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How woeful is it for RI GOP?

Let us count the ways. 

1. Dan Yorke is making a plausible case that the party, because of its utter incompetence, should cease operations for about 12 or 18 months.

2. AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer George Nee, a Democratic stalwart, recognizes the state GOP is so feeble that he cites to the ProJo the (theoretical) importance of a competitive two-party system.

[Nee] said the dominance of one party “is terrible for the state.”

“I think a viable competitive two-party system is good for everybody. It makes people have to work hard and it makes people really have to consult with their constituents; nobody gets complacent,” he said.

3. A state GOP official, when local TV sought assistance in covering the party's election watch at Ruth's Chris Steak House, responded by saying the event wasn't being staged for the media.

4. The party uses questionable off-point tactics that undercut its attempts to be a credible opposition. From the same ProJo story cited above:

One mailer distributed by the state Republican Party featured a picture of [Teresa] Paiva Weed in a black straitjacket, chained at the arms and ankles, a muzzle covering her mouth.

“Newport can’t afford a muzzled state senator,” read the advertisement, referring to the majority leader’s regular recusal in votes related to the Aquidneck Island gambling facility, Newport Grand; her law firm represents the slot parlor.

AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer George Nee blasted the Republican mailers as “despicable” and “crossing the line.”

“They’re pathetic,” Nee said of the state GOP. “They’re an embarrassment to what was a respected and viable Republican Party. The trash that they’re putting out is just over the top.”

State GOP Chairman Giovanni Cicione yesterday defended the mailers as “truthful.”

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it,” he said.

  • Pat said:

    12-18 months?  How about just going out of business?

    November 5, 2008 4:21 PM
  • How woeful is it for RI GOP? said:

    Pingback from  How woeful is it for RI GOP?

    November 5, 2008 5:34 PM
  • don roach said:

    The RI GOP has to begin at the local level and begin to frame a new message, a message that appeals to rhode islanders - fiscal responsibility, sustainable educational system, clean roads, and accountability just to name a few.

    I've often thought that the RI GOP attacks crumbs and ignores the cake. As a member of the party, my hope is that the leadership starts to focus on local races (town committees, school committees, city councils) to build support from the ground up. Republicans can win in Rhode Island - RI'ers are very independent - but the RIGOP needs to create a longterm strategy that begins at the local level and works its way to the top versus the political trickle down theory.

    November 6, 2008 7:27 AM
  • Patrick said:

    Ian, you're a big baseball fan.  What the RIGOP needs to learn is how the player development system works in baseball and model that.  Young ballplayers very rarely jump straight to the major leagues.  They start in rookie ball, then A, then AA, then AAA, and then maybe move up to the majors.  The same thing needs to happen with GOP candidates.  Let people get their feet wet with local boards and commissions.  Join the zoning board, planning board or heck, even the local parade committee or rec committee.  Then go for school committee or town/city council, then for a rep/senate seat or mayor/town admin.  Plus name recognition is expensive and the GOP doesn't have a whole lot of money to buy it.  Starting small is cheap to free.  Too many people want to make the big jump and there's no leadership at the top to help guide them.  Joe Trillo makes his best efforts, but he's just one guy.  The RI GOP needs real leadership that recruits and moves people in slowly and deliberately with a plan.  Rather than sending a high school hotshot up to bat against a Roger Clemens fastball only to be eaten alive, start him out small and work his way up.  Then when they've been tested and experienced elections and politics, send them after the Langevins and Kennedys.  

    Or as Bill Parcells once said about his younger players, "I never send one to the wolves until I'm sure he is a wolf."  

    November 6, 2008 1:13 PM
  • Ian Donnis said:

    Don and Patrick, your analysis is spot-on.

    November 6, 2008 2:07 PM

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