Buck Says Steve House Would Be His GOP State Party CEO

If elected later this month to lead the Colorado Republican Party, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) would hand over the day-to-day strategic duties of the Republican Party to former Colorado GOP leader Steve House.

House, who resigned as GOP leader in 2016, would stand in for Buck as needed, and would, among other things run the “day to day operations of the party including working with county parties on development of plans and programs,” according to a memo sent by Buck to fellow Republicans, explaining how he would both serve as U.S. Congressman and leader of the Colorado GOP.

In addition to House as “Chief Executive Officer (CEO),” Buck would select an as-yet-unnamed “executive director” who would, among other things, be responsible for “daily operations of the [Colorado Republican Party] including but not limited to, accounting, bill paying, statutory meeting and assembly setup, and support of funding raising efforts as needed,” according to the memo.

House’s selection as possible CEO carries with it the ironic twist that House was nearly deposed by fellow Republicans Cynthia Coffman, Becky Mizel, and Tom Tancredo in 2015 in part, it appeared, for not selecting Ted Harvey to serve as executive director under him when he led the GOP. The incident included accusations of blackmail.

Buck’s memo states:

I choose to stand in service of my country and my party and to do so requires that I surround myself with great people so that we can be successful. I choose to do it because it must be done, not for my sake, but for our children’s sake and for their futures [emphasis is Buck’s].

If elected Chairman of the Colorado Republican Committee (CRC) I will utilize a new strategy for running the party that will lead to improved election performance at all levels in the state of Colorado. The CRC has had mixed performance on its primary objective of supporting Republican candidates in winning elections.

This organizational plan is not simply a change for 2020 but a change I recommend for all subsequent election cycles. Political organizations like the Republican Governors Association, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee operate the way I am proposing by having an elected official lead the organization with a primary focus on fundraising and then have senior staff run the day to day operations.

It appears that the GOP executive committee, meeting this weekend, must approve Buck’s propose changes.

Buck’s new plan comes as GOP leaders are arguing about the reasons for the GOP’s “mixed performance” in the last election, as Buck gently put it in his memo.

Former State Sen. Tim Neville (R-Littleton) was more blunt last month, calling the 2018 election work “some of the worst” he’s seen.

For his part, House, who once ran for governor, has been on conservative radio shows this week criticizing some the spending priorities and campaign tactics used by Republicans in the November election.

Speaking to guest host Randy Corporon on KNUS 710-AM Tuesday, House said he doesn’t believe that media advertising of the past will work today.

“Research was done in September of 2017 showing that media – especially television and mail media – are almost ineffective,” House told Corporon on air. “Seventy-one percent of people who see your TV ad can’t vote for you or wouldn’t vote for you. [Of] the other 29 percent, only a small fraction actually have their minds to be made up. Yet we spend blizzards of money on it. The same thing [pertains] on mail.”

Neville has criticized how outside Republican groups (The Senate Majority Fund, under Andy George; and the Colorado Economic Leadership Fund; as well as the GOP’s Independent Expenditure Committee) spent GOP funds in state senate races in 2018.

On air, House agreed with some of Neville’s criticisms.

“I mean, if you sat down with Tim Neville and looked at what was done in his district from multiple groups on the outside. I mean, 104 mailers [were sent]; a lot of them didn’t have common messaging,” said House, adding that the GOP losses had nothing to do with Trump.

“They just weren’t right. You can’t win by sitting back and hoping that the media is going to carry your message. You’ve got to go out and deliver it.  And you’ve got to have people identified that you’re going to give it to. And that’s where we’ve fallen short. And that’s why it’s so urgent that we get something started now for the 2020 election.”

House told Corporon that he continued working for the state party after he was replaced by Jeff Hays in 2016.

“I was actually in charge of – for quite some time, most of the last cycle – the fundraising effort for the Republican Party Independent Expenditure Committee,” said House on air, referring to the state GOP’s soft-side fundraising arm. “I think we raised around $3.8 to $3.9 million toward the 2018 elections. So, my daily life did involve, you know, donors, fundraising, pitching concepts and candidates across the state during that two year period when Jeff was Chair, as well.”

In another KNUS interview Thursday, on the Chuck and Julie Show, Steve House called in to object to accusations that House spent the Republican Party Independent Expenditure Committee’s (IEC) money on allegedly inept GOP consultants.

House said he didn’t make funding decisions for the IEC. The decisions on which GOP consultants to hire were made by the board of the IEC, which House did not sit on.

Asked by host Chuck Bonniwell if the IEC hired Clear Creek Strategies or EIS, House replied that IEC board chose Purple State, which was run by Andy George and Kelly Maher.

Co-host Julie Hayden, a former Fox 31 Denver reporter, pointed out that this looked the same as Clear Creek Strategies and Andy George.

This was confirmed later in the show when guest George Athanasopoulos pointed out that the GOP IEC paid Clear Creek Strategies over $750,000, according to state campaign finance records.

House later told me the issue for him is more about what gets done, not who does it.

“I’m a fairly large donor myself,” said House. “I think I spend over $40,000 in donations myself during the last cycle. I don’t want that money to go into the pockets of people who don’t have a pay-for-performance type plan or have a track record of winning. You know, if you are gong to give people money, you might as well burn it or give it to charity.”

“My take on it in the last cycle was, we needed to be using digital more,” House said. “If you look at the data..there are a very small number of people are what you’d call a persuadable-Unaffiliated voter. Most Unaffiliated voters know what they want. Some of them are persuadable on an issue. But the best way to get to them is not to run a TV ad or send them a hundred mail pieces. It’s talking to them or engaging them, or more importantly, engaging them on an issue that’s really important to them. And then they will stand up and take notice. Those are the kind of changes that have to be made. I think the Democrats did a much better job of it than we did. And clearly, we are going to recognize that and make some changes.”

 

Memo from Ken Buck to members of the Colorado Republican Party Executive Committee.

People ask me why I want to lead the Colorado Republican Committee, why I would take on two jobs and how I could do that while supporting my constituents in both roles.

Let me start by quoting Thomas Paine who said: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of this country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

I choose to stand in service of my country and my party and to do so requires that I surround myself with great people so that we can be successful. I choose to do it because it must be done, not for my sake, but for our children’s sake and for their futures.

If elected Chairman of the Colorado Republican Committee (CRC) I will utilize a new strategy for running the party that will lead to improved election performance at all levels in the state of Colorado. The CRC has had mixed performance on its primary objective of supporting Republican candidates in winning elections.

This organizational plan is not simply a change for 2020 but a change I recommend for all subsequent election cycles. Political organizations like the Republican Governors Association, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee operate the way I am proposing by having an elected official lead the organization with a primary focus on fundraising and then have senior staff run the day to day operations.

The duty of the Chairman is to win elections and accomplish this objective by modifying the party structure and attracting a team of great people as outlined below.

My organization Plan:

The State Party’s role in winning elections in Colorado requires that the Chairman focus on raising money to support programs including:

    • Voter Registration and Voter Identification
    • Republican oriented messaging and defining our opponents
    • Turnout work to get voters engaged
    • Volunteer program development and performance
    • Statutory requirements must be completed.

To accomplish these goals and to improve our performance, I believe we need to add a support structure to the party that includes a volunteer CEO to run the day to day operations of the party and other targeted outreach groups as shown on the organizational chart included.

Roles and Responsibilities:

Chairman – Congressman Ken Buck

  • Reports to the executive committee and by extension to the State Central Committee. Primary roles and responsibilities include raising money into the State Party accounts and into the IEC to achieve objectives and meet the requirements agreed upon with the Executive Committee per party bylaws.
  • Messaging through the support of the communications director on a daily weekly and monthly basis to insure performance.
  • Establish goals, timelines and metrics for the CEO and staff.
  • Hold monthly meetings to monitor progress, re-evaluate goals, and allocate resources.

CEO – Steve House

House is the former CRC State Chairman, Adams County Chairman, business owner, and consultant. Steve House and all outreach and social media directors will functions as volunteers.

  • Reports to the Chairman and is governed by all CRC bylaws regardless of the fact that this role is not defined in the bylaws.
  • Runs the day to day operations of the party including working with county parties on development of plans and programs.
  • Works with new county chairman to develop them and their county strategy.
  • Supports fund raising in coordination with the Chairman and specifically is responsible for digital, mail, and low dollar fund raising.
  • Interfaces with RNC ground operations and supports candidates across all offices in the state including federal candidates as needed.
  • Insures that all statutory requirements of the party are completed fully and on time.
  • Works with targeted precinct leaders in critically important areas in support of their county leadership and candidates.
  • Attends functions in the absence of the Chairman whenever necessary.
  • Works with Vice Chairman and Secretary on development of their role and responsibilities.
  • Interfaces with the executive committee as needed.
  • Works with all appointed committees on behalf of the Chairman.

Executive Director

  1. Reports to the CEO and indirectly to the Chairman and to the Treasurer.
  2. Responsible for daily operations of the CRC including but not limited to, accounting, bill paying, statutory meeting and assembly setup, and support of funding raising efforts as needed.
  3. Develop training manuals for County leadership and volunteer programs.
  4. Interface with the State Director of the RNC and manage communications processes through the RNC State Communications Director.
  5. Prepares all statutory documentation and reporting for the Secretary of State and the executive committee as required.
  6. Supports the Vice Chairman and State Secretary as required.

Communications Director

  1. Position to be paid by the RNC but would coordinate all communications from the State Chairman to the media.
  2. Monitors communication from the democrat party and all their candidates and elected officials.
  3. Consults with the RNC, Federal Candidates, and the Presidential campaign to insure message cohesion and discipline.

Treasurer

  1. Reports to the Chairman and works closely with the CEO and the Executive Committee.
  2. Performs all statutory duties as required.

Committees — The following committees will be included but do not have individuals named in most cases.

  • Finance Committee – Will be co-chaired by a highly respected man and woman with a business background and fundraising experience. Team will have 4-6 individuals to support fund raising and reports directly to the Chairman.
  • Outreach Committee – Will be led by a director to be chosen and its’ primary function is to identify, register and engage targeted voters to support Republican candidates.
  • Social Media Committee – Will be led by a director and include a team of individuals to coordinate with the Communications director, CEO, and Chairman to engage a broad spectrum of voters and donors through social media interaction.

I will continue to refine this Organizational Plan, recruit the best talent and develop goals as we approach the March 30 meeting.

Your feedback is essential for our success.

Please feel free to contact me… Thank you for your support and encouragement.

For Colorado,

Ken Buck

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