By Doug Porter
The long awaited post election analysis and plan of action for the Republican Party was released in Washington this morning. While there are reportedly 219 recommendations, we’ll give you the short version via AP/Washington Post:
In a report released Monday, the RNC says that the way the party communicates its principles isn’t resonating widely enough and that focus groups perceive the party as “narrow minded,” ”out of touch” and “stuffy old men.”
“The perception that we’re the party of the rich continues to grow,” Reince Priebus, the RNC chair, said in remarks prepared for delivery Monday.
To broaden its appeal, the party must reach out to minority voters and others, according to one recommendation in the report obtained by The Associated Press before its release: “We must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our party’s appeal will continue to shrink,” it said.
Party leaders have crafted dozens of recommendations following a months-long self-examination prompted by last year’s painful election losses. The report also calls on Republicans to take a harder line with corporate America, loosen political fundraising laws inWashington and in state capitals, and cut in half the number of candidate debates in a shortened 2016 presidential primary calendar.
More from the Los Angeles Times, because it’s like watching a train wreck and you can’t look away:
In addition, an extensive set of “inclusion” proposals for minority groups, including Latinos, Asians and African Americans, appears to mimic similar, failed outreach efforts by various RNC chairs over the last 30 years.
The report notes the party’s problems with women voters, especially unmarried women. But its 10-point plan for appealing to women makes no mention of the GOP stance on any social issues, such as abortion and same-sex marriage, that have turned off many of the voters in question.
In a section on campaign mechanics, Republicans are advised to make “a critical cultural shift” on early, absentee, and online voting, trends that the report notes are “here to stay.” The report fails to note, however, that Republican elected officials fought to block and even reverse that trend at the state level in 2012.
Actions Speak Louder than Words
Whether it was the young man suggesting slaves benefited from being given “food and shelter” at a session on race consciousness, or the rantings of the National Rifle Association Wayne La Pierre, there was plenty of wingnuttia on display as the shock troops of right huddled and muddled. Of course there was Sarah Palin doing her ‘Statute of Liberty’ pose with a Big Gulp as a stand up for freedom moment.
From the Guardian:
Sarah Palin’s speech on the final day of CPAC was perfectly suited for her audience and reminded many that the former governor ofAlaska and one-time vice presidential pick still might have a political future. She wowed the crowd by mixing up raunchy jokes about her “rack” with a sip from a Big Gulp and full-throttle attacks on Republican leaders and President Barack Obama alike.
To some extent Palin went a long way to answering doubters who had wondered what her future might be after she left her job in Alaska for a media career only to earlier this year also see her Fox News gig disappear. That seemed to have left her in the career wilderness as a fading star. But the reaction at CPAC to her speech revealed how she still has the ability to charm the right audience. But what can she do? Palin needs a platform for her ambition and to stay relevant, perhaps an elected one, and a Senate seat inAlaska is opening up in 2014 ..
Here’s the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, not letting facts get in the way of a good story about why he opposes background checks:
The very advocates and politicians behind this new universal scheme have fought — behind the scenes, for two decades — to prevent mental health records from being added to the check system. Their check only includes good, law-abiding people like you and me. That’s what they’re after — the names of good, decent people who happen to own a firearm to go into a federal database for universal registration of every lawful gun owner in America.
And here’s Slate.com calling him out:
This was an amazing example of projection, and the CRAZY WAYNE Act was flamboyant enough to put most people off the scent. In the last decade, the NRA has only co-operated with one legislative response to a mass shooting — the The NCIS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007. The price for bringing the NRA on board, and not whipping Blue Dog Democrats to kill the bill, was to take the “mentally ill” tag away from anyone “rehabilitated through any procedure available under law” and to enact a “Relief from Disabilities” reform. The latter reform allowed people classified as mentally ill, and unable to buy guns, to get their rights back with more ease. And there was one more NRA win: States were allowed to restore gun rights to people who fell under the ban on their own terms, with legislation.
Finally, here’s a story about one sad attendee from Buzzfeed:
Cleta Mitchell, a D.C. lawyer who successfully led the charge to keep the LGBT conservative group GOProud out of the Conservative Political Action Conference for the past two years, is finding out what it means to lose a hard-fought battle.
Mitchell and the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown looked down from a stage at the annual, signature conservative conference whose social values they’d fought to defend to find they’d lost their troops.
“We are treated as if we are bigots,” Brown complained to a largely empty room, assembled for a panel dedicated to discussing the bullying they and other conservatives say they face from the Obama administration.
Problem: Videos Showing Inhumane Farming Operations Solution: Ban the Videos
An undercover video that showed California cows struggling to stand as they were prodded to slaughter by forklifts led to the largest meat recall in U.S. history. In Vermont, a video of veal calves skinned alive and tossed like sacks of potatoes ended with the plant’s closure and criminal convictions.
Now in a pushback led by the meat and poultry industries, state legislators across the country are introducing laws making it harder for animal welfare advocates to investigate cruelty and food safety cases.
Patterson’s legislation is being sponsored by the California Cattlemen’s Association. It would make failing to turn over video of abuse to law enforcement within 48 hours an infraction punishable by a fine. The upshot of the regulation is that it would allow unscrupulous operators to claim incidents were aberrations rather than consistent practice.
Similar bills are being pushed in legislatures around the country. Nebraska and Tennessee are considering laws similar to the California proposal. Other laws will ban videos of farming operations or criminalize lying on job applications for meat processing plants.
These legislative proposals are being pushed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative group backed by business interests. They work with corporate lobbyists to craft so-called “model bills” reaching into almost every area of American life.
Outrage over the blatant nature of many of the legislative proposals has led 42 corporations, including Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, Kraft, Amazon, Johnson & Johnson, and General Motors to stop funding ALEC. None-the-less, ALEC continues to boast on its website that over 2,000 state legislators are secret members of their organization.
ALEC has labeled those who interfere with animal operations “terrorists,” though a spokesman said he wishes now that the organization had called its legislation the “Freedom to Farm Act” rather than the “Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act.”
Opposition to the California’s version of this bill is being led by the ASPCA, the Teamsters, and the Humane Society of the US.
Problem: Las Vegas – Solution: Close San Diego Bars at 4 am
Claiming that California’s nightlife is at competitive disadvantage with cities like Las Vegas and Miami, Democratic Senate member Mark Leno of San Francisco is calling for new legislation that would allow for extending alcohol sales until 4am in some California cities. From the Los Angeles Times:
“This legislation would allow destination cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego to start local conversations about the possibility of expanding night life and the benefits it could provide the community by boosting jobs, tourism and local tax revenue,” Leno said.
Currently, the state allows the sale of alcohol from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. for bars, nightclubs and restaurants. Leno’s bill would let cities get permission from the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to allow their nightspots to extend their hours for serving alcohol.
Leno said the change could mean a boost to the California economy.
The bill is being supported by the California Restaurant Association. Opposition is coming from law enforcement, concerned about the impact on drunk driving, and residential groups who think that their lawns don’t really need two more hours of people pissing on them.
Lest you think that such a rule would never be implemented in San Diego, think again. Business interests have already lobbied successfully to allow the placement of Las Vegas style oversized signage in a part of downtown (not the GasLamp) they hope to market as a destination for night clubs.
Filner vs. Tourism Marketing District Update
This morning’s UT-San Diego makes a big deal (top of the local section, banner all-caps headline) about a counter-offer made by Mayor Bob Filner in the financial standoff currently underway with the Tourism Marketing District (TMD).
It’s no big deal. They’re gonna say no. They either want the outrageous 39 year deal they successfully lobbied for under the previous administration or nothing at all.
The Mayor’s offer:
…would allow the money — roughly $30 million annually — to be released immediately but requires significant changes to a deal approved last year by hoteliers and city leaders.
The money is collected as a 2 percent surcharge on hotel rooms, and is spent by a Tourism Marketing District to promote the city.
The hotelier-run district cannot spend the money at present because Filner has not yet signed an agreement reached with his predecessor, former Mayor Jerry Sanders. Sanders failed to sign the pact before leaving office, and Filner has offered his own ideas for how the program should operate.
Filner told the UT-SD on Sunday that he’d made the offer last Tuesday, but hadn’t heard back. As it turns out, the TMD board will be considering his proposal in closed session this afternoon.
Shortly afterwards, they’ll issue a statement turning down the offer, as they have with previous attempts by the mayor to negotiate. They’ll remind the press about the many employees facing layoffs (they got 60 day warnings) and won’t talk about the nearly $2 million dollars in contingency funds they have stashed away.
Logan Heights Neighborhood Market Gets Started
On Sunday they launched Sobreruedas en el Barrio, is an initiative spearheaded by neighborhood residents working with Casa de Vecinos Organizados (CVO), a resident-organizing group, and the Greater Logan Heights Community Partnership (GLHCP), a collaborative of community based organizations advancing grassroots community development in Greater Logan Heights.
Inspired by the concept of the flea markets/tianguis in México, the Sobreruedas en el Barrio is a multi-layered event that combines a pleasant shopping experience with opportunities to participate in educational workshops, healthy food demonstrations, as well as an opportunity to spend time with friends and family.
The Sobreruedas en el Barrio is located along 30th Street, between Imperial Avenue and K Street, and will be held every other Sunday. More than 20 vendors with a wide array of items from fresh produce, prepared food, clothing, jewelry, handmade arts/crafts, home décor and more have committed to taking part.
Yesterday’s launch at 10am included a ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor Bob Filner, Councilmember David Alvarez and civic leaders.
Repeal the Sequester Rally Part of National Day of Action
Federal workers facing layoffs and furloughs, led by the American Federation of Government Employees, are staging a rally on Wednesday, March 20th outside the front gates of the 32nd Street gate of the Naval Station starting at Noon.
This event is part of more than 100 demonstrations nationwide to highlight the valuable work performed by federal employees at military bases, Social Security offices, federal prisons and thousands of other locations.
They’re calling for repeal of the sequestration, across-the-board budget cuts they say will cost more than 1 million jobs this year and many more jobs over the next decade.
The AFGE call for the rally says “Republicans are using sequestration as leverage to get their way in Congress. They want to cut Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare benefits and gut essential services working people depend on, while protecting tax breaks for Wall Street and the richest 2% of Americans.”
For more information, go here.
On This Day: 1818 – The U.S. Congress approved the first pensions for government service. 1902 – Enrico Caruso recorded 10 arias for the Gramophone Company. He was the first well-known performer to make a record. 1969 – President Nixon authorizes Operation Menu. It was the ‘secret’ bombing of Cambodia.
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@