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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    A 2 For 13 Record . . . And He Wants To Keep His Job

    By Kevin Rex Heine, Section News
    Posted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:56:10 PM EST
    Tags: Mitt Romney (loss), Pete Hoekstra (loss), Todd Courser (loss), Melanie Kurdys (loss), Dan Horning (loss), Rob Steele (loss), Melanie Foster (loss), Jeff Sakwa (loss), Michael Busuito (loss), Satish Jasti (loss), Stephen Markman (win), Colleen O'Brien (loss), Brian Zahra (win), Schostak Must Go (all tags)

    Most everyone reading this site recalls, likely with disgust, the 2008 Detroit Lions season, in which the team originally known as the Portsmouth Spartans became only the second team in the post-merger NFL to rack up nothing but losses during an entire regular season.  Team president and CEO Matt Millen was fired on September 24 (during the bye week), after eight years of management in which the team accumulated a league-worst record of 31 wins and 84 losses.  Head coach Rod Marinelli and most of his assistants were fired the day after the season ended, and even though I don't think that was really necessary, as a military veteran I get that the guy in charge has to answer for such a grave failure, regardless of his personal culpability.

    And yet, for the second time in my personal involvement with the Michigan Republican Party, we have a state party chairman trying to leverage a disappointing Election Day performance into somehow retaining his seat, though to be fair the 2012 defeat is perhaps best characterized as only slightly less devastating than the two shellackings we suffered through under Saul Anuzis.  However, unlike 2007, when Saulius ran effectively unopposed for state chair, Mr. Robert I. Schostak does indeed face a serious challenger to his continued tenure as MIGOP Chairman.  Though Chairman B. S. touts his election year successes as reason to retain him in his position, methinks this is so much . . . well . . . blown smoke.

    In the e-mails that he's been sending out defending his record, Chairman Schostak likes to tout that the Michigan Victory Center Network reached out to over four million voters (including knocking on one million doors), that he allegedly raised $26 million, and that state party allegedly implemented an absentee voter program that helped candidates win in Michigan.  He also speaks of the fact that the republicans kept their majorities in the U. S. House, the State House, and the State Supreme Court as evidence of his success.  So, apparently, "not losing ground" is considered to be successful these days.

    I don't buy it.  In fact, honestly examined, I don't view Schostak's record as state party chairman as being all that impressive.

    Let's start with the State House campaign.  Even though we flipped one seat (District 39, where Klint Kresto ousted Pam Jackson) and picked up another one due to reapportionment, the net loss was still four seats.  Yes, the Michigan Republicans still maintain a majority in the State House, but the margin-of-majority has been cut in half; and there are 6 known squishies in that Republican Caucus (the same six who voted against Freedom To Work legislation during the lame-duck session), which could make tight votes on "controversial" legislation problematic.  Yeah, way to hang onto that majority there, SHOW-stak.  Oh and by the way, the House Legislative Caucus and its campaign committee did most of the strategy work, so the grassroots activists at least share credit for not losing the State House to the dems, but you won't hear B. S. mentioning that anytime soon.

    What about the U. S. House campaign?  Yes, eight of the nine republican incumbents were returned to DC in the election, and Kerry Bentivolio was elected to replace the disgraced Thad McCotter.  But, as we pointed out at the time, Chairman Weasel was caught trying to broker a deal with Chairman Snake-in-the-grass in order to obviate the need for a special primary, but that would have boxed out Bentivolio's legitimate and properly filed candidacy.  Also, there were two congressional districts that could have been flipped (Districts 5 and 9) had Schostak committed resources to do so.  He didn't, so they weren't, and we're right back where we started two years ago, yet this is somehow evidence of a successful federal campaign.

    Another thing about that fundraising.  Depending on whose account you believe, Chairman Bobby has claimed between $26 and $33 million as his fundraising accomplishment for the state party (his own campaign e-mails claim the lower figure), yet the Open Secrets Republican Party of Michigan summary data, which is extracted from actual FEC filings, total receipts for 2012 election cycle are only $10,756,195.  Granted, that's more than his three immediate predecessors were able to accomplish in a single election cycle, but there's still a discrepancy (on the order of $16 to $23 million) between what's being claimed and what the record actually shows.  And since Schostak doesn't appear interested in opening the state party's books up to a pre-convention audit, we're not likely to know why that discrepancy exists, never mind where it went.

    As far as the voter contacts go, whatever the numbers were, tens of thousands of hours that volunteers spent on phones and knocking on doors were squandered and disrespected, because the state party didn't have a reliable method of getting out the vote on election day.  This problem was as a result of having inadequate technology and communications (as the GOP is woefully inadequate in social media and contact development).  In many victory centers volunteers were not sent out for anyone but the presidential nominee, and occasionally one or two other high-profile races.  Down-ticket candidates were not included in literature distribution or allowed to participate on behalf of the national slate.

    And that brings me to the point of this whole article.

    There were 13 statewide seats up for election last November.  Just as a refresher, they were:

    • Michigan's Electoral College delegation (awarded on a winter-take-all basis at large)
    • Michigan's Class 1 U. S. Senate seat
    • Two seats on the Michigan Board of Education
    • Two seats on the University of Michigan Board of Regents
    • Two seats on the Michigan State University Board of Trustees
    • Two seats on the Wayne State University Board of Governors
    • Two full-term seats on the Michigan Supreme Court
    • One partial-term incumbent seat on the Michigan Supreme Court (that must stand for re-election in 2014)

    . . . thirteen seats in total.  More importantly, with only three exceptions that I remember, those 13 statewide seats were flip opportunities.  Of those 13, the only two we won were in non-partisan races with incumbent titles under their names.  And in those two races, most of the money came from other sources; Schostak had little if anything to do with the strategy or tactics of the Supreme Court race.  In fact, as I recall it, for a full four weeks following the MIGOP State Convention in September, the democrats dominated the airwaves with advertising for their slate of SCOMI nominees - a slate designed to appeal to women and minority voters - without so much as a peep out of the republicans, or their coalition allies, in response.

    I've observed before in articles posted on this site that Debbie Stabenow was one of eleven vulnerable democrat senate incumbents last year, and Pete Hoekstra observed in his address to the state convention on September 8th that his challenge to Debbie the Dangerously Incompetent had been moved into the toss-up column.  I've also observed before on this site that Michigan was one of eleven states that were classified as toss-up states the day before the election.  Now that I think about it, I don't recall seeing or hearing any advertising for any republican federal candidates (president, senate, or house) at all during the months of August and September, except for what the candidates themselves paid for.

    So, by his own claims, Chairman B. S. was personally responsible for $26 million dollars raised and 4.4 million voters contacted, but for two-thirds of the general campaign couldn't be bothered to buy advertising for federal candidates challenging vulnerable democrat incumbents, or to purchase advertising for our own vulnerable incumbents (Amash, Benishek, and Bentivolio).  Yes, the question of where that money came from and where it went absolutely ought to be answered.

    Going back to what Laura Ingraham said in the audio clip, all 13 of those statewide seats should have been gimmies.  Plus, we should have been able to flip two vulnerable federal house seats.  Yet, the best that SHOW-stak can offer up for his failure to accomplish that is that at least we didn't lose our majority presence.

    Two for thirteen.  Excuses won't cut it, and I'm not interested in spin jobs.  I think that an explanation in is order.  And if one isn't forthcoming, then a change in leadership ought to be.

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    The Left has no enemies... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Corinthian Scales on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:15:25 AM EST
    ...from the Schostak Republican Middle.  

    Hell, even the Trotskyites are taking notice of this fact.

    I've wrote before that those who think they can endure ethics issues, and dwindling ROI should support Schostak - and they have.

    I just don't want to hear any b!tching from those who support Third world voting Bobby while professing to be Conservatives when they get bludgeoned by the incremental Left with the unethical, it's about money Schostak Middle.

    Audit the Party books.

    Well said Kevin (none / 0) (#2)
    by JGillman on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 10:29:57 AM EST
    Now excuse me while I hit the delete button on what would be only echoing commentary.

    Though a little section is worth posting - at least with regard to the congressional races:

    "So for the meantime I guess its good enough that we didn't lose a lot of ground right?

    So conservative Republicans should be happy right?  Republican leadership has delivered!  Doing the job. But are they?

    Already referenced, was the Amash district punk.  Yeah Tim picked up a little better district protection, but it was putting a specific type of incumbent at risk;  a "Tea Type".  Also mentioned, the McCotter vacated seat in the 11th.  What brainiac came up with the idea to run a has been former legislative puppet against a legitimately nominated Republican?  The funny thing is that even that winner is now already nose on finger to the leadership, and would make party flunkies proud.

    Seen that before.

    OK.  Not fair.  Coulda woulda shoulda games are always speculative.  No matter the strange behavior of our leadership.  We won those seats, so they get the credit."


    As an aside, the finance comparison ($26mil to $11mil) might be explained if there is a federal and state reporting difference.  Not sure.

    This is a bit unfair (none / 0) (#7)
    by Conservative First on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 03:03:02 PM EST
    I don't think it is fair to blame a party chairman for all the election returns.  The primary blame goes to the national environment, then the individual candidates, then the party and other outside groups.  The state party chairman has no control of state demographics, virtually no control of the national environment, and very limited influence on candidate selection.

    Evaluation of the election results needs to consider historical trends.  The last time a Republican Presidential nominee won Michigan was 1988.

    The last time Michigan elected a Republican senator was in the 1994 midterm, when Spence Abraham won an open seat in a Republican wave.  The last time before that was Robert Griffin's reelection in 1972.  The last time a Republican defeated an incumbent democrat senator was 1952, when moderate Charles Potter beat appointee Blair Moody.  The last time a Republican beat a democrat who had been elected to his seat was in 1942 when Homer Ferguson beat Prentiss Brown. These are the only times since 1900 that a Republican has beat an incumbent democrat for a US senate seat in Michigan.

    In 2008, MIGOP won no statewide offices.  In 2004, we won only two partisan statewide offices.  Presidential years are tough for Michigan Republicans, while midterms are much better.  Compared to past results, the 2012 results weren't all that terrible.

    I don't have answers to your questions on fundraising, technology, and advertising.  Those questions are legitimate and I agree that Mr. Schostak needs to answer them before the state convention.

    A couple more thoughts (none / 0) (#8)
    by Conservative First on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 03:10:26 PM EST
    Pete Hoekstra ran a terrible campaign.  I don't think this race was ever a tossup (Stabenow led most polls) but Hoekstra never recovered from his Superbowl ad.

    There was no chance we were going to win districts 5 or 9.  The only time we could ever win these districts is in wave elections with extremely bad dem candidates, which Dan Kildee and Sander Levin weren't.  I think the last Repbublicans to win 5 were Snyder 2010 and Engler and Miller 1998.

    It should be noted . . . (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Kevin Rex Heine on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 08:23:14 AM EST
    . . . that, upon further review, the Schostak record is worse than the headline would suggest.  As Todd Courser has pointed out, in spite of having a candidate in every single partisan race on the November ballot, at every level (federal, state, county, and local) -- something that the MDP was unable to accomplish -- in spite of that, and the oodles of money spent, the MIGOP still lost 62% of all partisan races in the November 2012 election.

    It seems to me that a MLB manager, or an NBA or NHL head coach, who finishes a season with a 38 - 62 record is gonna have some splainin' to do after the season's over.  Well, Mr. Schostak, let's hear your explanation.

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