by Kevin Wright, 3/22/17
Attended my 3rd GAGOP Chair debate hosted by Coweta Republicans last night March 21st. Here are my admittedly biased observations but they are my own. I tried to make them unique and value added from previous posts:
1.Republican Party "branding" was the main issue last night and not fund raising. An issue which played magnificently into Alex Johnson's core message and one which he communicates with a sincerity and demonstrated experience that the others were unable to match. It did allow John Watson to avoid his still awkward response to the conflict between his private lobbying interests and those of the party. I wish he had been asked if he PERSONALLY is still in favor of casino gambling and Opportunity School District as he stated in the 1st debate or if his view has "evolved".
2. Michael McNeely repeated more than once a point he's often made about his desire to renew the GAGOP regular newsletter to keep the grassroots informed. A great idea, but later someone asked me "If he believes that then why did it not happen during his tenure the past two years as GAGOP VC? Is the GAGOP so bankrupt at the top that it could not do what is clearly the right thing to do?" Good point and I would add the same is true of its failure to publish the GAGOP resolutions within 90 days of last year's convention. Still waiting!
3. Watson was politically adept to pander to one person in the audience: GAGOP Treasurer Mansell McCord who is running for re-election. His praise of the treasurer for having fought fiercely to draw attention to the State GOP's money mismanagement drew applause. While this may be true and perhaps his efforts are known to GOP insiders but not to the grassroots. I wonder why no one on the state executive board was willing to pull a Donald Trump or Ronald Reagan and take the issue to the people? County Republicans, fully informed, would not have countenanced management of their money is such an un-conservative manner.
4. Governor Deal was not a favorite in this particular crowd and many cheered the audience question "Yes or no would you as chair do everything in your power to ensure a REAL Republican gets elected to be governor and lieutenant governor?". Each candidate, save one, readily responded YES! Watson's lawyerly response was that he would support whoever the party decides they want. Surprisingly the least lawyerly respondent last night was Alex Johnson-a lawyer.
5. The night's lead off discussion was about the disconnect between serving business interests and the preponderance of Georgians who are guided by their religious faith. A great question and arguably many other Georgians, perhaps less religious, are at odds with GA government for what they believe to be "crony capitalism" or currying favor with select businesses. Each candidate, as expected appear to have unquestionable faith and are Republicans. The question is which one will best serve what no one argues is a party at a crossroads which must be united around its core values and discover the means to stem the tide of progressive blue. My faith lies, first in God, then my God given ability to reason and then in Alex Johnson as our next chairman of the GAGOP.
Source: New Georgia Republican Leadership for Principles not Politicians Facebook