October 25, 2005

Doesn't Look like the Promised Party-Building has started Just Yet

Carroll Andrew Morse

Another item of interest from the Political Scene columnÖ

So why did White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. cancel a GOP fundraiser scheduled last Friday in Rhode Island?

State Republican Party Executive Director Jeffrey Deckman said Card was called to Camp David to be with the president.

But there might be more to the story.

Last Monday, Mia Caetano, head of the Rhode Island Young Republicans, sent out an e-mail "PLEASE ATTEND!" to members of her group.

"We need more people to addend this event!! The White House has been calling to see how many people are coming," she wrote. "If we don't have a good showing at this event it will be embarrassing!"

Two days later, party Assistant Executive Director Andrew Berg sent out an e-mail to the young Republicans saying that anyone who wanted to see Card could come for free.

The event at the airport Sheraton was $75 a person, $125 for a couple, or $1,000 for a private reception.

Deckman said attendance had nothing to do with the cancellation.

"As of Wednesday at noon we had more than 130 committed and we had more coming," he said, saying that was above the target they had set. "When you are doing fundraisers like this you typically have a lot of late responses. It's just a typical push."

Deckman said the event was more than just about raising money.

"It's about building community," he said, explaining the push to get young Republicans.

If there was an attendance problem, I wonder how much had to do with a reluctance of the Republican rank-and-file to contribute money to a state party that largely ignores their wishes. Also, if there was an attendance problem, I might suggest that it is evidence that youíre not going to have much success building a Republican community if CONSERVATIVES NOT WELCOME is part of your core message.

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conservatives not welcome?

that is funny, because I heard that the conservative group, the NFRA (National Federation of Republican Assemblies) just joined the RIGOP.

Posted by: Robert at October 25, 2005 9:57 AM

Clarification ... the NFRA-RI didn't "just join" the RIGOP. We've been Republicans all along, with most of our memebership consisting of members of the RIGOP State Central Committee. We're currently petitioning the state party to "let us" call ourselves Republicans, after nearly five years working as Republicans in Rhode Island.
That being said, there have been some positive inroads recently towards "inclusiveness" by the state party, by welcoming conservatives into the fold, instead of just hoping that they'll go away. Let's give credit where it's due. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Let's see how it works out.

Posted by: Will at October 25, 2005 3:03 PM

thanks for the correction.

on the outside looking in.

Posted by: robert at October 26, 2005 12:59 PM


It is unfortuantly you might have the perspective that the NFRA-RI group has just joined the RIGOP. Maybe it is that the Real Republican Party "The one's that wrote the Federalist Papers", "You can google that" have always been the conservatives like the NFRA-RI and the RIGOP has realized that we all need each other to help grow the party. If you are interested and a Conservative you could always come to a meeting and see the belief's of our Forefathers in action.
Remember "A Brain is a terrible thing to waste especially on a Liberal"

Posted by: Fred on the Blog at October 26, 2005 8:47 PM

For the record, Fred is the Immediate Past President of NFRA-RI, so he definitely knows what he's talking about!
One of the true strengths of the NFRA organization, through its many state chapters, is its unusually strong emphasis on politics, principle, and pragmatism. None of these need to be mutually exclusive.
Someone whom I know recently used the analogy of the Republican Party being like a large ship. There are some conservatives in the party that recognize that the ship is off-course, headed for an iceberg (electoral defeat or irrelevance). The response of some conservatives is to just jump ship, save their own lives, and let the ship crash into the iceberg, and kill everyone else who remained on board. In essence, they are cowards.
The NFRA's response is much different. Our response is to get up to the control room and to do whatever we can to turn the little rudder (to the right, of course), and stear the boat away from danger, in order not only to save ourselves, but to save everyone else who remains aboard the ship (the Republican Party). We, unlike some conservatives, believe that the Republican Party is worth saving, and therefore choose to work within it for the betterment of the whole.

Will Ricci
Northeast VP, NFRA

Posted by: Will at October 28, 2005 7:19 AM

You can go onto www.opensecrets.org to see what Rhode Islanders donate to candidates and causes.

I don't see many RI conservatives giving money to ANY candidates or party organization regardless of whether the candidates are running in RI, for president or for federal office outside RI.

There just aren't that many Republicans in RI. Given that the RI GOP had trouble raising money with Dick Cheney, I don't know what made them think they could raise money with Andy Card.

Posted by: Anthony at October 29, 2005 6:22 PM

Funny, I just ran 3 of the last names of bloggers on www.opensecrets.org and not a single one had given any money--not to President Bush, to the RNC, to Sen. Frist or any other conservative! Makes me think that wasn't the reason the Card fundraiser failed!

Posted by: Anthony at October 29, 2005 6:28 PM


I guess if you can BLOG shit it is okay. Why don't you check who supported Dave Rogers. Oh that is right you have your jaw open on the ground like every other RINO or As I have said in other writings Democrat. Don't try to justify your liberal leanings on the back of true conservatives.

Life Is Tough It Is Thougher If Your Stupid.

John Wayne (Sands of Iwo Jim)

Posted by: Fred on the Blog at October 29, 2005 9:06 PM


You are partially correct, but probably not in the way that one might think. I for one give to so many candidates, both inside and outside RI, I'm surprised I still have anything left. That being said, I deliberately try to keep my donations under the arbitrary campaign finance limits that trigger reporting requirements ($100 for local candidates; $200 for federal candidates), in order to keep my name off those "lists" you mentioned. Once you give a lot to even one, you become known to all the others quite quickly.

You are correct that "conservatives" give money in ways that differ from RINOs. The reason that many RINOs have power and/or influence in the first place, is that they buy it. I check FEC and other campaign finance filings regularly, for a variety of reasons, and there is a very strong correlation between very large donations and the influence of certain members of the state GOP (I'll avoid gitting into specifics, to avoid a SLAPP suit).

Conservatives "contributions" derive mainly from the selfless dedication of time and effort that they put into the actual workings of the party and candidates, organizing, volunteering, networking, etc. That kind of "intangible" help, while it might not be very "bloggable," nor easily checked online, is often the main thing that separates the elected from the non or soon to be unelected candidates. Underestimate it at your peril.

Posted by: Will at October 30, 2005 1:36 AM