Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Future

What does the future of the Republican Party look like? That is what we must all think about as we move forward as Republicans.

Unfortunately, we have seen some infighting. That is to be expected. It might be healthy to have a few debates about the future that are respectful and productive. But, we can not let these natural divisions do to us what the centrist/left fights did to the Democrats for years. We need to recognize our problems and solve them within the family. I am confident that we will do that as Republicans.

Since November 4, I have been doing what I said: I've been listening as best I can. That process has just begun. On Monday night, I had a conference call with the Ward Chairs of this party. This morning, I will have breakfast with key leaders in the pro-life/pro-family conservative movement. This afternoon, I will meet with most of our judges to discuss the future of the party and the Democrat budget mess that has been foisted upon us. Next week, I will have a conference call with the central committee. I am arranging meetings with key leaders across the county that care about the party and our efforts.

These conversations will start with me pointing out some of our successes in Hamilton County in the face of a Democratic tsunami. If we're going to discuss the future, we ought to have a clear, honest, and accurate picture of where we are and what we have done.

I do, however, want to ask for the help of many in our Party that care about the future. Right now, I am forming three key committees to look over a few critical aspects of party operations and to offer insights, suggestions, and specific proposals for the future.

Here are the committees and what they will be asked to do:

1. Committee 2010

For too long, our Republican Party has drawn on city council for candidates for office in the county and elsewhere. Ths is because these candidates tend to have higher name identification and can more easily win races because people have heard their names. There is little dispute that the candidate who is "known" is much more likely to be elected than the one who is "unknown." This is an ongoing problem for our party as our strength is in the townships, cities, and villages across the county and these great Republicans govern their communities without much outside publicity that could raise their name identification. Unfortunately, it is axiomatic in politics that voters will almost always vote for the name they know over the one they do not--even if the one they know is not fit for public office.

I will ask Committee 2010 to evaluate this problem. What can we do to boost the notoriety and electability of township, city, and village candidates for higher office? What specific strategies can we put in place to make these people viable candidates? What specific candidates can we identify as a party right now to make them viable for 2010 and beyond? What reasonable resources can the Hamilton County Republican Party provide to make this happen?

It is these questions and others that I will ask this committee of committed Republicans to consider.

2. Election Month Operations Committee

Our elections day operations have always been better than the Democratic Party. We have covered our polls, passed out our sample ballots, and done the grassroots work that needs to be done on Election Day. However, Election Day is now Election Month.

I will ask this committee to evaluate several things. Are inside pollworkers more important than outside pollworkers passing out our sample ballot? Are poll observers the right way to go? Should we be doing a Hamilton County poll flushing operation? If so, what resources do we need to accomplish this poll flushing operation? What resources can the Hamilton County Republican Party provide to accomplish these things?

This committee will be asked to do more than offer suggestions. I want us to implement a poll flushing operation in key strategic areas of the county that can get out the vote on election day. I want this committee to oversee and manage our absentee/early voting program. This will be a working committee of the party that can assist us at HQ in developing strategies and implementing operational changes to our election month operations.

3. Cincinnati School Board Search and Screening Committee

On this one, I expect criticism. Naive to run Republicans in these races, you say? I reject that. Our apparatus and organization as a party can be a big help to any candidate running in these non-partisan races.

We should not walk away from the city of Cincinnati. We can offer reasonable alternatives to how the city is governed and it can happen at the school board.

Will we elect Republicans? I can't guarantee it. We need to try.

I have met with several strong, intelligent leaders in this city that understand public education in an urban environment--and they are Republicans. In fact, a few of our recent school board superintendents were Republicans. The Republican message on education is better than the liberal Democrat view. We could make a difference in how the public schools are managed. We should try.

The work of this committee will be relatively brief. I will ask this committee to recruit, review, and educate our candidates for school board. We have several people who have expressed an interest and we will explore their interest further and get them launched.

After all, our great Bill Seitz got started in his public career on the school board. We need the next Bill Seitz!

Do you want to participate in this committee work? Let us know at 513.381.5454 or e-mail Maggie Nafziger at