Ten Questions: Diana Waterman, Candidate MDGOP First Vice Chair

Name: Diana Waterman

Office Sought: MDGOP First Vice Chair
Facebook Page: Diana Waterman for MDGOP First Vice Chair

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1. How do you envision your role as First Vice Chair?

Primarily as a member of the team and in particular, as the right hand of the Chairman. It is the job of the vice chairs to assist the Chairman in carrying out his/her duties. I believe that the previous chairs have not utilized the vice chairs as effectively as they could have. The workload (committee oversight, particular projects, etc.) of the chairman should be delegated to the vice chairs. Additionally I would suggest that the vice chairs serve as regional liaisons for the counties with the state party (increase interaction and communication between county central committees and the board of the state party)
2. Who, if anyone, do you support for chairman?
As a candidate, I believe that we are very lucky in having some great candidates willing to step up and offer to run our state party. As a member of a central committee, of course I know who I’m going to vote for but I believe that is personal information and not something that needs to be disclosed until the vote.
3. Do you support the Chambers Compact?
Yes and no. While I believe there are many good things contained in this document, there are also many things understated or left out.

While I will grant that we had a failure at the statewide level, I don’t believe that the MDGOP failed to capitalize on the Republican wave. In areas where they could affect change, they did. In my own county, we had a huge Republican tidal wave. Every race that had a Republican candidate running was won by a Republican except one. Four years ago, we had a Republican majority and we won only 1 commissioner seat. And I think we made considerable gains on the local level in other races as well. I know Talbot has a Republican majority on their county council for the first time in many years.

Our numbers make it almost impossible for us to make any significant gains statewide and even in a lot of jurisdictions. While I’ll grant that the Republicans statewide (and the state party) need to reach outside of our comfort zone and spread our message more effectively, how to spread that message is the tricky part. People have gotten so accustomed to listening to 30 second sound bites that it’s very hard to teach them anything. When we figure out how to accomplish that, than we will succeed in educating the voters – if they aren’t listening, how do we make them hear?

Anyway, while I don’t agree with all of his points, I do agree with Kevin, my son, that the Compact mentions promoting our First Principles but doesn’t say what they are. I understand the desire to make it a more general type of statement but therein lies one of the major problems for the party countrywide. Each group has its own set of “First Principles” that they believe are life-threateningly important – how do we bring the social conservatives into agreement with the social moderates into agreement with the Libertarians with the …well you get my point. I personally believe that we have to stick to the Fiscal Issues – the things we pretty much all agree on (of course, the Libertarians want to go even further than the average Republican would even on Fiscal issues) and agree to disagree on the rest.

4. How will you reach out to TEA Party activists skeptical of the Republican Party?

I believe that leaders from all Republican grassroots organizations should be brought together to share ideas, concerns, and strategies. We are working towards the same goal – bringing some balance to our government. As our state is so geographically large, I would recommend regional roundtables bringing together members of the state party, clubs, tea party activists (AFP. Society of Patriots, Tea Party groups – organized and not so organized, etc.) to create a workable plan to achieve our goals.
5. What is your strategy to create parity with Democrats and change the electoral math for statewide victories?
In a nutshell, Ground based voter outreach – we need to get out to all neighborhoods and interact, face to face, with the citizens in many different ways – show them we’re not so different from them, that they share our values and beliefs, and that they can and should be a part of our “family” (and then be there to support them afterwards).
6. What ideas do you have to reach out to non-traditional Republican constituencies?
Explore new and innovative programs like Raging Elephants and anything else out there – we have to think outside of the box. We also need to create a marketing plan utilizing newer technology like YouTube, Twitter, and what’s around the corner tomorrow. But before any of that happens, we need to come up with the message – one that stresses the things we all agree on – lower taxes/less spending, personal responsibility, and smaller, limited government.
7. As First Vice Chair, what will you do to ensure the party is adequately funded?
Working to increase our database of smaller donors, making the “calls for cash” as needed, trying to coordinate efforts with the counties so that we’re not competing with one another, and helping the chairman so that he/she has time to lead the fundraising efforts.
8. The waiving of Rule 11 during the 2010 primaries caused a lot of controversy. In the future, would you ever support waiving Rule 11?
Never is a very long time. I try to never say never. I do believe that, considering the ill feelings that this created, that perhaps the bylaws should be amended to require approval of the Executive Committee (the Board plus County Chairs plus Chairmen of several organizations) before signing. At the very least, it needs to be discussed in the Executive Committee.
9. How will you use technology and social media to implement your plans should you be elected?
I sort of addressed that in an earlier question; however, bottom line is that we need to find ways to utilize this technology effectively and as soon as possible. I would suggest that the Chairman create an ad hoc committee to develop a technology roadmap that will position the state party to take advantage of technology as it is created and to share this plan with the counties as well.
10. How do you see MDGOP’s role vis-à-vi elected Republicans and policymaking?
It is not the job of the State Party to make policy (other than to promote our core values, as mentioned above). Our job is to grow the Party by increasing voter registration roles, helping to find and train viable candidates, and to raise the funds necessary to accomplish these jobs (as well as to keep the operation running). This cycle we will also need to raise the money to fight redistricting (they are going to try to redistrict us out of existence). If we have a problem with a position that one of our elected officials is taking, we need to handle that behind closed doors, not in the press. If the situation becomes so untenable that more severe action is required, it should be handled on a case by case basis and approved of by the entire elected board, at a minimum.

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