A Couple of ideas to revitalize the Michigan Republican Party.

Its already happening. Michigan will likely see a new political party in charge in 2010.  It is a good start, but there will be concern from conservatives, that the lessons learned in the past couple of election cycles will elude the new representation, and that those who will lead us will again be more concerned for their own careers than for the principled leadership that will be expected of them.  The Michigan Republican party, though the likely beneficiary of change that is coming, must still realize its core constituency is watching with a careful eye.  It would be unwise to take for granted the “hard core” conservative activists who would just as soon lose an election than give it to someone who is merely a watered down Democrat in Republican Attire.

There are some ways in which Republicans in this state (or any others for that matter) can inspire interest from ALL right minded supporters, and perhaps build a little more agreement on the core issues on which to platform.

Because the primaries are sure to bring out a greater number of possibilities, it might be a good idea to start getting an idea of where some of them stand.  Revitalization of the party could well be accomplished if the folks who participate, and help build know that their efforts won’t be thrown away on someone who is merely blowing smoke.  Pledges Should be of absolute importance.  If someone says they will NEVER vote for increased or new taxes, then make them stick to it.  Get them to commit to fighting the “green movement,” or high taxes, or anything which threatens our productivity and liberty.  Hold them to promises which protect our liberties ultimately.

Incumbent primaries are a great way of reminding those who stray, (think certain PA senator) that they can, and WILL be replaced if the message of the party, of conservatism, is not reflected in their representation.  Does this open up the door to potential losses? Well of Course.  Does it pose the risk of costly elections that seem unnecessary?  Only if there is something to defend yourself against ..as an incumbent.  This is the type of issue that would help keep a conservative candidate in line, particularly in those districts which have little apparent Democrat challenges.  Somewhat hard to stray from your stated platforms if you have to answer for it to your own constituency at times which USED TO BE safe.

But these are different times..  Different ideas need to be considered.

I have thought it would be hard for the Republicans to raise money, given they/we  had the unrewarding experience of putting John McCain (a moderate) as a top of the ticket candidate.  Never mind the other influences which led to his defeat, the fact that he did not behave much in a conservative manner when he had the opportunity to do so (debates) has given pause to many of us who opened up our wallets both in statewide, and national support.  So what I propose for Michigan Republicans is a new way of generating cash in a fun and meaningful way… Dollar Duels!dollarduel

Picture this..  A Republican event where the candidates meet and in a debate style forum take a stand on an issue.  The “crowd” gathers with CASH IN HAND surrounding them, and in a Republican “Conservative Bird Fight” manner, throw down a dollar or two per issue when one guy makes his case and its what you want to hear.  The winner is the person who raises the greatest amount of cash for the party.  It would be highly entertaining and potentially raucous, and would perhaps bring excitement back into putting your money where your mouth is.  The Dollar Duel idea could be modified to fit any number of fund raising possibilities for candidates, but the idea is to promote the best ideas with simple, affordable donations and cheering at the same time.

These are some creative ideas, but some that accomplish both the conservative vetting,  and provide for fundraising, fun and some introspection on a more regular basis.  Primaries may be though of as wasteful when seemingly unnecessary, but we have seen what happens when our “candidates” turn “elected official,” and forget which side of the aisle they are on for some issues. And because money raising is always an issue for candidates, new and fun ways to peel the hard earned cash from supporters need to be considered.

All in all, these ideas are meant to perhaps spark some new ideas in how we can come together, get REAL commitments, have fun, and strengthen the conservative base within the Republican party.  Feel free to offer constructive critique or advice on why this may not work well, but be prepared to offer alternate ideas as well.

2 comments for “A Couple of ideas to revitalize the Michigan Republican Party.

  1. Jack McHugh
    June 3, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    I can help with the issues-vetting with this Candidate Questionaire for Tea Party Activists from the Mackinac Center.

    Tip: Go to the online-version and follow the links to the roll call votes (“vote details and comments”). I predict that many readers will be shocked to discover how their own “good Republicans” have behaved when in Lansing.


    Candidate Questionnaire for Tea Party ActivistsHard-to-dodge questions that suggest whether a candidate for the Michigan Legislature actually supports limited government principlesBy Mr. Jack P. McHugh and Mr. Kenneth M. Braun / Posted: May. 8, 2009
    Name of candidate, and office sought: ___________________________

    Part 1 — These specific measures received votes in the Michigan Legislature. How do you think you would you have voted?

    1. Bills to provide substantial tax breaks for ethanol and biodiesel producers. ­_______

    2. Bills that would increase unemployment insurance assessments (taxes) on employers by $70 million annually in order to get $139 million in one-time federal “stimulus” money. ______

    3. An amendment adding $9.5 million for low-income youth dental programs in Wayne County. _______

    4. A bill allowing local convention and tourism bureaus to levy a 2 percent hotel and motel room tax to support regional marketing and promotion programs. ­_______

    5. “Revenue enhancment” bills to extend for another six years “temporary” increases passed by the previous Legislature in business incorporation fees, investment advisor license fees, etc. ­_______

    6. A bill to spend $60 million raised by borrowing against future tobacco lawsuit proceeds for tourism industry promotion. ­_______

    7. A bill to allow local school districts to levy a “sinking fund” property tax millage that could be used for certain operational expenses (2008 vote and 2009 vote). _______

    8. A bill to allow teacher union locals to bargain over a school district privatizing non-instructional services. ­_______

    9. A bill to require unions to annually seek written permission from each individual worker before using that worker’s union dues for political purposes. ­_______

    10. A bill to require MESSA (the MEA teacher union’s insurance affiliate) to release individual school district claims history data. ­_______

    11. A bill to impose renewable energy mandates on electric
    utilities. ­_______

    12. A bill to scale back Michigan’s electricity competition law. ­_______

    13. A bill to prohibit drilling for oil and gas underneath the Great Lakes (slant drilling). _______

    14. Bills to allow local government borrowing (bonding) to cover the cost of government retiree health care benefits (2006 vote and 2009 vote). ______

    15. A bill making state government employee post-retirement health benefits an enforceable obligation on the state. _______

    16. Bills voted on in the House and Senate that let local school districts increase property taxes by up to 1 mill to operate swimming pools, recreation centers, auditoriums, conference centers, etc. as a “recreation authority.” _______

    17. A bill to hand out millions of dollars of cash subsidies to Hollywood producers who shoot films in Michigan. _______

    Part 2 — General Candidate Preferences

    1. Would you support repealing a 22 percent Michigan Business Tax surcharge passed in 2007, and replacing the $700 million it raises each year with budget cuts? ­_______

    2. Will you sign a “no new taxes” pledge? _______

    3. Would you support replacing some Michigan prisons with privately managed prisons? _______

    4. Would you support “voucherizing” higher education funding so the money follows the students rather than the university? _______

    5. Would you support shifting Michigan State Police road patrols to county sheriff deputies if this would save money? (This is strongly opposed by the MSP.) _______

    6. Would you support placing all new school employees in defined-contribution pension systems? _______

    7. Would you support repealing the “prevailing wage” law that requires union-scale wages to be paid on school and other state construction projects? _______

    8. Would you support making Michigan a right-to-work state? _______

    9. Can you name three state government programs that you would introduce legislation to eliminate?

    See also “Tea Party Activists Have Attitude” and “Ten-Minute Tea Party Activist.”

  2. jgillman
    June 3, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    awesome!! They could raise a lot with those!!

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