I can’t BELIEVE we’re doing this again!

So I wrote the following in 2013. Sadly, given that we’re having this intra-party fight again, I feel the need to repost it.

“What is the one thing that can unite the MassGOP? Hint: It starts with “R”.

We just had our monthly RTC meeting this past Wednesday, and our State Committeeman was there to give us an update from that level.

His perspective was disheartening to say the least, even taken with a large grain of salt. With two warring factions at the state party level (he being on one side in this “War To End All Wars” nonsense) fighting for control, what’s a lowly committee chair with little contact with the grandees of the Party to do? All I’ve got is an opinion. So here it is: Stop it. Just stop it.

The State Party should be doing 3 things with its limited resources, and having a pissing contest over the soul of the party isn’t one of them.

1. Marketing/branding (60%). 2. Setting up effective GOTV operations (30%). And 3. Financially supporting candidates (10%).

Lets look at #1. The krack kadre of kampaign konsultants should have absolutely nothing to do with branding the party or marketing its message. Here’s a novel idea, have advertising/marketing professionals do it. For the most part these are not political junkies. They would approach the problem as they would any other marketing challenge. What is the key message? What is the strategic goal? What tactics will best convey that message and help reach the goal? We should be looking at this through a marketing prism instead of a political one. Finding Conservative-minded people would be a plus.

I’ve talked about this before. We have the better policies. We’re terrible at connecting those policies emotionally to the voters. Remember, we’re fighting Liberalism, the politics of feeling good about yourself. People need to feel good about their vote. That’s an emotional connection to a rational decision. People need an emotional reason to connect to a brand.

Now #2. Our GOTV effort pales in comparison to our opponents. They are taking full advantage of the latest technologies, coupled with good old-fashioned shoe leather, to get their folks to the polls. We don’t. That needs to change. Ed Lyons could speak to this better than I, so I defer to him on explaining all the tech solutions available.

#3. Candidates need to raise money. Duh. The State Party would better serve candidates by setting up an infrastructure to require less investment in mailings, web & social media presence, and other basic for setting up a campaign. (Ties into the whole brand message too.) Setting up a customizable “toolkit” would allow candidates to spend their money more efficiently and on other things like events (hosting/participating in cultural/civic events in their communities) and voter outreach and contact.

Oh, about that “R” word. It’s “Reform”. Every single tactical message should hammer in the message of “Real. Meaningful. Reform.”

Reform means lower taxes, and you don’t have to talk about cutting taxes. Reform means a more efficient delivery of essential services, and you don’t have to talk about cutting programs. Reform means good fiscal stewardship, and you don’t have to talk about cutting positions. Even if the end goal is to do all three, you don’t have to explicitly say it, which means there’s nothing to argue against.

That’s the one thing that the whole party can unite behind. It’s also the one thing Independents can get behind with us. It’s the one message that will allow us to win.”

About TLCWeld

Chairman, Reading Republican Town Committee
Constitutional Conservative
As a son of NH, I choose to Live Free or Die

  • Ronald Beaty

    Insightful article…

    RON BEATY,Conservative Candidate for Mass. GOP State Committeeman, Cape & Islands District

  • Tom Balcom

    The first ‘R’ word that came to mind, for me as I began to read this article, is the word Respect. The only issue I take with this is…gee, I wished I’d written it! Well done.

    I’m Tom Balcom and I am a candidate for The Massachusetts Republican State Committee, Hampden County representing Springfield-West Springfield.

  • What about values?

  • remember this is on both sides.

    There is no respect.

    I remember when Kirsten Hughes won the first time against Rick Green there was a pledge to work together. I never heard anything after that again.

    The party needs everyone, and if the establishment is going to try to crush the opposition, then expect the more conservative to continue to fight to topple the establishment. And vice versa, if the conservative wing keeps sticking their finger in the eye of the establishment, they will continue to get a heavy hand.

    I have friends on both sides, and I’ve gotten caught up in the bullshit. I see the good in both, why can;t the state committee?

  • Brian Kennedy

    “Reform” is indeed the key word, and reform starts at home.

    Without assurances from every single incumbent Republican State Committee Member that we *will* follow our own rules and cease being a biennial source of embarrassing press (both our caucuses and convention were plagued by lawsuits exactly because of this lack of ethics), none of this will change.

    There is an intra-party battle precisely because the contention goes beyond the “conservative / establishment” divide and speaks to matters of basic competency and ethics.

    As one of the candidates for a contested State Committee Man seat (First Plymouth and Bristol), this is a matter than needs serious discussion. We have four year terms, which is longer than our state reps and state senators. Town and City Committee Chairman such as yourself should be seriously asking each candidate for your districts what their plan is to address some of these fundamental concerns.

    You should ask why an incumbent voted either for or against the 2016 caucuses, and challengers what they would have done in the position.

    You should ask each candidate the level of transparency and kind of process they would prefer to determine the chair’s salary.

    You should also ask what our plan is to work with you and the other city and town committees in our districts so that we don’t end up with a “Party Grandee” label. Our position is, at least in my opinion, a service role and not a title to lord over others.

    In other words, don’t let these next few months be about who has the better photo album. We have some serious work to do to improve Republican registration and set the party’s direction for the next four years. Now is the time to discuss it, and I’m glad you’ve initiated the conversation.

  • John DiMascio

    Great article… I’d add that the MA-GOP needs to really start focusing on building a bench of a farm team, starting at the Municipal level, where in most if not all cases, the elections are not partisan. Once a Republican does a good job at the Municipal level, as a Selectman, City Councilor, or Mayor, he or she already has a strong base of support to run for higher office. At that point, voters will be voting for the person, and the sad stigma Republicans have in this state will be mitigated.

    The MA-GOP also needs to learn how to target districts better. There were over a dozen State Rep Districts that Scott Brown carried in 2012, in a year when he got crushed statewide and Romney lost to Obama big time, that the MA-GOP left unchallenged in 2014. I’d venture to say we could have picked up a lot more seats in the Legislature, if those Democrats had been challenged. Further, a popular Republican running down ticket in those districts, would have also helped Charlie Baker. Perhaps his victory might not have been so razor thin.

  • I will support anyone whose central message is reforming state government to make it more efficient and responsive to the needs of the voters and taxpayers. Anyone who wants to make repealing Massachusetts’ prevailing wage law and making MA a right-to-work state shoots instantly to the top of the list.

    Anyone who thinks now is the time to wage any sort of social issue crusade, with our pitiful amount of representation in the legislature, will not be taken notice of.

    And as one of the least influential Republicans in the state, that has absolutely no impact on issues outside my immediate circle of associates, I expect this comment to carry no weight with anyone outside that circle.

    Carry on.