A year after Tampa, can the GOP fix itself with a third party?

Unfortunately for the GOP, there is truth to both concerns, and the present dichotomy between these two views from within the party is unenviable.

The problem is compounded by the fact that millions of people are abandoning the Republicans (as well as the Democrats), preferring instead to register with no-party affiliation.

So what is the GOP to do?

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, August 27, 2013

One year ago, the GOP convention came to town, albeit delayed for a day because of sensitivities to what Tropical Storm Isaac, brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, might do.

As Isaac passed and the party began to convene, Republicans began what they thought was the last leg of their road to retake the White House. The convention ended up being a seemingly seamless and perfectly choreographed affair — unless you consider the Isaac issue, Clint Eastwood’s performance with “Obama’s chair,” or the fact that the assembled delegates on the convention floor looked whiter than a bowl of cottage cheese.

Mitt Romney left the convention without much movement in the polls, and days later, the Democrats met in Charlotte, where they held one of their most successful conventions in recent times.

The hopes of Republican voters jumped after the first debate, but Romney couldn’t sustain the enthusiasm and lost big to Obama on Election Day.

Caption: Delegates cheer for Mitt Romney at the Republican Convention in Tampa last year.
Caption: Delegates cheer for Mitt Romney at the Republican Convention in Tampa last year.

For the GOP, the Tampa convention and the Romney campaign with the flaws that came with the candidate are now mere asterisks in the annals of party history. The question is, what have we learned since, and when will the party change?

Since the election, the most common comments I hear about the party contain one of two views, one being Continue reading “A year after Tampa, can the GOP fix itself with a third party?”

Short on minority outreach

Nationwide, GOP efforts at minority outreach tend to fall flat. The party’s idea of grassroots outreach usually means sending out press releases touting their efforts which usually amount to occasionally hiring a black or Hispanic to go into those respective communities to recruit voters. The GOP’s paltry attempts bear little fruit because all they are doing is watering the lawn when what they need to do is irrigate the field and cover it with a heavy dose of fertilizer.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Saturday, September 8, 2012

At the Republican National Convention in Tampa convention planners strived to fill the podium with minority speakers who would make the party’s case that the GOP represents their interests. By all accounts the effort from the podium was a success. But on the convention floor, the gathering of delegates looked more like a country club gathering of whites rather than an inclusive party made up of diverse racial and ethnic groups.

Black and Hispanic delegates were few and far between; the Washington Post reported that just 2 percent of GOP delegates at the RNC were “people of color” — compared to 40 percent at the DNC.

The Republican Party has a lot of work to do.

Nationwide, GOP efforts at minority outreach tend to fall flat. The party’s idea of grassroots outreach usually means sending out press releases touting their efforts which usually amount to occasionally hiring a black or Hispanic to go into those respective communities to recruit voters. The GOP’s paltry attempts bear little fruit because Continue reading “Short on minority outreach”

Seven things to watch for during the RNC

By Chris Ingram

The 40th Republican National Convention is now just days away from kicking off in Tampa.

Tampa at dusk.

Here is what to look for during the convention week: Continue reading “Seven things to watch for during the RNC”

Romney can thank Florida

Florida Republican National Committeewoman Sharon Day (who is also the secretary of the Republican National Committee) recently told a reporter, “The country is going through this awkward, pained process because we jumped so early, and we had no impact.” She also said she doesn’t see the penalties being lifted.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published April 14, 2012

With Rick Santorum now out of the race for the Republican nomination for president, Mitt Romney has no serious challengers remaining and can begin to focus on beating Barack Obama.

With all the speculation about a hotly contested floor fight now nothing but a dream in the minds of political prognosticators and the media, there are likely benefits to Florida Republicans headed to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, now that Romney is the apparent nominee.

Florida delegates are currently facing a number of sanctions imposed by the Republican National Committee. The Florida delegation is facing Continue reading “Romney can thank Florida”

Shameless losers

Gingrich would like voters to forget he’s a philandering hypocrite, a “histobbyist” and the ultimate Washington insider, with the ethics violations, record fines and enemies to prove it.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published February 8, 2012

Just like his pal former speaker of the U.S. House Newt Gingrich, ex-congressman and former Florida attorney general Bill McCollum wants voters to forget a few things.

Gingrich would like voters to forget he’s a philandering hypocrite, a “histobbyist” and the ultimate Washington insider, with the ethics violations, record fines and enemies to prove it.

For his part, McCollum would like voters to forget about the fiasco that was his service as a Clinton impeachment manager. As one of the managers, McCollum proved his mastery of the law couldn’t get a grand jury of 12 Orthodox Jews to indict a ham sandwich.

McCollum would also like voters to forget that Continue reading “Shameless losers”

Bob Dole to run for Hillsborough REC Chairman

The expectation is that Vice-Chairman Art Wood will run to replace Cox-Roush.

Let’s hope someone else steps forward.

Art “Bob Dole” Wood expected to run for chairman. REC members should demand better.

By Chris Ingram

Earlier today Hillsborough County Republican Party Chairwoman Deborah Cox-Roush announced she is resigning to take a staff position with the Herman Cain for President campaign.

Cox-Roush’s departure means the Hillsborough Republican Executive Committee will have to hold a special election to replace her.

Art Wood: Hillsborough's own Bob Dole

The expectation is that Vice-Chairman Art Wood will run to replace Cox-Roush.

Let’s hope someone else steps forward.

In just Continue reading “Bob Dole to run for Hillsborough REC Chairman”

Buckhorn discusses panhandling, the budget, the GOP convention, and Obama

Irreverent View spent an hour with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn over omelets and coffee this morning – Buckhorn ordered the meat lovers with hot sauce – a man after my own heart. The following excerpts are from our conversation.

Will he or won’t he campaign for Obama next year?

By Chris Ingram

Irreverent View spent an hour with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn over omelets and coffee this morning – Buckhorn ordered the meat lovers with hot sauce – a man after my own heart. The following excerpts are from our conversation.

Irreverent View: Like most local governments the city is facing a budget crisis, what are you going to do to balance the budget?

Photo: Bob Buckhorn with his girls in background (campaign photo).

Buckhorn: We have General Revenue funds coming in at $350 million and then we have self sufficient funds – things like parking and solid waste that are way under. The solid waste department for example is generating less revenue due to a shrinking customer base as a result of the economy. The city’s parking department is $7 million in the red due in large part because of the two parking garages in Ybor City that are just bleeding red ink. There are other inefficiencies in our parking system as well. Continue reading “Buckhorn discusses panhandling, the budget, the GOP convention, and Obama”