(Chuck Muth) – Bill Pojunis, I’m told, is the Communications Czar under Chairman SpongeBob Ruckman of the Clark County Republican Poker Tournament Party. And he is not a happy camper. Get a load of this email missile he sent out on the Fourth of July:
IF we really want to get down to brass tacks regarding this situation we face here in Nevada, we must face one indisputable fact – the “big moneyed Republican donors” have locked up their pocketbooks in light of the recent shift in the officers of the Clark County party, in whom they have no confidence. Whether this is a legitimate concern or simply “sour grapes” over the election of primarily “TEA Party” people remains to be seen. So, in Clark County, the party is basically the red-headed stepchild of the NRP, being punished for being upstart enough to try to upset the power structure. We have sitting incumbent Republicans who have voting records which fly in the face of former party platform provisions, even including overriding our Republican Governor’s veto of a tax increase. So, the discussion must be how are we ever going to hold these elected officials accountable, when there is, as has been stated, no mechanism for enforcement of the “suggestions” contained within the party platform, and those who ostensibly belong to our party still side with, and more importantly, vote with, the Democrats?
We were naïve enough to believe that we could put forth alternative candidates to challenge the incumbents, but were taught a painful lesson in how things work in Clark – the voting “public” – those uninvolved, couch potato RINO voters who did not take the time to listen to the messages, look at the records, and relied upon the same old system (read, “just vote ‘R’, keep the incumbents, they are familiar names”). Then they will just sit back and possibly might complain about how things are, but are too interested in American Idol finals, Desperate Housewives, and still ingest the slanted views of the Main Stream Media as fact without any questioning or investigation – that takes too much effort!
If we are ever going to make any difference in the political landscape in Nevada, those “deep pocket” Republican donors will have to see that our goals and their goals should be the same – to elect Conservative Republicans to every office available, up and down the ticket. We must unify the County Party before we can unify the State Party, and in so doing, we must put out the message that simply having an “R” after your name doesn’t make you a Republican, your voting record is available for all to see, and if you don’t want it to be publicized, change the way you vote, especially when it comes to tax issues and spending initiatives. Get the simple message, cutting spending is way preferable to increasing taxes – even if it might alienate some of the recipients of the government largesse that you think make up your constituency. Take a good, hard look at the voters in Clark County, and you will find that there are far more Conservative/Moderate voters than liberal leaning voters within the party. Unfortunately, we have a system that allows even the least informed among us to vote, with justification such as “He had great hair” or “She is gorgeous, think I’ll vote for her”.
Having only been a Nevada resident for five years, and way too concerned about the health problems which affected my wife prior to her passing in 2007, my involvement personally began in about March of 2008, when I realized that we stood a very good chance of electing a total empty suit, devoid of any managerial or executive experience, backed by tons of money which to date have still not all been traced to their source, and a candidate about which the public knew absolutely nothing – and it scared me to death. I started researching who this person actually was, and found the only information I could find on his background came from the foreign press, and was never allowed to become public knowledge in the US.
Trying to point out the associations, ideology, voting record, and the fact that he was the most liberal (radical) Senator in the Senate was ridiculed as hate mongering, racist and bigoted, prohibited the truth about him from ever becoming public knowledge. Couple that with the ridiculous system which allowed the Republicans to follow their tried and true method of putting up someone who “had been around the party, paid his dues and was ‘Entitled’ to the nomination’’ which gave us, once again, the lesser of two evils as the Republican standard bearer, a moderate/Progressive in sheep’s clothing, and the die was cast to burden the country with the most corrupt, Marxist-leaning administration in the country’s history.
So now we are facing the greatest challenge in the form of midterm elections, probably the most important in our recent history, and our party in Nevada lost the opportunity to make any meaningful change, due to the primary election results, returning incumbents who need to re-examine their Republican loyalties, yet protected because we have no other method to hold them accountable, and they can just return to their “politics as usual in Nevada” stances. As I mentioned, I do not know much of the political history going back further than the last year and a half, but it seems to me that, unless those “Republicans” with the funds available begin to realize that we are one party, and loosen their purse strings, we are doomed to Democratic dominance for the next two decades – as a result of the redistricting that will occur once the Democrats solidify their hold on the State Asssembly, and God forbid, the Governor’s mansion.
The plain fact is that every political organization must be funded through members’ donations. In Clark County, with more than 240,000 registered Republicans, if we only got $2 per month from every one of them, we could become a truly powerful force, no longer dependent upon the benevolence of the “deep pocket” donors who traditionally provided all the funds, and expected to wield the power in return for their “generosity”. We are operating against a well-organized, and even more well-funded machine in the Democrats, thanks in large part to the Unions whose membership provide dues to various PACs through mandatory collection and contractual increases.
We lost the edge in Voter registration, again thanks to the well-oiled Democratic machine and their agents in Acorn, following principles espoused by Cloward and Piven, to overload the system with an insurmountable volume of new registrations, many of which were completely fraudulent, but which clogged the system to such an extent as to make their verification almost impossible. How much actual voter fraud occurred is indeterminable, and is one example of the need for reform of the entire registration process, in order to try to prevent such abuses in the future. But that will take legislators with enough courage to buck the system, and do the right thing! And, with the lack of any form of enforceable mechanism by which to hold them accountable, what action can we take. Except for the ballot box, there is no other way to remove them – unless we use the provision to recall them available to us in Nevada. That requires petitions from more than 25% of the total votes cast in their election – not terrible in local elections, but state wide could be almost impossible. Then, the reason for the recall must be presented, and the official has up to sixty days in which to answer the complaint, before any action is taken. So, this “solution” may not be any solution at all!
Ah, so much to comment on here.
1.) Yep, the big-money establishment Republicans that the grassroots insurgents who took over CCRP pissed and moaned about so often have, understandably, closed their wallets. Why would people donate money to people who do nothing but dump on the people donating the money? If you want big money from the big money donors, you might want to consider the wisdom about catching flies with honey as opposed to vinegar.
2.) Looking at how the CCRP has become nothing short of an embarrassing circus under Chairman SpongeBob, why in the world would donors have any confidence in it? SpongeBob & Company have done virtually nothing effective with the local county party (other than change some bylaws – big whoop), but somehow feel they should also be running the state party? What planet do these people live on?
3.) The enforcement mechanisms available to rein in Republican elected officials who wander too far off the reservation include: (a) issuing official censures – as former Chairman Bernie Zadrowski did when some GOP legislators voted to raise taxes last session – which can be used against those elected officials in future primaries, (b) issuing pre-primary party endorsements under a well-advertised and fair program, and (c) challenging RINOs in GOP primaries in down-ballot races. People with little money and even less campaign and governing experience – like Bill Parson and Robin Titus – should have be running for the state Assembly, not the U.S. Senate.
4.) The average voting public is uninvolved and ill-informed? Stop the presses! Welcome to the real world, folks.
5.) “We must unify the County Party before we can unify the State Party, and in so doing, we must put out the message that simply having an ‘R’ after your name doesn’t make you a Republican, your voting record is available for all to see, and if you don’t want it to be publicized, change the way you vote, especially when it comes to tax issues and spending initiatives. Get the simple message, cutting spending is way preferable to increasing taxes – even if it might alienate some of the recipients of the government largesse that you think make up your constituency.” This statement from Mr. Pojunis should be etched in stone.
6.) Welcome to the Golden Rule of politics: He who has the gold, makes the rules. Of course big-money donors will want a big say in how their money is spent. It’s THEIR money! As for getting 240,000 registered Republicans to commit to giving the party $2 a month….good luck with that.
7.) Actually, the recall option is absolutely a viable option. Believe you me, elected officials know that recalls are seldom successful; however, they also would prefer to avoid them like the plague. I assure you what turned out to be an empty threat to recall Sen. Bill Raggio last year absolutely, positively got his attention. Defending against an organized recall effort takes time, energy and money – three things no elected official has an unlimited amount of. And as a side benefit, recall efforts are great at improving grassroots organizing. Again, you don’t necessarily have to succeed in a recall effort for recall efforts to be effective. They can be used as a formidable threat.
Here’s the main thing about Mr. Pojunis’ rant. He’s a self-described political “newbie,” only getting engaged a year and half ago – about the same time as many tea party activists. And he and others like him were successful in taking control of the Clark County Republican Party. The problem is they didn’t know what to do with it once they got it and decided to throw out the baby with the bath-water.
Instead of purging the party organization of moderate and liberal Republican leaders, they also tossed overboard conservatives who have been around fighting these fights for a LONG time. The newbies didn’t want the “old-timers” with real-world political experience hanging around. So they were purged, as well, and what we ended up with at CCRP was Lord of the Flies.
The good news; however, is Mr. Pojunis’ rant indicates that at least some of the energized insurgents like him are starting to recognize that running a political organization is a lot tougher than it looks, and much harder than taking it over. That it takes money to win races and run an effective political operation. That the people with the money need to be treated with a bit more respect than they have been. That conservatives with experience bring a lot to the table. That the newbies can learn a lot from the old-timers if they’d only welcome their advice and ask for it.
Mr. Pojunis’ letter indicates there’s hope for the growing conservative movement within the Republican ranks here in Nevada, but probably not until clowns like Chairman SpongeBob Ruckman are replaced with level-headed, open-minded potential future leaders like Bill Pujonis. Keep ranting, Bill.