The NDGOP “Has A Real Image Problem Right Now”

NDGOP

At the Great Plains Examiner, Matt Bunk has an excellent article about the recent in-fighting among North Dakota Republicans.

An excerpt:

Gary Emineth, a former state GOP chairman who campaigned for Santorum, said many of the people at the convention thought the caucus results bound the delegates to vote for Santorum – little did they know that the party changed the rules last year.

“It was a total railroad job because they wouldn’t allow the election process to occur,” Emineth said. “The party looked so bad by the time it was done. It disenfranchised a lot of people. A lot of Santorum people and Paul people were very upset.

“The party has a real image problem right now.”

In North Dakota, party leaders have a lot of power over the political process because presidential candidates compete in a caucus instead of a primary election and because the nomination process for state elected officials typically replaces primary battles between same-party candidates.

But that’s not the case with all races this year. Two Republicans – Sand and U.S. House candidate Kevin Cramer – went rogue and skipped the convention altogether based on the idea that they would have a better chance of winning a popular vote than the narrower selection process controlled by party insiders.

Paul Henderson, District 10 Republican chairman, said the tactics used by party leaders to manipulate the process of selecting national delegates “vindicated” the decisions by Sand and Cramer to bypass the convention. He said party leaders proved that they will do everything they can to maintain the status quo.

“They used every tool available to them to stifle the very thing they proclaim they want,” Henderson said. “They want a big tent, and that means you are going to have ideals coming from both sides of the spectrum. And I don’t think they get it.”

The problem the NDGOP has is that while they want a “big tent,” they don’t necessarily want everyone in that tent to have a say in how the party is run.

In the article former Governor Ed Schafer is quoted as saying the NDGOP doesn’t necessarily need a platform (it’s worth noting that, technically, the party didn’t pass one during the convention). I have a lot of respect for Schafer, but that is patently ridiculous.

The entire point of a political party is to advance a platform. A political party is nothing more than a group of people who come together to advance a set of agreed upon goals and ideas. The goals and ideas are defined by the platform. The party then works together to elect candidates who agree to advance the platform.

Without a platform, we may as well be running a beauty contest.

For anyone to suggest that the NDGOP – a party that has gone far adrift from the ideals that are supposed to define Republicanism, a party where the candidates have become notorious for campaigning one way and governing another – doesn’t need a platform is patently ridiculous.

The party needs unity. You find unity by having a well-defined platform and sticking to it. You foment disunity by letting candidates do whatever they want as long as they win elections with an “R” behind their names.

I’m beginning to think that the only solution for this problem is to elect some Democrats. I think the NDGOP would govern better with a smaller, but more conservative, majority in the state.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Lynn Bergman

    “I’m beginning to think that the only solution for this problem is to elect some Democrats. I think the NDGOP would govern better with a smaller, but more conservative, majority in the state.”

    If conservative Republicans stood their ground and demanded adherance to the platform by elected leaders and then cut off campaign funding to “Republi-crats” when they ignored the platform… the brand could be restored. Until then, voters beware… a lot of so-called Republicans are not what they say they are…

    • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

       I am never for electing more Democrats that is a horrible idea.

      • Hatbite

        Sorry Rob but I agree with Lynn. That’s the only thing that will wake up the conservative hating ND Repubican Party. A heidi victory would be the 2×4 to the head that the arrogant ND Republican party needs to wake them up.

        • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

          I think we missed the part where Heidi is getting creemed by Rick Berg in the Polls. 

  • toomuchguvmint

    At least some of the candidates for ND offices were willing to sign the pledge to promote and follow the republican party platform.  Seemed to me to be a logical thing to do if you wanted top be known as a republican.

    • borborygmi

      Yes they are called sheep.

  • Jason

    It is unfortunate that the only solution is to distribute the milk and cookies equally–just when I thought we were making real progress. The real answer should involve stating your case at all meetings, making phone calls, sending letters and/or petitions, cutting of the money, etc…. But in the land of instant gratification, I guess if we can’t change the world or take over the party in one convention, we will pack up our tent and vote for the other party. Well I have news for you–you ain’t a gonna take over their party in one afternoon either. Quit with the potty mouth, quit flipping the bird, and learn how to advance your principles the correct way. Those people at the convention should have had their mouths washed out with soap. I had my d

    aughter there and even she new better than that. Tell Emineth to sell the railroad and to find enough people who will back the way he feels. If you don’t control the majority, it just might not always be a railroad job.

  • Jimmypop

    “The problem the NDGOP has is that while they want a “big tent,” they don’t necessarily want everyone in that tent to have a say in how the party is run.”
    what I’ve heard is that they dont want masses of people that show up for two weeks every other year to control things. i am not sure i disagree with that. this is a business (like it or not, it is) and i am not sure how many business owners would want strangers with nothing invested to show up 14 days every other year and give you directions and pick your leaders.

    in the same breath, don’t tell me you want to include everyone when you really want to only include everyone with the exact same view.

  • dwnwiththeoldguard

     I was a delegate at the State GOP convention this weekend. I sit here
    with disgust at the blatant, calculated, and dishonest tactics of the
    GOP establishment. The chair of the convention Stan Stien was totally
    blocking attempts for nominations from the floor both Sat and Sunday. I
    personally witnessed this and many, I mean many people, upwards of
    400-600 people that I know, left in disgust and with a bad taste in the
    mouth. Saturday, we attemped an Alternate slate to there pre-made slate
    of national delegates. we had floor nomination which they did honor.
    Now at this point its all good. We made motions for the ballots to be
    printed with all the names in alpabetical order so all the names would
    be listed and we could vote on the names. They denied the motion. Now
    for the voting. They passed out ballots with their pre approved slate
    all typed up nicely and even had a box on the top to check if you wanted
    to vote for all the people on the slate. Now for the alternate slate
    we had 25 blank lines to fill in. this went on for awhile. Then we
    finally got them to put the names on the screens up to the right and
    left of the stage. The names were blurry. we made motions again saying
    we could not read the names. the motion failed. in addition the also
    turned the lights down and many people could not even see what they were
    writing. This is blatant disrespect!! Sunday I personally witnessed
    the chair effectively shut down a motion on the floor. When the chair
    was calling for any more business a lady I know tried to make a motion,
    he yelled at her and said that he has the floor and proceeded to talk
    over many people calling for the motion to be noticed. she waited
    patiently for him to finish and when he did she tried to make the motion
    again to only find that the shut her mike off, ( and there are
    witnesses that heard for the microphones to be shut off immediately)
    the turned up the music also at that point, he then accepted a motion
    from the floor from another delegate who motioned for the proceedings to
    end, we yelled no, and he shut the convention down without recognizing
    the females motion. Now about the motion, they were informed that she
    was going to be doing this, we gave them time to understand what we were
    doing. They railroaded us and treated many, many new Republicans like
    garbage.Read more: http://bismarcktribune.com/news/columnists/nick-smith/convention-delegates-party-leaders-clash/article_54513d1c-7f67-11e1-86e7-001a4bcf887a.html?mode=comments#ixzz1rY0xXocY

    • Wesbutte

      I was a delegate as well.  Stay with the gop.  We just need to change the rules to make it more fair.   It will happen.  I was dismayed as well, and I thought Mr. Stein was rude———in fact he reminded me of a mean HS principle,   one you would not want to see if you got in trouble.

  • ladynamedlou

    This argument that it wasn’t the ND GOP, it was the RNC, that required delegates not be bound is just a red herring.  If delegates are not bound, they should be presented to the state delegates on paper ballots, all names equally printed.  The bottom line is that the delegates in that assembly had the right to elect delegates who represented their views.  This did not happen because the party elite didn’t want it to.  This is the problem.  The insertion of Ben Ginsburg as an expert “consultant” when he is in fact a top advisor on Romney’s campaign this year, was asking for trouble.  The manner in which the Chair of the convention “dealt with” anyone who was not part of the machine was a disgrace.  North Dakota has earned a black eye.  It is aping Chicago.  The excuse has also been offered even by some otherwise respectable Conservatives, that those who have donated money and time were chosen and others rejected for delegate slots.  Are we saying that now these slots are for sale?  It is wholly inappropriate to reward anyone with something that is for the state delegates to award to the people they ELECT.  Anything else, any other criteria, subvert and corrupt the whole process.  There are other, appropriate ways to thank party supporters.  Giving away positions that are supposed to be elected is a perversion.  It should be illegal.  And since when does ND need to bring in a Washington DC attorney to sort out their convention?  Just a few questions that must be addressed honestly if there is any attempt to clean this up before the next convention.

  • ladynamedlou

    This argument that it wasn’t the ND GOP, it was the RNC, that required delegates not be bound is just a red herring.  If delegates are not bound, they should be presented to the state delegates on paper ballots, all names equally printed.  The bottom line is that the delegates in that assembly had the right to elect delegates who represented their views.  This did not happen because the party elite didn’t want it to.  This is the problem.  The insertion of Ben Ginsburg as an expert “consultant” when he is in fact a top advisor on Romney’s campaign this year, was asking for trouble.  The manner in which the Chair of the convention “dealt with” anyone who was not part of the machine was a disgrace.  North Dakota has earned a black eye.  It is aping Chicago.  The excuse has also been offered even by some otherwise respectable Conservatives, that those who have donated money and time were chosen and others rejected for delegate slots.  Are we saying that now these slots are for sale?  It is wholly inappropriate to reward anyone with something that is for the state delegates to award to the people they ELECT.  Anything else, any other criteria, subvert and corrupt the whole process.  There are other, appropriate ways to thank party supporters.  Giving away positions that are supposed to be elected is a perversion.  It should be illegal.  And since when does ND need to bring in a Washington DC attorney to sort out their convention?  Just a few questions that must be addressed honestly if there is any attempt to clean this up before the next convention.

    • dwnwiththeoldguard

       Right on Ladynamedlou. 

    • Ratbite

      RNC-ND Republican party—I see no difference. They both hate conservative & take our votes for granted while slapping us in hte face. The only thing that will wake them & their big spending, pro big govenment, proabortion RINOs is a couple of Democrat victories.

  • ladynamedlou

    For now, the only way to be heard for Conservatives in North Dakota is to repudiate this process at the polls:  support Kevin Cramer and Duane Sand.

    • Camsaure

      And write in Sorum for gov.

  • ladynamedlou

    For now, the only way to be heard for Conservatives in North Dakota is to repudiate this process at the polls:  support Kevin Cramer and Duane Sand.

  • 1olafolson

    Rob–I have voted GOP for past 40 years.  I am VOTING for whomever will cut our State Budget equal to the 25% increase in the last bienniem–GOP or DEMOCRAT.  A conservate DEMO is better than a liberal GOPer!

    If I were running for office today in ND, I would be a Democrat running on a 95% budget promise.  I’d win the election and get to spend the 135% increase the GOP has givent he big spenders over the past 10 years.

    The GOP can’t say no to status quo!

    • Bat One

      A conservate DEMO is better than a liberal GOPer!

      An admirable sentiment… but where do you expect to find a real, conservative Democrat?   The last of that species was Zell Miller.

    • Ndexault

      On June 12th write in Paul Sorum for Governor.

    • Econwarrior

      “A conservate DEMO is better than a liberal GOPer!”

      Not since the Democrat Party sold out to Marxism.

  • Ratbite

    It’s not an image problem—it’s a reality problem. The ND Republican Party is a bunch of elites that hate conservatives & have gone out of their way to slap us in the face while expecting us to blindly vote for anyone with an “R” behind their name. They need to be taugh a lesson in Respect.

  • Buffalo Bob

    Ha Ha  Ha.  might  be  better  off  voting  for  a Dem?  You  nailed  the  problem  of having  one  Ruling Party in  any  government.  “We  have  met  the Enemy, and He is Us!”

    You ultra conservatives chose  to  bed  down with  one Party.  What  do  you  do  when  they ignore  you?

    qwiturbellyachin.  It  ain’t  gonna  git  better  for  you  if  all  you  do  is  bluster & moan. You  have  become  the toothless tiger,  the Rodney Dangerfield of  ND.

     Your SAB followers  are scared  poopless  of  the  word Dem.  Just  say No  is  not an alternative program..

  • Wesley Fargo

    Why Ron Paul Rallies never translate into votes:

    Do you really want to know what happened in Bismarck? read this and you will understand…

    http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/tygrrrr-express/2012/apr/6/why-ron-paul-rallies-never-translate-votes/#.T4N9yAvf8FZ.facebook
    ‘nuf said….

    • dwnwiththeolguard

       can we say neocon agenda, nice read if you are a RINO.   You must like washing clothes because you put a nice spin on what happened in Bismarck.  Let me hear your first hand accountability to what happened.   I bet I get *crickets*…….

      • Wesley Fargo

        Actually what I saw was right away at 9:00 Sat morning, people were passing out envelopes with a green and red piece of construction paper and a list of people.

        Later during the voting these same people were busy copying those names from their slips rather than the screen for which the complained so it really didn’t matter if the names were up or not. For it was a pre-planned nomination process for the RPbots.  Which from what I can tell by their voting measured about 250 in the room.

         Could it have been handled better? yes, could the same people in the RP contingent behaved better? yes. do 2 wrongs make a right? nope!  both sides are to blame. But the RPbots never back down. and that is why they turn off more people than enlist into their cause.

        • Sludgewarehouse

          Wesley Fargo, I don’t think you understand things.  Campaigns are allowed to put together a slate of candidates prior to the convention that they would like to have elected.  The executive commitee; however, should not be doing this on behalf of any single campaing which is essentially what they did anyway.  You talk of misbehavior by the RP contingent, but from what I experienced there was no misbehavior by them during the convention.

          I’ll answer my own questions just like you to sound equally as smart!
          Did the RP (and Santorum, as it wasn’t just RP) people do anything wrong? No, they simply tried to have a say in the process instead of letting the executive committee steamroll the process through. 
          Could you have payed better attention to what was actually happening?  Yes, your bias shines through sharply with your last statement.

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