Original letter to the PA Republican State Committee members.
Dear PA Republican State Committee members and leadership,
No doubt you’re aware of the statewide unrest over the prospect of the PA State Committee endorsing a Senate candidate prior to the primary. I believe this would be antithetical to the purpose of a primary, and to the Republican ideals of small government and personal responsibility themselves. Because this would, in effect, remove the duty of voting from the citizenry and concentrate it to the hands of a few. Proponents of a pre-primary endorsement might say “No, they can still get on the ballot and people can still vote for unendorsed candidates”, but it is common knowledge that unendorsed candidates are basically blacklisted regardless of their message or political acumen, and the power of the endorsed-slate sample ballot and obligatory support by committee people for the endorsed are usually unmatched.
If “Message” wins the primary, then it is that message that resounds with voters whether before the primary or before the general. If you want to find the sentiment of the people (which is basically the GOP’s “head-start”, should they accept it), allow a Republican primary, THEN step in and support the PEOPLE’S endorsement. Lately there seems to be a low priority given to message, which has produced an apathetic, disinterested Republican base in PA. Reagan was “unelectable” and won, whereas McCain was supposed to be electable and lost. I implore the State Committee, let the candidates fight it out before the citizens of PA, let us get to know them, let us decide who can beat Casey based on merit. If money is the issue, money can be raised, and will be if the grassroots workers know their efforts won’t be assailed by an endorsed sample ballot. Use the electorate’s passion as your gauge of electability! I and many others will gladly work tirelessly for a candidate we know the people want; at least then I know the people have my back. This has nothing to do with whether I trust the judgment of our state committee – I do. This does have to do with this unseen pressure that many of them feel to carry out the wishes given from on-high when it’s not even time for that yet.
Would it not seem ridiculous if the NFC picked the Giants to be the NFC Champions before the season even started, regardless of the fact that the Eagles might be the only team good enough to win the Super Bowl? (Sorry Pittsburgh, NFC example. You’re AFC).
I respectfully request that the State Committee members and Leadership withhold endorsement until after the April 2012 primary.
Follow-up to a response to my letter:
I’ve been going to the debates and forums in my area, trying to do my due diligence (much like the state committee folks are doing). I am hesitant to say that I, Jim “Average Citizen” Devlin, am supporting anybody right now; I don’t want my concern to be interpreted as an attempt at electioneering, and I am not involved in anyone’s campaign. Based on what I’ve seen, I believe one candidate has the ability to beat Casey, a goal which we’re all agreed upon. But in line with my point, my opinion of who I like does not seem relevant; I just want to give us the best chance of beating Casey, and if there would already be momentum behind a particular candidate, I would want to USE that instead of fight it. Instead of trying to make a wave in the ocean, why not ride a wave that’s already there?
For example, now that Governor Corbett has endorsed Steve Welch, does that one man’s opinion affect how Mr. Gleason’s opinion shapes up, and does that in turn affect how State committee folks will vote? (I’m asking from ignorance, I don’t know how it works). Trickle-down economics, yes. Trickle-down politics, no. Is his opinion based on financial aspects? If so, why not Tom Smith, who supposedly has $4mil more than Steve? Is it based on some retribution towards Sam Rohrer for challenging him in the Governor’s race? Because Sam is the sole candidate with a voting record to stand on. Hopefully his reason is that he believes Welch has what it takes to beat Casey, and only slightly less, that Welch would be a good conservative force for PA and for our nation. Also, hopefully his endorsement bears negligible weight on the judgment of our State Committee folks to vet these candidates, and finally, hopefully the State Committee people are communicating with their constituents as to their sentiment.
Please know I’m not interested in rabble-rousing or anything like that. I’m simply trying to get us to hedge our bets against the formidable enemy and an all-round bad ideology of Casey, and replace it with someone the people can claim as their own. It’s bad enough that the 17th amendment revoked the state legislature’s appointment of Senators to act in the interest of the STATE; we may as well get the weight of the people behind our candidate.
Thank you for your time and service,