So far The Peak has been quiet on the race for the next Republican Party Chair of Colorado.
But we want to make sure that these candidates stand up to as much public scrutiny as possible, so that Republicans across the Centennial State know who they're electing this Saturday in Douglas County.
Yesterday afternoon we emailed all of the candidates for GOP Chairman and informed them in the email and follow up Facebook messages that we would post their responses in the order we receive them.
First to respond was Ryan Call. His responses are in block quotes below and after the jump:
The Peak: Tell us about your background in fundraising — what are your greatest accomplishments, failures and how do you plan to apply those lessons learned in your role as GOP Chairman?
As Chairman of the Denver Republican Party, our local party committee raised over $135,000 this past election cycle through many small donations and a number of regular monthly contributors, as well as from large contributions from a handful of major donors. As the National Co-Chairman of the College Republican National Committee from 2001 through 2003, I helped oversee direct mail fundraising efforts during the time in which the national 527 organization raised over $13.4 million from direct mail and major donor fundraising. I have learned that successful fundraising depends on a clearly articulated plan with readily measurable goals, a realistic and transparent budget, a willingness to return and report to your donors how well you met the objectives you set out to do, and the active, hands-on participation of the Chairman in making the pitch. My experience with significant fundraising efforts is not merely hypothetical. Direct mail fundraising is very expensive, and raising money for Republican political parties and political organizations to pay for infrastructure requires a very different approach than raising money for a given Republican candidate.
As far as fundraising failures, I still remember the very first fundraiser I held as the newly elected Chairman of the Colorado College Republicans over a decade ago. I mailed out over three hundred invitations from a list provided by a State Party staffer at the time, set up a great catered event at the University Alumni Club in Boulder, and invited the newly elected State Party Chairman, Bob Beauprez, to attend. As I remember, a total of seven people showed up (including Chairman Beauprez, who was gracious as could be). We barely broke even on the cost of the event only through the generosity of a family member. I found out after the fact that the mailing list provided consisted of lapsed donors who had not given to the State Party in over two years, and the staffer was hoping I could mail the list in order to tell him which donors had moved or died. Lessons learned: the quality of your fundraising list is key, finding a host committee or event sponsors to underwrite the cost of an event up-front ensures you at least break even, and getting folks to donate up-front as part of their RSVP is always the way to go.
The Peak: How do you view the role of the State Party in today's campaign finance world of 527s and 501(c)4s?
The State Party still plays an important role in supporting candidates and influencing elections, but until the Party and its candidates can play on a level playing field in terms of contributions and expenditures, the role by necessity will be more limited. While the State Party cannot directly coordinate with outside groups in connection with campaign activities, the Party is in the best position to help recruit and provide training and direct support for candidates in ways independent 527 and 501(c)(4) groups cannot. The Party can put forth a principled and clearly articulated message about what the Party and its candidates stand for in broad terms, can identify publicly where it will be concentrating its efforts, and can more effectively utilize new technologies, social networking, and new media strategies to put significant resources, training, information and voter contact tools into the hands of Party volunteers and conservative activists. Politics is a team sport, and winning elections requires a coalition effort.
The Peak: What do you think the role of State Party is in a Presidential election year? How can you best serve Republicans running for Colorado seats as well the top of the ticket?
In a presidential election year, the State Party works hand-in-hand with the Republican Presidential nominee, the Republican National Committee, and each of our Republican candidates at the district and local level to organize our coordinated grassroots, get-out-the-vote effort in each of Colorado’s 64 counties. I am committed to ensuring that we have principled Republican candidate running in every district, and affording every Colorado voter a real choice between our Republican philosophy of limited government, personal responsibility, and freedom and opportunity, and the Democratic agenda of big government, expanded entitlement programs, and out of control spending and debt. Raising the funds needed for broadcast advertising and direct mail is important, but so is developing a solid, door-to-door and neighbor-to-neighbor get-out-the-vote effort involving stalwart volunteers. The Colorado Republican Party must do a better job of providing real tools, training, and resources to all of our Republican candidates, and direct financial support for those candidates running in seats that will decide whether Republicans expand our majority in the State House and regain the majority in the State Senate. Working closely with county party committees to provide help and support for local Republican candidates running for county or municipal office is also a priority in order to ensure our Republican principles benefit local communities, and will help us build the bench of qualified and tested candidates for higher office in future elections.
The Peak: Many people complained that Dick Wadhams didn't publicly vet Dan Maes. What do you think the role of Chairman is vis-a-vis vetting of candidates?
In Colorado, where we are fortunate to have both the caucus and assembly process as well as direct access to the primary election ballot by petition, the responsibility to “vet” candidates is in the hands of those Party activists and voters who participate in the process. In my opinion, the State Party Chairman must ensure that the process of seeking our Party’s nomination is fair, transparent, rigorous, and equally accessible to all who might wish to carry the Party’s banner. The State Chairman can and should be a proactive and responsive resource in providing candid advice, honest assessments, and recommendations to candidates behind the scenes, but should not publicly attempt to influence the outcome of the primary election in any way that takes the choice away from grassroots activists and primary election voters.
The Peak: Where do you see the GOP having the greatest opportunity for gains in 2012?
Ensuring that we do our part to make Barack Obama a one-term President is the top goal for the Colorado Republican Party, but expanding our majorities in the State House and winning back the majority in the State Senate is also critically important, and well within reach. Winning majorities in the State Legislature will allow Republicans to have a greater voice in developing and implementing the policies that will lead to increased personal freedom, economic growth and opportunity, and strong families and local communities here in Colorado.
The Peak: What makes you better than the other guys (go ahead, just tell us)?
I am a principled conservative, but I also believe I can articulate our Republican principles in a positive way that appeals to independent voters without being strident. I have demonstrated the ability to outline a unifying and compelling vision, and build broad coalitions necessary to win elections in a swing state like Colorado. There is no substitute for real, hands-on experience in running political party and grassroots organizations. The next State Chairman will have to navigate increasingly complex campaign finance restrictions and minefields of election law, not to mention an accelerated election calendar of precinct caucuses and party nominating assemblies, and redistricting and reapportionment. This is not my first rodeo – I have the legal knowledge and real, hands-on experience to help our county party organizations and candidates be successful, and the campaign know-how to win elections. I believe my background and experience serving for two years as a County Party Chairman and four years as a County Party Vice-Chairman, as well as over five years as State Party Legal Counsel, uniquely equips me to help our Colorado Republican Party be successful in this critical election year where there is no time for on the job training.