Friday, January 30, 2009

Michael Steele – New RNC Chair!

Michael Steele, former Lieutenant Governor from the State of Maryland and current GOPAC Chair, has become the Republican Party Chair. Steele promises to be the hands-on Party Chair that Republican Grassroots activists have been waiting for. Charismatic, media savvy and in-touch with technology, Steele’s election to Party Chair is well-timed - 2010 promises to be a better than anticipate year for Republican candidates, given general resistance to stimulus plan, and economic trends that have small businesses and the middle class leery of the current Congress.

So Long Sal, Another Massachusetts Speaker Bites the Political Dust

On the 27th of January, Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, “retired” from the Statehouse after having been recently re-elected Speaker. DiMasi, is said to have resigned over a slight incident involving a lobbyist and some ticket-scalping legislation.

Proposed Legislation approved by both Attorney General, Martha Coakley and Governor Deval Patrick, calls for ethic reform in the Massachusetts body politic with high penalties for those caught taking bribes (see Lobbyists). This just weeks before DiMasi resigned - makes one wonder what took so long? Patrick, who is up for re-election in 2012, and DiMasi had butted heads over the Governors proposed Casinos Legislation - , DeMasi prevailed at the time – and now, with DiMasi’s “retirement”, that legislation may become a reality. Convenient ethics reform from a State well known for its lack thereof.

Former Massachusetts House Speaker Thomas Finneran, exited the office due to a conviction of obstruction of justice. Finneran is now a radio talk show host on on Boston’s WRKO, and is frequently referred to fellow WRKO host Howie Carr, as “Felon Finneran”. One thing is certain, Massachusetts, a state controlled by Democrat lawmakers, has continued to produce one scandal after another; and that pattern does not promise to change anytime soon.

The Boston Globe is noting that the new Speaker, Bob DeLeo, is “cut from the same cloth” as DiMasi. In the article, it was suggested that the House was run in a similar fashion to a “crime family”. What is of interest is that the The Globe, a longtime supporter of Boston’s top ( ,politico’s, (the Bulger’s for instance) – would write such a savvy “connect the dots - criminal family like atmosphere at the Statehouse” article regarding a man (DiMasi), who they so long supported. Of interest, how the Globe treats DeLeo, should he decide against supporting one of the Governor Patrick’s “favored legislation”. Ethics or expediency?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

GOP Chair – Steele’s Support Said to Tie with Duncan’s

Depending upon which “news” source one is inclined to believe, Michael Steele has between (Politico) 30 supporters within the GOP Committee with MSNBC reporting 20 supporters. It should be noted that, the two reports are based upon the same information from Steele’s team. That said, the grassroots Republican’s and Conservatives support for Steele is significant. Supporters have utilized social networking sites such as Facebook, and the ”Draft Michael Steele” website, to urge visitors to send a personal message to their state Committee Delegates.

It will be the GOP Chair that can attract and hold the grassroots support, while getting out the GOP message that will move the party forward. Not for nothing, the balance of the candidates represent the Party “status quo”, especially current Party Chair, Duncan. This should send a clear message to those committee members who might still be on the fence that “stick to what we know” hasn’t worked out quite as well for the party. One cannot recall a time, during off-election years, when Duncan or any Republican Party Chair was visible to the party base and or the media. Therefore, regardless of Duncan’s ability to raise funds (which is proven), his inability to connect with media and the base, should be a warning to those Committee members who are still undecided. According to the Steele Website, this includes Committee members from the states of Alaska, DC, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming. If accurate, these states represent the votes necessary to garner either Duncan or Steele, (assuming that they have no pledged to another candidate), enough votes to promote either man to the Chair.

There is a candidatures forum today for Committee members only, followed by the vote tomorrow, Friday, the 30th. Characterized as a “Nail Biter” by Greg Bobrinskoy, Real Clear Politics, this all-important vote for Party Leadership, will come down to the ability of the committee members to understand the need for a more aggressive grassroots organizer, with the promotion of Steele, or to play it “safe” and keep the status quo with Duncan.

Addendum: National Review online notes that Massachusetts Party Chair, Jody Dow, has comittedd to Michael Steele, while newly elected chair, Jennifer Nassour (who ran on a grassroots/media friendly chair platform - similar to Steele's), remained undecided.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Massachusetts GOP Elects Jennifer Nassour Chair

Hub Politics has reported that Jennifer Nassour has been elected Chair of the Massachusetts Republican Committee. Nassour’s plan for the State GOP included extensive grassroots outreach, with an emphasis on improving technology (For example: the State GOP website has does not have a copy of the press release announcing Nassour’s election, to Chair) and aggressive fundraising in order to bolster candidates. A delegate to the 2008 convention, Nassour a party activist, brings extensive experience to the Massachusetts State GOP. Living in the "Bluest State", when women are rarely elected to hold political offices - it is refreshing and it’s about time.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Showdown - Pelosi May Lose Contraceptives in Stimulus Plan

From the Associated Press - Nancy Pelosi and company had inserted payment for contraceptives into the stimulus bill, drawing criticism from House Republican Leader, John Boehner (OH). Apparently, Pelosi felt that birth control would somehow stimulate the economy – it boggles the mind. After a meeting at the White House on Friday with Obama, Boehner asked: “How you can spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives how does that stimulate the economy?" "You can go through a whole host of issues that have nothing to do with growing jobs in America and helping people keep their jobs."

With the Los Angeles Times reporting on a “Deluge of Layoffs”, Boehner has an excellent point, so much so, that Democrats (speaking on condition of Anonymity) noted that Obama had gone to Waxman (D-CA), a close friend of Pelosi, asking for the provision to be removed.

It remains to be seen how much "power" the Speaker has, considering that Boehner is not shy about speaking out on issues that are left of reasonable. With Obama looking to 2012, he understands that without a bi-partisan effort, and compromises, that allow for viable results, that second term may not be possible.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Massachusetts GOP Chair Update – Joe Manzoli Enters Race

Joe Manzoli, a Republican activist and recent campaign manager for 2008 State Senate candidate, Jeff Beatty, has entered the Massachusetts GOP Chair race. Mr. Manzoli, an entrepreneur, has a solid background in strategic planning, public relations and business development; he has served as the Chair of the Growth Study Committee, Chair of the Shrewsbury Republican Town Committee and Vice President of the Worcester County Republican Club.
Manzoli entered the race late, the Massachusetts Republican Committee will meet on the 27th to elect the new state Chair –

Joe’s reason for running – the disconnect between the state Party’s leadership and its members. He was approached by a Republican activist who had decided to leave the party, not because of the past election results (this being Massachusetts), but more to the point, the divide between those who would make the GOP more “liberal”, and those who would hold onto conservative values (RINO’s) – After encouraging this individual to stay in the party, he felt he should also get more involved – it was his concern for the party and his conservation with conservatives that cemented his decision. Additionally, as an “Associate State Committee Person” (a position that the MAGOP deleted), he has a record of 8 and 1 helping to elect State Representatives, State Senators and Town Selectmen.

Mr. Manzoli’s plans for the State GOP Chair would include bringing back the position of “Associate State Committee person”, moving the party headquarters out of Boston and re-locate to the center of the state. He understands that the Massachusetts GOP should be more inclusive, and has includes the import of Grassroots activism and fiscal and social conservative values in his plan.
To learn more about Joe Manzoli, view his YouTube video below, or visit Youtube for an introduction. The other candidates for State Chair include, Jennifer Nassour, , (plan and information available here.), and Mike Franco, a Western Massachusetts grassroots activist, has several videos on YouTube (here)

From this Massachusetts Conservatgives' perspective, the best candidate is the one who would move the party forward, without abandoning their personal convictions, nor conservative values, while brining the Massachusetts GOP out of the technical “dark ages”. Ramping up the technical ability of the town and state committees in order to attract new members, maintaining communications, and most importantly, branding the party through the use of all available state media, including meeting with editorial board and well as utilizing the web, including social networking sites such as Face Book and Twitter is critical. Most importantly, advertising both the state party and candidates will go a long way toward branding. There is a direct correlation between Republican candidates who run in Massachusetts and name recognition – as recognition increases, so does the Republican favorability among likely voters, specifically independent, or the unenrolled, who make up the majority of the electorate in Massachusetts (51%). Most importantly, without the grassroots activists, or those who will knock on doors and make the phone calls (from their homes, no need for offices for candidates – that money better spent on commercials), should be courted and included in the party up to and after each election. Of the three candidates, Jennifer Nassour has included branding and the use of new technology in her plan. Mr. Franco and Mr. Manzoli, (who granted, entered the fray at a late hour), have taken advantage of the YouTube channel to appeal to Republican activists in the State as well as State Committee members. All three stress the importance of the inclusion of grassroots activists in the Massachusetts GOP.

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