|Pro-family activism that makes a difference!|
How the Mass. GOP establishment worked tirelessly to try to destroy the campaign of Mark Fisher, conservative candidate for Governor.
But as Sept. 9 primary nears, Tea Party activists are fighting back!
POSTED: August 31, 2014
Most people assume that the major threat to getting conservatives elected to high office is the liberal Democratic machine. In recent years there’s been another major front in that war: The Republican Party establishment --both state and national. This is fueled by millions of dollars from “progressive Republican” businessmen. And, sadly, it includes many sellout pro-family groups and politicians.
But we’ve never seen anything like the Massachusetts Republican Party’s outrageous (and we believe, criminal) efforts to subvert pro-family/Tea Party candidate Mark Fisher’s campaign for governor, which we've detailed below.
A disturbing national trend explodes in Massachusetts
Ever since the days of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, there's been a tension between the GOP establishment -- who felt they could avoid the Left's hostile attacks by appeasing them on most "hot-button" issues -- and the conservative base who vote on principle. In recent years, this has led to many high-profile battles with Tea Party backed candidates in Republican primaries, which has angered the establishment considerably.
So now we're seeing the next step: The aggressive purging of conservative candidates for high office before they can get a foothold.
Here in Massachusetts this has turned the State Republican Party into an overtly hostile anti-family institution devoid of political principles that long-time activists no longer recognize. This year Party elites were particularly determined to avoid a primary battle for Governor that could endanger their anointed "moderate" candidate, Charlie Baker.
Fisher's candidacy for Governor attracts a torrent of GOP hostility
The appearance of Mark Fisher in the Massachusetts governor’s race stymied the Republican establishment. He is not only a fairly solid conservative and wealthy enough to get his campaign off the ground, but he is bright and articulate and can hold his own in any debate. For example, in several head-to-head debates with GOP rival, Charlie Baker, does a much better job in our opinion.
From the very beginning of his campaign, Fisher became Public Enemy #1 to the Republican State Committee and their allies. Their goal was to keep him from being able to run in the primary. And they almost succeeded.
Below is a list of the efforts by the GOP and “pro-family” establishment in Massachusetts over the last year to keep conservative Mark Fisher from being able to run for Governor against the RINO Charlie Baker in the Republican primary. Even most Republicans aren’t aware what’s been going on. That’s why we’re publishing this.
Don’t be surprised if you see these things happen in other states:
A. Prior to the State convention . . .
1. Hostility at his candidacy by “pro-family” Republicans. Late last year when Fisher announced his candidacy, and it became known that he was a pro-family conservative with the means to carry on a serious candidacy, the establishment (including so-called “pro-family” people) began hounding him not to run so Baker would not have a “conservative” challenger. According to newspaper reports this included Karyn Polito (currently running for Lt. Governor), State Rep. Ryan Fattman, and GOP National Committeewoman Chanel Prunier, who also leads the Coalition for Marriage and Family. We know of many other prominent GOP politicians and pro-family “leaders” who also approached Fisher.
2. Turned down by GOP sign company. According to reports, in February Fisher was turned down by a company that regularly makes campaign signs for the GOP because the company was warned not to do business with Fisher or risk losing other GOP sign business.
B. At the March 22 GOP State Convention . . .
To get on the state ballot, a candidate needed 15% of the delegates to vote for him at the state GOP convention on March 22, 2014. The Mass. GOP made an enormous effort to keep Fisher from getting that amount.
3. Outrageous fee to speak at GOP convention. In order to speak at the GOP State Convention, the Mass GOP raised the “entry fee” for gubernatorial candidates to $25,000, to deter Fisher. Candidates for other statewide offices were charged a fraction of that to speak. Fisher paid it.
4. State Committee emails telling delegates to vote for Baker. The day before the Convention, delegates received “official” looking emails from their state committee representatives telling them that to vote for Charlie Baker – and thus not have a primary by keeping Fisher off the ballot -- would be the best thing for the Party.
5. The waiting room from hell. State-wide candidates were given nice rooms to prepare for their convention speeches. Mark and his team were given a smelly locker room with benches surrounded by toilets and shower stalls.
Going into the convention Fisher people expected to get 30%. Given that GOP activists who become delegates and actually go to the convention are generally fairly conservative, and seeing who they were on the day of the convention, it was generally believed that Fisher would get at least 30% of the vote. But no one was prepared for the high-pressure campaign that took place that day.
6. Huge pressure on delegates to vote for Baker. Throughout the day, a small army of State Party officials, State Committeemen, GOP State Reps, Town Party Chairmen, GOP candidates for office, and others put on a coordinated effort to strong-arm and harangue delegates not to vote for Fisher –- to either vote for Baker or vote “blank.” We heard about all kinds of interesting threats, mostly involving loss of GOP financial support and/or access to GOP facilities.
7. GOP won't release video of Fisher's convention speech. When his turn came at the convention, Fisher gave a very good speech. The GOP had set up a sophisticated video recording system in the auditorium. But later when Fisher asked for a copy of his speech, the Mass GOP refused to give it to him. Luckily, MassResistance also made a video of his speech, which we’ve allowed his website to use.
8. Delegations’ votes are publicly announced, but result is ignored. The vote tally was very public. A GOP official at the podium called out to each of the 40 delegations for their results. Each delegation, using a portable microphone from their area in the auditorium, announced their totals for Baker, Fisher, and “blanks” from their tally sheets which had the names of the delegates and how they voted. The whole thing took about 20 minutes. But at the end, the grand totals were not announced.
9. Convention halts while “re-counting” takes place. The convention immediately stopped and a group of party officials huddled around some tables in front of the stage. At first was not clear what they were doing. Finally, we were told that a “re-counting” of sorts was taking place. This went on for at least half an hour or more.
10. Baker is declared winner, but actual vote totals still not announced. A few minutes later, Baker was declared the “winner. ” And with a rain of balloons and confetti, and he came up and gave a speech. But what percentage did Baker get? What percentage did Fisher get? It was not announced – only that Baker won.
11. “Re-counting” continues, and “results” finally announced. After Baker’s speech, party officials moved to tables in a back room area and continued their mysterious “re-counting.” After about another two hours, it was announced that Fisher had only received 14.765% of the votes, just missing the 15% requirement. Fisher’s people were not allowed to examine the tally sheets for themselves, however.
C. After the convention . . .
12. Mass GOP announces Fisher will not be the ballot. The day after the convention, the Mass GOP announced to the press that Mark Fisher had not received the 15% requirement, and therefore would not be on the ballot. The GOP stood by its “re-count.”
13. Tally sheets still kept hidden. The Mass GOP continued to refuse to let anyone see the individual delegate vote tally sheets, which apparently added up to the GOP’s new official vote count. Several delegates expressed concern that their votes had been tampered with, miscounted, or that they were “assigned” votes when they hadn’t voted at all.
14. MassResistance video of public vote during convention shows Fisher got his 15%! During the convention, while the delegation votes were being publicly announced, no one had thought to write them down and add them up. But MassResistance videoed the entire process. When we played the video and counted the votes that were announced, we found that Mark Fisher GOT just over 15%, even if you include blank votes. We posted the video and allowed the Fisher campaign to use it, and it was reported in the Boston media. This brought up an additional question: Why were "blank" votes counted in the total, when it was apparently against the rules?
15 Fisher takes the Mass GOP to court. Why did the public vote count show that Fisher got his 15% but the mysterious “recount” by the GOP showed he didn’t? Why the difference? Obviously, an examination of the tally sheets –- which should have had every delegate’s name and how he voted -- would reveal that. But the Mass GOP refused to release them, and they would not give a reason. So the Fisher campaign filed a lawsuit against the Mass GOP in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston to examine the tally sheets and get on the ballot.
16. Mass GOP caves in and allows Fisher on the ballot. After about three months of preliminary court hearings, the Mass GOP decided to let Fisher on the ballot. But they still refused to release the tally sheets – even to State Committee members – for examination.
17. Court case temporarily crippled Fisher candidacy. Although Fisher won the case, it left his campaign in terrible shape. It cost Fisher’s campaign approximately $100,000 in legal fees. But also, during that 3-month period he was considered “not on the ballot,” so he could not easily raise money, nor could he attract enough volunteers to help get his required 10,000 signatures which were also needed to get on the ballot, so he had to pay professional signature gatherers. And during that time he wasn’t included in candidate forums, etc. so he lost a lot of public visibility. It was a devastating blow that almost sunk him.
18. Fisher campaign not allowed to use Mass GOP campaign resources. The Mass GOP has set up an expensive and elaborate “MassVictory” operation with offices, phone banks, etc. around the state. All GOP candidates are allowed to use those facilities -– except Fisher. They won’t let his campaign use them. It’s outrageous.
19. Fisher not listed on Mass GOP website. The State Party website currently has names and photos of all the statewide candidates on the ballot – except Fisher. The sheer hatred of Fisher by the party establishment takes them to these absurd lengths.
20. Sleazy GOP State Committee votes to keep tally sheets secret. Even after the court case subsided, the Mass GOP executives had even refused to let the 80-member elected State Committee see the tally sheets! So in July, a group of conservative State Committee members petitioned the Chairman to call a meeting so the Committee could vote to release them. The Chairman called the meeting, but it was closed to the public and held in secret. In the closed meeting, the majority of the State Committee voted not to release the tally sheets to anyone, not even to themselves! (What possible reason would there be to keep them secret . . . unless there was some criminal wrongdoing that took place?)
21. Mass GOP lavishly funding Baker, Fisher gets nothing. The Mass GOP is using its resources to raise enormous funds for the Baker campaign, but nothing for the Fisher campaign. This includes, according to the Boston Globe, paying a consulting firm to fundraise for Baker. In fact, we have been told that Republican donors are being told NOT to donate to the Fisher campaign. This has had a disastrous effect on Fisher’s fundraising capabilities.
22. Alleged threats to media by Mass GOP. A radio talk show host told us that members of the media have been threatened by GOP officials if they cover Mark Fisher to any extent, they will be persona non grata by the rest of the GOP during this election cycle.
By far the most troubling aspect of this was how easily virtually every "pro-family" GOP politician sold his soul and fell into line for Baker and against Fisher when pressured by the establishment.
We don't think it's an exaggeration to say that the Mass GOP has become a dishonest, unprincipled cesspool that good people should stay away from -- and only donate money to individual candidates.
And then there’s the Frank Addivinola episode
Mark Fisher wasn’t the only pro-family candidate squashed at the convention. Frank Addivinola, a businessman and college professor, was a U.S. Senate candidate. But like Mark Fisher, he was an unabashed pro-family advocate.
Although his campaign had a booth at the convention, through a still unresolved series of events he was not given a chance to speak.
But Addivinola was VERY popular among conservatives across the state and would have easily gotten his 15%. So the Mass GOP didn’t take any chances. When it came time for the nomination of candidates, the Chairman allowed the establishment candidate, Brian Herr, to be nominated, then immediately closed the nominations! So no one could even nominate Addivinola.
It was still possible for Addivinola to get on the ballot via signatures, since he was running for a federal office. But once the Party officially considered him a non-candidate and denied him all support, his campaign never recovered from that. Thus, Herr is now unopposed in the primary.
Tea Party groups & others rallying statewide for Fisher as Sept. 9 primary nears
Fisher's campaign is making a surge!
None of the above adversities have stopped the Fisher campaign or its supporters statewide. Fisher continues to appear everywhere, every day, and has impressed people wherever he goes. This has only ignited Fisher’s people even more.
In mid-August a group of Tea Parties, conservative leaders, and non-establishment pro-family groups, began a furious grassroots push to energize the GOP conservative base of voters to go to the polls on Sept. 5 and vote for Fisher. Will this become another David Brat over Eric Cantor? No one knows. But the energy is there!
This is a favorable primary race because Democrats and independents will be drawn to the highly contested Democratic primary, and many mainstream Republican voters will likely think Baker is a shoo-in and not bother to go to the polls. Even Jeff Jacoby, the Boston Globe's (relatively) conservative columnist, who's a registered Independent, said he's voting in the Democratic primary -- because that's "where the action is."
This is a great opportunity for a possible pro-family upset – in a RINO state! If you are a registered voter in Massachusetts, you know what to do on Sept. 9. We’ll see if Massachusetts can do it!