by Max Brantley
His letter, with his requisite qualifications, follows on the jump. (So, Rep. Burris, it's you who was responsible for recruiting and backing the Three Stooges - Mauch, Hubbard and Fuqua? Good of you to man up. They certainly got the Arkansas GOP some national attention.)
But more seriously: Burris was a key man in the putsch that installed Rep. Davy Carter of Cabot as House speaker, over Terry Rice of Waldron. That might make this election a little more exciting than your average vice chairmanship. (Speaking of that speaker's race: An extreme fringe Republican, Mark Moore, has posted a comment on this race, which, believe it or not, I think is a sound analysis. Some Democrats will be a little chagrined to read the more conservative Republican won, Obamacare being a possible exception.)
In response to a question, Burris said he would seek no pay for doing this job of fund-raising and campaign building for the party for 2014.
I asked because Burris has been a full-time legislator. He says he's working on getting a real estate license and does some "consulting," but he's mostly been among that roving band of unemployed Republicans who talk a lot about business stimulus and the free market while depending on the government and kindness from lobbyists for sustenance. That's fine, by the way. But I could see ethical appearance problems in getting a paid party job that would entail asking special interests for party contributions. Even unpaid, I'm not sure it's a wholly seemly task for a legislator. But Burris was among those who opposed the Regnat Populus reform initiative that would have cut off freebies for legislators and made it hard to convert to lobbyist.
Dear State Committee member:
Congratulations on a wonderfully successful election night. Your hard work and dedication has forever changed our state. Thank you.
Now we must begin the preparation for the 2014 election cycle. We must protect what we have won, while also competing for control of statewide offices that are needed to move our state forward.
Because of the importance of the task before us, I am asking for your vote for the position of 1st Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas. This is an important position for our party, and I would like to contribute my time and efforts in preparation for the 2014 election cycle and beyond.
Here are a few things you need to know about me. I have had the honor of serving as a state representative since 2008, representing Harrison and most of Boone County. In 2010, I was elected by my Republican colleagues to serve as the House Minority Leader, a position I held until March of 2012. During that time, I had the pleasure and unique opportunity to see our Republican members of the House of Representatives grow from 28 to 46. I hope you can be
proud of our fights to lower your taxes, cut state spending and challenge the status quo.
During the 2012 election cycle, I served as the Campaign Chairman for the House Republican Caucus. In this role, I was charged with recruitment, training, funding, and policy education for all House Republican candidates. Although every candidate must win his or her own race, I hope that the organization and effort from the House Republican Caucus helped to make our historic wins a possibility.
I have also had the opportunity to serve the Republican Party of Arkansas in several different capacities, including:
• Chairman, Arkansas Federation of College Republicans (2006-2008).
• Campaign Manager, Gunner DeLay for Attorney General (2006).
• Vice- Chairman, Boone County Republican Committee (2009-2011).
• Campaign Manager, Michael Lamoureux for State Senate (2009).
• Member, RPA Executive Committee (2006-2008; 2010-2012).
• House Republican Caucus Leader (2010-2012).
• Campaign Chairman, House Republican Caucus (2012)
I have been fortunate to work on behalf of Republican Party of Arkansas in various positions in the past, and I am very grateful for these opportunities to serve. I would like to continue this service as 1st Vice-Chairman.
The position of 1st Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas is critical to our party’s success in 2014. This position is charged with chairing the Budget Committee, which means playing an integral role in the financial stability of the party. I believe my prior experience will help me perform critical tasks, such as assisting with fundraising, preparing and monitoring the party budget, and ensuring we are compliant with all state and federal election law requirements.
Most importantly, it is important that your 1st Vice-Chairman always works to serve in the best interest of the Republican Party of Arkansas. This means supporting and defending our conservative platform and always supporting our Republican nominees for office. We cannot let personality or factions within our party distract us from the opportunity ahead.
My goal as 1st Vice-Chairman will be to serve with humility and dedication, and always work to advance the conservative values that make our party strong.
Again, I respectfully ask for your vote on December 1st. If you would like to contact me, my cell phone number is 870-688-6181 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.