Do you remember how great the 2014 mid-term elections were for us? It took everyone by surprise. The Dems were so sure they were going to keep the Senate and take more seats in the House. I can still hear Debra Wasserman Schultz, then head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) bragging that the GOP couldn’t out gun the Dem’s “Get Out to Vote” campaign. After all, it worked for them in 2008 and 2012. Well she was wrong in 2014. Very wrong. We not only beat them – we won by a landslide. As Roll Call, a Washington insider political magazine wrote, “It was Definitively a Wave.”
Even today experts talk about the thrill of that election. They’re still dissecting the results to try to figure out how and why it happened. A lot of people blamed it on Obama. A reasonable choice. His poll numbers were in the tank at that time. And it’s clear he played a part in the Dem’s slaughter in the polls.
And of course, Harry Reid didn’t help either. At first, as head of the Senate, he and Obama were able to get people to think the GOP was causing the gridlock in the early years. They even got voters to think Republicans caused Sequestration – an Obama invention. But by 2012 folks started to see the truth.
That’s part of the reason we won back control of the House in 2012. They could see that it was Obama, not Congress who was making decisions. Voters saw that through Obama and Reid, we had lost one of our three governing bodies – Congress. They took note as Reid wouldn’t bring votes to the floor if the Republicans could win the vote. People looked on as Reid changed the voting rights of the GOP so they were stripped of a voice to represent the people they served.
Sure Obama and Reid did a lot to hurt the Dem’s. But by 2014, there was another successful campaign weapon that the GOP had been working on for some time. A system where they could unify the Party and give power to the people to help keep the Republican Party strong.
Patriot Program — a platform that Keeps the Party Strong and Empowers You
The Patriot Program is sponsored by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). The NRCC is a national political organization focused on keeping the GOP as the majority in the House.
In 2009, the NRCC came up with a plan to raise money and help weak Members keep their seats in future elections. Not just by giving them money, but by helping them to be strong candidates. This plan is called the Patriot Program. It was a major tool in winning the 2014 elections. Ballotpedia, says that as early as the 2012 elections the program had over a 50% success rate.
Members of Program Make Big Written Pledges and Follow Through with Accountability
Since participants get huge sums of cash, they must lay out their game plan for the NRCC. There are thirteen requirements. And they must sign a contract. The Washington Post has published a sample. And it is a huge commitment by participants. It ranges from submitting campaign plans, to written legislative strategies. And they justify their goals. Each part is designed to help them strengthen their campaigns by becoming better servants to those they serve.
The focus is to make them stronger by helping them to look for ways to help grow the economy. To grow small businesses in their districts to keep them strong. And to fight for hardworking families. By sharing their plans to do these tasks with the NRCC, it helps get them funding that gets it the job done. The NRCC’s help, in turn, gets them re-elected because voters will be happy.
U.S. Rep Elise M. Stefanik is a member. “The program is a fundraising program that is designed to help mostly freshman members raise money and ensure they are planning intelligently for re-election,” Stefanik’s spokesperson Tom Flanagan told the Watertown Daily Times. He also pointed out that it does not hurt her power to help constituents. He says that is clear in her record.
Dems Claims of Having the Same Program Comes up Short
Meredith Kelly is the Press Secretary for the DCCC, the GOP’s counterpart to the NRCC. She says they have a similar program called Frontline. But there’s a huge difference. They don’t force Members to give up their legislative strategies! You may be wondering why that is such a bad idea. It’s because without that info, the only thing you’re doing is paying for someone to stay in office. It helps the party but not the people. If an incumbent is weak, there’s probably a reason. So the Dem’s are tapping voters for money to keep a Democrat in office. But they’re not guiding them to do a better job!
The GOP plan helps them stay in office only if they have a clear path to improve and give the voters what they need. The Patriot Program helps our representative provide us with stronger support.
The Patriot Program Gives You the Power to Keep Our Party Strong
In the good ‘ole days it seemed like for most of us our focus on Congressional elections was more local. We figured that we had done our job if we supported the Members of Congress that represented us on the Hill. We gave them our vote. And if we had it we gave them some money. But it’s not like that anymore.
Now it takes a lot of money to stay in Congress no matter how good you are. And individual Members can’t get anything done on their own. It’s important that our party stay strong. We saw how Harry Reid and Obama gridlocked the Senate. We can’t let that happen again. Every Republican should be proud of how Mitch McConnell (R-KY) kept his promise when he became leader of the Senate and didn’t keep the gridlock going – even when he got flak from his own party. He was right and now we see leaders reaching across the table. We need to make sure that come 2016 our Party stays strong in both Chambers and retakes the White House.
The Patriot Program gives us power to make it happen. We can donate to these leaders who have made written commitments to help Republicans on a national level. That makes them important to us even if they’re not in our State or District.
There’s one place where the Dem’s plan is better than ours – it’s their funding. The NRCC says Dems are packed with donations from unions and trial lawyers’ interest groups. The NRCC relies on individuals from all walks of life who donate $25, $35, $50 a year. Every little bit helps.
Exercise Your Power and Take Action!
With the 2016 elections around the corner it is time to shore up our Party. Here are ways that you can take action that will help you and the Republican Party.
- Take a look at the GOP incumbents that need help to stay in office. You can find them at: http://www.electgoppatriots.org/ If you click on their name, you’ll find a brief summary of their focus areas.
- For more detailed information, check out their official websites by search their names at www.house.gov.
- If you’re interested in looking at the depth of their pledges, of the commitment they are willing to make not only to their constituents, but also to all Republicans, take a look at the sample contract at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/r/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2015/09/01/National-Politics/Graphics/NRCCpatriotcontract.pdf
If it makes sense to you to strengthen the GOP base, help out where you can. Remember, the only thing standing between a Republican leader and a Democrat one is us.