Archive for May, 2013

Political Tidbits…5.30.13

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Is Conrad Lucas State Republican Chair preparing for a run for Congress in the Third Congressional District…in a rare news conference yesterday he called out Congressman Nick Joe Rahall for his vote on jobs & energy…two key issues in any congressional race…political junkies will recall Lucas sought to run against Rahall…losing a 2010 primary to former Supreme Court Justice Spike Maynard…word has it Lucas is spending a lot of time at state GOP headquarters…his employment  use to require much travel.

Word circulated last night that twice defeated GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Maloney…is putting together a “NONPARTISAN” policy tank…to be announced at Kris Warner’s Liberty Dinner Friday…which Maloney is a sponsor…it turned out  just be a rumorBUT  Maloney & friends today are announcing a conservative think tank at University of Charleston…the University is headed by former Lyndon Johnson aide Ed Welch…has Maloney decided to run again and needs an agenda…or is he and associates preparing for a GOP takeover of the House of Delegates in 2014…will see.

More politicos are showing an interest in the 2nd congressional seat being vacated by Congresswoman Capito…sources in Charleston say former Senator Steve Harrison getting serious…but Delegate Patrick Lane has cooled…a recent call came to get my take on Putnam Prosecuting Attorney Mark Sorsaia seeking the seat…more to follow.

The hottest contest now is who will the next Speaker of the WV House of Delegates…it changes daily but one thing for sure…any smart Lobbyist will stay out of this one.  Zack Harold of Charleston DM has a current status of the race in today’s newspaper…read it here.

Reaction continues positive to Republican Party ED Ward Wyatt…at least he has not started any controversy…as other Executive Directors.

What happened to the national search for a WV State Superintendent of Schools…maybe Super Jim Phares likes the $165,000.00 pay check…will former First Lady Gayle Manchin [now VP of State School Board] take over as President…after two years of Wade Linger…this will be interesting to watch in June.

Back to Bill Maloney…it is recalled that he was working on a nonprofit related to coal mine safety…maybe the new “conservative think tank”…will get the same follow up…which was what.

Overlooked in March…Kris Warner…you will remember his days as State GOP Chair…told The Martinsburg Journal that Ex –Maryland GOP Chair Alex Mooney…was eyeing the WV second congressional district seat…the story noted the former MARYLAND State Senator…defeated after his third term…Mooney the MD State Party Chair was ask to resign by Red Maryland…for lack of focus on the job…and not raising the $500,000 his platform promised…sounds like “two peas in a pod”.

Where is the Democratic candidate for the U. S. Senate?

Behind the scenes a Republican primary for the 2nd congressional district may be taking place…between Delegate Eric Nelson and Commissioner Charlotte Lane appointed by President Bush to the U. S. International Trade Commission…Lane was a top vote getter as a Delegate to the 2012 Republican National Convention in the 2nd district.


“Closed for Repairs”

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Sage advice was offered to Republicans by former presidential candidate and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole over the weekend.  “I think they ought to put a sign on the National Committee doors that says closed for repairs until New Year’s Day next year and spend that time going over ideas and positive agenda.”

A recipe to address the current bad state of needed repairs may be the one used after the 1964 defeat of Barry Goldwater then.  The Party was even more divided by ideological bickering – and a fix was needed.

The big names in the GOP were able to agree on the Party’s senior state chairman Ray Bliss to run the Republican National Committee.  He was known for his “nuts and bolts” approach to politics.

As luck would have it after Nixon’s presidential defeat in 1960 Bliss was asked by national chairman Senator Thruston Morton to conduct a survey of Republican organizations in the big cities and metropolitan areas where Nixon lost.  The Bliss Big City Task Force findings came down to one word – “Pitiful.”  That came in handy.

As Bliss took over in 1965 he already knew the sad state of affairs.  His initial efforts to repair the 1964 damage were not glamorous.  He held workshops with state chairman, county chairs, small, big and suburban chairman across the country.  It was reported twenty thousand party workers participated (including the writer) in the seminars.

The message was “nuts & bolts”:  recruit qualified candidates; put programs in place that are meaningful to the constituency; strengthen the women’s organizations; reach out to a larger financial base; look for young voters; open conversations with the educational community; leave no one unregistered; establish doable vote quotas and insist that precinct captains meet them; and do not work independently of elected Republicans.

These same efforts are mandatory now if there is not to be a repeat of 2008 and 2012.   The GOP Growth & Opportunity Project outlined many worthwhile ideas.  However, the Bliss approach of workshops, seminars and bringing the party workers together at the local level may need to be repeated 48 years later.

After an election like 1964 where GOP leaders in state after state did not agree with the platform – something needed done even though Bliss found dealing with issues and ideology difficult.

The answer came from Rep. Melvin Laird the number-two in House minority leadership, chairman of the Republican Conference.  He proposed a Republican Coordinating Committee.  They put out bland position papers but that was expected from such a diverse and large group.  In some cases they moved the Party away from 1964 platform positions.  Since it appears an ideological fight is in the making not unlike 1964 – maybe even worse – such an effort might help bridge the differences until the Party gets a presidential nominee in 2016.

Ray Bliss message was “There are no push button methods for victory…The Republican is out manned, out-organized, out-spent and outworked.  We need more full-time staff people at all levels.  We need more precinct workers.  We need to realize on all levels that politics is a full-time job not a three-month fling.”

Think about it my fellow Republicans.





Washington Insight

Monday, May 27th, 2013

During my twenty-five years in Washington I worked in both the Congress and Executive branch.  Though I pay attention to what goes on in Washington little did I realize since coming home in 1993 how much both have changed.  Doing my morning reading I found two articles that provide a current insight into the Congress and “the fourth branch.”

The first looks at how the cultural of Congress has changed over the last three decades.  The writer had an opportunity in 2009 to go inside to watch how the Dodd-Frank bill became law.  It is a bit long but well worth the read.  Here is a link.

Our founders wanted three branches of government but the bureaucrats had other plans.  The author goes into how the administrative state damages our democracy.  Here is a link.

Political Tidbits…5.17.13

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Quiet time for politics seem to end this week…WV House Speaker Thompson resigned…Obama sandals get noisy…the media is looking for a new Watergate [if your old enough to recall it]…some young hungry reporters have visions of being the next Woodward & Bernstein [key players in Watergate]…and WV political types are looking to the future…where to begin?

Most interesting…what could have moved Thompson to leave as Speaker now…it was well known Delegate Doug Skaff (D-Kanawha) has long had an eye on the Speakership…BUT was moving to become a serious candidate for the 2nd congressional seat…could this be a Manchin machine maneuver to get Skaff out of the congressional race…Sen. Manchin endorsed Nick Casey when he announced a run for Congress…Skaff’s political base in Kanawha could be an obstacle to Casey in the primary…nothing in politics is without purpose.

Where is the strong Democrat candidate…for the Rockefeller Senate seat…Congresswoman Captio is everywhere…the race may be over before a strong Democrat emerges…or will Captio peak too soon?

Gone but not forgotten…former AG Darrell McGraw and his wife Jorea Marple [State School Superintendent fired for no reason] will  be honored tonight in Charleston…McGraw will receive the Si Galperin in Defense of Democracy Award…Marple is getting the Don Marsh Public Award.

State Republicans are getting a daily dose of news…Executive Director Ward is putting together a collection of WV & national political news…it is called WVGOP Press Pass.

Rob Alsop who is leaving as Chief of Staff to Governor Tomblin built an impressive public policy & political record…while at the Governor’s side.

NOT TOO FAST…there is talk of Obama’s sandals turning into another Watergate…even of impeachment because of them…it should be remembered Watergate started slow…just a minor break-in at the Watergate headquarters of the Democratic National Committee…even in today’s fast moving 24/7 news & blog cycle Republicans should use caution…let all this mature…news organization will do the job…they like to sell newspapers and increase their TV ratings.

With Republican House of Delegates members breathing down the neck of their Democratic colleagues…don’t look for a family feud over who will be the next House Speaker… Democrats well know the GOP only needs to hold current seats and five victories to elect a Republican Speaker after the 2014 election.

After Conrad Lucas defeated fellow candidate Bob Adams [among others] to chair the State Republican Party…Lucas announced Adams would lead a major email fund raising effort…would be interesting to know if the WV GOP effort took place…but Adams is filling up the email boxes across the country using Benghazi & impeachment of Obama raising funds for Revive America USA.