Saturday, January 26, 2008

Billy McCoy versus the GOP

State Rep. Billy McCoy was reelected House Speaker by the narrowest of margins, 62-60. In doing so, he did not get ONE Republican to vote for him. All 47 Republicans voted for Rep. Jeff Smith for Speaker. Smith also picked up thirteen Democratic State Representatives, two of them coming from the Legislative Black Caucus. The Democrats voted 62-13 for McCoy and the GOP voted 47-0 for Smith.

In retaliation, McCoy appointed all Democrats to House committee chairmanships. The only GOPers who got anything were freshmen appointed to vice chairmanships. But what did the GOP expect? They can scream and holler all they want, but they got what they deserved. Billy McCoy doesn't have to give them squat. To the victors belong the spoils. And you get your just desserts for raw partisanship.

Don't get me wrong. I'm FOR brass knuckles, blood gushing, groin kicking raw partisanship. I want both sides to present their arguments and to fight vigorously for them. I want screaming and nastiness on the legislative floors. Let the legislators passionately fight for their beliefs and ideals. I utterly despise State Rep. Steve Holland (D-Plantersville). He's a total jerk and other raw adjectives which I will not print. I think he barely passes for human. But I admire his raw partisanship. I admire his willingness to fight for what he believes in.

The GOP should learn a lesson here. Winning statewide races is great. But that means little if you can't win the legislative races. In a supposed Republican year, the GOP did not gain one seat in the House (It remained the same.) and lost three in the State Senate. If the GOP had used its resources for the legislative races they may have turned around a few seats in the House. But they were obsessed with winning those state races.

The GOP is going to learn the hard way that it's the small races that matter. The GOP should have a "Republican Legislature Victory Fund" or something like that. I would concentrate on winning more seats after redistricting in the 2011 elections. I would pour in tens of thousands of dollars in winning the marginal districts. Indeed, I would start recruiting candidates after the 2008 general election.

The GOP deserves no sympathy from anybody. They played raw partisanship in the House and lost. Live with it. And do something to win more legislative seats in 2011.

1 comment:

John Leek said...

Just a couple points.

"The only GOPers who got anything were freshmen appointed to vice chairmanships."

My own Representative Republican Hank Zuber has been in for a while (definitely not a freshman) and he was appointed a vice chairman. I didn't look into the history of all of them, but this is one I know.

"The GOP should have a "Republican Legislature Victory Fund" or something like that."

The Democrats' VPAC was a response to the couple dozen business PAC's that started up that primarily or exclusively support Republicans.

Democrats may have had the biggest PAC (and I'm not even sure about that), but they were likely outspent by Republican PACs and independent expenditures by a huge margin.

"Indeed, I would start recruiting candidates after the 2008 general election. "

Unlike the Democrats who tend to not have enough money for day to day business Republicans already have this covered.

They have someone employed by the state Republican party whose full time job is to find and recruit candidates. Those recruits weren't good enough to unseat many incumbents, but Republicans are pro-active here.