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Tuesday, January 26, 2021
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Art Chance: Preserving the Republican homeland



Note: I wrote this in early 2007 as Barack Obama took office.   I was consistently a front-pager on back in those days and this ran on the front page for weeks.  Substitute any reference to Barack Obama with Biden – Harris and it remains relevant.  Some of it is a little dated, as in nobody uses Blackberries anymore; back then they were the ultimate status symbol in government. – AC

The real Homeland exists in the states and local governments where Republicans still govern. Right now at the national level, we have no airspeed, no altitude, and no ideas. It’s going to be a while before we fly nationally. But, we do still govern about half the states and a lot of local governments. So, how do we defend this homeland?

First, a Republican officeholder in a safely Red state must understand that the fact that s/he has a good hold on his office doesn’t really mean much anymore.

Every office has been nationalized and that rag-tag band of greenies or union organizers that you could safely ignore in the past now have almost unlimited funds and the full power of the federal government behind them. So, here’s a to-do list for Red state officeholders.

Take out the trash! Get the holdover Democrats out of your government. Most state and local governments were either built by Democrats or model the federal government, which was built by Democrats.

No Republican could find enough loyal competent Republicans to fill all the political appointments in a Democrat-built government so they put their friends in the visible places and in places where they really need change and otherwise leave the government in the hands of Democrats.

Then they wonder why they’re constantly leaked, thwarted, and sabotaged. Now, when that a Republican got elected, some “friend” told him/her that he couldn’t fire too many people because it would be too disruptive and the government had to be kept running smoothly. That is an outright lie. The very hardest thing you could try to do is to stop a government from running. The only thing that was threatened with disruption was that “friend’s” contact list in the bureaucracy.

Fire everybody that you have a colorable legal right to fire, and a few extra just to show you can; God and the courts can sort it out. The left/media will whine and snivel about how the heartless Republicans savaged these dedicated public servants and they’ll probably have somebody’s wife with cancer who just lost her health insurance on the 6 pm news the night you do it. It’ll all be lies but in this game lies are better than the truth if you can get fools to believe them. You just stay the course, say you’re going in a new direction, and let them bleat and wail. The news cycle is very short and it won’t be long before a car chase, a missing baby, or a celebrity sex scandal chases those selfless former public servants off the news.

Don’t be coy about this and use Gov. Palin’s root canal over “Troopergate” as your what-not-to-do manual. The rule for true political appointees is “any reason, no reason, but not an illegal reason.” No reason is best; just say you’re going in a new direction and you’re putting in a new management scheme. And don’t do anything else. Every single wrongful or constructive discharge involving a high level employee I ever lost, I lost because somebody in management said to somebody, “I’m going to get that SOB.”

Positions are better left vacant than filled with holdover Democrats; the bureaucrats will keep it running just because it is easier to keep it running than to restart it if it is stopped. Governments run in spite of political appointees, not because of them. Most governments have a tool called “acting status” with which you can give the highest career ‘crat something like the pay of the fired appointee. They’ll appreciate it and appreciative people tend towards loyalty.

Use your limited supply of loyal competent Republicans to control the money, people, and stuff of the government and to run the places where you most need change. Do not put the general counsel of a horse breeding association in charge of a major function because he is a good ole boy who raised some money for somebody. You’ll have enough trouble without defending incompetence. Likewise, friends’ kids may be fine for decorating high-level offices but don’t give them real jobs.

Get unwired. Immediately prohibit all but de minimis personal use of government electronic resources such as computers, faxes, phones, PDAs, etc. and give notice that employees have no expectation of privacy in their use of such resources.

A blanket prohibition is pointless; your employees are going to take calls from their kids and get the grocery list by email; let them do it but the price is their grocery list, or the date they made, is a public record.

Put the best bad thoughts and bandwidth monitors you can buy on your IT systems and fire a few people for porn and gambling. Make smoke and noise doing it and you won’t have to do many. This won’t stop your employees from cc’ing their favorite reporter with a copy of a letter or memo, but it will make it harder for that reporter to use the leaked document. He’ll be forced to ask for it under your public records law so he has a legal copy to use, so you’ll know about the leak before you read it on the front page and can take necessary steps.

Stow the Blackberries. Direct your management that there will be no discussion of personnel or policy by email. Even cell phones are dangerous if you have powerful enemies; there are some really good scanners out there. Again, using Gov. Palin as an example of what not to do, the private account dodge is just that, a dodge and the only advantage it has is that it is easier to delete files. The fact that you deleted files is probably more damning than the files themselves, so bear that in mind. If you are a public officer, however you do the public’s business is the public’s business, and your stuff will come out. The best rule is to never put anything in an email that you don’t want to read on the front page of the paper that hates you most.

Stop the memos. You want trusted advisors and you make decisions in face to face or telephonic meetings with them. Briefing memos and decision memos are for leaking and for covering people’s butts. Nobody takes notes in your meetings and nobody writes one of those “set out my understanding of your decision” cover-your-butt memos after the meeting. The only time one of these memos gets written is when you want to leave it on a copier to spread disinformation.

Control the money. Most of the federal money you get is aimed at some Democrat constituency; always remember that you’re feeding the hand that bites you. Hire yourself a very good, non-political government accountant and listen to her. Republican officials are going to be under attack by federal auditors and investigators for the forseeable future; you don’t want to give them anything to work with.

Just understand, that it is almost impossible to fully comply, so if you get a disallowance or some beef with them, just buck up; you don’t have the power to call your Senator and get them off your back anymore.

Fire some of your friends. Because they had untrammelled power for 50 years, most of the ways that Democrats steal are nominally legal. Republicans have to steal the old fashioned way and some do. They’re usually pretty hamfisted about it and get caught; fire them and move on. If Duke Cunningham had been a Democrat, he’d have just set up a bunch of non-profits, earmarked a bunch of money to them, and had a good accountant who made sure his piece got raked off. He’d now be a respected multi-millionaire Senator instead of a convicted felon.

The other side of your being straight with the money, is that you can make the other guys be straight with the money. You are feeding all sorts of non-profits that hate you. Your government, through its labor, education, health and so-called services, and environmental conservation departments, and others sometimes, is giving grants and contracts to the people who hate you and work against you every day.

Find out who runs every outfit that you give a grant or contract to and cross reference who they contribute to and what political jobs they’ve had. You’ll probably find a goodly number of those Democrat holdovers you just fired working for them. You can’t just take away their grants and contracts because they’re a Democrat front, but you can make their lives interesting.

Audit all your contracts and grants. Make them file their reports; most can’t. They’ve never had to account for their expenditures, so they don’t usually have systems that allow them to keep adequate expenditure records. This is true of unions also, but that is another game and another diary. No expenditure and performance reports, no money. That’ll take them a while to overcome. Some of them will have been outright stealing.

If it is federal money, turn them over to the Department of Justice. DOJ won’t do anything to them in a Democrat administration, but you can rail about that, too. Just for the record, DOJ won’t do anything in a Republican administration either unless it is seven figures or somebody a holdover prosecutor really doesn’t like.

Do the work with government employees. I know this is anathema to Republicans, but Republicans got beaten in the outsourcing game. The Rs drove the out-sourcing iniatives and the Ds fought it but lost. The Rs thought the game was over. The Ds just set up non-profits and picked up the outsourced work. Government employees are usually little or no more expensive if all costs are considered and you can control them and keep them mostly out of politics. You have almost no control over a contractor’s employees.

Watch the stuff. Stealing stuff is easier than stealing money and corruption in government procurement has been legendary since time immemorial. The Egytians probably had miles of papyrus scrolls setting out the procurement codes. Fundamentally some poorly trained, poorly paid nameless, faceless procurement specialist or contract officer is tasked with dealing with some of the richest, most powerful, and most corrupt people in your state or city. His temptations are at least as great as those of the narcs and vice cops, and we know they’re all honest, don’t we? Keep a sharp eye on your procurement people. If they’re living beyond their means, they probably have other means and understand, it may well be one of your friends and contributers who is providing those other means. Put somebody in jail.

This is of necessity only bright colors and broad strokes. There are specialists out there who know the details. Republicans need to hire them and listen to them. We must be Caesar’s wife so Democrats’ minions can’t put us in jail or perp walk our friends and supporters. The added benefit of our being Caesar’s wife, is we can force the Democrat front groups to be Caesar’s wife and they can’t do it. They require graft and corruption to live. Clean it up and they can’t live – and that’s a good thing.

Art Chance is a retired Director of Labor Relations for the State of Alaska, formerly of Juneau and now living in Anchorage. He is the author of the book, “Red on Blue, Establishing a Republican Governance,” available at Amazon. 

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • States must STOP taking the federal funding, it’s the only way to stop federal mandates and ensure states rights and individual liberties.

  • Remember Abraham Lincoln loved God with his whole heart. Even through the union had railroads and enlisted black man as its allies during the civil war, They had God going out before them, and the Confederacy had an idol god just as I see today democrats still worship idols, well, the party of Lincoln who was a God-fearing man, the Living God of the bible, God of the bible is no false god. Over the last 100 years republicans have taken up the same idols democrats worship going back to their roots before splitting away from the Democrat-Republican party. They fell away from acknowledging and fearing Abraham Lincoln’s and the Israelite’s Living God of the bible. That’s the root why the poor choices republicans made mentioned up above had happened, as well as individuals calling themselves Republican making poor immoral choices like Republican leaders cheating on their spouse and drugging and drinking themselves into a drunken stupor after RNC conventions or parties.
    The bible gives instruction and its relevant to everything we face in life and anyone we encounter in life. There is wisdom in it for anyone lacking common sense.

  • I would argue the GOP is ineffective, corrupt, and useless. It needs to be put to sleep like an old dog and replaced with a Conservative party.

    One that actually reflects the will of its voters and doesn’t fold like a cheap suit in a conflict.

    Looking directly at you, Mike Dunleavy. Directly.

    • That may happen after the civil war. To do so now it would be suicide. You can’t make changes by sitting on the bench or not even being on the team at all. Baby steps comrade baby steps.

  • Look, Art, I know you meant well in recycling this old piece but the days of rallying around Team R in hope that we’ll find any remedies to the treachery and fecklessness that we’ve seen over and over from those we should be able to count on are long gone.

    The best solution will likely stem from supporting the Alaskan Independence Party or another entity, if not widespread defection of voters and truly conservative legislators to Undeclared or Nonpartisan registration.

    • And just when was the last time an upstart third party won a state or National election?

      • 1860. It was called the “Republican” party, the winner was Abraham Lincoln, and it included members of the Whig party who originated themselves due to their opposition to an insane Andrew Jackson. It seems like an identical situation to today. When you look at the number of independent voters, which grows by the day, the time may be ripe to do so. Extremism on both sides, but especially the events of Wednesday, may have set the stage for some principled and measured leadership needed to move us forward while avoiding both communism AND fascism.

        • The Republicans couldn’t win in 1856 with Fremont and were only able to narrowly win in 1860 because The South bolted to an independent candidate, Breckinridge, IIRC.

          • They still won with a fairly significant Presidency (tongue in cheek).

  • This thing reads like a communist or fascist (they’re not all that different from each other) plot to take over control of the government. Imagine where this would go. Complete control of the forces that run the country. Sound democratic to you? Me either.
    This was Trumps goal, except he wanted to control everything himself. That’s a dictatorship. In that case, it doesn’t make any difference if it’s communist, socialist, or fascist. They’re all the same, control by one person who decides what happens to everyone. Sound democratic to you? Me either.

    • It may not be too late to get your money back on that reading comprehension class. You’re deluded by your leftist bias that Trump wanted to control everything; President Trump had almost no control over the government and was thwarted by the communists, excuse me, Democrats at every turn. He never got a loyal workforce below the direct report level and even some of them had ulterior motives. I’m willing to bet that you don’t think any of these actions are fascist or communist when Democrats do them, and they do them every time they come to power. But then, unlike you, I actually know something about running a government.

  • The republican party will never be in the white house again for decades, the people have lost faith and trust in the weak cowards. They talk a good game but continue to drop the ball, voting for the same people and expecting a different result is insanity. Now is the time for a new party like the Tea Party.

  • All that time, I thought you were talking about Murkowski….Her nose is bent out of shape and threatening to leave the Republican party…Hope she does.. Remember what spoiled brats do? Lay down on the floor and kick their shoes on the floor, scream and holler till they get their way.. Not this state. Hope Murkowski goes for it and resigns. The Republican party needs someone much better than that lying trash can.

  • Good piece, Art. I’ve been told that it was the trade unions of America that developed reliable methods of fraud to control their internal union elections. These methods were applied in the 40’s and 50’s and with huge success all the way to present times. The Democrat Party used the methods of the unions to steal elections. For a good 30-minute read, Google this article about union elections and an attempt by some union members to get Congress to change LMRDA (Landrum-Griffen 1959). Congress ignored it.
    “No Teeth To Bite; Proposed Reforms of LMRDA.”

  • Art, google this instead:.
    “Why Labor Union Members Need LMRDA Reformation Now”

    • The big problem with the LMRDA is that it isn’t enforced at all in communist, excuse me, Democrat administrations and is hardly enforced in Republican administrations. The USDOL, the NLRB, and the FMCS are leftist and pro-union to the core. A two term Republican President can get a more or less conservative board in place but all the regional staff remain Democrat hires and promotions.

      A major factor in the private sector is the only unionized workforces left are in industries that rely on government funding, do business directly with government, or are heavily regulated by government. Consequently, they have to get along with the unions and the government. You may recall when Comrade Obama’s NLRB threw out 75 years of precedent at the behest of the Machinists’ Union to try to interfere with Boeing’s moving 787 production to RTW South Carolina. Fifty or Sixty years ago the NAM, the CoC, and most of the major corporations in America would have joined to sue the NLRB and have the USSC throw out the decision. Instead, crickets; nobody sued, not even Boeing itself and they meekly settled with the IAM, one of the most communistic unions in the Country.

      • Good point, Art. LMRDA was never enforced when Elaine Chao was Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush. Then she became Trump’s Secretary of Transportation. She is worthless. How did she get these appointments? Just by being Mitch McConnell’s main squeeze?

        • Did you know her father was the head of a Chinese shipping company?

  • Brilliantly written as usual. Art, where did you get all this knowledge? Where were you when Dunleavy and Trump were getting sworn in?

    • Thank you for the kind words! Unlike most in the Dunleavy Administration I actually know something about running the State government and I feel no compulsion to be nice to my enemies, so I’m not a good fit with the Dunleavy crowd. I had a couple of good conversations with the Trump people, but then never heard from them again. I suspect they called people in Alaska who told them I would be too disruptive and controversial; with friends like establishment Republicans, you don’t need enemies.

      • Truer words were never said.

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