Republicans Need Marketing Consultants

I got four emails from Republican candidates today. They all sucked.

I’ve made every mistake they made, so I won’t beat anyone up over it.

But if conservative candidates want to win elections, they have to become—or hire—excellent marketers.

Everybody freaks out about the Democrat advantage in data, analytics, and social. But 80 percent of that gap is good execution of scientifically established marketing principles.

Republicans tend to despise marketing. They reject psychology. And they wonder why they get their butts kicked.

I’ve learned a lot about this stuff in the past few years. I’ve seen how one little change can double email open rates and increase click-thrus and forwards by 82 percent.

I’m working on a way to share this information with candidates I’d vote for. (If you think Chris Christie would make a great president, don’t bother applying.)

More to follow.

Name the One Tea Partier in the Race **CLARIFICATION**

I’ll save you some time: it’s Ed Martin. Please Consider

I’ve met the former Missouri GOP head and former US Ambassador to Luxembourg a couple of times. Ann Wagner is smart, funny, and engaging. I think she’d make an outstanding Republican candidate for the US House. If elected, she’d serve Missouri well.

Missouri and the tea party won’t be the big winners if Ann Wagner gets the nomination, though. That distinction would go to the Missouri Republican establishment—the same establishment that the tea party hopes to reform or replace.

The Tea Party vs. The Establishment

I’ll tell you straight: I did not give over my life to the Tea party two and a half years ago just to satisfy the GOP establishment. Far from it. I joined to save the damn country from both parties.

The very first Tea party on February 27, 2009, was a big gamble for politicians. Showing up meant endorsing an unknown. No one knew who I was or what this Tea party protest was about.

To attend the Tea party was to thumb your nose at the GOP.

Only four Missouri politicians braved the weather and risks that cold day to stand with the people on the steps of the Arch. Those four were John and Gina Loudon, Jim Lembke, and, of course, Ed Martin.

No, Ann Wagner wasn’t there that day. Nor was she, as far as I know, on April 15, 2009, or April 15, 2010. I did not see her at the dozens of rallies and protests throughout the area in 2009 and 2010.

That’s why I say Ed Martin is the only original Tea Partier in the race.

Ed Martin Was There

Ed Martin at St. Louis Tea Party HQEd knew nothing about Bill Hennessy on February 27, 2009. Nor did he know anyone who knew me. He knew Dana Loesch a bit, but Dana had never met me.

By taking the stage that on February 27, Ed, Dana, Lembke, the Loudons, Jackie Smith, and everyone else took a chance. I could have been a racist or anarchist. I could have been a problem.

But they came anyway.

Both the Loudons and Ed Martin told me later that they understood the personal career risk of showing up at the Tea Party Protest.

They also understood something else: “This country is going to hell in a hand basket, and if we don’t stop the slide right now, we won’t have a country to run for office in.”

So Ed came down and spoke. He also gave me advice in the days just before the event. Ed had been among the first to offer his help, but among the last to get my request for help. It took me until Wednesday to figure who Ed was.

In my book, that makes Ed Martin the only original Tea Partier in the race.

Republican Dirty Tricks?

I wanted you to know my thoughts on this race early, so there’s no confusion. I’ve been told that the Missouri GOP establishment plans to run a very dirty campaign against Ed and against his supporters.

We’ve been warned. Threatened, might be a better term.

Well, the Left’s been after you and me for over two years. Some in the Missouri GOP have hated us almost as long. When we come under attack from both sides, just remember to duck; they’ll take out each other.

Easy Wins

I know that some Tea Partiers will support Ann because they want to rack up an easy win. They figure that supporting the Republican Establishment’s candidate locks in victory. That’s fine. I want a big win, too.

But I want to win the war, not just a skirmish. And I want to win one for America and for the Gipper, not for the Establishment.

If I wasnted to please the GOP, I could have found a part time job in 2009 and sent all the money to the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. If I wanted an easy Republican win, I could have supported Dede Scozzafava in NY23 and claimed that victory. But I didn’t. I’ve worked too hard on this Tea party gig.

Ed’s a Winner

Ed Martin ran a brilliant campaign against Russ Carnahan last year, coming within 1 percentage point in a Democrat +7 district. No one in my lifetime had come so close. Running in the new Republican +5 2nd District, Ed Martin would blow Carnahan out of the water, all other things being equal.

Jeanette Cooperman wrote in St. Louis Magazine:

Martin came closer to winning than anyone predicted, taking rural areas and outer suburbs, Ste. Genevieve County, and Jefferson County before losing the city.

Besides, Ed Martin is the only original Tea Partier in the race.

Only One Tea Party Candidate

Ed Martin for CongressWere there no Tea Partiers in the race, I’d probably back Ann. But there is one, and only one, Tea Partier in the Republican race for Missouri’s new 2nds District. He earned that title, not by paying some organization for its endorsement, but by helping to organize the first events—before Tea partying was cool.

We asked Tea Partiers “Why Do You Tea Party” in 2009. When I read their answers, I realize that there is only one of us running for the 2nd District, and that’s Ed Martin.


This editorial--posted to my personal blog--is my opinion. It does not represent the official position of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition. I am sorry I did not make this clearer in the original.


Steve Tilley vs. the Constitution

And, he’s back. Missouri House Speaker Steve Tilley (R-Perryville) has signed onto legislation designed to circumvent the Electoral College in presidential elections. Like his position on embryonic stem cell research and the national debt, Tilley seems far out of step with Missouri’s Republican base on this. And this guy wants to be Lt. Governor?  Please.

This might be old news to some.

I see that Big Government’s Josie Wales blogged about the national effort last August. But this is the first I heard of it in Missouri, and the first I’d heard that Tilley’s a co-sponsor (h/t Caroline Mueller). As Josie said:

Under the progressive-statist plan to eliminate the electoral college, a state’s popular will would be rejected for the national will.  I cannot think of anything more un-democratic than changing someone’s vote without his consent!  But this is the plan states like Masachusetts now encourage.

Make no mistake: on this issue, Tilley sides with the hardest of the hard left.

The movement’s goal is to get states to require Electors to vote according to the national popular vote instead of the according to the way residents of a state vote.

For example, in 2008, Missouri’s 11 Electors voted for John McCain and Sarah Palin because they won the majority of votes in the state.  Under HB974, which Tilley co-sponsored, those votes would have gone to Barack Obama because Obama won the popular vote.

If the law passed in all 50 states, the electoral college would always be a unanimous vote for the popular vote winner, making the body meaningless.

Direct democracy fails.

The U.S. Constitution guarantees every state a republican form of government.  And as conservative activist Caroline Mueller pointed out privately, if we’re going to do away with the Electoral College, the way to do it is through a Constitutional Amendment, not legislative slight-of-hand. (Caroline says she opposes such an amendment, btw.)

But let’s not do it at all.

Luckily, conservative floor leader Tim Jones (R-Ballwin) and other conservatives in the House will fight against this measure to make Missouri’s electoral votes meaningless.

Team Tilley strikes out again.

P.S.  On our end of the political spectrum, Ed Martin has a State Sovereignty page up.

A Party, Not a Club

gop-elephant-dead Let’s face it: the Missouri GOP has become a club to advance the careers of a select few favorites. It is not a party to advance conservative principles. And that needs to change here and now.

And that means some old names need to retire.

Here’s just one example of the ideological impotence of the Missouri Republican Party:  The St. Louis County Assessor.

The GOP created the St. Louis County Assessor’s office because of corruption and incompetence in the political patronage version of the office under Democrats Buzz Westfall and Charlie Dooley. When it came to to actually fill the spot, though, the GOP – and its wealthy stars – kept their money and their time to themselves.

They handed an elective office to a far left Democrat because Chip Wood, the Republican candidate, was not one of them.  The Republican vanguard wanted Gene McNary—nice guy, but he lost the race in the Central Committee to Chip Wood.  So the Republicans took their ball and went home.

How selfish were these Republicans?

  • One State Senator from St. Louis County attended a $150 per person fundraiser for the candidate but paid only $100.  And if you think it had something to do with Chip’s property tax issue, think again. This Senator from an affluent area never asked for the money back after the story broke.
  • A rising start in the GOP House (who hopes to be Speaker one day) is busy amassing over $1 million for his re-election to the House.  A million bucks for a race in which he’s likely to run uncontested. He’ll spread that wealth around next year—to buy votes for the Speakership.  With tons of cash in the bank, this bright young man did little or nothing for the assessor race—yet his constituents will be disproportionately damaged when the elected Democrat assessor uses his power to redistribute wealth in St. Louis County.
  • In his race for the Senate, Jim Lembke worked tirelessly to win in a very tough district.  But the Missouri GOP did almost nothing to help.   In 2010, the Missouri GOP did as little as possible in St. Louis County.  The result: two state-wide Republican candidates who won their elections handily lost landslides in St. Louis County.

When the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition launched its Block Captain program in May 2010, the GOP was there—to discourage volunteers.  Realizing the power of boots on the ground in neighborhoods around the area, the GOP launched its own campaign to draw Tea Partiers into Township meetings and assure them that everything’s under control.  “Nothing to see here, so go on home.”

Some did.  Other Tea Partiers were wise enough to see through it.

What we need on the right is a party, not a club for the pretty people.

We have a year and a half to prepare for 2012.  As it stands, the GOP in Missouri is headed for a train wreck.  Its overwhelming majorities in the both state houses has produced little more than fluff.  Fluff and big bank accounts for the select few who want higher office.

The Tea Party’s mission is not to advance political careers, but to inspire people.  We assert our God-given right to liberty and our Constitutionally guaranteed right to a republican form of government.  Those guarantees existed before there was a Republican Party, and we expect those guarantees to stick around after the GOP folds its mildewed tent.

Favoritism for Jake Zimmerman’s Dad?

The Post-Dispatch says the County Assessor should be a political operative, not an expert in real estate values like L. K. “Chip” Wood. I disagree, and this story explains why Charlie Dooley’s regime needs fewer political hacks and more competent professionals. Troubling Questions for Zimmerman’s Assessor Campaign:

  • Why did the Zimmerman campaign take screen shots of Zimmerman’s dad’s real estate values on January 13, 2011, the day he was selected?
  • Why did the Zimmerman campaign try to deny Stu Zimmerman’s property tax cut by forwarding those old shots?
  • Why did someone update property tax records on March 25, the day after questions about favoritism first appeared?

On March 24,  24th State blog broke the story:  Stu Zimmerman received a significant reduction in his home’s assessed value in 2011.

I’ve learned since that the Zimmerman campaign produced documents from January 13—the day Jake Zimmerman was selected by the county Democrat Central Committee as their nominee for assessor.  These document show that the 2011 assessment wasn’t out yet.

That might have been true on January 13.  The question is, did Stu Zimmerman receive a significantly larger property tax break than his neighbors? Well, Zimmerman’s response didn’t answer that question, but seems to have been an attempt discredit 24th State’s story.

In reality, Stu got 16.6 percent off his assessment while his neighbors in comparable homes ranged from 2-4 percent reductions to 2 to 4 percent increases in assessed values.

Here’s the screen shots provided by the Zimmerman campaign on Friday, March 25:

Jake and Stuart Zimmerman Appraised Value-1.doc - Powered by Google Docs

Here’s a screen shot taken March 25 about 7:30 p.m.

Real Estate Information

And here’s a screenshot taken on March 24:

Clearly, the Zimmerman campaign is trying to hide the dropped assessment for candidate Jake’s dad. The question is “why?”