With less than a week to go before a special election, congressional candidates Katherine Clark, Democratic state senator of Melrose, and Republican Frank Addivinola of Boston are set for their first televised debate.
New England Cable News announced Thursday morning that Clark and Addivinola will debate at 3 p.m. Friday and the cable channel will air the debate at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Rebroadcasts are planned for Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m.
The special election to fill the Fifth District seat in the U.S. House formerly held by Sen. Edward Markey is Tuesday. Independent James Aulenti of Wellesley and Justice Peace Security candidate James Hall of Arlington are also on the ballot.
I received this email from MassResistance, which is run by Republican Ward 4 Ward Committeeman Brian Camenker, former President of the Newton Taxpayers Association
Ho - hum. Another day, another pro-family Republican congressional candidate being thrown under the bus by the GOP establishment. But this time it's especially upsetting because this is a special election -- next Tuesday, Dec. 10 -- against a particularly odious radical Democrat.
You may recall that in the 2012 general election, the national (and local Massachusetts) Republican establishment put considerable financial resources behind Richard Tisei, a pro-abortion "out" homosexual activist RINO Republican running for Congress, who unsuccessfully tried to unseat the Democrat incumbent, John Tierney (a political hack who might have been defeated by a good candidate).
Special election for Congress
That was the 6th District. This month there's a special election (an open seat) in the neighboring 5th District. But this time the Republican is a pro-family conservative running against a very radical Democrat, and the Republican establishment seems to be staying as far away as possible.
Earlier this year, when Barack Obama appointed John Kerry to be Secretary of State, an election was held for his vacated Massachusetts US Senate seat. Edward Markey, who was the Congressman in the 5th District, won, leaving his seat vacant. Next Tuesday, Dec. 10, is the election to fill that Congressional seat. The choice could not be clearer.
Katherine Clark, a state Senator, is the Democrat in the race. She won a seven-candidate primary in October. If elected, Clark would likely be the most radical Massachusetts member of Congress since Barney Frank -- maybe even worse. She would certainly be as combative as Frank. She's very open about wanting to go to Washington "to fight against radical Republicans."
Katherine Clark, (then a State Rep) was quite demonstrative at the bizarre State House signing ceremony for the Transgender Rights and Hate Crimes bill on January 19, 2012. Standing near her, at bottom, was the Executive Director of MassEquality (a woman dressed as a male). At Clark's right was "out" lesbian State Rep. Sarah Peake. To her immediate left was former State Rep Alice Wolf, a school sex-ed champion.
According to Clark's campaign literature that we've seen:
Says she'll fight against the Republican "war on women."
Is solidly pro-abortion. Funded by Emily's List. Will fight for continued public funding for Planned Parenthood.
Will strongly support "LGBT rights." Was endorsed by MassEquality.
Pro-gun control. Says she "will work to end the NRA's stranglehold on Congress."
In past elections, she's also been endorsed by the ultra-left Democratic Socialists of America.
Clark is a true far-left ideologue. In our experience, Katherine Clark's dislike of people with traditional values is deep and visceral. For example, this past year as a State Senator and Senate chairman of the Joint Judiciary Committee, she ran the infamous "Public Hearing from Hell" on July 9, which included many important "culture war" bills. The hearing began at 1:00 pm. During the day she allowed numerous homosexual groups to testify. But the pro-family people were forced to wait until 10 pm to testify, and most of them had left by then.
The public hearing from hell run by Katherine Clark on July 9. Her committee packed 210 bills into one day, and made pro-family people wait until 10 pm for a chance to testify.
It doesn't get much worse than that.
Clark's Republican opponent is Frank Addivinola, a lawyer, college instructor, and businessman. He easily won a 3-candidate primary, and is widely liked by GOP grassroots activists. He is pro-life, pro-family, pro-traditional marriage, and is also strong on a range of conservative issues. He wouldn't exactly be a conservative firebrand, though. He told us that he would not vote to impeach Barack Obama, which is annoying but no different from most of the other Republicans in the US House. As a campaigner, he is quite articulate and has been a very hard worker going across the district. He also passed the VoteCoreValues test with flying colors.
Frank Addivinola There are some oddities. Although Addivinola was born and raised in the district, he currently lives in Boston (which is not in the district but that does not disqualify him from running) and strangely, his campaign headquarters is also in Boston. Earlier this year he was on the ballot for Boston City Council.
Nevertheless, this would appear to be an opportunity for the GOP to pick up a seat in a traditionally "blue" district. It's an "open" seat. It's a special election which generally attracts a very low turnout -- and it's in December. And the population of the district, in our observation, is not as radically leftist as Clark.
But as far as we can tell, the Addivinola campaign has received almost no support from the state GOP establishment, and certainly none from the national Republicans either with fundraising or any other help. In other words, he's not pro-gay and "socially liberal" enough for the establishment -- certainly not another Gabriel Gomez. Thus, he's had to rely on a hard-charging volunteer-led campaign.
Clark refusing to debate Addivinola -- a no-show at 7 debates!
If all that isn't enough, there's more: We have never seen a Congressional election where one candidate flatly refused to debate the other candidate. There have been (at least) seven scheduled debates between Clark and Addivinola. They've been set up by media outlets, civic groups, and even a liberal Jewish Temple. Clark has refused to participate in any of them!
Clark refuses to attend and her campaign doesn't give a reason. We suspect that she knows her views are out of the mainstream even in Massachusetts, and in addition she does not want to have to defend Obama's record or the Obamacare train wreck! Perhaps she also knows she can't stand up to logical challenges from an articulate opponent.
But in a free society, one expects a candidate to stand up and defend his positions at least once. Obviously, Clark's opinion of that is different from the rest of us.
Of course, because Clark's a left-winger, most of the media has outrageously ignored this. They don't even ask her about it directly. We could imagine what would happen if a Republican had that attitude.
The election is on Tuesday. In many ways, this is not unlike what we've been seeing across the country. In our opinion, the Republican Party has lost its way. You can contact the Addivinola campaign to help (or donate) HERE.
Karyn Polito sent out a Media Advisory that she will be announcing her future political plans tomorrow. As Dan Winslow already pulled the prank of doing this and not announcing, it is pretty safe to say Karyn will not be.
All indications are that she will announce a campaign for Lieutenant Governor.
Karyn Polito To Make Announcement Regarding 2014 Election
Shrewsbury- Tomorrow, Karyn Polito will make an announcement regarding her plans for the 2014 election cycle at Brody's diner in her hometown of Shrewsbury.
Former New Hampshire Republican U.S. Senator Bob Smith has announced he will run in the Republican Primary looking to be the nominee against Jeanne Shaheen. Smith is the third Republican to announce against Shaheen.
Fundraiser in support of Frank Addivinola for Congress
Thursday, November 21, 6:30 - 8:30pm
The Chateau Restaurant, 195 School St, Waltham
Please join us to support the campaign and hear from special guests, including Howie Carr who will be signing his books available for purchase.
Hors d'oeuvres & cash bar
RSVP encouraged: email@example.com
Donate at www.FrankAddivinola.com
Checks payable to The Addivinola Committee
Afterwards, let's fight for Frank! Winning Special Elections requires two things, Identity and Infrastructure. Frank is a strong VoteCoreValues Republican who paints with bold colors and helps improve the Identity of the Massachusetts GOP. Let's get him the grassroots GOTV infrastructure he needs to help him win his race.
And of course, let's vote for Frank on Tuesday December 10th in the 5th Congressional District Special Election!
The Hill reports that Democrats in Washington are freaking out over the implications of the Obamacare meltdown:
Sources who attended a meeting of House chiefs of staff on Monday say the room was seething with anger over the immense damage being done to the Democratic Party and talk was of scrapping rollout events for the Affordable Care Act.
"Here we are, we're supposed to be selling this to people, and it's all screwed up," one chief of staff ranted. "This either gets fixed or this could be the demise of the Democratic Party."
Democrats around Capitol Hill say there are lots of people to blame for the debacle that has engulfed them. But increasingly the anger is directed at one person only: (President Barack) Obama.
"Is he even more unpopular than George W. Bush? I think that's already happened," said one Democratic chief of staff.
While the press loves to highlight GOP divisions, they ignore similar conflicts among the Democrats. Segments of the Old Left may see an opportunity within the current crisis to discredit the New Left (short term strategy) with the ultimate goal of getting rid of it (long term strategy). It remains to be seen if the Old Left has the stomach for the kind of institutional civil war that Democrats haven't experienced since the last one they fought back in the '60s, '70s, & '80s.
That last civil war resulted in the triumph of the New Left with its success reaching its apotheosis through the election of Obama & the passage of Obamacare. The Old Left has allowed itself to play a subservient role in the party so long as the New Left didn't do anything to hurt the Old Left, its power bases - or even the party itself. With a potential electoral blowout looming on the horizon for next year's national elections, will the Old Left go down with the ship - or will they cut their losses by cutting the throats of their New Left comrades in order to save their party - & themselves?
I had mixed feelings when Boston Republican City Committee Chairman Brad Williamsendorsed Democrat mayoral candidate John Connolly. On the one hand, I thought the endorsement was late & its tardiness might have been construed as a form of disingenuous that could be exploited by Connolly's political rivals as a way to say to their base Democrat voters that Connolly was more of a Republican & less of a Democrat. On the other hand, I credit Williams with at least thinking outside the partisan box. While the race lacked a GOP candidate, Williams understood the importance of being engaged - as opposed to being content to impotently watch on the sidelines - with the hopes that a Democrat open to some conservative ideas could be elected in Boston. A deeper level of engagement would help the Boston GOP have more of an impact on municipal affairs & position the party to field attractive candidates for winnable seats.
I bring this up because a similar opportunity has arisen in Lawrence. The Lawrence Republican City Committee missed a HUGE opportunity to support a similar kind of Democrat after the party failed to field a candidate of its own for the mayoral election. What Lawrence Republicans could have done was get behind Democrat challenger Daniel Rivera early in the process and assist him with deeds along with words. True, the GOP is a minuscule presence in the city but even a higher than normal turnout by Republican voters whipped up by GOP activists might have provided enough votes in Rivera's favor to avoid a recount & force out current Democrat Lawrence mayor William Lantigua.
With the current impasse playing itself out, Republicans should publicly endorse Rivera & offer any kind of support that Rivera needs to quickly secure his electoral success & deny Lantigua any temptation to do something unethical - if not illegal. Given the demographic realities of how revitalized urban areas will have a huge impact on politics in the future, it's imperative that the GOP start becoming more engaged NOW with minority communities, working class enclaves, & the kind of not-for-profit organizations (such as arts groups) that make up a significant group of active citizens who continue to define the urban landscape. The GOP faces possible extinction if it refuses to woo the urban voter.
In The Conservative Mind, Russell Kirk observed that "conservatives inherit from [Edmund] Burke a talent for re-expressing their convictions to fit the time."
That is precisely what the conservatives of the late 1970s did. The ideas that defined and propelled the Reagan Revolution did not come down from a mountain etched in stone tablets.
They were forged in an open, roiling, diverse debate about how conservatism could truly meet the challenges of that day. That debate invited all conservatives and, as we know, elevated the best.
The bottom line was that in 1976, the conservative movement found a leader for the ages, yet it still failed.
By 1980, the movement had forged an agenda for its time, and only then did it succeed.
The gaping hole in the middle of the Republican party today - the one that separates the grassroots from establishment leaders - is precisely the size and shape of a new, unifying conservative reform agenda.
For years, we have tried to bridge that gulf with tactics and personalities and spin. But it doesn't work. To revive and reunify our movement, we must fill the void with new and innovative policy ideas. Today, as it was a generation ago, the establishment will not produce that agenda. And so, once again, conservatives must.
Grassroots and establishment. Conservatives and moderates. Libertarians and traditionalists. Interventionists and non-interventionists. Economic conservatives and social conservatives. All are part of our movement, and all are vital to our success - so all should be welcome in this debate.
There are still nearly three years before Republicans will have a chance to select a new, unifying conservative leader. But together we can start debating and developing a new, unifying conservative agenda right now.
There is much more. And it's all good. Let the debate begin.
Seeking principled compromise, the Republicans in the House of Representatives offered a continuing resolution which defunded Obamacare while funding the other functions of government. The US Senate removed the defunding provision, returned the legislation to the lower chamber. The House of Representatives then passed a continuing resolution with a one-year delay on Obamacare's individual mandate plus a repeal of the medical device tax. Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has declared that bill dead on arrival.
Reid is at fault for his automatic refusal to compromise.
However, not only will US Senate Majority leader Reid take the blame for a partial shut-down, but ultimately the fiscal fallout will fall on President Barack Obama, who has bolstered the unbending Senate Majority Leader, even at the cost of individual Americans' job opportunities and health care options.
As chief executive, Obama is responsible not only for executing the nation's laws, but also compromising with Congress to create legislation. However, he has unilaterally repudiated his own legislation, pushing back the employment date of the employer mandate and the small business exchanges until 2015.
Several posts on Gabriel Gomez trend towards a common theme: the man is a soulless, opportunistic Democrat in RINO (Republican In Name Only) clothing who is unworthy of being a member of the GOP in Massachusetts.
Yet I can't help but be drawn to a cogent comment recently made by blogger ErnstStavroBlofeld:
Gomez is the most Republican Republican as chosen by the voters. Unlike other names mentioned here of people who have run state-wide, Gomez ran in a much contested Republican primary. He won that Republican primary handily. He is not only a self-identified Republican but a Republican as chosen above others in a Republican primary.
Now many among the RMG blogging community may dismiss as distracting piffle the ravings of a blogger who self-identifies with the leader of SPECTRE, James Bond's chief nemesis. But I think s/he makes a valid point.
The state of the Bay State GOP's identity crisis is such that individuals like Gomez can define the party as he defines himself. If enough voters agree with him, he gets to represent them & their interests (which advances his own). In this regard, Gomez is no different from past Republicans who defined the party the way they defined themselves.
In the short run this approach works if you have the money, organization, & narrative skills to pull it off. But in the long run such an approach leads to factionalism (as opposed to fusionism) which, in turn, leads to a weakened party organization that holds no allure for either loyal GOP activists or voters who seek in an alternative political party a stable organization whose basic, practical principles transcend the petty ambitions of opportunistic power mongers.
The knives that are out today for Gomez will be the same ones that will be out tomorrow for some other individual doing the same kinds of thing that Gomez has done. This cycle of the circular firing squad will continue to leave Republicans continually shaken but not stirred for as long as the party refuses to seriously address its identity crisis. So long as this kind of dysfunctional Republican inaction prevails, the SPECTRE of unchallenged political, economic, & cultural hegemony by the Massachusetts Democrat Party will continue unabated for the foreseeable future.
The last thing the Massachusetts GOP needs is a Republican US Senate candidate who not only loses, but gives people more reasons for people to think that the Republican Party has lost its fire power, its bearings, and its aims.
I am writing candidly about Mr. Gabriel Gomez and his recently published Boston Globe Op-Ed.
He admits that he was wrong to oppose an assault weapons ban. He should have declared his support for staunch gun control measures.
He might as well have sided with Markey and diagnosed gun violence as some epidemic, or some disease which a nice bottle of pepto bismol could cure.
Yes, drink a little more of the pink stuff, and you can wretch away the gun violence in our communities.
Let's be clear about one thing: Gomez is as red as Republican as the pink stuff he wants to foist on Bay State voters.
A Democrat in attitude and outreach, Gomez appealed to "Mister Governor" Deval Patrick with an open letter espousing his love and admiration for Barack Obama. Mo Cowan got the interim seat, and Gomez took another chance to replace recently appointed Secretary of State John Kerry.
Markey stepped up against Stephen Lynch in the Democratic primary. Most moderates chose Lynch, but Markey won. Gomez bested two other Republicans, real Republicans because they were not Obama cheerleaders.
Gabriel Gomez types are the real RINOs. The problem is not that they are not too liberal or too conservative. They are incompetent, unconnected, and inconsistent in their campaigning, in their character, and in their calling. How can a Republican run for any office yet champion the Democratic President? How can a candidate support Keystone XL yet believe in climate change? Gomez wanted to lower taxes, yet raise the minimum wage. That's a tax in itself, Mr. Gomez! You the financial officer should have known that!
At any rate, Gomez claims that he has changed his mind about an assault weapons ban, and he wanted everyone in Massachusetts to know about it. Of course, his course correction has nothing to do with politics.
I would have a better chance of finding Ed Markey in Medford than I would believing Gomez has any motivation greater than vetting himself for statewide office.
Please, Mr. Gomez, go away. You have thrown away any remaining vestiges of integrity with such a blatant, pivoted about face.
Over 300 people attended the "Reformer's Reception" held by State Representative Shaunna O'Connell (R-Taunton) last Friday (September 20, 2013) at Benjamin's Restaurant in Taunton, MA. Boston Herald columnist & WRKO talk show host Howie Carr was a special guest at the standing-room-only event with State Representative Geoff Diehl (R-Whitman) acting as the evening's master of ceremonies. Also in attendance was Boston Herald Lone Republican columnist Holly Robichaud, State Representatives Jim Lyons (R-Andover) & Keiko Orell (R-Lakeville), Taunton Mayor Tom Hoye, GOP State Committee persons Barbara Bush, Bill Gillmeister, & Mark Townsend, Taunton Republican City Committee Chairman Gene McCaffrey, Miss Taunton 2013 Ashleigh Chaves, Republican state senate candidate (& "Three Strikes" activist) Les Gosule, Republican state representative candidates Jeff Bailey & Shaun Dooley, former GOP candidate David Steinhof, & three (3) candidates running for the Taunton City Council.
Prior to introducing O'Connell, Diehl lauded her "courage" in taking on "difficult" issues such as obtaining welfare data on benefit balances from the state Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), forcing the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to disclose to the public information on its pension system, & resisting tax increases at a time when the state's Department Of Revenue reported that tax revenue had come in higher than projected.
O'Connell then used Diehl's introduction as a foundation upon which she detailed to her approving audience some of the unusual steps she took to get what she wanted. For example, when the DTA insisted that O'Connell pay $800 to obtain the data she sought, the statuesque beauty didn't bat an eye when she coughed up the money. "They thought I wouldn't call their bluff," she observed with a wry smile. The audience loved that moment & several others like it. Before the night was out, O'Connell would receive at least three (3) standing ovations from the star-struck audience.
During the course of her speech, O'Connell called for an audit of the DTA & pledged to push a "bill of rights" for businesses in Massachusetts that would included - among other things - a year's notice for any tax or fee increase, mandatory public hearings on tax increases (along with cost/benefits analysis on any regulation that impacted business), & update/streamline laws that regulate independent contractors. She stated that because she was "not a seat warmer" & was never going to be a part of the "go-along to get-along crowd", she said she "expects" the Democrats to send "a cruise missile" her way in the form of a candidate hoping to unseat her in 2014. She thanked her supporters for assisting her in her mission to "restore integrity", promulgate transparency, & "fight" on behalf of the state's taxpayers.
O'Connell also gave a special shout out to Carr for his efforts to highlight her work in exposing fraud & allowing her to frequently go on his radio show in order to take her case directly to the public. As if on cue, Carr took a break from hawking his books (copies of "Rifleman" were flying off his table) to give a heartfelt endorsement of O'Connell the person & the type of public servant she represented. The talkmaster declared that O'Connell's fights with Beacon Hill "resonated" with his radio fan base & that the power brokers on Beacon Hill "hate her" because "she rocks the boat".
Carr said he was assured by O'Connell that she would stay in the legislature to fight the good fight & forgo any appeals for her to run next year for state-wide office (such as the office for Lt. Governor). He pointed out that few people of integrity had the stomach to endure both the "hard corruption & the soft corruption" that he said was endemic on Beacon Hill. "We need more people like her in the legislature," opined Carr in a rare moment of seriousness.
After the event was over, I overheard Carr say that he & his team had "sold a lot of books". A person manning the table for the group pushing the initiative petition to repeal the gas tax expressed his satisfaction that "a lot of people" were "happy" to sign his sheets. The electricity in the room for O'Connell dissipated only after members of the audience left the building to return to their respective homes. It remains to be seen whether or not O'Connell's strong show of support will translate into a successful re-election bid next year. But her record of accomplishments and the passion of her supporters should give her an edge against any "cruise missile" lobbed at her by her political opponents.
The title of her article? "A Second Act For Charlie Coakley." In other words, Republican Charlie Baker & Democrat Martha Coakley - each seeking redemption from past failures - are essentially two pod people sharing the same pod:
This week's candidates are more like the Martha and Charlie I thought I knew. Which brings me to the other big thing these two have in common. By the standards we've grown accustomed to, they're dead boring.
They're enthralled by the arcana of public policy. They have little appetite for cheap shots and gimmickry. There is little daylight between them on sexy, polarizing social issues like abortion rights and gay marriage. What we'll get if each becomes a nominee - and if they can leave 2010 behind - is a substantive campaign centered on actual issues: education, jobs, transportation, and taxes.
It's too early to tell if indeed Baker & Coakley will be the standard-bearers for their respective parties a year from this month. But reality be damned. The mainstream media - led by the Globe - is already in storytelling mode. They expect (& will work hard) to confer upon Coakley a "redemptive" happy ending that will thrill the hearts of their captive audiences. Baker would be a fool to expect a fair hearing from these partisan ideologues & he should resist their siren call to play along with their narrative version of his "redemptive" candidacy. Should Baker win the Corner Office in 2014, his victory will be redemptive enough not only for himself & his party but for the voters of Massachusetts.
The political buzz among Democrats stems from a provocative article in The Daily Beast written by Peter Beinart titled "The Rise Of The New New Left". He argues the passing political era that was created by Ronald Reagan & sustained by Bill Clinton will give way to a new era dominated by a voting bloc he characterizes as the "New" New Left:
Maybe Bill de Blasio got lucky. Maybe he only won because he cut a sweet ad featuring his biracial son. Or because his rivals were either spectacularly boring, spectacularly pathological, or running for Michael Bloomberg's fourth term. But I don't think so. The deeper you look, the stronger the evidence that de Blasio's victory is an omen of what may become the defining story of America's next political era: the challenge, to both parties, from the left. It's a challenge Hillary Clinton should start worrying about now.
Beinart makes the argument that America's Millennial Generation will embrace a harder leftist view than the relatively conservative (in the sense of being pro-capitalistic) views embraced by the Baby Boomers & Gen X voters:
It is these two factors-their economic hardship in an age of limited government protection and their resistance to right-wing cultural populism-that best explain why on economic issues, Millennials lean so far left. In 2010, Pew found that two-thirds of Millennials favored a bigger government with more services over a cheaper one with fewer services, a margin 25 points above the rest of the population. While large majorities of older and middle-aged Americans favored repealing Obamacare in late 2012, Millennials favored expanding it, by 17 points. Millennials are substantially more pro-labor union than the population at large.
Most striking of all, Millennials are more willing than their elders to challenge cherished American myths about capitalism and class. According to a 2011 Pew study, Americans under 30 are the only segment of the population to describe themselves as "have nots" rather than "haves." They are far more likely than older Americans to say that business enjoys more control over their lives than government. And unlike older Americans, who favor capitalism over socialism by roughly 25 points, Millennials, narrowly, favor socialism.
The Massachusetts GOP rejected the national Republican party platform last year. The National Conferences should have amended its plank on abortion a long time ago. This wise move must be repeated throughout the fifty states. The GOP "1%" has been dictating to the states and the local races too much. The Republican Party does not need a resurgence of "Lincoln Chafee" RINOs, but moderates like Edward Brooke, Scott Brown, and even the two (or rather one) Lady from Maine deserve a place at the GOP table.
Contrary to the assertion of one Red Mass Group blogger, You are not dead, Mass GOP, but moving in the right direction for your state and your country. Stay pro-life, respect the rights of individuals to make their choices about their own lives. State senator Richard Tisei should not have supported tax increases without being crystal clear about spending cuts. He has nothing to be ashamed of, though, for running against an established politician with a dubious record.
This country needs a party that will stand up for the unborn, yet a policy which recognizes the tragic elements in life as well. The state of Massachusetts, New England, and the rest of the country deserve candidates who will speak up for "the little guy", who will respect the rights and responsibilities of small businesses to do what they do best: make money and create jobs.
The Mass GOP platform is right on about school choice. A Massachusetts Charter School is named for Edward Brooke, the first African-American to be elected by popular vote to the US Senate, and a Republican. About social issues, Missouri Congressman Todd Akin said too much about abortion. Never again should one candidate's overstatement force legislators and leaders throughout the country to repudiate a candidate. Never again should the off-hand remarks of one candidate kill an entire Senate race or put other Senate candidates on alert to repudiate one of their own.
Without a doubt, the National Republican "1%" is hurting competitive and qualified candidates throughout the country. As far as the central committee is concerned, the leaders have declared the outreach problem with minorities and women, but no one is declaring anything to those constituencies. President Obama used the "George W. Bush" playbook to reach out to Hispanics. W. won 44% of the Hispanic vote. Hispanics are culturally conservative (so are Catholics in general). They will find what they are looking for in the Republican Party.
To his (partial) credit, former Governor Romney was the best out of a middling bunch. This country needs better than "just enough" or "get by" in the White House. Scott Brown should have won the Senate Seat, and he lost by a mere six points. Although allegations of voter fraud may be more distracting than distressing, Richard Tisei should have won, and he should be in Congress right now. Tisei lost by "1%" because of the GOP "1%" which promotes the "legacy" moderates instead of candidate who know what they believe and believe what they know.
Romney was an OK governor, but not a fit or fitting Presidential candidate. Too often he changed his views. Too often he was running from his former record. Worst of all, his heart was never in the race. Not out of enthusiasm, but out of obligation did Romney run for the White House. Not enough voters felt obligated to go to the polls, let alone vote for Mitt Romney.
Do not despair, Massachusetts GOP. Stand on the issues. Do not merge with the center or the left. When Rhode Island Governor John Chafee waffled on the income tax and collective bargaining, the Republican brand turned into "Democrat-lite". Why vote for "kind of liberal" if "the real deal" is running, too? Conservative is more popular than liberal, especially when "liberal" means spending money that the state does not have on programs that no one can afford or on projects which no one needs.
Do what Sutton Representative Ryan Fattman did: knock on every door in your constituencies. Tell people why they should vote for you instead of why they should not vote for "the other guy". People are conservative on enough issues. So what if the Democrats have money? If you have the heart, if you have the guts, then you have the core of the argument, and no one can take that away from you.
Your move to recognize some exceptions for abortion is "right on". Stay pro-life, stay pro-limited government, stay pro-Massachusetts. You can teach the national party apparatus a thing or too about respect for every voter and for every state in the conference. Take some advice from former Massachusetts Republican US Senator Edward Brooke, who believed the Republican Party should have heart as well as a head for things. He is proof positive of the Republican Party's record on civil rights, nothing like the Democrats, who buy votes perhaps but fail to command any respect or offer real opportunities to minorities.
Keep making the "right" moves, Mass. GOP. There's plenty of fight left.
As my RMG colleague Rob Eno pointed out today, Massachusetts House of Representatives Minority Leader Brad Jones scrambled to co-author legislation designed to amend the rules of the House so that the restriction to bills on the House floor would be lifted. This victory for transparency was made possible by a hearty band of Republican House members dubbed the "Gang of Five". The resolution filed by Dan Winslow was supported by his plucky Gang of Five colleagues Shaunna O'Connell, Jim Lyons, Marc Lombardo, & Geoff Diehl. Everyone else - including Democrats! - knew a good thing when they saw it & quickly threw their support behind the legislation. The rest, as they say, was history.
But the question remains: why didn't Jones himself take the initiative to challenge the lack of transparency promulgated by Speaker of the House Bob DeLeo? Why did he wait till the last minute to help his GOP colleagues? WHY?
As Eno pointed out in another post, special election Republican candidates Carol Claros & David Steinhof actually did pretty good considering the fact that both first-time candidates had scarce resources & their respective races happened deep within Democrat territory. Still, DeLeo had no problems publicly pounding the pavement & shaking the money tree for the members of HIS party like Dan Donahue (Claros' opponent) who were also running in those special elections.
Now where was the Minority Leader when two Republican candidates had a chance to win two open seats? Sure, the MA House Republican PAC doled out $500 & Jones personally donated $100 to Claros (no word yet if he did the same thing for Steinhof), but...but was THAT all he did? Why wasn't an independent expenditure from the GOP PAC done for either Claros or Steinhof? Jones allowed his name to be attached to an invitation to an event for Steinhof but he never showed up at said event. In fact he was completely absent from ANY event staged for Claros & Steinhof. He was a NO-SHOW!!!
Some Establishment Republicans may titter over a cartoon & squeal, "where's Waldo?" but ALL GOP activists should righteously respond with "the hell with Waldo - where's Jones? What's he doing? Where's the leadership?"
Indiana Congressman, short-term Presidential candidate, and now Governor of the Hoosier state Mike Pence defined himself as follows:
"I am a Christian first, a conservative second, and a Republican third.
I break down these affiliations as follows: voice, values, and vote
Voice, or identity, comes first. Who we are defines and influences everything else in our lives. How we define ourselves also sets the tone for what we think and say.
From our voice, or core identity, then follows our values, or our views on human nature, the role of government, the rights and powers of those who lead us as well as those whom we know or command under our authority.
From voice and values comes our vote. Who we are, what we believe, affects whom we vote for, or how we vote in the first place.
With this paradigm outlined, I would write the following.
First, I am a child of God: Romans 8: 15; 1 John 4: 17 -- "Christian" gives off a standing in a church, or in an institution, which is not wrong, but the Spirit of adoption cannot be ignored.
Second, I am a classical liberal. I think of the Austrian Economists and free-market advocates like Milton Friedman as part of this milieu, along with many libertarian thinkers, but I am not a libertarian, since those values relate a political philosophy, but do not articulate a world view or a manifest understanding of human nature.
Third, I am a Republican, but I am more than willing to support an Independent or Democrat who espouses classical liberal views. To this day, the Republican Party, at least on its platform, better reflects views of free markets, free people, free enterprise. "Free" is the proper definition of "liberal", not "equal", as presented by Democratic Party leaders today.
Voice, values, vote -- people need to know who they are in truth, not based on the suppositions of the state nor the opinions of men. When they have their voice, established in something sure and stable
The Massachusetts GOP decided that a grassroots effort must include explaining who they are, and what they represent. Jeff Jacoby advised Bay State Republicans to assess why anyone should vote for a Republican. A positive image, with a positive platform, better articulates the voice of the party than being negative and attacking the other party.
Values -- here, the GOP is facing some struggles. The social issues like abortion, gay marriage, and gun control are raising more questions and conflicts than before. Do Republicans stick with the more conservative line of pro-life and pro-traditional marriage, or do they go with the flow of the more tolerant electorate, including the younger generation which has no qualms with "gay marriage" or with pro-choice stances on abortion?
Vote must come last. The Massachusetts GOP has learned this lesson already. Why vote for a political party if you do not know their voice or their values, or in the case of the disconnect between the National GOP and the New England GOP parties, if they do not have a clear voice on the issues, or if their values are in conflict with the national platform, or with the statewide attitudes of everyday voters?
Of course, this does not mean that Republicans should embrace liberal views on everything, or even anything. But who they are and what they believe must come through without hesitation or distraction.
Ryan Fattman of Sutton made his case, knocking on 5,000 doors, and he won his last election with 70% of the vote in deep blue Massachusetts. If he can succeed there, what's to stop California Republicans, or Delaware Republicans, or even Rhode Island Republicans from replicating the same.
Establish the voice, outline the values, and get out the vote.
When I called upon Republicans in the MA House of Representatives to start thinking about a post-Brad Jones GOP (& to act upon it), one person responded by stating that rank-and-file Republicans must like him as a leader otherwise he wouldn't get re-elected. But that argument to me doesn't mean anything. Fear can make people do things that are against their political principles (let alone the principles of their political party) - especially when they witness what happens to other members of their caucus who are perceived to lose favor with (or incur the envy of) Jones himself.
Take for example Jones' decision to remove Shaunna O'Connell from the Ways & Means Committee & replace her with Matt Beaton. I'm sure Beaton is a nice guy but he comes from a district that's considered "safe" for a Republican. O'Connell comes from the city of Taunton - not exactly a bastion of GOP strength. You'd think that a rising star like O'Connell would find a mentor in Jones. You'd think that he would keep her in a high profile position to give her the leverage she needs in a city like Taunton. You'd think that both Jones & O'Connell would work together on an urban strategy that is ESSENTIAL for the GOP's long-term success. "Let's win one for the Gipper," you'd hope they'd cheer!
But then again I pinch myself & remember that it's Brad Jones we're talking about here. Not exactly the brightest bulb in the closet when it comes to Republican strategy in both its short term & long term forms. That lack of mentorship & support was demonstrated yet again when a study done by Leah Cole didn't get passed in a conference committee report on the budget. If Jones wanted that study to get through, it would've gone through in a heartbeat.
But does Jones have the heart to assist his members? From what I've heard, Jones has been AWOL when it comes to attending the few available events for GOP state representative candidate Carol Claros as she runs for office.
Notice the pattern here? Jones appears to distance himself from strong, independent Republican women whose leadership qualities present a sharp contrast to the "lead-from-behind" boy's club that best exemplifies the House Minority Leader's office. That wasn't always the case (Elizabeth Poirier was appointed by Jones to be Assistant House Minority Whip) so one has to wonder why Jones no longer cultivates women to hold positions of power within the House Minority Leader's office. Well, maybe that's the price a party pays when it allows its alleged leaders to enjoy automatic re-appointments when the record shows said leaders no longer merit their position (&, in fact, hurt the party the longer they cling to power). Jones is a relic of the past & should be placed in a GOP museum. We need new blood - ASAP!
The recent revelations that House Minority Leader Brad Jones has acted as an enabler for Beacon Hill's majority party in the House of Representatives should come as no surprise to long time Republican activists.
Jones has been & will continue to be an apt symbol of GOP impotence. He is comfortable with a status quo that he hopes will reward him with perks & a nice pension once he retires from public life. He has no interest in rocking the boat. He has no interest in effectuating genuine political change. Jones is content to play a faux opposition leader & he gets away with it because too few within the party call him out on it. Most of them are too busy fawning over his fake leadership credentials & his manufactured "celebrity". Want to see human self debasement in action? Check out the Republicans who get weak at the knees and gush over Jones when he deigns to acknowledge their presence.
The GOP State Committee should have as an agenda item a meeting with both Jones & Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr in order to determine why both men have failed to advance Republican ideas & elect more Republican candidates. Is that likely to happen? Not with the current makeup of the membership. Members of the House GOP, however, should instigate among themselves some serious discussions about a post-Jones era on Beacon Hill. It's LONG overdue.
After reading yesterday's story about Marc Lombardo and Jim Lyons fighting for Members's Rights on the House Floor during informal sessions, you may ask yourself, what's the big deal? Only uncontroversial bills are supposed to pass during informal session.
The problem is that over the past 10 months three bills advanced during informal session that warranted the full house acting with a roll call. Here are those bills you can judge for yourself.
Coffee shops, bistros, and so-called holes in the wall will no longer be allowed to skirt a state health regulation if a bill passed by the Massachusetts House Tuesday becomes law.
The bill would close a loophole that exempts restaurants with fewer than 25 seats from a state law that requires such businesses to have someone on site who is trained in the procedures for removing food lodged in someone's throat, said state Representative Ruth Balser, Democrat of Newton.
Dave Andleman of the Restaurant and Business Alliance explained the bills ramifications.
"With the Massachusetts hospitality industry losing 7,000 jobs in the last 3 months, we should not add more costs to our small businesses," David Andelman, alliance president, said in a statement.
"While we applaud the good intention of this bill, it is not fair that this vague bill burdens any businesses with liability for something beyond their control," Andelman said.