We see the current debate-after all the posturing is done and hopefully some accountability is introduced-as helpful in re-energizing Massachusetts republicans. We will continue supporting Charlie and Karyn so they can win in November. We need effective, responsive government. We need a “Big Tent” idea, the one Charlie spoke of at the Convention, at work after the Convention.
Two things stand in the way of the Commonwealth having effective, responsive government: the usual Democratic misrepresentation (and pandering) and Republican ineffectiveness. Unfortunately, we can only tackle the former if we’ve decisively addressed the latter.
There is currently a significant concern in many Republican activists about the way in which the Convention failed to abide by rules and what this means going forward: a law-suit and bad feelings. It’s really not an issue that will go away unless Charlie and Karyn tackle it decisively. This is not an issue merely stirred up by some unidentified Tea Party elements, but felt to be a real issue by various traditional Republicans (we definitely got this sense from some of our colleagues in Second Essex and by Libertarians that we know.
First of all, all these people are convinced some irregularities did take place at the Convention. For example, we (of the Second Essex) voted before the key note speeches by Charlie and Fisher. Some found Fisher’s speech impressive and said they might have voted for Fisher, had they not already voted for Charlie. (Of course, we voted for Charlie and would have voted for him even after the speeches).
Second, again in our case, the voting was by voice and not by ballot. Given the importance of this vote, it should have been by ballot-as professional and seamless as possible with little opportunity for questioning.
Third, we loved Charlie’s acceptance speech, but it was really strange that we didn’t know anything about whether there would be a primary while he was speaking. He never mentioned or acknowledged Fisher by name, which seemed strange.
Finally, after the convention we listened to the roll call twice on YouTube and only counted 10 blanks and this exact number can be verified by others who did the same. This is really bad! Where did the other 50+ blanks come from? Why would any delegate spend over $300 ($85 for the Convention, $180 for a hotel room, ~50 for parking plus miscellaneous) to go to a convention and then not vote-something is wrong!
This is really the clamor we’re hearing among the grass roots. This looks bad and won’t go away. It needs to be addressed. In the absence of decisive action, a good chunk of people (again, traditional Republicans, or Libertarians, not Tea Party elements) will have the sense that one of the focuses of the Convention was to keep Fisher from being in a primary with Charlie. The impression is that all such efforts to keep Fisher off the ballot are now backfiring by making Charlie and Karyn look bad as well as yielding Fisher on the ballot. In short, we and many activists are upset at the ineffectiveness of MassGOP, their fuzzy instructions and sloppy management. It is about time someone should be held accountable for the mess they created for Charlie, for Fisher and for all of us. We do not want convention irregularities to jeopardize our expectation that better government is at hand and will exist only when two-party representation exists on Beacon Hill. In short the “Big Tent” concept that Charlie spoke about (in contrast to Fisher, who was articulating his views against the pandering democrats) should be exactly the focus and the issue right now. Some people could and should make way for others–individuals that are a better fit for steering the MassGOP in the right direction.
Jim Avallon / Michael Gendre