Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The battle is ours-
the outcome is Gods
General Stonewall Jackson

When Oklahoma State GOP Chairman Gary Jones told me he was going to file for Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector and would likely step aside as State Party Chairman, I immediately thought, “WHY DON’T I RUN?” I have run a business (food brokerage firm), been in consumer product sales for over 35 years, and been a Party official and active at the grassroots level in the GOP for twenty years. Who is more qualified to be GOP State Chair than I am? The answer is- NO ONE is more qualified to run for State Chair than I am. No one has contributed a larger combination of their time, treasure, and talent into building the OKGOP grassroots than I have. No one wants to see America returned to the principles of our U.S. Constitution more than I do. No one wants to see lasting change in our federal, state, and local government more than I do.
I received a few calls encouraging me to run and I appreciate those people who believe I am the person to lead the Oklahoma Republican Party. I believe they are right! I would, by God’s grace, be a good State Party Chairman.
Four things the new Oklahoma Republican Party Chair must accomplish to leave a lasting, meaningful change in Oklahoma:

First, the new Chair must build a grassroots base of volunteers that can get principled, ethical people elected. We need to recognize that true lasting change will be from the bottom up. We need conservatives to run for school board, city council, and county offices. We need conservatives to serve on appointed boards and to get engaged and stay engaged ALL THE TIME. In order to accomplish that, we need committed volunteers.

Principled, ethical GOP elected officials should be at the forefront of helping build the Party. I have heard the comment from some Republican elected officials- “why should I help the Party- they didn’t help me.” Really? The GOP provided you an identity- the principles and platform of the Party helped ‘define’ you in the voter’s mind. If you don’t believe that- try running as an Independent the next election. Your unwillingness to help build the Party shows a lack of conviction and commitment to conservative causes or principles. It 'defines' you as selfish and overly ambitious. Republican elected official- if your county doesn’t have a functioning GOP organization, you should make it your goal to help build one- and the new State Chair should be pushing you to do it.
Second, the new Chair must help recruit, train and retain a team of leaders at the County/District level that will leave a lasting legacy of change. All too often we have volunteers who we only see every two years from September- November. We need to keep volunteers engaged and involved. We want to wear out volunteers, not rust them out. By raising the visibility of the GOP in the county and having regular monthly meetings, Republicans can ‘educate’ the general public on issues. Boot Camps should be conducted in every district annually to train volunteers. The trainers should be veteran grassroots activists- not consultants or ‘shadow party’ groups/PACs. I find it amusing that we have people who have done nothing training volunteers to do everything.
Third, the new Chair must build a small donor base that will fund the efforts of the Party. When a thousand people give $200, it will have more impact than when twenty people give $10,000. The new Chair must be someone who can ‘sell’ the vision of building the Party from the bottom up. That type of effort will not appeal to the ‘big’ money, because they recognize their influence would be diluted, but any lasting change has to include a building of a small donor base. There is no such thing as a 'free lunch,' and anyone who believes that big money donors don't expect something from their investment are naive.
Fourth, the new Chair has to be fair. They have to let primaries determine the Party’s nominee- not the Party insiders. They have to give everyone a voice under fair and equitable rules. Senior elected officials should show respect for the rank and file Republican voter by ‘staying out the races’ until the primary is over.
I believe I can do all the things listed. I believe God has given me- by his grace- the skill set, the work habits and the background to accomplish all the things necessary to be an effective State Party Chair.


I cannot get peace about taking a massive pay cut to be Party Chairman. If elected Party Chair, I would have to quit my job and at this point, I don’t believe that would be prudent or wise. The Party should consider moving to a system where the Party Chairman is not also Executive Director(requiring someone to be full time), but at this time that is not the case. One of two things should be done- either get the Chairman’s pay to the level it should be- a workman is worthy of his hire- or go to the system mentioned above.
I also know that being Party Chair would require me to work with some people with an ‘R’ by their name that are not principled, ethical individuals. I don’t want to come across as being self-righteous because I am nothing but a depraved creature who has experienced the regenerating work of Christ, but I’m afraid being Party Chair would require me to deal with those whose selfish ambitions and goals are not pure. I am unwilling to compromise my convictions and practice situational ethics. I cannot either keep quiet or support people with whom I have little or no respect. I currently speak my mind in weekly editorials that are often critical of Republicans who misbehave or who abandon our principles or platform. As State Chair, my candor would not be appropriate nor appreciated.

At this time, no ‘grassroots’ candidate for State Chairman has emerged. By God’s grace, perhaps one will before June 26th.


Cheryl Williams said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I fully inderstand your position Steve. I respect your honesty and candor. I do truly hope that someone such as you described will step forward. However I don't think that will happen.