|In the GOP House Caucus, there's a divide between the Brad Jones faction and the "anti Brad Jones" faction. While this was at the forefront in the 2009-2010 session when Lew Evangelidis challenged Rep. Jones for his leadership position, the divide hasn't really changed, although many of the Representatives have.
I believe that Brad Jones still has enough support in his caucus to be the leader, but it isn't by a huge margin, and much of his support comes from the same group that have been with him for years. If the 2012 elections went a little differently, there could've been some serious movement in the leadership of the caucus.
So that leads us to the question: if Bob Maginn stays party chair, and Brad Jones stays the leader of the House Republicans, where do we go from here to ensure we make changes in the political landscape in the party?
It all starts in the House, and it will really start in the minority section of the minority party. It's up to them to lead Republicans across the state to bigger and better things, because let's face it, I doubt Brad Jones will make any huge movement in his agenda. There is a solid group of Republicans who won two years ago, won re-election this year, who can really start to make some noise in Beacon Hill. It's up to these Republicans to be the opposing view to the Democrat majority on Beacon Hill.
The minority party needs a leader, a press person, a web site, and they need to be the face of the Republican Party. More importantly, they need to recruit "good" candidates to run for State Rep so in 2012, they can take over the caucus. When was the last time George Peterson or Brad Jones raised a stink about something on Beacon Hill (other than the typical call from a newspaper asking for a generic quote about what's going on)?
What Republican Reps names do you read in the paper? Jim Lyons, Marc Lombardo, Peter Durant and Ryan Fattman to name a few. It's up to these reps to rally up their colleagues (the minority faction of the minority party) to join them in their efforts to bring up the budget process, the waste, the fraud, etc.
This faction is more than four reps, but these are clearly the ones who are in the limelight more than their colleagues.
These reps need to materialize, combine efforts and funds to make sure that our message gets out to the masses to show our point of view. By doing this, we can start to show the Commonwealth the Republicans in this state aren't a bunch of social extremists fighting only for social issues.
Matt Elder is a political consultant. Follow him on Twitter @CouncilorElder