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To win in ’10, Arkansas needs statewide participation in GOP primary

From Tea Party of Lonoke County


The election year is now upon us, and polls undeniably show a strong majority of Arkansans are mad as Hell about what’s been happening in Washington.

Democrats in our Congressional delegation have overwhelmingly voted to support nearly every plank in President Obama’s platform that failed to stimulate the economy, failed to create jobs, and failed to take a strong stand against our terrorist enemies around the globe.

Two of those Democrats, Vic Snyder and Marion Berry, realized they’d followed President Obama too far down his Socialist path and have already chosen not to run for reelection. But Blanche Lincoln and Mike Ross believe they can use their millions in out-of-state cash to convince voters to ignore their votes for Obama’s Socialist agenda.

Other Democrats are stepping into the voids left by the Snyder and Berry announcements. These will claim to be different than those they hope to replace, but we’ve seen how effectively Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid bend Democrats to their will.

We need clear alternatives, candidates who will go to Washington and represent us. Candidates who will challenge the establishment and stand up for what’s right.

The problem is that Washington, DC establishment Republicans also failed to uphold Arkansas’ conservative values when they had the opportunity.

That’s why we need real change in 2010; ordinary men and women who will go Washington and take the extraordinary step of challenging the status quo, men and women who understand their job is to uphold the US Constitution and make the country a better place for our sons, daughters, and grandchildren.

Since both parties have dropped the ball recently, some are tempted to support independent or third party candidates. But history shows us these candidates have almost no chance to win. This year, they are more likely to split the conservative vote and guarantee at least two more years of the Obama Hell that we’ve suffered these past months.

Fortunately, we have an opportunity to accomplish our goals. But it will take a concerted effort on the part of conservative voters across the state.

Historically, participation in Arkansas’ Republican primary has been extremely light.

In 2004, only 54,000 of Arkansas’ 3 million residents voted in the GOP primary. More importantly, fully 41% of those reside in three counties. Eight of Arkansas’ 75 counties supplied over 67% of voters in the 2004 GOP Senate primary. This resulted in voters from a handful of counties actually selecting the GOP nominee.

If the same pattern holds this year, voters in 67 Arkansas counties will have virtually no say in who will run on the Republican ticket. If we hope to nominate a conservative candidate who can win statewide, we need that candidate to be chosen by voters statewide.

If we again allow only 8 counties to choose the GOP nominee, Arkansas will likely send another crop of Obama-Pelosi-Reid lap dogs back to Washington to continue on the path of destroying our country.

The Republican Party is counting on the Tea Party energy and emotion to deliver in the fall for whatever candidate wins the GOP nomination in May. But they may well be counting their chickens before they hatch.

Most Tea Party activists aren’t looking for Republican candidates to support, they’re looking for conservatives. And not just Republican candidates who say they’re conservative during the campaign. These disgruntled voters have had enough of experienced politicians who say one thing on the campaign trail but go to DC and play the game.

2010 could be an historic year for the Republican Party of Arkansas. There are more candidates running as Republicans than we’ve ever seen. The US Senate race alone has 9 declared candidates even though the GOP couldn’t field an opponent to run against Mark Pryor in 2008.

But not all of these candidates will satisfy the Tea Party activists’ hunger for honesty, integrity, and responsibility in their candidate of choice this year. In races across the state; veterans, small business owners, and other non-politicians stood up last spring and said “I’ll stand up for limited government, fiscal responsibility, and accountability against the Obama-Pelosi-Reid lap dogs” –before establishment Republicans realized Berry, Snyder, and Lincoln were vulnerable.

Over the last few weeks we’ve had several professional politicians and other Washington insiders jumping in these races, attending out-of-state fundraisers and claiming they’re the best candidates because they’re “electable.” Our question to them is, “Where were you when Tea Partiers and Town Hall attendees were challenging these once powerful politicians last year?” These are the candidates who will turn off Tea Party voters.

If we hope to elect “real people” who will represent Tea Party activists at the state and federal level, we need voters statewide to participate in the GOP primary. We need GOP nominees who voters in every county can support and we’ll only achieve that if voters in every county take part in their nomination.

If you agree with the 60% of Arkansans who want to stop the Obama-Pelosi-Reid train to Socialize the American economy, encourage your friends and family to vote in the GOP primary on May 18.

Help us nominate real conservatives who will represent Arkansas values in all levels of government.

March 20, 2010 Posted by | Election 2010 | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

RPA Chairman Calls for Pressure on Lincoln

Letter from Doyle Webb, Chairman, Republican Party of Arkansas

Friends,

As the debate over President Obama’s healthcare scheme rages on, I’m asking for your help.

Blanche Lincoln will be a deciding vote on whether our country is saddled with another trillion dollars of debt and we need to make our voices heard.

Media reports indicate Sen. Ben Nelson (NE) is the only undecided vote. The thing is Blanche Lincoln has been silent on how she’s going to vote. Don’t you think as a fellow Arkansan you deserve to know how your elected officials are going to vote?

Call Blanche Lincoln today and tell her to vote no on the healthcare scheme and ask her office how she intends to vote.

Don’t delay! Harry Reid and the Democrat leadership want to ram this bill down our throats before Christmas. Call Senator Lincoln today.

Sincerely,

Doyle Webb

Arkansas Republican Party Chairman

Contact Senator Lincolns Offices:

Washington D.C. Office
Phone: (202)224-4843

Little Rock Office
Phone
: (501) 375-2993

Dumas Office
Phone: (870)382-1023

Jonesboro Office
Phone: (870) 910-6896

Fayetteville Office
Phone: (479) 251-1224

Texarkana Office
Phone: (870) 774-3106

December 17, 2009 Posted by | Health Care | , , , , , | 1 Comment

GOP can take lesson from Arkansas Senate race

You’ve likely already read that a Rasmussen poll recently found more likely voters would choose a third party Tea Party candidate than a GOP candidate if given that opportunity in next year’s congressional election.  When asked to assume the Tea Party organized as a political party, 36% said they’d choose the Democrat, 23% the would pick the Tea Party candidate, 18% would select the Republican, and 22% were undecided.

Liberals will see the results above and salivate, already tasting a split of the conservative vote.  They can point to last month’s special election in New York’s 23rd congressional district as more evidence that 2010 will be a year of infighting that will temper the historical advantage of the opposition when one party holds the White House and both houses of Congress.

In NY-23, when the GOP threw its nomination to a candidate with virtually no conservative credentials, the Tea Party mobilized to support a true conservative running as an independent in the race.  Even though the National Republican Congressional Committee spent nearly a million dollars promoting the liberal GOP candidate, she was forced from the race when polls showed her placing last in the three way race.  Democrat Bill Owens won the traditionally Republican seat, with the conservative candidate Doug Hoffman coming in a close second.

So the question is, “How can the GOP avoid the mistakes of NY-23 and win the support of the 23% who would prefer a Tea Party candidate?”

Before we can answer that question, it’s important to understand the dependence of the Tea Party on the internet and social networking sites.  The mainstream media largely ignored the protest movement as it grew and often understated the size of crowds who attended.  The movement’s growth was made possible by news spread through non-traditional sources such as blogs, conservative online news organizations, and social networking sites.  Its members work, play, socialize, and organize via the internet.  So a candidate’s ability to win the support of the Tea Party voters will largely depend on his/her ability to function in this online environment.

In Arkansas, Republican candidates for US Senate are beginning to recognize that their chances for success may hinge on their ability to win the support of Tea Partiers in the state.  This Saturday, Tea Parties across the state have teamed up with other conservative groups to sponsor a rally that will feature Michelle Malkin as keynote speaker.  But, all seven announced 2010 GOP Senate candidates and an independent running for the seat will speak at the event as well.

Last week, the Republican Party of Arkansas held an Iowa-style Straw Poll for next year’s Senate race at its annual Winter Leadership Conference.   The value of a strong Tea Party-GOP alliance was evidenced by the stronger than expected second place finish of Curtis ColemanSome had already written Coleman off, declaring State Senator Gilbert Baker the front runner who would crush all his primary opponents.

Coleman is the founder and former CEO of Safe Foods, Inc.  He’s not a politician, but a businessman who says “We are now suffering the greatest erosion of our personal liberties in history.”  He promises to do everything he can to stop that erosion if he’s elected to represent Arkansas in the US Senate.  And his message is resonating with the people of Arkansas.
In August, polls already showed Arkansas’ Democrat Senator Blanche Lincoln trailing Coleman by one point. A December 3rd Rasmussen poll now has the businessman leading the Democrat politician by 4 percent!  Though Baker was practically announced the winner of next May’s primary, Coleman finished only two points behind him in last week’s straw poll.  In a press release following the straw poll, Coleman points out several reasons the two point loss was really a win for his team:

  • The Baker campaign spent an estimated 5 times as much as our campaign did on the straw poll.
  • There is an unconfirmed report that the Baker campaign bought more than twice as many delegate tickets as our campaign.
  • About 40 of our delegates were not able to be in Hot Springs and vote in the straw poll and, based on the approximate number of total votes cast, we estimate that we placed second by only about 14 votes.
  • Approximately 80 people voted for us who were not there as one of “our” delegates.

So how has Coleman, whose name recognition was virtually non-existent at the outset of the campaign, spread his message and connected with enough Arkansans that it now looks like he could defeat the incumbent Lincoln in November?
To start with, he’s attended Tea Party events since last spring.  Coleman’s been seen shaking hands, introducing himself and telling people face-to-face what he plans to carry to Washington if elected.  He’s spoken at several of these events and connects with this group of voters who identify themselves more as conservatives than as Republicans.

When asked whether he thought the Rasmussen poll mentioned earlier spelled a GOP-3rd party split of the Republican vote, Coleman says “I’ve found that members of the TEA Party and the foundation members of the GOP are looking for the same things in a candidate: principle, passion, conviction, courage, and commitment to do far more than just win the election.  My message to the our TEA Party supporters is the same as to our Republican supporters:  I am a conservative Republican.  Conservative first, Republican second…Members of the TEA Party and the Republican Party agree on this:  we are much stronger united than divided.

Coleman is capitalizing on the fact that Tea Party and GOP voters can soundly defeat the Democrats next year, if they can become allies.  Remember, a combined Tea Party/GOP candidate takes 41% vs. Democrats’ 36% in the Rasmussen poll.  In fact Coleman states, “I think the TEA Party can strengthen the GOP, but– to a large degree – that’s up to the GOP.

In other words, not just any GOP candidate is guaranteed the support of Tea Party voters.  The NY-23 congressional race discussed above proves his point.  The Republican Party can’t count on voters’ dissatisfaction with Democrats to win votes, but must enlist candidates who satisfy the demands of conservatism, responsibility, and accountability to bring Tea Party voters into the GOP camp.

Coleman also recognized, early on, the benefits of a strong internet presence.  With the mainstream media fawning over every Socialist turn taken by the Obama administration, there was little airtime available for coverage of a largely unknown upstart candidate for US Senate in Arkansas.  Coleman compensated by taking his campaign to the internet from the start.  He says, “The internet and its related social media have certainly given us the opportunity to build state and national name ID that probably would not have been possible otherwise, and therefore have facilitated our critical grass-roots organizational efforts.

His campaign was still in its exploratory committee stage when he made his first post on his blog.  He’s diligently updated his blog since then, posting a total of 44 articles while maintaining a busy campaign schedule traveling to all corners of the state for the more traditional campaigning methods of stump speeches and handshakes.  But his blog is only part of his online strategy.

He’s also discovered the tremendous value of social networking sites in today’s political campaign.  He’s active on Facebook and Twitter, often posting into the wee hours of the morning.  One young supporter who traveled to Hot Springs from Malvern for last week’s straw poll was heard saying, “The reason I’m supporting you is because you’re so accessible,” speaking of their Facebook correspondence.  He responds to emails personally, and often at hours when most people are snugly tucked in their beds.

Though some of his GOP opponents have made use of the internet and Tea Party to a lesser degree, and most now seem to be ramping up their presence in these arenas, Curtis Coleman has been building his grassroots base on the internet nearly from day one.  His strategy seems to be paying off after defying formiddable odds in the straw poll last week.

The Republican Party needs to pay attention to what’s happening in Arkansas.  New York showed us what will happen if the GOP simply hopes to exploit the Tea Party and depend on a nominating process that has failed the party miserably.  This Arkansas Senate race is showing what can happen if the party actually embraces the ideas of the movement, welcomes them into the fold, and uses the internet to get its message out in spite of a mainstream media hell bent on furthering the Democrat agenda.

December 12, 2009 Posted by | Election 2010 | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Arkansas Republicans on the Move

I posted here not long ago that the Republican party has come to life in my home state of Arkansas.  Last night, at a meeting of the Lonoke County Republican Committee, I was pleased to receive confirmation of this in the form of two speakers–Arkansas Republican Party Political Director Chase Dugger and Republican candidate for Arkansas’ 1st Congressional District Rick Crawford.

Dugger informed those present of the Arkansas GOP’s new website, which I mentioned here a few days ago.  He also let us know there are more Republican candidates lining up for the 2010 election than ever before.  In last year’s election, none of the three Democratic Congressmen from Arkansas faced a Republican challenger, nor did Senator Mark Pryor.  It was as if Arkansas didn’t matter to the GOP.  Dugger, who was campaign chairman for Mickey D. “Stubby” Stumbaugh’s unsuccessful run against Democratic Congressman Marion Berry in 2006, pointed out that even the state party hasn’t been active enough in helping GOP candidates in the past.  But he noted, this is not the old Republican Party of Arkansas and things are going to be different from now on.  He promised the state party would be very involved in the effort to get Republicans elected to state and federal offices.

Rick Crawford spoke next, and I must say, I was impressed.  I’ve long believed the problem with politics is the politicians.  In other words, we need regular people in DC to replace the professional pols.  Crawford is a veteran of the US Army who returned to Arkansas and now runs AgWatch Network, a farm news network broadcast across five states and 39 radio stations.  His links to agriculture may eliminate what has been Congressman Marion Berry’s largest advantage in a district that spans the greater part of Arkansas’ part of the Mississippi River delta. 

Crawford explained that he’s concerned with the direction the country is headed under President Obama, comparing the President’s foreign policy to that of former President Jimmy Carter.  He identified himself as a Reagan conservative who believes in limited, Constitutional government.  Concerned already about the mounting debt from Obama’s frivolous spending spree, he also recognizes the dangers looming if the President has his way on healthcare reform.  When asked by a committee member what his position is on illegal immigration, he made clear that we must secure our southern border.  Crawford said he doesn’t want to stop immigration, but is asking that immigrants “sign the guest book on the way in.”  In other words, immigrants are welcome as long as they’re legal immigrants.

In my opinion, Rick Crawford is exactly what we need in Congress.  A solid conservative, non-politician seeking political office because he cares about this country and wants to stop the current mad dash toward Socialism.  I was really glad I had the opportunity to hear him speak at this early stage of the campaign.

If you’re a conservative Arkansan who’s often wondered just exactly what the Republican Party does in Arkansas, the 2010 campaign season should put your worries to rest.  This may be the best showing in history by the GOP in the Natural State.

June 9, 2009 Posted by | GOP | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Republican Party of Arkansas Launches New Website

Last week, the Republican Party of Arkansas took a huge step forward when it launched its new website.  

While most of the conservative South has embraced the Republican Party, Arkansas has long been a one-party state.  Both of our US Senators and 3 of 4 US Representatives are Democrats, all of our state-wide constitutional officers are Democrats, and our legislature is dominated by Democrats.   In 2006, there were 30% more registered Democrats in the state than Republicans.  It’s long been known that candidates for local office rarely stood a chance of being elected if they ran as Republicans.  But, in spite of all of that, Arkansas’ electoral votes consistently go to Republican candidates for President.  Even in last year’s Democratic landslide, Arkansans voted Republican.

In the past, the RPA has failed to capitalize on Arkansans’ conservative bent.  For most of my life, it seemed they never even tried to break the Democrats’ stranglehold on the state.  But all that may be changing.  The website isn’t all that is new in the state party.  Now, RPA Chairman Doyle Webb is adopting social networking tools such as Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Twitter to generate a real grassroots network in the Natural State.  Webb says “We’re working hard in Arkansas by using new technology and good old-fashioned politicking as we move our state from a one-party state to a two-party state.”

How effectively they use these tools is yet to be seen, but the RPA is off to a good start with an attractive, user-friendly site.  Check it out and let us know what you think about www.arkansasgop.org.

June 2, 2009 Posted by | GOP | , , , | 4 Comments