Please note that I’ve added the emphasis. Jack Spillane attended our recent SouthCoast GOP Forum for MassGOP Chairman Candidates, and actually Jack tends to cover most of our major events down here in Greater New Bedford.
I should note that well, Jack is a Democrat but one that I’ve generally found to be quite fair & rather open minded. That said, I’m inclined to largely agree with him and today’s article in the Standard-Times.
This article is certainly more evidence, as if we needed more to drive home the self-evident point, that it is crucial to build strong, effective Republican ward/town & city committees. However, more than simply holding nice meetings we need to get out & get engaged. We need to elect Republicans up & down the ticket – but especially at the local municipal level! We need to recruit strong, viable candidates and together – like two strong arms lifting the GOP ever higher – the municipal committees & candidates will be the future of the Massachusetts Republican Party!
If you don’t have a farm team, it’s hard to make the big leagues, no matter how many envelopes you lick or organizational meetings you hold.
So the last two Democratic speakers of the House in Massachusetts have been indicted.
Tommy Finneran for perjury and Charlie Flaherty for income tax evasion.
We’re evidently going for a trifecta, as a federal grand jury now is investigating the activities of current Speaker Sal DiMasi. Last Thursday, Attorney General Martha Coakley indicted Mr. DiMasi’s personal accountant, Richard Vitale, for allegedly lobbying “the speakah” illegally.
Now why, you might ask, have three Massachusetts speakers in a row skated so close to the ethical line between right and wrong?
Well, one good reason is because there’s no one in an opposition party to watch them.
So last Thursday night, two Republicans with names you’ve never heard of trekked all the way to Dartmouth to talk to local party members about who should succeed Mr. Torkildsen.
Jennifer Nassour, a lawyer and mother from Charlestown (of all places) and Mike Franco, an MBA from Holyoke who works for the government as a veterans agent, pitched the local party members for their votes.
Ms. Nassour cast herself as an organization maven who will focus Republicans on local offices and pound home a few clear and concise messages. Mr. Franco portrayed himself as the representative of the workingclass Republicans and the social conservatives who aren’t ashamed to call attention to what they believe in.
I liked both of them and am sure either would do a serviceable job.
But I couldn’t help thinking that the divide between moderates and conservatives is not the problem plaguing the Massachusetts Republican Party.
The problem is that there are so few Republicans in the chicken pie local offices that make up everyday life.
Yeah, Jack did forget about the growth of elected Town Meeting members by especially younger Dartmouth Republicans. He also forgot the self-term limited Chris Pereira of Dartmouth who, at 21-years-old in 2002, was the youngest elected official in town history by easily besting 2 deeply entrenched incumbents. But let’s not quibble over the fine details. His conclusion remains essentially true.
FYI – here’s an article from the July 2002 edition by David Mark of Campaigns & Elections about Chris’s race, “Maiden voyage: a 21-year-old bay state republican takes the plunge – and wins – Case Study – Chris Pereira, Dartmouth School Committee, Massachusetts.” Nowadays, Chris is in graduate school & serving in the Mass Air National Guard. However, I look forward to when Chris, current vice chairman of the Dartmouth RTC, decides to jump back into the electoral arena yet again.
However, we need our GOP committees to cultivate the aforementioned and recruit new members. We need 2 strong arms, or to use another anatomical 2 healthy lungs breathing in concert, to not only grow but to thrive.