Three days after his defeat at the RPV Convention, I received this in the mail today from Corey Stewart. Some of my friends told me they received this same mail piece yesterday, two days after the RPV Convention. Way to be on time, son!
I am a vocal proponent for primaries, especially state-run primaries that allow for absentee voting to get the poor, the working class, the business people, the disabled, the military, the elderly, and the students involved in the democratic process. There are more details and other important reasons, but that is not the point here.
I see things in three dimensions and I can make a favorable case for nominating conventions, albeit a minor one in the grand scheme of things.
If you have a dog in the fight, a nominating convention, especially a protracted one, is an exhilarating, adrenaline-fueled, emotional, and memorable team bonding experience. Primary battles can offer the same experience, but the convention battle in closed quarters is different. It is not better. It is different – an enjoyable, you-have-to-experience-it-at-least-once kind of different. I am a competitor and I like to compete even if the circumstances are less than ideal.
I was a delegate to the 2009 RPV Convention. I had a dog in that fight, but the one-and-done ballot made it a coronation that was ultimately boring.
I was a delegate to the 2013 RPV Convention and I had a dog in this fight. Four ballots of adrenaline-fueled, tense, dramatic, and nerve-wreaking mayhem for nearly 14 hours will test the physical, mental, and emotional strength of any individual. Win or lose (and we lost), I would do it all over again.
Life is a competition. Compete.
(Part 2 of several. To be continued…)
1. Republicans always mock President Barack Obama for being able to make a good speech, but bringing little else to the table.
- At the 2013 RPV Convention, activist, anti-establishment, grassroots Virginia Republicans acted like Democrats by nominating E.W. Jackson for Lieutenant Governor who can make a good speech, but brings little else to the table. That is putting it kindly.
2. Republicans criticize Democrats for falling in love with their candidates instead of choosing well-qualified candidates.
- Extremist conservative, activist, grassroots Republicans acted like Democrats by falling in love with E.W. Jackson, who has a thin resume and a sketchy background. But he makes a great speech!
3. Mentally bankrupt, extremist conservative Republicans call President Barack Obama a “Kenyan Muslim,” which he is not.
- Hardcore conservative, extremist Republicans just nominated a black Lieutenant Governor candidate in E.W. Jackson who denies that he is an African-American. But he is! Haha.
4. Republicans accuse the media for being in the tank for Barack Obama. They cite Chris Matthews’ tingly legs moment on live television as a prime example.
- Extremist conservative Republicans in Virginia fell in love (or is it lust?) with E.W. Jackson after hearing him speak. The sight of thousands of extremist Republican convention delegates getting aroused by E.W. Jackson is indecent, inappropriate, and not suitable for people under the age of 18 (or any age, really).
5. Republicans always blast Democrats for playing the “politics of envy” and perpetrating class warfare.
- The use of a political convention to nominate candidates for public office was used by hardcore conservative, activist Republicans acting like Democrats to perpetrate a class war by the purportedly working class, populist (pitchfork-wielding) grassroots against the supposed cabal of the “consultant class” and the moneyed “establishment”, whatever that means.
The Tea Party and the Campaign for Liberty are both acting like Democrats by being perpetually jealous, envious, and hateful of the “establishment.” Never mind that the Tea Party and the Campaign for Liberty are firmly in control of the RPV once you examine the Executive Committee and Central Committee members. These Republicans act like Democrats by having a permanent “victim mentality” against the “establishment” even though they are the new “establishment.”
6. For many years, “establishment” Republicans at the national level have argued against campaign finance reform because, among other things, fundraising is a measure of the legitimacy of a candidate and political donations are part of the freedom of speech.
- Hardcore conservative, grassroots, activist Republicans in Virginia acting like Democrats have basically implemented and endorsed “campaign finance reform” via the nominating convention since they argue accurately that conventions allow candidates with little money (and fundraising prowess) to be competitive in the electoral process. We saw this hypothesis proved true at the 2013 RPV Convention with the nomination of E.W. Jackson for Lieutenant Governor who barely had any political operation to speak of and basically ran a press release campaign.
7. Republicans always blast Democrats for “demonizing the rich” (aka, the job creators and the entrepreneurs).
- Hardcore conservative, activist, anti-establishment Republicans acted like Marxists by demonizing the one true job creator and entrepreneur at the convention in Pete Snyder for his ability to raise significant funds for his campaign. Check out the constant anti-Snyder vitriol, rumor-mongering, motive-questioning, and gossiping by the bloggers at Virginia Virtucon for examples.
8. Republicans always stereotype Democrats as immature and uncouth people.
- At the convention, old, fat, white male Republicans acted like Democrats (if the above criticism is true) by folding candidate flyers into paper airplanes and threw them from the nosebleed seats to the floor below. The announcer had to get on the public address system to say, “stop throwing paper airplanes.” The throwing of the paper airplanes continued. Who is really immature and uncouth?
Admittedly, I did find this amusing. I might or might not have joined the fun myself.
However, this is proof that a convention is a freak show that institutionalizes people during the 14 hours the people are required to be there. People do things when they are institutionalized which they would never do in the real world.
This is not a defense for the unruly, rowdy, and disturbed behavior of the Republican convention delegates. This is an argument in favor of NOT institutionalizing people in the first place by holding nomination conventions for public office!
(Part 1 of several. To be continued…)
The 14th Senate District Republican firehouse primary was a blowout victory for Delegate John Cosgrove. The final score was:
John Cosgrove: 1362
Chris Stearns: 552
Bill Haley: 138
Here is what we learned from this experience.
1. Successful candidates have non-political interests which they express through dedicated community involvement.
The Virginia General Assembly is officially a part-time legislature. Members of the Virginia General Assembly must hold jobs like the people they serve to make ends meet when the legislature is not in session.
John Cosgrove does not have a day job in politics or a job that is intimately connected to politics. He is an engineer and a musician. He is an active participant in his church. He is a youth football coach. He has worked on charitable efforts alongside civic organizations like Rotary and the Ruritans. Cosgrove is a community leader.
Chris Stearns, despite being a native to the region, does not have non-political community ties in the 14th Senate District nor did he have non-political community ties in the Senate District in which he previously resided before moving several weeks ago to challenge Cosgrove. As a 26 year-old Chairman of the 3rd Congressional District RPV Committee, Stearns is well known across the state within the Young Republican Federation of Virginia. However, he is not as well known among the more mature generation and key leaders in the RPV. (I will discuss the chasm between the RPV and the YRFV in a future article.)
Stearns made a name for himself working in politics. He has worked statewide for the Campaign for Liberty, Ron Paul for President, and Susan Stimpson for Lieutenant Governor. He became the 3rd Congressional District Chair of the RPV during the 2011-2012 takeover of the RPV by the Tea Party and Campaign for Liberty.
However, Stearns’ non-political resume is very thin. There is no indication that Stearns has attended a junior college or four-year college and earned a degree. I know that value of a college education, graduate school, and law school is nowhere near as high as marketed today (it is an outright scam in some cases). Four year college does not make sense for everyone, but vocational training and an associates degree from a respected junior college is so easy and affordable to achieve in-person and online. An associates degree would improve an individual’s trade skills and have the corollary benefit of boosting an individual’s political marketability. Unless one is a world-class athlete, entertainer, or prodigious businessman, voters expect additional education beyond high school for their candidates. It is what it is. I don’t dictate what is important to the electorate. Stearns does not have at least a junior college degree. That in and of itself is never disqualifying trait for public office, but it invites further questions to discover what life experiences the candidate has garnered that would exceed the benefits of a college education.
Stearns’ LinkedIn profile and Facebook profile indicates that he is the production manager at Custom Closets & Specialties. This is not a multi-million dollar project rivaling Facebook’s revenues that would compel a business person to skip college entirely. Stearns does not indicate that he is the owner and the business is not under his name. Yet, his mail pieces deceive the voters by saying that he is a business owner and “entrepreneur.” Once again, we have more questions than answers as to who Chris Stearns is and why we ought to trust him to advocate for the community.
People in the 14th Senate District know who John Cosgrove is. Nobody knows who Chris Stearns is outside of politics and the YRFV. People will not vote for someone they do not know.
2. People vote for people they know, like, and trust.
Character counts. Not only do the voters know who John Cosgrove is, Cosgrove is a likable and trustworthy guy. He is the same person politically and non-politically. He listens to and respects your opinion and ideas. When he disagrees, as we all do with each other, he can articulate his reasons for disagreement without condescension and arrogance. Cosgrove is more interested in finding areas of agreement with people than finding reasons for division.
I can tell you that as a political consultant myself, I have NEVER had a client with whom I found agreement on everything. If I demanded my clients to toe my party line, I would have no clients! (I remind you that everything I write on this outlet and elsewhere are my own views and do not reflect the views of any past or current employer or client. Sometimes I don’t even agree with myself.)
Cosgrove built a voting record during his time in the House of Delegates that is reflective of the needs of his constituents and it just so happens that his voting record also happens to be one of the most conservative voting records in the House.
Meanwhile, Chris Stearns is not well known in the area in which he is a native. He is well known in the Young Republican Federation of Virginia, but he inadvertently mobilizes a lot of enemies in the YRFV because of his close association with a very polarizing employee of the Leadership Institute.
3. Firebombers rarely win elections.
People offer this advice for new candidates time and again. When you are running for your first political office, you do not throw punches right out of the gate. You have to introduce yourself to the voters. Open up about your personal life to the extent that is appropriate and build rapport with the electorate. Small talk make big deals. It helps if your first piece of literature describes you as a “mother of three children, accomplished public policy professional, avid runner and triathlete, adoption advocate, volunteer at a puppy shelter.” (Ahem, in the interest of privacy, all or parts of this may or may not be an actual ad copy written by me for a client’s palm card. This lady did win her election however, so I must have done something right?)
Stearns did not bother with such introductions and pleasantries. He firebombed on sight. He distorted John Cosgrove’s record and character. He stated that Cosgrove voted for Obamacare which is false. He stated that Cosgrove voted for “dangerous red light cameras” which happens to be regarded as a law enforcement tool for mainstream conservatives while the virulent anti-tax conservatives see red light cameras as a tax and a constitutional invasion of privacy. Never mind that the courts have ruled time and again that a person does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place and that the state has the power to enforce the laws. However, you would never expect anti-tax, anti-government conservatives to get the message.
4. The people support the compromise transportation bill.
If you want to blame a single person for Virginia’s transportation mess, blame former Governor and U.S. Senator Harry Byrd (D-VA). Do your research on his plan for the Commonwealth to buy up all the roads from the localities which ended up giving rural counties a disproportionate amount of influence on transportation in Virginia. Urban Virginia has been subsidizing rural Virginia roads ever since because unlike other states, transportation dollars raised within the county does not stay within the county.
Harry Byrd is long gone so we need to move forward. Bob McDonnell’s transportation plan is the first serious plan to move Virginia forward that we have seen in decades. Republicans and Democrats came together to craft a compromise solution that would particularly prioritize areas of greatest need like John Cosgrove’s own Hampton Roads. John Cosgrove did the right thing for his district by voting in favor of the transportation bill.
John Cosgrove did the courageous thing by voting for the transportation bill. He knew that the far-right, anti-tax conservatives will blow one vote out of proportion and put a primary challenger against him if he voted for the transportation bill. Cosgrove could have done the politically expedient thing by voting “no” to stave off a primary challenger and he would have cruised to the State Senate with ease still.
Yet, Cosgrove does not represent the extremists in the House. Cosgrove represents the people. Cosgrove did what is best for the people and is willing to invite primary challengers if that is what is going to happen if he serves the people faithfully.
Using one vote and blowing it out of proportion to paint Cosgrove as a tax-hiker who is friendly with Obama’s policies is ridiculous for it blatantly ignores the countless votes Cosgrove made to lower taxes and advocate for the interests of taxpaying working families. Ronald Reagan said that a person who agrees with him 80 percent of the time is his friend, not his enemy. For the anti-tax conservatives and libertarians, someone who is agreeable 99 percent of the time is an unconstitutional, un-American, unworthy “socialist.” Hey guys, have fun destroying your allies so you can pave the way for someone who is agreeable 0 percent of the time to takeover.
5. Successful candidates build positive, uplifting communities around their campaigns.
This is a fact. Issues alone will not help you win the election. Issues alone might not even help you win the day.
Standing for the right issues attracts followers. However, people who stand for the right issues are a dime a dozen. What separates the elected officials from the mere activists? Building a positive, uplifting community with your followers that go well beyond the issues you advocate will turn your followers into friends who will stick with you for the long haul.
John Cosgrove succeeds in electoral politics because he has turned his political operation into a positive, uplifting community. I only worked for John for one day in his political career. Add another day if you want to count my time as a groupie and official photographer for his rock band.
May 9th, the day of the firehouse primary, was the first time I worked on John’s political campaign. I can attest that Team Cosgrove treats everyone like family. This urbane, sophisticated, urban creature of DC never once felt out of place among the Hampton Roads crowd and was welcomed like an old friend, not like someone just showing up for the very first time. The poll workers and door knockers present at the victory party were a diverse group – young, old, female, male, black, white, married, single, urban, rural, Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia, DC, and even Maryland! The vast majority of Cosgrove’s workers are homegrown Hampton Roads talent. Team Cosgrove did not organize out of district and out of state supporters to come in to work, but Cosgrove’s cause was one that compelled out of town folks to carve out time in their schedules and make the trip down out of their own initiative and volition.
Meanwhile, Stearns’ campaign had to bus in a large number of Young Republicans affiliated with the YRFV and DCYR to work on his campaign. This is what happens when you are a Hampton Roads native, but never got connected to your community in a non-political way.
Building positive, uplifting communities around a political candidate vastly improves the staying power of that individual candidate. Campaigns built solely around issues will have expendable and replaceable candidates.
Unfortunately, that is the modus operandi of the Tea Party and the Campaign for Liberty. They don’t care who you are as a person as long as you vote the right way on their issues. This explains why Mark Sanford is going back to Congress! Teflon Don, baby!
Make no mistake that there are some current and former elected officials tied to the Tea Party and Liberty movement that I would vote for enthusiastically. Sarah Palin is the sole reason why I started working for Republican officials. I voted for a Republican President and Vice-President for the first time in my life in 2008 and I remain a staunch supporter of Sarah. Ron Paul has a lot of great ideas and I voted for him in the GOP Presidential Primary in 2012. His ideas merit strong consideration and there are a ton of government programs I would like to privatize.
However, it is the Tea Party and Liberty activists who are handicapping their potential. When character is set aside to focus solely on issues, especially in a negative manner, that is almost always a formula for defeat. As long as people are human, people will always place a significant degree of value on character when selecting their candidates, whether they choose to acknowledge that fact or not.
John Cosgrove has character and, if elected in the August special election, the Senate of Virginia will improve with his presence.
The firehouse primary for Virginia Senate District 14 is tomorrow, May 9th from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. Click here to find your polling location.
This is a direct response to this.
I really despise rent seekers. When these people can’t compete in the marketplace, instead of investing their resources into retooling their business model, they spend their money on lobbyists to force legislators to kill the competition. I am a member of the Congressional Federal Credit Union. I do not like it when banks try to push legislation to cripple the credit unions because they can’t compete with the credit unions’ business model as a nonprofit cooperative which allows them to offer better rates.
(Free advertising: If you do not qualify for credit union membership and need to go with a bank, be a member of McLean’s own Chain Bridge Bank. I am a member of Chain Bridge Bank in addition to the Congressional Federal Credit Union. Chain Bridge Bank offers the best rates, offers the best customer service that you would expect from a small community bank, and practice sound fiscal principles that garnered them recognition as one of America’s safest banks. Tell them Phil Tran sent you.)
Likewise, as a person who has not bought an item other than food from a brick-and-mortar store for ages, I do not like it when brick-and-mortar stores seek to tear down successful internet business models instead of stepping their game up. Things change. Change or die. Blockbuster, Circuit City, many movie theaters, and virtually every mall in America not named Pentagon City (Arlington, VA) or Tysons Corner Center/Tysons Galleria (Tysons Corner, VA) died because they thought the internet was a fad or were slow to react to change in the free market and the market passed them by.
I don’t miss the average American mall, Blockbuster, Circuit City, arcades, or other brick-and-mortar establishments. Internet shopping is a much better experience. Even with an internet tax to “level the playing field” and bring “fairness,” brick-and-mortar stores are still on the path to irrelevance. Public services have not fallen apart in the last decade because we did not capture sales tax revenues from internet transactions. If public services are indeed falling apart (and some are), they are falling apart due to mismanagement, not lack of funding. Cut spending.
These brick-and-mortar stores are acting like unions. When highly specialized entrepreneurs face hard times, they change course, learn new skills, and find creative ways to grow their business during an economic downturn. When highly specialized employees face hard times, instead of trying to change and adapt, some form a union to preserve the status quo against all reason and reality. During the industrial age, unions served a useful purpose because manufacturing was backbreaking work that can be made worse with abusive workplace practices. We live in the information age now without those problems and unions only serve to impede progress in an information age economy.
Here are two solutions.
1. Eliminate the sales taxes on brick-and-mortar stores if we really care about “fairness.” The brick-and-mortar stores are going to die anyway because the internet rules the day. More businesspeople today are looking at commercial real estate as an investment folly and would rather work from the friendly confines of home and keep more of the money they earn.
2. This is much better than #1 and is by far the best solution. Eliminate the income tax which is a tax on hustle and jack up the sales tax. This is proposed every year in Congress as the Fair Tax. Why is the prevailing culture in this nation vacuous, superficial, and materialistic? It is in part because we punish hustling through the income tax and reward consumption through low sales taxes. Do you want to be a maker (hustler) or do you want to be a taker (consumer)? Our public policies punish hustling and reward taking.
Beyond the battle between brick-and-mortar stores and internet businesses, this is a big business vs. small business battle. If we truly want to protect America’s stature as the land of opportunity, we need to support small business. In America, especially in today’s information age, the barriers to entry in business are so low that any aspiring person with a computer, a phone, an internet connection, a dream, and a lot of drive can start a self-sufficient, successful business from home. Do we really want that enthusiastic teenager, that ambitious recent graduate, that stay-at-home mother, or that stay-at-home father to have to comply with 9600 different tax districts when they mail a product? They say they can cure this with software. Well that means I would no longer need an accountant because I can simply use Turbo Tax, right? (Not!)
Finally, this is a battle between old America and new America. I stand with the future. Old America has romanticized memories of piling into the car, driving to the mall, shopping till they drop, hitting the food court, playing at the arcade, and catching a movie. As part of the Millenial Generation, I see this as wasting valuable business productivity being stuck in traffic, finding less selections in store as opposed to the world marketplace of the internet, unhealthy fast food, and blowing money on activities that come at a much lower cost today at home via the internet.
The market will always move faster than the government. Young, ambitious entrepreneurs see the world they want to live in and make it a reality. Elected officials are old and obsolete from a bygone era. After serving in public office, they have lost their imagination and ingenuity and hold on to nostalgic, romanticized images of their younger days. These images shape the worldview in which these old politicians use to shape public policy. These old elected officials do not see what the young entrepreneurs see and do not craft the right public policies to allow creativity and innovation to flourish.
It is time to return public service to its part-time roots. Government was never intended to be a full-time job because the framers wanted elected officials to live in the real world so they can understand how to formulate effective public policy. Even the “part-time” state legislatures in America like the Virginia General Assembly are full-time jobs in reality because politics has now become a year-round sport. In addition to fighting unfair, backwards, dinosaur-era legislation like the “Marketplace Fairness Act” we need to severely cut down and restrict the time elected officials and challenger candidates spend “on the clock” in politics regardless of where they are so they can spend more time on the clock in the real world like the rest of us. Does this unconstitutionally restrict the movement of elected officials and challenger candidates throughout the year? Of course it does, but less freedom for the politicians to politic year-round means more freedom for the people.
April 24, 2013 By Phil Tran
I voted for Ron Paul in the Virginia Presidential primary. I support sound money, fiscal sanity, low taxes, less onerous regulations, and more local control. Just as important, while not relevant at the state level, I support a non-interventionist foreign policy, I am against nation-building, I am against the military-industrial complex, I am against being the world’s policeman, and I believe that we cannot have an honest conversation about cutting spending if defense expenditures (and defense bureaucracy…) are not on the table.
Chris Stearns (R), a libertarian with a deep history of working for the movement, is challenging Delegate John Cosgrove (R) for the Chesapeake-based 14th Senate District seat vacated by Harry Blevins (Republican who will not be missed due to his opposition to the Tim Tebow bill).
I support John Cosgrove for State Senate.
Throughout Cosgrove’s career, Cosgrove has been a champion for traditional values and for pragmatic solutions to make Chesapeake a great place for business and recreation. Unlike other politicians from both parties who think their ideology is what is best for the people, Cosgrove puts the needs of his constituents first.
Cosgrove knows where his people are and how to reach them because politics is not his day job when the part-time Virginia General Assembly is not in session. Therefore, he does not live in an echo chamber and more readily listens and understands the people. An engineer and musician by trade, Cosgrove is involved locally with his church, Rotary, the Ruritans, and has also served as a youth football and baseball coach.
Still, if conservative Republicanism is your thing, Cosgrove’s thoughtful, pragmatic approach to governance has led to 90%-100% ratings from the American Conservative Union, the Family Foundation, the Virginia Society for Human Life, the National Rifle Association, and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
Libertarians and liberty-minded Republicans should look past the rhetoric and look at the results. John Cosgrove might not be a Ron Paul acolyte, but he does share the same values and has worked to produce such results for the benefit of his community. He is also rock star.
Vote John Cosgrove for State Senate in the May 9th firehouse primary if you live in Virginia’s 14th Senate District.
April 20, 2013 By Phil Tran
1:44pm: Let the revolt begin.
1:46pm: They are debating the rules. This is going to be a long day.
1:47pm: By the way, “unauthorized media”, which consists of the most respected outlets critical of the Interim Chair has been relegated to the back, including yours truly.
1:50pm: The infighting is well underway.
1:52pm: The microphone is breaking up and experiencing feedback.
1:53pm: This convention is out of control.
1:56pm: Roll Call.
1:56pm: “It is bad that my head hurts already?” – Jackie
1:59pm: Any impartial observer can tell you that this Interim Chair does not command the respect of the Party.
2:03pm: Cheers for the Treasurer’s report.
2:04pm: I am convinced that politicians and their activists have never matured beyond high school.
2:09pm: Motion to close nominations for MDGOP Chair.
2:10pm: Nominating speech for Collins Bailey is happening now.
2:15pm: Collins Bailey speaks.
2:19pm: Nominating speech for Greg Kline is happening now.
2:22pm: Greg Kline speaks.
2:26pm: The microphone stopped working.
2:27pm: Lots of cheers in the unauthorized bloggers’ row for Greg Kline.
2:27pm: Nominating speech for Diana Waterman, Interim Chair, is happening now.
2:32pm: Diana Waterman speaks.
2:36pm: The vote begins.
2:36pm: For once, *****Republicans are questioning the wisdom of a secret ballot*****. They want transparency at all costs.
2:37pm: Secret ballots will be governed by county chairs.
2:44pm: This vote will take a while. However, if you think this is bad with 3 candidates for Party Chair, get ready for 7 candidates for Lieutenant Governor and 2 candidates for Attorney General at the RPV Convention four weeks from now.
2:51pm: The votes are read.
2:56pm: No one got 50%+1 to win outright. Top two finishers are #1 Diana Waterman and #2 Collins Bailey. There is no requirement to drop out if you are in last place.
2:58pm: Meanwhile, I am eating another cupcake.
3:04pm: They are reading the votes for the second ballot. All three candidates have remained in the race.
3:08pm: Diana Waterman wins on the second ballot outright.
3:09pm: Collins Bailey would have won if Greg Kline dropped out and ordered his supporters to back Collins. Two candidates split the anti-Waterman constituency.
3:12pm: Awkward exchanges of support and unity going around.
3:28pm: Collins Bailey nominated for 1st Vice Chair.
3:30pm: Dwight Patel nominated for 1st Vice Chair.
3:32pm: Scott Schaefer nominated for 1st Vice Chair.
3:34pm: Mary Burke-Russell nominated for 1st Vice Chair.
3:36pm: Mary Rolle nominated for 1st Vice Chair.
3:40pm: Candidate speeches.
3:48pm: 5 minute recess.
3:49pm: No, this is not elementary school recess.
4:03pm: Collins Bailey wins outright out of a field of five.
4:08pm: Elected officials are addressing the convention.
5:00pm: This convention has devolved into a total clown show.
April 4, 2013 By Phil Tran
Kensington, MD – Montgomery County GOP Candidates’ Forum featuring candidates for MDGOP Chair: Collins Bailey, Greg Kline, and Diana Waterman
6:05pm – After walking up the world’s longest escalator at the Wheaton Metro stop, I’m ready to do work!
6:25pm – I think there are more cameras than people here and there is a lot of people here.
6:47pm – There is a mad frenzy for free pizza. This is an economic principle called the Tragedy of the Commons.
7:02pm – People are just having a good time socializing. We are definitely not starting this show on time.
7:04pm – Now we are getting started.
7:09pm – MDGOP Interim Chair Diana Waterman is introducing herself.
7:10pm – The votes for the MDGOP Chair will be cast by the MDGOP Central Committee members and their proxies.
7:11pm – “The Chairman is the chief fundraiser of the party.” – D.Waterman
7:12pm – Greg Kline is introducing himself.
7:13pm – “A functional Republican Party is crucial to establish common sense governance in Maryland.” – G.Kline
7:14pm – Kline outlines his grassroots involvement in Anne Arundel County.
7:16pm – Collins Bailey stands up to speak. He is the first person to stand up. His efforts to command presence by standing up has resulted in him stepping out of my camera’s field of view while I am typing.
7:17pm – “We’re in the 4th quarter shoved up against the end zone. There are blue jerseys against us. We are trying to throw a Hail Mary and there is no receivers downfield.” – C.Bailey
7:18pm – Unless your name is George Allen, Jack Kemp, Steve Largent, J.C. Watts, Jon Runyan, Heath Shuler, or Phil Tran, please do not make football analogies.
7:19pm – How do we reconcile the social conservatives and the libertarians? (Paraphrasing)
7:19pm – “Create an advisory committee made up of various groups…libertarians…social conservatives…” – D.Waterman
7:21pm – “We can’t hope to unite if we are not talking together.” – D.Waterman
7:21pm – Greg Kline wants to be more “inclusive” of libertarians and social conservatives.
7:22pm – G.Kline would nominate RNC Maryland National Committeewoman Nicolee Ambrose to such an outreach committee.
7:23pm – “We have the best candidates, but we don’t have a packaged message that we can sell.” – Collins Bailey
7:25pm – Question 2: How have you supported the MDGOP in the last four years?
7:25pm – Greg Kline talks about being an activist, donor, and a leader in conservative new media by founding the blog Red Maryland (one of the premier conservative blogs in Maryland).
7:27pm – Collins Bailey recruited candidates to run for office at all levels of government and had his daughter register voters.
7:29pm – “Prior to 2005, I didn’t do anything…Then I joined the Chesapeake Republican Women in 2005.” – D.Waterman talking about taking leadership roles in various party units since then.
7:30pm – “Please don’t let my husband know how many checks I have written to the GOP because I keep all the books.” – D.Waterman
7:31pm – What are your thoughts about letting unaffiliated voters cast ballots in the GOP primary?
7:31pm – Collins Bailey questions the wisdom about registering new citizens and independents when you don’t know how they will vote, but then considers how to get more people involved in the party.
7:33pm – He concludes by saying we can use three separate ballots for Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated voters so unaffiliated voters can’t vote for MDGOP offices.
7:33pm – Greg Kline is not a fan of letting unaffiliated voters vote in GOP primaries.
7:34pm – Kline is concerned about disruption from opponents.
7:34pm – Diana Waterman is not “opposed or in favor of it.”
7:36pm – “Why would unaffiliateds have any desire becoming a Republican if they can vote in GOP primaries without registering as a Republican?” – D.Waterman
7:36pm – Nicolee Ambrose helped the effort to reverse the rules changes at the 2012 RNC Convention. She has since been removed and replaced by Louis Pope. Would you restore Nicolee to the RNC Rules Committee?
7:38pm – Diana Waterman stands by her removal of Nicolee from nomination for the Rules Committee. She explained that the party did not exist before March 1st so it was a removal from nomination, not a removal from committee.
7:40pm – Collins Bailey said the Chair had the authority to do such a thing.
7:41pm – Collins said Nicolee would be a better representative for the party and would move to restore her role.
7:42pm – Greg Kline would recaucus and restore Nicolee’s role in the Rules Committee.
7:42pm – Kline talks about the importance of reversing the rules changes at the RNC to make the party more inclusive. He would have been more transparent with his actions if he was Chair.
7:44pm – What is your plan to get more young Republicans across the state?
7:44pm – “We need to get to our folks early.” – C.Bailey
7:45pm – “Get a celebrity who is a Republican and an alumnus and register the high school students. Stay in contact with them.” – C.Bailey
7:47pm – “Each voter knows what works in their county and what does not.” – D.Waterman
7:49pm – “Have a state party that is inclusive of young people…I know that have to have groups that appeal to those folks.” – G.Kline
7:50pm – “When I was a young Republican, I was following Reagan. Folks today are a lot more libertarian.” – G.Kline
7:51pm – What innovative ideas do you have to win something significant in 2014?
7:51pm – Diana Waterman talks about the Pathfinders program to train potential candidates and activists.
7:53pm – Greg Kline wants to elect a State Senate that can filibuster legislation and explains that it is a realistic goal.
7:54pm – Collins Bailey wants a roadmap for the next 20 years.
7:55pm – Bailey explained that Republicans lost the voter registration battle badly to the Democrats and the independents.
7:56pm – What is your overall philosophy for fundraising?
7:57pm – Kline wants to restore confidence in the party.
7:59pm – Kline wants to emphasize social media donations.
8:00pm – Waterman wants to target more voters and get people to buy into the product the MDGOP is selling. Make it results driven.
8:01pm – “Message, manpower, and money.” – C.Bailey
8:03pm – “You got to know what you are selling.” – C.Bailey
8:03pm – What would you do to promote candidate development?
8:04pm – Greg Kline supports the Pathfinders program.
8:05pm – “Develop and promote the candidates…Has the party taken care of its 2010 candidates who lost? No.” – C.Bailey
8:06pm – Bailey said that there was too much focus on the Governor’s race and not enough focus on the General Assembly races.
8:07pm – Waterman said she will continue the Pathfinders program and will add Sunday dates.
8:10pm – What is your plan to win the Annapolis and Frederick elections this year?
8:10pm – Bailey wants to give people the tools to be successful.
8:12pm – Waterman says that county committees need to be involved in municipal elections.
8:13pm – Waterman says that counties need to help other counties.
8:14pm – Kline talks about the importance of Election Day volunteers to get out the vote in a low turnout election.
8:16pm – What is your plan to capitalize on the 2nd Amendment movement and mobilize their supporters for 2014?
8:17pm – “Identify your base, network your base, and turn out your base.” – C.Bailey
8:19pm – Waterman wants to put the laws on a petition.
8:20pm – Waterman said the previous petitions failed because they didn’t mobilize the get-out-to-vote effort the same way they mobilized the petition drive.
8:21pm – Kline wants to support a petition drive and a fundraising drive.
8:22pm – Last Question! Why should we vote for you for Chair?
8:22pm – “We need a Chairman who will take responsibility for the failures and who can spread the successes. We need a Chairman who does not have future political ambitions…” – G.Kline
8:25pm – “I want to flip the whole House and become a red state in 20 years. If you don’t believe in that, don’t elect me. I’m not satisfied with second best. I don’t like mediocre. If we don’t flip the House in 2014,…I’m not satisfied with that. Seriously consider somebody else.” – C.Bailey
8:28pm – “I don’t think you will find anybody who is satisfied with where we are. We are all unpaid. We do the best we can to change our image and promote our candidates. We are collectively are charged with changing our party. Any kind of change will not happen overnight.” – D.Waterman
8:32pm – Done.
Hillary Pennington’s PEP Talk will be broadcasting live on site from 9:00pm to 10:00pm with the post game show.
April 4, 2013 By Big Gipper
Yesterday, two major pieces of legislation passed the Virginia General Assembly in the veto session. The Governor’s amendments to the transportation bill HB 2313 passed with broad bipartisan support. The Governor’s amendment to HB 1900 to limit insurance coverage for abortion under the health care exchange to cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother passed by one vote in the divided State Senate and passed by the skin of its teeth in a House of Delegates dominated by purportedly pro-life Republicans.
For the record, I support these amendments. I support new transportation funding revenues and I support the civil rights of the unborn. It is a great day for Virginia.
So after a significant day of accomplishment for our esteemed pro-life Governor, what does the conservative activist base say to that? Well, after the vote to pass transportation revenue increases and a significant vote to protect civil rights of the unborn, the conservative activists ignored the accomplishment on protecting civil rights for the unborn and single out the “transportation tax hike” to declare a “sad day for Virginia.”
After the conservative activist base overlooked the protection of civil rights for the unborn – that barely passed in a GOP dominated House that is purportedly pro-life – and focused all their energies on protesting the pro-life Governor Bob McDonnell’s “transportation tax hike,” do we need further proof that the virulently anti-tax GOP is fixing to discard their long held pro-life position after shoving it on the back burner in recent years?
I have been a Republican since the 1980s. If the Republican Party ever starts to support abortion rights, I quit.