Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday Hodgepodge

GO-P.U.M.As Meet

I know this is a bit harsher tone than in my previous posts on rebuilding our Republican Party, but I really feel we are closer to civil war than reconstruction.

Yesterday Doug Gross summoned GOP leaders from across the state to a meeting about the future of the Republican Party in Iowa. Now I’m all for Republican’s of all persuasions working on rebuilding our party, but I don’t think one select group of people coming up with a plan and shoving it down peoples throats is going to produce anything but another pissing match.

Word on the street is that the Gross meeting focused on who the next Chairperson of the Republican Party should be, and who should be the Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2010. This is where I take issue with these types of meetings. First, having a meeting about who should lead the effort at RPI is pointless unless you have some representatives from the SCC at your meeting. I’m pretty sure the SCC wasn’t represented and if it was, that person who was involved will not have the power to sway the committee that is 70% in lock step together.

Additionally it is pointless to suggest that somehow the party has to unite behind a gubernatorial candidate just 7 days after the 2008 elections. This is why we have primaries and I happen to be one who thinks they are a healthy exercise. In fact I think we would have been better off having that primary vote between Vander Plaats and Nussle in 2006, because they way it ended up nobody was happy. Plus we all know that regardless of who is in control of the state party, the party only focuses on the biggest campaign in the state. So if you win the gubernatorial primary, you gain control of the party.

What we need is a compromise where both factions of the Party give a little and win a little. For the Social Conservatives they need to really take their responsibility in selecting a chair seriously. There shouldn’t be any “we hopes” or “I thinks” they need to make a decision that makes sense to everyone in the Party. A solution might be to pair whoever the chair is with a strong co-chair who is from the other faction of the party. Now I don’t mean any disrespect to our current co-chair Leon Mosley who our grassroots loves and is a great supporter of our Republican candidates. It is my belief that we are at a time when we need more hands on the rudder. A strong co-chair also needs to be a spokesperson for the party who can lend a hand in fundraising.

On the other hand people like Doug Gross need to stop throwing pot shots at Scheffler and social conservatives. What good does that do? Heck if he was so upset about the direction party he could have ran for a central committee position, national committeeman, or put hat in the ring for chair. The problem our activists have with these types of people is they like to play quarterback, but they don’t want to go through the two-a-days of training camp.

Scheffler and Gross, along with their supporters need to lead by example and come together. Neither can succeed without the other. Gross needs the SCC to put in place a chair that satisfies his people but doesn’t go against the strong moral convictions of the social conservatives. Scheffler and the SCC need Gross and his fundraising abilities to fund what should be an extensive voter turnout program the likes that we haven’t seen in Republican campaign efforts in Iowa. Having secret meetings and throwing out pot shots over the treatment of a long time GOP icon who is now dead gets us nowhere.

Need some extra cash for the Holiday’s

So I was putting together my Christmas shopping list and realized that I might need to scale back this year. But then like a message from God, Brian Williams came on my TV and explained to me that if I was three months behind in my mortgage the federal government would intercede and lower my monthly payment. So don’t worry kids there will be a Christmas after all!

If I wanted to own Ford, GM or Chrysler I’d buy their stock

OK just going on the record here this is a terrible idea. GM says they are likely to file bankruptcy in January, and Ford says they are out of operating cash and they owe the UAW a huge chunk of money stemming from a 61 billion dollar agreement they made with the union to take over the pension plans for their workers. So let’s just say the Feds give the auto industry another 25 millions, does that make these companies solvent for what another 3 months?

I know the Dems want to keep these union workers employed, but how much money can we as a country afford to give these private companies? Look I’m all for giving them incentives to create more efficient vehicles, electric cars, and so on, but these companies must be able to stand on their own. I know it’s hard to comprehend but we just might have to let them fail. And who knows through what might seems like a catastrophe could come emerge the next great American industry.


  1. Krusty,

    You're two-a-day analogy is perfect.

    The problems facing the RPI are relatively simple.

    1. We need to rebuild its image, and that starts with a clear consistent message from all quarters. Rather than meet in secret to determine "who" will be the leader, present leaders like Grassley, Latham, King and Northey should convene a weekend retreat to determine "what" will be the message going forward. Air it all out, set a course, and stick to it for two years.

    2. We need to rebuild the Party's credibility on issues, and that can start with the current legislators sticking to the principles decided on #1.

    3. We need to reactivate the grassroots of the party at the county level, and pick off 5-10 targeted legislative districts for intensive registration, identification, and early voting work. Our party will be rebuilt from the ground up, not from the Ruan II building down.

    4. Fundamentally change our outlook on voter ID and turnout. Rather than siphon off millions of dollars for some legislator's pet fundraising project, or 527 (like Rants did), pour that same corporate support into voter programs. Keep the 72 hour program which we're so good at, but get our heads out of the sand on the ID and early voting work the Dems do so well. Embark on a 72 Week program that is augmented by the 72 hour program.

    There is no magic silver bullet that will get us back to the majority. Hard work, picking a message that resonates, sticking to it, choosing good candidates who reflect that message and their districts, and good old fashion shoe leather to ID and early vote those who think like we do WILL get us there.

    The Republican Party is diverse. There are some who are more interested in moral and ethical issues, while others are more interested in fiscal issues. Great. We need them all, and we need the vast swath of No Party voters who agree with us on these issues as well. If we only focus on one element of the party, we will not only continue to shrink its ranks, we will permanently cede the NP voters to the Dems. We need everyone who agrees with our message to get in the harness and start pulling before it's too late.

  2. Krusty,

    So what is the word on the street? Did the folks at the Gross meeting actually anoint a chair and gubernatorial candidate, or is it still up in the air?

  3. This article gives a good snapshot of what's happening with the Party nationally, and there are many corrolations with the status of the Iowa Party:

  4. If I wanted to own an investment bank or AIG I'd buy their stock. What's the diff?

    In all, your post is a good take on GOP minefields.

  5. Johnson County ActivistNovember 12, 2008 at 9:34 AM

    Doug Gross quite frankly, has no room to talk about how the Republican Party needs to rebuild itself.

    Gross is not on the SCC, nor is he in any leadership position with the state party..yet he thinks he's the only one that can "fix" the party?

    Once again, we have a case of a "select" group of people trying to act like kingmakers..deciding who's going to do what...instead of focusing on the BIGGER problems.

    As a county activist, it really ticks me off to hear that a "select" group of people are trying to change the course of the party. The changes our party needs to make should be done with input from all GOP activists in this state.

  6. If GM files bankruptcy, it can simply re-organize and re-negotiate the union contracts that are killing them. Bankruptcy does not mean it goes away, they just start over and have the opportunity to work more like Toyota. The best thing they could do is file for chapter 11. If the unions play hardball, fine, simply close the doors...

  7. I agree with Krusty's comments and value the good ideas posted with no rancor in this thread so far...

    We are all searching for answers. I just don't see many "leaders" on the SCC I want to follow; and I consider myself an "activist".

    Hope we can find a leader.

    I would like the SCC to listen to the counties more than they do.

    Why have I never seen a SCC rep in my county CC meeting in the last year.

  8. Speaking of the SCC,

    I think they should all fall on their sword and resign. They too need to be held accountable for the losses that continue to mount.

    Remember when people like Kayne Robinson and Tom Latham were on the SCC? Leaders who went on to run for office or lead a large national organization?

    Where are the Lathams and Robinsons now on the SCC? I see only a small handful of people that have any direct campaign leadership capacity, such as Bill Anderson or Monte Shaw. Everyone else is along for the ride, literally. They're more concerned with mileage than winning elections.

    With leadership comes responsibility for the health of the organization. The SCC as a unit has failed us miserably and should be replaced along with the Chair.

  9. Who was on the guest list?

  10. Mike Mahaffey talked about this "secret" meeting during his appearance on WHO-TV Sunday morning and told everyone that he was invited.

    He's a good secret keeper.

  11. Ditto on working from the ground up. RPI and SCC have been told since '06 to listen to county leadership.
    Ditto on not seeing an SCC rep for a year at a county meeting--not to mention any communication before/during/after caucus, primary, or general election from representation on how things were going, what we needed, or asking for input on how things could be done better. Having a seat on SCC seems to be more status symbol than as a means to strengthen the party.
    2D county leadership is gathering this week to also discuss our future..the heart of Iowa Republicans.
    This is where we rebuild.

  12. Kudos for your suggestion that our evangelicals cool it on the subject of government-mandated moral purity. I intend to suggest a similar tactical tolerance to my libertarian colleagues who maim the freedom movement with litmus tests for minarchial purity.

    It's a cool move. The moral values folks quit pretending a direct pipeline to God. We quit pretending to speak only for Ayn Rand.

    The objective these days is to oust the statists who are probably even more dangerous than we think. Let's get that done and then we can go back to fighting one another.


  13. Johnson County ActivistNovember 13, 2008 at 7:23 AM

    Hmm..Mike Mahaffey and Doug Gross... Hmm..what's the common thread there between those guys...

    Oh that's right..Both of them lost winnable elections BADLY, Neither one of them are in any sort of leadership role with RPI, or have been elected by GOP activists to represent them to make decisions about how RPI should be run.

    And once have a group of kingmakers coming in and saying "this is the way its going to be"..and those of us out in the trenches simply have to take it.

    No way in hell that we activists should take anything they say worth a damn.

    This rebuilding HAS to come from the grassroots up..not from the top down.. Yet, people like Mahaffey and Gross dont understand that.

  14. In all Fairness, Mahaffey didnt get killed in 1996. He lost by less than a full percentage point. Gross, now Gross got KILLED. But I take your point. The only people who should be playing "kingmakers" are the people who vote in primaries. They other guys are going to reach for the crown only to get their hand cut off by a bunch of angry voters. You would think Gross would have figured that one out by now.

  15. Anyone else see the irony of people complaining about a "secret meeting" anonymously on a website written by an anonymous blogger?


  16. 1:44pm is the comment of the day.

  17. Anyone else see the irony in broadcasting news of a secret meeting all across the airwaves?

  18. Anyone else see the irony of someone criticizing an anonymous blogger in an anonymous post on a blog?

  19. Maybe instead of Republican leaders from across Iowa being called together to a meeting, someone should ask the GRASSROOT WORKERS what they see and feel is needed. AFter all, it is the grassroots that does 99% of the grunt work. Sometimes leaders don't ever hear the real workers!