A Word on the State GOP

It’s time to admit that the RI GOP’s brand is not only useless, it’s poison. The one state-level victory (knocking out Montalbano) came from an Independent, and the two towns of which which I’m aware that moved in the right direction (Tiverton and East Providence) have non-partisan elections. Consequently, the Republican Party must be deliberate in seeing itself as a grassroots organization.
That means a sabbatical from networking and message development. The party should gather all of the reform and right-of-center players in the state in a room and hammer out a platform, issue by issue, prioritized at the state level and emphasizing fiscal conservatism.
It also means recruitment and town-by-town growth. Internally and with all potential candidates, the strong preference should be candidates willing to run at the municipal level, and that’s where most of its resources should go. The RI GOP’s situation is so bad that party leaders should seriously consider running their candidates as endorsed independents.

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Bob W
Bob W
12 years ago

Justin,
Well there is some good news for republicans – Portsmouth “threw the bums out” and now has five pubbies, one indie and one dem on its town council.
Bob W
Portsmouth

Scott Bill Hirst
Scott Bill Hirst
12 years ago

Hi!
I lost in Hopkinton for Town Council but don’t write my political obituary yet. Bill Felkner, a Republican was elected as an independent. The Coventry Republicans won control and two people were elected as Republicans in Charlestown. The Republicans in Westerly will only be outnumbered by 4-3,. Other GOp successes to point to!
Regards,
Scott

Will
12 years ago

“The RI GOP’s situation is so bad that party leaders should seriously consider running their candidates as endorsed independents.”
Justin,
As long as straight party ticket voting is allowed, it actually might not be a bad option going forward. Allowing people to run on their individual merits isn’t really a bad idea. Unfortunately, when Rhode Islanders threw the bums out, they threw a lot of good people out with them (and they missed more than a few bums). It’s too bad. For those currently on the fence, it might make the choice for some to move away a little easier.
PS One “good” thing about the Rhode Island result, if you can call it good: it ensures that absolutely nothing will change for the better in the next two years, thus paving the way for a certain someone to rescue the state from the edge of oblivion. The 2010 election began today.
PPS The November revenue estimate numbers are coming in next week. Hold on to your seatbelts!

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

Foundational matters must first be addressed (or to put it into a somewhat crude analogy, you can’t help the substance abuser until they acknowledge that they have a problem).
Before it can grow up, the RIGOP first has to decide what it wants to be when it grows up.
At present it is a “party” in theory only; it can’t even produce a platform!
Thus (and this is no original observation on my part) it’s not so much that the Republican label is dirt in Rhode Island, so much as it just doesn’t mean anything (other than, in the public’s mind “powerless loser”).
The RIGOP is saddled with the legacy of the Chafee “moderate” wing of Democrat-Lites, go along to get along types with the existing Democrat power structure. They are still influential within the RIGOP. Little wonder that the party can’t (more likely chooses not to) produce a platform, and little wonder that the public isn’t exactly enthused. It’s hard to get enthused about an empty suit.
So those who do run as Republicans are largely left to fend for themselves relying upon whatever personal appeal / name recognition they can garner. In turn, the “Republican field” is comprised of a bunch of independent contractors of wildly varying political persuasions.
That relatively conservative Don Carcieri first won office running against the General Assembly, and won in 2006 in spite of a Democrat tsunami, should provide the road map for the RIGOP.
But alas …

John
John
12 years ago

This election provides further proof — if any more was needed — that people who are dependent on the use of State power to redistribute resources are firmly in control of the levers of power in RI. The public sector unions and welfare industry progressives have a lock. Moreover, the continuing exodus of retirees and people who work in the “growing the pie” side of the RI economy is only making this situation worse. There is no chance — none — that RI’s decline is going to be arrested and reversed via the political process. Rather, it seems inevitable that the Ocean State will soon be blazing new trails in municipal bankruptcy and state-level financial reorganization (whether mediated by the courts or the U.S. Treasury).
But none of this should come as news to anybody who has lived in RI over the past decade. The trend has been clear for a long time, and now that it has passed the tipping point, it is accelerating.

donroach
donroach
12 years ago

First, there was another victory with Fung winning the mayor’s race in Cranston.
Obama’s victory inspired in a way – if he can become President than the RIGOP can become relevant. As Marc points out it needs to start on the personal level and more people need to run for local office.
I ran in ’06 but I had no funding or time. I’m investigating if a ’10 run for a local office could be a possibility for me. I’m going to be inquiring of those GOP’ers already in power and hoping they can provide tips.
And I think that’s the key, the state needs to support local candidates first and statewide races second in order to re-establish itself. The state party has had the opposite mindset and I think that continues to hurt it.

Mike
Mike
12 years ago

“people who are dependent on the use of State power to redistribute resources are firmly in control of the levers of power in RI. The public sector unions and welfare industry progressives have a lock. Moreover, the continuing exodus of retirees and people who work in the “growing the pie” side of the RI economy is only making this situation worse. There is no chance — none — that RI’s decline is going to be arrested and reversed via the political process. Rather, it seems inevitable that the Ocean State will soon be blazing new trails in municipal bankruptcy and state-level financial reorganization (whether mediated by the courts or the U.S. Treasury).”
Boy-that about says it all. Although I think the suburbs are acually one big tax raise from revolting. Look at how many suburban races tigtened up this year or in 2006. In Western Cranston we had a zero budget candidate get 42% against union scum Bea Lanzi. Levesque, Rice and Walsh all nearly got beat. Even Paiva-Weed sweated her fat ass campaigning.
But the “cities”?
FORGET IT

Ralph Greco
Ralph Greco
12 years ago

Coventry also had an epiphany, with Republicans taking three out of four seats from the Democrats on the town council. If they can only get/keep the budget under control, perhaps they can hold it this time.

Sean Gately
12 years ago

As the GOP Candidate running against Lanzi, I found it to be the best experience of my life. Th posters here are correct, If I ran as an Independent instead as a Republican, I would have picked up another 500 or so votes. That still would not made a difference. The straight ticket voter accounted for over 3000 votes for her. She did not campaign, did not knock on a single door. She had macaroni dinners at the manors and senior centers and sent out two mailings. We put in about $8000.00 dollars into this and $4000.00 of it was my own.
I knocked on 5000 doors and shook over 2000 hands and I got 700 more votes than her last opponent. We get the government we deserve.

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

No wonder there’s a problem with the state GOP: Scott Avedesian is the state GOP’s most consistent winner, yet he only gets the back of the hand from his own party.
Hypothetical: if he ever left the GOP, would y’all call him a traitor? Sorry, you don’t get to do that with credibility. It’s like the sect of Red Sox fans that stupidly called Roger Clemens a traitor after his GM and the press drove him out of Boston.
Seriously, the best move for the RIGOP would be to follow the example of the Kansas Democratic Party. Instead of these silly ideological purity tests, position yourselves to exploit conflicts along the Democrats. Why did Kansas elect a Democratic governor twice? Because of the GOP infighting there. Look at it this way: R.I’s liberal voters have no trouble voting for a Republican when necessary (nor did the conservative Dems who put Carcieri in the statehouse). If you’re willing to work with either wing of the Dems, you’ll make a bigger impact in the Assembly.

Rasputin
Rasputin
12 years ago

Hey Rhody,
It’s double agents like you that are the problem.
Please tell me what exactly makes Scott Avedisian a Republican.
Avedisian raises property taxes the maximum amount allowed by law every year. He is happily supported by the city’s public sector unions whom he is slavishly devoted to.
If you can’t tell me what makes Avedisian a Republican, please tell me what it gets us to elect another Lincoln Almond into office? What good is it to gain the world, but lose our soul?
The fact that you use Roger Clemens as an example is very curious! Good one!

Rasputin
Rasputin
12 years ago

Rhody,
Please excuse my last post.
After reading some other posts of yours, I found out that you’re a union guy.
So it is no surprise to me that you’re a fan of the RINOs like Fung and Avedisian. Afterall, you’ve got your hand in the pot!!!!
If I were a union guy like you, my self-interest would probably embolden me to support one of those RINOs too. I would expect you to support those sheep in wolf’s clothes.
What confuses me isn’t someone like you. What confuses me are the “real” Republicans (like the Justin Katz, Andrew Morse, and Monique Chartier’s of the world) who support Fung and Avedisian even though it’s entirely against their self-interest to do so.
I may live to be 100 and I’ll still never understand it.

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