By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Thursday 28 members of the Rainy Day Patriots met in Homewood to discuss Tea Party business and to hear from the founder of the Real Conservative National Committee, Michael Patrick Leahy.
Leahy said that when he was there in the summer of 2012 he had predicted victory for the conservative movement in the November elections. Leahy said that he was wrong, but victory will come in 2014.
Leahy blamed the defeat on Carl Rove and a group of powerful political consultants within the GOP. According to Leahy, the Republicans spent $1.4 billion on bland television advertising and robo-calls, while Obama and the Democrats had a sophisticated ground game and an intelligent social media campaign.
According to Leahy, when Democrats contacted voters they “listened”. That person’s preferences were recorded by the campaign worker and that went into a database which the Obama campaign was growing for months before the election. If a voter indicated that the environment for example was their primary concern then that voter received emails and texts from the Obama campaign targeting those concerns. Republicans on the other hand simply sent more and more robo-calls and spent more money on tv ads. The Republican social media campaign was much smaller and not as targeted.
Leahy also blamed Mitt Romney for not running a campaign based on a conservative message. According to Leahy the Romney campaign seemed to think that they would win just by saying that they were not Obama, rather than promoting a conservative message.
Leahy said that the Republican Party Leadership at the Republican National Committee is too inbred and incapable of learning from their mistakes. That is why he confounded the Real Conservative National Committee. Leahy believes the way to win elections is to take the Democratic model and fund a much more serious door to door effort to reach voters. Knock on the doors, talk to the voters, record on smart phones what the voter actually believes, and build a database on each and every voter.
Leahy says that his group is going to use these methods to target RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) in the 2014 Republican primaries. His plan is to create a massive conservative door to door campaign months before the primaries attacking targeted Republican incumbents, who are not conservative enough. By attacking that disliked Republican it will lure good candidates into the race to challenge that incumbent. His group will not be legally allowed to coordinate with any candidate’s campaign, but they can endorse a candidate.
Leahy says that it is very important to screen candidates and cited as an example, Richard Murdock, whom Tea Party groups supported successfully over incumbent Richard Lugar (R) from Indiana, whom he called a very flawed candidate. Leahy said that the candidate needed to have his own money and to look at voting records closely. People will try to use such an effort for their own ambitions so be careful.
Leahy said they were going to target Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander (R) and three Congressmen in different states and invited the Patriots to consider his offer of help if there was a Republican member of Congress in Alabama that needed to be replaced. Leahy would buy a database of the Republican voters in the district and help organize the ground game; but hundreds of volunteers would be needed to knock door for months before the Republican Primary. Leahy said that it would be easy for him to help an Alabama group since he lives in Tennessee and we are just three hours drive.
Leahy said that the two members of the Alabama Republican delegation who stand out as not being conservative enough and they are: Spencer Bachus (R) from Vestavia and Martha Roby (R) from Montgomery. Leahy asked the Rainy Day Patriots, which one would they like to target.
The group decided that if they were going to target a Republican incumbent in Alabama it would be Spencer Bachus.
Ann Eubank said that the Rainy Day Patriots could not endorse candidates in the Republican Primary, so if a group wanted to target Bachus or Roby it would have to be organized outside of the Patriots.
The group was not sure that this was something that they really wanted to do and agreed to have more discussions on the topic.