MA-GOP Chair Candidate Launches Divisive Campaign.

It should be of serious concern that Kirsten Hughes, has taken this highly negative and divisive tone in her quest to become MA-GOP Chair.

Kirsten Hughes sent the following letter to State Committee Members in an effort to win their vote for MA-GOP Chair.


Kirsten letter blacked out


Below is an Endorsement Letter, from the Needham RTC Vice Chair, which Kirsten Hughes proudly and prominently places displays on her website.


As Vice Chair of the Needham Republican Town Committee, it’s with great enthusiasm that I endorse Kirsten Hughes for MassGOP Chair. As a grassroots activist, elected official and executive level campaign official, Kirsten is exactly the person we need to hold the reigns of the MassGOP.

In my efforts on the local level for our Party, I have benefited tremendously from Kirsten’s counsel, support and perspective. I know that I can trust her counsel because of her broad base of experience in Massachusetts politics.  While she is a capable manager who understands what is necessary to win races, she has also done the hands-on hard work of running conventions, building grassroots efforts and leading highly successful fundraising teams.  Whenever I have needed any resource for my local town committee or candidates, Kirsten has been there to provide the assistance requested. I have every confidence that she knows what needs to be done to support our City and Town Committees so that our candidates are elected.

Perhaps more importantly, Kirsten has the vision to rejuvenate our Party with specific proposals to make our Party vibrant as we enter this upcoming election cycle.  Her goal of ensuring that at least half of our state’s active RTC and RCCs are at membership capacity and supporting bylaw changes to empower RTC and RCC Chairs is an example of the type of proposals she will bring to the table. A significant distinction in this race is that Kirsten has no ideological litmus test for candidates. Kirsten has a proven track record as field director of the MassGOP of working with candidates and elected officials that have a range of opinions on social issues.  It is of grave concern to me that Kirsten’s main opponent is so readily identified by his social values as this places a severe limitation on our ability to attract viable candidates.  In the past elections cycle, we have seen that this narrow bandwidth has a detrimental effect on electable candidates in contested primaries.  These results should serve as a clarion call and guide our decision in selecting our MassGOP leader.  We need to have a party that is attractive to a spectrum of people who support our central principle of fiscal conservatism yet may have a diversity of views on other issues.

This is a critical juncture in the direction of the MassGOP and if we follow the wrong path to an identity that makes us less embraceable by the electorate, we run the real risk of becoming inconsequential and irrelevant. Kirsten Hughes is the right candidate for MassGOP Chair because of her unrivaled political experience, her ability to work with leaders united by a common goal but with divergent opinions and her ability to excite the grassroots of our Party. Please join me in supporting Kirsten in this paramount election that will determine the direction of our Party in the coming years.

Mary Tibma, Needham RTC Vice Chair
You can see for your selves that this letter appears on Kirsten’s website:


Notice the divisive tone highlighted in each letter. Both Kirsten and her surrogate-supporter are talking about being inclusive. Yet they disqualify all conservatives, painting them with the broad brush, and establishing a litmus test of their own. This standard says that if you are known for your conservative views and values, not only are you divisive, but you’re also not qualified to serve as MA-GOP Chair. Well that’s  a very interesting perspective since the outgoing Chair Bob Maginn, was very outspoken about his faith in Jesus Christ and his pro-life views. In fact Bob proudly and publicly espoused these views prior to his election as Chair. Therefore Bob Maginn would fail the “Hughes/ Tibma Litmus Test.” According to Kirsten’s divisive standard, Bob Maginn should not have been elected MA-GOP Chair.


Now these are the facts:
Kirsten’s main opponent is Rick Green. Yes he is a conservative — as are most Republicans. Rick has a proven track record of raising money and supporting local grassroots candidates, through the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance. He has built a $70 million, 100+ employee business from scratch. So he knows what it takes to build something and is perfectly able to rebuild the MA-GOP from the grassroots. In his quest for the Chairmanship he has made it clear that we must all unite together to promote and grow the party. Further he has publicly stated that unlike previous Chairs, it won’t be his role to put his personal fingerprints on the platform. Rather, he will make sure there is an open process both in State Committee and at the 2014 State Convention. Adding, that  as Chair of the entire MA-GOP, his role will be to  unite and lead everyone for a common purpose. He will let the Committee work its collective will with imposing or dictating one ideology over another. This has gained him widespread support among State Committee  members with varying convictions. Unlike his main opponent Kirsten Hughes, Rick hasn’t in as much as promised to marginalize a substantial part of the base. Nor is he indebted to one marquis candidate who will expect him to direct all party resources to one high profile race. That’s a failed strategy which has lead to an 85% Democrat majority on Beacon Hill and an 11% voter registration.
Apparently Ms. Hughes and her supporters don’t want talk about  the real issues facing the MA-GOP . Instead, they are bringing up non issues that have been  settled. The State Committee is no longer divided along ideological lines. Sure, they have their differences. But they’ve learned to work together. They are unified in purpose and are determined to work together in order to rebuild the party. One can only assume therefore, that Ms. Hughes is having trouble convincing State Committee members that she will follow through on her commitment to the grassroots and party-building. Most people know she’s all about supporting one candidate only. Her promises to do otherwise ring hollow.
She talks a good game with respect to building the grassroots . But then she alienates a major portion of the activists with this kind of divisive language. Stealing a page from the Obama playbook, she’s chosen this negative scare tactic in desperate attempt divide the State Committee in the hopes of winning the Chairmanship.
It is simply wrong to pit those who care deeply about social values against those whose focus in more on the fiscal issues. If this is any example of how Kirsten would lead , we can count on party registration  dipping in to the single digits if she’s elected. We can also look forward to a badly fractured Republican party, with a leadership solely focused on the good of one candidate at the expense of the Party’s future.


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2 thoughts on “MA-GOP Chair Candidate Launches Divisive Campaign.

  1. Sam Adams

    Good analysis, except for one very important fact. The state committee has always been and is now divided especially on ideological lines.
    The establishment talks a good game, (it’s good at talking), but is not the least bit interested in giving up any ground to social conservatism in any way, shape or form.
    Of course, we’ll all find out how much clout they have left soon enough.

  2. John DiMascio

    Sam, you are correct that there has been a historical division along ideological lines on the State Committee. However, much progress was made, especially at last meeting during the executive session.

    Bob Maginn to his credit, made some effort to support the right of conservatives to include social issues in the platform discussion. Of course Bob was smart enough to see the writing the writing on the wall. The make up of the State Committee was radically changed in March of 2012. There are enough folks in the middle that willing to engage in real dialogue. And after a frank discussion in executive session, a certain level of respect and unity was achieved.

    What we see happening in this MA-GOP race, is a tremendous amount of arm twisting by an establishment to garner the votes to remain in control. They are actually alienating S.C. members.
    They don’t have the votes and they are getting desperate. Hughes has names on her list of endorsements, that never endorsed or have requested that their names be taken down. Yet she’s keeping those names up there. Other members that you have thought would have been the first to endorse, are still holding out. Her own votes are wavering.

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