Friday, January 12, 2007

CT Republicans - Let The Transformation Begin

The much anticipated and certainly most definitely needed transformation of the leadership at the CTGOP has begun. With openings all across the board, and no where for the party to go but up, the next few weeks should define the next 5 to 10 years of the Republican party as we know it in Connecticut.

From today's Hartford Courant:

With the resignation of "Mama Jo" McKenzie and two other GOP stalwarts, Gov. M. Jodi Rell has the chance to place her stamp directly on the state Republican Party by filling the organization's most important positions.
McKenzie's departure comes at the same time Connecticut's other Republican National Committee member - Charles Glazer of Greenwich - is stepping down after being nominated by President Bush as ambassador to El Salvador.
[George] Gallo, too, will be leaving soon as the party's chairman, and he has already accepted a position as chief of staff for the state House Republicans. But Rell has asked him to remain in the position until a new leader is selected, which could occur in the coming weeks. He said it is historic that the three leaders will be replaced virtually simultaneously.

"These positions are coveted by a lot of our Republican base," Gallo said. "To have all three of these open at the same time is a unique situation. It's a unique opportunity for our governor to put a stamp on Connecticut Republican politics."
Longtime party insider Patricia Longo of Wilton is already campaigning for McKenzie's seat, which must be filled by a woman under the national committee rules calling for one man and one woman from each state. Longo now serves as the state party's vice chairwoman, and her elevation would open up another leadership post to replace her.

Longo should get one of the RNC spots. She has earned it. The article mentions State Rep. John Frey as a potential successor to Glazier. I have also heard Chris Healey, who ran Rob Simmons' campaign and is State Central Committee member, as a possibility for Glazier's seat but there may be other plans for him.

As for the Chairmanship; I would personally like to see Simmons get it. As I have posted on more than one occasion before, his work ethic and likeablity (amongst many other qualities) would certainly help the state GOP who despite Gallo's best efforts are in need of a big boost of energy and make-over. Simmons would provide just that.

Another possibility is a Simmons/Healey team at the top. If Longo gets the RNC spot the Vice-Chairman position would open up and Healey could slide right in. Makes sense as they worked well together on the campaign trail and share a similar Republican philosophy. I think either option would be the right medicine for a deathly sick elephant. Only time will tell.

Hartford Courant, January 12, 2007; Rell To Fill GOP Posts, Christopher Keating


bluecoat said...

disgruntled: did you or any other GOP locals know anything about this before I linked the article a few minutes ago?? There's not been much on this blog. I am anxious to see what granny - or I mean, Lisa -does.

disgruntled_republican said...

bluecoat -

I have known about this for a couple months but we republicans are a tight lipped group, much to our detrement at times. (And I was working on this for a little over an hour in between phone calls here at work - sorry, didn't mean to blow your thunder)

And ultimatley it is the State Central Committee that makes the call. The Governor will make her endorsements after consultation with many people in the party, not Lisa.

Anonymous said...

"I am anxious to see what granny - or I mean, Lisa - does."

blueCliff Clavincoat: It's consistently amazing how much you comment about things you understand so little.

Anonymous said...

bluecoat is trying hard to match cgg note for note

Connecticut Man 1 said...

"With openings all across the board, and no where for the party to go but up, the next few weeks should define the next 5 to 10 years of the Republican party as we know it in Connecticut."

While there is undoubtedly room to move up, I disagree that there is nowhere to go but up. There has been a major fracturing of the GOP "base" across the country... And that is still continuing to this day. It is possible that the CT GOP's last greatest victories may have been seen in the reelection of Joe Lieberman and Chris Shays.

I am not saying that it will get worse for the CT GOP... But thre is still room for more of a downward spiral. A lot of this will depend on the performance of the few remaining Republicans still standing and, of course, the performance of the Democratic party as well.

On the national side there are a lot of GOP incumbents coming in the next cycle that are in very bad positions as far as reelection possibilities. But they do still have about a year and a half to turn that around. Much of their opportunity to do that may depend on how far they are willing to go to stop Mr. Bush and Cheney.

Some of you in the GOP may not like this picture, but it is a reasonable depiction of the facts on the ground.

Anonymous said...


Deals done.

Anonymous said...

I heard Simmons was in the Governor's office this morning. Wonder why....

bluecoat said...

disgruntled (corrected salutation, sorry: you didn't blow my thunder, I was just curious and I see my monitor is back!!!Someday maybe he'll understand this is a blog not a Supreme Court pleading.

bluecoat said...

cgg: our little anonymous appears to have a literacy problem; while we agree on many things we don't agree on many state issues; everybody is here for their own purpose; some discuss and some just snipe; I wonder if the state cops see the snipers as a threat to public safety?

Anonymous said...

I don't know if the GOP powers really recognize the dire straits the party is in. It is sort of like alcoholics. Until they hit bottom, and realize they are at the bottom, they deny the problem exists. Simmons would be great as Chairman, but the task ahead is likely too great for one man.

Anonymous said...

The strength of the CTGOP is not on State Central...that group is a joke.

The short-term strength is obviously with three people: Rell, Shays, and Simmons. If Simmons takes over State Central, that is only way of this matters-- because his personal leadership and fundraising ability.

The long-term strength of the GOP is in the State Senate. They have a lot of young, moderate leaders in their 30's and 40's who will be the next generation of leadership: McKinney, Capiello, Rorabach, Fasano, Debicella, Caliguiri. Watch out for these guys (unless they start infighting and kill each other off!)

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

There's a lot more than what you see here (or anywhere else going on. There's more players than mentioned here as well.

And yes - we do tend to be tight lipped regarding the internal, behind the scenes workings of the party.

That's mostly due to tact and manners, so as to avoid getting various egos bent out of shape or (worse) hurting some perfectly decent person's feelings needlessly.

Mama Jo is a class act, I always enjoyed her.

Too many people w/in the party already know who ACR is or I'd post more regarding this topic.

On thing I will point out - Mel Martinez is slated to take over the RNC. Martinez is CUBAN and that should be more than a subtle signal as to the party's intentions.

Further, Martinez was first brought into politics by the Florida Republican Party Chair in the 1970's - none other than Miriam Musullo's cousin.

Anonymous said...

I'm suspecting that, based upon recent past history, the Governor will want to put in a female chairman. The pickings are pretty slim though, once you look at it.

Anonymous said...

Longo would have been a good pick for nat'l committee six years ago--but she's aged quickly and her selection would basically be trading one jo mckenzie for another.

TroubleMaker said...

List of possible GOP Chairs (based upon rumors and conversations):

Nancy Johnson (former Cong.)
Rob Simmons (former Cong.)
Chris Healy (longtime activist)
Pat Longo (CTGOP vice)
Themis Klarides (State Rep.)
Livvy Floren (State Rep.)
John Healey (RTC chair of Rocky Hill)
Chris Oliviera (SCC member)
Rob Russo (former Senate cand.)
Cathy Cook (former Senator & Compt. cand.)
Kevin Dineen (Rell camp. mgr.)
Judith Freedman (senator)
Michael Sone (Shays camp. mgr.)

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

TroubleMaker said...
List of possible GOP Chairs (based upon rumors and conversations):

John Healey (RTC chair of Rocky Hill)
Chris Oliviera (SCC member)

A pair of Mensa - "A" personalities.

Either would fill the job well.

For women, you're missing a couple that I've spoken to; one of which would have to be dragged kicking & screaming to the job; the other is a seasoned vet and survivor of mulitiple battles; who *amazingly* has collected but one politcal enemy. (In politics friends come & go, you collect enemies).

Were we to focus on selecting a woman;
I would move heaven & earth to get Anna Ruff McQuire to take the job.

cowboy said...

If Republican Senate candidates had run a campaign like Oliviera, the results would have been FAR better for the GOP. But the Party was again cursed by candidates who want to win without working for it.

Anonymous said...

Besides the fact that Anna McGuire has little to no working knowledge of modern campaigns or present-day state central operations and brings no fundraising or political relationships to the table---she's also cultivated a reputation for having a few screws loose. But if the only qualification is having been a CTGOP staffer a decade or two ago, then she's your girl.

Anonymous said...

Judy Freedman?

She's a frigg'in joke.

Cowboy -- you're right, Chris O worked very hard indeed.

Doesn't John Healey now work for Senate Republicans?

Anonymous said...

....she's also cultivated a reputation for having a few screws loose. But if the only qualification is having been a CTGOP staffer a decade or two ago, then she's your girl.

Nice to hear from you Mr. Foley.

Anonymous said...

Also worth mentioning that there are some forces within the party that aren't wild about this Gov. getting to put her stamp on CTGOP. Maybe if she ever acted like a GOPer, folks wouldn't mind so much.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

>>brings no fundraising or political relationships to the table

Plenty on both counts. Just not the usual self-centered opportunistic in it for their own self-gain characters that both parties seem to have an unhealthy surplus of as of late.

In fact she seemed to have a lot to do with a fundraiser I attended where this fellow showed up.

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

>>Doesn't John Healey now work for Senate Republicans?

No, that would make sense.

Anonymous said...

All good but need for new blood.

A new direction is needed

J.R. for E.D.