I feel defeated

(Kirsten Hughes had zero reason to listen to my suggestion to fire DeVitto, but when 18 year olds are losing faith, that should cause one to pause. – promoted by Paul R. Ferro)

And it’s not because of Kirsten Hughes.

Ms. Hughes is a good person, and she has the respect and the support of some of the most important people in my life. I congratulate her, and intend to assure her, and all of you, that she now has my support. I wish her the best, and I am sure she will make a fine chairperson.

The feeling that has enveloped me is one of moral defeat.

The last time I saw Vincent DeVito’s face was on the floor of the RNC. Rich Berrena suggested I go talk to a FOX reporter that at the time was interviewing Brock Cordeiro. I thanked Mr. Berrena, whom I hardly knew, for his friendly suggestion.

When Brock was done with his interview, I took a step forward to approach the reporter. It was then that a little grey-haired man in a suit put his hands on me, stepped in front of me, his back to me, and said very simply, “No.” The man was Vin DeVito.

I said, “I’m sorry, sir, I was told to introduce myself to this man.”

DeVito replied, “No, you’re not talking to him.”

I asked Vinny for his name a few times, but he just continued to box me out in silence.

I went back to my seat confused, because I had, until then, been treated so well in Tampa. It was then that Rich Berrena informed me of Mr. DeVito’s identity.

When I watched the chaos unfold last night over the “RG” contested ballot, my heart was broken. When Vin DeVito looked at that room full of republican activists and defended his decision to discount that ballot, something inside of me died.

It was as if I joined this party for nothing, as if all of the apologies I accepted, all of the bridges I rebuilt, as if all of that was for absolutely nothing.

The difference between the incident in Tampa, and the feeling I have today, is that, in Tampa, I was genuinely confused for a little while. This morning, I am sincerely depressed. I am saddened. It is a unique and distinct kind of sadness.

The last time I felt this way was not on November 6th. No, the last time I experienced this feeling was on June 15th of this past summer, when I opened a letter informing me that I had been removed from the Massachusetts delegation to the Republican National Convention of 2012.

It’s getting really hard for me to defend my allegiance to this party, and that really does break my heart.

About EvanMKenney


  1. Evan, I was so glad to meet you last night and it made me feel good to see a young man like you on our side. We need young people like you to be the future of the party. Don’t give up! That’s what they want you and the rest of us who don’t agree with them to do. Don’t give them the satisfaction. Trust me, I know how you are feeling. What happened last night sucks but don’t let it stop you for fighting for what you believe in. Hang in there.  

  2. But it leaves me feeling confused when I don’t see the millions posts when it comes to an actual general election battle.

    Don’t get me wrong, this stuff has some (minimal) impact on the future of the party, and some emotional involvement is appropriate. However, it doesn’t sound to me as if anything was stolen from Rick Green. He was a great candidate, will likely continue to be a part of the future of the party, and his graciousness in defeat should really reassure you to move on.  

  3. Your life will be filled with dickheads and a-holes.

    People who do it to you because they think you are a threat.

    People who do it to you just because they weren’t thinking.

    People who do it to you just because they can.

    People who do it to you for fun.

    This includes people you work for, people you work with and if you don’t watch out it can include people you’re in a romantic relationship with.

    These things that are happening to you only refer to your hobby, politics. Wait until someone does it to you and it costs you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    That’s when you can really have the pity party.

  4. It just makes my life more difficult, and our lives more difficult. I’m not going anywhere.

  5. Watching DeVito shake his head in opposition to proper parliamentary procedure really makes me wonder what his real agenda is.

  6. I would have beat him like a rented mule.  He would have been my bitch right on the floor of the RNC…  I would have gone all Mike Tyson on his ass…

  7. The GOP doesn’t really want you.  Ignore whatever everyone is telling you here about how valued you are.  You aren’t.  Actions speak louder than words and there have been plenty enough actions to leave you the feelings you are feeling.  The GOP just wants any extra body they can get to volunteer for things.  That’s all you are.

    The Libertarian Party has a new chairman.  I’ve met him.  He’s a real nice guy and he’s focused on building a farm team.  He holds a monthly meeting in Boston for people to get together and chat.  Check it out.


    Be a Libertarian.  Be happy.

  8. At the time of the convention delegate bru-ha-ha, there was a posting that simply advised those disappointed with the results to “avoid Mass GOP internal politics, it will only make you more frustrated.”

    I have followed this advice.  Kristen Hughes, Rick Green?  Glad someone’s running the show.  Don’t know who they are.  Don’t care who they are.

    Here’s what I’ve been doing:

    1. ‘Adopting’ candidates or parties in other states.  I’m fortunate in that I came from a state in which the GOP thinks like a governing party.  They have real policy proposals to change the lives of real people.  My advice to you: get on the mailing list of another state party, send some $$ to an out-of-state candidate you think can make a difference, volunteer your services at a distance (build a website, do phone calls).  There’s a lot more than you can do at a distance in the internet age.

    2. Get involved in the policy debate.  We have a number of policy think tanks and activist organizations here in Mass and New England.  Talk with Pioneer, the Beacon Hill Institute, CLTG, MassFiscal Alliance, Gun Owners Action League or the Tea Party.  These people have a real agenda.  You don’t need to advance your ideals through elective means.  Indeed, you can lay the groundwork for a conservative/small government movement that the Massachusetts GOP should be doing (but is too lazy, fractionalized, agenda-less and otherwise f—ed up to do).

    Follow this advice my friend and you will find a much happier, rewarding path in front of you.  


  9. …but you’re an inspiration to me and what we’re doing in this state.  We need you.

  10. If you want to push Libertarianism, join the Libertarian Party.

  11. I appreciate that, in the spirit of party unity, you want to support our new chair.  But don’t you find it a bit odd that Scott Brown bowed-out the day after she won, after a whispering campaign that held her out as the only way to get Scott to run again?

    I like to give people a chance to prove themselves — but as first impressions go, this one doesn’t exactly inspire my trust.  I guess we have to make the best of what we have.  But things like this won’t stop if we just all agree to not talk about what everyone is thinking anyway.

  12. it’s about DeVito symbolizing the survival of exactly what I’ve been working to kill within the MassGOP since the day I registered to vote.

  13. I understand that to many, emotions have no place here, but the fact is, with passion comes emotion, and passion is a driving force in compelling people to push forward against all sorts of adversity.  Another fact is, there are very many feeling exactly as Evan is feeling right now, and at many other various times in relation to this sort of treatment by the GOP.  To ignore it is to further disengage an already barely surviving party.  Evan is the new blood and energy.  Dismiss his feelings and dismiss others from the party in great numbers.

  14. it would only have given the party a huge black eye, and most assuredly lead to assault charges.  Not an option.

  15. Keep in mind one quick thing, Vincent DeVito is our General Counsel – our lawyer – and our official Parliamentarian is Jim Couture, who was not in attendance last night.  

  16. He will most likely never leave since those kinds of people are valued highly in politics.

  17. And indulge in your ideological purity since you will never win anything ever.

    Farm team? LP members are unable to get elected to municipal office, let alone anything higher than that.

    I am as staunch a libertarian as they come. And while I appreciate that you seem to share my political views, and I certainly wish there were viable options outside the two-party system, it ain’t happening. Evan is doing the right thing, focusing his attention on fighting the corrupt influences within the GOP and forming alliances with other grassroots leaders to chip away at the big-government behemoth in Massachusetts. And make no mistake, we are winning, and we will win.

  18. The LP will be running candidates for municipal office.  In non-partisan races they stand at least as good a chance as any Republican.  Past performance is not good indicator of future success in this instance.  This is a new chairman and he has the right focus.

  19. What state you in Mark, cause pick you flavor and repeat that statement if you’re a GOP resident of Mass!

    The next generation tilts very much libertarian.  That influence is only going to grow, and honestly (the moderate ones) have ideas and a new direction the party might be prudent to take.  

  20. Simple J. Malarkey

    …”we are winning”…care to elaborate on that a little?

  21.    Are nonpartisan. Supposedly. I have been an unlikely pawn in the d vs. R fracas. But it can’t be brought out  openly, because you could lose more votes than you’d gain.  

  22. Of all meetings, the freaking parliamentarian doesn’t show up when some were predicting a tie for party chair?!

  23. God forbid small government shows its face in the GOP.

  24. … On disputed ballots.  Nor was the procedure in the event of a tie unknown.  Second, third or more ballots until someone gets a majority.

    Course, I could be wrong.  Multiple. SC members couldn’t figure out how to write “Kirsten Hughes” or “Rick Green” on a line on their ballots correctly, so…

  25. Things that clarify and explicitly state what should happen in the event of the stuff that went on at the caucuses or the recent tie w/ initials?

  26. Vinny DeVito likes the flexibility.

  27. You’re really asking two different questions about two entirely different subjects.

    The Rules Committee for the 2016 Republican National Convention will be formed at the appropriate time and well, will handle the rules as to how to run those caucuses to elect delegates. Now, the bigger question will be IF there will even be caucuses as there has been talk of adopting a form of delegate selection as found in other states.  Elsewhere, each campaign drafts up lists of delegates in a prioritized order.  If, as in 2012 with Romney, if a presidential candidate is clotted 100% of the delegates then that candidate’s entire slate would be sent to the Convention.  If, as in 2008 between Romney & McCain there is a split, then those slates would be split in the appropriate ratio.  Say the split is 60/40 and there are 10 delegates at stake (it’s not as simple as that but just for the sake of discussion) then winning Candidate A gets 6 delegates & Candidate B gets 4 delegates.  If such a system is adopted then the Rules Committee, probably largely basing their actions on the precedent of other states, such as perhaps New Hampshire, would just need to fine tune the rules for the new process.  

    Regarding the recent tie and the initials, that could be more clearly expressed in the bylaws denoting “voters intent  accepting initials” but really, the process – while certainly interesting and one could even call messy – worked out as it should have.  This is idle speculation but had the matter gone to a vote I see no way how the “RG” could have been rejected as a vote intended to be for Rick Green.  We’re not talking some weird symbol but clear initials.  I’m not even sure if initials need to be expressly spelled out as well, the challenge was based upon the Bylaws requiring names be put into nomination.  Initials are an abbreviation of a name.  While tense and with temperatures at a simmer and near boil, a little common sense takes care of a lot of problems.

  28. Instead, people should give serious thought to administering an IQ test to those running for SC.  Not that they have to have a high IQ, or even more than a pulse, but just to insure they have a brain.

    1- How hard is it to take a piece of paper with a line on it on one side, and other information on the other side, and write ONE of TWO choices of who is going to lead their party?  (77 of 80 figured out how to do it right, indicating there was nothing too tricky about the situation.

    2- As to the RG, the Chairman had already made it crystal clear that such would stand as for RICK GREEN.  To the person who wrote RG:  Was it that much trouble to spell out the name of who you chose as Chair?  Was this race not important enough to you to insure your choice was clearly understood?

    Pathetic from every angle.

  29. Seeing as the first vote produced a tie,

    Shouldn’t the floor been opened up to additional nominations?

    What if someone wanted to propose drafting Bob Maginn for example?

  30. “Small government” is fine, no one disagrees with that. It’s Libertarianism that has no place in the party.

  31. YES! Combined with a little less corruption (Devito), common sense might actually help us avoid bad press! DeVito has spoon fed the media three different incidents blackening the eye of our party. He really does need to be removed form his post. He is only bad news.

  32. Conservatism could not exist without libertarianism. Libertarianism (as a party with elected officials) just doesn’t exist… So there goes that.  If libertarianism is to be a viable ideology in the form of policy creation, run as a republican. Otherwise, no such luck.  

  33. The Republican Party has a much higher ceiling in Mass than most people think.

    I agree with you whole-heartedly about the next generation being libertarian. But the place for that is the Republican Party; the role of the Libertarian Party is disappearing.

  34. What a shame the Mass GOP forces us to think and act outside “their” box.  Shouldn’t have to be, and there’s been enough evidence to show and prove how wrong their antics are.

  35. Of course there is a party. They don’t get more than 8% or so, but that should tell you something.

    Conservatism is not anti-goverment, and it is not for radically transforming the nature of humanity. Libertarian policies will lead to big government, because they don’t promote the kind of moral values that allow for small government.

  36.    You’ve never taken the “True Libertarian Test”


  37. Apparently things must be spelled out in such a way as to avoid any ambiguity whatsoever as to disallow people from making wholly disingenuous arguments.  I don’t think whoever wrote RG should be made to feel all that poorly.  The candidates did not share the same initials.  No one can seriously suggest it was a joke write-in for Ricky Gervais or something.  Of course it was a vote for Rick Green.  What’s next, are we going to start discounting ballots just because they have a stray mark on them?

  38. and extra professional/logical.

  39. I haven’t heard anything from the people I worked with during Scott’s  last campaign. I am confused.

    Scott’s reasoning is very sound. No human being can run 4 statewide campaigns in 6 years and stay sane. I trust Scott, and I especially trust his Chief of Staff Greg Casey. They will make the right decision.

    As I’ve said in the past, I wish Scott didn’t make the decision to get involved in the chair race. I’m confused as to what his goal was now. I’ll wait to hear from one of my former colleagues on that.

    I can’t blame you for the sour taste that has been left in your mouth. I, too, am suffering from cynicism at the moment, but I trust Scott and his staff enormously.

  40. “things must be spelled out in such a way as to avoid any ambiguity whatsoever as to disallow people from making wholly disingenuous arguments.”

    (though I still think the RG person could have taken the minimal effort to write a simple name such as Rick Green out of respect for the candidate, if not the vote itself.  Wasn’t like it was Reginald Gedalyahu or something)

  41. As a party who’s only elected officials include a member of a planning board  for a 150000 population town and a few other small time local municipals. If libertarians want to make a difference in the policy debate and direction they should with the R label. It makes practical sense. Doing so with the L label is just not going to happen on any level outside of small municipalities.  

  42. As a party who’s only elected officials include a member of a planning board  for a 150000 population town and a few other small time local municipals. If libertarians want to make a difference in the policy debate and direction they should with the R label. It makes practical sense. Doing so with the L label is just not going to happen on any level outside of small municipalities.  

  43. The MassGOP Bylaws detail the procedure for electing the Chairman in Article III, Section 1:

    “The Chair shall be elected, by secret ballot, at the January meeting following each presidential and gubernatorial November election, and the Chair’s continued term of office shall be ratified by the successor State Committee at the organizational meeting of the successor State Committee. The election to each office shall be by majority vote. If no candidate receives a majority on any round of voting, the “low man out” rule shall prevail, and voting shall continue until one (1) candidate receives a majority vote, and is thereby elected. There shall be no nominating committee appointed in connection with the election of officers of the State Committee; all nominations shall be made only from the floor.


    Nowhere in this section does it provide for opening the floor back up to nominations.  Bob Maginn could not have been drafted.  The election isn’t stopped after the first ballot & then started anew with the second vote.  Neither Rick nor Kirsten has to be renominated and the voting merely went to another round, and would have gone to a third had there been another tie vote.  Rather, “voting shall continue” with the the same candidates minus any candidates that may have been subject to the low man out rule (which wasn’t the case as it was a two-person election and did not have multiple candidates).

  44. That would have been pretty funny anyway.

  45. Thank you Brock for the clarification. I only thought about it because that is the sort of thing that can happen at a convention. It was not meant as a criticism, simply a question. I knew I could rely on you for an answer.

  46. This rule should be amended to eliminate the secret ballot entirely. Secret ballots are proper in cases where the voter acts on his own authority without the need to be accountable to anyone else. When I enter the voting booth in November, nobody has any right to know who I voted for. Yet members of the State Committee are elected officials, accountable (in theory, at least) to their constituents. I have a right to know how my state committee members voted on anything; if I don’t like how they vote, I have a right to replace them at the next election. Not to mention that a roll call virtually eliminates the risk of incompetence and/or conspiracy undermining the outcome; it’s hard to miscount when everyone in the room can hear the votes cast verbally.

  47. The same reason there is a secret ballot is the same reason why one State Committee member asked that our General Counsel step a few feet away from the ballot box: fear of voter intimidation.  

    Whether someone is afraid or intimidated by “the Establishment” or another perceived faction, the secret ballot allows someone to cast a vote according to their conscience & deliberations.

    That said, most of us…at least 71 out of 80…had publicly declared how we intended to vote.  I made my decision abundantly clear, even when & to an individual considering a candidacy who also happened to be my constituent.  

    I would be satisfied with either an open roll call or secret ballot but others have fear of intimidation and therefore prefer the latter option.

  48. As always, I appreciate Brock’s response, which explains the reason for the practice. But personally, I don’t think that fear of intimidation justifies the practice. Elected officials – whether they’re in Congress or the state legislature or the state committee should feel a measure of “intimidation” called accountability to their constituents.  

  49. That said, most of us…at least 71 out of 80…had publicly declared how we intended to vote.  I made my decision abundantly clear, even when & to an individual considering a candidacy who also happened to be my constituent.  

    But you could have said you supported Hughes and then actually voted for RG for all we know. That shouldn’t be a possibility.  

  50. You’re absolutely right in that anyone elected – including those serving upon the State Committee – should be accountable to and transparent for their constituents.  

    To play Devil’s Advocate for a moment, does that mean that they should be subject by those who are not their constituents?  What if consideration for someone’s constituents leads that individual to Conclusion A but a very vocal minority, someone else’s constituents, demands Conclusion B?

    Another, perhaps more important, dilemma is more the case even within a constituency when there is a silent majority & vocal minority.

    Ultimately, every elected official is subject to the approval of their actions by their constituents at the ballot box.  Certainly, no human institution is perfect and like our nation the MassGOP can be made a more perfect union.

  51. Our elected reps in congress don’t do secret ballots do they?

    We are always crowing about transparency and lack of it with goings on at the state house.  Let’s fix it first here.

    It would also make it easy to track down members that prefer to vote using initials and ask them their intent.

  52. To play Devil’s Advocate for a moment, does that mean that they should be subject by those who are not their constituents?  What if consideration for someone’s constituents leads that individual to Conclusion A but a very vocal minority, someone else’s constituents, demands Conclusion B?

    Yes.  They are already pressured by those who are not their constituents.  Like Scott Brown!  In the interest of parity, let us afford the privilege of pressuring members to everyone.

    Ultimately, every elected official is subject to the approval of their actions by their constituents at the ballot box.

    But the subject of the approval of their actions by their constituents is subject to their actions not being secret.

  53. I’ve already made suggestions for using a standing roll call vote for chairman votes as well as clearly denoting the embrace of a voter’s intent, especially regarding initials or discernible misspellings, etc. – in future secret ballot voting.

  54. The “Scott Brown” factor in last week’s election for Chairman has been grossly over exaggerated.

    Not one did I ever receive a phone call or email from Scott on behalf of Kirsten Hughes nor any other Brown-associated person twisting my arm or trying to convince me to support Kirsten.

    Scott’s endorsement of Kirsten was certainly no surprise but likewise it was never a threat, implied or otherwise.

    Regardless of how the votes are taken, if a State Committee member is not communicating their actions with their constituents then that is a greater problem.  What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.

  55. Safe enough that the effort needed to click Send was better spent on other members?

  56. As previously stated here on RMG, my vote was never based upon anything related to Scott but rather my 5+ years of working experience with Kirsten over my several months awareness of Rick Green.

    Scott Brown wasn’t even in my equation.

  57. Or begrudge him his endorsement of a former associate.

    The problem is that our new party chair allowed her campaign to benefit from an obvious lie.  Scott apparently had a role in this as well, but he’s history now anyway.

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