November 06, 2008
Future of the WA St GOP
This blogger is giving this election some time to settle in (and more votes to be counted) before exploring this topic, but I should note I conceptually agree with the take that Alex Hays gave to the Olympian.
Posted by Eric Earling at November 06, 2008
06:35 PM | Email This
1. Americans will finally realize that "hope" is not a strategy and that Jimmy Carter's ideas did not work the first time or the second time either. I just hope we don't lose too many innocent American lives learning that lesson.
I find it easy to agree with all 5 points Alex Hays made during his interview with the Olympian:
1.. McKenna's ~60 percent in the face of the Obama tidal wave is amazing.
2.. Luke Esser has done and is doing a very good job as State party chair; i.e.: Outcome wasn't his fault.
3.. Final results still pending, but (R)s pretty clearly did better in the overall WA Leg contest than many if not most people expected.
4.. The $3.2 billion (and GROWING, you can bet) State budget deficit will be the 800-pound gorilla looming over just about EVERY piece of proposed legislation in the coming session that has any kind of price tag attached, a.k.a. fiscal note.
5.. I especially agree with point #5 by Alex:
Cold, hard reality and the far-left ''we won, and now we can do (and get) EVERYTHING we ever wanted right away'' Obama dream are currently in non-joinable orbits. Even if Obama WANTED to give them everything they ever wanted in the 1st 100 days of his Administration, there is no way he can do it; not even close (the fact that people are talking about a one TRILLION dollar and up deficit next year BY ITSELF makes ''everything'' impossible). Since reality eventually cannot be totally ignored, a whole bunch of people are going to have to come back down to earth (especially if as now looks likely (D)s do NOT get 60 votes in the US Senate). My guess is that for a lot of them it will be a hard landing; only question outstanding is the lag-time until impact.
3. I will wait until we see what happens this december when the new batch of PCOs elect or re-elect the party leadership. If we end up with the same leadership we can expect more of the same.
The performance of the Repubs was not so surprising since the Democrats had minimally performed since taking control of Congress in 2006. Problem was the economy tanking in an untimely way and the Bush/Cheney albatross that was hung around many Repub candidates. If the election were held in September before the economy went in the toilet, the Repubs would have fared at least somewhat better.
All of this points up the need for new and more effective leadership for the Republicans if they are to become a viable force in future elections, or they may go the way of the Whigs.
Actually, they should change their name/image to the Conservative Party, as exists in Canada and the UK.
WRT Lysander's comment @ #3 above:
Trying to blame Luke Esser, Fredi Simpson, and Jeff Kent for Dino's loss is ridiculous:
Latest tally has Obama-Biden winning WA by just over 17 percent, while Dino currently trails Gregoire by about 7-1/2 percent. So Dino OUTPERFORMED the national ticket in WA by about 10 percent (I am reminded of A.G. McKenna's prediction before the election that if McCain-Palin could stay within 10 points in WA Dino would win).
And given the (D) wave for Obama, I don't think there is justification for a lot of crying over other state-wide races either:
It was never in the cards for Brad Owen and Brian Sonntag to be seriouly threatened this year (Sonntag has done a good job as State Auditor, IMO).
Whatever complaints can be lodged against Sam Reed, he is getting over 58 percent right now.
The races for State Treasurer and Com. of Public Lands are both close.
I say the above ain't bad, considering the tidal wave.
I agree with #3: I was elected PCO in August, after I won, I spent 3 weeks trying to track down someone as to what needs to be done next, when the meetings take place, what kind of training was involved and what our strategy would be for 2008 elections. I had never been very involved but wanted to help Dino any way I could. After leaving 3, unreturned voice mails for my leg dist leader, I gave up, called the Rossi campaign and got involved through them. I canvassed on my own, made phone calls through phone banks (that I found through the Rossi campaign) and set up a web site for my precinct. I have yet to meet my district leader (I know there is one because he listed all over the website and the Republican party directs me to him after I called headquarters)
Compare this to the Democrats who were very organized, canvassed every weekend, had a highly engaged leadership team and a class A web site.
If Republicans want win, a new engaged leadership is needed at the grass roots level.
7. Alex Hayes's candidate, Terry Bergeson, lost. In a non-partisan race. For what it's worth.
I can't even begin to think of blaming state and local Republican Leaders for the Obama Tidal Wave that hit WA state. We live in the Liberal Disneyland of the United States. How can we expect not to get whopped? Seriously?
I made phone calls like many people did in the election at the Victory Office. Everyone was working hard. Including the leaders.
jk-My district leader is always in the mix working hard with the volunteers. Maybe you should call the headquarters again to see if they can help you.
#8 - I do agree that the Obama wave was just too much this year. I also think that because of Rossi, a lot of republicans got engaged and helped that normally would not have. However, I was struck by how well organized the democrats were as compared to the republicans. Just look at the WA state democratic website compared to the republican website - there no comparison.
The Rossi campaign did all of the organizing, at least in my area, and without that organization, I think the republicans will have a hard time getting legislators elected next time around. I live in a suburban area that is controlled by 3 republican legislators and one is in a very close race. I think he would be gone had the Rossi campaign not set up a ground game and pushed as many republicans as possible to vote.
I know it is hard to find quality people to serve in these positions but the republicans should, at least, keep up technologically with the democrats and try to make their outreach.
The Republicans lost this race in 1998 and continued to lose because they want a "big tent" and of course sport stadiums and other goodies.
The Republican party has some serious problems. Selecting a Bob Dole retread to compete against a young glib speaker was and is a big mistake. I supported the national ticket only because of Palin. Didn't care much for McCain.
Party leadership should resign. They failed. Bring back Newt.
Attended a Republican picnic this summer in Everett. The turnout was maybe 50 folks, not counting the candidates and their families.
South Snohomish precinct caucuses had similar turnouts, usually a handful or so of people. Many were disappointed when McCain was selected. And please don't tell me that the caucuses voted for McCain. Think hard and explain how the person that penned a number of laws that only a Democrat may love carried the Party's flag.
Locally, many folk are disgusted with lost Republicans. Too many rinos. Notably a few Republicans prove that Conservatives practicing sound governance will win support from the people. SOS surprises me. He should be fired.
And one more thing to rant about are the debate farces. Why do Republicans participate in debates where the moderators are liberals. Not one conservative question was asked. Liberals protecting liberals. Imagine Obama being questioned by a conservative moderator. "Obama, this next question is for you, please explain your position on gun controls and what steps you well take to enforce your policy."
Would love to see a debate with Rush moderating the show and asking the questions. The Dems control the debates.
12. IMO the GOP (from National on down) is in tattered ruins. What is needed is a complete and comprehensive re-thinking and re-structuring of the Party. I think a formulation plan around Mitt Romney would be in order, if it is done the right way. I also agree with those who think that McKenna is a potential super star. :)
I'm sure among you and your fellow jobless rifraf, doormat, he's der Fuhrer. Now, when he implements his Brown Shirt plan, you might actually get a job!
Future of the WA St GOP by Eric Earling
Asking Alex Hayes, Executive Director of the Mainstream Republicans of Washington and previously both the Political Director and Communications Director for the Washington State Republican Party, what he thinks of the leadership of the Washington State Republican Party is like asking a prostitute if she is satisfied by her 'johns'.
15. To an extent I agree with #15...too myopic, must step back and get a better overall 'grasp' of what America needs/wants...otherwise deja vu. :)
16. We keep doing the same things over and over again, but expect different results. Let's get new leadership at the state level, work the grassroots (non-partisian races, county level races, and leg races)and let the national elections take care of themselves. We keep shooting for the top while standing on a broken ladder.
Conservatism is not dead. Every place the sickness of homosexual "marriage" was on the ballot, it was defeated.
Although I have great respect for John McCain, and did, of course, cast my vote for him, he could not overcome the national disdain for the poor leadership of Bush.
We shall return.
Rossi, the GOP, the BIAW, the EFF, and other groups and individuals (including Stefan) have only themselves to blame for Gregoire winning the election.
They all had the proof of Gregoire's cooruption and criminal conduct, but refused to use it because it would have also implicated some of their friends, including McKenna; justices on the WA SC, and other officials.
Chris Vance, and Tebelius had the information, as did the current GOP chairman.
Anyone who thinks McKenna wanted Rossi to win is naive. McKenna and Gregoire are joined at the hip. Only McKenna and Gregoire would claim in a court filing that the separation of powers doctrine bars the prosecution of judges who commit crimes. I have it in writing.
19. So, why isn't this 'revelation' screaming loudly at us from across the front pages of the PI and Times - through an exhaustive investigative piece??? :)
20. Alex is probably right as to each point, but I'm not sure those points get the Rs to anything other than a few elective offices. My question to WA conservatives is will they really support Rob McKenna. He is much more in the line of a Dan Evans Republican. As for Dave Reichert, is there a more irrelevant politician in WA than Mr. Haircut?
If you're dissatisfied with the grassroots leadership of your local Republican party:
You should take personal responsibility and become a grassroots leader. In 2002 I was disappointed with the lack of a GOTV program in the Thurston County GOP, so I ran for county party office and was part of a great team that put together a very strong local party effort for 2004.
So few people want to be grassroots leaders/workers that merely volunteering to work is enough for you to get a leadership role. If you see a problem, choose to be part of the solution -- that is the most important thing all of us can do to make the party better.
In response to Brian Thomas:
Setting aside your grotesque and insulting analogy let's look at the truth.
I'm critical of the party when it deserves it.
In 2006 I noted that Diane Tebelius' state party did a very poor job, my praise for Esser is based on the actual good work the state party did this year. I'll note that in 2006 Washington State suffered more loses than other states and those losses went lower on the ballot than most other states. As I noted (maybe even on this blog?) at the time that was because of poor resource allocation by the state party and the nature of Washington State's swing voters.
Further HROC made several big mistakes in 2006 and I said so at the time. In 2008 they did a good job, they had better candidate recruitment, they spent their resources more wisely and as a result they deserve praise.
The Senate did their best in 2006 and did better in 2008. Frankly they deserve credit for both years.
In 2008 we held our own in this state -- suffered some loses but GAINED house and Senate seats.
Brian, your part of the audience to whom I say, "Take your six months and then shut the hell up and get back in the fight".
Another dose of honesty: how would you know what the state party did or didn't do? You have no knowledge of anyone's work.
One final note: for whatever reason volunteers in Washington State react to candidates, not to the party. The D's have a different mentality than we do, they are organization people, we're candidate people.
This is why the Rossi campaign, and not local county parties, led local grassroots efforts. In the past in was Bush, Gorton etc.
If you want to the county parties to take this over I refer you to my opening comments. I will caution that this may just be hard wired into how most Republican volunteers think though...
22. Alex, whenever I sent out a feeler to the Rs, it came back shriveled and disgusted. The party apparati are the issue.
Which county are you from?
E-mail me and I'll do what I can to help solve that problem.
A little perspective is in order. In 1980, I worked for the Republican State Party, after the Reagan landslide, we all thought we were invincible. We won every race; took the Governor's office, US Senate, the State House and were only one vote from claiming the State Senate (which we got when PVR flipped). In short, we did not think we could lose, and many of us seriously thought it was because of us, not the national landslide.
Just as we had very little to do with the general outcome in 1980, the State Party today has very little to do with this year's outcome. So before we get into our usual circular firing squad, let us analyze who won what we did right (and wrong) and move on and up.
Alex had some salient points that all of us should take to heart. What we do not need are more idiots like Brian Thomas at 15 above, or conspiracy theorists like Don at 19 (buddy your aluminum foil is way too tight) ranting about the wrong kind of Republicans, or "Rinos" as has become the vogue. In fact, if I hear the term Rino one more time, I am going to puke.
What we need in this state is more Republicans period. Black, white, gay, straight, anti-choice, pro-choice, I do not give a damn. Believe in 19 out of 20 issues and you and I can be in the same tent. Just quit shooting each other. Thank you I feel better now.
#22 Posted by Alex Hays
"Another dose of honesty: how would you know what the state party did or didn't do? You have no knowledge of anyone's work."
That is an easy one. Does anyone, except for Ron Paul supporters who were attacked by the Party Leadership, know what the leadership of the Washington State Republican Party did?
We see what the 'leadership' didn't do. And the results.
And as for " Setting aside your grotesque and insulting analogy let's look at the truth.", it may be ".... grotesque and insulting ...." but for you, accurate.
Methow Ken @5:
I am not sure about Esser himself but the people under him (county and LD chairs) went out of there way to push out Ron Paul supporters. Whether you liek RP or not, his supporters were energetic and large in number. Good leadership would have seen this as something to be fostered not repelled. Unfortunately I feel that Esser is to blame for some of this even though I think he personally liked RP. He was in charge and should have been directing the LD and county chairs to be inclusive. He did not and he and all the bad LD and county chairs need to be replaced.
Unless the Republicans (who should change their name to Conservative party) connect to the culture somehow, their message will continue not to resonate that well and go in one ear and out the other. That means they need to reach out to and resonate to the 18-29 age range, Hispanics and yes Black America. I also agree with #25's sentiments.
It is unhealthy for a state or a country to be controlled by one party and right now, this is where the body politic is going, unless those who run and govern with an R in front of their name stand up and fight - in the words of John McCain.
Dick Morris sums up a plan of action well - he states that the Republican party has to create an equivalent to moveon.org and be an online force for raising money and getting out the message. Aside from that, they need to move away from their image of being the "stupid party" the minute Bush leaves office and not a moment too soon.
Duke at 25:
agreed... we need more republicans... The problem is the party leadership was actively pushing new young energetic republicans away this past year. That is why I am calling for all the GOP state leadership (LD and up) to be voted out of their positions this December unless they can show they were activley welcoming Paul supporters this past year. I can care less if they supported Paul, but they damn well better have welcomed his supporters!
KS @ 28:
The GOP does have an equivalent to Moveon.org. It is not quite as big yet but is getting there...
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If the Republican Party wants to win nationally, as well as at the state level it needs to fully embrace the "Ron Paul" brand of conservatism. Respect for the Constitution, limited government, sound fiscal policy (i.e. no bailouts! real fiscal conservatism)), personal responsibility, pro civil liberties/personal freedom, non-interventionist foreign policy, secure/defend the borders, low taxes, free market capitalism, pro-life.
An appealing candidate of this type, along with an energized base/grassroots/netroots, could potentially really energize and expand the party beyond the traditional base. Could gain support from anti-war and pro-civil liberties Dems, fiscal conservative Dems, Libertarians, Independents, while solidifying the party base.
At the Presidential level The party could not only further their hold on traditional red states, but potentially turn some blue states red (need to do this!)...like WA, OR, MN, WI, ME, VT, NH. And take back the mountain west...CO, NM, NV.
At the state level here in Washington, could potentially get enough Dem. votes in King Co. to take both U.S. Senate seats and the Governor's mansion.
Palin should not run for President/VP again. This would be a big mistake. She does not have the appeal to expand the map. She's unfortunately kinda stuck with the McCain/Bush albatross around her neck.
#25 Posted by The Duke
" What we need in this state is more Republicans period. Black, white, gay, straight, anti-choice, pro-choice, I do not give a damn. Believe in 19 out of 20 issues and you and I can be in the same tent. Just quit shooting each other. Thank you I feel better now. "
In other words, more 'Party' Republicans without principles, like the Republican National Committee. Like the Washington State Republican Party. Like the King County Republican Party.
Like Alex Hays. And Luke Esser. And Rob McKenna And ....
33. What I am looking for is a Newt who will have a "contract" to accomplish specific goals. Right now the Republican party is aimless. They are in their ivory towers in DC and they need to get back to the heart of America. I think we lost it when they picked McCain instead of a true Republican. Sarah was a boost to the party, but why the big tear down from the inside after the race was over? Come on people, start working towards 2012! Even the blue states like ours (sigh) are going to have to find our heart and soul Republicans to start rebuilding our Katrina from the ground up. BASICS: Remind everyone point by point of what we stand for and make it clear what the differences are between THEM and US!
The big tear is a result of McCain republicans trying to remain relevant and others desperately trying to put them in their place (the nationalist party)
The big tear is a result of McCain republicans trying to remain relevant and others desperately trying to put them in their place (the nationalist party remember ther motto 'nation first')
36. Why do I only see 19 comments when the main page indicates there are 36?
37. So, why isn't this 'revelation' screaming loudly at us from across the front pages of the PI and Times - through an exhaustive investigative piece???
Because this 'revelation' exists in only one person's 'mind'. That's why.
38. Posted by: Brian Thomas on November 8, 2008 05:23 AM
Says the guy who couldn't even beat Brian Derdowski for crying out loud ... and yet blamed it on everybody but himself.
Lsyander @ 27 -
Let's assume for a minute that Luke Esser wanted to do everything you say he should have regarding Ron Paul. The State Chairman is elected by the state committeemen/women, 2 per each county, who themselves are elected by local GOP PCO's. County and Leg District chairs are likewise selected by the relevant PCO's within those jurisdictions. Esser, as State Party Chair, cannot "direct" them to do that. He can only advise them. And if they say "get bent," which many would, there's nothing he could do about that.
I suggest you educate yourself a little further on how the Republican party actually functions before you offer advice on what should and should not have been done by elements of it.
40. #40. PCO's, PCO's and more PCO's....this is the key to our future Republican success....Have you ever looked at the election results for PCO's? Write ins are winning 2 votes to 1? or unopposed with 400 votes because no one cares to run? I hear so much about the "Grassroots" effort being crucial to our elections, but I haven't been seeing it happen. I see a lot of blogs, but are these same people walking through their neighborhoods getting out the vote? I have lived in my precinct for 5 years, and not once has my PCO stopped by, not one piece of literature has made it to my "door". Why? Am I not important enough, or does the party not care enough about the "Grassroots" level? I for one have had enough. So I had my wife and I write me in for PCO at the last minute.....and won, yea, you guessed it, 2 votes to 1. Now I will only be able to hold myself responsible if my precinct isnt informed, and voting......It's time we talk less and do more. We need to concentrate our efforts on local elections, and there is no better time than the present to get started.
Point well taken... The state chairman seems to be in a position of complete lack of power. Since he can do nothing, I now propose we not elect a new one at all. Why have them if they are not able to put any pressure on the people under them?
Did you see the election of PCOs this past year? There are about 400 or 500 more than similar years in the past. I think a certain wing of the GOP is much more motivated than it has in the past and expect to see alot of change this december.
#40 Posted by Eric Earling
" I suggest you educate yourself a little further on how the Republican party actually functions before you offer advice on what should and should not have been done by elements of it. "
" .... how the Republican party actually functions ....?"
What is being discussed is how the 'Leadership' of the Republican Party functions, not how the Republican Party functions. There is a difference Eric. Eric?
What is being discussed is how 'Leadership', like Luke Esser and what's-her-name before him, would go into closed door sessions and make decisions and set policy contrary to the efforts of members of the Republican Party and in violation of party rules and state law.
Luke Esser, Michael Young and Rob McKenna's attack on Ron Paul delegates at the County and State Conventions as an example.
That is not how members of the Republican Party function, it is how the current 'Leadership' of the Republican Party functions.
#39. Posted by jimg at November 8, 2008
" Says the guy who couldn't even beat Brian Derdowski for crying out loud ... and yet blamed it on everybody but himself. "
Different Brian Thomas.
Brian Thomas is a common name and I can understand how it would be confusing with two of us with the same name involved in Republican Party politics.
I would say I am the Conservative one but with Eric Earling, Jim Miller and Michael Medved identifying themselves as conservative, it would only confuse the issue.
Lets just say I am the Westside Brian Thomas and the other is the Eastside Brian Thomas.
So, by the sound of things here, it's time for new leadership in the party....or do I have that wrong?
I, for one, nod in the affirmative regarding the issue as I believe the party needs a new direction, to re-establish ourselves, and an OPEN dialogue with the members of the party (not closed door sessions). Agreed, or not?
Secondly, and I have seen this topic bouncing around all over as well, what is the "message" we as a party are sending? Seriously. Its Not R angainst D as much as it is a battle of ideals and ideas. We as a party must(together) decide what our message to "everyone" is going to be. This does NOT mean "party platform" read a few and you'll see that depending on the County, State, District etc., they are different. Republicans need to uniformly find the right "message" before we will start making progress. If that means new leadership in the party then so be it.
I agree that it is time for new leadership in the party. Unfortunately, in KC we can't replace the LD leaders without replacing the county chair first.
I hope all the PCOs will pause before giving Lori Sotelo and the current leadership a rubber stamp for another term.
We need an open dialogue and a true bottom-up approach. No longer should our candidates for office be pre-ordained by the party leadership and presented to the party membership for approval. No longer should energized wings of the party be excluded and ignored.
If you want to energize the grass roots, EMPOWER the grass roots. Currently the party leadership has a firm grasp on the direction of the party and its candidates. We, the members of the party, must sieze those reigns and chart our own direction.
I believe if we follow this path, we will return to the kind of principled, small government conservatism combined with a message of hope and optimism which will energize and excite the party membership and the electorate as a whole.
Or we could simply elect the same leaders and expect the same results.
I guess we'll decide in December.
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