Sunday, December 17, 2006

"Internet Republicans of Virginia"

Senator Ken Cuccinelli (37th District) is proposing the organization of the Internet Republicans of Virginia (IRV) ... proving that more and more Republicans, including electeds, are coming on board as we discover how effective the internet is as a political tool of communication.

Senator Cuccinelli wrote:

Here's an idea that I had back in the late 1990s that I'm going to dust off here and propose to all of you for consideration. I think that the GOP should have already done something like this, but it hasn't happened yet anywhere in the U.S. that I'm aware of, so let's get the ball rolling here in Virginia.

My general idea is that the Republican Party of Virginia institutionalize Internet/World Wide Web party participatation as a way to grow the party in new directions and recruit Republicans that can help our campaigns get our message out and fight the political war going on every day in the virtual world.

I suggest that the Virginia GOP officially establish a new group within the formal structure of the GOP, namely, the Internet Republicans of Virginia (name doesn’t matter). It would have elements of the CRs, YRs and the VFRW, and some elements of local units like the Fairfax County Republican Committee (FCRC).

Senator Cuccinelli goes on to outline how this could be set up in the Party Plan and then says:

I think there are some very basic and very good reasons to develop such a new arm of the Party.

First, this opens a totally new way to expand the GOP and to do so in a way that goes after some tough but valuable recruits: young people and tech saavy people, a good proportion of whom are likely to be minorities. Many, many of these folks will not be traditional party participants. So the IRV offers us an opportunity to bring people in that would not participate in the party any other way.

Second, by bringing in new, tech-saavy folks, we expand the likelihood that there will be more GOP-focused blogs and bloggers, and as we Republicans know, that will lead to competition among the GOP bloggers to perform better and more effectively. Thus, we are likely to get more quantity and quality from those carrying on the political battle on our behalf on the net.

Third, the IRV members would be new resources to help all of our GOP campaigns at every level communicate in the virtual world, both aggressively carrying our message on the Internet and defensively responding to the other side as the need arises. IRV members are going to know more about how to use all aspects of the Internet, email, databases, computers, etc. to help a campaign than 98% of the rest of our activists. This is a fast-changing environment where our campaigns need more people that can help them in this arena. Let’s give them a formal place to go and grow within the party.

Fourth, the IRV would be a hotbed for political innovation. I would hope that they could very quickly hold Virginia’s first Internet convention. I would expect their meetings to be over the net, probably using conference calling capabilities that already exist (e.g., using with web elements in tandem (e.g., powerpoint presentation on the web with an audio discussion by conference call). And I would sure as heck hope that their meetings would not resemble the content of unit committee meetings, which actually chase many possible party members away.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this, but you should also tell your local SCC representatives (assuming you know who they are), Congressional District Committee reps, unit chairman or RPV if you think this is a good idea. After all, they need to implement it if it’s going to go forward.

Republicans may contact Senator Cuccinelli with thoughts and ideas(

At the local level talk with your Unit Chairman, District Chairman, and State Central Committee member if you are interested in seeing this move forward.

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