Ten Questions: Brian Griffiths, Candidate MDGOP 3rd Vice Chair
Name: Brian Griffiths
Office Sought: MDGOP Third Vice Chair
Website: You’re reading it now
Brian is one of our own and we wholeheartedly endorse him. Unlike Robert Frost’s definition of a liberal we’re not afraid to take our own side in an argument.
1. How do you envision your role as 3rd Vice Chair?
In our bylaws the duties of the Vice-Chairs are ill-defined. Carthaginian commander Hannibal famously said, “We will either find a way or make one.” I plan on using the position to direct our party in communications, messaging, and building the base.
2. Who if anyone do you support for Chairman?
I’m not supporting anybody for Chairman. We have a number of good candidates and I look forward to working with any of them as 3rd Vice-Chairman.
3. Do you support the Chambers Compact?
Yes, I am one of the original signatories and proud to be one.
4. How will you reach out to TEA Party activists skeptical of the Republican Party?
We need to focus on a core message that unites our party; that we are taxed too high and that our government spends too much. As we have seen around the country, this is a message that appeals across the political spectrum, and one that appeals to both TEA Party activists and skeptical Republicans. We need to make sure that our party both talks the talk and walks the walk on fiscal matters.
5. What is your strategy to create parity with Democrats and change the electoral math for a statewide victory?
A new generation of leaders focused on a core message will have the opportunity to take our party to new places in search of new voters. Many Marylanders believe in small government principles, but aren’t given a voice in their community. We must traverse every inch of our state to rally conservatives of all stripes, colors, and creeds to our cause. Our party must not only take our message to these new voters, but also empower their voice in their community as well as a voice in this party.
6. What ideas do you have to reach out to non-traditional Republican constituencies?
As I noted before, we must traverse every inch of our state to rally conservatives of all stripes, colors, and creeds to our cause. But that can’t just be lip service. We have to go meet these potential Republicans in their communities, their churches, their neighborhood associations. We have to be willing, as a party, to put the legwork in to make it happen. And it isn’t going to just be something incumbent upon state party leadership; it will also be the responsibility of local central committees, elected officials, activists, and yes bloggers to make this work.
7. The waiving of Rule 11 during the primary caused a lot of controversy. In the future, would you ever support waiving Rule 11?
I don’t believe that the state party should have any role in supporting a candidate in a contested primary. That’s a job for the voters to sort out. But if for some reason it ever comes up as an issue, we HAVE to discuss it in an open and transparent matter. The way Rule 11 was used this year created a lot of distraction to the party and to party activists, and opened up a lot of wounds that still have yet to heal. It was a self-inflicted wound, and one that we can avoid in the future by refusing to take sides in these primaries.
8. What will you do to help MDGOP better utilize technology and social media?
Well I’m obviously no stranger to technology and social media. We must continue to grow their use and make them part of our overall strategy. But we cannot lull ourselves into thinking that social media alone will fix our situation; it is merely a tool that we can use to keep in touch with people and keep them apprised. We must, as I noted before, go and meet people in the communities first and then use technology and social media to bring these folks into the fold and turn them into the next generation of activists.
9. What more should MDGOP be doing to hold Martin O’Malley and the Democratic majority accountable?
The state party needs to work collaboratively with the members legislative leadership to make sure that we are discussing what the Governor and the Democratic majority are doing. For far too long Democrats in Annapolis have been sticking it to middle and working class Marylanders so that Democrats can enrich and empower their special interests supporters. Working together with an appropriate communications strategy, the state party can get the word out about what’s going on and encourage average Marylanders to take action.
10. How do you see MDGOP’s role vis-à-vi elected Republicans and policymaking?
The State Party is an operational body. It is not a policymaking body. Do I believe that we as a party succeed by electing good, principled conservatives? Of course. But anybody who wants to use the State Party as a bully pulpit for their policymaking goals should probably run for Delegate or the State Senate. Our goal is to win; to elect good Republicans yes, but ultimately it is to win.