Archive for July, 2009

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.

A Call from Washington

Monday, July 20th, 2009

A former colleague (non-political) from my days in Washington telephoned.  They wanted to know if I had seen the piece “The Squandered Stimulus” in today’s The Washington Post.

After reading it I thought this has to be shared.  Remember this came from The Washington Post.

Governor Manchin Increases State’s Influence On National Level

Monday, July 20th, 2009

West Virginia’s number one salesman Governor Joe Manchin has moved into a leadership role as Vice Chair in the National Governor’s Association (NGA). 

All of us should be proud to see our Governor in this role.

He is positioned to influence policy and the direction our nations Governors take on matters before the U. S. Congress.  Anyone who knows Governor Manchin knows he will always have an eye out for West Virginia.

In the coming year he will be working side by side with NGA Chair Vermont Governor Jim Douglas, a Republican.  Based on past practice Governor Manchin should become Chair at the 2010 National Governors Association meeting.  The NGA is a bipartisan organization. 

Over the years I have attended NGA meetings throughout the country.  I found if you want to know what is really taking place across America that is the place to learn.  The NGA meetings could be looked upon as a “laboratory of best practices”.

Congratulations to Governor Manchin and to West Virginia.

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.

New Approach to Lobby Cap and Trade

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Emails were flying asking West Virginians to contact their Representative when the U. S. House of Representatives considered the Cap and Trade legislation.  The effort was successful and all voted no.  But the bill passed.

The action now is in the Senate. 

I bet there are Senators that are not getting a lot of pressure from home.  Let’s turn it up.

Let’s get our West Virginia friends and relatives living in every state to contact their Senator.  Just get out your Christmas card list and go to work.    

The message to be delivered is simple.

o  My native West Virginia family and friends will loss their jobs if Cap and Trade is passed. 

o  The House bill requires utilities to produce at least 12 percent of their power from wind and solar – that means less coal will be produced costing jobs. 

o  In West Virginia when coal jobs go so do others.  All kinds retail, flower shops, service, professional jobs.  Just any kind of job you can think of will be lost.

o  Finally, I understand that Cap and Trade will cause our electric bills to increase while jobs are being lost.  There is something wrong with this picture.

When you reach out to have your family and friends call their Senator, assure them this is easy.  Just call the Capitol switchboard 202.224.3121 and ask for their Senator’s office.

I worked there and know the impact this can have on a Senator.

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.

Majority of Republicans don’t think Palin’s qualified for President

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Political observers across the country have been wondering what impact Governor Palin’s unexpected resignation would have on Republicans if she decided to make a bid for the Republican nomination in 2012.

I came across this piece on the CNN Political Ticker this morning.  The answer may lie in a CBS News survey released Monday.  It says only 33 percent of Republicans questioned believe Palin has the “ability to serve effectively as president”. 

Wonder how West Virginia Republicans feel?  Use the comment button below to speak out.

Governors Race Moves to Mountains

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

Is there a more beautiful place than the mountains of Tucker County to campaign?

A Friends of Blackwater fund raiser was hosted Friday by Steve White and Chuck Smith two former chairs of the State Democratic Party. 

When two Democrats gather these days you can expect to find House Speaker Richard Thompson accompanied by democratic consultant Mike Plante.  With each passing event it appears Thompson’s potential candidacy has moved a step closer to reality. 

Remember when seven likely candidates made it to the annual Coalton homecoming celebration.  Since Thompson was the only candidate at the Blackwater event does this mean the White and Smith political organization is only pushing Thompson; or is Thompson courting them?

No speaking for Thompson on Friday he sang “Country Roads” with his guitar – bet we’ll see lots of that in the coming year.

 Senator Majority Leader Truman Chafin and former Senator Oshel Craigo were at the Tucker event.  Chafin is from Mingo County and Craigo from Putnam.  Not an easy trip to Tucker.  Wonder what they are up to?

Governor and Mrs. Joe Manchin were in attendance.  They have a home in Canaan Valley.

History Lesson on Political Comebacks

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

One of my objectives as a blogger is to put forward “think pieces”.  One caught my attention in The New York Times “Week in Review”.   It provides a history of how both national political parties have come back from bad situations.

Those interested in the future of political parties will enjoy the history lesson.  Republicans may benefit from the rebuilding message and Democrats should stop and think nothing is permanent.

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Young People Setting An Example

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

Two experiences I had this weekend provided encouragement about West Virginia’s young people and our leaders for the future.

As a judge for a Future Farmers of America (FFA) project I meet nine outstanding young people from various parts of our State.  Each were articulate, several held FFA office, had educational goals and were charting a life course.  Most impressive were the contributions they are making to their communities.

The second was the Underwood Internship program.  Shane Wilson a 2009 college graduate conceived the idea to give his peers experience in the political process.  Ten students have spent the summer gaining valuable work experience, observing the operation of a political party, offering new ideas and interacting with party leaders.

There has been a void of civic engagement in recent years.  Looks like that is about to change.