States Senate, prospects there are thin.

Of the forty Republicans remaining, few have the persona, gravitas and ability to capture the nation’s imagination and trust. McCain is over and was over even before he ran for President. The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, lacks any significant attraction in speech or persona and ideas.

Judd Gregg

Judd Gregg

Among the most promising, somewhat conservative figures, whose personalities and abilities can fit the bill, are possibly Bob Corker of Tennessee but more likely Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and John Thune of South Dakota. Both of these men are consistently strong, sound voices that could emerge as potential standard bearers in 2012 and they could start carrying the banner now by coalescing the party together under the type of “get government out the way” policy alternatives that we could make a message out of.

Gregg though seems always prepared to hang up his hat and return to a quiet life of retirement in the hills and mountains of New Hampshire.

So that leaves Senator John Thune.

He is young, the youngest of them all and I have always appreciated him. In his first run for the Senate, he lost by almost 500 votes that were illegally obtained for incumbent Senator Tim Johnson through a Democrat scheme that involved cash for votes and falsified registrations from two South Dakota Indian registrations.

John Thune

John Thune

But two years later, Thune made history when he defeated the Senate’s Democrat leader Tom Daschle.

Since then, Thune has been a relatively strong conservative influence and he has command of the issues, an energetic and confident charisma and clean record.

After sifting through the ranks of federal office holders, the only other obvious place to find the leader we need is from within the ranks of state leadership.

The governors.

It is here where we also find the most innovative and beneficial ideas in government.

The majority of Republican governors are handling things far better than most Democrat governors like those in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania,

Donald Carcierie

Donald Carcieri

 Ohio, Washington and others. But here too, the right captivating figure is hard to find out of the 22 existing Republican governors.

Mark Sanford was a promising option. His potential was not for any command of communication skills, which he lacked, but because of actual strong policy positions and administrative qualities. That was of course all before he ran off to Argentina and abandoned his state and family for a romp with his “soul mate”.

Donald Carcieri happens to be the most unique of all governors.

He is the Republican governor of Rhode Island, one of, if not the most, liberal states in the most liberal region of the nation, New England.

What makes him most unique there is the fact that he is actually a centrist with a propensity towards conservative positions. He is often in opposition to his Democrat dominated state legislature on such things as the obligations of state workers, separation of powers and illegal immigration. He has even vetoed more than 30 pieces of legislation that they have presented to him. Yet he has still been elected twice.

But we are talking Rhode Island here and Carcieri lacks any great innovative leadership qualities and national appeal.

Haley Barbour

Haley Barbour

I would hope to see Carcieri eventually take one of the two Democrat U.S. Senate seats, like Sheldon Whitehouse’s seat, but I hardly expect him to capture the national imagination.

Of those remaining, the brightest gubernatorial lights are those of Louisiana’s Boby Jindal, Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty, Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, and the best of all of them, Mitch Daniels of Indiana.

Daniels won reelection to a second term as governor by as much as 60% while at the same time, Indiana voters elected Barack Obama for President. In some cases he even got 20% of the African-American vote. That is an unusually high percentage for any Republican anywhere. He clearly has crossover appeal.

He can also be an inspiring speaker who conveys his message with conviction and in a way that makes people trusting of him and confident in him. As a conservative he has refrained from the wholesale selling out of the ideals that many in the G.O.P. have done over the past five or so years. Just one example can be demonstrated by the size of Indiana’s government.

While governments in most other states has increased in size, Mitch Daniels has shrunk both the size and cost of government. Currently the state has about 30,000 public employees. That is the smallest number of state employees since 1983.

Another area of distinction for him is in the area of government budgets.

When first coming into office Indiana had an $800 million deficit but Daniels turned it into a surplus of $1.3 billion. Much of this was helped by his reducing the growth rate of state spending from 5.9 percent to 2.8 percent.

The only problem is that Mitch Daniels has stated that he will not ever run for president. That puts a damper on national hopes for him but they have also been the same words uttered by a few people who are now former presidents

Bobby Jindal

Bobby Jindal

As for Jindal his record in Congress proves him to be an ideally strong conservative. On issues like abortion, immigration, national security, healthcare, energy, education and on just about every other issues he is right where the right wants a leader to be.

As Louisiana‘s Governor he has maintained his conservative credentials and even reigned in Louisiana‘s state budget problems.

On the downside, Jindal has only been in office since 2007 and during that time, his first, and to date, only appearance on the national stage was a response to President Obama’s State of the Union. In it, Governor Jindal put forward the right message but its delivery fell flat and received rapid fire shots aimed at claiming he was done.

Such is not the case but even Bobby Jindal has admitted that he is a little green and needs more seasoning.

That leaves Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty and Mississippi’s Haley Barbour open for discussion.

Tim Paelenty

Tim Paelenty

Both of these men have produced for their states and both of them are more qualified than President Obama was when he was elected President of the United States.

In Pawlenty we have a strong messenger and practitioner of what he himself has termed, Sam’s Club Republicanism, a combination of social conservatism with working family economic appeal.

He has governed well, put spending under control and geared state government more towards that which it should be dealing with such as responsible infrastructure planning, maintenance and construction.

If Pawlenty can raise money and attract some of the top tier consultants which Mitt Romney has already attracted to his camp. And if he can raise enough money to insure that his campaign for the presidential nomination is not under funded, thaen Pawlenty’s record, populist approach and appeal could be quite successful. But to get to that point, he should really start reaching for more national exposure now.

He should start interpreting his alternative policies to the Obama administration and allow himself to become the natural face of the G.O.P.. In him is the ability to not only shape the message that we as a party need to get out but he also has the ability to shape the policies that we can center that message around. If Tim Pawlenty were to take the lead now on issues like healthcare, taxes, the bailout, energy and job growth, many others will line up behind him as they begin to see that Pawlenty is the figure who can part the seas for the rest of them.

The same applies to Haley Barbour of Mississippi.

He has a folksy, “get’er done” way about himself and an appealing record of accomplishment for his state on budgetary control.

Before, during and after the ravaging of the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina, Barbour effectively prepared his state for it and efficiently dealt with its aftermath. Louisiana was the only state to be hit as hard or harder by Hurricane Katrina and in Louisiana’s case it was prepared for and handled so horrifically that its Governor, Kathleen Blanco was practically forced out of office and ultimately rejected even for consideration to a second term in office.

Both Pawlenty and Barbour have the perfect opportunity to step up and become the leader and messenger that we need. Both of them have the unique ability to convincingly demonstrate to Americans that with the right policy direction, rather than being in our way, government can get out of our way and be an effective tool for insuring opportunity, independence and an enduring quality of life with economic freedom and growth.

Mitch Daniels has the ability to do so too and probably better than any of them………….if he wanted to.

Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush

Of course three, now former governor’s have this same ability and opportunity. Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and dare I say it, Jeb Bush of Florida.

Jeb has put off any attempts for the White House for now. After two Bush’s in the Oval Office over the course of sixteen years, the obvious notion that the nation is Bushed out is a pretty safe bet.

As the most conservative member of the Bush family to have served in office, Jeb has been a truly effective leader and one that Floridians would have never let go if they had the chance to reelect.

Palin has promise but after resigning from office early she also now has problems. None of which can’t be overcome. Her chances to be the national face and voice of the party is fifty-fifty, much like her standing among Americans. They either love her or hate her.

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

Now out of office, Palin must walk a very careful line that seeks to diffuse those that hate her and broaden the numbers of those who love her. She will also have to make sure that she is taken seriously at all times. There will be no room for her to flub on any issue and while using her appealing folksy ways, she must convey a command of the issues and demonstrate a breadth of knowledge and competence that can in no way be denied by anyone who hears her. If she can deliver her small government, Washington outsider, equal opportunity, freedom based policy messages, she could out shop Tim Pawlenty when it comes to being a Sam’s Club Republican.

The largest elephant in the room though is Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

He is definitely running for President and he is by all measures the current frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

In addition to being a successful businessman in his own right, Romney is also a managerial genius. He took the once derailed, scandal ridden, over budget and chaotic build up of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and turned it into a smooth running, ethical and profitable display of organizational perfection.

Beyond that credit is Romney’s term as Governor in a liberal state that is called home by such liberal giants as Michael Dukakis, John Kerry, Barney Frank and Ted Kennedy. The liberal bastion of Massachusetts is no place for a conservative Republican to sprout out from but Romney played politics and outmaneuvered his Democrat opponent.

However; in doing so Mitt created a few problems.

A now long past conversion from pro-abortion rights to pro-life has left many right-to-lifers wondering if he is sincere on the issue. Why right-to-lifers find it hard to believe that someone would agree with them after witnessing a personal family struggle with the issue, itself is hard to understand. But so be it.

On gay rights, previous statements made when Mitt ran against Ted Kennedy for the U.S. Senate and in his actions as Governor during Massachusetts first in the nation “Gay Marriage” fight have critics claiming that on that issue, Romney experienced another political conversion.

The two issues together give Romney naysayers the opportunity to call him a flip-flopper.

But that charge only adds height to Mitt’s biggest hurdle. Obamacare.

As Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was a central figure in the creation of a state run healthcare program that made the purchase of health insurance by state residents mandatory. The concept was based on the principle that if everyone was covered, healthcare costs would be less expensive. The problem is that such a law of supply and demand doesn’t reconcile when a government bureaucracy is over seeing it.

It would be easy to suggest that Romney did the best he could with a liberal state and an overwhelmingly liberal dominated state legislature and that is true to an extent. However Mitt’s fingerprints are allover this one and to make matters worse he was the first governor to implement a plan of this type anywhere. The episode does make the case for the federal government to avoid the creation of a socialized healthcare program. It also makes a case for allowing experimentation within each individual state until an efficient model is found and emulated by all the states. But when it comes to Massachusetts, this episode proves that socialized medicine is not the way to go and for Romney the problem now is that it was his plan which demonstrated why it is not the way to go.

There are other factors involved though.

The state legislature and Romney’s successor, Governor Deval Patrick did tinker with the original program. They tinkered with it a lot and many of the healthcare reforms made in the original plan have changed from what Romney had influenced. Nevertheless the issue is Romney’s to defend against and explain. It exposes his Achilles heal in any 2012.

Romney’s best defense against possible Republican opponents who were or are governors would probably be “I tried and it failed and I learn from mistakes, whereas my fellow governors up here never even tried to make healthcare more accessible and affordable.”

This assessments of Republican leadership prospects leaves us with the following conclusion.

As it looks now, the most likely and promising of likely individuals to choose from will be a field that consists of Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour and John Thune.

Others will run and some from the above mentioned group may not. But if the six that I bring up were to be the field of candidates for the Republican nomination, it would indeed be a hotly contested race that will also undoubtedly inject a great many substantial policy models and directions that will help to fuel the conservative movement.

But that isn’t till 2012.

What will become of 2010?

Short of any of the possibly convincing figures discussed being ballsy enough to attempt to become our national voice right now, as it currently stands, there is no one person who can do it while also having the ability to enjoin all of the party leadership including the senate and house in a national strategy.

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich

Someone needs to be able to bring all levels of leadership together and get them all on the same page to push one strategy.

It must be a strategy similar to Newt Gingrich’s “Contract With America”.

Critics can malign the “Contract With America” all they want but it worked.

After forty years in the wilderness, Newt Gingrich, along with the help of a faltering Clinton administration, brought Republicans in to the majority in the house. And the new generation that came into power with that “Contract” actually adhered to it, at least for as long as Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House.

As for who can be both the voice of the party and the unifying force for a national Republican strategy, politics being

Mitch Daniels

Mitch Daniels

 what it is will prohibit everyone from getting behind any potential Republican candidate for President. Each camp and their supporters will not permit any one of them to get the attention and credit for bringing us back.

So this role must be played by a neutral party. It must be someone who is not going to run for President in 2012 and who will not put the momentum of the popularity that will come with this role behind any potential nominee until they have won the nomination.

This person must also have the persona we need to effectively be a persuasive point man. They must be respected with a proven record and untarnished by any of the negative stereotypes that the left can easily pin on Republicans.

All of this points to one man. One man who, if he really means what he says, fits all of the qualities that are required for becoming the coalescing figure that wont be a threat to any single Republican’s presidential ambitions or be a threat to any senate or house leaders power over their Republican conference.

That person is Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

If he truly has no desire to run for President, he is the person that can help Republicans deliver a national message which counters the overspending, over controlling liberal government enemy.

With him as the face of the party that delivers a Reagan-like message dealing with the Republican alternatives to the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda, the party can rebuild and have a shot at winning more seats instead of losing more seats in 2010.

The stars would be aligned perfectly if Republican National Chairman Mike Steele could get representatives of the Republican Governors Association and of the house and senate together and onboard, hammer out what could be generally be called “The American Agenda” and let Mitch Daniels be the national point man for it.

This would allow for the type of cohesive leadership plan that, with accurate precision, can get Republicans back on message and working together while the message is being delivered loud and clear through what would be a voice from the heartland. A governor’s voice. One with crossover appeal who has been an effective leader with a proven record, cut state budgets, reduced the size and scope of government, practiced a true commitment to both family and conservative values and whom, if he seriously will not run for President himself, is no threat to any other potential candidate. Daniels is the best man for the job and one of the only people who could do that job as well and as convincingly as him.

With whom that messenger should be established, in Part II, we will deal with exactly what that message must be and the Republican organizational plan to deliver and implement it.

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A REAL ECONOMIC RECOVERY PACKAGE DOESN’T ROB US BLIND

anteconomicstim

Bookmark and Share     As the senate discusses how to construct a package that will get enough support from congress to become law, the Republican National Committee’s newly elected Chairman, Mike Steele, took to the airwaves to discuss options.

Taking Republicans back to their economic roots, Steele reminds us that the fastest way to stimulate the economy is to empower the people and take less money away from the people in the first place.

Although Republicans should not object to a package geared at stimulating the economy, they are right to object to a bill that is designed to spend money simply for the sake of spending and that is exactly what the bill in question has become, a free for all, spending bill.  Republicans are right to deny support for a bill that is directed at filling the pockets of special interests while emptying the pockets of taxpayers.

One example of the questionable spending in this so-called stimulus package,  raised by Chairman Steele, is an amount of $45 million dollars for the creation of trails for all terrain vehicles.

It is just one of many spending inclusions that help to bring this bill, intended for economic recovery, to its staggering final total.

Although wasteful spending is not what ushered in the credit crunch that led to the financial crisis we are in, it does not help matters.  Wasteful spending only exacerbates matters.  It leads to more taxes which in turn leads to less spending and less spending does not help to stimulate the economy.  Less spending and less economic growth does not increase employment and none of it boosts our economy.

PhotobucketAll of this indicates that an economic stimulus package packed with wasteful spending is not an answer to our problems.  Such a package can only make matters worse and prolong the economic downturn we are experiencing.

That is not to say that the government cannot help.  It can.  Our government needs to create a package that is aimed at one goal and one goal only. Stimulate the economy.

Currently, under the guise of recovery, legislators are throwing in spending suggestions that are designed more at gaining favor from special interest groups in their home districts than at assisting the American people at large. 

Instead of helping to secure our national economic future, many of them are trying to secure a substantial financial donation from special interest groups for their reelection.

That is why much of the spending in this bill does little if anything to “stimulate” the economy at anytime within the immediate future.

A more rational approach to a stimulus package could result in a far less expensive spending bill.  A more rational anteconomic-stim1approach to the stimulus package would contain more and larger, immediate, short term tax cuts that allow people to keep and spend more of their own money, while the government enters into some cost saving measures of its own.

In fact the first line of a stimulus package that intends to to spend money should start off with a repeal of the 2.8 percent, automatic pay raise that congress has accepted.

Without a repeal of that measure, the House of Representatives and the Senate can not be taken seriously.

Without their willingness to accept the fact that we are living through tough economic times and that they too must share in a collective national sacrifice, they can not be counted on or trusted to take up solutions to our problems seriously.

Many of the spending measures in the current package have no right to be considered in an omnibus bill like this one.  Many of the proposed spending measures in this bill should stand alone and be voted on separately and in their own right.

What should be included in an omnibus stimulus package are those measures which will

  1. reduce the cost to operate government
  2. free up credit in the free market place
  3. enhance public infrastructure, transportation and energy needs.

The purpose of the third aspect to any serious stimulus package directly helps the economy in both the short and the long term and spending in each of the three categories mentioned, infrastructure, transportation and energy, will directly relate to increased employment in the United States.

Barring cost saving measures, freeing up credit and limiting spending to public energy, transportation and infrastructure initiatives, the economic stimulus package need not include extras for hobbyists, lobbyists and other special interests.

PhotobucketUnder the liberal leadership of the liberal controlled federal government, we are witnessing the construction of a bill that takes advantage of economic trouble rather than eases the economic crisis.

Since 2004 Republicans have slowly but surely lost their roots of fiscal responsibility. 

Since 2006 voters have been cleaning house and ridding us of those Republicans who have gone astray and now in, 2009, remaining Republican lawmakers are faced with a defining moment.

Will they rollover and participate in a reckless, historic bill that takes advantage of our problems or will they stand firm and put forth an alternative solution that harkens back to our original principles and beliefs that demonstrate that  government is not the solution but rather the problem? 

Either way, the first step starts with a bill that repeals the pay raise that they have so willingly accepted.

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Click below to hear Mike Steele’s weekly radio address:

Mike Steele’s response To the Stimulus Package

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WANTED: ONE ARMED ECONOMIST

“Give me a one-armed economist!” demanded President Harry S. Truman.

 President Truman was the first president to appoint a council of economic advisers. Unlike some later presidents, he actually liked to listen to his policy advisers.

However, he preferred a clear recommendation, not a long discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of a particular course of action.

He quickly grew tired of economist who gave a good recommendation, and then began, “On the other hand. . .”

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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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THE ALARM BELLS ARE RINGING YET IMMIGRATION REFORM IS STILL ON THE BACK BURNER

Digg!Last year, In Iraq,  5,908 civilians and Iraqi soldiers and police were killed between January 1, 2008 and December 29, 2008.

Members of the police carry a coffin of one of their own. Seven police employees were killed in the same incident that took this fallen officers life

Members of the police carry a coffin of one of their own. Seven police employees were killed in the same incident that took this fallen officers life

In Mexico, 5,376 Mexican federal agents, police and civilians who were killed  by drug traders during the same time period.

So it can be safely said that nearly as many Mexicans died as a result of drug terrorists as did Iraqi’s from the terrorism in their war torn nation.

All of us are aware of the threats posed by terrorism. 9/11 brought that fact home and since the events of September 11, 2001, America has been on guard and on the offense in that War On Terror. Since that dreadful day and our somewhat official declaration of War on Terror, not a single attack has again taken place on American soil.

That is quite a contrast from the record that we accumulated in the decades since we declared the War On Drugs.

The term “war on drugs’ was first used by President Richard Nixon in 1971. At the time it was a play on the well known “War On Poverty” penned by the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson in the mid 60’s. The technical aspects of the War On Drugs have varied over time but it’s basic strategy has remained the same……. employ the cooperation of other nations to eliminate the illegal drug trade and eliminate the selling and use of illegal drugs through an aggressive zero tolerance, law enforcement agenda and a persistent and wide spread anti-drug education program and campaign.

To some degree, it has helped but the amount of time and money spent on the effort has produced results that are less than stellar. The rate of success in the War On Drugs certainly would not be considered acceptable in the War On Terror and yet as far apart as the results of the two are from each other, they are about to become one in the same.

Iraq is 6,005 miles away from the shores of the Unites States off of New York. That is a long distance yet we know that distance, although it may not make things easier, it still does not prevent terrorist attacks from taking place here. Mexico isn’t even inches away though. So terrorism through Mexico is even easier. They are connected to us, and not just physically. They are connected to us by direct and immediate contact through trade health, agriculture and citizens, legal and illegal. But perhaps the greatest connection between the United States and Mexico is drugs.

It is a deadly connection. One that dulls the minds of millions, endangers the lives of hundreds of thousands and kills tens of thousands each year.

A soldier stands guard in front of the Camino Real Hotel in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

A soldier stands guard in front of the Camino Real Hotel in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Drugs are probably the most prolific and profitable commodity exchanged across the U.S.-Mexican border, yet, despite the negative effects, it’s illegality and the “war” on them, drugs flow form South to North with the ease of the Shenandoah River in the Virginias.

The incredibly violent rate of drug deaths in Mexico during 2008 is a loud warning bell. It rings with more dire warning than the bellowing horns of the Titanic as it went down after the iceberg tore a lethal hole into it’s hull.

The incredible number of deaths occurred as a result of the increased boldness of drug cartels and gangs. They have taken a stand and made it clear that they are defiant and will not allow any government to infringe on their livelihoods.

In 2008, an increasing amount of drug lords have made incursions in the United States. One of the most recent well publicized events brought about an Amber Alert after the grandson of a man with shady loan debts to drug dealers kidnapped his grandson. The boy turned up in Las Vegas, but the drug dealer’s message was clear.

However, I must ask, what will it take for the drug issue to be truly taken seriously in the United States? Would  it have made a difference if that little California boy was found with his throat slashed? How many more incidents will it take before we realize that terrorism is about to get a partner. A partner that, like Palestinians in Gaza firing missiles into Israel, will be lobbing more violence into America.

America must wake up.

While there are those so far on the left and so far to the right that they meet together in the ideological circle and both try to legalize illegal drug use, an explosion of death and violence that we have not seen before is about to unleash itself.

I am well aware that drug violence is nothing new, but the extent to which it is escalating is new and yet we sit idly by as though things are not different. We almost accept it as commonplace.

Do you know how ingrained the dug culture has become in our southern neighbor?

Ever hear narcocorrido?

antnarcoscorridosNarcocorrido is a form of music based on a type of Mexican folk music called corrido. It sounds like a Latin polka and goes way back in time. It was used to celebrate revolutionary figures and heroes like Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa. The new version is called narcocorrido and it sings the praises of drug traffickers and drug related bandits. One older narcocorrido sings about Camelia the Texan, and her boyfriend who go to Los Angeles with a load of marijuana in their car’s tires. They sell it and Camelia’s boyfriend dumps her, saying, “Here’s your half, now I’m going up to San Francisco to my true love.” The song goes on to sing about how Camelia pulls out a gun and pumps him full of lead.

It concludes with the line……… “All the police found was the fired pistol; of the money and Camelia, nothing more was ever known.”

Sweet tune, isn’t it?

Not that the little ditty is astonishing. Here in America, with the likes of P. Diddy, 50 Cent, Snoop Dog, and others, the lyrics of that narcocorrido could be considered tame by American standards. Then again, standards are the problem. Just as narcocorrido is easing into mainstream Mexico, acceptance of drugs and drug violence has been easing into American culture.

That is not to say that we think violence or drug violence is good, but our tolerance of it has increased as our Photobucketintolerance of drugs has leveled off.

For example, I can recall a recall a comments board for a local newspaper in New Jersey called the Asbury Park Press. In it was a story about underage teens arrested for drinking and serving alcohol at a party that they held in their home while their parents were away. More than 60 percent of the comments were of the “let them be” impression. Some said “kids will be kids” and others said “the police should be doing more important things than enforcing underage drinking laws”.

I am not suggesting to bring back prohibition of alcohol but I am merely pointing out the permissiveness that is increasing in society. People are actually suggesting that kids should be let off the hook for breaking laws.

My point is,  just as it took 9/11 to finally deal with terrorism effectively, what will it take for us to deal with drugs and the drug trade effectively?

I for one feel that some of the intentions of the “War On Drugs” must be dealt with by using the same sense of conviction that 9/11 created, especially when it comes to the drug wars goal of employing the cooperation of other nations to eliminate the illegal drug trade.

But more than that, I believe it would be encouraging if we at least secured our border with Mexico. In fact I believe that is, first and foremost our nations top priority.

YES!, our most important priority. More so than even the economy.Secure Border Avavatar

Without a secure border there will be no economy to handle.

At a later date, I will detail a proposal of my own that I have previously released. It is called Open Arms-Secure Borders. It is a comprehensive immigration reform proposal that welcomes legal immigration but defends the sovereignty of our nation and respects and secures our borders.

For now though, Americans must at least acknowledge the fact that the iceberg is in sight and that the U.S.S. Freedom & Prosperity better start steering in another direction or like the Titanic, we will tear apart our hull of security.

Digg!

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punchline-politics21 

antlettucePOLITICAL IRONYanttitaniccomic

 During what can, at the very least, only be considered tough economic times, Congress is looked at for acting responsibly and demonstrating some fiscal responsibility.

Yet despite these facts, Congress goes ahead and accepts an automatic pay raise. 

Doing so is reminiscent of the captain of the Titanic demanding that iceberg lettuce be served with dinner the night the great vessel went down.

Digg!

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Be Sure To Sign The Petition To

REPEAL THE CONGRESSIONAL PAY HIKE

Sign the Online Petition – Repeal The Automatic Pay Raise That Congress Is Receiving

Pass The Link On To Family, Friends and Co-workers

http://www.gopetition.com/online/24301.html

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OFFER LEGISLATURE MERIT PAY LINKED TO THE ECONOMIES THAT THEY MANIPULATE

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ASSEMBLYMAN RICHARD MERKT
ASSEMBLYMAN RICHARD MERKT

Assemblyman Richard Merkt recently proposed to slash the salaries of New Jersey lawmakers by 10%.However, the Assemblyman is a candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination and the proposal could be viewed as an election gimmick. Then again, everything that any lawmaker does can be seen as a election gimmick.

In light of the recent pay raise of federal legislators, Merkt’s proposal is a noble one and worth looking at.

So his point is well taken. Times are tough and our representatives should be willing to make sacrifices and at least pretend to be empathetic to the people whose lives they affect.

Besides, lawmakers are partially responsible for any state’s economy including the one we are currently in here in Jersey so they should be more directly effected. I say they are partly responsibly because not everything is their fault. Nature, world events and human stupidity outside of Trenton politics, all play a part. But our lawmakers are elected to both steer us and our state economy in the right direction and to help our state better cope with the situations that we are dealt.

That being the case, it can easily be said that the current state legislature has not done a good job.

New Jersey has led the way in economic trouble over the past few years and under the direction of Governor Jon Corzine, the state legislature has been ill equipped at handling the situation. In fact, together the Democrat controlled state legislature and Democrat Governor have made matters worse.

Together they raised taxes, increased fees made it harder to do business in New Jersey and expanded opportunities for government corruption.

It could be said that Republicans bare no responsibility for this situation since they do not control any branch of state government. I can agree with that but it still doesn’t get Republicans off the hook.

Both parties have failed the people of New Jersey to one degree or another.

Democrats have failed to do anything right and Republicans have failed at convincing anyone that they could do better.

Given these circumstances, I have a more interesting proposal than Assemblyman Merkt’s.

How about we link state legislative and executive salaries to the economy and taxes of the state that they run.

Currently New Jersey State Assembly members and Senators make $49,000 a year.

I say let us reduce those salaries to a base of $41.000 a year and then use the following standard.

  1. For every percent or portion of a percentage that any given legislature raises income and property taxes, their salaries are decreased by 2%. For every percentage or degree of a percentage that they decrease income and property taxes their salaries can be raise by half of one percent.
  2. For every percent or portion of a percentage that they raise a sales or service tax, their salaries also decrease by that same percentage. Conversely, their salaries can be raised by half a percent for every full percent of a decrease in such taxes.
  3. For any new tax created, their salaries are reduced by 2% plus the equivalent percentage of that new tax.
  4. Every toll increase passed during any legislative session is matched by a reduction in legislative salaries that equal to the percentage of that increase.
  5. And finally, state legislative salaries are further reduced by the same number of percentage points that the state’s unemployment rate is whenever it exceeds 4%.

To make it fair. Newly elected legislators would not be held accountable for the taxes and economic situation that any previous legislative session, which they did not have a hand in, was responsible for, and so they would start with the base pay of 41K.

Of course, such measures would not prevent rich people like Governor Jon Corzine from raising fees and taxes, misappropriating funds and offering sweet heart deals to sweethearts like Carla Katz. After all, Corzine took a $400 million golden parachute from Wall Street and doesn’t even accept his salary for Governor but this system could help to make less well off lawmakers work a little harder to address our problems and to fight the wealthy Governor. Having their own pockets linked to what they pick out of ours could just help to make them finally work together for the benefit of themselves as well as us. Maybe such a pay scale system will help to really create a sense of bipartisanship?

Perhaps if the lawmakers of New Jersey had their financial well being directly linked to the state’s financial well being and our own financial opportunities, maybe tax increases and increased fees for everything from driving to landscaping and joining a gym will be viewed as a last resort. Like it should be.

Perhaps by immediately linking their decisions directly to their own incomes, they may better empathize with the financial impact that they bring to bare on those they are representing .

You could say that it is not fair to those who vote against penalizing taxes or policies that drive businesses away and raise the unemployment in the state. That might be so, but, those who simply voted against something are still culpable. They have more than a responsibility to vote against such measures. They have the responsibility of leadership and the responsibility of making their case and doing it so well that a preponderance of people in the state as well as the legislature are persuaded by their arguments. They must convince people why others are wrong and they are right. Failing to do so is a failure that they share in common with those who support regressive economic policies.

So Assemblyman Merkt’s proposed 10 % reduction in salary is nice.

It is certainly going in a direction far better than the 2.8% pay increase that Congress is willing to take, at of all times, now. But the gesture Merkt is making could be made more meaningful and be more enduring. By linking legislative salaries to their actions we are adding a new incentive to politics and a new level of innovation……..political merit pay. If you do a good job and keep a good economy going you get paid better.

Is this crazy?

Maybe it is. Maybe it is as far fetched as a State Senator taking money from a no show job given to him by a school funded with state money that the same State Senator helped procure with tax payer dollars that he helped get through the state legislature. Maybe this political merit pay scale sounds just as crazy as that same corrupt State Senator getting his state funded pension after ripping the state off and being convicted.

But just like former *Senator Wayne Bryant, it may sound crazy but it could be true if like Wayne Bryant, we just did it.

Digg!__________________________________________

*Wayne Bryant pressured officials of University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey  to create a no-show job  that  allowed him to lobby himsef’ for taxpayer funds. Bryant also chaired the Senate Appropriations comittee which Funneled large sums of taxpayers dollare to UMDNJ.

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Be Sure To Sign The Petition To

REPEAL THE CONGRESSIONAL PAY HIKE

Sign the Online Petition – Repeal The Automatic Pay Raise That Congress Is Receiving

Pass The Link On To Family, Friends and Co-workers

http://www.gopetition.com/online/24301.html

RedWhiteBlue.gif picture by kempite

 AND DON’T FORGET………….

BE SURE TO SIGN THE PETITION URGING THE NOMINATION

OF SENATOR BECK FOR LT. GOV.

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punchline-politics21

I was talking to a friend of mine’s little girl the other day.

I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up and she replied, 

I want to be President!” 

Both of her parents are liberal Democrats and were standing there. So then I asked her, “If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?”

She replied, “I’d give houses to all the homeless people.” 

“Wow – what a worthy goal.” I told her, “You don’t have to wait until you’re President to do that. You can come over to my house and mow, pull weeds, and sweep my yard, and I’ll pay you $50. Then I’ll take you over to the grocery store where this homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward a new house.” 

Since she is only 6, she thought that over for a few seconds. While her Mom glared at me, she looked me straight in the eye and asked,

“Why doesn’t the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?” 

And I said, “Welcome to the Republican Party.” 

Her folks still aren’t talking to me.

 Submitted by Dick, Williamsport, Md

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