I Help Smart, Passionate Candidates Win Elections and Make a Difference.

Call (845)458-1210

What the Hell Do We Do Now?

John Boehner speaker of the house US Congress Mitch McConnell US Senate Minority Leadere


On Monday morning, October 27 The Wall Street Journal had a headline story, “GOP Targets More House Seats.” Judging from the money moving around it has become apparent the GOP is investing in democratically held seats. Democrats are pulling out of challenger races and using their resources to protect vulnerable incumbents.

At this time of year, if you really want to know what the polls are saying, follow the money. The only question that remains is whether the much ballyhooed advance in the GOP ground operation will match the better ground operation Democrats had in 2012. (“Republicans, outflanked by a superior Democratic turnout operation in the past two presidential elections, have been spending tens of millions of dollars to improve data collection to achieve a rough parity.” NYT 10-26-14.)

What the GOP does with its expected majority in the House and Senate will determine who is elected President in 2016.

The GOP, having concentrated its efforts the last six years on blocking the Obama agenda, needs to prove it can be a governing party. It will need to put a few of its own ideas on the table, and be prepared to defend its policy initiatives. What’s the alternative? Remain little more than an obstructionist Congress–which will become the rallying cry of whoever the Democrats nominate in 2016.

Everybody knows the immigration system is broken. A GOP immigration bill needs to be more than building a fence at the border.

The tax code is an embarrassment to the Republic. Companies are moving overseas, and sitting on trillions in overseas banks accounts that are not being invested in the U.S. because of a punitive tax code. The Tax Code is seven times longer than the Bible and harder to understand than the Old Testament.

Health care reform needs to be more than repealing Obamacare. Certain provisions of it are very popular. The GOP can and should pass a bill that has the reforms their candidates have promised: Giving patients the options to buy health insurance policies they actually like; Giving patients more say in their choices of doctors and hospitals; Allowing consumers to buy policies from other states; Expanding tax protected health savings accounts; Tort reform.

Practically every GOP candidate this year talked about the regulatory nightmare of the Obama years. Devise something that makes sense of the regulatory climate in Washington — a simpler, more transparent process that small business owners can understand and live with.

And if the GOP really wants to be ambitious, it can tackle entitlements and the trillions in deficits that have been tossed onto the backs of young Americans. It isn’t that hard: Index the retirement age to the increase in longevity; Encourage older Americans, many who will remain healthy into their 80’s, to remain in the workforce.

And get real about Medicare. The boomers are retiring at the rate of 10,000 a day. Many will run out of money before they run out of life. Unless the nation provides greater incentives for boomers to help pay for the health care they will need as they approach their final years, the Medicare system as it is currently financed will go belly up.

And Obama? Let him veto every bill sent him by the Congress. Worry not about Democrats that vote against it. Most will. What matters is that the GOP will be the party trying to solve a few problems – and acting like a party that can govern.

Disagree? Weigh in. Think there are other things the GOP should do? Feel free to post your thoughts in the comment section.


Get Campaign & Communication Tips mailed to your inbox:



Congrats GOP Establishment. Now what?

You Beat the Tea Party.
So Why are You Still losing in the Court of Public Opinion?


GOP Establishment has beaten back the Tea Party Faction but will Republicans win in a landslide by ignoring the battle of ideas in the court of public opinion?

Beware GOP Establishment. You’ve beaten back the Tea Party Faction but ignored the battle of ideas in the court of public opinion.

A congratulatory message is in order for the GOP establishment. It has beaten back the tea party faction of the Republican Party in Senate and House primaries this year. (That would be the faction that provided the energy, manpower, drive and determination that put the GOP back in the majority in 2010).

In concentrating its cannons and millions on the tea party however, the GOP establishment has ignored the battle of ideas in the court of public opinion. Silence on that front is not a good political strategy.

Ask a patron of Walmart or Target or workers at a factory gate what the GOP stands for and you’ll hear democratic talking points—a price the GOP is paying for failing to pass its own version of health care reform, or tax reform, or immigration reform, or anything that suggests it has a few ideas on how to create new jobs or hike the living standard of the middle class.

Indeed, four organizations have conducted surveys testing the generic ballot since mid-July, including FOX, Rasmussen, CNN and Pew. All have democrats moving into a 2-4 lead. Even the ever eternal optimist Dick Morris is no longer sure the GOP will recapture the Senate.

Perhaps the architects of the GOP strategy will be proven correct—that the best way to win is by muting the dissonant voices of the GOP coalition, pronouncing their fidelity to the hate Obama caucus and passing around ‘Obama No’ buttons to their candidates.

But I don’t see the left emulating the GOP playbook, or trying to mute their most liberal voices, or silencing the discordant soloists in their choir. And right now they are winning.

Other Posts you Might Enjoy:

Don’t miss a single bit of news & commentary from Jay Townsend.

SIGN UP TO JAY’S NEWSLETTER. Get Updates mailed to your inbox:





Meet Harold Hamm. Energy industry pioneer. One of 13 children born to sharecroppers who never owned a single piece of land. Lacking the money to attend college as a teenager, he took a job pumping gas and repairing cars in Enid, Oklahoma.

Today Harold Hamm is a billionaire. The CEO of Continental Resources, the 14th largest oil company in America. Thanks to his tenacity, his pioneering spirit, and his ingenuity, he helped discover the Bakken oil fields in Montana and North Dakota…fields that contain as much as 24 billion barrels of oil, twice the size of the oil reserves in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

Harold Hamm has been a pioneer in developing new technology like horizontal drilling, an innovation that has unlocked vast new sources of fossil fuels and helped us to break what used to be OPEC’s strangle hold on America. Thanks to him, we have vast new sources of energy we can tap on our own soil instead of buying oil from overseas dictators who do not wish us well.

And thanks to him, North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate of any state in the nation.

Why do I mention Harold Hamm?  Because I’m tired of hearing our President tell us that we are suppose to hate people like Harold Hamm. Because I’m tired of hearing the liberals in Congress vilify people who are in the business of energy exploration. Because I’m tired of hearing people like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid say that people like Harold Hamm are blood sucking capitalists who don’t create jobs or help our economy grow.

Because I think that every once in a while, it is nice to celebrate American ingenuity, American technology, American engineering and American Exceptionalism.

And one more thing. I mentioned that Mr. Hamm is a billionaire. He is also one of those Americans who is giving away half their wealth to charity; a man who has already given millions to colleges and to fund state of the art diabetes research. Buried in Mr. Obama’s tax plan is a provision that would penalize Mr. Hamm for giving his money away, and require Mr. Hamm to instead give more money to Obama bureaucrats who say they need it to create new jobs. With all due respect to the President, I think Mr. Hamm knows how to do that better than any of Obama’s bureaucrats.

Jail Time for a Mother Denied a Choice

Meet Kelley Williams-Bolar, African American mother of two, aspiring teacher, recently arrested, tried, convicted of two felonies and thrown in jail. Her crime?

To get her daughters out of a failing school, she listed her father’s address on the school enrollment forms so that her two daughters could attend a better school in a different neighborhood. Her story reminds me of those poor souls trapped behind the Iron Curtain in East Berlin — they were assassinated for trying to leave.

Meet Kelly Williams-Bolar, the new Rosa Parks of our age. If ever there was a cause for conservatives to champion, it would be the cause of Kelly Williams-Bolar. Forcing children to attend schools that don’t work is like forcing you to buy over-priced groceries at a local store when there is a better one five miles down the road; or telling you that you have to pay for dirty and overpriced gas at a local station when there is cheaper and better gas in a neighboring village.

Every parent in America should have a choice in where their children go to school. Charter Schools, private schools, tuition tax credits and vouchers should be available to every parent and their children. For until we break the so called public school monopoly and give parents a choice, and force public schools to compete for students, our educational system will continue to fail our best and brightest.

Who are those protecting the public school monopoly? Meet Nancy Pelosi. Harry Reid. Liberal white democrats in Congress who pretend to be friends of the poor, the oppressed, the African Americans, the Hispanics, the single mothers trying to raise children; white liberals who pretend to champion the cause of civil rights. The ugly truth is they are part of the reason Kelly Williams-Bolar was thrown in jail. The ugly truth is they are mere sycophants for the teachers unions who line their pockets with campaign cash, the teachers unions that want to preserve the public school monopoly that traps so many of our promising young minds in schools that don’t work.

After the plight of Kelly Williams-Bolar was brought to the attention of Ohio’s Republican Governor, she was granted clemency so that she could continue pursuing her teacher’s license. What should be noted is not a single so called civil rights leader or white liberal came to her defense.

The cause of Kelly Williams-Bolar should be the cause of every conservative in America. Because every conservative in America should champion the right of parents to have a choice in where their children go to school. By making this cause our cause, we will expose the left for the racist hypocrites that they are, and give new freedom to millions of parents and children who for too long have suffered the sting of discrimination at the hands of those who deny them the right to choose their own school.

Well Mr. President.

Another bad week.

Harry Reid sent the Senate home instead of acting on your jobs bill. The number two man in the Senate, Dick Durbin, told a Chicago radio station that there are not enough democrat votes in the Senate to pass it. You can vilify the House Republicans all you want Mr. President, but it looks to me like you have a bigger problem with the democrats in your own party.

Then there was the report this week that said health insurance premiums are skyrocketing. You said that would not happen. A lot of people think you did not tell the truth about Obamacare. Just like a lot of people don’t think you told the truth about the jobs that would be created by your first stimulus bill. Maybe that is one of the reasons that a lot of democrats in the Senate don’t think you are telling the truth about the jobs that will be created in your new stimulus bill.

And then there were those stories in the New York Times this week. The ones about your campaign strategy. Somebody needs to tell your staff to quit talking about your campaign strategy. It does not look good when we read that you are planning a campaign that will subdivide the nation into religious, ethnic and racial enclaves for targeted appeals. In other words, instead of bringing people together and summoning the better angels of the American character, you are going to prosecute a divide and conquer strategy, pitting poor against rich, gay against straight, black against white. Jimmy Carter tried that in 1980. That did not turn out well.

Mr. President, you need to tell your people to stop talking about your campaign strategy.  It doesn’t make you look like a leader. It makes you look like a cheap politician who views different groups of people as mere tools in some sort of grand manipulation game. It makes you look calculating, devious, disingenuous, deceitful.

Maybe that’s the reason the Democrats in the Senate are telling you to take a hike, Mr. President.

I’m Jay Townsend. Thanks for listening.

A Moment of Truth for President Obama:

Last week was not a good one for you Mr. President.

A very democratic Congressional district in New York sent a Republican to Congress. In his campaign the Republican made clear that he will not be voting to raise taxes, nor will he support your new stimulus bill. Democrats were sending you a message Mr. President. They are not happy.

Democratic Senators said your new stimulus bill, and the tax increases that you have now proposed, will not fly. And despite your calls to pass the bill now, the Majority Leader, Harry Reid, does not plan to bring your bill up for a vote any time soon.

Speaker of the House John Boehner also chimed in, and finally got around to saying that Republicans in Congress won’t be voting for it. And for that matter, no democrat in the House has yet been willing to sponsor your new stimulus bill.

And then there was James Carville, who asserted that it is time for you to hit the panic button. In case you have not noticed, Democratic members of Congress are using Carville to send a message to you Mr. President. They think you look, act and sound like you are out of touch. You are. They also think you look desperate. You do.

I know it is not easy, Mr. President, for you to admit that the road you have taken isn’t working for America…that the new jobs you predicted in your first stimulus bill never came to fruition; that it was a mistake to do Obamacare in the middle of as recession; that over-regulating the economy has put a brake on economic growth and job creation, that skyrocketing energy prices caused by your EPA have impeded our recovery from the recession.

No President or Governor or CEO likes to admit making mistakes. But here is the ugly truth. Sometimes great leaders have to admit that mistakes have been made…that the wrong path has been taken, that a profound change in direction is required…that it is time for a new team. Those that summon the courage to admit mistakes and change course often become legends. Those that can’t are usually relegated to the dustbin of history.

For you, Mr. President, that moment of truth has arrived.


 About that speech you gave last week, Mr. President. Ya know, the speech that was going to turn the corner on your Presidency? The one that was going to show us the new Obama, with new ideas, the one that was going to show us a way out of this economic mess, the speech that promised to turn the corner with a fresh approach, fresh thoughts and policies that  would have bi-partisan appeal?

 It flopped Mr. President. The Dow dropped 300 points the day after you gave it.

The New York Times ran an article quoting business leaders who said it won’t spur any new hiring.  The Washington Post panned it. Even the Democratic members of Congress seemed bored watching your address Mr. President.

 Here’s why. Most of your speech was simply renaming and rebranding failed policies that have not worked. “Stimulus” isn’t called “stimulus” anymore. Now you call it the “American Jobs Act.” Instead of calling for more “shovel ready” projects, you simply renamed it the “infrastructure bank.” Instead of proposing a means of how to pay for a half trillion in new spending, you suggest that someone other than you will figure that out down the road. In other words, more of the same elixir that has not worked; just a different name with a new color on the label.

 Furthermore, Mr. President, you demand that Congress pass your bill now, even though you wrote no bill, gave them no legislation to ponder, nor did you consult with anybody on the hill about what to put in your package.

 It is now clear Mr. President, that this was not a serious policy speech, but simply a dare to Congress to pass something you know it won’t, so that you can blame Congress for the state of the economy next year.

 That’s not leadership, Mr. President. And if that is your strategy sir, your campaign is already over and you need to hang it up.

Recently the Wall Street Journal reported that Exxon Mobil is investing billions to explore for energy in Russia’s Arctic Sea. Yeah, that’s right. Russia. A country now best known for corruption, lack of legal standards…a place where if you get crossways with Vladimir Putin, you can kiss goodbye to your investment, your capital, and sometimes your life.

So why would Exxon risk billions of dollars to drill in Russia, where exploration is far more risky, and costly, than drilling in Alaska’s North Slope?

Credit for that goes to the Obama bureaucracy.

Our bureaucrats and environmental police have told Exxon that they cannot explore for oil in Alaska. That Alaska’s North Slope is off limits. So Exxon is taking the profits they have made in America to create jobs in Russia because we won’t let them create jobs in the United States. And of course, when Exxon starts sucking that Russian crude out of the ground, we’ll be sending our money to the Russians so we can use their oil to heat our homes and drive our cars.

The bureaucrats did the same thing to Conoco when they denied the company a permit to access one of its leases in Alaska’s Petroleum Reserve.

The green beans at the EPA denied a permit to Shell oil to tap a field in Alaska’s Arctic Ocean estimated to contain 27 billion barrels of oil. Because, said the EPA, Shell’s ice breaking vessels might contribute to global warming.

Meanwhile, closer to home, the bureaucrats are dragging their feet on allowing Canada to build a pipeline to the United States so that we can tap some of the 175 billion barrels of oil they recently discovered in Alberta, a mere 700 miles from the U.S. border. So what is Canada doing? Making plans to build a pipeline to the Pacific so they can sell their oil to China instead of us. Why don’t our environmental police want Canada’s oil? They think extracting oil from tar sands will cause global warming.

For a President who claims to be so concerned about creating jobs here in America, it does seem strange to many that he is forcing American oil companies to create jobs on foreign soil.

Last week we read that the U.S. economy did not create a single new job in August. That black teenage unemployment is above 45%. That 27 million Americans are either looking for work or have given up hope of finding any.

So here is an idea Mr. President. Tell the bureaucrats at the EPA to take a long, long vacation. Announce that no more regulations or bureaucratic edicts will be issued for the next five years. Decree that Exxon, Shell and Conoco can drill on U.S. soil after all. And by all means, tell those Canadians they can have their pipeline and sell their oil to us instead of China. By the way, that pipeline will also create some jobs for Americans.

Mr. President, this would be the best job creating stimulus program to come out of your administration since you were elected. Just do it, Mr. President. I’ll be happy to tell everybody it was your idea.



Trash Talking Texas

 Jay Townsend here with some thoughts about why the fourth estate is now trash talking the State of Texas.

 To read the Washington Post and the New York Times you’d think that Texas is some Latin American backwater where people routinely go to bed hungry, starving children roam the streets, a place where high schoolers can’t read, where those who do have jobs daily toil in hot sun for meager wages, live in tin huts and drink polluted water they fetch from a filthy creek.

 Why the sudden interest in savaging Texas? Because the Washington Post and the New York Times now have a sudden interest in savaging Governor Rick Perry. Because Governor Perry is a candidate who has the potential to unite the Republican coalition and defeat President Obama in 2012.

 But while these two esteemed newspapers of record are entitled to their opinion, they are not entitled to their own facts, and here are a few:

 *Since June of 2009, 37% of all the new jobs in the United States were created in Texas.

 *Job growth in Texas has outpaced every other state, including those sophisticated and oh so progressive meccas we know as California and New York.   

 *There are more jobs in Texas today than when the recession began in 2007. Only three states can make that claim.

 Economic backwater? Really? The population of Texas has increased almost 21% during the last decade. Why are all these people moving to Texas if it is the hellhole the New York Times claims it to be? And while we are on that subject, why have nearly 2 million people fled the State of New York?

 But some of the jobs are minimum wage jobs says the New York Times, failing to mention that hourly wages in Texas are 93% of the national average, that the cost of living is less, and their taxes are among the lowest in the land. Contrast that with high tax New York, where unemployment among minority teenagers is more than 40%. New York’s socialist economic model isn’t working very well for those kids in Harlem.

 But Texas doesn’t spend enough on education, says the Grey Lady, as if money spent is the only measure of good deeds done. Here’s an ugly truth. California spends a lot more per pupil than Texas, but Texas school kids are 1-2 years ahead of California students, and African American eight graders in Texas outscore minority 8th graders in every other state.

 One more thing worth mentioning. Since passage of tort reform in 2003, Texas has netted 26,000 new doctors, a good number of which fled New York because they can no longer afford NY’s medical malpractice insurance premiums.

 Instead of shooting at Texas because it does not look like the rest of America, perhaps these newspapers could suggest that the President try emulating some of the policies that have worked so well for the people of Texas.

 Just imagine the praise these newspapers would be proffering the President if he had done for the nation half what Governor Perry has accomplished in the State of Texas.

 I’m Jay Townsend. Thanks for listening.


Obama’s Bankrupt Reelection Strategy;

What He Must, but Won’t, Do to Save His Presidency

 What were the Obama strategists thinking when they told reporters this past week that their reelection strategy is to assassinate the character of Mitt Romney? After all, Mr. Romney is not even the nominee yet, and he may not be.

 It was no doubt a rare moment of candor by the President’s men who have studied the polls and concluded that it will be hard to make a positive case for Mr. Obama; that the only way Mr. Obama can win is by making his opponent stink. I’ve news for Mr. Obama’s strategists. If that is your strategy 14 months before an election, you’ve already lost.

 There is a way however, for Mr. Obama to win. It would require that he admit that he has made mistakes in judgment, that he misread his mandate, that his policies have impeded the creation of new jobs. A tall order perhaps, for a President with an outsized ego, but one that beats being a one-termer.

 Obamacare is a drag on the economy. Employers are reluctant to hire when they can’t get their arms around what their health care costs will be. In fact, the few companies that are hiring are ones that have been given a waiver from Obamacare. So here is an idea. Admit that the country can’t afford this right now, and give every company in the country a five year waiver from Obamacare.

 Skyrocketing energy costs are a drag on economic growth. And if we are serious about creating new jobs in our energy-intensive manufacturing sector, then we need to be serious about exploring for new sources of energy on our soil and along our coastal waters.

 So, Mr. President. Tell the EPA that it is OK for Shell to tap that 27 billion barrels of oil that Shell found in Alaska. Tell the bureaucrats to speed up permits for coastal exploration. Oh, and yes, tell the Canadians that we really do want to buy some of that 77 billion barrels of tar sands oil they found Alberta. It beats importing oil from Venezuela. The prospect of new supplies of domestic energy will drive down the price of natural gas, fuel oil, gasoline and jet fuel. 

 The tax code really does stink. It rewards slough, penalizes the productive and impedes economic growth. So go for it Mr. President. Tackle the tax code. Just make clear that the new one has to be revenue neutral, for if the country gets the idea that this is a backdoor attempt to raise taxes in a recession, it will never happen.

 Grow some spine on the entitlements. Anybody who can read knows that Social Security and Medicare are going to go belly up during your lifetime absent some modest reforms. Simply agreeing to raise the retirement age for those now under the age of 55 will do wonders to restore confidence in your leadership and let the markets know that you are serious about deficit reduction. Right now they think you aren’t and that is part of the problem.

 Does this guarantee you a victory Mr. President? No. But I can assure you that on your present course you are guaranteed to be a one-term President.  Americans are really tired of the blame game. They are really tired of the demagogic spit balls coming out of your mouth, and no matter how hard you try to turn the 2012 election into a referendum on your opponent, it will be a referendum on you. And right now, that is not a referendum you’d win.