Ten Questions: MDGOP Chair, Audrey Scott
In this edition of Ten Questions we ask MDGOP Chair, Audrey Scott Ten Questions about the state of the MDGOP, her vision and goals, and plans for the 2010 elections.
1. You inherited a listless state party last year. What were your long term goals for the MDGOP when you assumed office and where would you assess where you are now in achieving those goals?
I would not say the Party was listless last year, the members of the Maryland Republican Party have always been engaged and working to elect Republicans at all levels. It is true, that the Party was in need of a little direction and new leadership.
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As the Chairman of the Maryland Republican Party I have one main goal, get Republicans elected! In order to do that, the Party needs to recruit high caliber candidates, raise funds in order to support our candidates, and provide our candidates with training. Year to date, the MDGOP is well on their way to accomplishing our overall goal. We are raising money, we have a number of quality candidates running at all levels and have training seminars scheduled for our candidates and county chairs throughout the spring.
We are working toward making significant changes in Maryland in 2010. Maryland has been struggling under one-party rule for decades, with a short reprieve for four years while Governor Ehrlich was in office. The results of one-party rule are an astronomical unemployment rate, a $2 billion deficit in the state budget and an environment that is nothing short of hostile toward small business owners. It is time to elect Republicans and open the debate to more business-friendly, job-creating policies.
2. Your predecessor was criticized for lack of fundraising and as of last January the party was in debt and at a distinct disadvantage to the Democrats. How is MDGOP’s financial health?
We have been working diligently, you might say obsessively, since the beginning to the year to build up our coffers and things are looking great! We have had over 1,500 individuals contribute to MDGOP in 2010, of that 700+ are brand new donors! We are one track to raise more money in the first quarter of 2010 than MDGOP raised in all of 2009!
3. What are your long term financial/fund raising goals?
The goal is to raise as much money as possible! Long-term, we are working to improve the health of our donor file. We are working to cut our attrition rate and grow the file so going forward the MDGOP can accurately forecast their revenue for years to come.
4. MDGOP has a new executive director in place, what are your other staffing priorities?
We are adding a Political Director beginning the week of March 15th as well as a Research Director. We are working to ensure we have a full staff of professionals to assist our candidates to achieve victory in 2010.
5. What are your goals for candidate recruitment in Maryland and when will they be met?
Our goal is to have a Republican challenging every Democrat who is currently holding office in 2010. With the state of the economy in Maryland and the decisions being made at both the state and federal level we cannot afford to give anyone a pass in 2010. We are actively recruiting candidates and each day more and more candidates are stepping forward to run for office. I believe we are going to have a very good showing in 2010.
6. What is the party doing to help train those recruits?
Both the MDGOP and a number of our county central committees are holding training seminars throughout the spring. The trainings started a few weeks ago and run through the end of April. We have a number of topics including, fundraising, messaging, and new media being covered. Please visit our website, http://www.mdgop.org/, for a complete list of trainings available.
7. What plans do you have for the party to nurture the grass roots to keep and keep them active and involved?
The MDGOP relies heavily on our grassroots network. They are the heart and soul of this organization and the key to our success. The MDGOP is in constant communication with the grassroots. We are actively developing our voter registration program and our get -out-the-vote program in conjunction with our grassroots network and will work with the grassroots to implement these programs. Additionally, we are planning a week long town hall tour to connect with the grassroots. I will be traveling from Salisbury to Hagerstown and everywhere in between to meet with and talk with our grassroots. Details on my trip across Maryland will be available on our website soon.
8. What are MDGOP’s plans to engage Martin O’Malley and the Democrats in the media?
MDGOP plans to keep doing what we are doing. Weekly, if not daily, we are putting out press releases to highlight the failed policies of the Democrat leadership in both Annapolis and Washington, DC.
9. Scott Brown used new/social media quite effectively in his upset win in Massachusetts. What is MDGOP doing to utilize these new political tools?
MDGOP has been using Facebook and Twitter for over a year now. We have thousands of followers and supporters that we communicate with via social media networks and we plan to continue this effort. As 2010 continues we will be working to grow our following and continue to push our message through the social media networks.
10. What is on tap for the MDGOP Spring Convention and how can folks participate?
The 2010 Spring Convention is going to be very exciting. We are holding training seminars beginning Friday, April 30th through Saturday, May 1st. We have an impressive lineup of speakers and some great ideas and programs to discuss. I encourage everyone to visit our website and download all the information on the convention. Convention will be held at the Princess Royale Resort in Ocean City. Sign-up today, all are welcome; I promise this is an event you are not going to want to miss!