Archive for November, 2012

CCRP Chair Race Updated

Posted: November 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

I wrote a few days ago about Lynda Wilson’s intent to run for CCRP chair and her plan to facilitate more PCO involvement and activism. It is now being reported that Dan Barnes, the current interim CCRP Treasurer (and frequent visitor to this blog)  has announced his candidacy, and interim chairwoman Stephanie McClintock will join the ticket as the Vice-chair candidate. It also appears that there will be a contest in the bid to replace Barnes, as both Lisa Ross and Carolyn Crain have decided to run for Treasurer.

The decision to run for Party Chair seems to have been a sudden one, since only a few days ago, Barnes was in a meeting covering the proposed new by-laws and he confirmed at that time that he was running for a full term as Treasurer.

I believe that Lynda Wilson has the experience in leadership, the infectious personality, the ties to community leaders, and the ability to unite Republicans that makes her the natural candidate for this job. She did not ask for the job, a number of people begged her for months to do it. I also believe that she brings a strong team with her that will bring the CCRP into this century in terms of technology, ideas, ENERGY, and willingness to change and respond. One can only hope that those who are opposed to these needed changes in the party will come on board at a later date, perhaps after more demonstrations of the effectiveness of the ‘new blood’.

More on this in the coming days.

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At a recent Clark County PCO meeting, Lynda Wilson  made known her intention to run for the CCRP chair. Lynda has been serving as the chair of the local chapter of We The People for the past few years, and she is also a well-known activist against light rail, and other issues of government waste such as the recent Proposition 1 which purported to raise money for park maintenance, but which was actually a backdoor attempt to raise tax revenues for the general fund.  She has testified before City Council, C-Tran, and County Commissioner meetings on many occasions. She is also one of the leading advocates for gun rights in Clark County.

Anyone meeting Lynda for the first time, as I did around the time of the county convention in March, is immediately struck by her sincerity and willingness to educate people on local issues. Although she is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative, she moves comfortably among the various factions of the Republican Party and is well-respected by all of them.

For some time now, the CCRP has been known for its inability and unwillingness to respond to new challenges, new technology, and new movements within the party. Party Chairs are well known for not responding to emails, for tabling motions until their relevance expires, and for shunning all new blood in favor of a model in which a handful of septuagenarians who have been running things for decades maintain control. Several candidates I have spoken with have told me that the technology and organization gap with the Democrats grows larger every election cycle, and that the party is next to worthless in terms of helping candidates win elections. Rather than building up the party, we have endured a generation of leaders who seek to squeeze the marrow out of it for their own benefit, until we are left with the nearly irrelevant group that we find today. Lynda brings with her an infusion of energy and new blood to a party that desperately needs both. She believes strongly in the need to restore the voice of the PCOs as representatives of the grass-roots voters. Her ability to listen and to respond to communication make her an instant improvement over her predecessors.

Other candidates who made their intentions known at the PCO meeting included:

Steve Nelson: Vice Chair

Steve makes the ideal teammate for Lynda, having already served with her on the board of We The People and in planning many related events. Having watched this dynamic duo in action for several months, the prospect of seeing them tackle the leadership of the CCRP is joy to anticipate.

James Randall: State Committee-man

Laney Maxwell: State Committee-woman
James and Laney are another well-established team that have represented the Liberty movement with grace and energy. Both have served as PCOs and have given countless hours to the party as well as to their own precincts, which was evidenced by their very high vote totals in their recent PCO elections, in the most Democrat-oriented legislative district in the county. James has done great work representing Clark County in the past on the State rules committee and as a national delegate to the National Convention, as well as his recent work on revising the out-dated by-laws. Laney has been a constant presence at sign-waving and canvassing events all over the county, as well as the chief communications and social networking point-person for the Ron Paul campaign on both sides of the river. If we were known as a highly-organized and educated group at the caucuses and convention, it was in great measure due to Laney’s efforts, among others. The efficiency and positive energy that they bring is exactly what is needed in a dying party.

Dan Barnes: Treasurer

Dan took over this position after Brandon Vick and his minions exited last summer, and he confirmed that he was running for re-election at the recent PCO meeting. He is a CPA with his own payroll business and has already served in this capacity for the 17th LD. He is known for having a sharp mind and an even sharper tongue, and I see him potentially as a great foil for a group of very positive and optimistic people. In any corporation, the accountant is the realist who brings knowledge and wisdom to the conversation and prevents the rest of the board from making emotionally-oriented decisions. I expect Dan to provide that voice of reason for this incoming group.

Lisa Ross: Secretary
Lisa recently served as national delegate for Romney in Tampa, and has logged many enthusiastic hours helping campaigns. Like Dan, she is also an accountant, and will bring great energy and competence to her job.

It is unknown if the interim chairwoman, Stephanie McClintock, is running for election as well, or if she will seek a more supporting role in the party moving forward.

In the coming days, I will attempt to get a statement from Christian Berrigan regarding the new by-laws that he and James and others have been working on. Like so many facets of the CCRP, the old by-laws have become out-dated and are in need of serious adjustment.

As the vote counting in the 17th Legislative District wraps up , it looks like Julie Olson is headed to defeat by about 100 votes in her race against Monica Stonier for State Representative. The thin margin by which the Republican candidate is losing is causing a lot of second guessing among the Clark County G.O.P. One person that some are blaming for the loss is Matthew Homola , who dared to file and run against Olson in the primary on the Republican side. While Homola garnered only 12.12%, his 2506 vote total more than made up the difference between Stonier and Olson in the primary. Apparently, the fact that Stonier’s vote total in the primary exceeded Olson’s meant that her name was printed first on the general election ballot this fall, which some party higher-ups believe helped her get the extra 100 votes that put her over the top. They believe that in the future, anyone who is not viewed as a ‘serious candidate’ should be sought out and asked to exit the race to avoid the vote-splitting that leads to the Republican being printed second on the general election ballot.

The result of the “Matthew Homola cost Julie Olson the election” theory is that there will be even more pressure from the party to pick the favorite early and leave anti-establishment candidates out in the cold. Admittedly, Homola seems not to have been a serious candidate. He had few if any speaking engagements, and he failed to seek out party recognition or help. The 2500+ votes he received were at least partially due to tea-party and liberty voters who had no interest in the establishment’s latest pick for office. Recall that slightly over 30% of registered voters even participated in the primary. These were the motivated few who cared enough to choose a primary candidate, and over 22% of the Republicans voted against Olson.  Few outside of the Ridgefield School Board knew who Julie was, and she was conspicuously absent from candidate vetting sessions at the local We The People gatherings. I actually called her on the phone at one point and asked if there were selling points she could give me for PCOs who were out canvassing their precincts during the ‘Get Out the Vote’ drives. Her response was, “Don’t they want to be part of a winning team?” Although my wife and I voted for her, I admit that I found this, along with the rest of her campaign, somewhat less than compelling. There are a growing number of folks who refuse to vote for someone simply because they mark ‘Identifies with Republican Party’. The corpses of moderate Republican candidates are still lying all over the state and country, from Mitt Romney, to Reagan Dunn, Bill Finkbeiner, and Rob McKenna.

I think the 17th LD is a very winnable district for Republicans, but it requires a candidate who gives voters a reason to go to the trouble of finding his or her name on the ballot and filling in the box. My sincere hope is that a Liberty/Tea Party candidate will surface in the 17th in two years to provide that spark, and like we saw with David Madore, such a candidate will attract volunteers,  voters, and enthusiasm in greater abundance than Julie Olson was able to muster. Any candidate from the Liberty/Tea Party end of the G.O.P. can expect pressure from the WSRP to drop out in favor of the establishment’s anointed. Expect to hear the name ‘Matthew Homola’ invoked repeatedly in the next few years.

One of the reasons that I write a blog and encourage others to do so as well is that there is always a fight for the control of a narrative, and it is pretty much guaranteed that the conservative/liberty perspective will be underrepresented.  During the presidential primary, I had my first brush with the media .  I noticed that, like Ron Paul himself, we were maligned by the reporting at every opportunity.  For example, the fact that we took the time beforehand to learn the proper method to fairly elect delegates was transformed into:

“some Paul supporters employed a complicated method of voting “rounds,” in which one delegate was selected at a time, all but guaranteeing them the four delegate spots — even when this meant presenting a skewed representation of the precinct’s choices. Romney supporters, in particular, felt outgunned.”

I wonder if Pete Silliman and Liz Pike felt ‘outgunned’ by the Brandon Vick supporters when WSRP Chairman Kirby Wilbur used the exact same method to elect the three candidates to replace Ann Rivers as LD 18 State Representative? The real reason that we won more delegates was because we had more votes (Ron Paul won the Heritage HS straw poll) and they were spread out over more precincts, and because we knew who to vote for to not dilute our vote among too many delegate candidates. But of course, this doesn’t make for very good copy. The national narrative was that Romney was ‘the candidate’, and any data that suggested otherwise must be the result of ‘skewed representation’.

After the convention, we again were mystified when Stephanie Rice of the Columbian blamed the Ron Paul supporters for the terrible convention and the inability to fill out the Clark County delegation to the state convention. The truth, of course, was that Romney supporters led every single facet of that convention, and the blame for not filling the delegation, which, curiously, served their own interests, rested entirely on their shoulders. Once again, this fact did not conform to the established media narrative that Ron Paul people were always causing problems.

One thing we noticed about these negative experiences with the media was that despite the Pravda-like coverage that seemed to follow us around, we were still accomplishing our goals. We prevailed at Heritage, and then again at the county convention. The people who were there, including the Santorum supporters that we teamed up with, knew that the problems had nothing to do with us, and that we had played fairly all along. We discovered an important truth, that while the media can prey upon the uninformed, they do not control public opinion.

A few months later, the efforts of the PCO Liberty Alliance received news coverage when we caught John Ellis in the act of stealing one of our signs. While the operation was executed better than we could possibly have hoped when we bought the camera, some media had their own narrative to sell that had little to do with the actual story. KATU news led off their story by chuckling about the fact that our sting ‘didn’t exactly work’, and then they proceeded to do violence to the truth by adding elements like ‘the signs were illegally placed’ and ‘the signs were taken and replaced by other Republican signs’. These statements were either painted, or in the latter case, completely false, and I was left wondering why they ran the story at all if they didn’t think it worked. KATU had a narrative though, which was to highlight the ‘intra-party Republican squabble’ rather than the real story, that a sign thief was caught red-handed. The fact that Ellis was later brought before a judge on charges, and the signs in that area stopped disappearing demonstrates how ridiculous their editorializing about how ‘it didn’t exactly work’ actually was.

More recently, the Madore toll sign project caught KATU’s attention once again, and once again, they formed their own narrative and conjured up details to fit it. Imaginative and eye-catching signs about the coming tolls and Madore’s candidacy became a nefarious attempt to look like a construction crew and cause danger in traffic that was already stopped for an on-ramp light. Hard hats and construction vests were conjured up for effect. A friendly conversation with a state trooper as we were leaving was transformed into the Washington Department of Transportation ‘booting’ us from the scene and facing fines. The fact that we had no contact with WashDOT until we called them a few days AFTER the story was reported, and that we were never cited by anyone did not make any difference.

These things could be discouraging, except that the message did get out, and people sifted through the negative reporting and Madore was elected, and Proposition 1 rejected. The response from voters was so decisive, that even Congresswoman Jaime Herrera today released a statement calling for a bridge plan that does not include light rail. The lesson for us is that the media and the spin doctors do not control public opinion. The voters are accustomed to journalists misrepresenting the facts, and have learned to sift through the falsehoods and find the real story.

Meanwhile ,alternative media is cropping up everywhere and providing much-needed accountability. Network television ratings and newspaper circulations continue to plummet as website and blog hits rise. As long as outfits like KATU continue to butcher the facts, look for the trend to continue.

Much is being made of the lower voter turnout for this election compared to four years ago. The numbers for the top two candidates over the past three elections are below:

2004 Bush 62 million Kerry 59 million
2008 Obama 69.5 million McCain 60 million
2012 Obama 61 million Romney 58 million

As Republicans survey the damage, there are many that are dying to blame someone…anyone for Romney’s defeat. Topping the list of likely scapegoats includes:

1. Voters who chose not to participate.

2. Ron Paul Supporters who wrote in Ron Paul.

3. Ron Paul supporters who voted for Gary Johnson.

It may be impossible to determine exactly how many voters wrote in Dr. Paul’s name, because many states don’t count write-ins for presidential elections. Gary Johnson received 1.14 million votes, far less than the 3 million-vote margin that Romney lost by. The answer here may simply be that less people were interested in voting between two rather similar candidates, so over 10 million voters from 2008 elected not to participate this time around.

To those who believe that America has turned a corner and is now a more liberal country, I would point out that Obama received 8.5 million less votes than four years ago. The increase was not to left-wing voters, but to the apathetic. The way forward for Republicans is clear: nominate a candidate who inspires people to vote. Mitt Romney was not that man.

In a coup that will make ripples in Clark County politics for several elections to come, David Madore has been elected to County Commissioner, despite the best efforts of those who stand to gain financially from the proposed multi-$billion light rail project and the local media, who seemed to have a smear piece almost daily against him. In retrospect, this constant negative media coverage of Madore may have actually helped get his name out and circulated. Articles like this trash  showed Stephanie Rice and others to be so petty and vindictive, that it actually made the mild-mannered Madore a more sympathetic character among the electorate.

The victory by Madore, in addition to creating a conservative majority on the three-man county commissioner board, will be construed as yet another mandate by the voters to curb the outrageous spending proposals that surround the new bridge plans, along with the clear rejection of Proposition 1. Congresswoman Jaime Herrera, who has been hedging on the light rail portion of the proposed bridge, has already stated that she will proceed in accordance with the Proposition 1 vote, and despite her endorsement of Madore’s pro-light-rail opponent, she cannot help but see that the consensus among voters is to rein in the spending. Her statement that, “I am a servant, and not a master, of the people I represent” was fairly said, and hopefully she lives up to it.

Madore’s victory over the left-leaning Marc Boldt, who openly solicited Democrats on his website, along with numerous losses statewide by liberal Republicans like Mitt Romney, Rob McKenna, Reagan Dunn, and Bill Finkbeiner, demonstrates that the widespread notion that Republicans must move to the left in order to be considered ‘electable’ is a canard. If there is a winning formula for Republicans in Washington, it is clearly not to run candidates who look exactly like Democrats and who readily abandon Republican principles in order to win. The Republican base must be inspired to turn out and vote, and the most inspiring candidate in Clark County was the openly conservative David Madore. A precedent has been set, and hopefully in the future, we will get more David Madores and less ‘Mainstream Republicans of Washington State’ plants.

In perhaps the most amusing instance of ‘reaping what one sows’ in Clark County politics since the Unity Slate was hoisted on its own petard , Columbian political beat writer Stephanie Rice made yet another attempt to cast aspersion on David Madore and the legitimacy of his ‘supporter list’ in her blog post entitled Ms. Naughtypants on Team Madore , only to find that Marisaclese Naughtypants is, in fact, a real person (I’m guessing that isn’t her real surname) and does, apparently, support the G.O.P. candidate for county commissioner. The embarrassment for Ms. Rice is amplified by the fact that to get this ‘story’ she had to comb through the list of 1300 of Madore’s supporters in the first place.

One can only imagine Rice, with beady eyes, reading name after name, looking for something, ANYTHING, that she might use to further advance her anti-Madore crusade, and then suddenly cackling with glee as she stopped on one that she was sure was a fake person (so sure, in fact, that she did ZERO research to make certain). She quickly posts it to the Columbian’s political blog, probably earning pats on the back from her anti-Madore cohorts, until suddenly, Marisa pipes up in the comments section,

“Slowest news day ever? Yes, I’m real and I’m FANTASTIC.”

As several others chime in that they know Marisa personally, the pie that Rice had intended to throw in Madore’s face is redirected back to the sender.

Reminds me of a scene from one of my favorite movies:

 

 

This is the same Stephanie Rice who wrote a piece the day after the worst County Convention in anyone’s memory blaming Ron Paul supporters for all the problems, despite the fact that they had exactly nobody in leadership positions in the party, and in fact, had been told by party leadership, “We don’t need your help” before the convention. Ms. Rice appears to have a problem following up on stories to check their veracity before printing them as fact. Hopefully, she can use this as a ‘teachable moment’ and improve on her methods.