Sunday, April 11, 2010

What Republicans Are Doing About Party Unity

The sole reason for the existence of my campaign is the refusal of the Republican party to unify in the general election.  In 2008, the Republican party hierarchy preferred that Dennis Apuan, an anti-war left wing Democrat be elected to represent Fort Carson over the pro-choice, fiscally conservative, military veteran Republican.

What made this especially obnoxious is that the pro-life part of the party couldn't even find a candidate to run in that district.  In their mind, electing a Democrat was preferable to electing a Republican.

I am a precinct leader.  My precinct submitted five separate party unity resolutions for consideration at the El Paso County Republican assembly.  The committee which filters proposed assembly resolutions did not include any of the five.  Their decision was to focus on social issues.  Party unity didn't get a back seat in the assembly resolutions.  It got no seat.

Unfortunately, hard core social conservatives think disrupting party unity works to their advantage.  As Dave Schultheis told the The Gazette on August 8, 2009, "The pro-life plank of the party justifies purges" of fiscally conservative Republicans who are not social conservatives.  They don't care about having a legislative majority.  Schultheis and Lambert told The Gazette in 2005 that they prefer serving in a "pure minority" to serving in a majority that includes people who disagree with them.  Lambert told the Colorado Union of Taxpayers "The ranks of weak Republicans must be thinned."

Most voters would rather see a unified Republican Party thinning Democrat's ranks.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Miracle" in Massachusetts

Kent Lambert and Dave Schultheis have said that they would rather serve in a pure minority in the legislature than in a majority that included pro-abortion legislators.

Dave Schultheis told the Gazette that the pro-life plank of the party justifies purges of Republicans.  Lambert advocated "thinning the ranks of weak Republicans."

Contrast those positions with what happened in Massachusetts on January 19th.  Pro-Choice Republican Scott Brown was elected in no small part due to the efforts of that state's Right to Life organization.  It reports having made 440,000 phone calls to pro-life families in support of Brown.  It also sent out 170,00 cards and funded radio ads in support of Brown.

If Republicans can come together to win an important election in the most liberal state in the union, why can't they come together to take back Colorado?

The answer, sadly, is in the first sentence of this post.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Back to Two

Schultheis protege and close ally Kent Lambert entered the race yesterday. At the press conference, Schultheis described Lambert as "100% ethical." We need legislators who are 100% ethical, but Lambert isn't there. More later.

Edited to add: Lambert has a habit of telling the media that I am saying the opposite of what I am saying. He doesn't attend events that I speak at and doesn't allow me to speak at his events, so he has no idea what I am saying. Not exactly 100% ethical, or even close.

Lambert put out a fundraising letter claiming that his position on the JBC was creating a financial hardship for his family. He forgot to mention that he collects per Diem or the amount of his military retirement. He was asking people who make half or a third what he makes to help him ease his "financial hardship." Not exactly 100% ethical or even close.

Lambert bemoans the fact that there are "not enough Republicans in the Legislature" to stop the Democrats without disclosing that he favors purges. Not exactly 100% ethical or even close.

In 2006 Lambert and Schultheis objected when Hefley tried to hand his seat to Crank. It was an event that put fissures in the Party that last to this day. It was so obvious that Schultheis wasn't running that in late June I predicted to Gazette reporter Dean Toda that Schultheis would drop out. That happened on the last day that someone could move into the district and be eligible to run. Not exactly 100% ethical or even close.

Lambert trumpets his Colorado Union of Taxpayers rating without admitting that his choice not to seek a Republican majority makes all of his votes meaningless, to the point of making his rating a cruel and fraudulent hoax. Not exactly 100% ethical or even close.

Lambert courts the votes of fiscal conservatives but allows his close allies to call them RINOs if they don't hew to his religious views. Not exactly 100% ethical or even close. He has claimed that my campaign of insisting on a legislative majority is just "attacking Republicans" as though he is a real Republican and I am not. Not exactly 100% ethical or even close.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Down to One

State Senator Dave Schultheis announced yesterday that he would not seek another term, leaving me as the sole Republican candidate. I called him an honorable politician when The Gazette asked me for a quote, on his departure, and I meant it.

I have sought to make my campaign against him a referendum on party tactics, or more specifically the tactics that he promoted. He was the pro-fratricide candidate. I am the anti-fratricide candidate. I am the pro-majority candidate. He said he preferred a "pure" minority.

If another candidate pops up, I will expect him to defend the Schultheis positions on party tactics. I have been running for office for seven months, and in all of that time, not a single El Paso County politician has distanced himself from Schultheis or his positions. It is a bit late to stand up and say Schultheis was wrong if the new candidate couldn't do so seven months ago.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Vocal 10%

I have now been walking precincts since May 2. I have found that 90% of the voters I talk to want a Republican Party that seeks to have a majority now that can slow down the Democrats. 10% want to wait until they have a "pure" party that can enact anti-abortion laws.

The 10% is grossly over represented among the precinct leaders because they go to caucuses. They seem to try to act as "enforcers" who promote their religious beliefs ahead of the interests of the whole party and the other 90% of the voters who vote Republican.

This 10%, including many precinct leaders, is completely willing to hand seats to Democrats rather than allow a Republican who is not anti-abortion win in the general election and has interfered in several elections since 2000. They are completely insensitive to the fact that only a majority in at least one house can stop the growth of government.

My opponent has said repeatedly that he would prefer to be part of a small "pure" group of Republicans operating in the legislature than have a majority that includes people he doesn't like for religious reasons.

A cynic might suspect that the vocal 10% are trying to pave their way to heaven on the backs of the 90% who want a Big Tent Republican majority...want to stop the march toward socialism.

If you are part of the 90%, register Republican and make a point of attending the 2010 caucuses. You easily have the numbers to make changes.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Changing Skewed Priorities In The Republican Party

I never thought I would run for office, and never planned to. That all changed when, three days after the last election, someone suggested that I should look into the events surrounding the HD-17 election.

What I found convinced me that a small, but influential group of far right single issue social conservatives had been hostile to the Republican candidate in the general election in ways that I found repugnant.

HD-17 includes Fort Carson. Our Republican candidate was a fiscal conservative veteran and pro second amendment. She would have been a good addition to the legislature if one is serious about electing candidates who want to keep taxes and spending low and government small.

The local party had $20,000 available for the race, but it also had an executive director who has since said that the HD-17 candidate isn't right for that district. Since leaving the post, he has started a fund whose stated goal is to keep people like the HD-17 candidate off the ballot, mentioning her by name. While he was a Party executive director he had raised the $20,000, supposedly to support Republican candidates. He just didn't want to spend any of it on that particular candidate. She lost by 500 votes of 15,000 cast.

My state representative did not have a serious race. His close ally and my opponent had no race. Still, they couldn't find time to help that candidate or ask me and other precinct committee leaders to help her. Since, as it turns out, they wanted her to lose, they didn't tell us that she was in danger of losing.

Only two elected officials in the county helped her. The rest, including caucus leader Amy Stephens whose job it was to elect Republican legislators, sat on their hands.

Why the hostility to our candidate from so many party notables? She wasn't anti-abortion.

I later discovered that my state senator opponent and his ally, Kent Lambert, had together formed an organization in the legislature. At formation, the Gazette reported: "They say that they would rather have a small group of pure Republicans in the legislature than (have) a majority..." that includes people they don't like.

In that article, my opponent actually celebrated that Republican State Representative Ramy Johnson had lost in the general election. The Denver Post tied it all together with an article that described a Bob Schaffer direct mail attack on Ramy Johnson during the general election. She lost by less than 100 votes.

In a rational world with a ratioal party that wants a majority, that event should have disqualified Bob Schaffer from the 2008 US Senate nomination. It didn't, and he got fewer votes than John McCain. If the race had been closer, Udall could and would have used this example of fratricide against him.

This same small group of single issue far right social conservatives didn't want to see Coors or Beauprez elected. I volunteered to make phone calls for Beauprez and was told over and over by former Republican volunteers who I was calling to ask to help Beauprez: "I am a values voter. I didn't vote for Coors and I won't work or vote for Beauprez."

We could overlook what this minority is doing it if social conservatives had the numbers to elect a "pure" majority. They don't. The results of the Amendment 48 personhood amendment, which they supported and others did not, mustered 25% of the vote statewide and 38% in El Paso County. It is hard to see how 25% of the voters can elect a social conservative majority in the legislature.

The only way Republicans can elect a majority again is by stopping the fratricide. We have to be willing to allow districts around Denver to elect Republicans who match their districts, even if they aren't conservatives.

You might think that a Party leadership that wants a majority would ask my opponent to step aside, given his publicly stated desire to have the party remain in the minority. That hasn't happened. Instead, I am the one who was asked not to run!

I've been walking precincts for three months. Most voters I talk to want a majority. I estimate that the number who are willing to wait for a pure party to be elected is about 10% of Republicans in the county. That 10% makes a point of going to caucuses. The other 90% let the 10% run the Party.

We thus end up with an El Paso County Party whose precinct leadership would rather the party lose if they can't have their pure party. That precinct leadership attitude creates an environment of fear where no candidate or office holder can object without losing the support of those activists, and none do.

I expect that my campaign will expose the skewed priorities of the local party and change them. I want local politicians to care more about the 90% of the electorate that wants a Republican majority than the 10% who are trying to hold the rest of us hostage.

Tom McDowell

Monday, May 4, 2009

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