Notes from the Chair - October 1, 2017



On Wed, September 27th, I was fortunate to be invited by Steve House to a very small dinner in Denver. Steve, state party chair during the last election cycle, hosted guest speaker Retired Lt. General Jerry Boykin who gave an amazingly insightful speech on the state of the world today. It was such a privilege to be included and to have the General share his experience and expertise with this intimate group.

Boykin, a 3 star general, served as Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence under President George W. Bush and had a long and illustrious 36 year career spending 13 years in Delta Force and many high profile missions including the 1980 Iran Hostage rescue attempt, the hunt for Pablo Escobar in Columbia and Black Hawk down in Somalia.

While he covered a long list of topics, most pertinent was his assessment of President Trump. He is supportive of the president and particularly his handling of North Korea. He views Kim Jung Un as very dangerous but thinks Trump is on the right track in his dealings with him. When asked why the North Korean leader was behaving as he has been he said, pure and simple, he wants to be acknowledged as a world power even though he has no economy.

He interestingly views Putin as the most effective’ leader on the world’s stage today, Even if you don't agree with his tactics, he gets the job done for Russia. I guess I was unaware that Russia only has a population of 150mil and rapidly declining which makes the challenges he faces, given the size of Russia and the extent of its borders, more onerous.

Then a few miscellaneous comments, he thinks: Netanyahu probably won't win re-election and could go to jail; China is in trouble; doesn’t know why McMasters still has a job; and why so many White House positions are still unfilled

Wow. That was a lot to take in but in many ways, the best was last when Steve took over because he outlined the next election cycle.

In meeting with the party leaders in DC, he has been told that Virginia, Nevada and Colorado will be targeted as key states to win and the party is committing resources to achieve that goal.

Locally, the Governor’s race is shaping up to be a big dollar event with estimates of up to $25mil with the Republican Governor’s Association stepping in with more than $10mil. As many of you know, the seriousness of this year’s race result is directly tied to redistricting.

District lines are redrawn every 10 years following completion of the United States Census which in this case happens in 2020. The federal government stipulates that districts must have nearly equal populations and must not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity. But I’m sure you’ve all heard of gerrymandering, the term used to describe the manipulation of district lines to create a specific party’s ability to exert political control of that district.

You might wonder what that has to do with the Governor’s race. Well, it’s pretty simple. A Committee is formed to draw those lines and here’s how those committee member appointments are decided. The House majority leader appoints 4 people. The House minority leader also appoints 4. So far, so good. All is even. 4 Republicans, 4 Democrats. Now comes the tipping point. The Governor gets to appoint 3 more. Is it any wonder that he will appoint 3 members from his own party? And then the scale tips. And if we aren’t in charge of tipping those scales, we will suffer for the next 10 years, until another census when the process starts all over again. And we will be at the mercy of the other party for 10 long painful years, but just as an FYI, the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court also gets to make 4 appointments. I would hope for some semblance of fair play there but don’t forget, she was appointed by the current Governor so at best, it’ll be a crapshoot.

And that my friends is why this Governor’s race is our number 1 priority in the next election.

To be sure, we will work hard for all of our Republican candidates and as far as I can figure we will have 16 races on our ballot in 2018. But the Gov’s race will lead the way and set the tone for the rest of the candidates.

Something new this year is an Independent Expenditure Committee (IEC) that has been set up and will be managed by Steve and his predecessor, Ryan Call. Between the two of them, they will be working hard to make sure we win the Gov’s race, which will be their only focus. And neither of them will be taking any salary for the very important challenge that we will face as the expectation is that Jared Polis will head the D’s ticket and as you know, he seems to have unlimited resources.

So, so far things are shaping up to set the stage for success. Steve will be at my house on December 14 for our annual Christmas get together and will give us further updates. Please put it on your calendars and plan on bring your checkbook so we can really get this ball rolling in a big way.

And just a few kudos to all Eagle County Republicans who worked so hard during the last election and turned out to vote.







Kaye Ferry - Eagle County Republicans Chair

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