Friday, April 18, 2014

Why should I support this guy for anything?

As the top of the blog says, opinions are my own and not that of LCRP. I'm not speaking for the party here.

That all said, another Todd Courser email came out that's all about him. There's a quote from one of the greatest movies released. Heat. (Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro). I'll edit it instead of posting clips because of the f'bombs involved.

"Don't waste my (m-bleeping) time" - Pacino to the informant.

That's about my feelings on any "Courser challenge" for Lt Governor. 

I always wonder how Todd Courser supposedly because this super spokesman for conservatives as he claims to be. He ran for state rep and lost. He ran for state senate and lost. Both of those losses were in the primary and with a Republican primary electorate. He lost for State Board of Education in the general. He ran for State Party chair and he lost with a Republican activist electorate. He's 0-4. He's 0-3 among Republican party electorates. To the best of my knowledge although I may be wrong here, he's never had a party leadership position. He is not a spokesman for Republicans, and not a spokesman for the Republican base of conservatives. This isn't about the liberty movement. This is about being a big fish in a small pond. Cliquish games.

Here's some of what he said.

Is a challenge to the LtGov important to the cause and if so why?
There are lots of very good reasons to secure the right to challenge the Lieutenant Governor; there are very very few reasons for not securing this options for the convention. We, as political pioneers, only have so much energy to devote to the cause of liberty; we must be thoughtful and discerning on where we place our energy, money, and finally our time. For me this is always a consideration, as it is for all of you.  In this case, we as a cause, have to decide if we want to see a challenge to the Lieutenant Governor.  If so, will we work to secure or preserve the right to challenge the Lieutenant Governor?  At this point there is no challenge; no candidate has secured the right to challenge.  Regardless of what you have heard, there is not a challenger to the Lieutenant Governor for the upcoming convention.
That's semantics. In Todd's opinion there is no challenge. Wes Nakagiri has been out campaigning for the position. Courser has been running his mouth. He's sore about Wes endorsing Schostak. There's reason for the endorsement. Courser would have been a disaster. He had no plan except talking about how principled he was. Talk is cheap, and talking about principles doesn't win elections, nor does it mean that you actually HAVE principles. Repeating talk about principles and the constitution does nothing. Get constitutional conservatives elected, and I'll start listening to what you have to say. Talk "was yesterday, today you're wasting my (bleeping) time."

Republicans should not be denied the access to run...
 If we are going to be “The Big Tent of Politics,” then we need to be the free market of political ideas and energy.  We can’t keep out people who are wanting to run in elections.  We must be a party that participates in the free market process.  We claim to be the party of the rule of law and process.  In this case, there are rules which state the party leadership will not influence a primary, and yet, that is exactly what they are doing.
 To me, in my small, but statesmen like view, Mr. Nakagiri and myself should be allowed to run.  We are both Republicans, who shouldn’t be kept out of the process because some in leadership do not like the rule of the delegates having a voice in choosing their Lieutenant Governor. Some of those, whom I have approached even in the “more conservative corners, where the state committee members are open to challenging party power,” we find state committee members saying they don’t think it’s right to have a challenger to the Lieutenant Governor or they think there should be only one challenger. Well, at this point, THERE IS NO CHALLEGER.  Mr. Nakagiri has had 8 months to gather the signatures and has not at this point secure the signatures, which may not give the cause even one challenger. At this point, Mr Nakagiri and I are not candidates to challenge the Lieutenant Governor nor will we be allowed in the convention as candidates. 

I don't think you're much of a statesman considering the things you've said. Arguments about the permission slips aside, Todd, you don't even have a Campaign Committee for Lt Governor.  Wes Nakagiri has been running an actual campaign. While you mention head to head between Brian and Wes, at the last straw poll in my county, you finished dead last. You finished behind Calley, Wes, Undecided, and the write-in of governor's choice. You had literally ZERO votes.

My assessment of the Nakagiri situation.
Many will see my words as self serving, but I believe we need to be good stewards of our time and talent.  I explain the facts to encourage you to do your own investigation, but I do not see a serious challenge in him.  My intention with this email is that we, as a cause, take on efforts where we can win and more importantly move the ball forward for the cause of liberty. In this case, the polls and the obvious visible actions don’t lie, We must think about the reality of a challenge such as this and whether it is advisable and prudent.  Who is the best choice to make the challenge? 
Here is the run down, in my opinion, to consider and then decide how to proceed. I definitely believe preserving a challenge of the Lieutenant Governor makes sense and I explain that part in a paragraph down a little lower.  This is what I have seen and know regarding the Nakagiri situation…

 It's a grudge match because Wes didn't support Todd Courser. What Todd doesn't say is that he's polling less than Wes in during everything I've seen.
 1. Mr. Nakagiri is not a candidate for Lieutenant Governor until he has the permission signatures, and at this point he does not have them. (So he is not a candidate.)
2. Mr Nakagiri announced his candidacy late summer last year. (This alerted the GOP to the challenge and set off the firestorm of establishment precinct delegate recruitment.)
3. Mr. Nakagiri has not in any meaningful way moved his poll numbers to show he has gained traction. In no way has his last 8 months translated into a change in the outcome.  Right now he is not in any way a threat to the current Lieutenant Governor.
4. Mr. Nakagiri has yet to win any poll that I have seen in the head to head. ( It’s a tough, really hard, road through the convention, but for him, Mr. Calley clearly is the winner in every head to head.)
5. Mr. Nakagiri has acted like the candidate, and raised money to support his campaign, but he has not in any way secured the right to run.
6. Mr. Nakagiri backed Schostak in the last Chairman’s race and his entire inner circle are or were, in fact, Mr. Schostak supporters.
7. Mr. Nakagiri did not actively participate in fighting for right to work in the last election.
8. Mr. Nakagiri has not explained who he has employed as his convention consultant and who he intends to use to run his convention team. (The Calley team has the best convention consultant in the country, who has won 34 out of 35 conventions.)
9. Mr. Nakagiri won’t say if he has the funds to do mailers, polls, robocalls or put forward a conventnion team to win the day.
In order:

1. Wes has run a campaign. Courser hasn't. Wes may or may not get enough permission signatures. He doesn't have them either.  

2. Todd doesn't like his early announcement. That means he wants a sneak attack and surprise campaign, because he knows he does not have a majority of people on your side. Then when the campaign is going and he loses, it's due to the "evil establishment" supposedly rigging the game. 

3. Wes did not win the two straw polls at the Lincoln Day Dinner. However, Todd Courser got ZERO votes at our Lincoln Day Dinner, and ONE vote at Ingham. 

4. See three. Same thing.

5. That's more than Todd Courser has done. 

6. That's because Courser had no plan and would have been a disaster due to incompetence. 

7. Bullshit. I saw him there in the middle of the battle. I didn't see you. I was right by the AFP tent when it went down.

8. Who gives a damn what consultant he's hired? 

9. Why would he tell Todd Courser - a potential opponent - his plan?

 There is more strategy, and this is really important, without a challenger then there will be; First, little to no voice in that convention for the conservative activist wing of the party. Second, if we have one or two with the right to challenge then the establishment has to deal with that reality. Finally, and most near and dear to my heart, if we have the right to challenge, then it will create a potential of some sort of threat in the convention and this threat could cause the party to be a bit more careful in the steps leading to the convention. If they attempt to drown our conservative activists who are running in these open house seats, it is very easy for the establishment machine to throw $100k into a tipping house seat race and kill one of our 15 candidates who are running to fill these open house seats, then we will have a possible spot to bring some sort of challenge to their power in the convention 3 weeks later. It can be a bit of an insurance policy on fair conduct in the primary.  That can only happen, in any meaningful way, if we have preserved the right to challenge the Lieutenant Governor, and as I have said there is no challenge that has been preserved. I am not sure that Mr. Nakagiri has really any understanding of what a serious challenge looks like and appears to have no one on his team to put on a serious convention effort.
As the famous line from Top Gun says......

"Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't cash!" Again, this from a guy who is 0-4 in his election career. His closest challenge was a sneak attack that cause some folks looking. He had that set up, and he still lost. That's Todd Courser. His campaign for chair is what woke up "the establishment" much more than Wes Nakagiri's challenge.

Open house seats vs Lt Gov is apples and oranges. Courser talks about these 15 house seats and Lt Gov as this either/or thing. That has no basis in reality whatsoever. That is part of the reason you are 0-4. There's no "insurance policy" here. That's bluster and talk. "Uh oh, I better not support candidate x, or Todd Courser will do something." It doesn't work that way. House seats and Senate seats are a higher priority than conventions. Calley is a high priority for Snyder regardless of what happens with primaries. 

In addition, each individual election is its own campaign, with its own bases, and own supporters. It's not "establishment vs tea party" in these campaigns here. That's what Todd Courser wants to portray, It's that talk by Courser that alienates ALL sides who are tired of this schiessen. Back your candidate and work to get that candidate elected. I've voted for "establishment" candidates. I've voted for "tea party" candidates. I've voted for both. I'm not the only one who has voted for both. Campaigns are about matchups between individuals and geography as much as they are about ideology.

Here in Livingston County, we have three state legislature elections. For State Senate, as it stands Joe Hune is unopposed. Hune has a lot of support from both establishment and tea party. In the 42nd District, four people are running so far. Some tea party folks I know are split between two candidates. Some establishment folks I know are split between at least two candidates, maybe 3. In the 47th District, five people are running so far. Some tea party folks I know are split between at least four candidates. Some establishment folks I know are split between three candidates.  Among LCGOP base folks I know, it's split three ways (to varying amounts) with one district and four ways in the other. 

In other words, neither the "establishment" or "tea party" or "base" is a monolithic creation. There's various disagreement within those entities.

While I have not given any endorsement for Lt Governor, I know one person I will not be supporting. Since by his own definition he said he was not a candidate or a challenger, I'll just say that Courser won't get my support for anything he decides to run for - now or in the future. 

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