The dust has settled from the 2012 election, leaving noticeable scars on the embattled NH Republican State Committee. Current NHGOP Chairman Wayne has presided over one of the worst drubbings in the Party’s history, all but erasing the gains made by former Governor John H. Sununu, who – with the assitance of keen operatives like Ryan Williams and Andy Leach – spearheaded an operation that put Republicans in control of the state legislature.
Thus, the fact that MacDonald is contemplating running again confounds the mind.
Under other circumstances, it might be understandable to say “hey, he’s been a good foot soldier and let’s give him a pass,” but a closer look at the rubble that is the NHGOP turns up some troubling items.
First, while FEC reports can certainly be annoying, they are also legally required for a state party organization. MacDonald’s NHGOP failed to file not one but three of these crucial reports on time. That kind of ineptitude performing the most basic functions of the office means MacDonald should be shown the door.
Not to mention that once he finally managed to get the reports filed, they showed the Party raising a meager $140,000, as opposed to $2 million raised by Ray Buckley’s NH Democratic Party.
Secondly, on Election Day 2012, NHGOP operatives were viewed as so “useless,” as one veteran Granite State operative put it, that they were actively excluded from participating in the Romney-RNC war room.
Finally, and most offensively in this scribe’s opinion, was MacDonald’s approval of a direct mailpiece that at best was in poor taste and at worst violated NHGOP bylaws.
The mailer was designed to take votes away from Democrat Donna Soucy in NH Senate District 16 by promoting 3rd party candidate Arthur Beaudry, ostensibly to ultimately hand the victory to Republican J. Gail Barry. Seeking to appeal to liberals, the mailpiece touted Beaudry’s ability to “stand up” to prominent Republican Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas.
Yes, you read that right: The NH Republican Party sent out an official mailpiece that bolstered the credentials of a Democrat Union member by bashing one of the most prominent and popular Republican elected officials in the state. Not to mention that the actual Republican in the race, Rep. J. Gail Barry, apparently knew nothing of the mailer or the strategy that spawned it.
Rep. Barry wasn’t the only Republican left in the dark about the NHGOP’s ‘non-traditional’ campaign strategy; Mayor Gatsas was not contacted in advance of a mailer trashing him hitting inboxes. Gatsas has proved himself to be a loyal Republican who is popular on both sides of the aisle in Manchester; that his Party should make him the focus of friendly fire without obtaining permission or at the very least issuing a warning is inconceivable and unforgivable. An unconfirmed rumor has it that the Mayor first learned of the mailer From NHDP Chair Ray Buckley.
While MacDonald may not have come up with the idea for the mailer, he signed off on it and, as Chairman, the buck stops with him. This egregious lack of judgment, as well as unmitigated organizational, financial, and electoral failure of the NHGOP during the 2012 election cycle dictate that MacDonald must go.
View the mailer below: