By: Lonnie Brennan – February, 2012
I love sports, and as my bride will tell you, my favorite is politics. I watch political debates the way she watches the Bruins (complete with cheers and jeers). So, let me put this in sports terms: if the stands remained empty as your team continued an on/off 20+ year losing streak, you would fire the management and change the players, right? So why do we keep re-electing the same Massachusetts Republican State Committee members who have driven the Republican Party enrollment to 11%?
On March 6, 2012 you have an opportunity to go and vote at the Presidential Primary Elections. Buried down on the ballot someplace after you’ve waded past all the presidential names, you’ll find an obscure group called State Committee Member.
This is the group of 80 members who are the voice of the MassGOP. They set the tone, they set the rules and they set the party platform. They elect a chairperson to represent the Republicans and they decide how and in what manner to get out their message and support their candidates. I’ve looked through the listing and can happily say that anyone on the committee worth keeping, the exception of Linda Rapoza in Fall River, does not have an opponent, so the dozen or so good ones on the committee should continue to serve. (For example, Sheila Richardson from Dracut should sail to re-election and I hope you all vote for her).
As for the remainder, if your state committee member has an opponent, vote to change the team. Vote for the opponent. It’s that simple. Even if you personally like the person or recognize the name as a popular name, vote against him or her. You can’t make the situation any worse than it already is, and the upside will be a chance to re-constitute a new MassGOP state committee, and perhaps turn the tide.
That’s right, even though I really do like, personally, several of the current players the Republican state committee is dysfunctional to the core and has most seriously contributed to a repetitive cycle of always doing the same thing and always getting the same results, and resulting in 11% voter enrollment as Republicans in Mass. In contrast, thanks to the Tea Party folks, the Republican Party benefitted in 2010 despite the non-attention of the current state committee as the Tea Party folks helped propel several new Republican state representations to the state house. Indeed, my state committeewoman, who I dearly love, did not meet my new state representative until two weeks AFTER he was elected. She is a hard worker with 17 cities and towns, and her priorities and actions obviously kept her busy elsewhere. Fortunately, the Tea Party (big cheers go out to Michael Mosca, Ted Trip and many others from the Merrimack Valley Tea Party and its various stages of organization) picked up the slack.
For those keeping score, I just generated another 200+ enemies (current incumbent state committee members and their gaggle of supporters). Let me repeat, I might personally like some of the current players, but they don’t pass well together, they don’t ring up points together, they have resulted in an unfocused, diffused, distracted Republican message.
So, when you go to the polls, look to vote for Sheila Mullins, Kim Incampo, Alex Veras, Carlos Armando Hernandez, Amy Carnevale, Michael Benn, Michael ‘Iron Mike’ Farquhar, Tim Sullivan, Rob Aufiero, or Steve Aylward, depending on which town or city you live in. Yes there are others, but these are closest to this newspaper’s growing 22,000+ circulation.
With 9 out of 10 voters actively choosing NOT to join the Republican team, you really reach a point where you have to ask: are they (the voters) wrong, or is there something fundamentally wrong with the Massachusetts Republican State Committee?
Well, as Dianne (my bride) is oft to quote: ‘if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got’. You are the change. The change is within you. Vote against the incumbents. Change the team.