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Conservative Group Aims to Shake Up MassGOP

Monday, December 17, 2012


After a string of Republican losses in last month's election, the newly-formed Massachusetts Conservative Assembly (MCA) is looking to revive the MassGOP.

With 81 State Representative and 21 State Senate seats going unchallenged in the 2012 election cycle and remaining in Democratic hands, aims to improve on the Massachusetts Republican State Committee's lack of success in electing Republicans and finding qualified candidates to run in recent years.

MCA acting chairman Roy Jerman, a software architect from Taunton, started Massachusetts Conservative following the frustrating results of the 2010 mid-term elections, similar to the impulse that gave birth to the MCA this year.

"I think there's been a lot of frustration all around with people in this state that are more conservative in their views with the state being largely run by the Democratic party and not having much of a voice in the state," Jerman said.

Another of the group's leaders, Kevin Macomber, an engineer from Hubbardston, railed against the party's failure to take up strong positions on conservative issues and its lack of a clear plan of action.

"Why were over half of the Rep and Senate seats left unchallenged? Either it's laziness or incompetence."

Leadership Lacking

One major issue for Jerman and his fellow MCA members is what they see as a lack of leadership and action in the state party. With current party chairman Bob Maginn's announcement that he will not seek another term next month, the state committee will have the opportunity to take the party in a new direction if they choose.

Maginn's departure was welcome news to Jerman, who identified the outgoing party leader as part of the problem facing the MassGOP today.

"He was just the wrong guy," he said. "People couldn't bring themselves to rally behind him."

Maginn has well-established ties to former governor and failed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and was criticized by some conservatives for being more focused on the national race than the issues facing the party in Massachusetts.

Candidates for Maginn's seat have already begun to emerge, including Quincy City Councilor and former Scott Brown campaign deputy finance director Kirsten Hughes. However, Jerman expressed concern that putting Hughes at the helm would result in another Maginn situation, where the chair is tied too closely to a specific candidate.

While the MCA has not yet decided to support a candidate for party chair, Jerman and Macomber both mentioned Rick Green as a potential choice.

Green was elected to the Republican State Committee this year from the First Middlesex District. He owns an online auto parts business and serves as chairman of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.

"He's not an insider, he will listen and he's got business skills," said Macomber.

Reviving the Party

Newcomers like Green may have injected some new life into the State Republican Committee, but Jerman said there are still many members who have become complacent and seem to like the idea of sitting on the committee more than the work of staging a GOP comeback in the Bay State.

"Revive the party, make it a party people want to go to," he said, noting that there are many splinter groups around the state that have a lot in common with the MassGOP.

Jerman and Macomber are both registered Independents, and the core group of the MCA has recruited Republicans, Independents, as well as members of the Liberty Party, Constitution Party and Libertarians. The Tea Party Patriots, Massachusetts Republican Assembly, Conservative Voter Regulation, Massachusetts Conservative, National Rifle Association, Massachusetts Against Illegal Immigration and the Gun Owner Action League are also represented in its budding ranks.

"One of the things we've been very deliberate about is trying to bring diversity into our group," said Jerman.

"It has nothing to do with race, religion or class. The issue is government that's limited and working for the people."

Macomber said the MCA is keeping its platform narrow, focusing on top constitutional and conservative issues rather than social ones.

"People are tired of being excluded."

Since October, the MCA has gained membership and momentum, with representation from across the state. Jerman said several Republican town committees have expressed interest in working with the MCA as well because they feel they are not getting adequate help from the state committee.

"I think a lot of this is the stars aligning," said Macomber. 


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Stephen Quist

The frustration that Mr.Jerman speaks of has nothing at all to do with people that are currently sitting at the helm of the state republiCant party - it's the very fact that republiCants in general to do not reflect nor represent the desires and will of the electorate they purport to want to represent.....they can call it whatever they'd like to but the extrem,isim and radicalism of the right is the death knell of the republiCant party.......this is called a death by a thousand cuts.......slowly but assuredly the republiCant party is going the way of the Whigs....

Roy Jerman

Stephen, do you really believe the committee members have nothing to do with it? To-date I've heard from 7 RTCs that have asked for support. Support they are not getting from the state committee. Others have told be they have never even net their committee members. How is it that slightly more than have of the house and senate seats went unchallenged? Who should have been driving that?

Thom Jefferson

Mr. Quist. I find what you say interesting. Can you give me a couple examples of the "extremism and radicalism of the right" you are referring to?

Sandy Williamson

Don't bother asking Quist for facts. He NEVER has any. He just has his special brand of mindless bloviation.

Iron Mike Farquhar

Aah, careful there Mister Jefferson when you challenge the inimitable Mister Quist; for he is widely known as this state's resident expert on all matters of policy and politics.

His opinions and his expertise are in constant demand. When he isn't busy cleaning up the messes others leave behind, - he helps people understand where they fit in society, and how they should vote.

It is a measure of his largess that he has time to help our beleaguered Republican Party reform itself. You'll note he feels we should be more like liberal democrats...

If only Mister Quist would run for Governor in 2014, I'm sure he could solve our $103 Billion state debt in no time, even while rooting out the corruption that 60+ years of Democratic political domination has allowed to fester within the halls of government.
- - - - - - -
As for Ms. Hughes, - that's all we need – another Party Chair Barbie...

Paul Roy

Of course when Q refers to the extremism and radicalism of the right we all know he is referring to the tea party. Had he taken the time to read the article, he would see that the Massachusetts Conservative Assembly is trying to change the Republi-cant party from this can't attitude.

Harry Huckum

I don't think Q reads very well. I believe that he can read a string of words, but he really does not have the ability to comprehend what he has read.

Edward Saucier

OMG - "Q', did they scare you yet? The Dysfunctional Party, who know not which way is up, has the ignorance to call others names? Such bullies and cowards, which is probably the reason there are so few of them in office in Mass., not that there's anything wrong with that.

Stephen Quist

lol.....speak to the truth and the usual trolls emerge.....
Mr.Jerman the lack of success of the republiCant party and the dearth of candidates is a direct refelection best exemplified by your presidential candidate that did not want to represent the 47% that he could not "teach personal responsibilities for their lives...."
You know who he was talking about? The veterans that sacrificed and served this country, the elderly that built this country, etc......

Stephen Quist

@thom Jefferson if you want to debate use your real name and I will answer whatever question you'd like to ask - I don't respond to nameless cowards.........@sandra....lmao

Stephen Quist

Mr.Roy are you stating the teapartiers are the reason for the "Cant" do attitude in republiCant party?
Those that are not members of the teapartiers are just as responsible for the "Cant" do attitude eminating from your wayward party as the other extremists......

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