Delaware GOP Stuck in Neutral

The Republican Party in Delaware is poised for a mighty comeback.  The problem is that it seems to have stopped the reverse drive of recent years, but is stuck in neutral. The powerful engine of the party seems to be unfocused.  The party has a powerful engine of ideas, volunteers, and voters who are engaged this year.  In Delaware, we seem intent on subdividing and wasting time.  In Sussex, there was a new election held Monday.  Why?  They said Reapportionment should mean new elections.  Now I admit the Democrats were so incompetent that the lines which should have been done in November were just recently finalized.  There is no excuse for such rank incompetence combined with gamesmanship, but you only need elections in the new districts.  Why would you waste county leadership time preparing for its own election rather than concentrating on the real one?  Still Sussex is well organized and in the best shape.  If it can stop the civil war and fight the other side, there is no limit to what they can achieve. The rest of the state is worse off.  In New Castle County, the party can’t even field candidates for a majority of the slots.   Give me 3 weeks, pay me 2k, and give me authority to waive the filing fee for the seats that remain open and I can fill half of the empty slots.  Seriously, run web ads on this blog, WDEL, WILM, and Delaware online saying civic minded individuals wanted to run for office in today’s Republican Party–no filing fee for those accepted.  Apply by July 25th, Free candidate workshops and mentoring for those accepted.  Each district reviews the applicants for the open slots and chooses the best one in their view.  There is no point to a filing fee for open slots.  Only 1 in 10 will win this late in the game, but you get the candidates experience, networking, and name recognition.  You win that surprise race or two because the Democrats were sleeping and you have just raised up a farm team for 2014. In Kent county, we have done our share to trip up as well.  We did a pretty good job at the state rep level and up.  We don’t have candidates for most of the county offices yet we have candidates wanting run.  Close the deal waive the fees, try the ad. The Democrats are courting our best future prospects.  Start talking to our people on school boards and elsewhere.  There is a quiet conservative revolution at the school board and town/city council levels.  Court them. We need to take the energy we spend lambasting each other and use it to put out real solutions to the problems facing Delaware.  Put the car in drive and move forward.  Right now we are in neutral hoping national trends push us ahead.  We need to take charge of our own destiny.   Let’s start by telling people where our offices are, reaching out to volunteers, data basing, and having websites, twitter, and Facebook with our events up to date with current location and times.  We know what to do, let’s do it.

38 thoughts on “Delaware GOP Stuck in Neutral”

  1. While your overall view is correct, You may be interested to know that Sussex wasted all of about 10 minutes on the election. Out of the entire EDC only one election was contested. For the show of unity, not stirring up the pot during an election cycle is to their credit and the credit of the EDC.

  2. I (and I’m not the only one) have often told clients that a true compromise settlement is something that makes no one 100% satisfied. Everyone has to give up something. If some people are happy and some are unhappy, then it is not a real compromise. I have had to remind clients that if we reach a compromise, you will be somewhat unhappy and they will also be somewhat unhappy. You have to be realistic about what it means to work together.

  3. Could not agree more. Seems like we in Sussex take 1 step up and 2 back. Primaries are/have/will kill us as Republicans. I think we need a strong chair again that can head these issues off. Like it or not and many here will not, Ron Sams did a good job with unity for several years. Chairs before him like Lee, Byrne, Rogers, and Moore did as well. Now it is like the Wild West. But, there is noone to blame but ourselves. Where is our leader?

  4. You guys were too busy undermining him, John and making him run around preparing for an election, trying to keep his committee together with people not wanting to bother with a second election in 6 months, and shooting at each other by pushing a divisive issue like the Sheriff’s powers– divisive in that it divided the base 85% from the elite. The fact the man held the party together and kept it rolling is real leadership.

    Can we let him lead you to victory now or are your friends just intent on tossing stumbling blocks in the way? If the aforementioned people want to show leadership once again, they can start by telling everyone it is time to rally together. Save the infighting for off years. There is a time and place for everything. I agree that the people you mentioned are all wonderful. So is your current leadership.

  5. Waterpirate, the 10 minutes was because of scores of hours of hardwork. Leadership makes the difficult look easy. My point is that instead of spending time keeping people, that time could have been spent activating them.

    I agree with number 3, that the primaries are not healthy, but It is what it is. Not having them would be worse. Issues matter. The only way to keep it from exploding is to let people take their case to the people. The elected leadership was tone deaf to a large faction on an issue. They caused their own problems. I can’t understand why all sides could not sit down and work it out, but when a party leader suggested that, a fight broke out. This will only resolve itself through the primary process. Just let it be.

  6. “a divisive issue like the Sheriff’s powers– divisive in that it divided the base 85% from the elite.”

    You state this as if it’s a factual statistic. Is it? Has the party polled on it, or are you just giving your seat-of-the-pants guess?

  7. David, maybe the current Chair will play out to be an effective leader and I hope he does. I guess time will tell but with the varying array of primary challenges that have popped up, I am not seeing the unity that needs to happen to win elections. Maybe there are those who just wont listen to his reason but until they do they should not expect to win elections.

  8. Yes, the party polled it. I am only talking Republican internals in Sussex. Why do you think Republican lawmakers and even Rep. Atkins and Senator Venables stayed away from it? Issues like this are determined by the majority who cares. Of the people who will actually vote on this issue, it is overwhelming. I don’t think that by itself it will oust anyone, but combined with other issues it could especially in a primary election which is lower turnout. We will see in the county council primaries.

  9. The party had fallen into infighting before he got there. All I am asking people to do is put it on hold, win some elections and fight next year. Give me 4 months. Bash some Democrat skulls instead of Republican ones for 4 months. Is that too much to request?

  10. @#5 If that is what you believe that scores of hard work and leadership prevented a full blown election, I have a bridge for sale. I will speak no more about it as
    the focus needs to be on the election cycle at hand is agreed, but the future history of the Sussex GOP is yet to be written.

  11. 100% agree with then entire article, David!

    “Let’s start by telling people where our offices are, reaching out to volunteers, data basing, and having websites, twitter, and Facebook with our events up to date with current location and times.” = Amen!

    And filling those empty slots by advertising and waiving the filing fees is EXACTLY the right idea. I would have entertained a run in SD1 for goodness sakes…

  12. I’ll agree to run in the 14th if the fee is waived.

    Better yet, have Glen Urquhart run in the 14th, since he chose to primary an already announced candidate.

  13. 100% agree with then entire article, David!

    And filling those empty slots by advertising and waiving the filing fees is EXACTLY the right idea. I would have entertained a run in SD1 for goodness sakes…”

    Currently, there are no filing fees. So Chris Mantei if this was your hang up, it is time to put up or shut up. Talk to the New Castle Republican Chairman today. His name is John Rollins.

    Now anyone who says that they won’t pay an $800.00 filing fee for a race that would require fundraising to the tune of at least $30,000 is just blowing smoke out of their you know what.

    David and Chris are dead wrong on filing fees and for the record filing fees went out the window at noon on Tuesday. The parties have until September 4th to fill vacant slots. Any named candidate will pay NO FILING FEE.

    It is time for you filing fee whiners to put up or shut up. Today there are none. I am looking forward to seeing Chris Mantei and question for david stepping up.

  14. Mr. Anderson,
    I am a newbie at the Delaware GOP. My interest began with Mike Castle’s disastrous Cap and Trade vote and then Tom Ross’s savage attacks on Christine O’Donnell. That motivated me to work hard in 2010 to defeat Castle as I knew the Republicans here would never get it
    together as long as people like Ross was in charge and Castle was king.In 2011 and I had hopes of the party starting over but the committees which were started never did anything. I volunteered for two and was accepted to work on one which met only once and then disbanded.

    So, your assumption the party is in neutral is off a bit I think it is dead and 2012 is a waste. The party is leaderless and with out any purpose. I listened to our current chairman say he had a huge rolodex and yet no one has stepped in Delaware from that rolodex. Nikki Haley
    came because of Foster Freiss (sp). I am told the chairman comes to Lancaster Avenue once every two weeks and our Vice chair has a family, a business and a heated race of his own so he is not there either. I think the new Executive Director is smart but does not know much about
    Delaware so I am not sure if he is the guy or not.

    I say dead because the lack of candidates is appalling and
    inexcusable. The state senate was supposed to be in play but now I see us losing seats not gaining and the state house will get worse also.
    New Castle County Council is a travesty and the only races we might be able to salvage is New Castle County Executive, a corrupt non elected incumbent and an open seat for President.I wished Tom Kovach had stayed around the county races but anyway where are these races? and how can we complain about rebuilding the party if we do not have any commitment to these New Caste County races? Do we have a county campaign organization or does the state party run these races.

    It is my goal to stay informed and I get all the emails and I saw the side show of a convention we had this year. It was so sad to see the antics of Charles Copeland who undercut Priscilla Rakestraw in a very weasel way and then tried to stab the current national committee man
    in the back. During all of this the state wide candidates clearly demonstrated how bad the odds are against them. I did not attend Vickmead which I am told is the premiere event of the year and I am also told it was attended by only 150 people. Even the faithful have moved on. Speaking of faithful how is it John Raddell can start up his Faith group while he is vice chair of the New Castle County party. Shouldn’t his efforts be for all of the party not just those who quote scripture.

    Like most Delawareans I am headed to the beach so I will go pack for the weekend but as long as we have figurehead leaders who can’t produce results we are doomed.

    Frustrated and Mad

  15. And look what you did for the party…you helped hand the democrats a senate seat for the next 25 years. congrats and thanks for all your help!

  16. “Mr. Anderson,
    I am a newbie at the Delaware GOP.”

    Mad and Frustrated claims to be a newbie but Mad and frustrated has commented on this website under 17 different sock puppet names going back to March of 2009.

    By the way we all know that newbies show up at VicMead.

  17. TW, you miss the point. The party needs to take the open slots, put out web ads recruiting candidates stating that it is waiving the filing fee. I know that if someone went to the party right now, they could negotiate anything. If the party took a filing fee, it would give it or donate back. That does not help recruitment unless you find a person and tell them. At this point, it needs to find new people in these areas it doesn’t know already. The way to do it is as I described. Try it. You already see people interested just from the mention. The party could justify it based upon the reason that I gave that anyone entering at this point is a big underdog.

    Do I think the party would be out for filing fees at this point? No. That is exactly why I gave the suggestion to actually say that. The more important part to the suggestion was the candidate training and team building to the candidates accepted. Notice the party reserves the right to accept or reject candidates. It is an invitation, but done in a way that publicly suggests openness.

    I am surprised at how many people for local office bulk at a few hundred dollar filing fee. I think it is a psychological barrier not a real one. I think the system is a lot better than having to get signatures. Ask that would be senate candidate. The point is that it is a barrier to recruitment for a party that most people in New Castle County in particular believe is pretty close to a lost cause. We need to get new excitement and blood in the system by shaking things up. Get 10 new candidates on the ballot August 1 and bring their friends, family, and networks into the process. Show that the new leadership is in to play not sit on the sidelines. Find new people that we don’t know who we can groom for two years.

    Doing it the way you have isn’t cutting it. We tried a similar technique in a non-profit where I served on the board. It worked.

  18. another barrier to candidates running for the first time is being promised, and believing, that people will be there after they file to help them do all the things that need to be done. People might not file if they think they will be on their own after they file.

  19. I think filing fees are disgusting. I won’t pay them and I won’t ask my friends, neighbors, or supporters to pay them for me.

    If the party wants a name to put on the ballot in the 14th, they can use mine, but I won’t pay them for the privilege.

  20. The ultimate sock puppet is TENNESSEE WALKER [redacted].

    NCC is a challenge not a lost cause and the only cure is start the fight not accept defeat. Mark Blake and I are running in ncc and guess what? The valued list of almost 800 civic leaders we have is 40% R 40%D 20 I so despite 2 to 1 registration en masse we have The issues on our side.

    The amount of hate and immaturity by people like TW is the only thing holding back the GOP. FYI TW when that post was made I was getting physical therapy from a car accident then a GOP meeting with a former state chairman at HQ . Stay a coward as that is all you are qualified to do.

    Mike Protack

  21. I wish you a speedy recovery MIke. Sorry to hear about the accident. Sorry about the redaction, but see the new post.

  22. QFD, go to the Sussex Chairman and get your name on the ballot. You have your answer.

    As for filing fees in principle, I think they are okay within reason. We do not want whim candidates clogging the ballot. They help keep it to serious candidates in the major parties without being a real barrier. They are a lot better than say, petition signatures. If you are too poor, you can get the fee waived by state law. I only know of one candidate to ask for that in 20 years, but it is an option.

    You say you won’t pay to give the party the privilege of putting you on the ballot. The real truth is that you can get on the ballot for free either through third parties or petition signatures. It is the opposite. You are paying for the privilege of having the party branding by your name. It is an instant 20% of the vote and well worth a little money.

    We have to keep the parties strong. Candidates take from the party, why should they object to giving something back?

  23. I think it should be up to the voters to decide who is a serious candidate. It’s the party’s job to raise money so that it can support candidates. It doesn’t make any sense to ask candidates to pay them money then give it back to them.

    Let’s say the party is going to give me some kind of support that is worth $2,000. Why do I need to give them $2,000 before they give me that support? Why don’t I just keep that money in my own campaign to begin with?

  24. Wow, once again Mike Protack goes off of his rocker. Until this comment I have never mentioned Mike Protack on this thread.
    I have no idea why Mike Protack has engaged in a vile, venomous, and nasty personal attack on me that one can see in comment 23. I haven’t brought his name into this discusssion once.

    I did call out “Frustrated and Mad” from comment 15.

    “Frustrated and Mad” states that he/she is a newbie and yet has been commenting on this blog for over 3 years and can tell us who attended this year’s event at VicMead.

    I question how many newbies plop down $250.00 to attend the Vicmead event. Newbies do not even get an invite to Vicmead.

    So I called out BS on “Mad and Frustrated”. I don’t believe “Mad and Frustrated” is a newbie and the evidence proves otherwise.

    Now maybe Mike Protack thought I was calling him out in my comment 18 but the fact is I never mentioned his name. I don’t know why he responded like a lunatic in comment 23.

    Maybe, I accidentally hit Mike Protack too close to home. As Queen Gertrude said in Hamlet ” Methinks the Lady doth protest too much.”

    One can only ask, “Is this the kind of behavior we want from our elected officials???

  25. TW: Perhaps a list of the other names used by that IP address would explain Mr. Protack’s vituperative comments.

    Your question about the behavior of elected officials serves as an illustration of why the people Mr. Protack has vilified for more than a decade now have been so reluctant to back his political efforts.

  26. The parties job is to give candidates money and 20% of the vote???? The point of this thread is that the GOP is stuck in nuetral, part of that is due to an identity crisis here in sussex. It is haveing trouble identifying what its role really is, and how it should behave. Kent, and NCC have simmilar issues and even less people and resources to work with.

    The people in sussex have come to realise that the party is still a contentiuos and pannicky bunch with no true direction. To get elected in sussex you need republicans and people to support you, not the party.

  27. “TW: Perhaps a list of the other names used by that IP address would explain Mr. Protack’s vituperative comments.

    Your question about the behavior of elected officials serves as an illustration of why the people Mr. Protack has vilified for more than a decade now have been so reluctant to back his political efforts.”

    Geezer, I am not going there with the 17 other sock puppet names that Mad and Frustrated has posted under. My point in comment 18 was to establish that Mad and Frustrated was no newbie. Anyone who comments 17 times on a political blog in over 3 years is no newbie. Anyone, who attends the Vicmead event is no newbie. Anyone, who tracks the habits of state Chairman and State Vice Chairman is no newbie.

    As to why Mike Protack is so vituperative in his comments to me, I don’t know. I think it is funny as I have numerous friends and family in NCC. If Mikey wants to involve himself in a tete a’ tete with me, I am willing. But, I am not the one running for public office in NCC.

    Of Course the blame machine that is Mikey P no doubt will blame me for his November failure. Protack always blames everyone else and never accepts responsibility for his actions.

    I am ready for the Mikey sock puppet wars. This is what happens when Protack is so thoroughly spanked.

  28. First off TW, you called me out by name and were quite rude doing it. Second, the filing fee in question for state senate was $1,744, not $800. Third, I know who party leadership is here, thank you very much. Fourth, there is not even a candidate running in SD1 so their only choice now is to nominate. I’m the one who had to reach out to leadership asking about the race weeks ago, there was no publicizing of it whatsoever – that is the point of David’s post and my reply.

  29. Actually Christopher, I called both you and question for david out. I want to set the record straight. I called out only the people who stated that a $1,700 filing fee kept them from running in a race that would require a fundraising effort to the tune of $40,000. Both you and QFD hold ridiculous positions that indicate to any experienced political operative that you are not serious candidates.

    Now you state you know the party leadership. I guess this means they know you.

    What credentials do you possess that would make them think you would be a successful candidate? Keep in mind that association with unsuccessful presidential candidates is not exactly a resume enhancer for local office.

    Have you been involved in local civic associations? Have you coached some Little League teams? How much money did you raise in Delaware for Herman Cain?

    Now, I know the answers to the above questions.

    Christopher, quit your whining and bellyaching. The Democrat candidate has $20,000 in the bank. He has been in office for over 30 years. I would love to see you take him out. That being said whining and bellyaching will not get it done.

    For the record, the advertising and the cattle call of candidates has already been done. Kelly Gates did this while she was NCC Chair in 2008. The results were significantly less than impressive.

    Christopher, it might be of some benefit to you to actually learn some history and facts before commenting anywhere in public forums.

  30. 2008, 4 years ago–you are serious–I doubt it. It was not even done the way I suggested. It did not have many of the elements to make it successful. I know a lot of ad campaigns that were unsuccessful. It doesn’t mean advertisement is useless. I know a lot of people made sick by their diet. It doesn’t mean that food is bad, just the wrong approach to eating. The elements are more important than the action.

    TW, who cares if he would win. We know that we are not going to win a race in that district the first time out no matter who ran in a general election campaign or how much they spent short of a million dollars. The point is that we need to build the party so we can win races in the future. Having campaigns in these areas will stop them from going 9 or even 19 to 1 Democrat. Cut into that base and we may win some county and statewide offices.

    Let’s be frank, the party is stuck in neutral. We need to be proactive. We are not yet. I could get a lot deeper in detail, but I choose not to give the Democrats inside information on a public forum. Make them work for it.

    I am not saying anything to be critical of the party leadership which has a herculean task ahead of it. I am making constructive observations.

  31. David are you saying Kelly Gates did not advertise a candidate recruitment event???

    I know better. She discussed it with me. I thought her idea had merit and was worth a try. The fact is she got a lot of tire Kickers (warning, car salesman terminology) and very few serious candidates. Doing an advertised cattle call has proven not to work. It is a single round in a hand gun when your opponent has a machine gun.

    Could this type of approach work within the framework of an overall recruitment effort? Perhaps.
    But, first I would need to see the plan for an overall recruitment effort.

    I really get annoyed with people who criticize so called leadership when they have made zero attempts to recruit candidates. One of the best at recruiting candidates and raising funds for those candidates was former State Senator John Still. He did so for the good of the Party and then was shown the door in favor of Charlie Copeland in the Delaware State Senate.

  32. You run into the peculiar Delaware mentality in this. Let’s say:

    2012: New candiate has never run again. People say the candidate has no experience running, so they can’t win,.

    2014: Candidate has already run before without success. So they can’t win, people say.

    Where exactly do you expect a candidate to get experience running in elections, being a candidate, and running a campaign? If losing an election disqualifies the canddiate forever, how does a candidate ever run for their first election?

  33. First, I would point out that if you put a job interview ad out, you will get 100 candidates that you didn’t know and may only find 5 that you like. That doesn’t mean it didn’t work. It did. In a way, you keep proving my point. The Kelly Gates experiment was a success in really bad year, but it could have been done better. In 2008, everything could have been done better. It was a bad year. We changed chairmen right in the middle the cycle–May, had a VP picked from our state who was also on the ballot for senate, had a gubernatorial candidate who didn’t want to run and therefore had no time to build an effective organization with effective funding, and had unprecedented turnout for the historic nature of the Democratic ticket. Hate to say it, but of course politically minded people would be kicking the tires for the future in a year like that. It was stupid to run if you had to win. I know because I filled a slot for the party that year in a lower office, but I knew that if I couldn’t beat the trends, it would get me contacts for city council. It did.

    It only takes one good candidate that you didn’t know before to be successful. Spend $1000 and get 4 name holders that you can groom and some 5 or 6 people who we get involved in the party actively, and two “serious” candidates who might take office this time or next. How would that be unsuccessful?

    Do you abandon traditional recruitment? No way. You supplement it. Remember at this point the objective is to put names on the ballot and discover talent for next time. You really don’t know who the serious candidates are until they run. Passion, dedication, and instincts matter more than resume.

    The truth is the state party did a pretty good job filling the ballot statewide with credible candidates. They are all green when it comes to full statewide campaigns, but that is fine. They are good people with a good message. I bet a couple of them may pull off an upset.

    Finding 2 or 3 “serious” candidates is a success. Once again it was not done the way that I am suggesting which is not exactly a cattle call, it is targeted and low cost. It is designed to give the districts contacts then run people through schools and build the party. The truth is that you would find more if you took grooming them seriously. You take some of these green guys, run them through a school, tell them they will get name rec then run them for town council or something. Get them established in the party then run them to take out the established dems.

    This is not going to be a big year for us. It doesn’t have to be a bad year though. Like John said, it is a rebuilding year and will take 4 or 5 years to rebuild. I am fine with that. Just make sure we make it good now so we are not saying that 4 years from now.

  34. BTW, I am a big Charlie Copeland fan.

    Do I agree that John did a good job recruiting and raising money? yes. Winning no. He did alright. John had to fight other factors not worth discussing including a declining state party and did well. I have nothing negative to say about him. I like him.

    I am just a bigger Copeland fan. We always clicked better.

  35. Sign shennanigans,

    One reason that the GOP is stuck is that we can not seem to stop infighting amoung ourselves. If you feel the need to act like you are in the 3rd grade, and steel signs from private property, at least have the presance of mind to steel a Democrats sign, not a fellow Republicans sign.

    To the person whom stole the sign from my front yard last nite, I have this to say. ” you need to send a thankyou note to my wife Debra from this date forward for the rest of your piss ant life. What you do not realise is that I had a red dot on your ass in my driveway, she prevented me from sending a projectile to that red dot. How about putting that restless energy to work defeating the Democrats.

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