Political News and Commentary with the Right Perspective. NAVIGATION
  • Front Page
  • News
  • Multimedia
  • Tags
  • RSS Feed

  • Advertise on RightMichigan.com


    Get the RightMighigan.com toolbar!



    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    Comparison Shopping for State Chairs - A Closer Look at the B. S. Record

    By Kevin Rex Heine, Section News
    Posted on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:27:58 PM EST
    Tags: Schostak Must Go, 2 for 13 on Election Day, majoring in minors, inattention to results, Courser 4 Chair (all tags)

    The campaign to either retain or replace Robert I. Schostak as the Michigan Republican Party Chairman has been going on for just over eleven weeks now, with just under three weeks to go.  Up until yesterday, it's been pretty clean in public forums (with the one notable and easily rebuked exception), although I wouldn't put it past the elites to develop new tactics.  Apparently, the thread-jackers and smear-trolls do seem to be ramping it up now (at least with regard to the Youth Vice-Chair race), and given the fact that at least three seats are going to be contested at the state convention (four if you ignore the fact that the Chair and Co-Chair run as a single ticket), I expect the knives will be coming out in earnest soon enough.  So I'd like to take advantage of an as-yet uncluttered opportunity to do a little bit of comparing-and-contrasting of the two candidates for the top spot at the state party.

    I was originally going to do this as a single article, but there's just so much material here that I'm going to do this as a series (that may actually be more than two parts in length).

    If an elected executive is campaigning for reelection, then I expect him to tell me two things.  First, I should hear an honest assessment of what he accomplished during the term now concluding, and second, I should hear an in-depth proposal for what he wants to get done should he be reelected.  I realize that "in depth" won't go into too many details, but I do expect at least a bullet-point high-level outline to be put on the table.  Also, the honest assessment ought to include a frank discussion of where the organization came up short under his leadership, in a "the buck stops here" manner.  I get that RIS isn't personally culpable for every shortfall of the MIGOP during the 2012 campaign, but as the chairman of the party, he is professionally responsible for those shortfalls.

    Now Chairman Schostak announced his intention to stand for reelection back in November via press release.  In no particular order, the topics he covered were:

    • The amount of support he already had state wide (a number that has since grown, but that's another story)

    • Through a record number of voter identification contacts, built a list of 2.4 million positively identified republican voters

    • Worked with the grassroots to build a republican firewall against Obama's momentum

    • We held on to majorities in our congressional delegation, the state house, and the state supreme court; and we defeated proposals 12-2 and 12-4

    . . . which looks impressive on its face.  On his "Bobby Schostak for Chair" campaign website, he has an entire page dedicated to his record as state party chairman, subtitled: "Strengthening the party. Empowering grassroots."  Here, we see a reasonably positive spin put on the B. S. record:

    • Bobby has visited nearly all 83 counties (including three visits to the Upper Peninsula) and attended more than 500 face-to-face meetings with activists, leaders and donors, apparently as part of a "listening tour" intended to get input straight from the grassroots.

    • In April, 2012, MRP began opening and staffing field offices, called "Victory Centers," across Michigan.  By October, 2012, there were 23 of these victory centers open, equipped with VOIP phone systems and a full-time staffer responsible for recruiting volunteers and coordinating door-to-door efforts to identify likely Republicans.

    • The results of the field program were:  more than 4 million voter contacts, the recruitment of more than 10,000 volunteers, and the identification of an additional 1,051,312 likely Republican voters in Michigan.

    • To protect the integrity of Michigan's ballot, MRP worked with Romney for President, Inc. to recruit and train 2,253 poll challengers for Election Day.  In 2010, only 33 Michigan Counties were covered by Republican volunteers.  This year, Republicans had volunteers in 81 of 83 counties.

    • Chairman Schostak had record results fundraising:  $26 million raised, $20 million spent over operating expenses, and the Michigan Republican Party added 4,958 new low dollar donors

    • For the second cycle in a row, Republicans in Michigan put forward a full slate of strong candidates, with at least one candidate in every legislative race, congressional race, Supreme Court race, and all statewide education board races.

    • MRP worked with Michigan-based Compuware to build an Election Day application to maintain ballot integrity, and assist in GOTV efforts.  This app was field tested on Election Day, and will be used in years to come.  The Michigan Republican Party was also one of the first parties to launch its own custom phone app, which features information about upcoming events, related news, and allows activists to remain informed and up-to-date.  The app was launched in September of 2012.

    • MIGOP retained its majorities in the State House, on the State Supreme Court, and in the Congressional Delegation.

    • MIGOP wasn't able to deliver a republican senator or Electoral College delegation, but it wasn't because we didn't try.

    . . . yet in all of this, the closest Chairman ShowStack gets to honestly analyzing the shortfalls of 2012 is "the results were not perfect" and "we could not change the national political landscape."  The posts for December and January are all about how many supporters B. S. has, and what they have to say about him.  With the exception of Jennifer Gratz, who legitimately defended her reputation against completely unjustified personal retaliation, the rest of it is two months worth of one puff piece after another.  Yet after several weeks of being challenged to explain what he's going to do differently, it wasn't until after a comparison piece was published by Core Principles that the chairman finally published his Plan for Victory in 2014, notably after his challenger's plan had been publicly available for at least two weeks.

    Look, I get that anyone running for election is going to put the most positive spin possible on his record.  In that sense, I don't suppose it's much different than any other job applicant; make sure that your references are going to speak well of you, structure your resume to highlight your accomplishments and strengths, and so forth.  Here's the thing, though; as I've said before, in any functional and effective management team, everything ultimately comes down to the results that are directly linked to the strategies and objectives developed by the team.  In other words, what did they actually accomplish when all was said and done?

    As I pointed out in an earlier article, when the dust finally settled on Election Day, RIS had delivered a grand total of two statewide wins . . . period . . . and those two were in non-partisan judicial races where incumbents have a clear advantage by design, two statewide races where the party had little, if anything, to do with campaign strategy, tactics, and financing.

    If we managed to identify 2.4 million Republican voters, including over 1 million previously unidentified Republican voters, then how come Mitt Romney lost by 449,313 votes statewide and Pete Hoekstra lost by 968,440 votes statewide?  (We should also note that, based on the total votes cast for the two races, the 2012 turnout was off from the 2008 turnout by about 347,141 voters, give or take; why it that?)

    Why, if we had better than 1-1/2 victory centers per congressional district, working 10,000 volunteers, making a total of over 4 million voter contacts, did we get our fannies handed to us in the statewide partisan races?

    Why, if we raised and spent record amounts of money, did we fail to flip two congressional seats that at one point were within reach (and fail to elect Kerry Bentivolio to finish the partial term of Thad McCotter)?

    Why, in Oakland County (which has a deserved reputation as a republican stronghold in Southeast Michigan), did we go 2 for 6 among the county executive positions, losing two incumbent positions, specifically including losing the County Clerk (the vote counter) to the "vagina queen" of the state legislature?

    In Michigan, there are a total of 4,873 voting precincts, not including Absentee Voter Counting Boards (which is a municipality-by-municipality decision each election).  That means that the 2,253 poll challengers recruited, trained, and deployed by the party - when you consider that they're supposed to work in pairs - accounts for about 23.12% of the total precincts in the state, not including AVCBs.  Maybe that's a big deal and maybe it isn't, because, as I mentioned in August of 2011 when I discussed the "ten percent of ten percent" rule, as long as the challengers were trained properly and deployed wisely, any shenanigans should have been minimized.

    But RIS mentions that he didn't cover two counties.  Which two were they?  Genesee and Wayne Counties, two known democrat fortresses, didn't completely report in until the afternoon of November 7th (the day after the election, and long after any republican challengers had likely called it a night, if they were there in the first place).  If those were the two counties that didn't get covered, then we essentially let the dems make the outcome of Wayne and Genesee be whatever they wanted them to be.  Even if those two counties were covered, the question would be whether the challengers were properly trained and wisely deployed within them.

    I think that, more importantly than poll challengers, would be the attention paid to the Precinct Delegate program.  Given the Anuzis Amendment to the state party convention rules, I suspect that way too many newbies to the Grand Old Party view the PD position as nothing more than a means to an end; the end being going to County Convention and getting selected as a State Convention delegate.  However, as I discussed back in July of 2010, the Precinct Delegate is the official and duly elected liaison between the neighborhood and the state and county parties.  Convention voting is a perq of the job, not the reason for it.

    The iCaucus has a maxim that, if we have two of our people in a precinct who are committed to doing the work required to win, then we own that precinct.  This is what the Precinct Delegate is actually for.  A precinct delegate who's effectively doing the job is both a wealth of voter identification information as well as the main channel for neighborhood GOTV efforts.  So if RIS claims to have recruited 10,000 volunteers for the 2012 election cycle, how many of those recruits were recruited as precinct delegates?  Of Michigan's 4,873 precincts, what percentage of them were covered by delegates?  I'd like to know that number, mister empower-the-grassroots.

    I ask the question because, quite frankly, 9,746 precinct delegates who are actually active in their neighborhoods would have saved the party a ton of money on victory center phone banks and television advertising.  Seriously, just how effective do you think it is to have a person sitting in a centralized phone bank, cold-calling voters halfway across the state to do data mining?

    I'll admit to being a tad puzzled as to why someone who purports to be a successful business executive would develop a software application that's going to be the centerpiece of his election-day operations, and then use Election Day as the actual field test of the software.  The detailed post-mortem on the epic fail of Project ORCA is easily unearthed by a simple Google search.  Suffice it that this should be used as a defining case study for why central planning and control is a really bad idea when the crap hits the fan.

    Ultimately, no matter how Chairman B. S. wants to spin it, nor how effectively we can deconstruct it and pick it apart, everything in his record comes down to what the party, under his leadership, did or didn't deliver on Election Day 2012.  Given that there's not one good reason that we shouldn't have done better than we actually did, it's not a surprise that there are other options available.

    < Wednesdays Divertere: Will Schostak be Reelected Chair? | Drones Thwart Business in Plymouth >

    Share This: Digg! StumbleUpon del.icio.us reddit reddit

    Display: Sort:
    Monkey see monkey do (none / 0) (#1)
    by Corinthian Scales on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:14:05 PM EST
    Makes sense now.

    But RIS mentions that he didn't cover two counties.  Which two were they?  Genesee and Wayne Counties [snip]

    Well, why the Hell would chair heir Third world voting Schostak, cover them when the old king was caught on video just 90 days prior to the election telling everyone why the MI-GOPe had no intention to cover them?

    Weiser, the former Michigan Republican Party chair, also said few non-Detroiters would show up at the polls "without a sidearm." His comments came as he told his audience why he believed former  Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney had a chance at stealing Michigan away in November's presidential election.

    "Well, let's look at Wayne County. Two big groups. The first one's Detroit. Population's now shrunk  under 700,000," Weiser, an Ann Arbor businessman, said. "Secondly, no Coleman Young machine. No Kwame Kilpatrick machine. There is no Dave Bing machine. There's no machine to go to the pool halls and the barber shops and put those people on buses and then bus them from precinct to  precinct where they vote multiple times. And there's no machine to get 'em to stop playing pool and drinking beer in the pool hall. And it does make a difference."

    See?  Can't vote multiple times if y'all's stuck in barber shops, and pool halls drankin' malt liquor.  {facepalm}

    The best part is how in denial the MI-GOPe was about Romney's chance of "stealing Michigan".  After the scorched earth primary that flip-flopping Progressive SOB ran in cahoots with the Party?  Pshaw!  Right.  I'm still pleased as punch with my NOTA vote.

    Ya, stick with Schostak.  Frilliant.

    Display: Sort:


    Make a new account

    Tweet along with RightMichigan by
    following us on Twitter HERE!
    create account | faq | search