The Republican Party of Texas has had a new chair, Cathie Adams, this year. She came to the job from her role as National Committeewoman and prior to that as a longtime leader of Eagle Forum. She was not part of the clique that has run the party since 1998. She inherited a party that was mismanaged, burdened with expensive nonperforming contracts and in the hole financially. She added conservative stalwart Paul Bettencourt as RPT treasurer, which was a good move. Her opponents both bring things to the table for the party too. Steve Munisteri is a longtime GOP activist, former head of Young Conservatives of Texas, a retired Houston lawyer and businessman. He has criticized the RPT's financial shape and suggests the party needs field officers, and a statewide organization that can turn out GOP votes in November. He is also concerned with reaching swing voters.
Tom Mechler is a former Gray County Republican Chair, SREC member and was chair in Wasilla, Alaska (home of Sarah Palin). Tom is running to strengthen the RPT by using the county party's auxiliary groups, and to bring together Republicans throughout the state of Texas.
It is clear the Party needs a break from the past post-Pauken leadership. The question to be answered is whether Cathie Adams has broken cleanly from the past and is ready for the future. If she is, she is a strong choice. If not, Steve Munisteri brings a lot to the table and could clearly create a new era for the GOP.
As for the platform, word is Committee Chairman Wayne Christian is looking to prepare a platform that will include an agenda that can be accomplished in the next legislative session. (Something TCR has been working on for years.) It's a great idea and needs to be adopted this year.
China, Us And Them: A Personal Review
Your editor recently returned from an extensive visit to China so you know what that means - instant expert.
Reading about China's vastness, 1.4 billion in population and its communist government does not nearly give one a true picture.
We visited Beijing, Xian, Lhasa, Chongchang, the Yangtze River, and Shanghai. We visited with lots of regular folks, and of course, observed how the country operates.
The amount of building going on in China is breathtaking. Every city we hit had active construction cranes all over. The cities are densely populated (crowded), the roads are full of cars, and in fact in Beijing, you can't drive one workday a week.
Overall it's clear the nature of China has changed and people are interested in business and making money. There seems to be a strong work ethic. That's a good thing because they have to pay for kindergarten and lots of other things that you'd think would be free in China. In fact, we have something to learn here, that government can't afford to be all things to all people, even in China.
The big question for China and its future is in a country without free speech and press, with command capitalism, can it continue to work? The present system in China and in the US (where too big to fail is in vogue) does not allow for cleansing the economic system of failures, which over time causes macroeconomic problems. To be continued.
How To Win A Local Down Ballot Election
For The GOP In 2010
We at TCR have been asked numerous times how to win a local election if one is a down ballot candidate.
This election year in Texas is interesting, President Obama's numbers are not nearly as good as last year, the country is still in recession, the Democrats passed an unpopular socialist medical plan and on issue after issue seem out of touch. At this point, it looks like it's a good year to be a Republican, but the election is more fickle than ever.
So, here's what you do. Down ballot candidates depend significantly on the straight party pull, but ultimately, win or lose based on swing voters and November Republicans. So how do you reach and persuade these voters?
(1) Put faces on your down ballot GOP candidates that the targeted voters can identify with and their accomplishments.
(2) Put a face on the Democrats that turn voters off and compare and contrast the choices.
(3) Microtarget your message vehicles to reach those voters. Forget broadcast television and general mass mailings, as they are not targeted audiences and waste money.
(4) Help spread the truth about Bill White's record and his ties to Obama. Was the Houston White miracle all smoke and mirrors?
(5) Teach voters how easy it is to vote straight Republican as well as split their ticket, but still vote straight Republican down ballot if that is the voter's preference.
(6) Make sure the Republican base turns out and votes down the entire ballot.
A simple plan that will work in 2010. Ready, set, go, and get it done.
TCR on the Air
Red, White & Blue, featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones. Currently on hiatus, returns June 12 at 7:30 p.m. focusing on the immigration issue, and replaying Sundays at 5:30 p.m. and Thursdays at 11 p.m. on PBS Houston Channel 8. Coming soon Mayor Annise Parker and Congressman Ted Poe. For a new fun feature go to www.houstonpbs.org and under Red White and Blue, you can see commentary about the show and its guests by Gary and David each week. The current show as well as past shows are also available on YouTube.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his thirteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last eight years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.