Thank You CD2!

Thank you everyone who came today to the CD2 Convention. I was indeed an honor and a privilege to earn the support of so many good people. I congratulate my friend Jeff Lorsung on winning the CD2 Deputy Chair race and look forward to working with him to build a stronger CD. I know he will serve us well. Again thank you and godspeed.

Thank you SD65

Today was my last day as SD65′s Chair.  I am humbled and honored to have worked with so many excellent candidates and activists.  It takes real strength of character to get out there in an 80/20 district and SD65 could not have had more character on hand this last year.  Thankfully I know that with just about the entire SD65 team staying on, and Rick Karschnia at the helm, SD65 won’t stay an 80/20 district for long.  I also want to thank John Gilmore for the kind words at the end of our Convention.  It means something special coming from you and I was truly touched.  I’d wish you all good luck, but I know luck will have nothing to do with your future success.  This is not goodbye.  I don’t think I could handle that.  Until next time.

Dealing with Factional Rivalry

An activist on the CD2 FB page just asked me about my experience in dealing with the factional rivalries that have shell shocked much of our Party. Here was my response:

Mac GOP: Minimal factionalism present. Focused on pulling in independents and moderates by picking signature issues moderates identify with, writing op-eds on those topics, allowing ‘crazy left’ to respond, and then inviting the people who came to our defense to participate in Mac GOP events. We did all the other stuff you would expect but engagement via school newspaper was most effective.

SD65: Extreme factionalism present. Our first convention of the last election cycle opened with “Ron Paul supporters are not Republicans and should leave” from the outgoing Chair. Like many areas the liberty faction had a majority of Delegates so SD65 ended up with a majority liberty leadership team. It took some convincing but everyone got on board with appointing SD65 Directors from non-liberty factions. This enlarged the executive team to increase factional balance and increase our pool of perspectives. Obviously there were some hurt feelings and not everyone ended up coming back, but most did. I made a point of inviting key thought leaders to events both within SD65 and elsewhere. It also meant supporting efforts from activists not necessarily close to the liberty line of thinking but in alignment with current Republican objectives. I did not make decisions unilaterally on a range of concerns, even though such latitude is allowed the Chair in SD65. Rather just about every issue of consequence was put to a vote for the SD65 Executive Committee, Directors included. Aside from the odd contentious issue (aka issuing a Marriage Amendment support letter, which we supported by a slim majority), votes were pretty much always unanimous. The key pieces here are that we were usually in agreement and we made a point of power sharing. Creating buy in from all factions only happens when everyone has a stake in the results.

CD4: Extreme factionalism present. As part of my role as SD65 Chair, I was a member of the CD4 Full Committee and therefore believed it was my responsibility to do what I could to ensure CD4 ran smoothly. Due to a rather complex backstory we were facing a situation where CD4’s Chair was not fulfilling his required duties per the CD4 Constitution. The situation became so untenable that we ultimately initiated and executed on removal proceedings. The effort was a combined one from all factions in CD4. Whereas installing the now previous CD4 Chair was primarily a liberty led event, his removal most definitely sprang from all factional camps.

As part of that unhappy episode we took steps to mitigate the chance of a similar situation by writing the CD4 Strategic Plan. This plan included key leaders from the removal effort as well as quite a few others interested in getting CD4 on the right track. I think every elected Republican Representative in CD4 came by at least once. Unlike other attempts at planning, the combined authorship approach engendered support from a wide range of CD4 activists. To avoid some of the more contentious issues in our Party, we focused the plan on party infrastructure and on issues of policy in which we all generally agree. Thanks to the combined approach and no matter who assumes leadership for CD4 next month, I believe CD4 will begin plan implementation and be much the better for it.

Key methods for dealing with factional rivalries are always inviting participation, power sharing, creating buy in and focusing on the many areas in which our factions agree. While some people will never ‘come along’ with the team concept, it is left to us to resist their efforts at divisiveness and continue working together to build a stronger Republican Party.