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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

Grassroots Arkansas Republican Network Launched

Yesterday the The Arkansas Republican Network was launched. It is a network for Arkansas grassroots republicans and helps to build the Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA). While all GOP organizations, campaigns and support group members are welcome, the network was not initiated by the RPA but the Network fully supports the development of the RPA and individual republicans.

The network was established by Dr. Bill Smith* of Baxter County, Arkansas. The Arkansas Republican Network uses NING, an easy-to-use technology platform, which allows people to belong to other NING social networks with one central personal identity and track their membership and friends via a personal NING page. Others organizations using the NING platform are Team Sarah, Smart Girl Politics, Sovereignty Alliance, the 9-12 Program, Resist Net, FairTax Nation, America Coast to Coast, Team Grassfire, and 1.3 million other networks.

When asked about the reason for the creating the new Arkansas Republican Network, Smith said,

“In Little Rock, RPA Chairman Doyle Webb has put in place an excellent team to promote a consistent republican message and to build the formal structure of the RPA. The RPA is addressing issues of concern to Arkansans and is attracting candidates to run for Congress, State and local offices.

“However, the recent increase in the number of interested candidates is to a large degree also a result of the outcry by Arkansans participating in TEA Parties in our state. These citizens are irritated at the failures of their elected officials on the national level to listen to “we the people” and our grievances. Most are either republicans or potential republicans who have awakened to a desire participate and to do something. These people needed a place to network and to share concerns and ideas.

“To sustain this effort, the Arkansas Republican Network was established to give a voice and a platform to republicans using their computers. The Network allows grassroots republicans to exchange ideas and to establish support groups. The Republican Party of Arkansas relies on its state, district and county committees to carry out structured political operations. However, these same committees are formal structures and offer little opportunity for republicans to hold everyday discussions or to network / link up in efforts with like minded people.

“In 2009, the RPA has made great strides in using the Internet to expand its presence via a new website and social networking on FaceBook, Twiiter, YouTube and Flickr. However, within the traditional structure, the opportunities for interactions, discussions, the building of groups and coalitions within communities and counties are limited. The Arkansas Republican Network provides these opportunities. It gives voice and opportunity to Arkansans to link up and to support events, beliefs, causes, projects and republican candidates of their choosing. Members of the Network may create or join groups that support their County GOP, GOP support groups, caucus groups, candidates, issues, positions, and more. Individuals may post blogs, participate in discussions, share photos, videos, add existing NING friends, invite new friends, message friends and more. And, there is no cost to the members of the network.

“All who generally vote republican in Arkansas as well as non-voting teenage republicans are welcome. To help get the ball rolling, republicans generally fall into one or more of the following generic descriptions — it is a “big tent”:
– Economic Conservatives (i.e., limited government, government transparency, reduced taxes and spending, expansion of access to natural resources like oil, natural gas and coal by private individuals and companies).
– Social Conservatives (i.e., supporting traditional family and community values)
– National Defense Conservatives (i.e., supporting National Defense and the security of our borders from invasion by illegals)
– Constitutional Conservatives (i.e., supporting all of the Bill of Rights, protection of property rights, protection of families and communities, best government is the government closest to the people).
– Libertarian Conservatives (i.e., committed to Republican principles but focusing on the restriction of intrusion by government on personal choices).”

All Arkansas “republicans” with access to a computer are encouraged to join the Arkansas Republican Network. The 2010 elections are fast approaching and every Arkansas Republican voice is important and your involvement is critically needed to stop the rapid expansion of liberal socialism both in our Nation and in Arkansas.
———————
*Dr. Bill Smith (Ozark Guru) is a retired military officer and retired professor. He is the editor of the ARRA News Service and a contributing author on America, You Asked for It!. He serves as National Political Director for Conservative Solutions and as an adviser to candidates and campaigns. He Twitters @arra and can be found on FaceBook and on 43 Ning activist sites.

August 17, 2009 Posted by | GOP | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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