Thursday, February 18, 2010

Electioneering and Fund-Raising Paradigm Shifts Again

In Republican circles, the heat turns up another notch

A group of Hispanic people in Bryan gathered last night at
Ninfa's Restaurant to discuss forming a Hispanic Republican
Club for Brazos County.

Through the offices of Paul Rieger, Brazos County Republican
Chairman, they had invited two savvy political operatives to
come and give a presentation about how they can organize
along guidelines set out by the Republican Party of Texas
and affiliate with GOP Is For

It's an umbrella organization that offers the service of a
boutique advertising and marketing agency - for free. Not
one dime changes hands.

In return, Duke Machado, President of the Hispanic
Republican Club of McLennan County and Janet Jackson,
Training and Development Director of GOP Is For told
them, they get the legal services of some of the best
corporate lawyers to be found in Austin, Texas; the
expertise of a proven trainer who specializes in teaching
people how to become Precinct Chairmen of their party and
"get sent" to the State Repubican Convention to help choose
their District Committeemen and women; lists of registered
Repubican voters by precinct and zip code; free access to a
16-county website, blog and on-line radio and television
hook-up; and a total marketing plan that has been proven
effective in many election cycles.

"It almost sounds too good to be true," said Junior Leaguer
Tamara Garza, the newly-elected public relations
representative for the fledgling Brazos County Hispanic
organization. But she and her colleagues wound up agreeing.

There is no catch.

The key moment came when a mature gentleman who had been
elected the group's treasurer just moments before questioned
Mr. Machado about a proffered CD with all the forms for
incorporation, the training manuals and the Republican Party
rules already outlined on it.

He asked in icy tones, "Do we have to use your forms, your

There were many grim expressions on the faces of the people
at the table as he spoke.

Mr. Machado said with disarming candor, "No, you can do
whatever you wish; but what difference does it make? We got
all this material from the Republican Party of Texas in

He quickly added that he had only something to give.
Nothing is for sale.

He and Ms. Jackson operate politically strictly as an
avocation. Mr. Machado is the sales manager for a local
Ford dealership. Ms. Jackson is a licensed ranch real
estate broker.

That broke the ice. The thaw was instant. Faces lit up.

Suddenly, the mood of the meeting lightened up.

The people around the table indicated by facial expression
and body language that they were suddenly receptive, ready
to work with the duo from the McLennan County organization
that exercises its influence from the far northern Johnson
County community of Burleson to all the counties involved in
Congressional District 17 and State Senatorial District 22.

They were all of a sudden ready to do business with the
people from Waco.


They've cleared the decks and gotten the paperwork done.
They followed instructions and suggestions from Austin where
the deep thinkers of the GOP are locked in a struggle to
show Hispanic voters that their basic core beliefs are those
of their conservative GOP political operatives throughout

In short, Republican values are basically the same as
Hispanic values, whether you're a rock-ribbed conservative
or a Yella Dawg Democrat. Christian faith, respect for
authority and an abiding belief in the constitutional
principles of the United States of America, hard work,
thrift and family - it's all part of the same thing, no
matter where your ancestors originated, where you live and
work or where you got your education.

To get back to basics, the reality is this:

If 2010 is going to be a knife fight between alley cats,
2012 will be a full dress bayonet charge.

Consider the fact that conservative Christian churches,
especially in the southeast, were perilously close to losing
their tax-free not-for-profit 501(c)(3) IRS status in the last
couple of elections.


Electioneering for conservative candidates and politicking
conservative issues such as right to life and one man - one
woman marriage, anti-homosexual preaching and teaching and
fundraising for Republican candidates through the efforts of
such interest groups as the Moral Majority and Focus on the
Family movements extended to the pulpit, the Sunday school
class and the church bulletin.

Where the Democratic Party carried their message on the
internet, the Republican Party by and large carried their
message through the church.

Even the venerable Bob Jones University briefly lost its
tax-exempt status due to a policy banning interracial
couples living together on campus in South Carolina.

Enter the new strategy, a tactic of signing up special
interest Republican clubs under the provisions of 501(c)(4)
of the Internal Revenue Code.

To qualify, these organizations must be "civic leagues or
organizations not organized for profit but operated
exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, or local
associations of employees, the membership of which is
limited to the employees of a designated person or persons
in a particular municipality, and the net earning of which
are devoted exclusively to charitable, educational, or
recreational purposes."

Both 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations may be run as not
for profits; neither one may benefit a private shareholder
or individual; both 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations
are exempt from paying federal income tax, though state tax
exemption varies.

The difference is this.

Under the rules of the 501(c)(4) exemption, the clubs or
civic leagues may campaign and electioneer to their hearts'
content - as long as their core values are the same as those
of the candidates or the propositions they advocate.

The Brazos County Hispanics were impressed with the
presentation, according to Ms. Garza, who confirmed the next
morning in a telephone interview that they are seriously
considering making the move.

They don't want to move too fast because they have all been
involved in so-called solutions that led to dead ends when
volunteers showed up and found out there was no role for
them to play, no task to perform and no training available
by which to learn their new jobs.

Under the horizontal table of organization and equipment
used by the Hispanic Republican Clubs and GOP Is For, cadre is in place and ready to start tasking
immediately when new recruits walk through the door, climb
on the bandwagon, respond to the blog or answer that phone
call. They're ready to do business and ask for the order
before they ever show up.

And so, though the outlook is cautious, but they are leaning
toward a new future in the Republican Party of Texas.

1 comment:

  1. Right on to the Republican Party of Texas. What a brilliant strategy. Just change your not for profit filing with the IRS to 501(c)(4)and go ahead and talk about anything you want to talk about at church and Sunday school. Since when did the IRS become the arbiter riding herd on the peoples' First Amendment rights, anyway?

    - Anonymous