Rumor Mongering: Should GOP Chair Be Paid?

This has been raised to me several times over the last few days, to the point where I’m just going to throw it out there as a blind item. Word about town is that at least one of the hopefuls in the race to take on the Arkansas Republican Party chair post expects to be paid for the position.

This rumor’s been floating around, and I’m hearing from several folks who are grumbling about it. Like, say, this individual, who e-mailed me the other day:

I think having a paid Chairman is a terrible idea. The Chairman is supposed to be a figurehead that raises money. If the money being raised goes to pay the Chairman then we aren’t raising any money to spend on candidates.

As the saying goes, I don’t have a dog in this fight. I don’t expect to be advocating for or against any of these characters for chair, because I thought about it for 2 minutes and realized that I don’t care much. But if any of the candidates do think that the party chair position should be salaried work, well, I suppose others will let them know what they think about that.

Is this a good idea? Anyone hearing anything else on this?

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21 thoughts on “Rumor Mongering: Should GOP Chair Be Paid?

  • November 18, 2008 at 9:44 am
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    The Chairman of our Party should not be paid. We’ve gone down that road before. Marty ruined that forever. Our Chairman has to be a volunteer who will work tirelessly to elect new members to the State House and State Senate.

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  • November 18, 2008 at 9:55 am
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    The state party should be run with business efficiency, and the most capable person should be its Chairman.

    Being the most capable and being well off enough to afford a volunteer position of this magnitude (in order to “work tirelessly”) are mutually exclusive.

    I am not advocating a pay level where one could afford a golf membership, but a modest incentive schedule, based upon the amount of funds raised and electoral benchmarks should be looked into.

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  • November 18, 2008 at 10:12 am
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    So if we won’t pay a chairman, then I guess we’re limiting our selection to only the wealthy in our party?

    I can we can make a sign and put it on the front door “Middle Class Need Not Apply”.

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  • November 18, 2008 at 10:30 am
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    Ryan, that’s cute that you used the term “mutually exclusive.” Did you recently learn that in a intro to forensics class or something like that and realize you had a chance to put the phrase to use?

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  • November 18, 2008 at 10:51 am
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    I think some people are confused about what the role of Chairman is. A Chairman is a fundraiser. He is supposed to bring as much money into the Party’s coffers as possible. A Party Chairman is like the head of a charitable foundation, you hold the title because you are a respected member of the community.

    Paying a Chairman is counterproductive. Chairman are supposed to bring money to the Party, not take money away from it.

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  • November 18, 2008 at 11:08 am
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    So then was it counterproductive to have Gilbert Baker as Chairman? I don’t think so. He helped our party raise a lot of money in 2006. According to some I guess we would have been better off without Gilbert as our chairman since we paid him.

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  • November 18, 2008 at 11:25 am
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    That being said, that doesn’t mean I’m supporting the candidate that wants to be paid. I’m just taking that position as a matter of principle.

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  • November 18, 2008 at 11:25 am
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    I do not think the State Chairman should be raised, but should that happen then that means there will be no Executive Director… because essentially, the Chairman will take over that role as well.

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  • November 18, 2008 at 12:49 pm
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    How many copies of Huck’s new book did the RPA advance order?

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  • November 18, 2008 at 1:40 pm
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    As I remember, we specifically changed the RPA Rules back in the early ’90s to allow a chairman to be paid. The reasoning then was that we wanted to have a chairman who could devote enough time to the job to be effective, and that reasoning is just as true today. Without a salary, that won’t happen unless the chairman is independently wealthy. Like the guy above said, “independently wealthy” and “politically competent” are more often than not mutually exclusive.

    And, by the way, I have no idea which candidate is wanting to be paid; I just think it’s a good idea to have the option available for the right person.

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  • November 18, 2008 at 2:10 pm
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    JMW – The RPA rule reads…

    Secion 5-H. “The State Chairman may serve as a volunteer or paid chairman, provided, however, all candidates shall designate in writing whether he or she intends to serve with or without salary. Should a candidate designating paid status be elected, the Executive Committee shall be empowered to establish the salary and conditions of employment for the term of office to which he or she was elected.”

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  • November 18, 2008 at 3:47 pm
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    I don’t believe that Gilbert was a paid Chairman. Does anyone know for sure that he was?

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  • November 18, 2008 at 5:34 pm
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    Check his statement of financial interest. It is listed on there as some amount over $12,500.

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  • November 19, 2008 at 8:09 am
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    The chairman should not be paid. And yes no middle class need apply unless your spouse works and can support your volunteer efforts.

    It is unlikely that they would be able to raise enough money to keep the RPA afloat if they don’t know anyone with money.

    The chairman is there to raise money and recruit candidates.

    If they want to be paid they should apply for Executive Director. That’s the full time position that runs the day to day operations.

    Frankly, we won more seats this year with an unpaid chairman than we did with a paid chairman.

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  • November 19, 2008 at 10:33 am
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    We also raised a lot less money this year with an unpaid chairman than we did with a paid chairman.

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  • November 19, 2008 at 10:58 am
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    I’m with Teddy on this. We need to find us a rich dude that wants a hobby to be our Chairman. The Chairman is a figurehead. He isn’t supposed to be a strategist or a political hack. That is what the Executive Director is supposed to be. Let’s have a Chairman who is rich and will raise lots of money, and let’s get rid of that girl that runs the Party and hire a professional to run the Party.

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  • November 19, 2008 at 2:36 pm
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    Any suggestion on the rich dude?

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  • November 19, 2008 at 6:19 pm
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    Win raised a big chunk of the money when the chairman was paid. We didn’t have Win this go around.

    And how much would you suggest we pay for an ED?

    And what do you think we will get for that salary range?

    What kind of skills and background do you think they should have?

    I wouldn’t do it for what they pay her.

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  • November 19, 2008 at 8:49 pm
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    That brings up a good point. If we are about to get a new chairman, what is the status of the ED? You would think a new chair would hire a new ED.

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  • November 19, 2008 at 9:16 pm
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    The chairman has a lot of influence to be sure. However the executive board hires and fires the ED.

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  • November 19, 2008 at 11:39 pm
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    I still maintain that an incentive plan could work in lieu of the actual salary that some people in the RPA seem irked about.

    Raise X amount, get Y percentage of the cash.

    Increase GOP membership in the state House and Senate by a certain amount, get more money as a bonus.

    Increase the percentage of Republicans elected to county offices by a certain amount, mo’ money.

    Win the governorship, Blanche’s Senate seat, etc.

    Reply

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