A Crossroad For The MA-GOP

GOP Together

The Massachusetts Republican Party finds itself at a crossroad. Save a few bright spots, we’ve experienced consistent defeats for far too long.

Some have suggested that Republicans in Massachusetts need to compromise convictions, give up core values, become more like the Democrats. Well that’s no winning formula. We’ve tried that failed approach. Look at the end result — 11% registration and across-the-board losses. Besides, the whole point of winning an election is to promote our policies. Changing our principles isn’t victory; it’s surrender!

It’s simple. What we’ve been doing hasn’t been working. We have an expensive office on Merrimack Street that is not accessible to rank and file Republicans, let alone the general public. When it comes to dealing with the grassroots, the MA-GOP has sadly earned a bad reputation for its hubris.

Changing the culture is the place to start. Arrogance and disdain can no longer be the rule or the exception. That expensive Merrimack Street office needs to be closed in favor of local storefront field-offices. Each location should be an outreach center staffed with interns and open to the general public, seeking assistance. Every call needs to be answered. Every message gets a call back. In other words the MA-GOP has practice customer and constituent service.

Without pandering, we need to start targeting new demographics. Hence, particular attention must be paid to immigrant and urban neighborhoods.

Presented properly, our message is simple and has broad appeal. We stand for The Dignity of Life, Individual Liberty, Family, Upward Mobility, Opportunity for All, and Personal Charity. But it’s not enough to talk about these things. Actions speak louder than words. We need to help people help themselves climb the socioeconomic ladder. Our field-offices should be ready to help everyone from local businessmen trying to cut through Democrat created red tape, to immigrants studying to become a citizen or seeking to learn English.

Republicans have always been a strong supporters of private charity. Hence, the MA-GOP should consider everything from establishing scholarships for less fortunate kids, to organizing youth public

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service projects.

Outreach must go hand-in-hand with a sound grassroots political strategy. Focusing virtually all our resources only on the top of the ticket, marquis candidate, has devastated the party. We must recruit and support good candidates for every office. Every race, for whatever office, (win or lose) must yield new voter data, new volunteers, new donors, and new prospective candidates. All the data acquired in one race, must be made available to help in the next race. Sharing this information must be the price candidates pay in order to receive support from the MA-GOP and local Republican Committees. We must start thinking and acting like a TEAM on a mission to win.

Electing candidates to municipal office must therefore be an essential component of our strategy. This builds the “farm team” and the ever-important ground game. Further, this affords potential State and Federal candidates the opportunity to campaign for municipal candidates in off years. Not only will they get themselves exposure, they’ll also earn the loyalty and support of municipals candidates, their volunteers, their supporters, and their donors.

Municipal elections also offer a unique opportunity to maximize manpower. Towns have their elections in the Spring, while Cities in the Fall. So local committees can virtually double their manpower, by having the City Committees assist Town Committees in the Spring and vice-a-versa.

Collaboration among Local Committees can also be furthered by creating a volunteer database. It should list people with various campaign skill-sets. These people can then be tapped for campaigns in various Communities in a local cluster. Eventually these databases can be merged. The end result will be the MA-GOP will have access to an exhaustive list of website-developers, social media experts, volunteer organizers, callers, writers, doorknockers, graphic designers. Name it. If a candidate needs someone with a particular talent, they’ll be able to find them in the database.

At a state level we must promote a strong statewide message. The best “contribution” the MA-GOP can make to individual candidates is an extensive media campaign, promoting the Republican brand and the need to end one party rule in Massachusetts.

Although few in number, Republicans in Massachusetts are not short on good ideas. Yet for too long the rank and file Republicans have been locked out of the process. Policy decisions have been made by a select few “experts.” The MA-GOP needs to start listening to other voices. Regional Chairs and State Committee members should meet with local activists to listen and discuss their ideas.

State Committee members and Regional Chairs know the districts, the candidates, the local issues, and demographics. Once a budget for local candidates is established, these folks need to be given decision-making power over how this money gets spent in trenches.

In short, we need to change our attitude, approach, strategy, and tactics. Not our conservative convictions! We need to put our Republican values into public practice. We need to prove to the citizens of Massachusetts that we know how to run a city or town, before we they will trust us to run the Commonwealth.

Once again we find ourselves at another crossroads. In January the State Committee will elect a new MA-GOP Chair. This will be the first of many important decisions. We can continue on the same old path, which has lead to political irrelevance or chart a new course to political influence.

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6 thoughts on “A Crossroad For The MA-GOP

  1. Mark Gray

    What were you people thinking? You helped destroy your own voting base with people like Brown. The team that didn’t think education was an issue. That he wouldn’t touch or go after any democratic strong hold including locally. Wouldn’t help with any corrupt MA infrastructure that would have helped his voting turn out. Using the tea party as an enabler for the party to elect reps that don’t represent the tea party values and is now turning them against the GOP for doing so. If the stand you people are taking is forget the local elections, corruption, and keep pushing candidates like Brown, then you deserve to keep losing. The problem with your candidates? It’s all about you and the ‘party’ not us the people. If we wanted that we all ready have a party that screws us over and refuses to represent us, in case you haven’t learned. That’s the issue going back over decades. Your just another party in it for yourselves, and you pay for that belief.

  2. Chip Jones

    Although what you have written is correct, it doesn’t go quite far enough. In the last election cycle, even some of the higher profile US Congressional campaigns didn’t even have the necessary campaign structure to run a viable race. At least three of these candidacies never even sought and appointed a Campaign Finance Director.

    It is critical for the staff structure of the MassGOP to reflect the staff structure of a viable campaign. This is critical for two reasons. Most importantly, the Party’s efforts over the next decade and more, ARE a campaign. MassGOP needs, as you have implied, to run a political campaign for the “hearts and minds” of the Massachusetts working class. We used to be seen as the party of the class struggling to climb the ladder. We were the party that abolished slavery, that led the civil rights movement, and that gave money BACK to hard working Americans. We let that brand be stolen from us by a Democrat Party that resisted the abolition of slavery, used the KKK as its terrorist arm to thwart civil rights, and takes every dime it can from working America via taxation. As you rightly said, we need to re-assert our brand, and it needs to be done statewide with an emphasis in the urban population centers. THAT needs to be done as a CAMPAIGN. And that campaign needs to use best practices.

    Secondly, that campaign structure we build, that mirrors an efficient and winning campaign, can provide networking and technical assistance to the individual campaigns and to the individual roles inside particular campaigns. So a MassGOP Finance Director would meet with and host meeting and training for individual campaign finance directors, causing fundraising to be coordinated, not competitive as it is. Any of us that worked on larger campaigns knows well that “all the financial air was sucked out of the room” by top end marquis candidacies, leaving little for the rest. The era of competition needs to end and the era of cooperative activity needs to begin. This can occur with all the roles, communications, political, social media and finally field directors.

    But let’s look at the final one. Does MassGOP have a field director? *crickets*…. If we are going to get down to the communities and practice face to face politics, we need a field director to both coordinate that and teach/lead campaigns to use best practices for GOTV activities.

    I’m not sure that we should have local offices as you suggested. Maybe we can work toward that in the future, but first we need to go right into the communities…to the K of C’s, the Black churches, the Polish American Clubs, the Latino organizations….and so forth and so on. We need to GO TO OUR CONSTITUENTS, and not set up locations where they can come to us. ACORN/Neighbor 2 Neighbor/the Democrat Party goes to them. We have to beat them on message and physical effort.

    Finally, we need to change up our training and make it less ego based and more practical. It must contain sections that address the need for the roles I’ve stated above, and be taught by the people who hold those roles in the MassGOP. It creates both the knowledge and the venue to begin the networking. This will require a lot of evenings and Saturdays for MassGOP employees. Evenings and Saturdays are when hard working voters are accessible too….Get used to it!!

    I could go on…..just MHO…..

  3. John DiMascio

    @ Chip Jones… Thanks for you comments. As I noted:
    “Although few in number, Republicans in Massachusetts are not short on good ideas.” Thank you for proving my point by adding yours.

    Not every idea is going to necessarily be ‘all that and a bag of chips.’ But we need to start voicing them and they need to be heard. Even a mediocre or lousy idea might lead to a better idea after discussion. Some of the most successful business and companies are so because they encourage their employees to brainstorm.

    As for “not going quite far enough”: Well my first draft was close to 1,500 words. It wasn’t easy to cut it down to 900. I’m with one saved word doc that’s the written equivalent of a film editing room floor littered with cut clips.

    @Mark Gray… Thanks for input as well. Much of what you say is true. As I point out in my piece. Sadly,the MA-GOP has developed a bad reputation for its hubris. Some of the candidates also have displayed the same trait. The whole point behind being a political party is to represent people with a set of ideas and principles. And as I noted the point of winning an election is so those principles can be advanced, because you believe those principles to be true and best serve the people. Otherwise all you’re seeking to win for is personal power. They got a name people that do that — Democrats!

  4. Conservatives know that strengthening the Party means building the Grassroots base and the RINO’s within the MassGOP know that as well, which is exactly why they try not to have any more active RTC’s than they can CONTROL.

    Anyone paying attention or with two cents worth of political common sense can clearly see that Scott Brown is playing into the liberal’s “war on women” BS and scheming to capture ALL Party assets and resources by implanting his former finance director Kirsten Hughes as GOP Chair.

    Hughes is long on rhetoric and short on experience. She has already gone on record blaming social conservatives for their miserable failures like a classic RINO. Moreover, since she just had a baby (the greatest gift of all) I’d like to know who is going to be lacking the proper attention the GOP, her baby or both? She simply can’t give both 100% of the necessary attention which means one or both will suffer. Since raising a child IS the most important job there is, I suggest that she spend these critical years with her family and leave Party building to the conservatives (real Republicans).

    …and take that liberal, UN pandering, traitor Scott Brown with you!

  5. This article is right on and I can’t stress enough how important the grassroots effort really is – it’s how I won my race and I found out I’m the only freshman Republican in the entire state.
    One of the things I did in my race can be found in many other races where a Republican won in a difficult environment, think of Reagan or Weld or Giuliani. In each case we made it abundantly clear how Democrat policies were failing. Reagan asked if you were better off than you were four years earlier. Weld and Giuliani merely had to point out the abject failures of their predecessors.
    In my case I talked about per capita debt in MA being the highest in the country. I also pointed out how we have huge unfunded pension and health care liabilities and how these problems would never get solved with our corrupt one party rule. And then I pointed out how one party rule has never worked any where or any time.
    Every single person reading this can help by writing to newspapers and pointing out these facts. It was very helpful in my race to have letters reminding voters about how just one sided Beacon Hill really is – the most one party state in America and one of the most corrupt.

  6. haole

    cross roads for the republican party go’s through the north shore?

    brad jones-n.reading minority leader in the house.

    bruce tarr-gloucester minority leader in the senate.

    robert mcginn-belmont gop.chairman

    kerry healey-beverley gop.national committee women.

    ron kaufman-boston gop.national committee man.

    charlie baker-swampscott republican for governor 2010.

    richard tisei-wakefield republican for lt.governor 2010.

    richard green-pepperell gop.chairman 2013?

    you can fool some of the people some of the time,you can fool some of the people all the time,but you can’t fool all the people all the time !

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