First, I’d like to thank everyone who has shown their support and willingness to work together in our effort to make the Douglas County Republican Party an integral part in electing good conservative candidates and supporting common sense policies based on the fundamental belief in freedom, liberty, and compassion. Thank you to Scott Pertersen for serving as Chairman the past two years. Scott’s hard work and dedication has laid the foundation for a more successful future for the DCRP. I look forward to continuing to build on the momentum that he has created. The Political Insiders Report has asked me to share my vision for the DCRP heading into the next two years. The following are my goals with some specifics on how I hope we can achieve them:
To unify Republicans in Douglas County in a focused effort to elect good leaders.
Unfortunately, the Republican Party has seen some in-fighting and division despite the fact that we all have the same basic goals. I believe if we are able to work together and focus on what unites us rather than minor differences, we can be much more successful in the future.
The make-up of the DCRP’s Central Committee has become much more diverse since last year’s County Convention. There is a lot of new energy and ideas that I believe can be beneficial to the party. I plan to maintain a diverse Executive Committee as well. I’ve asked some of the newer members to get involved as well as including some of the more experienced, long time leaders of the DCRP. I am pleasantly surprised at the support I have received from all sides.
To increase the GOP voter base in Douglas County with a rebranded image. One that stresses support of entrepreneurship and small business creation, the American charitable spirit, fostering a culture of opportunity, and a fundamental belief in freedom, liberty, and compassion.
We all know the GOP struggles with a negative and often unfair perception of being a party of rich, greedy, old white men. I believe we would benefit from a continuous message of freedom, along with one of compassion. I keep coming back to the words of Hal Daub, “You can’t have charity without wealth.” The creation of wealth is vital to caring for our needy, but creating wealth isn’t enough. It doesn’t change our negative perception. We have to become a party of compassion.
One of the ways we can do this is by supporting charity. According to the Mises Institute, “Only 30% of government “welfare” spending goes to the needy, while private charity spends over 70% on the needy.” This should come as no surprise to anyone who has noted the efficiency of other government run programs.
As Republicans, we must support economic policies that lead to wealth creation, combined with social policies encouraging charitable giving (such as tax credits). Charity not only leads to more effective social assistance, but guarantees the sustainability of that assistance. Charity provides a safety net for the needy while respecting the potential of the individual. While entitlements destroy personal accountability and breed generations of dependence; charities encourage and motivate the individual to strive to reach their full potential rather than enabling dependence. We must stand out as the party that empowers, rather than the party that enables.
To improve organization and efficiency within the DCRP in order to better provide candidate support and future GOTV efforts.
I would like to continue the organization process we started in the “Walk the Vote” & “Network the Vote” efforts. We have only scratched the surface in those areas and I think they can become a very cost effective and efficient means of getting out voter slates and candidate literature. I also plan to set up a more active Candidate Support Committee to help with various duties associated with local Republican campaigns.
To actively involve Central Committee members by encouraging participation in committees.
Continuing on the organization process, I plan to set up specific committees with defined duties, asking for volunteers, and placing them in charge to help bring them some ownership in the party.
To increase the leadership role of the DCRP by proactively taking a stand on important issues facing Douglas County.
I would like to increase the role of the Central Committee and engage members more by moving away from having a monthly meeting where our members show up and are just talked at. I’d like to engage them in the process by opening the floor for debate on relevant issues and soliciting input from the Central Committee to help bring more of an investment in the group. I would like to see the DCRP take a more proactive leadership role as a County Party by engaging the members of the Central Committee in the decision making process on important and relevant issues.
To continue to improve on the financial standing of the DCRP in order to provide better support to our candidates.
Financially, the DCRP has made a lot of progress over the past two years. I would like to continue on that progress by surrounding myself with good competent fundraisers with solid connections. People who are focused and committed to our goals.
I would like to reach out to areas we haven’t in the past. The state of Nebraska is overwhelmingly “red”, so one of the advantages that we have as Republicans is that we can focus our resources on the select few areas of importance in the state. I am from rural Nebraska, where folks don’t often make big political donations as they are blessed with solid conservative candidates. I believe we need to reach out to Republicans outside of Omaha and explain how the outcome of the elections in Douglas County affect them in the long run. A couple of connections include:
- Rising tuition at the colleges and universities their children attend.
- The electoral vote from the 2nd Congressional District is vulnerable as President Obama picked it off in 2008 and Governor Romney only won by 4% in 2012.
- There are currently 2,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans in Douglas County.
- Our US Congressman elected from the 2nd Congressional District is also vulnerable. Congressman Lee Terry won reelection by less than 2%.
- Nearly 1/3 (14 of the 49) of our State Senators come from Douglas County and play an integral part in legislating the laws that affect them.
- There is a significant history of mayors from Omaha and Lincoln seeking state-wide office.
- Ag Secretary Vilsack’s recent comments about rural America becoming less relevant echo that urgency.
To effectively utilize up-to-date technology to grow membership, participation, fundraising, and GOTV efforts.
- I think it best to keep specifics on this one close to the chest for now. =)
I would like to thank everyone for their support and their dedication to our goals at the Douglas County Republican Party. I look forward to working with everyone to make the DCRP an important and integral part of electing good Republican leadership in Nebraska the next two years and beyond.