Saturday, January 21, 2006

A week from today, I have to vote for a new Republican Party Chair. The Pierce County Central Committee strongly advised me to vote for Diane after she gave a quite good speech at the committee meeting last weekend. Still, I am torn. Why? A Joni Balter editorial piece (Seattle Times, January 19, 2006) that made me think. Joni, (whom I usually ignore because she is neck and neck with Karl Marx in a race to extreme left), said:

"Political parties are shaped in part by the individual who leads them. The party leader becomes the personality of a party, one who sets the tone for candidates and elections."

I agree, with one minor change. It's not an individual who leads the party it's individuals - and in our case two. There is the "statesman leader" (at the national level the President, at the state level the governor) and the "executive leader" (the Party Chair.) For the foreseeable future we fortunately have an active, popular, engaged and engaging statesman leader, the twice elected governor: Dino.

Our opponents have the unpopular, sworn-in Lawyer-Governor: Christine.

So who is Christine supporting for the new Democrat Party Chair (strangely, both parties are picking new executive leaders on the same day)? Well, Joni’s words are helpful:

"Democrats are most likely to pick former King County Councilman Dwight Pelz, who would be the Democratic equivalent of Vance. Pelz is strident and flies off the handle as a matter of routine. Outbursts are part of his shtick. He is comfortable alienating friends and colleagues with ridiculous tirades about off-beat issues like Cuba."

Peas in a pod. Passionless and poisonous.

Ok, what about Dino’s inclination for Party Chair? Again, back to Joni's words:

"Republican Party leaders are backing Fredi Simpson, a young, grass-roots leader from Chelan County. She is Hispanic and has been a small-business woman, which provides a different public face for the GOP. Party leaders favor her over the often-unpleasant Diane Tebelius, whose name pops up frequently for political jobs."

Now Diane has never been unpleasant to me, though I obviously don’t know about her relationship with the press. But the Republican Party is not a courtroom, it is people who are passionate about issues, about candidates and about the American dream.

Dino is passionate about Washington and American dream. He is not cold, nor does he denigrate his opponents. He uses self-deprecating humor to disarm them. We need someone with just his style to be the executive leader of the party and set the tone for issues and candidates. Someone with an undying smile, self-deprecating humor and passion. Someone, like Dino, who is respectfully received in our cities' colorful central districts and hilltops, the rural Granges, corporate boardrooms and union halls.

Knowing both candidates, Fredi is the one closest to the Dino style. She is passionate, joyful, steel backboned, effective and all with a smile. She is equally and respectfully received in the barrios, the boardrooms, the orchards and the Boeing factory floor.

So, Dino and Fredi. Peas in a pod. Passionate and poisonless.

18 Comments:

At 21 January, 2006 19:45, Blogger assman13_1 said...

HUh....inever thought of it that way before.



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At 22 January, 2006 00:26, Blogger Patrick said...

Deryl,

I think you hit the nail on the head with this post. I read Balter's article earlier today, and had a strikingly similar response.

But have you asked yourself why the liberalmedia (yeah, that's all one word) would be so candid about Fredi's merits? Do they perceive her as the weaker personality, and thus want to see her elected to the detriment of the Party? Or am I just becoming too distrustful of the media?

I am just as anxious as the next guy to see a new State Chair take over. However, I'm less excited about the fact that this small race (not even a month long) has revealed a fractured Washington State Republican Party.

#1 We're still in the hole, and that needs to be turned around quickly if Republican candidates are going to get the much needed support from their party.

#2 Whomever takes over needs to immediately travel all around the state and have a fair number of open houses with voters at the grassroots level. At the end of his tenure, Vance has done much to bolster the "electability" of Rs, but has only minor success building consensus on a winning platform. The Committment to Washington is a strong FIRST step in that direction, and I am eager to see more.

#3 There is a noticable age difference between Republican volunteers in the grassroots. Whomever takes over must send out an immediate SOS to middle-aged Republicans: WE NEED YOUR HELP, VOLUNTEER AND INHERIT THE PARTY!

On that last point, it was simply amazing to see who turned out for Mike McGavick's Kick-Off event. There were a TON of families, complete with children, parents, and grandparents. That says a lot about what kind of campaign McGavick is going to be running, and it also speaks to the much larger question of how we get such people involved.

 
At 22 January, 2006 15:27, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a new candidate, I've been told by former candidates that if the state GOP doesn't hurt you, you're coming out of things better than average. Sad, really. I hope that whoever becomes the new leader has a vision that looks long into the future, coupled with an understanding of those things that actually work. The fact that the GOP does basically no branding and little party-building, acting as if politics only happens at election time, seems to me rather pathetic. But then, the other side has problems too....

 
At 22 January, 2006 20:36, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deryl, If you and a few other spineless county chairs had voted the right way Vance would not have been the chair in thew first place and the state party would not be 1.7 million dollars in debt!!!

 
At 22 January, 2006 21:34, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deryl,

You state that you were strongly advised by your Central Committee when in fact your Central Committee voted to endorse Diane therefore directing you and the other State Committee people to vote for Diane. It’s time that those elected leaders of the Republican Party start listening to us grass-roots volunteers; you can do this by simply following the wishes of those that elected you and vote for Diane.

 
At 22 January, 2006 21:43, Blogger Steve said...

So, are you asking for advice?

I have heard that Simpson can only work the party part time? Is that so?

Personally, I know nothing of Simpson other than she once visited the county and what you just said. However, I have heard from third parties (hearsay), that her performance with the Washington Federation of Republican Women (WFRW) was somewhat less than stellar and it may behoove you to consult with some of the WFRW women on that matter.

Why the need to mention that she is Hispanic? Is that a requisite? Does that, in some way make her special or more qualified than Diane Tebelius of unspecified ethnic background?

Diane did, as you say, visit and speak to the Pierce County Central Committee. Simpson did not and it is a shame we did not hear from her also, for a comparison. As the state’s second most populous county, one would think she would make an effort to address our group.

The question is, however, if your conclusions based on the Joni Balter article, namely, that the President, Governor and Party Chair are our party leaders, are of any consequence. While we, of course, do not want to cast out our basic principles, perhaps we need to be more responsive to the people of the State of Washington. I would point out that most party “approved” Republicans for statewide offices lost in 2004 (including the party chair, who felt the need to resign, leaving the party in debt and in the minority). Those who won, Sam Reed, Doug Sutherland (both reelected, by the way) and Rob McKenna (not quite so moderate) are moderate and endorsed by the Mainstream Republicans. These three elected Republicans and several others in various offices, are frowned on by the “true” Republicans and often labeled RINO’s; mostly because they disagree with a couple of issues, considered inviolate by the far right in the party. For some in the party there can be no compromise on some elements of the party platform and anyone who disagrees with them is a persona non grata.

I would once again argue that an individual should not be rejected because they have difficulty with 20 percent (or even more) of the party tenets but stand tall for the other 80 percent (or whatever the remainder). There are those who always apply a litmus test of their own criteria and summarily dismiss as unsuitable those who fail. A “true” Republican who passes their litmus test and garners the Republican vote will lose the election in most cases, as demonstrated in 2004. To be elected, we need to appeal to those moderate folks in the center who are looking for meaningful representation that will make their lives better, not religious and/or moral guidance by the self-righteous.

Since Bush, Dino (and Nethercutt) lost, perhaps they are not and should not be considered the defacto leaders of the Republicans of the State of Washington. Perhaps, if Joni is correct that the Republican leaders are recommending Simpson, that recommendation of Simpson is not in the best interest of the party. Perhaps we should look to some of the “RINO’s” who consistently win elections for guidance rather than the weary advice of the same losing consultants and operatives that have engineered our minority in Olympia and loses in the national arena. We continue to add proof for the truism: that doing the same thing over and over does not produce different results.

Is Diane the answer? Will Simpson be the leader we seek? Is there someone else? The timing of Vance’s resignation and the need to elect a new chair on short notice does not bode well for the party. Will the new chair lead the party on a winning course . . . or . . . will we continue to support losers?

Particularly now that we will choose our candidates by caucus so that we know they are “true” Republicans; champions of our cause but out of touch with their constituents. For I doubt that many “RINO’s,” even incumbents, will pass the strident litmus test and we will surely continue in the minority in the state.

Steve

 
At 22 January, 2006 21:48, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard at the Pierce County Central Committee meeting that a motion was made and strongly supported for Pierce County to support Diane. Then I get this email to this website and find that Deryl is torn because of an article he read? Deryl what are you doing as our County Chair? You have gone against the wishes of the people who elected you. This isn't the first time you did this, you did it in the last race too. No wonder I stepped aside and chose not to get involved in our County Party Politics, its not about the party or the people its about self. Its not who Deryl wants to see elected its about who the PARTY wants to see elected, some where, who the people want got lost. I find it offensive to the people who elected you. Caroline

 
At 22 January, 2006 22:21, Anonymous Sagacious one said...

Several of the above comments mention the instruction of the Central Committee to the Chair to vote for Diane for State Party Chair.

That instruction was also directed to the Committeeman(woman). It also made no stipulation that the obligation to vote for Diane was satisfied upon one vote. Should there be subsequent votes where Diane is in contention, three votes from the PCRP delegation should appear in her column.

I also found it of interest that attempts to endorse Bob Young for Vice Chair were ignored at the Central Committee meeting. Though I would have opposed such a directive, I found the slight perplexing.

 
At 23 January, 2006 09:12, Anonymous Hans Zeiger said...

Deryl - I was one of two people (I think) at the PCO meeting last weekend who voted against the recommendation for endorsing Diane Tebelius. I don't have anything against Diane. But I know Fredi Simpson. I know her passion, her ability to rally the grassroots, to unify the party, and I know that she is committed to common sense conservative ideals. I think she would make a great chair.

Also, I must tell you I was inspired by the blogger summit. I've not understood blogging much, but that meeting was a big help, and I think I may have to begin blogging. God bless,

HZ

 
At 23 January, 2006 18:50, Blogger Dennis Schroader said...

Deryl,

I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns on this matter. This level of communication is important from our Chairman.

Now, as others have said, a strong majority of those present at the Central Committee meeting made their feelings known to you and the other members of the state party's board. I don't know if there is any bylaw requiring you to follow the wishes of the party as a whole, but I might caution you against going against the wishes of your constituency.

Personally, I would be equally pleased with either lady as our state chair. Each brings a different set of qualities to the position and, whatever the final result, I hope both will continue to work together to turn this party around. I think that both women embody the spirit of Northwest Conservatives (to be sure, a different brand than found in the South).

The point of this post is to encourage you, without condemnation, to follow the direction received by the voting members of the Central Committee. It is, after all, them you represent.

 
At 23 January, 2006 23:19, Blogger Steve said...

Deryl,

Forgive the intrusion on this blog, but this is one I had to comment on: This is Carol and not Steve.

What is THE most important job of the State Party Chair? Raise Money. Can Simpson? I doubt it. She's not known to other than party insiders.

This is a time when the Republicans of this state need a professional money raiser and Diane is capable and well known and respected in DC, which is where the money will come from.

I am not a Diane fan, however, from my past slight experience with Simpson and those that really support her - she will be even more of a disaster than Vance, Benton et al have been.

You're listening to the wrong people again. I know the "powers that be" want Simpson and I also know they're wrong. They've given the republican voter Vance - when are they going to learn? We're just going to loose again and again and waste our Republican time and money and energy.

I think it's time to find Republican leadership that has a clue.

 
At 24 January, 2006 20:32, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have just heard about the blog. WOW, how interesting to read that a retired colonel is following the advise of a "Marxist Left" writer, to vote for Republican State Party Chair.
Maybe the PCO's who elected Mr. McCarty, Pierce County Party Chair, needs to revote. I am sure the bylaws say you have an executive board and central committee, but the question is why? No one seems to listen or care.
If I was a PCO this behavior would be offending and defiant. Then never attend anymore meaningless and useless meetings.
When did a nationality make you qualified for a position or office?
How can two days a week work raise over a million dollars in debit or cover everyday expenses?
WFRW treasury has seen no great movement or addition, but the finance/fund raiser chair is none other than Ms. Simpson.
Passion and a smile never raised money where people believe, but COMPASSION and CARING, plus knowing who, where, when to reach out and touch.

 
At 24 January, 2006 23:38, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh boy. Where do I start? FIRST - The fact that you are quoting someone that you compare to Karl Marx is a strong indicator to me. I adamantly disagree with Ms. Balter. I don't think the party is 'shaped' by it's leader. I believe, that we as educated people, attempt to elect the person that best represents our values and the direction that we wish to go. The idea that we don't have a brain in our head and our 'the leader molds us', is offensive and represents what I dislike the most about Democrats - their condescending attitude. They seemingly pat us on the head, and tell us to sit down and be quiet, because they know what is best. Having said that, it sounds like it is you, who is attempting to shape this party (or drag us kicking and screaming) to what you want, not what the people whom you represent have asked you to do. Let me point out the obvious: The executive committee "strongly advised you to vote for Diane". These intelligent people listened with an open mind to a speech and made their decision. They did not run to Dino and ask "Who do you want?" We elect the PCO's; they elect you; you are supposed to speak for us, not decide what is best for us. I will also point out that this not the first time. One year ago, you and your Committee Man were told by your PCO's to support Rose Strong and we all know how that turned out.

SECOND - I hate to keep repeating myself, but at the present time Dino Rossi is nothing more then a private citizen, yet the Republican leadership have been letting him call the shots ever since he lost the election. Don't get me wrong, I'm just as upset that the election was stolen, but the reality is, he didn't win and it's time we dealt with it. The best case scenario for him is that he will be the candidate and governor in 2008. Even a serious campaign cannot begin until late next year. This is a fact that I tried very hard to remind the leadership in about half of Washington's 39 counties 13 months ago after Dino came out of nowhere and endorsed Chris Vance. Approximately one quarter of the 117 people eligible to vote for the state party chair told me flat out that they wouldn't have voted for Vance, but felt they had an obligation to give Dino what he wanted, because he was the unofficial leader of our party. (One woman even used the words 'emotional leader' - good grief!)

Now let's discuss the two women who have thrown their hat into the ring. Fredi Simpson and Diane Tebelius.

Again you quote Ms. Balter when you say that Ms. Simpson is hispanic and will offer a different face to the Republican party. You don't say if that's a good thing or bad thing, or whether you agree with it, but you included it so I assume that you give it weight. I have met Ms. Simpson and I never knew that she was hispanic until someone told me. It also occurs to me that if it is a 'different face' that you were interested in, then Rose Strong (an African-American lady) would have been the obvious choice a year ago. That way, along with a 'face', we would have gotten experience and wisdom as well. If this sounds like I may still be bitter about the outcome, in all honesty, that is probably somewhat true, but the real reason that I bring it up is to point out, that if a reason that you and Dino support Ms. Simpson is for 'a new face', it doesn't hold any water. And if it's 'passion' that you want, again, the obvious choice would have been Rose a year ago, and we would not be having this conversation today.

Diane Tebelius. I have heard many sources speculate that one reason that the party 'leaders' are supporting Fredi Simpson is that she can be more easily 'managed' by the party 'elite'. Having briefly met Diane Tebelius, my impression is that would never be the case with her. I am like many other hard working conservatives in this state who are desperately trying to make a difference, only to feel like we are spitting in the wind. We feel that our efforts are not making changes due in part, to the party 'elite', who wish only to stay in power. Whether or not Ms. Tebelius is part of that 'elite' or not, I don't know, but the list of Ms. Simpson's supporters are and that makes me suspicious.

I find your interest in who Dino endorses interesting. It's my opinion that you and Mr. Young went against your PCO's last year and followed him to a man you now describe as "passionless and poisonous". Why would you follow a man who's last good idea was Chris Vance (ie. 'poison'). It begs the question - if Dino asked you to jump off a cliff....... It seems to me that Dino has far different criteria for his endorsements then the rest of us. I frankly, am not sure about either one of these ladies. What I am sure about is the judgment of the executive committee.

It sounds like you have made up your mind and will once again tell us to 'sit down and be quiet, because, you know what is best'. Isn't grand to be a Republican in this state?! I guarantee the Democrats are laughing their heads off.

Cindy Baij

 
At 26 January, 2006 17:26, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think that there is ANY chance of Bob Young doing the right thing and voting the way his executive committee has asked him to, with his own political aspirations hanging on the outcome? If Fredi Simpson wins, there will be an obvious opening for vice-chair. If Diane Tebelius wins, Fredi will get to serve out her term as Vice and there will be no need for Bob Young.

 
At 28 January, 2006 12:44, Anonymous sagacious one said...

The Chair has claimed, and technically so, that he did not endorse or say he would vote for Fredi. However, even a cursory reading of his blog would clearly indicate his approval of Fredi and coolness toward Diane.

He clearly supports Dino and, by equating the two, Fredi by default.

I would venture that the Chair is torn by his Central Committee recommendations and his obvious preference for Fredi.

From the PCRP meeting minutes: "On a voice vote, the Central Committee voted to recommend that our Chairman and two State Committee members vote for Diane. (State Committeewoman Beth Jensen Chew has indicated she will be pleased to vote for Diane Tebelius as State Chair as directed.)" Our Committeewoman has no problem with the recommendation while the Chair and Committeeman were non-committal and, apparently, waffling.

I will shortly all be over but the shouting and I suspect there will be plenty of that.

 
At 29 January, 2006 16:29, Blogger Patrick said...

I think providing a forum for discussion on this topic was not only an astute move on Deryl's part, but also a useful one.

Perhaps some of you can help me answer a critic, who made the point that while the Rs meeting was closed to the public, the Ds had the doors wide open.

Was the strategy to keep a divisive meeting private, or is this how business is normally conducted at such meetings? Please excuse my ignorance, I only just became a PCO, and am still learning.

Thanks,

Patrick Bell

 
At 30 January, 2006 19:57, Anonymous sagacious one said...

One last parting shot here:

Apparently our Chair and Committee(wo)man fulfilled the recommendation of the Central Committee and voted for Diane, as she won.

It would appear that Dino and the other "party leaders" are not (the party leaders). Despite the pressure on County Chairs to back Fredi, Diane won.

Perhaps some will realize that there is a disconnect between the "leaders" and the people. Or, is it that the leaders thought they could control Fredi? If that was the case, they lost control in Diane. I do not think Diane will forget who worked against her and who supported her.

 
At 27 April, 2006 10:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One point very long after the fact: of all the terms one might use to describe Dwight Pelz, "passionless" would have to be the least applicable one possible.

 

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