Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Answers from the OKGOP Chair Candidates, Part 3

Continuing with Part 3 of my OKGOP Chair candidate survey (view part one herepart two here, and part four here):

6. How many presidential-year state conventions have you attended? 

Robert Hubbard:
I have attended two presidential ­year state conventions.

Pam Pollard:
Four (4)

Estela Hernandez:
In 2012, I had the honor of being recognized at the Rising Star in the OKGOP. I was also asked by Chairman Matt Pinell to speak about community engagement at that convention. Conventions are an important part of our political process, but engaging people in the political process, getting them fired up and ready to not only vote but truly engage in the process is a much larger project. That is why I am proud to see the dynamic shift with the RNC as they have moved over the last year into the Victory 365 project. As important as the convention process is, our contributions to the Party should be marked by our service, our leadership and legacy we leave behind for our children, not just attendance at conventions.

7. Have you ever organized a Republican Party convention? 
If so, which conventions and in what capacity?

I was given the great honor to work with the Southern Republican Leadership team in planning and bringing the SRLC to Oklahoma City. When I was elected as Vice Chair on the State Party, I also took on the role of spokesperson for the event. The SRLC was one of, if not THE biggest political event we have had in the state and there were many people who contributed to the effort. My goal for our upcoming conventions is to have them managed as efficiently and effectively as the SRLC was managed. Through technology, and expertise we were able to register well in excess of 2,000 people with limited lines. I believe that we can assemble of great team for our upcoming 2016 and 2017 conventions that can replicate that success.

As Chair of Canadian County, I have been in charge of two conventions and assisted with the Third Congressional District Convention.

2001~2005- Appointed OK County Credentials Chair
2004~2010- Appointed state credentials chair by State Chairman Gary Jones
Served for six years where I helped develop an electronic registration program for the state convention. (We do not use my system today and I pledge to use my experience to develop a working convention registration program that is accurate and timely. To-date I have 2 computer programmers who have volunteered to serve on convention registration committee)
2007- As County Chairman I organized the OK County Convention using electronic registration, credentialing and computerized voting for over 500 delegates. Organized Credential, Rules and Platform Committee meetings.
2008- Same duties as 2007 convention
2009- Same duties as 2007 convention
2012- Served as State Vice Chairman organizing convention to elect delegates to RNC
2004- Elected as a delegate to the RNC and elected by fellow delegates to serve on the national Credentials Committee.
2008- 2004- Elected as a delegate to the RNC and elected by fellow delegates to again serve on the national Credentials Committee.
2012- Appointed Delegation Aide to the RNC being responsible for the management of the OK delegates while in Tampa.
2015- As OK Federation of Republican Women President I organized and was the Convention Chairman for the State Convention this past August

8. What are your specific plans to raise funds for the party and do you have any experience running a statewide organization? 

First, let me say the finance rules of the State Ethics Commission and Federal Election Commission are complex. As an accountant and through the offices I have held in the Republican Party I have a thorough knowledge of the laws for the 5 bank accounts we currently maintain.

My specific fundraising plans include reaching out to donors I have known for many years in my work with the OKGOP, OFRW and numerous campaigns I have worked on. I believe the donors want to see 2 things:
     1. A Party leader that will restore public confidence in the OK Republican Party
     2. A plan of action (Business Plan) to win elections in 2016

I have spoken with many donors and encouraged them to give money to the Party NOW so we can begin to build the financial stability of the Party. I have a Finance Chair and 3 members prepared to serve on the Finance Committee as designated in the State Party Rules. We must have a clear message and plan of action for the donors (investors) of the Party.

I have served as State Vice Chairman under Chairman Matt Pinnell during the last Presidential election cycle and I thoroughly understand the special finance laws pertaining to the OK Victory account. We were able to raise over 1.5 million dollars working with other states and donors of the Presidential campaign. I cannot say if this particular system will be used by the Presidential nominee in 2016 but I am prepared to manage the funds in support of candidates if the opportunity arises.

I have been a Commissioner on the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women, advocating on behalf of issues that impact women across the state. I have a history of working with groups like the Sunbeam Family Services Board, Oklahoma Federation of Republican Women. Through my experience and leadership opportunities within these boards and organizations I have had lots of experience in fundraising.

This upcoming cycle presents great fundraising opportunities, and I look forward to tackling them. As a small business woman, I have had the great opportunity to run businesses, manage staff, meet and exceed goals. I know what it takes to make ends meet in a company.

First, we must reach out and maintain our Minuteman and Elephant Club programs. Sustaining donors are the lifeblood of our Party both financially and in volunteer hours.  As interim Chair, I have been personally reaching out to previous donors whose Minuteman or Elephant Club memberships have expired. We are seeing strong results in those sustaining donors rejoining the program.

Next, we have to continue to build on the fundraising platforms that we already have.  Mail campaigns and events have proven track records in providing a revenue stream, but we also want to branch out and leverage social media and the 32,000 followers we have on Facebook to help fundraise also.

I plan to re­organize the Gala Dinner into a more diverse method of fund­raising that will be more fun and exciting. I also have a list of on­going ideas to utilize throughout the year, including, Guns and Roses, Fin and Feathers, monthly Minute­Man drawings, dinner for two with your favorite state official. All of these will work state­wide for so we can have greater participation. I was three-­time President of the Oklahoma Paint Horse Association. We had successful year-­end award banquets, fun entertainment and celebrity guests. During my tenure, I put together the largest paint horse show ever produced outside of the World Show in Ft. Worth, Texas. The show ran day and night for three days with a great staff of volunteers that made it all possible.

9. Republicans dominate in the legislature, and have total control of statewide elected positions. What is your plan to win offices at the county level?

My plan is the same one we used in Canadian County, where all elected officials are republicans. You start by building the county party to the point where democrats rarely run for office. As chair of Canadian County, from 2010­2014, we averaged 890 new republican registrations each year.

First, let me say the Republican Party must DEFEND 30 open Republican seats in the House and Senate in 2016. This is an unprecedented number brought about by term limits. The democrats WILL produce “conservative democrat” candidates whose message will be very hard to separate to the general voter. Be prepared for candidates to NOT advertise their party affiliation in their campaign literature and signs to confuse the voters.

It will be a very important role of the Party to advertise OUR candidates by Party affiliation and the unique role of the State Party is that we can put multiple candidates on our literature when asking people to go vote! When I first ran the Victory Get Out The Vote program in 2004 I fought to have as many candidates listed on the materials as possible to take advantage of the very powerful tickle-down effect. With Hillary or Biden or Bernie to give us some fun on the democrat ticket, we must take advantage of the Republican Presidential candidate support by listing our US Senator, House, Senate and county officers on each piece of material paid for by the OKGOP. THESE ARE PROVEN PRACTICES and we must raise the money to fund this critical campaign methodology.

While it is true that we have super-majorities in both chambers of the state legislature, and every statewide office, we cannot become complacent. The special election in HD85 has proven what can happen when we do. I was proud to knock doors and make calls for our nominee in that race, but the Party can and must do more in all our upcoming races including county races.

In 2012, when these county seats were up last, only 79 out of 308 seats were decided in the general election. We must work with our county parties so that they have the resources, training, and technology to recruit and elect strong candidates across the board.

Answers to Questions 10-12 will be posted this evening. (Update: view part one herepart two here, and part four here).


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