Narrow Focus

Today I attended my second Delaware state GOP convention as a delegate.  Of course last year was an election year, and there was more to do as far as nominating candidates. I had thought that this year would be fairly straight forward, since all we were there to do, was to elect state-wide officers, and since there was only one race that was contested, you would think we could get that done in fairly short order. Not so fast my friends.

I actually had to ride eighty-four miles to Wilmington to attend what ended up being just another standard Sussex County monthly meeting.

Today was a microcosm of the problems facing the Delaware GOP. Of course there are those who will see today as some sort of victory, these are the same people who think winning a primary and losing the general election is a victory.

The major problem within the Delaware GOP is a tendency to have too narrow a view of the game at hand. Oh they can see the ball, but they can’t see the field. This I believe is a direct result of too many single issue groups vying for control of the party, to move a single issue agenda (the ball), rather than pulling together to win the game(the field).

This mentality was on full display today on several levels. It began during the part of the convention where the several committees come back and render their reports, these being the credentials committee, the resolutions committee, and the rules committee.

One of the recommended rule changes was to allow the two elected officials who sit on the state committee to have votes, which up till now they have not had. The two elected officials would be one member from the House, and one from the Senate, and they would be the leaders, who at this time happen to be minority leaders. In this case they would be Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Gary Simpson, and House Minority Leader, Danny Short, both from Sussex County.

So who do you suppose stood in opposition to this rule change that would give Sussex County conservatives two more votes within the state committee? Was it those nasty up-state “liberal” Republicans? Those RINOs? Or even some misguided delegates from Kent County?

No! Of course not!  It was a delegate from Sussex County, Tom Jordan, the husband of Nelly Jordan who was challenging for the position of vice-chair with Rep. Ruth Briggs-King.

Now one would have to wonder why a delegate from Sussex would be opposed to even more representation for Sussex within the state committee. Well that is easy, it is because there is within the Sussex GOP, a group of people who have a knee jerk reaction to any and all elected officials and their participation within the party. In this particular case, Mr. Jordan rose to oppose allowing these additional votes from Sussex before considering the benefits to Sussex. A very narrow view, he could see the ball, but not he field. Thank goodness for Sussex the rules were changed to allow the elected officials to vote within the state committee. But only after a  contentious floor debate.

Many of the delegates who were opposed to this change expressed the fact that they simply felt that the elected officials should not have any say in deciding the direction of the party. My response was that they are members of the party as well as I, or any other member, and that they had as much or more incentive to see that the GOP won elections. Again far too many people within the GOP in general, and the Sussex GOP in particular feel that elected officials are all suspect. I truly have come to believe that some of these people will turn on anyone elected, even those who they work to elect, that is if they actually win general elections.

The second example of this tendency to have a far too narrow focus was the election of vice-chair of the Delaware state committee. As I said above, this race was between current 20th RDC Nelly Jordan and Rep. Ruth Briggs-King.

I was supporting Rep. Briggs-King and so I am disappointed that she was not elected. I am not disappointed that Nelly Jordan was elected, I am disappointed  that we as Republicans may once again, have missed an opportunity to make real gains in electing Republicans.

Once again because so many of the delegates took the narrow view of who would be the best person for the job, they chose to focus on the fact that Mrs. Jordan is a woman and a Hispanic. This was pointed out many times by Mrs. Jordan herself as a reason, actually as the only reason to consider her the best person for the vice-chair position. She felt, and I have to admit  that a majority of delegates felt, that because she is a Hispanic she can bring more Hispanics to the GOP.  This may be true, we definitely need to reach out to the Hispanic community, as well as the African- American community, and the Irish community, and the blue-eyed community, and the people with one ear community, and the people for the ethical treatment of mosquitoes community!

So instead of electing a person with proven record of being a great public speaker as well as someone who has experience in working on the national level as well, they chose to pander to one small group of people. I am sure Mrs. Jordan will work hard to bring more Hispanics into the party, I am sure she will be the best vice-chair she can be. She has proven to be a tireless worker at the RDC level. I just think that once again we have a missed opportunity. Rep. Briggs-King has the experience in campaigning that she could have passed on to other potential candidates.  She could have reached out to all people, and I am sure she will anyway. We can only hope that Mrs. Jordan will as well.

I would like to congratulate John Sigler as being re-elect as Chairman, Nelly Jordan as Vice-Chair, Bill Smith as Treasurer, and a special shout out to Sussex County’s own Carol Bodine for being elected as state committee Secretary.

We as a party must learn to broaden our view, to see not only the ball, but the entire field. To make moves and to support those moves that will have the greatest benefit to the entire state GOP. As long as we allow so-called “conservative grassroots organizations” to rule the day, we will never win anything beyond primaries in Delaware.  And so we will never govern as conservatives. We will be doomed to being nothing more than a sounding board for malcontents.

And yes this post is full of sour grapes, not only because the person I supported was unsuccessful, but because those who were successful may have no real ideas on what to do next. Only time will tell.

14 Comments on "Narrow Focus"

  1. Dave Jones says:

    So we now have taken a young and proven top tier fundraiser out of being in leadership…..hmmmm………..see Cromwell’s Roundheads for the analogy is appropos.

  2. anonymous says:

    Seems to me you have sour grapes Frankie. Mrs. Jordan was the one who announced she was running first for the Vice Chair position. Ruth was the challenger not the other way around. To many observers Mrs. Jordan’s victory proves what Stevie, Jeffy and you are trying to do is not going to succeed. Ruth is late to virtually every event she attends and her “token” candidate comment she made at the 35th district meeting was not well received by many GOP members. Bigotry and racism veiled or blatant has no place in the party, maybe one day the 35th will realize that.

  3. anon says:

    I would recommend everyone simply write off the Republican State Committee of Delaware. It has no relevance. You can run, win, and build a strong organization outside the party, as several people appear to be trying to do. If all of the sensible people would come together in an organization outside the party structure, it would benefit all Republicans and all Delawareans. It’s the only way to carve out the lunatics who have nothing better to do but tear down everything they see.

    Stop going to county and regional meetings – today. Stop volunteering – today. Stop donating – today. Only when everyone productive has left will the state party will it be able to suffer its natural death and rebuild.

  4. anon says:

    “Bigotry and racism veiled or blatant has no place in the party, maybe one day the 35th will realize that.”

    There’s nothing more racist than assuming because someone’s a Latina that she’ll draw people of Latino heritage into the party.

  5. Frank Knotts says:

    anonymous, go back and read the post, in the last paragraph I admitted I had sour grapes. That is the difference between the adults and the children, the adults can admit their flaws, the children will always blame others.
    I merely used the word “challenging” to describe that there was a contest for the position, technically since there was no incumbent, there was no “challenger” per se. But I know how children get caught up on, “I was here first”.
    As for your attempt to spread false statements when you say, ” her “token” candidate comment she made at the 35th district meeting was not well received by many GOP members.”
    Rep. Briggs-King did not call Mrs. Jordan a “token” candidate, she said that it would be perceived as if the Republican party was using Mrs. Jordan as a token candidate. But hey why let the facts confuse you? Right?
    Mrs. Jordan has proven that she is dedicated to the GOP, she has worked hard within her RDC to move the party forward, she deserves nothing but praise and recognition for her efforts. I hope that everyone will work with her to see that she is able to do all that she has promised and more.
    I simply feel that we as a party have missed the chance to place someone in the position who could have hit the ground running, in raising funds and building a back bench of future candidates, a person who could have delivered the conservative message to a broad audience, not just to narrow focused constituency.
    It is the children who will act as if every comment is a negative remark.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Frankie your actions show you aren’t an adult. Calling yourself an adult doesn’t make it so your actions do, like uttering a profanity before storming out of the sco gop meeting. I’ll believe the people who were at the 35th district meeting who I consider to be very credible without any hidden agendas. Funny the only person who even thought of the term token was Ruth and it was stated at a district ripe with bigotry and racism. The very arrogance at yesterdays election by those who thought Ruth would win hands down was all I needed to witness. There were enough sour grapes yesterday to make cases of vinegar. But hey why let the truth interfere with your agenda right?

  7. Frank Knotts says:

    Anonymous, you were not at the 35th meeting, I was and I know what I heard, you on the other hand are merely repeating second-hand, hearsay misinformation.
    As for a “HIDDEN” agenda? What would that be? I am most likely the most out front person you will ever know. I say what I feel and let those who disagree, say what they will.

  8. Mike Protack says:

    The sad but constant reality is their is no concrete plan for NCC so the convention was a non event, ceremonial at best.

    Sure, the personalities trump policy in the Delaware GOP but that has been going on for a long time and when Mike Castle lost it was similar to when Tito died and Yugoslavia imploded into violence.

    The byzantine workings of the De GOP will continue until there is a solid leader for NCC.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Frankie you continually post misinformation about people, when your confronted personally you don’t say anything. It’s been going on for years that my friend is how a coward acts. You don’t let those who disagree say what they will you have in the past vowed in your own words to destroy them. I saw how you let Jeffie say what he will last month you got up and stormed out. As far as what was stated at the 35th you have zero credibility I heard the same information from 4 different people who were present at the meeting none of them has any reason to be untruthful. Frankie to bad I can’t say the same about you.

  10. Book says:

    Frank, agree with everything but saying Mrs. Jordan was a tireless worker at the RDC level. If you meant tirelessly doing nothing to elect Republicans, well than, mea culpa.

  11. Frank Knotts says:

    Book, I may have gone too far in trying to give Mrs. Jordan the benefit of the doubt, I am sure there are people, you may be one, who have worked within the districts that she has chaired, who know better than I, her record of work, if I over-stated her efforts, mea culpa.
    Anonymous, your are joking right? When you say that people at the 35th have no reason to be untruthful. Many of my fellow committee members have a built in distrust and or hatred of any elected official. Simply by winning an election a person becomes someone who can’t be trusted in their view.
    As for my walking out of the county meeting, how did that stop Mr. Cragg from saying what he would? He actually was left to say anything he wished without my responding, publically. As for anything I write here, all are welcome to respond within the stated rules, I unlike other bloggers do not wear out the deletion button in an attempt to silence my opposition. I prefer to highlight them, to better demonstrate their true selves. I would like to thank you for playing along.
    As for vowing to destroy anyone, please give examples, and links to where I said these things, or at least disclose your secret identity so people can weigh the truth of your accusations. I have never vowed to destroy anyone, either in print or verbally. You are once again projecting your own views upon myself.
    Now as I have told others, calling me Frankie is a weak attempt to insult me since I have been called Frankie my entire life, usually by family or friends, so if that is the best you’ve got? well keep trying.

  12. Mike Protack says:

    NCC? We need to have an active chair or vice chair from NCC , the challenge is NCC.

    26 out of 28 unchallenged races last year were in NCC and there has not been any leadership in NCC for four years.

    Right now, there is no plan and no chance.

  13. Karen says:

    I just happened on this post and I don’t plan to stay on this one other than to say Congratulations to everyone!

    This looks like a personal vendetta between a couple of you guys.

    Put on your big boy pants and let’s get some work done! Reach out to these new people and offer them your help if you want to see a positive change in the GOP.

  14. Frank Knotts says:

    Karen says, “This looks like a personal vendetta between a couple of you guys.”
    There you go again, victim status! It has to be personal, it can’t be simply an honest opinion of the situation.

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