Archive for the ‘WV Republicans’ Category

The Convention Risk

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

We have an unnecessary crisis in state government underway.  If the political parties hold a convention to nominate their candidates for Governor it will only magnify.  Chaos is exactly what could happen with nearly every leader in the Legislature running for Governor.  They cannot even agree on who should run the State Senate.

Political conventions and the process to convene are messy affairs.  West Virginia election laws [3-5-21] clearly outline the steps.   But rest assured when the interests of candidates, power and the control of state government is at stake every trick known and unknown will be used to win.

A convention must be held in each county once delegates are apportioned.  There members of the political party in each magisterial district elect the specified number of delegates for the state convention.

You may recall in 2008 state Republicans held a convention rather than a primary for the presidential race.  They tried to modernize the delegate process relying on voting via the Internet with a few county-level meetings.  There was a huge outcry that registered Republicans were left out and this one day meeting was only for the politically active – or insiders.  

Anytime a prize such as the office of Governor is at stake there will be conflict and contests.  The law provides a remedy for these conflicts.  A conflict within county party executive committee (more political power brokers) goes to the circuit court of the county and could end in the Supreme Court of Appeals.

All of this takes place before the state convention convenes, adopts its rules and begins the job of nominating a candidate.  Now the games really begin!

I know from having organized a state political convention, managed a candidate at both a national and state convention as well as being a delegate to both. 

Experience is a great teacher.  We don’t need our next Governor chosen in a climate of conflict.  To avoid the confusion and conflict of a convention we need to have a primary, even though I previously expressed concern over the cost of two more elections in 2011.

An old-fashion political convention was fun – however exclusive.  But we need a primary that includes everyone, where all get to vote not just the politically involved.

Republicans Are Ready for Capito

Monday, July 19th, 2010

WV Republicans in the Legislature have scored a victory for Rep. Shelley Moore Capito.  The new law provides an opportunity for Capito to run for the Senate seat and for re-election to her House seat if she wants.

Now we know the real hold up in passing the legislation Governor Manchin proposed.

National Review reported Friday Rep. Capito was spending the weekend working on plans for a run if the opportunity presented itself.  The opportunity is here.  She has until Friday to announce her intentions.  Republican sources said today Capito is on the edge of making the race.

It has always been thought there was a close relationship between the Manchin and Moore families.  Capito’s father former Governor Moore represented West Virginia’s first congressional district for years in which the Manchin family resided.  It has been said there would never be a race between Moore Capito and a Manchin. 

That idea was put aside last week when Capito said “that is a myth.”

Should this race materialize it will make political history.  Capito has been a strong voice for West Virginia in Congress and Governor Manchin has brought positive attention to the State.

It appears GOP candidates have a real opportunity in both the First and Third congressional districts.  Electing Capito to the U. S. Senate and two Republicans to the U. S. House of Representatives would be real West Virginia political history. 

Manchin says he will announce his intentions Tuesday morning at 10 AM.

Republicans are on the edge of their seats waiting for word from Capito.

A Lesson for Republicans

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

The public, state officials, editorials, political leaders and letters to the editor are calling out for an election to name a replacement for the late Senator Byrd.  They want to vote.

Remember when Republican Party leaders under the chairmanship of Rob Capehart decided to hold a state convention in 2008 which disenfranchised registered Republicans.  They had no vote or say in who should be the presidential nominee that year.  

This experiment may have been well intended but was conceived without much study or public research.  Convention organizers would tell you every Republican had an opportunity to participate/vote.

 Well the system devised was so complicated and kept changing even those involved could not understand it.  The real problem is registered Republicans did not get to vote on who would represent them at the national convention.

This should never happen again.

There is a campaign underway to select a Republican State Chairman.  Members of the State Executive Committee should seek a pledge from the current candidates for Chairman or any candidate to emerge that they will not support a similar effort in 2012.

Republicans across the state should be able to vote in a primary on delegates to represent them at a national convention.

RNC Enters WV State Chairman’s Race

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

The Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) Michael Steele has put himself in the middle of the race to select a Chairman of the Republican Party in WV.  He has no business doing so. 

Chairman Steele yesterday announced the RNC will establish a West Virginia Victory campaign and an “in-state political operation” to ensure Republican candidates are successful in November.  That is a worthy and needed goal.  But making this commitment two weeks before a hotly contested Chairman’s race is suspect.

Are the funds to pay for this “on the ground” operation the same as current GOP Chairman McKinney spoke about in June when he announced he will seek re-election?  He indicated in a letter the RNC had “budgeted nearly $100,000 to Victory to help elect Republicans in 2010.” 

It is so unbelievable a Chairman of any national political committee would involve themselves in the internal affairs of a state party choosing a Chairman.  Guess you can expect anything from Steele.  He has been nothing but a problem for national Republicans since his election.

State party members may find this involvement offensive.  It could back fire on Chairman McKinney and assist his opponent Mike Stuart who is waging a strong campaign.

Again, Michael Steele needs to step aside before he does more damage to the party.

The Incumbent Protection Act

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

While a change in the election law may be at hand to fill the seat of the late Senator Byrd I would like to urge “The Incumbent Protection Act” be amended.  That is my name for how vacancies in nominations are filled (Section 3-5-19).

Current law says if no one files for an office or withdraws after the filing period the political parties can only appoint a candidate “no later than thirty days after the last day to file a certificate of announcement….”  This is not fair to either party or to our citizens.

To me the law was written to protect incumbents from both parties at the state and local level.  Incumbents normally have the advantage in a primary and come out successful.  I recall years ago political parties had an opportunity after the spring primary to place candidates on the ballot before the November election. 

We should return to this approach.  Circumstances changes after a primary… new people emerge, new issues develop and the office in question may benefit from a candidate possessing different qualifications. 

There is nothing more important than the two party system.  A change in this law will benefit that system, provide a greater choice to voters and likely strengthen the local political committees

First Congressional District Effort Costly

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Voters in the West Virginia’s first congressional district are finding out why it has been so long since Rep. Alan B. Mollohan has had an opponent.  It is a costly thing seeking office….not only in reducing your personal assets but in reputation. This is particularly true with Republicans in the fight to win the opportunity to compete in November.  You may be interested how Congressional Quarterly reports on this race.

It’s Time for a Real Republican Summit

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Over the weekend I participated in the Underwood Interns Republican Summit.  The exchange of information was productive and the new faces were exciting. 

Driving home I thought it is time for a real Republican Summit.  Nothing is getting done by the State Party.  The citizens of our State deserve a two-party system.  Those crying out to help are being ignored.  Real leadership is needed.

There is essentially one role for a political party.  That is getting the faithful to the polls.  This is not getting done.  All one has to do is look at the near misses in 2008. 

There are no fights or factions in the Republican Party.   It is all about frustration.  This must be ended.

The example set by the Underwood Interns (Governor Underwood would have been proud) should be followed by the State Party Chairman.  He should call a real Republican Summit.

My vision would be a small group of not more than a dozen which includes the experienced, new idea folks, friend and foe.  Everything should be on the table.  A Summit leader who has proven they understand the party, political process and State should lead the Summit.

A proper setting should be found and the Reagan 11th commandment should guide the Summit. 

This group should meet until the job is done – even it takes days.  All this must be accomplished by Labor Day.

Melody Potter leads for Republicans in Satellite Voting Questions

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Every West Virginia voter should thank Melody Potter for raising important questions about satellite early voting.  The Republican Party of WV really owes Ms. Potter.  State party leaders never even appointed a committee or form a task force to look at the consequences of this issue.

The Legislature passed a bill earlier this year to permit counties to conduct early voting as locations other than the courthouse.  The reason given for the bill was to allow additional convenience to voters.  

Speaking of convenience you can cast an absentee ballot from the privacy of your home for almost any reason for years.  Then there is the new form of early voting that takes place at the courthouse for twenty days prior to an election.  I bet most people get to their county seat at least monthly.

This is not a partisan issue.  I am sure there are members of both parties who filed comments, ask questions and provided ideas to the proposed rule filed by the Secretary of State.

Ms. Potter who serves as Chair of the Kanawha Republican Committee has asked some excellent questions.  You can find these in her letter.  Just click and read.

Thanks Melody.

Thoughts on Improving the WVGOP

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Doug McKinney, Chairman of West Virginia Republican Party, sent a newsletter asking for thoughts on improving the WVGOP.  He asks specific questions.  Since readers of this blog are interested in a two-party system in our State I thought I would share my respond to Chairman McKinney.

My compliments on your newsletter and effort to reach out for input.  You may recall I offer several ideas in my June 20th blog phillipsbillboard  Many which directly relate to your questions.  However, I will provide my input as requested.  I hope you will find a method to share what is learned from your effort.

I will repeat the question to make this response easy to follow.

1)     What is the number one thing you would change about the state party?

My recommendation would be to tap the knowledge of successful candidates, those who have run campaigns, and current and former party leaders.  I would use this resource to craft a party development plan.

2)     What should the state party do to attract more people to the Republican Party?

First, I believe we must get current members of our party to believe we can make a difference.  By offering good candidates starting at the county level and winning a few elections will go along way to establish belief.

3)     How can the state party better recruit candidates?

The state party should lead an effort at the county level to conduct an inventory of potential candidates.  A VIP recruitment effort should follow.

4)     What should the state party do to better help our Republican candidates in November 2010?

We need a leader in every precinct.  Develop a grassroots training program and take it to every precinct.  We can no longer leave registered Republicans at home not voting.

5)     Should the state party move the headquarters to a location closer to the Capitol in Charleston?

What matters is having a party development plan, recruiting good candidates, having leaders in every precinct and getting Republicans engaged and voting.  I don’t think it matters where the headquarters is located.

6)     Provide any other thoughts, suggestions, or gripes that you may have.

We need to get beyond gripes and get about the business outlined in the answers above.

Will WV Republicans be relevant in 2012?

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

That question will be answered by the preparation, actions and results in the November 2010 election.  West Virginia Republicans face challenges starting with participation in its own organization.  At a recent Martinsburg meeting only 37 out of 133 members of the State Executive Committee were in attendance.  It was reported only 15 county organizations were represented.  Why?  I will leave that answer to others.

 What needs done now?

First, Republican activists need to support the current leadership.  Any disagreement with their approach to managing the party can be resolved with a new State Executive Committee next summer.

Second, these leaders need to develop party building programs and grassroots training.  The focus of these should be to get registered Republicans to the polls.  In addition, offering a menu of support to potential candidates is vital to success in 2010.

Third, every county should conduct an inventory for potential candidates.  Are there municipal officeholders, former public officials or candidates who almost made it in a previous election?  Is there a community leader who could be encouraged to enter public service?  A VIP recruitment effort should follow.

Fourth, tap the knowledge of successful candidates and those who have run campaigns.  Don’t forget former party leaders.  Experience is a wonderful teacher.

Fifth, build a communications network.  In today’s world this does not require major expenditures.

 It seems State Republicans focus significant attention on raising funds.  Maybe it is time to devote the same energy and emphasis to raising people.