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

by Skip

Same column, but where Jim Foley expressed a hubris, it is easy to hear the frustration of former NH GOP Chair and current RNC Committeeman Steve Duprey.  While Foley gets what he deserves, I have a bit more sympathy (yes folks, I did use that word voluntarily) for Duprey (reformatted):

Duprey said that especially after a poor GOP showing on election day, “Anyone who thinks you don’t need adequate resources in what has become a purple state is dreaming.”…He also said the party should have a “job description for the members of the state committee.  “When I was chairman,” he said, “we used to have a guide of how many hours we expected of you. You had to help us recruit candidates, you had to train candidates, you had write letters and update our data base. And you must help us fund-raise.”

You know, I think this is a good idea – but it has to be done well ahead of time if it is going to be a formal responsibility. Given the poor results, things do need to change and…

Sidenote: hey, I wonder if what the consensus is on the E-Board really is given Foley’s remark (“Don’t think that the State Party did that badly in this election.“) and Duprey saying” a poor GOP showing”?

…given what the other side did, change in a major way.  While what Duprey is preaching can be construed to be major, one thing is sure: you don’t spring it on people just before the picking of Members. and before the State Meeting.  I will say, concerning what tasks and expectations may be required (once and future), they  have not been communicated downward from the NH GOP well lately.  This decree sure was a really bad example of poor thinking, poor planning, poor communication, and poor messaging.  And the E-Board is/was surprised at the reaction?

Sure, a lot folks do a lot of asking and doing and check writing, but it was on their own initiative instead of a “drat, haven’t checked that off yet” drudgery.  In this regard, Saul Alinsky is correct (see here, #6).  I may be bragging a bit, but I know that the Groksters are either all now State Members or have indicated that they are candidates and are just waiting for their Committees to vote.  With that, and amongst us all, every single of the enumerated responsibilies are met, and with some several times over–every single day (e.g., our posts, (“write letters”)–even if many of them are taking Rs to task for not holding to the accepted standard of the Party).  I think we, amongst all the Members, stand by and articulate what the Platform is from a Conservative / Libertarian viewpoint on an almost daily basis in one form or another.

Duprey said no one likes asking for money but, “Unless we establish our own financial base and have everybody do the unpleasant task, we’re not going to be successful.  “I’m glad we had the debate on the fee,” said Duprey. “But now, we’re either going to make it a suggested fee or suggested donation.  “But when less than 200 members of the (approximately 500-member) state committee are financial donors with any regularity, I don’t care who the chairperson is, we’re not going to be successful if we don’t have the resources,” said Duprey…He also said that relying almost exclusively on funding from the RNC in Washington is unacceptable.

Absolutely – the NH GOP needs to wean itself from the RNC with respect to having a minimal staff and field operations to be operationally competitive.  Then there is the campaigning.  But look back at the chart in comparing D vs R fundraising; it is clear that self funding still will not be enough.  One thing that Buckley has been able to do is to attract outside groups to themselves fund staffing in the state to a much larger degree than any of the NH GOP Chairs have done.  Imposing a $1000 or even a $2000 membership fee (raising from 1/2 to a full million annually) won’t make it – like CA or NY or IL raising taxes on the rich; the rich will just go Galt (yes, the E-Board had better know that there is a Laffer Curve to raising of funds as well.  In this case, though, it will be bodies and not just the bucks.

There is also the ‘small’ matter of the split and the lack of trust in the Party; as it stands now, many of the grassroots just might tell the Party “screw you” and move to increase their giving to individual candidates or to other groups (e.g., Club For Growth, Americans for Prosperity, Senate Conservatives Fund, RLCNH) rather than to the NH GOP.

My advice to the E-Board, worth every cent you’re not paying me,  is that this trust factor is your number one problem.  It is not fundraising – it is this trust factor.  Or to be truthful, the lack there of from the bottom up.  Foley might not care (am betting there’s a few of us he really wishes would leave – too bad, as you’re making yourself too easy for posts), but I’m sure that Duprey may.  Without the trust gap being bridged, the bucks (small as they might be from us church mice) wont materialize.  And that trust factor is actually two-fold:

  • The perceived emnity of the Establishment towards the TEA / 912 / libertarian grassroots
  • the perception that once elected, Rs haven’t and don’t stand firm on Repub / Conservative principles

Why give to folks that don’t respect you and why work for those that won’t do as they say?

So what say you?

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