NH GOP – a riff on the E-board angst reported by DiStaso

by Skip

I had bookmarked the Dec 4 version of the UL’s DiStazo’s column which discussed the $25 fee that the NH GOP was looking to impose upon the new State Committee members (which I labeled a “poll tax” because it was set to be collected in order to vote for the new officers of the NH GOP and whatever business needed to be attended to.  Sure, I’m a bit late, but because I seemingly fit into NH GOP Finance Chair Jim Foley’s “so-called journalist” category, I had a few thoughts (reformatted to save space):

NHGOP finance chairman Jim Foley opposed rescinding the fee.   “This drives me crazy,” he wrote in an email reply to MacDonald.  “Why, when there is some push-back, do we cave in?” wrote Foley, who also chairs the Derry Republican Committee. “This decision was made by unanimous vote of the executive committee after much discussion and with the idea of getting a more committed state committee member. We deliberately imposed no sanction for failure to pay this fee.

And we out in the hinterlands (as Kevin Landrigan says) are supposed to simply nod our heads

“Who are these complaints coming from? Very few new state committee members have been elected. The Derry committee has been chosen and we have heard no issues about this fee.”

Foley wrote that the two candidates for state chairman are “pandering to what they perceive will be their supporters, and so-called journalists who always try to stir things, creating a controversy where none exists.”

He suggested the state party send an email “that makes it clear our reasoning behind the request for the fee and that there are no consequences for failure to pay the fee.”

He said he does not believe a special meeting is necessary.

Of course not; after all, he’s on the E-Board!  As he wrote here:

In addition- we have a meeting of activists every month- it is know as the Executive Board

 Don’t think that the State Party did that badly in this election.

The attitude seems to be that WE on the E-Board are right; everyone else needs to simply obey.  Why are these folks complaining, he asks?  Because in his Hubris, he forgets that while he is in a leadership position, he fails to understand that the mode should be of a servant-leader: you lead best when you are serving others well.  Besides, as shown at the Rye Republican meeting on Sat, there is a LOT of unsatisfaction and ill will from the bottom of the NH GOP to that at the top – a sentiment to which he seems clueless.

Ensconced and surrounded by “his” kind of folk in Derry, he definitely needs to get out more often as he is right – he wouldn’t have heard this kind of distrust because he has forgotten something very important.  Any volunteer interested in Party politics (Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or other) will not be a volunteer for long if they get the sense of “It’s my way or the highway” leadership styles.  If they do not believe that they are wanted, or that their contributions are ignored, they will just leave.  The effect of that is to either have a coterie of yes-men around or dismally compliant sheep.  It really is irrelevant to this undercurrent that “Very few new state committee members have been elected“; he has mistaken a snapshot of time of membership for the greater rumblings of the politically active on the Right side of the aisle.

I do think that Andrew Hemingway, also quoted by DiStaso, had it completely right on this issue:

But Hemingway said, “What you see with Cliff and with this effort to charge state committee members a $25 fee, which I absolutely oppose, is that for a party whose philosophy says we for the decentralization of power, and we’re by the rule of the people, we run our state committee under the socialist model of a totalitarian top-down style.”

…But Hemingway complained, “We receive our edicts from on high and are expected to just fall in line.   “We should be a grassroots run organization and we should be pushing from the grassroots up to the very top, like every grassroots organization is run.”

Pretty much summarizes Foley’s stance as described.  It is time for a more flexible structure than the old top down command.  The internet is THE disintermediation technology that the world has ever known and in many ways (along with the changes in how political groups can structure themselves like C3’s, C4’s, 527s, PACs, and SuperPACs) the Party had better get with a modern restructuring as to how it is structured, how it operates, and how it communicates.

Foley: “so-called journalists“.  Umm, I never have called myself a journalist even as the ‘Grok does do citizen journalism in doing straight reporting of events (like the Rye Republican meeting on Sat; while I was a participant, Grokster Mike was handling those duties).  However, I will note this, Mr. Foley – the ‘Grok seems to have little or no problem in getting our message out which is based on Principles that resonate with the grassroots.

Given that it seems you are furious that your message is just not being “heard” (and even much less accepted by the grassroots that rose in rebellion against a ham-fisted attempt at a diktat), perhaps it is time to read the ‘Grok more often?  We make no claims except that of just being ordinary schlubs with opinions – but lately, we seem to be more successful than thou.

Maybe because we’re not in an echo chamber as we listen to others?

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