The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Fein to GOP Old Guard: WAKE UP!

Posted on | September 15, 2010 | 77 Comments

Guest Op-Ed by MATTIE FEIN
Republican nominee for California’s 36th District


Karl Rove’s recent rant on Christine O’Donnell’s Senatorial primary win proves the Old Guard of the GOP needs to wake up.

Voters in 2010 are not being swayed by the anointment of the Good Ol’ Boys in the GOP’s picks to run for office. They are rejecting the career politicians and the system; the O’Donnell win is representative of this. And, while I do not agree with many of O’Donnell’s social issues or statements, her win is indicative of the rejection of politics as usual in the GOP.

No doubt this win scared the establishment to its core.

Rove’s rants prove that he fails to understand that ultimately the voters give credibility to a candidate, not the party. Candidates come from many different backgrounds and life experiences. We have seen a surge in those seeking office from outside the recruiting pool of the GOP.

This is a positive movement for the party, not a negative.

Who is Rove to say what is baggage and what isn’t? Here is a man who kept a “list” of Republicans who towed the line and who didn’t. Perhaps he needs to look at his own baggage before deciding the viability of others. Wasn’t Rove supposed to be the architect of the “20 year Republican majority?” How has that worked out?

Rove undoubtedly would have a field day deconstructing my candidacy, personal life, or viability. A note to Rove on my candidacy: Bring it on.

As a woman in the GOP for years in a career of communications and policy, I know first hand the rejection of “unconventional” women candidates by the Republican Party Old Guard. I was discouraged by them to run for office.

When interviewed by the NRCC and Kevin McCarthy about the Young Guns program, which I now peg the “Shooting Blanks” program (and yes this is a double entendre and the pun is absolutely intended) my marriages and status as a single mother were a focal point.

Fair questions, but I doubt that prospective married male candidates seeking office aren’t dissuaded by such things when running for office. Especially considering how many of them have such skeletons in their closet. Perhaps I should be grateful that I avoided what I experienced in the early days in Washington as a twenty-something where a slap on the derriere and the comment “go home and be a housewife” was standard operating procedure.

I won a challenged primary in a field of two other candidates. I am the Republican candidate. One would naturally think that my campaign would receive some support from the RNC, the GOP, or the NRCC.

Au contraire. Let me count just a few ways I have experienced rebuffs and undermining:

  • Crickets: My race has been a bouillabaisse of RNC State leaders not returning my calls or assisting in endorsements. I have never heard from Kevin McCarthy or the NRCC since that initial meeting. My requests for past research in their libraries (which I know exists and costs them nothing) have gone unanswered. I know for a fact that other congressional candidates near my district have received the same snub.
  • Poaching: Old Guard RNC Committeeman for California, Shawn Steel, has brought other congressional candidates to my district to help fundraise with nary a nod to our campaign.
  • Twisting: I requested guidance from Shawn Steel on how to deal with press stories linking Senate Candidate Carly Fiorina to Jane Harman (my Democrat opponent), after The Daily Beast story by Tim Shorrock. Two other reporters in the national media have been hounding me on this. No response.
  • Back-Dealing: When I met with Bob Livingston (former Congressman from Louisiana) to request assistance on my campaign, he was more concerned about the loybbying clients Jane Harman referred to him. And, I suppose, cocktail parties with the Harman’s at the Shakespeare Theatre in DC.
  • Massaging: During a fundraising call I made to a wealthy big-wig with the RJC, who is close to the Fiorina campaign, he had this to say: “I was stunned when I met you..you’re absolutely gorgeous. You should be on Fox”. He asked me to send him information on donating and hasn’t lifted a finger. My comment to him today: “Put up, or shut up.”
  • Fifth-Column money: Former Congressman Steve Kuykendall (R) has refused to endorse me, because Harman’s mouthpiece strategist Harvey Englander (who by the way used to represent Republicans) has passed business his way.
  • Rumors: Old-Guard GOP is concerned that my campaign’s viral video focusing on Jane Harman’s “business with Iran problem” is highlighting an issue that is sensitive to the Fiorina camp. This issue raised its ugly head again after Fiorina came back from Israel, when Boxer and the Democrats for Israel made public statements against HP’s doing business with Iran. As a result, the rumor is that my campaign is to be the sacrificial lamb and philosophy, ideology, and principles be damned.

With friends like that in the GOP, I need no other enemies. As I recently commented on Pajamas Media TV with Stephen Kruiser, the Old Guard may be an albatross as we get into the general election, but the last thing I expected was to have the GOP throw my campaign for the sake of multi-millionaire Democrat Jane Harman. Call me naïve, but I thought the GOP was interested in gaining the House in 2010 with as many seats as possible.

Is that what you want, GOP? Then embrace “unconventional” candidates with a little bit more than slapping their picture up on the GOP website. Provide mentoring, guidance, assistance, information, and data. The GOP isn’t necessarily obligated to financially assist all candidates, but they do have a duty not to work against their own.

While I am pleased the NRSC finally came forth to assist O’Donnell, their initial rebuff the night before was typical and disgusting.

Women represent over half of the electorate. We have much more to offer the party than bringing self-funded millions of dollars or attain attention due to marriages to high-level Republican men.

Our campaign will not be deterred by the snakes in the grass within the party. Or those like Rove that pontificate on what he believes the voters want. We continue to forge ahead.

And a final note to Kevin McCarthy: A majority is one woman with chutzpah.

Mattie Fein, Republican candidate for U.S. Congress

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Comments

  • http://deconstructingleftism.wordpress.com Thrasymachus

    This kind of thinly concealed corruption doesn’t surprise me. The moderate or liberal Republican game for a generation has been to act as blocker for Democrats in return for a few crumbs.

    “Shooting Blanks”- I saw the cover of the Young Guns book and I thought “These guys aren’t young and I have trouble picturing any of them with a gun.” As Michael Kelso would say, “BUUUUURRRRRNNNNNN!!!!!”

  • jefferson101

    Yes, young lady. You are correct.

    FWIW, I’m glad that someone younger than Stacy or I still gets it. I want my Nation back. And I’m glad that some of the “kids” think the same way I do.

    The NRSC has proven itself to be totally inept, and quite possibly completely brain dead, for at least a year now. Can we fix that, please?

    If the “Republicans” insist on not being Conservative, they can be replaced in the next cycle. That’d be 2012, actually, and they can either make a movement or get off the pot.

    I’m tired of waiting for them. Wake up and smell the Tea, or sleep on and be eliminated, Beltway Boys!

  • jkstewart2

    years ago, when DiFi and Boxer got elected, I was so depressed that I called the GOP to volunteer…They weren’t interested. I think that says it all about the California GOP

  • http://catholicprodigaldaughter.blogspot.com/ Mary Rose

    Wow. Color me thoroughly impressed. Well said, Ms. Fein! I’m also irritated with the GOP, who seems to repeatedly ignore or minimize “unconventional women” in the party. Big tent? Big joke, I say. They lost me long ago. Now I consider myself an independent who looks for the conservative candidate.

    Good luck on your run against Harman. I think one reason the GOP hates the unconventionals is because they suspect these candidates are not interested in the backroom deal scenarios that reward politicians with powerful seats on committees. They seem to have forgotten that the whole point of the people sending a representative, was to represent the people. Not themselves.

  • http://warlocketx.wordpress.com/ Ric Locke

    Ms. Fein is discovering why Hollywood is almost 100% Democrat.

    After about thirty seconds of dealing with the California Republican Allied Party, anyone with any aesthetic sensitivity whatever wants a bath and clean clothes.

    It would appear that the national Republican Party is becoming more like California, instead of trying to bring California in line.

    Regards,
    Ric

  • Adobe Walls

    On FNC today Jim DeMint said it would do no good to take back the majority if Republicans didn’t stand for anything. Principals over power because principals earn trust and trust earns power and it has to happen in that order.

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  • http://warlocketx.wordpress.com/ Ric Locke

    Adobe Walls,

    PEDANT ALERT! PEDANT ALERT!

    The word you want there is “principles“, not “principals“. The mnemonic is that a “pal” is a person, and if you’re talking about ideas or concepts you want the other one, OK?

    Regards,
    Ric

  • Adobe Walls

    At Ric Locke thank you for bursting the bubble containing my pretensions to being literate. I have already had my spell checker shot. Yeah I know it was spelled correctly and that spell checker no comprende context. Hopefully the improper use of Principals as opposed to Principles wasn’t the sum total of your impression of my comment.

  • http://warlocketx.wordpress.com/ Ric Locke

    Adobe Walls — no, I thought your comment was both relevant and well expressed. It’s just that that particular misuse has started showing up regularly, and it’s a “fingernails on the chalkboard” thing for me — I have to concentrate to figure out the substance when so distracted.

    Regards,
    Ric

  • Adobe Walls

    Fingernails on the chalkboard hmmmm didn’t mean to take the joke that far. Excuse my comment on your excellent post “Don’t Let Them Run Away” (your site)
    http://warlocketx.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/dont-let-them-run-away/
    You are correct sir I do over-rely on spell check.

  • victoria_29

    The issue isn’t male or female-& no I am not defending the GOP I just don’t think its sexist. I think their thing is the RINOS are terrified by true conservatives. The elite have decided a long time ago-that they have to be buds & work together to decide what is best for us “people”. A real conservative that has principals well that is a major threat to their power & they are not going to surrender easily.

  • Izlamus Cumming

    Way to get the truth out there Mattie! Stand for what you believe and when you speak be as clear as this column you just wrote. If I might suggest a role model, watch some videos of Ronald Reagan. There was a person who believed in what he said and the people believed him to!! Good Luck!

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  • http://www.valley-of-the-shadow.blogspot.com JSF

    Great piece!

    Another factor is the lack of down ticket support by the top, who has the funds to help bring LA into the light.

    Outside of the AV and SG, any promises made to Central Committees outside of those reigons of an office (MW is building personal offices for only her people, and none for the down ticket) have been reneged upon.

    This could be a tidal year; I know — Robert and I had a plan to put the spotlight on LA and Whitman’s team shot it down.

    Unlike the East Coast politics, no oen has each other;’s back.

    Keep fighting!

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  • Wondering Jew

    Great to see this guest post, and depressing to hear about all of the corruption in the party. Keep fighting the good fight!

  • Rob

    Not to preach to the optimists…or the choir for that matter.
    CA36&8=Red

  • Joe
  • Estragon

    Godspeed, Mattie Fein!

    As to Rove – most of you know I pretty much agreed with his analysis BUT the time for that stuff ran out when the polls opened Tuesday morning. After that, the primary voters have the case like a jury in a trial and render their verdict.

    “In the matter of O’Donnell v Castle, Delaware 2010, we find for the plaintiff and award her the nomination.” That’s it. IT IS OVER, OVER, OVER.

    Mr. Rove: Grow up, you’ve lost a few before, be a man about it, get over it, and move on. O’Donnell WON and she is our nominee. If you have further analysis on the primary race, write a freakin’ book.

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  • Ex-pat in Oz

    Like your style Mattie!

    I love movies from the 30s & 40s– they were populated by “Dames”– who were confident and proud of their femininity.

    You’re a “dame”– and by that, I mean one tough chick! And with Sarah et al, you’re in GREAT grrl power company! :)

    Don’t let these goons get the best of you. Even in Sydney I sense such a year as we’ve never seen…

    ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN THIS YEAR

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  • http://FilmLadd.com FilmLadd

    RE: Victoria_29, in regards to chauvinism: One word, one syllable…

    Mo.

  • Mt Top Patriot

    You Go Woman! You are what America is about and what makes America that shining light on the hill.
    God Bless you and your Loved ones.

  • shoemaker

    Complete tone deaf to vox populi, oblivious still to not-so-quiet-now American Awakening III, marks the jump-the-shark moment for the turncoat RINO establishment (the use of the term is an insult to the endangered species).

    Thousand-feet Tsunami wave impending doom, roaches and rodens alike have astute political sense survival instinct smart heading for high ground than the mammoth so-called architect, conservative mastodon thinktank FCUK Forum and legends of garbage-bin-chucked politico pundits.

    Twice(once-too-many beyond the point-of-no-return)on national network, parading before the world, the once-deemed heavyweight Fox contributing political analyst(an affront to the crafty savvy of the Fox) sinked to National Enquirer paparazzi-standard; swept into oblivion of political history. A sad, sad footnote commentary indeed for a men I once hold high esteemed. My sincere hope that he is not beyond redeemption, but instead choose to see the light and contribute to the noble grasspoot common sence revolution.

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  • http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/119017-reid-coons-qmy-petq-will-win-de-senate-seat Senator Harry Reid

    Ever wonder how guys like me get elected? The NRSC is my pet.

  • ewb

    Wow, great information. Your enumerating the ways in which you’ve been rebuffed and undermined really shines a light on the gruesome behind-the-scenes action of campaigning. I always imagined it was this bad, but didn’t know the half of it. Thank you for sharing these details. I think I’ll bring some of them to my next GOP precinct meeting. Best of luck with your campaign.

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  • shoemaker

    Impressed with Christine O’Donnell’s radio interview with Mark Levin show. Good that she got the unequivocal backing of Reagan Republican veteran–the big gun nuclear tomahawk no one dare try to mess with!

    Most impressed with her interview with ABC George Stephanopoulos. Delaware mama grizzly held her own ground pretty solid in a hostile quarter, with her aura of confidence, dignified stateswomen like, a well articulate senatorial candidate. I like her “killing-you-softly’s” verbal art of offence & self-defence with a smile, disarming subtle “gotcha” of the interviwer. I am of the view that the lamestream media won’t be given a free pass should they attempt again character-ambush scheme on conservative candidates to their own discredit, lest they want to commit anchor career-ending suicide as CG and KC (slow & painful). Was it just my impression? that deep-blue business outfit seems best to present her distinctive senatorial PR image than the red outfit at her victory speech? PR image consulting is none of shoemaker’s core expertise, so go ask the expert Dear Steacy. I don’t think this has anything to do with the Fedora charm??? the 2010 Oscar winning RSM production: “Delaware primary Ruling Class vs Country Class”
    http://theothermccain.com/2010/07/25/dont-pay-the-ransom-i-escaped-2/

  • Val Myers

    Excellantly expressed information, Ms. Fein. I’m only too happy to forward, share, and tweet this to keep the peasants like myself on our toes about the Republican Party. Every time we conservatives get a win, the RINOs trot out with some bucket of hay denying the meaning of it. Prevail we must!!

  • http://noahware.blogspot.com/ Noah Bawdy

    Great post Mattie ! I just sent you some $ !
    Kick some butt for us :-)

  • shoemaker

    The 3rd interview on Fox after Delaware people had chosen their candidate. “Martha,Martha,you don’t understand…” he said “my job as a political analyst is to protect the old and eat my own young”.

  • Jeff

    hey, mattie, why dont you spend your anger raising some funds?

    karl rove, NRSC, NRC, nor I would give you any “financial backing” with that message you just delivered along with your polling numbers. try campaigning instead of blogging.

    btw, nice chip on your shoulder, goes well with your low cut dresses and 15 gin and tonics you have ANY time your in public.

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  • http://www.mattiefein.com mattie fein

    Jeff,

    If you read my piece, if you actually can read, I said that the NRCC is not obligated to financially support all candidates, but to provide non-monetary support. Also, it’s a little difficult to raise funds, although I have, when republican RINOS have an incentive to keep Harman in office. We do our best.

    As for the gin and tonics, that is not what I drink. You’re wrong again!! It’s obvious you are blind to what I have been doing in the district…I’m everywhere. If you’re so astute as to where I’ve been campaigning name the last three events I was at in the last three days…bet you can’t!

  • http://www.mattiefein.com mattie fein

    Oh and Jeff, keep it coming, you’re just the kind of man I love to beat the political you know what out of………

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  • http://maty jeff

    so, your not a good fundraiser. Christine O’donnel is. Sarah Palin is. Its not difficult to ask people, your probably just shy. You should have a few pops before you do your “face to face” asks.

    E-FIGHTS ARE AWESOME!

    go find a max out donor today and stop blogging. I cant vote for you nor am I giving you any money, so you should not even respond and give creedence to what I type. Seriously. Do what an old guard would do; raise money, get your message out there and win.

    btw, your frankenstein peice is horrid. I cant wait for Nov 15th when I can flip through your filing to see how much of donors’ money you wasted on that crap. NEW GUARD REVOLT!!!11!!!!!1! E-FIGHT!11!!!!

    ps im lolsing