So fellow Montgomery County Republicans: Are you tired of all of this winning?
If you were a Republican candidate in the municipal elections last fall, are you forever grateful for MCRC’s efforts on your behalf?
Or are you, like me, like so many I have talked to, utterly surprised at the level of energy and passion of which this Party is capable only when their comfy power structure is legitimately threatened?
Are you, like me, wondering where this energy and passion was last fall?
Are you wondering where this energy and passion was when the Democrat-controlled County Voter Services lost thousands of absentee ballots during the 2016 Presidential Election?
Where was this energy when Montgomery County Voter Services was denying our candidates entry on to the Ballot last February for typos?
Where was this energy when I was begging them to help me resolve the many campaign finance issues I documented HERE?
How many Montgomery County Commissioners’ meetings did someone from MCRC attend to fight the politicized Voter Services office on your behalf?
How many press releases did they send out on behalf of Republican candidates?
Why did MCRC only run one judge for Court of Common Pleas when there were two positions up for grabs?
Where was all this money for mailers and robocalls when our municipal candidates were getting pummeled by the Democrats’ mailers and GOTV operations last fall?
When the County Commissioners raised taxes for two years in a row, what did MCRC have to say about that?
What case have they made to the voters for Republican governance in recent memory? What have they done to counter the energized far left?
The last time we saw this level of energy was when the Party leadership mobilized against another Republican, Joe Gale, and as a consequence, we let Josh Shapiro waltz right into re-election and every County candidate MCRC supported lost. Josh Shapiro waited a whole seven days after his second swearing-in to announce his run for Attorney General, and a year later, our former Chairman is working for him in a specially created hack job.
So. Much. Winning.
Over half of the local Committee seats are empty, mostly due to resignations. But where there is some poor sap willing to volunteer, MCRC won’t make the appointment if he’s not the right sort of sap. And where there are vacancies in Area Leadership, MCRC refuses to appoint Vice Chairs if they are not loyal to MCRC Leadership.
For the lay people out there, a little primer on the inside baseball: At next Tuesday’s primary election, you will see races for local and state Republican Committee people on the ballot. Your local committee people are the folks you see working the polls on Election Day and handing out material for candidates. The State Committee people are typically a subset of this group, and they meet in Harrisburg to offer support for statewide candidates. Usually, these people are handpicked by the Chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Committee and reliably loyal to him. This allows the Chairman to make deals for statewide office; he can make promises on delivering or withholding support on behalf of Montgomery County.
Typically, endorsed State Committee Candidates are endorsed because they cement the existing power structure. They were hand selected by the Chairman because the Chairman feels comfortable telling statewide candidates he can deliver their votes. Theoretically, anyone can run for State Committee, but the MCRC Chairman frowns on that, for all the reasons previously mentioned. For an idea on how much he frowns on that, please refer to the correspondence below:
Ah yes. The beatings will continue until morale improves.
Supporting endorsed candidates is apparently only important enough for the Chairman to rouse himself when the Chairman himself has personally endorsed them. When Upper Providence Republican Committee members were supporting my primary opponent, I was told that there was nothing in the by-laws preventing them from doing that. But when Joe Gale ran unendorsed for County Commissioner in 2015, supporting him was treated as treason by then-Chairman Mike Vereb. In fact, even supporting Joe Gale in the general election—after the voters decided—was treated as treason. And this regime has done nothing but continue to foster further division.
Selective enforcement of the by-laws in any organization is a morale killer.
It often occurs to me that Party leadership has forgotten that MCRC exists to support its candidates; the candidates are not supposed to be endorsed based on the amount of support they can give the Party. And lest you think Party Leadership is limited to Bill Donnelly, think again. There is a whole squad of folks up there running this failing circus and they are already lining up their sock puppets for a run at the officers’ spots which go up for election in a few weeks.
Don’t think for one minute that this whole temper tantrum is about anything other than a threat to the current MCRC power structure. The highlighted section in the email below is from Ralph Grasso, municipal leader of Lower Merion Township, and rumored candidate for the Vice Chairman of MCRC in a few weeks:
Point of full disclosure: Mr. Grasso signed my petition for State Committee. And yes, this is about the future leadership of MCRC, a battle in which he is every bit as engaged as the Republican Club, despite his claims of the moral high ground. Otherwise he’d have no reason to write this letter.
Here’s another interesting email from the Executive Director, Jim Saring, actually threatening an injunction against the Republican Club for supporting an MCRC endorsed candidate on their ballot!
Are they really talking about filing legal action against the Republican Club for supporting their endorsed candidates? You may be thinking that this is insanity. Why wouldn’t candidates want all the support they can get to win an election?
Because this has very little to do with the Candidates themselves and everything to do with who controls the keys to MCRC.
There are vocal and hardworking folks on the Republican Committee, good soldiers, who will tell you the problem in the Party is not leadership. The problem, they say, is “divisive” folks like me, and Tom Ellis, and several others working with the Republican Club. The good soldiers tell us that “for the good of the Party,” we should look the other way when we see problems in the Party, suck it up when the Party attacks us personally, and for God’s sake, shut up.
Folks involved with the Republican Club of Montgomery County don’t blindly march in lockstep with the Party Leadership. We dare to speak up when we see something is wrong, and we want it to change for the better. The Republican Club believes that it is our current leadership who is divisive and vindictive.
This is a post I didn’t want to write, let alone post. Who needs to stick their neck out only to be subject to these type of unhinged and often shadowy attacks on one’s characters simply for speaking up for one’s beliefs? Personally, as the subject of more than my fair share of this type of treatment, I’m more than a little tired of it, and that’s why this post was never going to be published. But the events of the last few days have left me distraught and disgusted, and so ashamed of so many of my fellow party members, I simply cannot remain silent.
Because silence is consent. There is something deeply wrong with an organization that relies on fear of reprisal to extract loyalty from it’s members.
The filthy ad-hominem attack on Tom Ellis, by pathetically using a reheated and thoroughly discredited 14-year-old smear campaign from Joe Hoeffel, is really beyond the pale. The meat of this latest attack, as usual, was distributed anonymously, just like certain recent and notable “news” stories, mysterious videos and whisper campaigns that have attacked the character of other dedicated Republicans who dared challenge this leadership. It’s no wonder that people are fleeing this party.
When was the last time you saw MCRC go after a Democrat like that? Have they targeted Sean Kilkenney, who is collecting municipal solicitorships like charms on a Pandora Bracelet while happily dancing on the edge of the Pawlowski scandal in Allentown? Or how about Val Arkoosh, who was the architect of the mess at Voter Services? Or Josh Shapiro, who has wiped his feet all over the red carpet MCRC laid all the way to Harrisburg for him?
No. Our party saves its best energy only to unleash it against one of our own.
Ask yourself this: Is the appropriate response for mailers accurately suggesting that the endorsed state committee candidates are beholden to the Party bosses, a wholesale character smear against a dedicated Republican, or is that maybe a little over the top?
If you are a Republican and you are happy with the performance that the Montgomery County Republican Party has turned in for the last few years, if you think silencing dissent with the threat of character assassination is a great way to foster an esprit de corps, then by all means, voting for the endorsed candidates is one way to help ensure that MCRC will continue to deliver the same super awesome results into the foreseeable future.
But, if you want to signal to the rank and file that it is time for a change in their inept leadership (and it is), then you can do that by voting for unendorsed candidates. They are listed below.
Let’s start winning elections again.
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