I read a piece in Politico the other day about how the Republican Party is shrinking, in part because Republicans tend to be older than Democrats, etc., and older people tend to die before younger people. The GOP leadership, being reasonably astute, undoubtedly recognizes the problem and is likely taking steps to address it. Among the first things it will take is to change the membership oath to no longer require newbies to pledge allegiance to Fox News, the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove.
Locally, the party is taking a different approach to build up its muscle. Classified advertising.
The Salinas-based campaign management firm of Paramount Consulting, also known as Andrew Russo, is running ads in the Craigslist employment section seeking Republican candidates for everything from school boards to the state Senate.
Russo doesn’t require an oath but potential candidates “must be pro-business and fiscally conservative.”
“Some record of prior community involvement (is) highly desirable.”
Paramount lists a long list of previous clients who made it into office, including Monterey County Sheriff Steve Bernal, Congressman Jeff Denham, Salinas school board members Jim Reavis and Lila Cann, former Monterey County Supervisor Judy Pennycook and former Monterey City Councilman Jeff Haferman. That is quite a list but that’s all I’m going say about that.
Also going the Craigslist route is the Monterey County Republican Party, which has been looking for an executive director for quite some time now. That might be because of the compensation. At first I thought it was a typo: $2,500 to $3,000 per month depending on experience. Seems to me that no self-respecting, Democrat-disrespecting Republican would take a job in that range. Maybe it’s a test.
Despite the puny pay, it’s a big job. There are funds to be raised, an office to manage, reporters to be dealt with, interns and volunteers to be supervised, Facebook pages to be fed and a board to be interacted with. The successful candidate has to be skilled in Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, DreamWeaver, Indesign, and Adobe Acrobat. Finally, he or she “should have a sense of humor.”
That last requirement is key. The executive director would be dealing with people such as Brandon Gesicki, who placed the ad, and businessman Paul Bruno, two of the most madcap merrymakers to ever try to stuff a ballot box for comic effect.
Brandon “Why Doesn’t Anyone Like Me” Gesicki is one of those campaign managers who will use every trick in the book, every type of deceptive advertising, phony front groups and various intimidation tactics and then tell you he is doing it to prevent the GOP from being taken over by unprincipled people.
Speaking of Gesicki, he’s also advertising on Craigslist for interns for his own office, Capitol Consulting.
He describes it as “an incredible opportunity for anyone wanting to break into public relations and politics.”
The positions are unpaid for three to six months but will turn into paid positions at some point. There is no mention of college credit but, hey, there might be a Republican president by the time the IRS comes around asking questions.
Gesicki says he is looking for someone with good technical skills but he doesn’t mention anything about working on a web site, which is kind of surprising considering that his company’s website is still soliciting clients for the 2013 election and doesn’t include last year’s sheriff’s race as one of his success stories.
On his website, he does make it clear, though, that politics is a “full contact sport” and that “winning is everything.” The part about public service and philosophy is missing from the pages, but that’s merely an oversight. There is a section for testimonials and I’m sure it will be very interesting when it is no longer “under construction.”
Come to think of it, maybe I should apply, if not for an internship, possibly the exec director’s job. I have a sense of humor, or at least I did before I became old enough to be a Republican.