As the summer approaches, the Monmouth GOP gossip machine is spitting out names of folk who may try to assume the party Chair. That is accompanied by the usual query – who will be “in” or “out” should one or the other prevail?
The above foretells the Chairman’s mission: To stop us from using our brainpower on gossip and divide, and turn instead to policy. I’d give my fortune to never again receive a phone call about who said what of whom, who is with him and what will the others do about it. I long for discussions about shrinking government, lowering taxes, delivering services for less and other conservative ideals. Public Service is achieved only when these are the topics that consume our discourse.
Whether the Chair remains Adam Puharic or if it will be another is of no import; after all it is gossip that concerns itself with who a person is – leave that to the gossipers. Let us focus instead on what the Chair should do to unify the Monmouth GOP. I humbly offer my view on the conduct of a unifying Chair, no matter the person’s name:
· HEADQUARTERS IS FOR EVERYONE: No doubt, there are factions in the Monmouth GOP. There are many people who feel they can’t come to headquarters and volunteer out of a sense of being unwelcome. The Chairman isn’t Jesus so he can’t make us love one another, but he can declare, “HQ is for You.” When your rival is at the table, the Chair should welcome you both and greet you at the door, and neither of you should hold that against the Chair. The more volunteers at HQ the better.
· RESOURCES ARE FOR EVERYONE: Is the County Organization in possession of data, polls, email lists, mailing lists, or anything else that can be helpful? Share it with the Municipal Chairs, who in turn will share it with their candidates. Information is power to beat the Democrats – share it.
· MEDIATE THE FACTIONS: God gave smoke a smell so we could find the fire and put it out. As soon as the Chair knows there is a problem, have the two factions in for a talk. If you consider yourself in a faction, you may not be the right person to be Chair.
· INDEPENDENCE FROM PRIMARIES AND CONVENTIONS: A healthy party has debate and challenges. The Chair should never pick a side, but should encourage both sides to a fair contest. Nothing more or less. Tammany Hall we aren’t.
· ENCOURAGE THE NEWCOMER, THE OUTSIDER AND THE WEAK CANDIDATE: Assume there are 6 candidates looking to go to the Convention for a seat. Five may be strong and noteworthy, while the sixth probably can’t win. That’s the first person the Chair (and other leaders) should call. Let him know he’s welcomed. Tell him if this doesn’t turn out to be his time (but don’t mislead him about his poor chances), he should stay active and volunteer afterward. Encourage him to be on the team. That builds the party. That’s what party leaders do naturally (from personal experience, I’ll label this the “Corodemus Call.” Thanks, Steve).
· STATEMENTS ABOUT RESULTS: It is the courageous who seek office and the commitment involves family sacrifice and emotion. When one Republican gets the Screening Committee or Convention nod over another the Chairman’s job, particularly to the Press, is twofold: Congratulate the winner, and prop up the one who fell short. It keeps him on the team – volunteering and fundraising. Never forget – the one who fell short this year may be our candidate next year – never feed a line to the Press that the Democrats may use later. Adhere to Reagan’s 11th at all times.
· VOLUNTEERS ARE BETTER THAN MONEY: Give me 10,000 volunteers over a $10,000.00 donation any day.
· FOR GOODNESS SAKE, PUNCH THE AP PRESS IN THE NOSE ALREADY!: You can spend money on a poll to find out how unpopular that paper really is, or save the money and take my word for it: People resent the monopoly. Punching the Press will score us points with the people. Don’t fight Skip Hidlay in Neptune – take it to his bosses in Virginia who answer to the shareholders. Don’t try to get your criticism of him into the Press – try to get it into the Wall Street Journal. I’ve watched for years as we hope the bully will leave us alone (no bully ever will until you pop him one). I loathe seeing fellow Republicans not support one of our own just because the Press goes after him. Remember if you keep feeding the crocodile hoping he will eat you last – eventually he will.
(To avoid greasing the gossip machine, there is zero chance that I will run for Chairman, but I pledge my support today to any candidate – and I mean any candidate - who adopts the above as Monmouth GOP policy).