Arkansas GOP Chair: And Then There Were Two… (Updated!)

Joseph Wood (left) with Sen. John McCain; Doyle Webb (right)
Joseph Wood (left) with Sen. John McCain; Doyle Webb (right)

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette updates on the status of the race for Arkansas Republican Party chair, which is now down to two: former state Sen. Doyle Webb and Fayetteville businessman Joseph Wood.

One point of dispute: Salary. Webb thinks the GOP chair should be paid, but Wood disagrees:

If elected, Webb said he plans to work for the party three or four days a week and continue a limited law practice.

“The state party may only be able to pay me a nominal amount a month and I am willing to receive that,” Webb said. “It would help the party to move to a new level of professionalism” and enable him to go throughout the state for party-building activities.

Wood, who also is vice chairman of the Washington County Republicans, said he doesn’t want to be paid because that would cost the party money that should go toward the good of the party.

Arkansas Project readers vigorously debated the question of pay for the chairman a few weeks back. More from The Tolbert Report.

Meanwhile, along the same lines, Arkansas News Bureau columnist David Sanders examines the question of “What’s Next?” and offers several prescriptions, including

Look for open seats and be mindful of a changing political environment. Arkansas secretary of state will be an open seat; Republicans should find and fund a candidate. Likewise, if one or more of Arkansas’ Democratic members of Congress decide to retire or if the prevailing political winds shift, they should be ready with high-quality candidates.

That said, nothing for Republicans will come easy.

New GOP chair will be elected at state committee meeting in Little Rock on December 13.

Incidentally, this is a topic of discussion on tonight’s edition of “Talk Business with Roby Brock,” in which my fellow blogger Blake Rutherford and I discuss the leadership races for both parties, among other issues related to Arkansas politics. More on Talk Business here.

Update: Blogging prof Jay Greene (the subject of a separate post below) weighs in on Mike Huckabee’s support for Doyle Webb in the GOP chairman race. Greene notes pointedly:

Did you see anything in there about Webb promoting the ideas of limited government or lower taxation?  Did you see anything about being effective at raising campaign contributions or recruiting quality Republican candidates?  No, the Huck isn’t about ideas or competence, he’s about “faithful, loyal friends.”  And we hear this from his spokesperson, who is his own daughter.  If it got any more inbred, we’d have to endure all sorts of bad Arkansas jokes.  With Huckabee there’s no avoiding the bad jokes.

Update, again: The Iconoclast blog in Fayetteville doesn’t exactly lean Republican, but blogger “Jonah Tebbetts” can’t resist a little neighborly homer-ism in making the pitch for Wood as the better pick. Click over for a little perspective from Wood’s backyard.

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17 thoughts on “Arkansas GOP Chair: And Then There Were Two… (Updated!)

  • December 7, 2008 at 9:38 am
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    “The good news for Republicans was that 2006 was their bottoming out.
    By 2008, Republicans picked their battles wisely. Instead of mounting costly and feckless campaigns again Arkansas’ congressional Democrats in the midst of a poisonous political environment for the GOP nationwide, they focused on local legislative races and picked up three state House seats.”

    That may be true but it had nothing to do with the state party. The focus was on legislative races because the state party was a hapless, ineffective, disorganized mess. They couldn’t even find an opponent for Sen. Pryor and are struggling to find an opponent for Gov. Beebe. They hire an ED from Mississippi who is clueless, and had a Chairman who got the job because NOBODY wanted it.
    If the RPA elects Doyle Webb I can assure you that 06 was not the bottom for the party. It will be as big of a mistake as nominating Jim Holt for Lt Gov over Chuck Banks.

    Reply
  • December 7, 2008 at 10:36 am
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    I heard that the current party chairman said he would pick up three races this year and thats exactly what he done. We ought to pick somebody like him to keep the party winning.

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  • December 7, 2008 at 10:51 am
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    Nothing against Dennis. He could have done a worst job. But Doyle “Show me the money” Webb is the wrong move at the wrong time.

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  • December 7, 2008 at 8:44 pm
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    That may be true but it had nothing to do with the state party. The focus was on legislative races because the state party was a hapless, ineffective, disorganized mess. They couldn’t even find an opponent for Sen. Pryor and are struggling to find an opponent for Gov. Beebe. They hire an ED from Mississippi who is clueless, and had a Chairman who got the job because NOBODY wanted it.
    If the RPA elects Doyle Webb I can assure you that 06 was not the bottom for the party. It will be as big of a mistake as nominating Jim Holt for Lt Gov over Chuck Banks.

    Allow me to AMEN the above statement on this wonderful statement. Obama got less than 40% and we only pick up 3 seats in Arkansas?

    Karen Ray has got to go. The RPA is clueless and inept.

    Reply
  • December 7, 2008 at 9:12 pm
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    Wow. Anybody feel the love for Chuck tonight?

    I’m pulling for Joseph because I feel he brings the right judgment, ideology, and character that the party so desperately needs.

    Reply
  • December 7, 2008 at 9:25 pm
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    Being a Republican in Arkansas sort of feels like being Bernard Marx at a Soma party. You are upset and screaming inside, not sure why the rest of the people can’t see how screwed up the world is and why they don’t get you. Then you find your savage out on the reservation (read successful candidate) and people come and pay attention to you for a little while and you get feeling important. Then they get tired of your odd ways and your bragging and begin to ignore you again. Then you wonder why no one likes you anymore, why you became what you were to begin with.
    The fact is, you may be right, the world is a mess and it does need to change, but if you alienate people, no one is going to stop and listen to what you say. It is doubly true if you really don’t even understand what is wrong with the world in a way that you can articulate it.
    For all the arguments about who did what and why we are where we are at, the truth is that we can’t even get along with each other, more less convince people they need to join us. As long as we are dysfunctional, divided and begging for scraps from the table of Democrats, we will fail. It doesn’t matter who leads us. How many times has one Republican sold another out in the paper? Or how many of you are a member of one of the various factions and would be damned before you support someone from another faction?
    Do you want to win? Then put your own house in order. Stop fighting for scraps and for the title of the leader of nothing. There are more important things at stake than our own power bases and our own resumes. We, the rank and file members of the party, are the real problem. The fact that this group of “leaders” in charge of the party now obtained their positions is evidence that we as a party are confused. If we were better organized and loyal to each other, we would not be where we are and we would have strong leaders taking us into the future.
    Believe me, the Democrats understand what our problem is and they are laughing it up. They play us against ourselves to their benefit. Until we get over ourselves, we will never be anything more than what we are now.

    Reply
  • December 8, 2008 at 12:02 pm
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    Rex,

    When a horse brakes a leg on the track, you put it down. Not much fun for the horse but better than the alternatives.

    Some of these factions are one way we are trying to fix the problem in our own party. If we don’t remove the cancer, it will kill us.

    Reply
  • December 8, 2008 at 12:05 pm
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    Rex and Ridge Runner,
    I don’t really care for any of the existing Republican factions, and don’t really fit into any of them anyway, so I’m thinking of starting up my own faction. Mostly it will be devoted to cutting out of GOP meetings and smoking cigarettes behind the gym, maybe beating up some nerds every once in a while. Who’s with me?
    D.

    Reply
  • December 8, 2008 at 12:37 pm
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    I’m in. Plenty of nerds at those meetings.

    Reply
  • December 8, 2008 at 8:03 pm
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    For those of you who would disparage the ED, or any of the staff, you are welcome to apply for the job and try to do a better job yourself. You could also pony up and run for office. The fact is, that most of the folks complaining aren’t in the trenches doing any of the work and wouldn’t do the job for what the RPA has to pay. Hell, I wouldn’t.

    For what we pay the staff at the RPA we get a pretty good deal. If you want a 40 something with 20+ years of work and/or political experience you need to start somewhere in the six figure range.

    With that being said…. I agree that Doyle Webb and his ego are the last thing we need. If he was half the leader he says he is the Saline County Republican Party would be in better shape and all singing Kumbiya.

    Reply
  • December 8, 2008 at 9:07 pm
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    Teddy, can’t disagree more. Its like state employees bitching about their pay. Guess what? They knew what it paid when they took it. They agreed to do a good job for what they were offered. If they don’t, they should be gone. I can sympathize that the pay isn’t high, but if you want more money, get a different job and quit f#$king up the one you have.
    And by the way, I don’t want the job. I don’t think I have to fill the shoes of an individual to formulate a negative opinion about the job they do. I complain about hippies. I’m not going to become a hippy just so I can complain about them. Maybe you should become a Democrat so you can complain about them, eh?

    Ridge, we have to learn from Reagan. He brought all factions together. He didn’t fight with any one branch. And if he did, he sure wouldn’t have done it in public. Remember his 11th Commandment? You want to win, then you need to get over thinking of the disparate groups as a “cancer”. Instead you have to find common ground. The party is bigger than any one issue or any one ideology. If we don’t get past that thinking, we lose and when we lose, the outcome is far worse than not having the candidate that fits your “ideals”. I wasn’t thrilled about McCain but I worked for him and gave money. Why? Because he was much worse than Obama. Yeah, I do think that the lesser of two evils is a good thing when the worse of the two evils as really, really bad.

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  • December 8, 2008 at 9:31 pm
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    “For what we pay the staff at the RPA we get a pretty good deal. If you want a 40 something with 20+ years of work and/or political experience you need to start somewhere in the six figure range.”

    That is one of the dumbest things ever to come out of Little Rock. Get real if you think we should pay the staffers over $100,000 per year? Even our school superintendent don’t make that much.

    Reply
  • December 8, 2008 at 9:36 pm
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    Rex,

    Sometimes you have to make the hard choices. Will we suffer in the short term. Yes.

    But is removing the cancer of false Republicans necessary. Yes, for the long term health of the party. We need more like Sara Palin and fewer like McCain. We have to make sure our state republicans have values that are right and are not wolfs in sheeps clothing.

    Reply
  • December 8, 2008 at 11:35 pm
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    I just re-read what I wrote. I guess I should proof read. The next to last sentence should say, “Because Obama was much worse than McCain was.”
    Lysdexic ma I? Nto’d wnowk, bisspoyl.

    Reply
  • December 9, 2008 at 7:35 am
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    Actually, many, if not most school superintendents in Arkansas make six figures. The Demazette ran a big article about it a year or so ago.

    We picked up seats, which we haven’t done in awhile. After we get a chairman. What would you like to see in an ED? and don’t complain about what they shouldn’t do…. what do you want to see an ED do?

    Reply
  • December 9, 2008 at 8:44 am
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    Hear, hear Teddy!

    Reply
  • December 9, 2008 at 9:30 am
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    Typical Little Rock

    First, argue you need to pay someone more money to get good results.

    Second, argue you got good results with the amount you are already paying.

    Reply

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