A Thought Experiment

(I know Rick Green has stated he would commit to six years as chair. Not sure about Kirsten’s thoughts on that. does anybody know?

– promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)

The MassGOP seems to go through a new Chairman every election cycle. As a thought experiment, wouldn’t it be something if the next Chair actually wanted to stay in that position for more than 2 minutes? Would a long-term Chair be beneficial to the Party?

The amount of rebuilding and restructuring that needs to take place with our party’s infrastructure is a long-term (more than 2 years) project. Perhaps the Party would be better served if the leader of the Party would commit to seeing that through. No matter how long it takes.

These stop-gap Chairmen, getting us through one cycle using the same old tired tactics, means we start from scratch every 2 years. The folks in the field deserve to be lead by someone as committed to growing the Party and electing local and state-level candidates as they are.

When the Chair is not committed, how can we expect the grass roots to be? How can we develop best practices if we start from scratch all the time? How can we build long-term relationships with candidates and activists with such high turnover at the top?


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  1. What should duration of Chairperson term really be?

    Maybe we should also ask if we should have term limits for SC members?  I am not thinking of anyone in particluar, but 6 years ought to be the limit in my mind….

  2. Simple J. Malarkey

    It runs through your veins:

    Bill Weld – resigned

    Paul Cellucci – resigned (and in out thoughts)

    Mitt Romney – spent last 2 years of only term running for President

    (Although Palin’s effective 18 months as Gov does earn her the cut and run award)

    Why are you guys surprised at the turnover you have at the party chair level, with a track record like this?  

  3. In my opinion, too many of our recent chairs have appeared to be using the position as a stepping stone to something else, something that they viewed as better.  This should not surprise anyone as our chairs have tended to be tethered to the party elite and working for the person at the top of the ticket while forgetting about the rest of the state party.

    Contrast this to what the Dems have been able to accomplish with a longer term chair at their helm.  They have taken the lessons from January 2010 and applied them to each and every race since then and have kicked out collective behinds.  John Walsh has been a constant in their leadership while the Mass GOP has gone through multiple chairs.  How could we move forward effectively when we will elect our THIRD chair since the January 2010 election of Scott Brown on Thursday night when the Dems have held steady with their Chair?

    I would like to see a chair that is willing to serve at least 4 years and preferably even more.  This would help get us through multiple statewide elections and get focused on actually building something rather than looking to your next job.

    Rick Green has publicly stated that he would serve six years as chair should the SC agree.  Kirsten Hughes seems to have been silent on this point with the only clue to her intentions being the consistent backing of the very same party elite that has backed the prior chairs whose constant turnover has effectively sapped our energy and momentum.

    This is one of the biggest if not the biggest question that SC members have to ask themselves when voting on Thursday night, will whomever we elect be with us long term or will we be doing this again in 2015?  

    We’re good at electing chairs how about we elect one that will stick around and work on building something great!

  4. the State Committee should start with this question for those running for Chairman: Are you willing to serve for at least six years?

    If the answer is yes, what are your one-, two-, four-, and six-year plans for the party in terms of fundraising goals, candidate recruitment, technology infrastructure, voter outreach and GOTV efforts.

    Note: plans not pie-in-the-sky, wouldn’t-it-be-great-ifs goals.

    It would be nice to see someone run for Chair who already has a plan developed which just needs to be implemented. You know, come to the table with something other than a string of endorsements and an agenda.

  5. About two weeks ago now, several State Committee members from this area had a dinner with Kirsten Hughes and she addressed this very question.  Kirsten’s directly quote as that she was “in it for the long haul”.  If elected on Thursday, Kirsten plans to serve out her full term and then through a second, if re-elected by the State Committee.

    As for 6 years, or three terms, I have not specifically asked her about that but Kirsten clearly laid out a multi-year vision of party growth, and her continual activity within that endeavor.

  6. I absolutely agree with you in principle.  From my tenure on the State Committee dating back to March 2007, we’ve had far too much of a revolving door when it comes to not only the Chairman but also staffers.  We are constantly reinventing the wheel and losing our institutional memory.

    Now, Jennifer Nassour was elected to two terms and was planning to serve such until doctors orders.  I cannot fault her for that but it was unfortunate, regardless of what anyone individually thinks of her tenure, for the purposes of continuity.

    Some State Committee members expressed to me their disappointment that Bob Maginn didn’t seek to be elected to a full term of his own.

    Whether Kirsten Hughes or Rick Green, I look forward to hopefully several years of a fruitful tenure by either would-be MassGOP Chairman.

  7. leave the state house in handcuffs doing the weekly perp walk…

    -last 3 Speakers of the House


    -The Gooch (Anthony Galluccio)

    -Diane Wilkerson

    Oh the list goes on and on and on….  

    I guess the difference is that our guys walk away, and your guys unfortunately stay.  

  8. Republican Ram Rod Radio

    V3PN just comes in with . . .

    Versus the Democrat standard, which is to…… (5.00 / 2)

    leave the state house in handcuffs

    As usual … thanks for playing Festus!

  9. He’s obnoxious and impervious to the facts.  

  10. Simple J. Malarkey

    …the US House of Representative, while voters in MA gave the Dems control of the state and voters put the Democrats in control of the US Senate and Presidency, I’m glad I can play your straight man.  I’m happy to give you a spec of solace in an otherwise dismal political environment.  

  11. A 2-year term is not enough time to fix what needs to be fixed. As long as the terms coincide with election cycles I think the State GOP will not get out of this ditch because every 2 years will be some new “top of the ticket” campaign that becomes the sole focus. Time to break that cycle once and for all.

    Step one, high-value contributors need to convinced to fund the state party and not just one particular candidate. This whole idea of earmarking maxed-out donors contributions for a specific candidate instead of party operations is self-defeating. How’d that one last commercial blitz work for the Brown campaign? Tisei? Perhaps if there was money available to invest in real GOTV activities or voter outreach events on a neighborhood level, or helping a good candidate for state rep, then the outcome would be different.  

  12. The practical problem is that the MassGOP does not effectively have “high-value contributors” who are donating to the party for the sake of the party.  What we effectively have, and so I’m told by other State Committee members as I’m not serving upon the Finance or Budget committees, are high-value contributors that donate to the candidates they prefer & then are convinced to donate to the MassGOP as a secondary effort, largely in support of those candidates (see Scott Brown urging those maxed out to his campaign to then max out to the MassGOP).

    There isn’t a plethora of high-value donors contributing their money “for the good of the Party”.  

    Now, I’ve heard it said that for specific projects that may yield tangible results on actionable endeavors that “I could get donors to contribute to that” but again, that’s an earmarked item and not a general donation.

    I agree with you that we need to convince high-value contributors to fund the state party, but practically speaking that’s not how the donors want to spend their money.

    I’m certainly open to a 4-year chairmanship, after all the State Committee terms are 4 years in length, although I suspect that we’ll hear demands to return back to a 2-year term if & when a chairman not of some faction’s pleasure is elected.  It may solve one problems but unveil more, but I’m interested in the idea.

  13. Brock –

    If there was one thing I wish more activists knew, it would be the reality of who donates to the MassGOP and what they want. Everyone thinks there is all this unrestricted money out there just waiting to be spent on party-building and local candidates. It just isn’t true. (Most money from donors is earmarked for specific efforts, as you know.)

    If people want money for party building and more local candidates, people are going to have to go out and raise money for them. The only exception might be that they money we have in our federal account could be spent on non-candidate infrastructure (tech, etc). If not, we will have to raise money just for that – which we should do anyway.

    Fortunately we are in a whole new world of fundraising opportunities, and we should be able to together find ways to do some of these new things.

  14. Republican Ram Rod Radio

    Ya know you leading in with our guys moving on to bigger and better things and V3PN reminding you that your guys move on to prison … ya know it’s funny!  : )

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