OMG, can you believe the GOP national chair just asked me for money?

GOP Fund Raising Email


Dear Mary, Joseph and the wee donkey. Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, just asked Tony Parker, the RNC treasurer, to get in touch with me.

Yeah, he did. I got the letter in the mail today. Had a handwritten note from Tony himself, promising that if I’d send him a pledge for $35-$50 he’d personally tell good ol’ Reince I’d anteed up the dough. Tony made it real easy for me; included a charge card form and all. He even shared with me Reince’s email.

“Tony,” it said, “please try to contact Ms. Linda G. Cunningham for me. If we are going to be able to give our Republican presidential nominee maximum support, I need Ms. Cunningham to send a Pledge of Support …. We must have the support of every Republican … or we won’t be able to provide all of our vital support services like voter registrations drives, phone banks and TV and internet advertising … You may just want to print this email and send it to Ms. Cunningham. Those reports we’re seeing about Hillary Clinton and her allies raising $2.5 billion for her presidential campaign — to smear our Republican candidate … have me worried. Tell Ms. Cunningham we need every Republican to pitch in or get ready for four years worse than Pres. Obama’s term.”

Bless his heart. Must be particularly awful to be Reince and Friends right now, days after Super Tuesday when The Donald ran the table and is now spending a few days in Florida before the March 15 Florida presidential preference primary. There’ve been Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz sightings, but who’s kidding whom? It’s Donald Trump that’s got the GOP national committee shorts in a knot.

The last time I checked, Trump didn’t need the financial support of the GOP, nor was he asking. He certainly doesn’t need my $35. And, the GOP national committee must be out of its collective mind if it thinks we registered voters will swallow a faked email, complete with computer-assisted handwriting, as the real deal.

Aside: For all those who think I am a far-left wingnut who’d never side with the elephants, I get these GOP mailings because the national committee hasn’t updated its databases in years. One ends up there when one pulls a Republican ballot in open primary states, which I’ve done frequently over five decades. And, yes, I’ve gotten similar entreaties from the donkeys; just not this campaign season.

So, nope, I’m not sending cash to Reince and Friends, though I will provide a re-write of the solicitation email.

Send money now. Please. We know you would never vote for the two scariest Republicans on the planet, Trump and Cruz. We know you Florida people aren’t exactly excited about Rubio either. We know all that because we feel exactly the same. So, if you send us money, we promise to use it to get a Democrat elected to the White House — because four more years of Hillary or Bernie is the best the GOP can do right now. Please help us. We’re drowning over here.

I’d keep the last sentence of the original “email”: “Tell Ms. Cunningham we need every Republican to pitch in or get ready for four years worse than Pres. Obama’s term.”

That’s the only truthful sentence in the whole faked-up email marketing campaign.

Linda Grist Cunningham is editor and proprietor of KeyWestWatch Media, a digital marketing company in Key West.  She has already voted in the March 15 presidential preference primary. Despite the hanky-panky of redistricting and the tossing up of roadblocks for voter registration (and both are legendarily ridiculous), Florida makes it easy to get an absentee ballot mailed to one’s home for every election. If you haven’t voted, get out there to the early voting polls or show up on March 15. Your vote matters more than cash to national committees. 




Marco Rubio: Not the GOP star until he gets right on immigration, Creationism

Time for Rubio to “get right” on immigration, Creationism — or his Cuban surname won’t help

The national Republican Party, casting about for ways to mend its abysmal track record with Americans of Hispanic descent, ought not pin its hopes quite so naively on  Florida’s U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

There’s no such thing as a Latino voting block in the United States, and if there were, it’s likely these days to be dominated by the surging immigration of Mexicans into the country’s West, Southwest and Midwest. Wooing and winning the future Mexican American voter demand the Republicans change up their immigration, economic and jobs policies. Success will be about policy — not last name.

Rubio ought to be allowed to rise or fall on his merits, not his parentage. Barack Obama ought to have been allowed the same, not because of, but despite of his skin color. And, as Hillary Clinton plays her cards for the 2016 presidential election, watch for web worlds filled with “first woman who …” headlines — and data-dumps of information about an imagined “block of women voters.”

Americans appear to understand that one white Alpha male doesn’t represent all men. We’re not so savvy about ethnicity, race and gender. We’re just aware enough not to say it aloud in polite company, but most of us haven’t moved too far past “some of my best friends are (feel free to fill in the blank.)

The Republican and mainstream media conversation about Rubio during and following the presidential campaign feels just too much like the “best friends,” pat ourselves on the back approach. The allure of Rubio’s Hispanic surname, his conservative credentials and his “rising star” moniker among the national media make him virtually irresistible to Republicans. One can hear them chortling in the backrooms: “We’ve got the trifecta here.”

There’s a problem with that. Three of them actually, and unless Republicans up-end their unsophisticated approach to America’s multinational Hispanic population, they’ll have little ballot box success.

Ruben Navarrette Jr., a long-time advocate and columnist for American Latinos, puts it this way in a column entitled “Why Marco Rubio can’t save the GOP”:

When you’re a Cuban-American politician who is being put forth by your party to help get votes from Latino voters — the majority of whom are Mexican or Mexican-American — things can get complicated.

First, let’s stop with the idea that any-Hispanic-surname will connect with potential voters.

Rubio is of Cuban descent, which may continue to play well in Cuban-dominated Florida, but that ethnic heritage is unlikely to appeal to the 63 percent of American Hispanics whose family trees are rooted in Mexico. Even in Key West with its 21 percent Cuban American population, Rubio fans are hard to come by. Why? Because as one multi-generational Cuban American told me: “Miami Cubans and Key West Cubans had different paths to the United States,” she said. “We’ve always lived here; we weren’t political refugees.”

If Rubio be disconnected from at least some Cuban-descent Key Westers, how much more so will he be disconnected from Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans and Hispanics from South and Central America and the Dominican Republic?

Second, Republicans must get their immigration policies straightened out. Cubans and Mexicans simply don’t share the same immigration challenges, and the GOP’s current hardline policies — staunchly supported by Rubio — aren’t going to work.

Third, Rubio’s Creationist, hate-the-science, Tea Party approach to governing are simply out of touch with pretty much every voting block except the neo-cons. It’s time for a platform update.

Rubio can’t connect the GOP with the ill-defined, virtually unshaped Hispanic voting block. Not solely because he’s Cuban, but because his immigration and public policies are out of sync.


Newt Gingrich, Rod Blagojevich: What do these guys have in common — besides the hair?

Illinois voters ought to be able to tell the nation a couple of things about governance by charisma, ego and brilliance run amok. After all, we danced with Rod Blagojevich for a lot of years before the ex-governor flamed out while selling Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat.

None was better than Blago in front of an audience. Witness him at Rockford Register Star Editorial Boards, which I did many times. Having a governor in for an edit board always draws a full house. Even Pat Quinn gets a decent showing. Having Blago meant standing room only.

He could sing, weave tall tales, spin a vision for the state with which few would argue. He could remember what seemed like everything, from names and titles to questions asked the last visit. Veteran board members gave it up and sat back to watch the show.

It’s hard not to channel Blago while watching the Newt Show. The brilliance is similar; ditto the vision thing. So are the abilities to absorb complex information and re-purpose it to strategic ideas that make — at the moment — perfect sense. There’s the chuckling and eye contacting; the remembering of things.

Blago is the more charming of the two, and there are other differences, including the great hair color.

I never saw Blago lose his temper the way that Newt does publicly, though there are plenty of reports that he did. Blago didn’t walk about actively hating the news media; he used his not inconsiderable skills to manipulate it to his advantage.

Illinois’ ex-governor rode that hubris right off the ranch. Given enough time, Newt Gingrich will follow. It won’t of course, be the first time for Newt; his former Congressional seatmates will be more than happy to explain the 1990s back story.

Gaad, how we Americans love these charismatic politicians. Let’s hope we don’t have to learn on a national stage — as did Illinois on its state stage — that governance by brilliance-run-amok ought be a non-starter.

Americans are never going to elect a woman as president

By the time, Michele Bachmann pledged yesterday to rally round the eventual Republican nominee for president, I’d wearied of hoping she’d come front and center as a viable candidate. She just couldn’t do it.

There are a handful of analyses on the whys of Bachmann’s fall from the elephant, including an empathetic one from Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin. Most everyone has turned their attention to the “Santorum surge” — I am hating  that word, surge.

But before Bachmann is little more than a footnote, three things did her in:

(1) Americans are not about to elect a woman as president — and especially not a girly-girl woman. Hillary maybe, but cynical me doubts even our own Iron Lady could make the cut. Hillary Clinton should have been president today, followed by Barak Obama. The timelines were screwed up.

We just can’t get past a MAN looks presidential — and CEO and pastor and doctor and lawyer and judge; heck, and newspaper editor. I predicted a hundred years ago Americans would elect a black man before they elected a woman. Did. And, we’ll keep doing it because in America, women are, were and appear to always will be, second tier.

Full disclosure: I will campaign for Hillary Clinton next time around. Despite my cynicism about Americans and women, I think she’d be an outstanding president.

(2) The Tea Party extremists are just that, extreme, and for all America’s love affair with the bad boys and girls on the fringes, we don’t want them in the White House or at the family dinner.

So, Bachmann’s ouster in Iowa (along with the others, no matter how well Santorum and Whacko Paul polled) is indicative that America will play footsie with the Tea Party fringers, but they aren’t going to put them with their finger on the nuke button.

(3) Bachmann had no substance. On that her campaign mentor Ed Rollins is spot on. I got to the point listening to her that I wanted to stick a needle in my eye every time she opened her mouth.

She sounded like a wind-up toy, repeating the same 227 words ad naseum in that flat, nasal Midwestern twang. Someone clearly told her to make sure she hammered home her central themes, and heaven knows, she did. Problem was, she could never go off-script more than a sentence or two because she just didn’t have the juice.

Bachmann never had a chance. Too bad.

Friday Five (uh, Four): Weary of the D.C. dumb clucks

Friday Five: Odds and ends from the week’s world of news.

* That Super Committee that’s supposed to fix America’s fiscal house by Thanksgiving? Well, it’s not going to happen. Not because there are no solutions, but because its hardline  Republican and Democratic members have no intention of collaborating. Raise taxes; cut expenses. That simple. A pox on them all.

* The Gang of Six, Simpson-Bowles and the Grand Bargain. That Super Committee doesn’t even have to do the work. They can copy off the kids sitting next to them. There are two perfectly good blueprints ready for the picking, and there’s always the Obama-Boehner Grand Bargain that could be resurrected. I’m OK with copying off the smart guys.

* Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. And, while I’m on my compromise and collaborate rant, might as well toss in this one. Obama wants an infrastructure jobs bill to build roads and bridges. The GOP opposition doesn’t want to fund construction with a tax on 345,000 millionaires. The result? No jobs.

* President Herman Cain? Oh, please. As goofy as Donald Trump or (can’t resist) Sarah Palin. Though I might prefer President Palin to either of those guys. I know Cain’s not going to be on the top of the GOP ticket.  No way the party’s controllers, even the Tea peeps, are going to let that happen no matter what the polls say. Incumbent Obama would flatten the pizza guy and there’s no way the elephants will risk that. I’m practicing writing Hillary Clinton as my write-in candidate.

* And, because all that political news can make me crazy, let’s just end with Friday Four. No reason to ruin a perfectly beautiful fall day by obsessing over D.C. dumb clucks.

May God smile upon you and yours.

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