Washington State Wire: Washington State Republicans chart a path forward

The Washington State Wire starts a series on the future of the state Republican party with Washington State Republicans chart a path forward: The Factions.

Loren Culp’s loss in 2020 marked the tenth consecutive for Republican gubernatorial candidates in Washington State. At the national level, former President Donald Trump’s tempestuous exit from the White House continues to ignite conversations among Republicans about the future of their party.

State Republican Party Chair Caleb Heimlich promised after the election that the party would overhaul its entire strategy and “look at all options.”

In press conferences following the election and over the course of Trump’s second impeachment, leading elected Republicans in Washington State avoided talk of “the other Washington” and attempted to stay focused on local issues. But for those who embarked on ill-fated campaigns to join the ranks of elected Republicans, the party’s inability to narrow Democratic majorities in the Legislature and break through in statewide races has renewed calls for a change of course.

“Last year we saw in the election that there was a lot of division in the state of Washington. And my concern is, what is our path forward for the Republican Party? I know that many others throughout Washington State saw exactly what I saw – that being divided only leads to loss,” said Joshua Freed, Chair of the King County Republican Party.

To the extent there was intraparty strife last year, Freed had a front row seat. He was a gubernatorial candidate himself before losing to Culp in the primary. After the primary, he launched a long shot write-in campaign for lieutenant governor, but that also wasn’t meant to be.

Freed says his experience as a candidate affirmed his belief that unity is a prerequisite for victory in a state where Republicans have little margin for error.

I don’t think the path forward is going to be a path of division saying that a patriot type wing or a mainstreamer type wing is our path forward. Those type of factions bring fractures to the party. I think what you’ll see moving forward is a Republican Party that is moving forward in unity on core conservative values.”

When asked to specify those values, Freed said, “We are a party of ideals. We believe in the constitution. We believe in law and order. We believe in individual liberties and we are the party that stands up for those.”

Freed also believes strongly that Republicans need to remain laser focused on local issues. “We are a party that believes in local control. I’m not gonna take my dictates on high and my messages on high from the RNC, we’re gonna listen to the citizens that are desperately calling out for conservative solutions.”

In separate interviews, Freed and several other individuals involved in Republican state politics agreed that all pathways to electoral success in the state narrow without unity among right-leaning voters of all stripes. But some were less sanguine than Freed about the willingness of different factions within the party to reconcile their differences.

Take Chris Gergen, who was Loren Culp’s campaign manager.

Unfortunately, I think it’s very difficult for constitutional-minded Republicans and establishment Republicans to find very much common ground with your mainstream Republicans. Because with some of these issues, you’re either pro-life or you’re not. Either you’re pro-Second Amendment or you’re not. These are black and white issues and it’s hard to find common ground on issues that are genuinely important to conservative voters. It becomes very difficult to chart a path forward with all three groups.”

From Gergen’s perspective, there are three predominant factions within the party. He calls the first faction either “Constitutional Republicans” or “Traditional Conservatives.” They’re about small government and low taxes, and they’re “pro-Second Amendment, pro-constitution.” These are the voters that turned out for Culp in the primary and put him over the top, Gergen continued.

The idea of ‘it’s all about the persuadables and the base will follow’ is not true. People in Eastern Washington feel like their voices don’t matter and the only voices that matter are in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, maybe Clark County and then that’s it.”

Tapping into those voices is what Gergen believes gave Culp the boost he needed to break away from the pack in a crowded primary.

“People say, ‘oh Loren lost by a huge margin.’ Ok, I’ll concede that point. But just when you look at the raw data of conservatives who supported Loren, it is a staggering number. And it shows just how many conservatives there are in Washington State that are ready to be involved that were never involved in the past.”

Culp declined to be interviewed for this story.

Next, he describes the type of people who voted for Freed as “Establishment Republicans.”

“They’re in the party, identify with the party, come in lockstep with the party,” said Gergen. These would be the voters who Freed was able to turn out in King County – the only county where he managed to beat Culp.

Gergen didn’t say whether he feels most elected Republicans in the state would be considered “Establishment Republicans,” nor did he say whether he believes elected officials are partial to one faction over another. But he did claim that the Republican leadership in Olympia was unreceptive to Culp’s campaign.

[House Minority Leader J.T.] Wilcox and [Senate Minority Leader] Braun were of no help whatsoever, though we did reach out to both the House and the Senate caucus a few times, but they were not interested. And Mr. Wilcox had sent a snarky text message to Mr. Culp back in March after an event that we had with Sheriff David Clarke of Wisconsin.”

Gergen says that Wilcox’s primary opponent showed up at the event and was permitted to speak on stage for a few minutes, which peeved the Minority Leader. His primary opponent was Matt Marshall, leader of the far right Washington State Three Percenters group.

To be fair, [Wilcox] had been attacked incessantly by conservatives, Three Percenters and so forth. Matt Marshall was one of the founders of the Three Percent movement in Washington State. Having him on our platform wasn’t a statement for or against the Three Percent group. He was there as a candidate and we wanted to share the wealth with other people running. But Wilcox took it as Loren siding with all those groups that were attacking him. That wasn’t the case, but frankly we didn’t have the time or the inclination to explain ourselves.”

As for the third faction, this group is who Freed and Gergen refer to as the “Mainstreamers” or “Mainstream Republicans.” According to Gergen, these voters are liberal Republicans who are pro-choice and don’t mind gun control. The stand in for these voters, in both moniker and ideological disposition, is a political organization called the Mainstream Republicans of Washington (MRW).

According to MRW’s website, the organization believes that “social issues should be depoliticized, so that government can focus on fiscal responsibility through balancing the budget and boosting the economy.”

The MRW Advisory Board includes political giants like former Governor Dan Evans, former US Senator Slade Gorton, former Attorney General Rob McKenna, and current officers holders like Wilcox and Secretary of State Kim Wyman.

While Traditional Conservatives and Establishment Republicans have their differences, Gergen says a joint disdain for Mainstreamers has been a source of unity. “There’s no love lost between the Culp Organization and Mr. Freed’s organization, just from some things that went on during the primary. And we have found ourselves as strange bedfellows,” said Gergen.

Indeed, following Culp’s victory in the primary, Freed wrote on Facebook that “Washington is in a very dangerous position right now on multiple levels with the only true hope coming from God.”

This point of common ground, as Gergen describes it, is driven by a shared dissatisfaction with those considered to be tokens of Northwest moderation.

From what I have seen, there is a lot of dislike and distrust and disgust from establishment-minded Republicans as well as traditional-conservative Republicans for the mainstream Slade Gorton – God rest his soul – type of Republicans. You even see that with the Secretary of State. I think she kind of fits in that Mainstream Republican role. She’s taking a lot of incoming fire from the establishment. And these are rank-and-file Republicans. These are company guys and gals. They’re not happy with how she’s handled things.”

Wyman, who is now the only statewide Republican elected official on the West Coast, refused to lend credence to Culp’s unproven claims of widespread election fraud. Culp lobbed his election fraud allegations at the same time Trump was pushing similar theories following the presidential election and leading up to the January 6th insurrection at the United States Capitol.

Amid a short-lived lawsuit Culp waged against Wyman, she said that there is “absolutely no evidence that any fraud occurred that would change the will of the voters,” and that “Culp and his campaign manager make these outlandish claims that have no basis in fact.”

As reported above, Gergen conceded in an interview with the Wire that Culp had “lost by a huge margin.”

Around the same time, Washington State’s elections director ended up on a website that included images of officials – with crosshairs over their profiles, and home and email addresses – who the site creators said had “aided and abetted the fraudulent election against Trump.”

Wilcox and Senate Minority Leader John Braun issued a statement affirming their confidence in the 2020 election results and the work of Wyman, which Gergen views as an understandable, yet politically clumsy decision.

When the voter fraud thing came out, J.T. Wilcox circled the wagon around her, as did the Senate Minority Leader. And I understand why they did that. They’re all elected officials and that puts them into a tough, vulnerable space to where they only really have two choices. They can either be quiet and not say anything or step out and to defend the Secretary, as they all did. I think that was possibly the wrong decision. I know if I were consulting them I would have told them to be quiet. Just don’t say anything. Don’t say anything. Because there’s no right answer to that politically for those guys.”

In an interview with the Wire at the time, Wyman said the divisions within the party had been causing her to question her place within it.

The party has gone through this before. In 1964 with Goldwater, we had the John Birch Society and these very powerful right wing interests that took over the party for a time, and we’re at one of those periods now.”

If Wyman’s self-questioning indicated a desire to see the party move in a more moderate direction – a direction in line with MRW’s vision for the party – Freed’s post-election self-questioning indicated the opposite.

“We’re the party that in 2010 overwhelmingly took back the House when we stood on core Republican principles. Compromising is not the path forward for the Republican Party. It’s truly putting forward our solutions that we know actually work and not being embarrassed about them, but boldly speaking them, with a level head,” said Freed.

In mid-January, as Freed published statements on social media calling for all factions of the party to come together, he also wrote that Wyman’s comments regarding her place within the party “fuel the narrative of concern which many people have expressed.”

“Kim, We are the party that elected you, don’t turn your back but rather stand with the party of the Republic and Constitution,” wrote Freed on Facebook.

A few days before that, Freed called on MRW to disband immediately or remove the name Republican from their name:

Their existence is causing unnecessary division in the Republican Party. Such division is not constructive but rather damaging. I invite you to join us and not continue to seek to divide. Remove the name Republican from your name or completely dissolve. Factions bring fractions and the evidence of broken elections for 20 years in Washington is clearly evidence in the primary of 2020.”

Freed wrote the post on Facebook two days after former MRW Mike Vaska published an op-ed in the Seattle Times calling on Republicans in Washington State to “once again summon the courage to rebuild [the] party in the aftermath of national disgrace.”

In his post, Freed falsely attributed a quote to Vaska, which the latter included in his op-ed. The quote was actually delivered by former Gov. Dan Evans at the 1965 state convention: “The Republican Party did not achieve greatness nor will it regain greatness by being the party of radicalism or of the lunatic fringe.”

Nevertheless, Freed maintains that embracing core conservative principles will yield better opportunities for messaging, and subsequently, better electoral outcomes.

I would say that 80% of the party would call themselves core conservatives. Meaning they wouldn’t say they’re far right wingers and they wouldn’t say they’re mainstreamers or far left of the Republican Party … I think there’s been a push over the last several years to step away from core conservative values which has now put us in the position that it has. Moving forward with that status quo approach will only make us more irrelevant in the state.”

When asked to account for why the party went from nominating establishment favorite Bill Bryant in 2016 to the populist conservative Culp in 2020 if a push to move away from core conservative values was underway, Freed said that the party has not moved away from conservative values, but has stopped communicating them in an effective way.

Gergen agreed that communication is central to the party’s shortcomings, particularly among non-white voters.

Conservatives are not doing a good job at listening to what voters need and what voters want … We’ve been put on the defense by the Democrats to be afraid to have certain conversations that we should be having. We should be talking to Black voters, to Latino voters, to minority groups. We should be talking to suburban women. We should be talking to urbanites and millennials.”

When Republicans don’t provide skeptical voters with a narrative, a narrative is provided for them. And to the extent that this issues persists, Gergen thinks Republicans need not look past the mirror.

I think not having these conversations opens Republicans up to be branded by the left in a way that is blatantly untrue or is maybe unfair. And we just allow them to do it. For me, it’s not the fault of the left, it’s the fault of the right. Until we own our own problems, until we look and see where the baby’s ugly, we can’t fix it.”

When asked in separate interviews to name a Washington State Republican with strong political promise, both Freed and Gergen named Matt Larkin – the Republican nominee for Attorney General in 2020. Larkin is rumored to be considering a run for Congress.

16th Leg. Dist. Republicans Open Letter to People of Benton County

The Benton County Republicans for the 15th Legislative District have written an open letter to the people of Benton County about the county commissioners and their saying that they have no authority to resist the governor’s stay at home orders. The letter reads, in part:

…Shon Small, Jerome Delvin, and James Beaver made the statement “The Benton County Board of Commissions does not have the legal authority to override the Governor’s ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ proclamation…” The Commissioners’ job is to oversee the county and also, we firmly assert, to protect the citizens from overreach of power by the capital. All three of our Commissioners are either willfully ignorant or just negligent in their role…

It is time to get business’s open and the people back to work. We firmly believe that every
person in Benton County is essential. We know there are veritable public health concerns and
those who ought to stay home, can chose to do so. The working people of Benton County
know what is best for them, not the Governor’s boot-licking Commissioners, whose income
rolls in whether they work or not. It’s time the Commissioners earn their paycheck and protect
the good and hard working people of Benton County from the bureaucratic double speak of
Olympia. The woes of King and Pierce County are not the identical worries of Benton
County; we are a different demographic, climate, economy, and culture. The citizens of this
community possess an undeniable right to make decisions autonomously from our State
government; to tailor our county government to serve the people of this area as is fitting to the
citizenry of this particular locality. Top down, authoritarian mandates from the capital are ‘one
size, fits the capital alone’ decisions – they are made without a thought of us here! We are
calling on the Commissioners to do what is prudent for Benton County; they are elected to a
very well compensated position, as a public servant, and ought to conduct themselves

Click here to download the letter in PDF format.

FFF: Republicans Are Now Good for Exactly…Nothing!

The Future of Freedom Foundation writes about how the Republicans no longer understand the economy in Republicans Are Now Good for Exactly…Nothing!

Nancy Pelosi, Chuckles Schumer and the rest of the Dem wrecking crew surely have the Trumpified GOP by the short hairs.

The latter are clueless about the real imperative, which is to halt the senseless shutdown of the US economy ASAP. So like deer caught in the headlights of public fear, outrage and hurt by the Covid Quarantines, they have blindly succumbed to bailing out one and all; and that, in turn, has opened the US Treasury to a congressional feeding frenzy that would make the New Deal porkers, the LBJ spenders and the Obama shovel-ready folks green with envy.

In less than a month, they have passed the $8.3 billion vaccine bill, the $100 billion relief and paid leave package and the $2.2 trillion Everything Bailout, and are now racing toward another $1.0 trillion interim CARES 2 funding bill to essentially double- down on all the outrageous pork and Free Stuff that was contained in CARES 1, which the House did not bother to even debate or approve by recorded vote.

And, alas, all of this is preliminary to the impending “stimulus/infrastructure” bill where the bidding starts at $2 trillion, meaning that the Imperial City is in the throes of a fiscal bacchanalia that defies imagination. It will leave America with unspeakable debts, political dysfunction and economic debilitation for years, if not decades, to come.

And exactly what is being loaded on the budgetary wagon while the denizens of the political party which is supposed to be the watchdog of the Treasury have their collective snouts buried in the public trough so deep that they too will need a respirator before long?

Well, it’s bad enough that Republicans voted for $1200 per person for upwards of 130 million workers who have not and will not loose their jobs and incomes owing to the covid shutdown, even if an unfortunate 30 million do become unemployed for a few weeks at the peak of the shutdown.

But if you ask what possible reason of policy or equity could justify this $300 billion eruption of Free Stuff, the best you can get is some kind of convoluted Keynesian asininity that is even more absurd than the old standby of hiring people to dig holes with teaspoons and then fill them back up with the same tools.

To wit, we are apparently giving the 130 million workers who are and will still be earning the same paycheck but spending far less because everything is closed (you can only spend about $25 per day on Netflix even if you watch movies dawn till dusk) another $1200 to spend on top of their normal income. Then, assuming they can find a place which is open to spend their extra loot, it is hoped such places will hire the 30 million covoid-layoffs so that they too will get back to living hand-to-mouth just like before.

Folks, once upon a time—even in the 1970’s when your editor arrived bright-eyed and bushy tailed on Capitol Hill—Republicans understood fundamental capitalist economics. They did not even have to be told there are no free lunches and that Uncle Sam cannot create production and income (i.e. wealth), but only shuffle it among citizens by taxation currently or by extracting it in the bye-and-bye from future taxpayers via piling up the public debt.

Click here to read the entire article at FFF.org.

See also Mises Institute: Why Keynesians Don’t Want You to Save Your Money

Benton County GOP Meeting on Rampart Report, Jan. 24, Kennewick

From the Benton County Republican Party’s Central Committee:

Please come and show support for Washington State Representative Matt Shea
The following is an excerpt taken from a letter sent to the Benton County Republican PCO’s:

The Benton County Republican Party is holding a special Central Committee meeting to discuss a proposed course of action about the allegations made in the Rampart report, which is attached.  The release of this House Democrat initiated report has been timed to create a major distraction for the Republican party during its preparation to take back the State of Washington.  The meeting will outline the proposed BCRP response to this attack on our Party.

Meeting Particulars:

· The meeting will be a Special Central Committee Meeting that is open to the public.

· The meeting will begin promptly at 7:00 PM Friday, 24 January 2020. 

· The location is the Benton PUD in Kennewick where our regular Central Committee Meetings are held.

Click here to download a PDF file of the Rampart report.


Benton PUD

2721 W 10th Ave

Kennewick, WA 99336

Redoubt News: County GOPs Uniting Against Rogue Repubs in Olympia

From Redoubt News,

J.T. Wilcox, the leader of the Washington State Republicans has admitted to working with the Democrats in their efforts to oust Representative Matt Shea.

Shea, one of the most effective leaders of the Washington State Republicans battle for Freedom and Liberty, has been under attack from Marxist leaders within his state. These attacks are coming from both the opposing Democrat party and House Republicans, led by Wilcox.

Holding onto the Rampart report for several weeks, Wilcox refused to allow the elected representative access to the information. Wilcox, however, planned ahead and was ready when the report finally became available to the public.

Within minutes of it’s release, Wilcox made an official statement which included, “House Republican Leadership has suspended Representative Matt Shea from the caucus and removed him from his ranking position on the House Environment and Energy Committee. He will also be removed from his House committees.”

Wilcox has repeated his assertion that a large part of his reasoning included Rep. Shea’s not giving a statement to the Rampart Group during their investigation.

“Representative Shea was given an opportunity to communicate with investigators and chose not to.”

I really wish someone would sit down with the House minority leader and explain how the law works. The accused is not required to make a statement. The burden of proof is on the prosecution, in this case the House of Representatives, including J.T. Wilcox. Accusations are not proof of guilt. The whole thing is based on innuendo and rumors. It does not even rise to the level of circumstantial evidence…

Multiple groups throughout the State of Washington are passing resolutions in support of Rep. Matt Shea. They are united in their belief that Rep. Shea has not been afforded Due Process, and that this is a cornerstone of our Judicial system…

Therefore, be it Resolved by the Kitsap County Republican Party:

1) that all citizens, including Representative Matthew Shea, are to be afforded full rights of due process in any venue, legal or otherwise,

2) that the presumption of innocence must be given AND vigorously defended at all times,

3) that House Republican Leadership has denied Rep. Shea the right of due process and the right of open justice without unnecessary delay,

4) that the KCRP admonishes the actions of House Republican Leadership toward Rep. Shea and demand that he be restored in full to all privileges and rights enjoyed prior to the public release of the investigation report, and

5) that the KCRP calls upon all levels of Republican Leadership and the Washington State Republican Party to stand up for the rule of law and protection of individual rights, and to adopt similar resolutions in this matter.

Several more resolutions have been passed throughout the State:

Grant County Republican Party said they will pull all support from any legislator that supports removing Shea from his office.

Pierce County Republicans are questioning the integrity of J.T. WIlcox, and has said that he has denied Rep. Shea Due Process. They are ready to pull support from any legislator that hampers Shea prior to that being given.

Whatcom County Republicans admonished the actions of the House Leader and are demanding that all of Rep. Shea’s rights be restored to him.

Skamania County voiced there displeasure by demanding the rights of Rep. Shea be reinstated. They are also willing to remove their endorsement of anyone voting to expel Shea.

The Republican Liberty Caucus of Washington State points out that Kathy Leodler, head of the Rampart Group, is a contributor to supporter of far-left democrats and Marxists, and are demanding that Matt Shea be restored his rights…

The Burning Platform: US Politics – Us vs. Them

This Burning Platform, two-part piece discusses the monoculture of the US two-party system, contrived divisiveness, and the relation of that to President Trump.

Us vs Them, Part I

Us vs Them, Part II

“I’ll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. “I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs.” “I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking.” “Hey, wait a minute, there’s one guy holding out both puppets!”” – Bill Hicks

Image result for “I’ll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. “I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs.” “I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking.” “Hey, wait a minute, there’s one guy holding out both puppets!””

Anyone who frequents Twitter, Facebook, political blogs, economic blogs, or fake news mainstream media channels knows our world is driven by the “Us versus Them” narrative. It’s almost as if “they” are forcing us to choose sides and believe the other side is evil. Bill Hicks died in 1994, but his above quote is truer today then it was then. As the American Empire continues its long-term decline, the proles are manipulated through Bernaysian propaganda techniques, honed over the course of decades by the ruling oligarchs, to root for their assigned puppets.

Most people can’t discern they are being manipulated and duped by the Deep State controllers. The most terrifying outcome for these Deep State controllers would be for the masses to realize it is us versus them. But they don’t believe there is a chance in hell of this happening. Their arrogance is palatable.

Their hubris has reached astronomical levels as they blew up the world economy in 2008 and successfully managed to have the innocent victims bail them out to the tune of $700 billion, pillaged the wealth of the nation through their capture of the Federal Reserve (QE, ZIRP), rigged the financial markets in their favor through collusion, used the hundreds of billions in corporate tax cuts to buy back their stock and further pump the stock market, all while their corporate media mouthpieces mislead and misinform the proles.

There are differences between the parties, but they are mainly centered around social issues and disputes with little or no consequence to the long-term path of the country. The real ruling oligarchs essentially allow controlled opposition within each party to make it appear you have a legitimate choice at the ballot box. Nothing could be further from the truth…

Click here to continue reading at The Burning Platform.

Republicans Are Anti-Second Amendment, Too.

Karl Denninger at Market-Ticker.org has an article up titled Trump’s Gun Control (And Other Broken Promises): PA, but it’s really about Republican politicians at all levels voting against your right to protect your own life.

…The common rubric from the NRA and others is that one must vote “Red” lest the gun-grabbers get in power and do their thing.  Uh, no — the last 20+ years says exactly the opposite.  Even a Democrat majority in all three locations of the Federal Government was unable to do anything destructive to gun rights during Obama’s first two years.

Yet a Republican majority in all three houses plus in Florida has been extremely destructive in a matter of weeks and it was a Republican governor that signed that bill in Florida along with a Republican House and Senate that passed it.

It gets worse.  The Trump ATF is doing the exact opposite of honoring the Second Amendment.  In fact they and Trump literally just ripped up the entire Constitution including the 5th Amendment. Right here, right now.

Contemplate the entire “bump stock” thing folks.  These were sold as legal accessories for years.  Millions of dollars changed hands for them, people were employed and now they’re in the hands of individuals.  A formal legal ruling was issued by the BATFE that these were legal accessories; the manufacturers and buyers didn’t assume, they asked for and obtained a written declaration that these devices not only complied with the law they didn’t require any sort of labeling, serialization or other form of control (such as a background check) as legally they were nothing more than piece of plastic.

The government is, of course, entitled to be wrong and repair that error which is what they’re claiming they’re doing now.  What it’s not entitled to do, however, is turn you into a felon if you don’t destroy or turn over a thing you were explicitly told, in writing, was legal and nothing more-nefarious or subject to regulation than a plastic box.  At absolute minimum the government is required (under the 5th Amendment) to pay you for the current fair market value of that device plus all your costs (e.g. sales tax) associated with same and to pay the manufacturers the imputed value of their facility, inventory and forward foregone earnings (and employee salaries) that would have been generated but for their error.  They could also ban the things on a forward basis (limiting any 5th Amendment claim of “taking” to the manufacturers) and leave alone anyone who already owns one.

Instead they claim to be able to retroactively declare anyone who has one of these a felon and then shoot them if they refuse to either turn them over or report to prison for 10 years after having given written confirmation that the device in question is lawful to own, possess, use and sell without any permit whatsoever...

Read the entire article by clicking here.