The RLCWA held its historic first quarterly Board meeting Sunday at the Palace Cafe in Ellen’sma or Yaki-berg… or… someplace convenient to the center of the State. And inconvenient to everywhere else.
Not so convenient, either, was the seating.
Considerable efforts were exerted to restrict access. The Board initially voted, in violation of its Bylaws, to ban its own members. Corrected by Michele St. Pierre and Anthony Bosworth, they grudgingly sent out a cold-sounding invitation to the event, but telling people that the restaurant required a food purchase. It was a falsehood and the Reagan Wing exposed it.
They found other ways (that the GOP has already pioneered) to keep people away. Despite a purportedly 300 people receiving the invitation (there is actually considerable mystery surrounding the RLCWA’s real membership numbers), they chose a meeting room that seats only 20. Not enough room – even if only the 24 Board Members and County Chairs showed up – not to mention the five (5) invited speakers. This is how the Snohomish County GOP Establishment kept ballot observers out of their vote counting room. This is how the Benton County GOP Establishment kept more than 1500 grass roots Republicans out of their 2012 Precinct Caucuses. “Not enough room… So sorry.”
So… there were, from the opening gavel to the strange “recess” (to reconvene somewhere on Facebook) there were not enough chairs for the attendees. And members left. Among the candidates for State Party Chair, Luanne Van Werven was allowed to sit, but there were not enough chairs for Jim Walsh, Susan Hutchison or Christian Berrigan.
As attendees gathered, restaurant staff offered to accommodate the RLC with a much larger room capable of seating everyone, and an adequate number of chairs, free of charge.
RLCWA Chair Brendale unilaterally and inexplicably refused it.
Nevertheless, overall throughout this meeting, the RLC Board typified politicians’ willingness to demonstrate lawful behavior (when we have them out in the open where they can be watched and recorded).
The first order of business was hearing from candidates for Chair of the Washington State Republican Party, with an eye for a legitimate endorsement by the Board. (The previously announced choice of Grays Harbor State Committeeman, Jim Walsh – without a legal meeting or a vote – was reported here and here.)
Four candidates for the position were present: Walsh, acting State Chair Luanne Van Werven, Former KIRO Newscaster Susan Hutchison and Clark County Republican Party Operations manager, Christian Berrigan. After the candidates’ presentations both RLCWA board and ordinary members were allowed questions, with the exception of Doug Parris, who was pointedly and repeatedly ignored by the Chair.
In our opinion, the candidates’ presentations and responses to questions clarified their qualifications in spite of themselves and exhibited some distinct differences that might not be obvious to the casual observer.
Chair Candidate Overview
Between them, the first two, Van Werven and Walsh expressed the fundamental GOP Establishment viewpoint and attitudes and incorporated the subtle but fatal design flaw that has doomed the Party since 1980… like a submarine with a hood scoop.
Luanne Van Werven, because she defeated the straw “liberty” candidate for the Vice Chairmanship in January and because she has already ascended into the office of Chair (albeit temporarily) upon the resignation of Kirby Wilbur, holds the inside track. My analysis is that any State Committee that would, by a strong majority, vote to kill its own biannual Convention, sacrificing the recruiting and activist training that a Convention always brings, just to avoid grass roots decision making would feel most safe, among the candidates present, with Luanne protecting them from the grassroots.
Luanne focused on her background, personal attributes, and characteristics which she blatantly misrepresented. Without going into detail (and we have an enormous amount of detail), Luanne claimed to be Pro-Life, Pro-Constitution and a Unifier, a protégé of Phyllis Schlafly. She has, by contrast, a demonstrated, repeated, history of sabotage of all those principles, virtually the opposite of what she pretends. She will, therefore, be a fitting addition to the current line of WSRP Chairs. But she was much better looking than Jim Walsh.
In his presentation, Jim Walsh (a purported “Liberty” candidate who joined the RLCWA on Sunday) called for a change in the Party and he had the strongest and most resonant speaking voice. He used it, however, to convincingly demonstrate that he is absolutely committed to making the most disastrous establishment errors all over again, with the best of intentions based on false assumptions, very much akin to some of the RLCWA leadership.
Walsh said we need a “clear message” but articulated literally nothing that has not been in rhetorical circulation among RINOs since the 1950s. He repeatedly used the code-word “liberty” but gave it no concrete definition or embodiment; nothing about property rights, monetary policy, education, illegal immigration, marriage, human life… to rattle a few issues off the top of my head. Nothing that any other Republican (or most Democrats) wouldn’t easily agree with. Everyone will agree. NO ONE will be motivated.
Walsh’s earlier written announcement mourned the gubernatorial loss of Rob McKenna. “Liberty?” In 2008 the WSRP’s “Special Weapons” division unveiled a campaign machine armed with vicious hatred and slander of Ron Paul and his supporters, fueled by massive Parliamentary cheating, and vote fraud, that literally produced criminal acts in the course of stealing the Republican Presidential nomination for one of the most evil men in the history of American Government – John McCain. It’s Chair was Rob McKenna, a lawless pro-aborion, gay rights, Agenda 21, anti-constitutional, tax and spend, liberal “Catholic” (who would never get an abortion).
Walsh justified his support for this atrocity by the pronouncement of the two fatal falsehoods of the Republican Midstream:
I. The “Wilburness Mandate”
… why we have to support men who do the opposite of what we want; In Walsh’s words: “He would have been a damn site better than Jay Inslee.” Read about this brand of political suicide: here.
II. The Top-Down inversion Mandate”
(In Walsh’s words: “The Republican Party exists to raise money, develop candidates and get Republicans elected.” )
Walsh could not be more wrong.
Any real political party exists to make the principles of its platform public policy, the opposite of Walsh’s point of view. Electing politicians because they take the “Republican” name but make government bigger, more intrusive, more destructive and bargain away our rights is not acceptable, even if they enlarge oppression by smaller increments and give away our rights more slowly than Democrats. It is not just a waste of time, it is 100% counter-productive. It not only makes everything in government worse, it makes Republicans guilty for direct damage to the general public and ruins our credibility as a Party.
Just as bad, Walsh thinks the Party is the servant of the Politician. We exist to elect him.
To the contrary, the politician must be made the servant of the people.
It makes absolutely no difference what positions Jim Walsh takes on any particular political issue. I’m sure he is a good man and well-intentioned. But his Party philosophy would make Party activists the servants of evil politicians who simply wear the Republican logo. It is the same one that consumes Luanne and the whole GOP Establishment. It IS the problem. It makes their personal political beliefs totally irrelevant. It is ruining the Party, destroying the Republic, and has been doing it for more than forty years.
The next two candidates are not so easily summarized as “Establishment.”
When Susan Hutchison spoke, I got flashbacks going back eight years. Susan is a talent I have been priveleged to interview personally, that the Reagan Wing hosted for extensive vetting by conservative leaders for the U.S. Senate and that, along with Bob Williams, Reed Davis, and Clint Didier is one of the most gifted political talents to emerge in Washington State in the last half century… and that the Gorton/Mainstreasm GOP Establishment did its best to destroy for left-wing objectives in 2005-2006.
The chief reason to make Susan the next GOP Chair would be that she is not only a spectacular fund raiser, but at least twice as good at that as anyone else in the room.
And although the apparent waffling she did in her County Executive Campaign (a disastrously unfortunate strategic choice to begin with for someone with such potential) brings her political perspective into doubt, like Didier, her spectacular success in other fields insulates her from the lure of ambition and the pressure of intimidation that manipulates others with lesser life stature.
It goes without saying that she has the best conceivable media background and training, the best ability on camera, and as a speaker. As a pure spokesperson she would be the most talented we ever have had in that position. She has, however, never articulated any vision of Party reform.
Nevertheless, I believe Susan is not likely to knowingly participate in dirty dealing, and, for that reason, alone, is less likely to win the hearts of the “close it down” State Committee.
Christian Berrigan is the man.
We had the opportunity to interview this emerging R3VOLUTIONARY leader fully, and he has an impressive list of practical political accomplishments that have totally reformed a shrinking, top-down GOP/Left oligarchy AND brought unity out of formerly divided factions in Clark County, much as did Mark Hulst in Skagit County a couple decades earlier. But more than that, he has an articulated plan that could actually accomplish the transformation the Party needs and he is the first WSRP Chair Candidate I have ever encountered that does.
The contrast between Berrigan and the “top-down inversion mandate” establishment paradigm of Van Werven and Walsh is sharp:
“…while my goals are many, there is one and only one ultimate purpose to my candidacy: To advance our Republican Agenda.“
Berrigan is clear that winning elections is just the means to the end, not the end in itself:
“…a Republican Agenda which will bring our nation back to the fundamental purpose of freedom and opportunity for all. This should be and should always remain, our Prime Objective.”
Berrigan recognizes that wasting resources on a candidate who, if he is victorious, sets the Agenda back, is not a win at all, and that it demoralizes the grass roots base.
We have a GOP Establishment that for forty shrinking years has done everything it could to ensure that all our candidates set our agenda back… as a means to “win” and it has almost destroyed us.
Berrigan is a candidate who actually knows how to change the thing that MOST needs to be changed in the Washington State Republican Party. And he is not only the only one running, he is the only one I can ever remember running.
Libertarians, lucre and musical chairs
They are now considering having the executive director of the Washington State Libertarian Party, who is thinking about saving he California Libertarian Party, be their contract fund raiser.
One has to ask… when he gets a good lead on a “liberty” source of funds… how will he decide for whom to seek a donation?