Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Restoring the Republican Brand

As we move through the process of selecting a new Chairman, it is important that you have as much information as you can get to make an informed decision. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing with you some of the specific plans I have to turn the Republican Party in Michigan around.

Rebuilding a Strong Republican Party, Step One

The first thing we must do is "restore the brand." Republicans have been known for years as the party of less government, strong defense and social conservatism. More recently, who we are and what we stand for has become fuzzy in the minds of many voters. At the federal level, huge budget increases and the recent bailouts of private companies have tarnished our image as fiscal conservatives. Early missteps in the prosecution of the Iraq war and the constant drubbing by the press since have obscured the real successes we have achieved and have further hurt our image. Additionally, we have become splintered on some social issues.

In Michigan we were all damaged when a few members of the Republican caucus voted for parts of the biggest tax hike in state history. Over the last six years, since gaining a huge 63-47 majority in the House, we often went along with targeted tax and fee increases and too much growth of government. As our economy sputtered, we were unable to distinguish ourselves as the fiscal conservatives ready to offer solutions to turn things around economically.

Where do we go from here? This party has exactly what the voters and taxpayers are looking for. The problem is, we have not communicated nor carried it out effectively. How do we turn this around?

First, I am ready to work with the leadership in the Senate and the House to craft policy and a message that clearly communicates to the voting public that we stand for the things that matter to them, and we are willing to work hard to carry them out. As a six-year veteran of the House, I have experience with the workings of policy and politics in the legislature.

Second, I am ready to work with the district and county leadership of the party statewide to articulate our message as a party and begin to identify community leaders who can win House and Senate races. I traveled the state extensively in 2005 and all of the past year as a candidate for US Senate. I learned that while our key principles do not vary from one region of the state to another, they do have to be tailored and crafted for each district and county. One size does not fit all.

This will be challenging, but I believe it is the only way we will win back our donor and voter base and start winning elections again.

I look forward to your input and questions. I would be honored to have your endorsement. You may sign up here.

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