There's no further conventions this year. I think the next one is after August of 2012. Mackinac isn't a convention, but an open conference to those who pay.
District parties and State Committee were elected on Friday and State Party officers elected on Saturday.
I think the process went fairly well in our caucus (officers unopposed in the end), but I'd like to see if we can move our county caucus to different areas so people can hear. In the 8th caucus, we have three counties in one room. It made it tough for hearing. I stayed out of the Oakland and Ingham County caucus decisions. The process in Livingston for district caucus was fair. The results were what they were. When there's eight good people running for six spots, two good people are going to unfortunately lose. I'm looking forward to working with the new committee that was elected. We have a lot of work to do and be ready for the dems.
There were several contests for the chairs and vice chairs Saturday. A couple were unopposed. Most were easy decisions for me. Some were not. The runoff for outreach VC was tough since I didn't know the other two running (both from West Michigan). I knew the 3rd place finisher whom I supported back from previous campaigns. The youth VC spot was an extremely tough decision for me. I liked both candidates here. I think we will be in good hands there no matter who wins. The other ones were easy decisions for me. That includes my vote for Schostak as Chair. That was an easy decision for me.
Change for change sake is not necessarily a good thing. I'll repeat that. Change for change sake is not necessarily a good thing. If you are running for chair. CEO. You need to show me you can do the job. You need to show me how you would be better than Schostak. Schostak has a two year record as finance chair and a two year record as Chair. I don't think he did a bad job considering the situation he was dealt with. Do I agree with every decision made? No. What I do like is that Schostak has done what I haven't seen done by most MIGOP chairs in my experience. Adjust when needed.
- Boston screwed up with Romney's campaign. That's not on Schostak.
- Schostak bought the Romney/Ryan signs after Boston didn't come through. Some said that was a bad thing. I think those who said that do not understand how campaigns work. Ask Joe Hune if signs matter.
- Karl Rove ran his mouth and for some reason a lot of big donors follow him. That's not on Schostak.
- That delegate vote in the February primary? Part of that was Schostak. That one was bad and on him. Schostak isn't perfect.
- Straight Ticket voting is BY FAR the number one factor in State Board of Education and University
- Trustee/Regent races. That affects financial support to these candidates. Was that on Schostak? I'd say no. Some disagree.
- The technology deficit is known. Schostak understands that, and not just because Courser said so since he ran for chair.
- Schostak raised a lot of money. That made the impact of a 9pt loss seem like a 4-5pt loss. This was bad, but it wasn't 1996 bad. We kept the court and state house.
- The big problems I saw were strategic. Historically, state party defers to the candidates at the top of the ticket no matter who is chair. Schostak joined that last time, but I think won't be so apt to do that this time. Why? Boston incompetence. I'm starting to see some of the changes already - before Courser's campaign.
I personally like Todd Courser. I think he would have been great for State Board of Education. State Chair was another story. Platitudes aren't good enough to get my support. Telling me you are a constitutional conservative means nothing. Everyone claims to be that these days. It also doesn't qualify someone for chair.
Having your main team be the people behind the Gary Glenn coronation attempt is a good way to lose any chance at getting my support. I wasn't impressed with Cindy Gamrat's Michigan 4 Conservative Senate push. Now what I didn't mention in that article was that I knew the pick was going to be Gary Glenn before I wrote that. The attempted coronation backfired. Glenn withdrew from campaigning a few weeks before the election to support Durant (who I voted for when Konetchy was out) and Hoekstra won anyway. The guy they tried to get a coronation for did not make it. The local tea parties here had nothing to do with that.
Todd Courser himself is 0-3 in elections and from what I've heard, was never an officer in his county or district party (compared to my 6+ years as a party officer not even counting as chair). His campaign was telling me that Schostak sucked. 0-3 sucks. That wasn't all his fault, but if you're putting down someone's work based on elections, you better have something to stand on. The coronation attempt for Gary Glenn who dropped out I think sucked more than the 0-3. It was a disaster, and I called it as such way back when. If Courser won, who was he going to hire for election work? Those people? In addition, how was he going to raise the necessary money?
I'm still open to 'non establishment' candidates. I voted for Santorum and don't regret it. I also don't necessarily back people just because they are running against 'the establishment.' Give me something to work with. A track record. A plan. Results.
The media memo is that the tea party opposed Schostak. That's only partially correct. The people who backed Courser that I noticed were the "It's time for change" folks, homeschool advocates (Courser is one of them - that's pro-Courser more than anything else), Campaign for Liberty (Ron Paul and Gary Johnson), Gary Glenn supporters, and SOME tea parties.
Schostak's supporters were a combination of establishment, some right to work advocates, SOME tea parties, and those who worked with him. He got my support with the signs last election. That got me off the fence.
That all said, there is no doubt we have a divided base. Washington incompetence isn't helping matters at all. Our DC Republicans are once again making things a lot tougher for us. A couple of Snyder vetoes of popular bills on gun safety and insurance matters supported by our Livingston County Republicans upset some people. The gas tax proposal is opposed by Joe Hune and many others. While we are quite appreciative of Right to Work, I'm not going to sugarcoat things and say all is well within the party. There's a lot of work to be done. Some people took out their frustrations on Schostak.
I hear this talk about how we need unity. While I agree, the question is how do we do it. I think we need to concentrate on the first part of our names and differentiate ourselves from DC. Washington is killing us. We're not Washington. I'm going to be making a concerted effort to remember the first two words of my party's name. "Livingston County." Just because Washington sucks doesn't mean we have anything to do with it.
Schostak has a lot of work to do. I think he'll get it done. Everyone has to do their part as well, and that includes me.
On to the next election. For us, that's May/August this year.